There has been a sharp demand growth for web-based programs and software, thanks to advancements in the technology sector. SaaS companies have taken advantage of this growth, with well-established entities taking a more significant market share.
Unfortunately, some SaaS companies still miss out on market opportunities, not because they have poor products but because they’re making SaaS sales wrong. Poor SaaS sales mean you don’t reach the intended clients, which affects your revenue generation.
This guide will explain how to make SaaS sales like a pro and attract the right customers. It’ll also highlight techniques to master SaaS sales in the shortest time possible.
What Is SaaS Sales?
SaaS, or Software as a Service, is the bread and butter for businesses looking to digitize their operations. The web-based programs and applications aid small, medium, and large entities in automating, monitoring, and accelerating functions like accounting, production, inventory management, customer support, and supply management.
SaaS sales involve a team working around the clock to recruit new clients and retain existing ones through up-selling the packages. The subscription-based model guarantees residual income to the company, which relies heavily on the SaaS sales team’s customer-management skills.
How To Do SaaS Sales
SaaS product sales are different from conventional product sales. The sales team needs specific skills such as outstanding customer support and being updated with modern software changes. Here are a few crucial steps that SaaS for sales companies should employ:
- Set up a knowledgeable sales team
- Sorting qualifying leads
- Presenting to potential leads
- Handling objections
- Closing leads
- Nurturing clients
Set-up A Knowledgeable Sales Team
Knowledge is crucial to any SaaS sales team if you want to improve your sales. Besides impressive sales skills, a good SaaS sales team should know how the software works. Such knowledge ensures they provide potential clients with the correct information regarding their selling products.
A knowledgeable team also sends trust to prospects, especially when they answer any queries promptly.
A good SaaS company should be proactive and reach out to potential clients instead of waiting for them to come knocking. Applying proactive marketing strategies has two benefits.
- Staying ahead of the competition
- Growing a client list
Prospecting for SaaS sales involves two steps:
- Active prospecting: The step involves cold pitching your software to key decision makers like managers in small businesses. You also use this method to reach entrepreneurs and startup companies offering your services.
- Passive prospecting: Inbound marketing involves targeting clients interested in your software. You can achieve this through video series, webinars, research reports, email newsletters, and whitepapers.
Sorting Qualifying Leads
Although collecting leads is crucial to any business, it’s vital to collect qualified leads that show interest in your services. Promising leads make up the minority of any leads database, and you can find their potential using a lead scoring system. It’s a system that helps sort promising leads from the rest by checking their queries, organization structure, and the SaaS system they use to manage their business.
A qualifying lead asks many questions regarding your system and has never been able to use any similar method in their business. Such leads rely on you for information and guidance, making it easy to convince them your services will save their business.
Each organization has different lead scoring systems, and you should settle for the one that suits your business model and gets you maximum results.
Presenting To Potential Leads
The presenting step is crucial as it places you on a one-on-one video call with the leads to show them how the system works. Here, you can set up a demo account and create a video tutorial they can follow through. Presentation is a two-way street, where you also learn about their business, such as long and short-term objectives.
Such information helps you develop ideas on how to help them achieve their goals. It also gives you a clue on how to sell your services to them.
You’ll encounter promising leads who have objections regarding your product, with the main concerns being pricing or the software’s functionality. That’s why you need proper objection-handling solutions to convince the client that the program’s features justify the price. If they’re concerned about the limited features, you can assure them of upgrades with more features to fit their business.
Objection handling requires someone who understands the software to explain everything to the client.
Closing A Lead
Once you’ve taken the lead through training, offering demos and free trials, it’s time to convert them to regular clients. The closing step comes once the client gains confidence in your product and believes it will help their business.
Many businesses must follow up with their clients once they commit to their products. A customer will always be a customer. Making them feel valued by checking in to see how they find your services. Giving technical support means providing prompt answers to questions and asking for feedback.
Length Of SaaS Sales Cycle
HubSpot suggests the average SaaS sales cycle to be 84 days. However, the actual period depends on the annual contract value (ACV). Software programs with an expensive ACV have a longer sales cycle than those with affordable contracts.
In this case, an ACV worth $5K has a 40-days life cycle, with those valued over $100K lasting more than 170 days.
Talk to your team to determine the optimal SaaS sales cycle.
