You can do a successful SaaS sales strategy at both the organizational and individual levels, but it’s more typical for a manager or business owner to accomplish it. As a SaaS business, you need a formidable sales strategy to attract those initial clients who already use a comparable product.
SaaS Sales vs. Other Industries
In a B2B setting, selling software as a service (SaaS) can provide unique challenges that other B2B businesses do not have to deal with. When presenting SaaS to a firm, you must convince them of the continuous benefits of picking your solution and the aftercare and support you will provide.
Content marketing is also crucial in the greater scheme of things. Valuable content often creates a positive impact. In physical products B2B sales, once you make the sale, it’s a done deal, while in SaaS sales, a signed subscription today could be canceled tomorrow.
The Importance Of Developing A SaaS Sales Strategy
A sales strategy outlines your company’s objectives, including your target market’s characteristics and intended contact methods. It is your strategy and the roadmap for the marketing activities you will carry out over the months and years to expand your company.
While word-of-mouth alone may be enough to build your business, investing in a comprehensive marketing strategy will enhance your desired growth. Your company’s growth will slow and possibly even stall without a marketing strategy. There won’t be many new consumers, and existing customers might not be aware of impending deals or new products, which lowers the likelihood that they’ll buy from you again.
Planning provides insight into your activities and establishes your course of action. As a result, a strategic sales approach must be used. The company’s SaaS adoption and development choice will determine the SaaS sales strategy.
The subscription-based pricing model is most frequently used in the SaaS sales strategy. The following points must be prioritized by the team when developing the plan:
- Lead generation to turn interest into sales.
- Concentrate on the market’s target demographic and introduce the company and its products to prospects to turn them into customers.
- The agreements signed by the business and the clients at the end of the transaction lead to sales.
SaaS Sales Strategy vs. SaaS Sales Ideas & Tactics
The words “tactics” and “strategy” were first used in the military and were taken from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Since then, they have been modified to work in various contexts other than the military, such as business strategy.
A strategy is a plan of action you’ll use to accomplish a specific result—strategies aid in defining your long-term objectives and the path to achieving them. Tactics, on the other hand, are specific steps you will take to get there. This refers to the exact steps teams will take to carry out the initiatives described in the strategy in a corporate setting.
In a chess analogy, strategy is arranging your pieces in a particular way to achieve victory. In contrast, putting the pieces in specific positions is a tactic.
Although strategy and tactics are different from each other, one cannot exist without the other. Or rather, one without the other is ineffective and merely occurs with no end result. Sun Tzu’s The Art of War illustrates that even if tactics are more evident and tangible, a coherent strategy is just as crucial. The discussion should never be strategy vs. tactics but strategy and tactics.
When a team simply employs strategy only, all they will be doing is preparing to reach goals rather than putting in the necessary work to do so. On the other hand, relying just on tactics alone also won’t help you reach your business goals. Without a strategy, tactics quickly become fruitless labor. It could lead to team members perceiving this as busy work, and long-term consequences include frustration, fatigue, and a lack of satisfaction at work.
SaaS Companies With Great Sales Strategies
One of the most valuable firms in the world, Amazon, began as an online seller of physical books. It positioned itself as “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore” when business got underway in July 1995 and concentrated on competing with sizable in-store bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Waldenbooks.
Amazon’s Marketplace was introduced in 2000, allowing third parties to list products online. This greatly expanded Amazon’s inventory and revenue. The third-party marketplace and Amazon’s direct sales of items other than books have elevated Amazon to the position of leading online merchant. Later, in 2006, Amazon started supplying industry-leading cloud computing services.
One of the leading streaming entertainment companies in the world, Netflix began as a business that let customers rent and buy physical DVD movies in 1998. In 1999, the firm established a subscription service, allowing customers to order as many DVD rentals as they desired and get them by mail. Executives decided in 2007 to shift the company’s focus away from physical media and toward streaming material that could be accessed instantly via the internet after seeing great success with its physical DVD rentals. The entire entertainment industry has shifted due to Netflix’s decision to focus more on streaming and less on DVD rentals.
Tiny Speck, a corporation that later became well-known for creating Slack’s chat and collaboration tool, started by developing the video game Glitch. Although the game was a flop and was discontinued in 2012, the vibrant, engaging chat feature that players and staff employed in the game were retained. The team introduced The Slack app in 2013 after recognizing they had a formidable collaboration tool on their hands after Glitch was formally shut down. Slack expanded swiftly, and in 2019 the business became public. By the end of 2020, the company had more than 12 million daily active users and more than 119,000 paying clients.
