Global end-user spending on public cloud services is expected to exceed $480 billion by the end of 2022, making the SaaS market not only one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, but one of the largest.

Source: Gartner

Such a surge in demand for SaaS solutions calls for many new players entering the SaaS market. As a result, the competition gets tighter by the day. It pushes businesses to continuously optimise their business workflows to improve customer experience and reach maximum customer satisfaction.

Luckily, there is a solution that gets the job done - a SaaS CRM. As CRM connoisseurs, NetHunt is ready to shed some light on what a SaaS CRM is, when your business needs to purchase one and who would benefit from it the most. Read this article until the end to learn how to get and retain customers with a SaaS CRM in the most efficient way.

What is a SaaS CRM?

A SaaS CRM is a piece of software that allows SaaS companies to organise their customer database and effectively manage their relationships with leads and existing customers.

A CRM system for SaaS businesses acts as a well-structured repository for the company’s customer data. Every contact entering the database is stored in a separate record linked to other records for better organisation.

The main features of a SaaS CRM include...

There’s a belief that only salespeople benefit from CRM software. This isn’t true. CRM has proven to be a valuable tool for customer support and customer success reps, marketers, analytics, and even C-Suite managers.

When should you start thinking about SaaS CRM?

Take a moment to answer these questions. If you find yourself saying yes to pretty much any of them, you probably need a SaaS CRM.

  • Can your product be purchased both on- and offline?
  • Is your sales cycle longer than a week?
  • Does your business have 10+ customers?
  • Does your business have over 30 leads in the sales pipeline?
  • Does you have seperate sales and marketing teams?
  • Is your product available on a subscription-based model?
  • Does your product require customer support?
  • Do you offer customer support and/or customer success?

How can SaaS acquire and retain customers with SaaS CRM?

Modern CRM features are designed to solve a lot of business problems and aid business growth. Below are five ways in which a SaaS CRM can enhance your customer acquisition and improve customer retention.

SaaS CRM helps to organise customer data

One of the main advantages of SaaS CRM software is that it allows you to gather large volumes of data in one place. This opens up an opportunity for better data structure and organisation.

Use CRM software to create detailed customer records

A CRM system is a single repository for every bit of your customer data, structured and neatly organised in one database. As your relationships with customers progress, you can add new details to their records, change the existing information and upload files, documents and agreements to their database profile. You can learn more about your customers, establish their pain points and gain a better understanding of who they are and what they need.

With all of that information at your disposal, you’ll be able to...

  • Provide potential clients with more relevant offers and, therefore, close them faster.
  • Prevent progress loss as customer data won’t leave with the employee responsible for recording it, and you can easily change permissions to prevent someone from intruding.
  • Create narrower user segments as you’ll have more criteria to base segmentation on.

Use CRM software to cross-reference deals, companies and contacts

CRM software allows you to not only add individual contacts to your database but also map relationships between them, linking multiple users to a single account or company. With cross-referenced contacts in your CRM, you get a better chance at efficient communication.

Suppose a lead ignores you. You can speed up the customer conversion process by reaching out to their colleague for a discussion instead of hoping that the original contact finally responds.

Moreover, you can use customer database cross-references for upselling.

Imagine, you're a SaaS company providing real estate CRM software.

NetHomes is a real estate company that uses your product specifically for sales. For some reason, they're using different software for their marketing department. Knowing the benefits of aligned sales and marketing processes, you start a conversation with their CMO, Rachel Green, about purchasing extra marketing features in your product.

All your contact with Rachel is kept separate in the 'Contacts' folder. We can see two separate deals in the 'Deals' folder for the old deal and the new one. In the company folder, all our contact with Rachel - and whoever else from NetHomes - is centralised and visualised.

Use CRM software to keep your customer database clean and duplicate-free

Multichannel communication is one of the hottest sales trends. It reaches a wider audience, collects more information about potential customers, and improves their experience. However, when you obtain your information from a variety of sources, there’s an increased risk of duplicates.

SaaS CRM duplicate prevention features ensure your database is clean, meaning you don't mistakenly reach out to the same person twice. They alert you when there’s a possible duplicate in your database, suggesting you merge the new contact with the existing record.