SaaS Sales Techniques That Work
A SaaS sales team should be aware of techniques to employ to get the most out of their sales projects. Not only does knowing how to make SaaS sales convince more clients to join the company, but it also saves time by eliminating guesswork. Here are a few SaaS sales techniques every SaaS company should use:
- Keep your trials short
- Optimize your email campaign
- Call your trial signups immediately
- Give short, value-focused demos
- Follow up relentlessly
- Set your prices (really) high
- Sell annual prepaid plans
- Don’t give discounts
Keep Your Trials Short
A free trial is a great incentive to convince potential clients to sign up with your company. Keep the trial period brief to discourage customers from taking advantage of your business. Seven days should be the maximum for a trial period, with some SaaS companies offering a three-day free trial. It’s also enough for clients to decide if the software suits their business.
Optimize your Email Campaign
Email campaigns are still crucial in upselling programs to new clients, announcing new products, and educating your clients. It’s the easiest way to reach all your clients at once, is cost-effective, and is a trusted communication method.
The best way to tweak your emails is by monitoring the following:
- Open rates - how many clients are opening your emails when you send them?
- Click-through rate entails which clients are clicking on the links in the emails.
- Bounce rate - how long are your clients’ spending on your emails?
- Unsubscribe rate - how many clients are unsubscribing? Is it a mass exodus or one at a time?
- Conversion rate - how many subscribers are buying your new programs or upgrading?
By monitoring this information, you’ll learn where to tweak the email marketing campaign, create catchy titles, include fewer links, or work on informative rather than salesy emails.
Call Your Trial Signups Immediately
The expression ‘hit the nail while it’s still hot makes sense. Avoid wasting time before reaching out to free trial signups. Call them immediately to know their experience with the program and whether they require assistance. Waiting a day is optimal.
Give Short, Value-Focused Demos
It’s tempting to give your clients all the information they need regarding your products. However, prolonged and tedious demos are not the right way to go. Make the demos short, impactful, and informative to the client.
Follow up Relentlessly
It may seem unorthodox to follow up with the client once they sign up, but it’s a great way of ensuring they upgrade the packages or buy new products. Sending informative emails help to build trust between you two, which convinces them to buy more from you.
Set your Prices (Really) High
Contrary to popular belief, pricing your products higher is one of the best SaaS sales strategies. It shows you value your product and are confident it will help solve problems. High-ticket programs also weed out unsuitable clients, leaving you with serious ones ready to take their business to another level.
Sell Annual Prepaid Plans
Annual plans are great for revenue generation for a company, as they help a business collect funds in lumpsum. Paying in advance allocates a SaaS company enough funds to fine-tune and tweak the software programs, such as fixing bugs. It also helps a company target only serious clients willing to pay beforehand.
Don’t Give Discounts
Pricing reductions might seem like a way to entice new customers, but they are not a viable business strategy. The best way to unlock desired functions is through upgrades, so choose reasonably priced products with basic functionality instead of discounts.
The Impact Of SaaS On Sales
SaaS can grow and transform your business, especially the sales department. SaaS helps to increase, automate, and simplify specific sales tasks with a practical and motivated team, making your company a worthy rival in rapidly expanding markets. Here are a few impacts on sales to expect when you employ SaaS:
- Improved coordination
- Improved efficiency
- Maximizing sales
- Helps with customer retention
Sales teams, like product engineers, coordinate with different departments to improve customer experience. The programs consolidate everything needed to run a business, like communications, to pass messages instantly. Prompt coordination ensures minor issues like bugs and malfunctions get fixed fast.
Every company aspires to have a productive sales force to acquire new clients and retain current ones. SaaS systems help the team target quality leads, follow up with new ones, and keep upselling to existing ones from one platform.
SaaS programs have all the sales components that a business needs to thrive. You’ll get customizable email templates known to trigger client interaction. Call scripts are perfect for cold calling, enabling the team to reach out to prospects easily. The sales team also benefits from the closing techniques embedded within the SaaS system to help convert leads to paying clients.
Helps With Customer Retention
Retaining clients is often the hardest for any business to accomplish. Besides constantly improving the products, an enterprise needs to keep meeting clients’ expectations, which can be challenging. However, an effective SaaS system helps the sales team to collect crucial feedback from the clients, categorize the clients based on their needs, and send this information to the engineering department almost instantly.
Essential Software Tools For SaaS Sales
A SaaS sales team relies heavily on many tools to look for clients and communicate with existing ones. Here are essential software tools that come in handy to a SaaS sales team:
SaaS companies rely on qualified leads to generate revenue, and Pipedrive helps you reach these leads from one platform. Besides identifying the leads, the web-based program lets you nurture relationships and build trust. Additionally, you can use the tool for a 14-day free trial period without providing your credit card information. If you want an easy-to-use CRM tool, then Pipedrive is your ideal option.
If you’re looking for a customizable SaaS sales tool that offers open communication channels and a workspace big enough to hold many people, check out Podio. Additionally, you can create web forms for different projects from one platform, inter-department coordination, and plan work schedules without needing more tools. Podio integrates well with other platforms like Zendesk to provide you with a well-rounded virtual working environment.
