Software-as-a-Service is a booming market in our economy. The SaaS market is expected to grow by $623.3 Billion by 2023. Woo...that’s some mind-blowing number!
So, before we discuss the sales strategies of SaaS companies, let’s understand the need to discuss the topic in the first place.
Why are we discussing SaaS sales strategies today?
SaaS is a service that allows companies to offer their products and services on the internet, which means more convenience for the customer and also the vendor.
With SaaS, both implementation effort and cost are reduced significantly. Moreover, customers enjoy the new upgrades without any manual intervention.
Now comes the fact that most companies want to compete in this market.
Before we move ahead, would you like to know how many leading Software as a Service (SaaS) companies exist worldwide in 2021 by country?
As per the above data, it’s clear that the market is only growing day after day, and the competition will surge as more and more people start working from the comforts of their couch.
Thus sales teams need to buckle up and secure their existing customers(subscribers should remain subscribed) and add new customers to their portfolio. The chances of growth are indefinite with SaaS as it’s scalable and flexible–accomodating more users.
All that the SaaS company needs is an ace Sales Strategy.
So we decided to discuss the SaaS sales plan and strategy, not in terms of a guide that most people love to call it. But just a simple informative post that sellers can refer to on the fly.
Facing issues in attaining your sales quota?-Quick solutions!
Today, we’ll walk you through:
By the end of this discussion, we’re positive you’ll have a clear plan for achieving your SaaS sales goals.
What is SaaS Sales?
SaaS products sound interesting and advanced at first but selling a non-tangible product or service is far more complex than you know. Compared to a machine that
displays its capabilities at the click of a button, SaaS software is different.
Consumers/businesses need more education and information than a tangible product sell.
Some essential attributes of SaaS Sales:
- Fast-paced selling techniques work
- Need understanding of subscription-based pricing model
- Changing environment and technology
- Need more creative and innovative selling ideas than usual
- Invites multiple-decision-makers
- Needs to align with personalized customer experience
- SaaS feature offerings are customizable.
- Educational content works best in B2B Sales process.
B2B Sales Vs. B2C Sales
Before we go too deep into the discussion of SaaS sales strategy, let’s quickly notice the difference between B2B and B2C SaaS sales because today, we’ll like to prioritize B2B SaaS sales a little more than B2C to address the complications with B2B customers.
B2B sales teams deal with multiple contacts from one business, and that means addressing the requirements of each individual and also the team. B2B customers also need a personalized selling experience that fits their industry and business challenges.
In B2C sales, companies deal with direct consumers, which means any sales or marketing campaign caters to a larger audience. The complications of understanding consumer psychology exist but need a less personalized approach.
Recommended Reading: Explore 7 unique sales strategies for B2B sales teams
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3 SaaS Sales Models
There are 3 common B2B SaaS sales models we come across today. Remember these models can co-exist in a company and can also be the only suitable model for the company.
Sales strategies are devised around these models. Every model is unique and needs a different sales strategy to approach the customer.
Before we speak about the B2B SaaS sales strategies, let’s dive into the typical SaaS sales stages.
Stages in a SaaS Sales Process
Let’s discuss the different steps in a standard B2B SaaS sales process.
We are discussing a common and repeatable sales process that most SaaS sales teams follow. There are 6-7 stages in most SaaS companies, but we like to stick to these 6 stages for now.
🔹 Customer Identification
- Draft a customer persona at this stage.
- One-time research process.
- Learn who your customers are- your target market.
- Get deeper into their needs, pains wants, and experiences.
- Generate leads at this stage
- Communicate and connect with your audience
- Inbound marketing works best in SaaS- Content marketing is a must!
- Newsletters, Free Trails, and Free resources are some of the best ways to attract leads in the SaaS landscape.
- Connect in trade shows, exhibitions, and conferences.
- Filter the pursuable leads from the trash
- Qualified leads are approached by the account executives
- SDRs/BDRs can cold call or cold email to qualify leads.
- Leading SaaS organizations also deploy lead scoring methods to qualify leads within the CRM system.
- Once qualified, leads are moved to the next step.
🔹 Presentation & Objections
- Qualified leads, the prospects get connected to an AE and learn more about the product and brand.
- Account executives handle first-level presentations, demos, and objections.
- A product demo can either be sent via video or presented live.
- Presentations are usually a mix of videos, presentations, and software.
- Face-to-face presentations is rare in SaaS
- Only high-ticket accounts need in-person presentations
- Most salespeople pitch the product or service feature here.