Duplicate prevention in NetHunt CRM

Use CRM software to segment your customer database

Customers want personalisation. They give up their personal information to businesses and expect relevant offers in return. Unless you hit them with a SaaS product that solves their problems, they aren’t going to make a commitment.

Database segmentation lays the foundation for personalisation. You can automatically create different views, sending hyper-personalised targeted emails to different cohorts of customers.

The whats, whys, and hows of audience segmentation
What is audience segmentation? Why is audience segmentation important? How do you segment an audience? All these questions - answered!

Segmentation allows you to cross-sell and upsell to increase the deal size and, therefore, your overall sales. You can segment your database by their needs, reason churned and other relevant factors and hit them with the offers that will convince them to buy your product.

SaaS CRM improves lead management

If you want to close more deals faster, you need to manage your lead relationships efficiently. A CRM system offers plenty of opportunities for effective lead management.

Use CRM software to visualise your sales pipeline.

Let’s play a game.

Take a look at these deals. You have one second to name all the new deals and all the deals in the demo stage. Ready! Set! Go!

Oops, time’s up. Did you manage it?

It might’ve taken you a little over a second to name those, but I can believe that you managed to identify all of them. Nice one.

But… Imagine if there were dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of deals. How long would that take? With a lot of leads in the sales funnel, moving at different paces, you still need to understand where each of them is at any one moment; whether or not they require your immediate attention.

Visualise your pipeline. You’ll be able to quickly see which deals are where at the moment, calculate their forecasted revenue and assign tasks depending on their position. You can also customise the stages to correspond to your SaaS business’ specific sales processes and buyer journey.

A sales pipeline in NetHunt CRM

Use CRM software to move leads from one stage to the next faster

You can also create custom views in CRM to see which leads need engaging immediately or are currently at risk of churning. Set up custom views to predict churn and move leads from one stage to the next faster and more efficiently...

  • X days without activity. If your users (trial or paid) haven’t logged in or used your product in a while, there’s a chance they’re experiencing a problem.
  • X amount of days in a stage. Double up on lead nurturing effort to get a lead moving.
  • A reminder for the payment. Create a separate view for all the users whose payment is due in a couple of days to send them a payment reminder for subscription renewal.
How to create and manage views in NetHunt CRM

Use CRM software to build relationships

To prevent customer churn, you need to maintain a healthy relationship with customers even after the deal is won. It’s your job to make sure your product meets their expectations, that they know exactly how to use it to achieve their goals. Relationship building with a CRM system is easy.

Create custom views such as X days after subscription to…

  • Remember to conduct assessment calls to make sure your customers are satisfied with what they get and are aware of how to use your product for the best results.
  • Send anniversary congratulations and remind your customers about all the important milestones they’ve reached with your company.

SaaS CRM helps standardise and automate processes

The more standardised, timely and relevant your outreach is, the more customers your SaaS company will get. Sales process automation is one of the best ways to tick all the boxes and set your business ahead of the competition.

Use CRM software to automate manual tasks.

According to research, sales reps spend on average 60 minutes of their workday on administrative tasks every day. Only 37% of their time is spent on revenue-generating activities.

Source: InsideSales

To generate more sales, get your sales reps to do the job they’re originally supposed to do: Sell. Delegate time-consuming, manual tasks to dedicated software instead. Not only will automation spare your salespeople time, but it will improve the accuracy of data.

Automation of data entry and enrichment means standardisation; software follows the same set of rules to complete each task. If you want your customer database to be consistently complete, automate lead generation. All you need to do is set up a workflow that automatically captures leads from your website via lead generation web forms, enrich your customer database with Facebook Messenger leads and Intercom leads.

On top of that, you can also benefit from a LinkedIn integration. This professional social media platform is known for its high-quality leads. If you’re a B2B SaaS business, you should seek a CRM that offers automatic LinkedIn data capture to scrape all the publicly available LinkedIn profile data and form records in your CRM.

A sales manager’s guide to fighting manual data entry
This article explains why it’s essential to automate data entry with the top five sales processes that sales teams can automate in CRM.

