6 Tips to Create a Winning SaaS Sales Strategy
SaaS businesses are no different than any other business when it comes to the importance of sales.
In order for a SaaS company to be successful, it needs a good SaaS sales strategy in place. After all, it’s one of the main customer acquisition channels you have and a key driver of growth.
But that’s easier said than done. SaaS sales is a complex process, and there are a lot of moving parts.
It can be difficult to know where to start.
That’s why we’ve put together this essential guide on how to create a winning SaaS sales strategy. We’ll cover everything that you need to know to get a headstart on your SaaS sales journey.
1) Establish Your Target Market
The first step in creating a SaaS sales strategy is understanding who your target market is.
Are you targeting a businesses-to-business (B2B) market, or is it business-to-consumer (B2C)?
This may seem like a simple question, but it’s an important one. The answer will dictate the rest of your SaaS sales strategy, from the channels you use to market your product to the way you structure your pricing.
If you’re not sure who your target market is, take some time to think about it. Consider who would use your product and what type of business they work for
Are you targeting small businesses or large enterprises? Do you see your product being used by marketing teams or sales teams?
The more specific you can be, the better. Once you have a good understanding of who your target market is, you can move on to the other aspects of your SaaS sales strategy.
2) Pick A Suitable SaaS Sales Model
The next step in creating a SaaS sales strategy is understanding the difference between inbound and outbound SaaS sales models.
Outbound sales is a more traditional sales approach in which sales reps proactively reach out to potential customers.
This can be done through a variety of methods, including cold calling, cold emailing, and attending industry events.
The goal of outbound sales is to generate interest and awareness among potential customers who may not be familiar with your product.
Most SaaS businesses today don’t prefer this sales model because it can be intrusive to potential customers and may drive them away instead of winning them over.
However, there are special cases where outbound sales can be effective.
One scenario would be having an account-based marketing strategy. Imagine you have a B2B SaaS solution and you’ve already created an ideal customer profile (ICP).
You have identified several companies that match your ICP and you want to reach out to them
In this case, an outbound sales strategy would make sense. You can use account-based marketing tools to help you target and personalize your outreach to each company on your list.
Inbound sales is a more modern sales model in which potential customers are already aware of your product and are interested in learning more about it.
They may have found you through an online search, reading one of your blog posts, seeing a social media post, or watching a YouTube video.
The goal of inbound sales is to organically attract leads and then nurture them until they’re ready to buy.
To do this, SaaS businesses typically use a combination of content marketing, SEO, and organic social media marketing campaigns.
One modern SaaS sales model that involves inbound channels is the product-led growth model, also known as the self-service sales model.
In this model, SaaS businesses focus on making their product so intuitive and easy to use that potential customers can sign up and start using it without the need for a sales rep.
It usually involves offering a free trial or a freemium version with basic features, and customers can upgrade to a paid version when they’re ready.
The product-led growth model is often used by SaaS businesses that are targeting small businesses or individual consumers.
However, if you’re targeting bigger businesses or enterprises, having a SaaS sales team is a must.
These customers are usually too complex to be acquired through a self-service model and require a more hands-on approach.
3) Map Your SaaS Customer Journey
Once you’ve decided on the type of sales channels you want to use, it’s time to map out your customer journey.
The customer journey is the path a potential customer takes from becoming aware of your product to eventually becoming a paying customer.
To map out your customer journey, start by identifying the different stages a lead goes through before they’re ready to buy.
Then, think about what type of content or interactions they need at each stage in order to move them closer to a purchase.
Here’s an example of what a SaaS customer journey might look like:
- Awareness Stage: The lead becomes aware of your brand through an online search or reading one of your blog posts. They’re not quite ready to buy yet but they’re interested in learning more.
- Engagement Stage: The lead subscribes to your email list or downloads a white paper or eBook. They’re now engaged with your brand and are interested in learning more about your product. Here, you can consider them as leads.
- Consideration Stage: The lead watches a demo video or attends a webinar. They’re starting to seriously consider your product but they’re not quite ready to make a purchase yet. They also may be comparing your SaaS product with your competitors.
- Purchase Stage: The lead becomes a paying customer. Congratulations, you’ve closed the deal. Time to onboard them and help them get to a good start with your SaaS solution.
- Delight Stage: The customer is using your SaaS product and they’re happy with it, so they keep subscribing to your SaaS product. At some point, they may be interested in upgrading to a higher tier. Even better, they may become brand advocates and start spreading the word about your product to their network.
4) Invest In SaaS Sales Tools
There are a number of tools that can help SaaS businesses with their sales strategy, from CRMs to proposal software.
Investing in the right tools can help you close more deals and improve your overall sales performance.
