Selling SaaS for B2B is different than a lot of other types of sales. It is an art by itself, and you’ll see that depending on your product and the stage your company’s in, you’ll have to adapt your strategy. In this article, we compiled a few pieces of advice for SaaS sales: how to structure your team according to your product and user base, and common mistakes to avoid when working on selling your SaaS product. Read on to find out how to boost your product sales for your SaaS company.
Small SaaS businesses
In the beginning of your SaaS business, all the sales will go through you, the founder. The good thing about this is that you’ll have an in-depth knowledge of the sales process that you can pass on afterwards. However, the customer lifetime value will be completely drained by the cost of getting new customers. As you company grows, this will begin to change.
One thing you should know is never to look at a startup as a tiny version of a larger company. You have to figure out your company’s needs and mission. Research which business model is best for you, then you can scale your company. Once you have 10 to 20 customers, your customer lifetime value will surpass the costs of getting new customers, so you’ll know you’ll be able to scale your company when you get there.
Growing your SaaS company
One of the metrics you should be interested in is customer success. To evaluate that, you’ll need to know more about the companies you have as customers: take into account metrics like number of customers, revenue, product, and industry.
All these factors will help you develop a profile of your best customer. As your company grows, you’ll get more data to fill in this customer profile. Once your company gets larger and stronger, you’ll have to move on from short-term tactics to long-term. Then, it’s time for you to develop a sales team.
For your new sales team, you’re going to need a Lead Generation Team that’s collecting email lists of prospective customers; then, your Sales Development Reps will get in touch with them.
Once you have gotten in touch with your potential customers, you’ll need to have a Deal Closing Team that goes on meetings to close the sale. Finally, your Customer Success Team will make sure to reduce churn and keep your customers happy.
About your product
There are three SaaS models based on a combination of price and complexity of your product. These are Self Service, Transactional and Enterprise. We’ll explain what we mean by each of these titles.
Self Service means good revenue and simplicity at a low price. This is the best SaaS model, and it’s also called zero-touch because of the lack of touchpoints you have to cover. For this kind of product, the best tactics is inbound marketing.
You won’t need to have a specialised sales team since advertising will be enough to bring you customers. Customer support does not need to be part of your immediate strategy because you’ll have most of what your customers need in product documentation.
Transactional Models mean a higher price, which will require a dedicated sales team and customer support. Your company’s team would have to incorporate Marketing, SDR for Outbound and Inbound sales, Account Executives, Account Managers, and Customer Success Managers. Then, you’ll have to hire a customer support team as well.
Enterprise SaaS means a lot of complexity and an even higher price. Those companies will need to have sales reps focused on their profiled customers, and also a highly specialised support team who will be able to solve sophisticated issues that are very specific and personalised.
About your Sales Team
Recruiting sales reps is one of the bigger challenges for managers, directors and team leaders. On average, a SDR spends a little over 14 months on each company, so you have to be prepared to keep your sales reps engaged. On the other hand, most sales reps who are hired have usually two and a half years of experience beforehand.
It’s up to you and your team managers to keep your sales reps from becoming bored with their tasks and leaving you for another challenge. To hire sales rep and other personnel, use digital recruitment specialists like WunderTalent, a tech recruitment agency with offices in Manchester and London.
Objections in SaaS sales
As with most tech products, the main two objections against buying a SaaS product are pricing and features. We’ll discuss how to deal with each.
Your customers are buying benefits for their company. They want to know if the price they’re going to pay will bring them sufficient advantages. Pricing objections usually are a result of miscommunication of your product’s advantages. You should always point out to the value of your product and its benefits for the company before explaining pricing plans.
Don’t lower your price to close a sale, ever. That will cause issues with your ROI. And also, always remind your customers of the value they get out of your product. Focus on advantages like better productivity, a larger margin or the best return of investment.
About feature objections, you’ll notice that many customers will say they would’ve subscribed to your product if you offered a specific feature. Of course, you can’t please everyone. But if you start to see a pattern in that kind of objection, it’s time for you to do something about it. Find a solution for your customers’ issues and you’ll be in a much better position to close deals. You’re the expert, so it’s up to you to figure out what can be done to improve your product or to adapt it to the needs of your profiled customers.
Main issues in SaaS sales and how to avoid them
Churn is the biggest risk for SaaS companies, especially in the long run. You should avoid it by resorting to long term strategies that will help your company grow organically and seamlessly. Don’t focus only on short term goals or you’ll compromise your whole strategy. We’ll discuss a few mistakes that might cause churn.
Don’t sell to customers who shouldn’t buy your product. The way to avoid this is to trace a customer profile and stick to it. Better than having happy customers is to have successful customers. You should always assess if a customer is right for you by checking out their number of employees, average revenue and type of industry.
Overpromising can kill your product. Promising things you cannot deliver will sacrifice your long term success over your short term strategy. Leave future improvements for upselling when you have the necessary features implemented.
Sell on value, not low price. Lowering your price will damage your company in many ways. If you do it, you’ll be compromising not only your ROI but your relationships with other customers. Probably, this customer shouldn’t be yours anyway if he can’t afford to pay what your product is worth.
Customer retention is also a major factor to be considered. Before letting a customer cancel your product subscription, check with them why they are leaving you – maybe you could help them with the issue they’re having. Maybe it’s an easy fix and that could save you losing a bit of your monthly revenue.
It’s essential for your company to have a well-prepared sales strategy before you start pitching your product. You need to slowly build a team and keep your feet steady on the ground. A lot of companies lower their price trying to compete in the short term, which will affect your long term strategy. Stick to yourself but know how to adapt your product when needed. This is the biggest advice we can give for the success of your SaaS company. Good luck!