- After the presentation, objections are received.
- Queris are received during and after the presentation.
- Objections are handled in a variety of ways by salespeople.
Lately, a new email objection handling technique is becoming popular in SaaS.- Check it out!
- Sellers persuade and turn the prospect into a customer.
- Even those in the trial period are turned into customers via email or demo meetings.
- This stage may also need a final proposal and a few negotiation rounds.
- Many SaaS organizations settle for a discount at this stage.
- After running the contract back & forth, the final signatures are marked on the contract.
- Nurturing customers results in a few outcomes- Upselling/cross-selling opportunities and new referrals
- Nurturing the customer means post-sales services.
- Training, webinars, feedback sessions, product testing, seasonal greetings, newsletters, and product launch sessions could be some engagement opportunities.
Now, we know what is SaaS sales and what are the different stages. Let’s discuss a few core sales strategies that sellers must implement blindly today.
SaaS Sales Strategies That Work
- Encourage Live Demos
Friendly advice to all sellers, press for live demo calls, and invite your audience. As many attendees and decision-makers, the better it is. Let them see the product and ask questions upfront. Solve queries on the go and accelerate the cycle time.
- Promote Free Trials
Stickiness is a better technique and works wonderfully in SaaS. During the trial period, it’s easier to connect with the prospect. Salespeople can leverage automated email sequences to share product resources, demo videos, or product support. Free trials also lead to one-to-one meetings with the users.
- Follow-up insanely
Without constant follow-up, you are bound to let customers slip through the cracks. Even if the customer indicates budget issues or no show, you shouldn’t stop following up systematically. Some dormant prospects show up after six months and know you exist.
Automated email follow-up sequences are working for the SaaS vendors. However, measure the intensity and stage of contact because some follow-ups may need hyper-personalization.
SaaS companies use CRM, conversation intelligence, and automated email sequences for excellent follow-up techniques.
- Discounts or no-discounts
SaaS companies give discounts, but currently, the trend is a bit different. Instead of giving monthly discounts, one month is declared free of cost. It doesn’t impact the monthly revenue of the vendor.
- Rely on Annual plans
Apart from investing in discounts, SaaS leaders must start making annual plans for customers. Receiving a huge fee upfront helps the company and retains the customer for at least a year. These benefits make the annual plan lucrative for the SaaS company and push the sales quota achievement.
- Determine Prospecting Channel
Not all channels will suit your company in the beginning. You may have to experiment and then settle for a single channel. However, in B2B SaaS sales process, social media(Linkedin) and cold emailing have shown results.
Would you like to learn a few unknown cold calling tricks?
- Build Rapport
Building a relationship in SaaS is more important than selling. You never know which door opens up due to your relationship-building skills. Stress on nurturing your prospects and customers. Take better care of your existing customers as they are already a source of monthly revenue, and upselling can help the company earn more. Secondly, acquiring a new customer is slightly more expensive than retaining and earning from an existing one.
- Ignore Product Features
No customer is interested in your product features and functionalities. So avoid talking about it during the sales demos and presentations. Instead, address the pain points discussed during the qualification stage. Those are points your sellers need to earn during a presentation.
- Automate Email Campaigns
Instead of relying on sales reps to follow up and stay in touch with customers continuously, let an automation software handle it. Most SaaS organizations automate their follow-up and nurture emails; you must join the bandwagon and make some space for meetings.
Pro Tip: Another automation SaaS companies are investing in is a call recording software that records calls and analyzes the calls for better follow-up insights and action items. The recording software can assist in making automated notes and also push the notes to the CRM system.
Would you like to explore a call recording tool?
- Sell with Metrics
Like it or not, NO SaaS company reacts to the market without trusting the sales metrics. Every company calculates the sales quota based on the annual revenue, and reverse calculates the sales metrics. The sales analytics tool efficiently displays the metrics.
Once the metrics are fixed, it’s easier to chase prospects and gauge which clients are worth pursuing and who should be suspended or parked.
Pheww… we think we did a decent job explaining the SaaS sales process.
And don’t worry, we know we have to cover a lot more, and we won’t disappoint you.
You’ll see a sequel to this post super soon. It’ll cover the metrics in detail, unique challenges, a day in the life of a SaaS seller, and much more.
While you wait for the next one to arrive, why not explore our call recording solution and accelerate your SaaS sales journey? You can either sign up and enjoy the experience yourself or request a demo. Whatever works for you!
Happy Selling, Folks!