Some essential sales tools for SaaS businesses include:
Especially if you have an enterprise SaaS sales process going on, it’s important to be able to generate tailored proposals and quotes for your leads.
Proposal software like Bidsketch or PandaDoc can help you create beautiful proposals that are tailored to the specific needs of your leads.
Email Marketing Tools
Email is one of the most important forms of communication that a sales rep can use. SaaS businesses should invest in an email marketing tool like Mailchimp or Constant Contact to help them automate their email outreach and follow-ups.
A voice over internet protocol (VoIP) platform like RingCentral can help SaaS businesses with their sales process by giving them a dedicated phone number and voicemail box.
This can make it easier to stay in touch with leads and customers, especially if your sales processes involve a lot of phone calls to your leads and prospects.
This tool would enable your sales reps to receive and make calls directly from their computer, which can save a lot of time.
A customer relationship management (CRM) system helps you keep track of your leads and customers, manage your sales pipeline, and automate repetitive tasks.
Popular CRM providers include Salesforce, HubSpot, and Pipedrive.
Some advanced CRM systems can be very versatile. Some even offer all of the sales tools we’ve mentioned above.
Of course, more comprehensive solutions often mean a higher price tag. But if you’re a SaaS business that’s serious about scaling, it may be worth the investment.
5) Create A SaaS Sales Playbook
A SaaS sales playbook is a document that outlines your SaaS sales process from start to finish.
It includes everything from the initial contact with a lead to closing the deal and onboarding the customer.
Your SaaS sales playbook should be tailored to your specific target market and ideal customer profile. It should also be updated regularly as you experiment with different sales strategies and learn what works best for your business.
Here’s an example of what a SaaS sales playbook might look like:
- Initial contact with lead: Send a personalized email drip campaign introducing yourself and your product.
- Engagement: If they’re interested, arrange a meeting or call to discuss their specific needs and how your SaaS product can help them.
- Presentation: Give a demo of your SaaS product and show them how it can solve their specific problems.
- Free trial offer: Offer a free trial of your SaaS product to give them a chance to try it out for themselves.
- Closing the deal: Once they’re ready to subscribe, help them sign up and complete their purchase.
- Onboarding: Once they’re a paying customer, help them get started with your SaaS product and make sure they’re getting the most out of it.
- Upselling: When they are reaching the limits of their current plan, make a tailored offer to upgrade to a higher tier.
Of course, real-time sales playbooks are more comprehensive than this. But this example should give you a general idea of what they look like.
Having a SaaS sales playbook is essential for any SaaS business that wants to scale its sales. It gives your sales reps a clear and consistent process to follow, which can help them close more deals.
6) Track Your SaaS Sales Metrics
To effectively manage and improve your SaaS sales strategy, you need to know which SaaS sales KPIs to track.
Some essential SaaS sales metrics include the following:
A qualified lead is a potential customer who has been vetted and determined to be a good fit for your product
There are two types of qualified leads that you can count: marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs).
- MQLs: An MQL is a lead that has performed significant interactions with your marketing materials. They may have signed up for your webinar or downloaded an eBook from your website.
- SQLs: On the other hand, an SQL is a lead who is already willing to talk to your sales reps. They may already be requesting a quote or even a demo.
Lead Velocity Rate (LVR)
Your lead velocity rate is the month-on-month growth of your qualified leads. And by qualified leads, I mean your MQLs and SQLs.
To calculate your LVR, simply take the number of new qualified leads you’ve generated in a month and divide it by the number of qualified leads you had in the previous month.
For example, if you had 100 qualified leads in January and 120 in February, your LVR would be 20%.
This metric is important because it allows you to measure the performance of your lead generation efforts.
Your SaaS conversion rate is the percentage of leads who take the desired action. And this action can vary depending on which part of the SaaS sales process you’re looking at.
For example, your website’s conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who take the desired action on your website, such as signing up for a free trial or subscribing to your newsletter.
Your SaaS sales conversion rate, on the other hand, is the percentage of leads who are successfully converted into paying customers.
You can track individual conversion rates all throughout your sales process to see which areas are doing fine and which need improvement.
Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)
Your monthly recurring revenue is the total revenue that you can expect to receive on a monthly basis from your SaaS subscribers.
To calculate your MRR, simply take the total revenue you are expecting to receive from all of your paying customers in a month.
If you have annual subscriptions or multi-year deals, you can divide the total revenue by the number of months in the subscription period to get your monthly recurring revenue.
This metric is important because it allows you to track the growth of your SaaS business.
Final Thoughts About SaaS Sales Strategy
Not all SaaS businesses are the same. So there’s really no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to forming your SaaS sales strategy.
What works for one SaaS business might not work for another. The only way to find out what works best for you is to experiment and track your results
The SaaS sales strategy that you ultimately decide on should be based on your unique business goals and objectives.
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