Sales teams that are selling SaaS solutions often find themselves in a unique position.
The traditional sales process doesn't always map well to the needs of these buyers, and there are a few key stages that are essential for a successful sale.
In this blog post, we will outline the five stages of the SaaS Sales Method, and explain how you can use them to sell your software more effectively.
Your optimum sales model will be as unique as your sales team and target market.
Look for a strategy that includes crucial steps like constructing an efficient inbound process, assessing and following up carefully, and generating tailored demos that demonstrate value when determining which sales method is appropriate for SaaS.
Is there an ideal sales process that your SaaS sales force can use?
In some circumstances, SaaS sales leaders may train and scale your team using a specific sales model. And perhaps it helps them.
However, requiring your staff to tightly conform to a sales methodology that isn't designed for SaaS will reduce their productivity. Worse, it may lead to them closing the wrong agreements and losing more valuable prospects.
So, what makes SaaS sales so distinct? How can you improve your process and choose the best sales approach for your SaaS sales team?
We've spent over 5+ years promoting our own CRM software to SaaS sales teams, as well as assisting them in developing systems and techniques to close more deals and build their businesses.
What is the difference between SaaS and traditional sales methodologies?
SaaS is a one-of-a-kind beast. You must do more than just convince consumers to buy your product; you must also ensure that they use it.
Here are some of the key distinctions in a SaaS sales model that you'll need to adjust to:
Customers can enter your firm without dealing with the sales crew if you use a self-service strategy.
SaaS sales teams are laser-focused on bringing in the highest-quality deals.
Because the team sells software, the sales methodology will nearly always include a product demonstration.
With free software trials, SaaS teams are typically selling to prospects who have a deeper understanding of the product, and they may utilize this to demonstrate the value of the solution during the negotiation process.
Most SaaS teams utilize greater automation to improve conversations with potential buyers and close more transactions faster.
So, how should a SaaS sales process function?
There are five major stages in the SaaS sales process
While the specific stages will vary depending on the organization and market, the following are the main processes that a SaaS sales approach should include:
1. Determine if you want to concentrate on inbound or outbound traffic
While there is no scientific procedure or formula that can tell you if inbound or outbound sales are better, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether inbound or outbound sales are better for your company.
You won't have the manpower to perform both successfully, especially for early-stage SaaS firms. So, choose a focus and strive to make it work, but be ready to pivot if sales data indicates that it isn't.
Here are several indicators that your SaaS company would benefit more from an inbound process:
- You're a startup with insufficient funds to hire a large sales force.
- Because you have a product or service that the audience search for online, you have a better chance of contacting potential customers automatically through content marketing.
- Your product's buying selection does not take a long time.
- When it comes to developing content, your team has a distinct advantage.
- Your target audience wants to conduct their own analysis and is not receptive to unsolicited sales.
Your SaaS sales staff, on the other hand, maybe more productive at outbound sales if:
- You're selling a high-priced item to larger corporations.
- You have devised an entirely new answer to a problem (and no one is looking for it yet)
- Your item has a lengthy sales cycle.
- Paying a healthy commission to your sales force is not a problem.
- Your target market is receptive to cold calls and emails.
- You have a very specific target market in mind.
2. Establish a good inbound procedure
If you choose an inbound sales approach for your SaaS company, you will typically work with lean sales teams who work to assess prospects and complete deals, mainly relying on a consistent flow of inbound leads to take them through to quota.
As a result, create a robust inbound pipeline. In the case of SaaS, this must always include:
- A clear and simple approach to contact your sales staff
- To capture fresh leads, use inbound forms on your website.
- Trial period alternative for your product. Of course, lead-generating ideas range from the most basic to the most elaborate (and expensive).
- Test several inbound tactics without breaking the bank to evaluate which works best for your organization (i.e. where you create more high-quality leads).
- Continue to use as many of these lead creation strategies as you have time and money for. They're worth it if they're bringing invaluable leads.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- A successful content marketing techniq
- Webinars with similar but non-competing brands
- Posting and connections on social media
- Online niche communities
These are just a few of the lead-generating strategies that have resulted in over 200k leads in less than 4 years.
3. Create a strong outbound plan
If you determine that outbound is the best option for your team, they should be prepared to work hard.
For early-stage SaaS startups still looking for product-market fit, a robust outbound sales plan can be used to verify your product and gain from the market as you expand.
You can verify your product concept by doing the following:
- Face-to-face interactions with customers
- Having a phone conversation with a larger sample group of potential customers
- Emailing potential clients in order to get more information and create a preliminary list of prospects
By aiming for the test near, you can distinguish between purchase intent and general interest.
Once your SaaS company has achieved product-market fit, your team must understand how to approach key accounts and efficiently reach out for a successful outbound process.
To begin, your team must understand who they are looking for, which necessitates the creation of a data-backed ideal client profile. Then, utilizing that profile, reps conduct research to determine the suitable accounts and key stakeholders to contact.
Then it's time for cold outreach, which could involve things like:
- A series of cold email templates SMS messages are cold calls.
- Using social media (especially LinkedIn) to reach out
When your outbound approach is successful, your sales staff will receive a consistent stream of highly targeted prospects into their sales pipeline with inbound leads
4. Validate inbound leads for hyper-targeted transactions
Qualification for incoming leads begins when a fresh inbound lead takes an action indicating an interest in acquiring your product.
Lead scoring should be used to automate the initial stage of qualification. This will tell you who must self-serve and who should be included in your sales team's workflow.
All it takes is adding a few questions to your website's forms that identify crucial markers of success for your clients.
What is the significance of this? Because it allows your team to focus just on deals with a higher possibility of closing.
See how we've set the whole thing up for our own Alore sales team.
- Following the addition of high-scoring leads to the representative's pipeline, it's time for a deeper exploration and qualifying.
- Reps ask inquiries with specific intentions at this stage:
- Matching leads to essential characteristics of the ideal consumer profile.
- Determine customer needs and pain points
- Recognize the decision-making process
- Declare the maximum budget
- Get rid of the competitors.
- Emphasize the worth of your product.
Open-ended questions about the prospect's firm, difficulties, and needs can assist salespeople in determining the best solution for the customer.
Reps will then use the information obtained at these stages to create a personalized product demo and assist the prospect in creating an effective workflow within the product.
5. Consistently follow up
Alore is all about following up. On the first call, you nearly never close the deal. The length of the sales cycle is typically determined by the cost of the product, with higher-ticket negotiations requiring several months to close.
That is why follow-up is such a vital component of the SaaS sales process. When someone expresses an interest in your goods, follow up with them indefinitely.
We've seen this work time and time again with our own sales force and the SaaS teams with which we collaborate.
Set up a series of emails to follow up with leads on a regular basis to make this work effectively.
Alore CRM allows you to create sequences of emails that are templated and customized, with particular criteria about when and how they should be sent.