Co-founders Jawed Karim, Steve Chen, and Chad Hurley launched YouTube as a dating service in 2005. They even ran advertisements promising to pay individuals $20 each to post videos of themselves online. The strategy failed, but the owners welcomed the concept when site visitors started submitting any video they wanted. They updated the website to make it simpler for users to upload almost anything. Google bought YouTube for $1.6 billion in stock in November 2006. More than 500 hours of footage are uploaded onto the website per minute as of May 2019. YouTube is one of the most visited sites, with billions of videos consumed daily.
Sales Strategy For SaaS Startup: 8-Step Process
- Understand Your Sales Cycle
- Define and Understand Your Target Audience
- Create a Sales Funnel
- Use Content Marketing to Generate Leads
- Offer a Trial or Demo
- Close the Deal
- Provide Great Customer Service
- Optimize your email campaign
Understand Your Sales Cycle
It’s important to realize that every SaaS business requires a unique approach. The duration of your sales cycle and the ease or difficulty of acquiring new clients will significantly impact your sales approach.
Your SaaS sales cycle will depend on your product and its price:
- Low-Value SaaS Products
- Medium-Value SaaS Product
- High-Value SaaS Products
Low-Value SaaS Products
Since low-value SaaS goods don’t require a lot of investment, their sales cycles are short and straightforward. When your subscription is less than $5,000 per year, your product is classified as a low-value SaaS product.
In reality, most of these goods operate on a self-service sales model, where a potential consumer may visit your website and immediately subscribe to or test it. There would be no reason for a potential customer to contact you if you made all the relevant information available on your website.
Should you offer a free trial, your website will handle everything, so your sales team won’t need to become involved. As a result, optimizing your website’s conversion rate and using inbound marketing techniques will be the significant components of your SaaS company’s starting sales strategy.
Medium-Value SaaS Products
Many marketing experts coined the term “startup graveyard” to describe medium-value SaaS products. This is because business owners and marketers frequently struggle to appropriately select which sales tactic to use when selling such products. This has led to many failures.
There are no current markets for many innovative items. To develop a market for their product, several SaaS businesses have had to target personas who were likely to have an interest in it. Similarly, you might need to provide more than a free trial to entice and win over clients. To increase sales and business success, your sales teams must take a comprehensive approach.
Likewise, your SaaS firm will probably have a quicker sales cycle for items that are a little more expensive but self-explanatory, and have an established market. Simply prove your product’s advantages over other items on the market using your tried-and-true marketing efforts.
High-Value SaaS Products
It makes sense for you to charge a premium fee for a fresh, innovative, and high-end SaaS product. The duration of your sales cycle will also lengthen, while your target market will shrink due to premium pricing.
Your product is categorized as a high-value SaaS product if your product’s annual cost does not exceed $100,000.
Your sales staff will need to interact with potential clients utilizing go-to-market tactics for high-value SaaS goods and close the transaction.
Consider this SaaS item a high-end B2B software solution. Your SaaS startup sales plan should resemble a standard B2B sales strategy for such products. This entails completing lead generation, lead nurturing, and conversion sales. The sales process will require significant participation from your sales staff. It will be more challenging to increase enterprise sales and conversions.
Define and Understand Your Target Audience
Recognize your target market, and remember that you can have multiple buyer personas. Your software solution can be suitable for both large and small businesses. So, after precisely defining your target market, develop your SaaS company sales plan with your ideal clientele in mind. The foundation of any brand’s growth is an understanding of its audience. It fuels successful marketing tactics, builds brand equity, and boosts a business’s bottom line.
Create a Sales Funnel
A sales funnel is a graphic representation of every step a customer takes to purchase your goods. Typically, it begins with building brand recognition and concludes with a sale. A sales funnel also encourages grateful customers to recommend other prospects who might not have previously fit the original target market. A sales funnel enables businesses to monitor the effectiveness of each stage of the sales process and make necessary adjustments. This ensures that time and sales resources are used effectively. Customers being pushed through the sales funnel generates valuable feedback.
Use Content Marketing to Generate Leads
Using the appropriate content marketing strategies is one of the most acceptable methods to generate leads for your SaaS firm. Your sales strategy should be centered on creating and sharing content.
Nearly all potential buyers study products online before making a purchase. Good internet evaluations and placements in comparison blogs are pretty helpful for SaaS companies. Regardless of the kind of product, all SaaS companies employ this method. The foundation of your marketing and sales plan should be content marketing because it is the holy grail of marketing for SaaS firms.
Offer a Trial or Demo
It would be best if you put your energy into increasing the number of individuals who visit your website, starting with efficient lead-generating strategies. Then you persuade them to try your goods with your well-optimized landing pages. If they use your product and find it helpful, they’ll likely upgrade to a premium subscription. Most SaaS startups use that as their sales tactic, especially if their product is low value.