Use CRM software to automate lead nurturing

Fortunately and thanks to an established lead scoring system in CRM, you should be able to tell which leads are high-priority ones for your business and which aren’t. Resources are limited, so it’s important to prioritise tasks and focus on the more valuable leads in your sales pipeline. Still, this doesn’t mean that you should completely ignore the existence of the less important ones.

Automate lead nurturing and send automated lead nurturing emails until you get a response and your lead changes their sales pipeline stage. Here’s an example of a lead nurturing sequence NetHunt CRM’s sales automation feature “Workflows” offers...

A drip campaign in Gmail

Use CRM software to decrease response time

  • Leads are ten times less likely to respond after 5 minutes.
  • Poor response times can increase churn by up to 15%.

To acquire more and retain existing customers, you need to speed up responses as much as possible. There are several ways to do this with the help of a CRM system, such as setting up alerts for sales reps whenever something notable happens with a deal. Chatbots are also efficient in sending automated responses to customers.

SaaS CRM helps align different departments

Successful customer acquisition and retention is impossible without the alignment of effort between SaaS departments. All your sales, customer support, and marketing teams need to work together towards achieving a common goal of growing your business.

Use CRM to improve prospecting

As both sales and marketing teams have access to CRM and regularly update it with new information, you gain a chance to identify your buyer persona and create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). These resources help answer the questions that matter.

  • Who are your best customers?
  • What is the size of their companies?
  • Where are they located?
  • What are their pain points, needs and wishes?
  • Who is the decision-maker in the company?
  • Which source brought them into your pipeline?
  • What marketing materials did they look for at each stage?

With answers to these questions, the sales team develops a deeper understanding of who they should target with prospecting activities.

Use CRM software to communicate with the team.

There are a bunch of different messenger platforms out there, all dedicated to different spheres of communication. With so many different chats on the go, it’s easy to drown in tabs and get lost in your own work. Seek a CRM that offers a native communication tool to increase team productivity and solve problems faster. NetHunt CRM features a few handy tools to help colleagues communicate better.

  • Mentions. Ping colleagues when you’ve got an update on a deal.
  • Tasks. A list of tasks, reminders, and daily summary emails.
  • Shared communication. Link email conversations to companies, contacts, deals.

Use CRM software to send email campaigns and aggregate results

A SaaS CRM system with email marketing functionality sends out email campaigns and aggregate their results to see what effect they have on your sales pipeline.

For instance, you can analyse the deals in your sales pipeline and see exactly how an email campaign you’ve just sent out impacted the movement of deals down the funnel. Thanks to email tracking, you can also assess whether or not your emails had the expected open rates and click-through rates. This is valuable data that helps amend email cadences or experiment with email marketing automation styles.

SaaS CRM helps to streamline your reporting

To understand how to grow and maintain its user base, a SaaS company needs to regularly analyse its market position and identify areas for improvement, growth opportunities and threats.

To do this, a robust sales reporting system in place is essential. Sales reporting spots and helps remove sales process bottlenecks, mitigate the consequences of sales staff turnover, keeps track of your activities, and sets realistic targets for the future. Reporting features lie at the heart of most modern CRM systems, enabling SaaS companies to build a range of different reports...

Some key reports a SaaS CRM helps to create...

  • Sales pipeline reports.
  • Sales forecasts.
  • Lead source reports.
  • Marketing pipeline reports.
  • Time in stage reports.
  • Sales by customer report.
  • Team activity reports.

The latter can help you coach your sales team, too. To maximise your team’s productivity, you need to create a team activity report and track their activity and its impact on the deals in the sales pipeline. This’ll provide insights into the day-to-day tasks your sales reps are busy with, a breakdown of their won deals, and how long it took them to win those deals.

How to use CRM data to coach your sales team
Read this article to find out what sales coaching is, how it can benefit business, and how to effectively coach your sales team using CRM data.

Running a SaaS business isn’t an easy task. But if you have the right tools in your stack and know how to use them to achieve your goals, you’re all set for success. A SaaS CRM is an irreplaceable tool that helps you manage your customer relations more smoothly, and get and retain new users.

Book a Demo with our lovely Customer Success Team! They’ll be more than happy to show you how NetHunt CRM can help your SaaS business grow.

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