Learn how to boost SaaS sales through modern hiring, strategy, tools, and techniques.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) has emerged as a pivotal solution for companies striving for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

And when applied to the sales sector especially, SaaS has a way of revolutionizing traditional sales operations.

Let’s explore the details of SaaS sales and how to modernize your sales team and strategy with upgraded sales processes, new pricing models, unique hiring requirements, innovative techniques and tooling, and beyond.

What is SaaS Sales?

SaaS is the term used for cloud-based software one can access from different devices, like laptops and smartphones. The SaaS industry has taken off in recent years as more businesses look for scalable and cost-efficient solutions to improve productivity without breaking the bank.

SaaS sales takes traditional sales models and puts a spin on them, primarily through subscription-based revenue models. Customers of SaaS companies pay monthly or yearly with this model, which creates a predictable revenue stream.

Customer engagement and satisfaction are important components of SaaS sales strategies. Companies want their customers to continue their subscriptions, after all. Through innovative sales techniques and a skilled sales team, SaaS companies can create effective SaaS sales strategies to boost revenue and overall growth.

Adapting an Effective SaaS Sales Process

The appeal of SaaS is simple to understand. First, software-as-a-service works in the clients’ browser and does not require them to download software to their computers. Secondly, SaaS companies often offer several subscription plans to meet the different needs of their customers.

Whether your target audience is small businesses or large corporations, the approach to selling SaaS is almost the same. Let’s look at key steps to developing a SaaS sales process.

Lead generation

Lead generation lays the groundwork for the rest of the sales process. It allows teams to hone in on ideal customers' needs and wants and usher them through the buyer’s journey. Lead generation might begin with email marketing, online events, or targeted content like blog posts and informational articles. The goal is to pique the customer’s interest and convert them into a qualified lead.

Lead qualification

A prospective customer can fall under four types of qualified leads throughout the sales process's lifecycle.

  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): When a lead shows some interest in the product or service, they become an MQL. If there isn’t a clear indication that they’re ready to purchase your product or sign up for your service, they’ll remain an MQL.
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): Once a lead indicates they’re ready to become a paying customer or subscriber, that lead becomes an SQL.
  • Product Qualified Lead (PQL): If a lead indicates interest in becoming a paid customer at the end of their trial period, they’re considered a PQL.
  • Service Qualified Lead: Many subscription-based services, like SaaS, offer multiple service tiers. If a customer is interested in upgrading their subscription, they move into the service qualified lead category.

Be ready to demo

For a personalized approach, SaaS customer success departments often offer free service demos. These demos are a great opportunity for team members to work one-on-one with potential customers and show them how to use the platform.

During such demos, the salespeople can also answer any questions about subscription plans and show how their software can help solve the customer’s problems.

Offer trial periods

Think of free trial periods like test driving a car. You wouldn’t buy a brand-new car you’ve never driven right off the lot, would you? That’s why SaaS companies use free trials to allow potential customers to gain hands-on experience using the platform before deciding to subscribe.

Sales teams can also incorporate specific strategies to convert trial users into paying customers, such as free access to advanced features or personalized support. At this point in the process, sales teams should be able to gauge a customer’s likelihood of proceeding through to the onboarding phase and becoming a paid customer.

Provide subscription-based pricing models

As mentioned, SaaS sales stands out from other sales models with its subscription-based pricing model. From a customer’s point of view, choosing a plan that meets their needs and budget allows for the most flexibility.

Companies also benefit from this model thanks to its predictable income stream. Rather than constantly onboarding new customers, SaaS businesses will already know their income stream based on how many active customers they have. In some cases, the quality of customers outweighs the quantity of customers.

How to Assemble a Successful SaaS Sales Team

Building a successful SaaS sales team is essential to any effective SaaS sales strategy. The people working on SaaS sales campaigns must have industry knowledge of marketing, sales techniques, and the software to help foster leads through the sales funnel.

Let’s take a look at some tips on who you should hire to build a well-rounded and skilled SaaS team.

They understand the SaaS buyer’s journey

Successful team members will deeply understand the SaaS buyer’s journey. What are they looking for, what are their pain points, and how can we solve their problems? This understanding lays the foundation necessary to market and appeal to those potential customers.

Ideal team members are also masterful at guiding customers through the decision-making process. Those who lead with compassion and relatability are more likely to connect with customers.

They are tech-savvy

Though it might sound obvious, SaaS sales team members should be comfortable using technology. Having a good grasp and comprehension of the software is critical. In addition, team members must speak “the right language” when describing SaaS products and the benefits of these products to potential customers. This ease of language is useful when assisting customers as well as communicating with technical stakeholders who have an interest in SaaS.

They can collaborate with other teams

Success in sales relies on multiple teams working in tandem to build dynamic sales strategies and improvements to the system. Marketing and sales teams often collaborate to develop workflows and procedures for each sales campaign.

Working cross-functionally also allows team members with different skill sets to lend their expertise to the project. Everyone from technical experts to customer success managers can contribute knowledge and experience that results in successful SaaS sales campaigns.

They are ready to constantly learn new things

SaaS sales pros should strive to select naturally curious individuals. Are they willing and open to training and development, or do they feel they have nothing else to learn? Continuous learning and reskilling allows team members to remain competitive. This process ensures they’re up to date on product features, effective sales techniques, and current trends.

Innovative SaaS Sales Techniques

Selling software-as-a-service comes down to understanding your customer’s needs and presenting SaaS as a solution to their problems. As markets continue to evolve, so do customers. The path you take to gain their attention and trust needs to change along with the industry. Here are a few sales techniques to consider as part of your sales process:

  • Social Selling: Engaging directly with potential customers is key, whether through social media or email marketing. Email tracking can provide insight into who opens emails, what links they click, and how long they browse your website.
  • Predictive Analytics: When it comes to online marketing, data is king. Using predictive analytics sheds light on the behavioral data of potential customers. Tracking trends in engagement, popularity of specific products or services, and high-traffic volume at different times of the year can help sales teams plan for future campaigns.
  • Case Studies: It’s important to share success stories and create a narrative surrounding your SaaS platform. These testimonials provide credibility to your SaaS solution and demonstrate its real-world impact on customers.
  • Video Demonstrations: Relevant and personalized content, particularly video content, is important. Sharing video demonstrations through social media channels and email marketing helps sales teams increase customer engagement and show the software in action.

The Role of CRM Tools in Sales Optimization

Customer relationship management, also called CRM, is a data-driven technology that helps manage and track information about current and potential customers. Rather than working out of a dozen different tools and platforms, consolidating your tech stack to work out of one centralized platform promotes efficiency and better performance.

Utilizing CRM for SaaS sales enables marketing and sales teams to work in tandem with access to all necessary information. Plus, there’s a better and more comprehensive overview of sales campaigns when you store data in one location.

Automation is one of the most useful features of CRM, allowing the system to complete certain tasks so team members have more time to focus on other areas. Thanks to automated functionality, teams can also access real-time analytics on customer data and sales performance.

The Future of SaaS Sales

SaaS sales will keep changing as technology continues to emerge with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools. Automation processes and predictive analytics will improve, as will the need for effective collaboration solutions for optimized communication and project management. SaaS sales teams must remain flexible and adapt as the industry changes to stay competitive in the constantly growing and evolving market.


Your Next Step in SaaS Sales Adoption

It's clear that introducing the SaaS model into the sales space isn’t simply about switching up a few tactics here and there — it’s about transforming your sales organization into one that’s automated and as fast-paced and personalized as today’s consumers demand.

Try NetHunt and see how easy it can be to automate, save, and succeed at sales using a cutting-edge cloud CRM for Gmail.

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