Giving a free trial is another effective strategy for boosting enterprise sales of mid and high-value SaaS products. Simply said, your staff needs to make more effort to persuade folks to join for the free trial.
Your objective in this situation would be to attract visitors to your website and pique their attention long enough for them to request a product demo. Ensure that booking a demo directly through your website is simple for everyone.
Close the Deal
Ensure that your prospects have been given opportunities to interact with your sales personnel in person or online so that they can be led into signing in to your product
Provide Great Customer Service
Even customer service is a component of the sales strategy for SaaS firms. To ensure that people support your company, you must train your personnel to offer great customer service. Excellent customer service can lead to increased opportunities for marketing and sales. Therefore, maintaining client happiness is essential to your company’s continued success.
Optimize Your Email Campaign
A very efficient and cost-effective technique to boost sales is email marketing. Its goals are to increase revenue, improve brand recognition, and foster consumer loyalty. But email marketing only works if steps are made to ensure the correct individuals receive the messages at the right time.
The existence of a specific sequence of circumstances is necessary for email marketing to be successful. Your email must be seen by someone who is persuaded to open it. They must then follow the links in it to reach your website, where they must eventually respond to a call to action. If you follow these eight email optimization techniques corporations use, your chances of this occurring will be higher:
- Make your subject lines appealing
- Review the sender’s name
- Create personalized messaging
- Produce interesting material
- Clearly state CTAs
- Provide a variety of shareable links
- Design for mobile application
- Include a link to unsubscribe
Make Your Subject Lines Appealing
Optimized subject lines speak to the demands of your prospects. Create a subject line that helps ease readers’ worries. Use the recipient’s firm name in the subject line to indicate that you understand their problems and have solutions. Use words that can encourage recipients to open the mail.
Review The Sender’s Name
Pay attention to the name that is being used to send your emails. A “From” name can affect whether a reader opens your email. Emails that seem to be from an unreliable source won’t be opened. Be consistent whether you send emails as an individual or a business. This increases reader recognition for subsequent emails and helps you gain their trust.
Create Personalized Messaging
Those with a customer’s first name in the subject line receive more clicks than emails without it. You can discover more about your audience the more emails are opened. By learning about their requirements, you can establish solid connections with them.
Produce Interesting Material
The information must be concise, understandable, and pertinent. Describe your offering and why your target audience should care. Don’t write material that is too long; it will bore readers. Use brief paragraphs, bullet points, and eye-catching images to break up long texts.
Clearly state CTAs
Your email marketing campaign’s main objective is to send readers to your website and convert them from clickers to buyers. Your CTA (call to action) is the best channel to use for this. Decide what you hope to accomplish with your readers first. Create a bold, eye-catching CTA button, banner, or link afterward. Make them striking to grab people’s attention. This increases the possibility that readers will arrive at your landing page. To guide your readers and convey a sense of urgency, think about employing action words like “Click here.”
Provide A Variety Of Shareable Links
Encourage the people who receive your emails to forward them to their contacts. By doing so, you’re expanding your audience and improving your chances of finding new leads.
Design for Mobile Application
Making sure your campaign is mobile-friendly is a crucial part of email optimization as mobile platforms are becoming more common and a way for individuals to stay connected while on the road.
Include a Link to Unsubscribe
Give readers access to an unsubscribe option that is simple to find. This can improve your list of high-quality leads and provide accurate open and click-through rates. Write a smart copy for your unsubscribe page that still keeps things fun and approachable while giving people a chance to alter their minds.
How To Build A Saas Sales Team
At such a crucial point in your company’s growth cycle, choosing the proper salespeople is difficult, demanding, and vital. Additionally, managing an early-stage enterprise software firm has its own unique set of difficulties. The executive team is under constant pressure to increase the number of clients it serves, show recurring revenue growth, and improve its product.
Developing a sales force in many SaaS organizations also entails abandoning founder-driven sales in favor of a broader, more varied methodology intended to boost net revenues, market share, and reputational currency.
Here are three helpful suggestions that can assist you in developing a potent sales team for your SaaS company:
The sales process must work in harmony with your sales strategy, whether outbound or inbound oriented, direct marketing-based, etc. Build your process carefully, then refine it as often as the data reveals what is working and needs to be changed.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each sales structure before deciding on one that will allow your salespeople to focus on closing deals, which is their area of expertise.
Holding Feet to the Fire
Make sure to hold your salespeople accountable for their performance by measuring them against their quotas. Accountability works. Salespeople from high-performing teams are more likely than those from low-performing teams to support being held accountable for their work.