As the name suggests, Salesmate is a state-of-the-art SaaS sales tool with every functionality a sales team needs. You can also modify the platform to fit your business model and integrate it with other platforms to boost efficiency.
Email marketing is the core of any business looking to increase sales volume and reach more clients. As an outreach tool, Postaga offers email automation and social shares. The platform allows you to look up contact details, examine the content, and discover guest posting opportunities to help your business maximize marketing. Besides the learning curve, Postaga is an outstanding outreach tool that any SaaS sales team requires.
Few tools offer the prospecting, meeting scheduling, and follow-up features that YesWare does. Additionally, you get template analysis to see how your templates are performing. You can monitor your open campaigns through the ‘campaign’ dashboard. It’s also one of the easiest-to-use SaaS sales tools that doesn’t require much learning curve.
If you want qualified leads from platforms like LinkedIn, then LeadLeaper is your ideal option. You don’t have to contact potential leads asking for their contact as the tool retrieves all the information on your behalf. The free option allows you to recover at least 100 leads a month. You also don’t need to install any software, as you can install the browser extension and use it on the go.
Email addresses are crucial to any business as they offer an inexpensive way of reaching potential clients. Dropcontact elevates the lead collection game by allowing you to retrieve potential clients’ details from platforms like Pipedrive, Salesforce, and HubSpot. It also helps sift through your contact list, eliminating duplicate contacts in one touch.
The Challenges Of SaaS Sales
Any business venture experiences challenges that hinder its growth or help it evolve. SaaS sales also undergo challenges, with some often derailing or delaying the project. Here are a few SaaS software sales challenges and how you can navigate them:
- Targeting the wrong audience
- Converting free users to paying ones
- Generating quality leads
- Aligning sales and marketing teams
- Too much competition
- Unrealistic expectations
Targeting The Wrong Audience
You need to market your SaaS services to the right audience to make an impact. The problem of targeting the wrong audience happens when you outsource marketing to people who don’t understand your services. Try hiring in-house marketing people you have trained and have a working knowledge of your system and who you plan to target.
If you must outsource, you should take time to train the new marketing team about your products.
Converting Free Users To Paying Ones
People like to try a product before committing, and that’s where free trials come into play. However, many businesses struggle to convert these leads to paying clients due to two reasons:
- Sales skills need to be improved to convince potential clients they need the services.
- Need to conduct more follow-ups once the clients sign up for a free trial.
Train your sales team to equip them with the skills to convince clients to pay for premium services. Encourage them to contact these prospects more frequently and emphasize the advantages of premium services.
Generating Quality Leads
Business can only survive with quality leads. The biggest problem involving quality leads is knowing where to get them, which involves a lot of research and hard work. Start by targeting popular sites like LinkedIn, known for attracting serious businesses. Additionally, you should reach out to individual companies to propose your services. Although the process takes time, it ensures you recruit the right people.
Aligning Sales and Marketing Teams
Sales and marketing teams complement each other, and a business can’t realize its target if the two don’t align. While the marketing team is responsible for generating quality leads, it’s the work of the sale team to ‘close’ many of these leads. Encourage interdepartmental coordination where the two teams formulate working strategies to maximize results.
It’s also crucial to hire people who understand the magnitude of the two departments and have working experience coordinating the responsibilities.
Too Much Competition
The market competition has never been this fierce, with new SaaS sales companies springing up daily and the existing ones developing incredible products. The result is a hostile market that doesn’t favor startups or small businesses. Adapting to market demands and changes is the best way to stay ahead of the competition.
Every business sets out expectations with a clear plan to realize them. However, sometimes we outdo ourselves and set up expectations that don’t align with our business. For instance, you may quickly target converting a certain percentage of leads to clients. This issue frequently arises for new companies wanting to get on the market immediately.
Setting flexible expectations is the right way of bypassing this trap and ensuring you don’t deviate from the business plan.
Handling SaaS sales requires mastering many things, like evaluating closed lost sales in B2B SaaS. All this can overwhelm you, especially if you’re running other projects within your business. Although it’s tempting to use the information you get by Googling how to learn SaaS sales, it still leaves room for improvement.
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Why SaaS Sales?
SaaS helps to automate tasks like email marketing, responding to clients’ queries, and accelerating conflict resolution. Learning how to make SaaS sales gives your business a competitive edge, allowing it to go toe-to-toe with other companies.
When done right, SaaS software sales can supercharge a business by reaching more clients, growing sales, and building a company’s credibility. Contact an expert if you’re interested to learn SaaS sales.