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28 Apr 2020 / durhamlane

SaaS Sales: The 5 Steps to Success

Monica Caruana

by Monica Caruana

saas sales

A lot is expected of Software as a Service (SaaS) sales teams. But business priorities are shifting, making selling SaaS about as easy as getting a straight answer out of a politician. 

The obstacles ahead of today’s SaaS sales teams are many, including: 

  • Saturated markets 
  • High churn rates (30% of SaaS companies have reported an increase in the past year)
  • Changing customer success standards 
  • Long sales cycles (particularly if your focus is on Enterprise sales) 

So, what does it take to achieve great SaaS sales results? 

Customer knowledge 

Want more SaaS sales? Know your customers – it’s that simple. 

Just to be clear, you’re not expected to know their favourite breakfast cereals or what they’re binging on Netflix during lockdown. Your SaaS sales model should only focus on the important stuff – interests, pain points, what kind of content they’re engaging with etc. 

Focus only on the most suitable prospects and watch your customer acquisition rates skyrocket.  

Tech savviness  

If you’re selling SaaS, hopefully your salespeople know a thing or two about tech. 

It’s a SaaS salesperson’s duty to know about all the latest software – especially rival SaaS products. This means understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. 

Knowing all about competitor’s weak points gives you a significant advantage when selling SaaS. If a prospect is already using a competitor’s service, knowing the problems it can’t solve is the ideal door-opener for a sales conversation. 

Negotiation skills 

In sales, good negotiators literally have the skills that pay the bills. 

A truly great SaaS salesperson knows how to shift the focus from the price to the product and/or service model. Customers will always try to get the best deal but, ultimately, it’s a salesperson’s job to maximise revenue generation for your SaaS business long-term. 

Some prospects will hunt for discounts from the get-go (especially now that businesses are trying to cut costs wherever possible). The best way to keep these leads locked in is to leave discussions of cost until the very end of the sales cycle. And it doesn’t hurt to offer free trials as part of your sales process. 

Marketing appreciation 

Let’s be honest, salespeople and marketers aren’t always the best of friends.  

But when they do get along, the results are golden (trust us – durhamlane’s success is built on aligning sales and marketing activities).  

Consumers are increasingly relying on blogs, eBooks and other digital marketing content to educate themselves before they buy. Aligning sales and marketing activity is therefore a big part of SaaS sales success. 

So, make sure your marketing team are putting out content that generates MQLs (marketing qualified leads). This will help feed your SaaS sales pipeline with a healthy stream of quality leads. And the best thing about MQLs is they’re far more likely to convert than cold prospects.  

A thirst for learning 

To quote Benjamin Franklin, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” 

Okay, so he wasn’t talking about SaaS… but that doesn’t mean it’s not relevant. 

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a mentor on your team, it’s up to individual SaaS sales reps to fill their brains with SaaS and sales knowledge. It’s important to stay up to date with the latest industry news and sales trends.  

Following successful SaaS and sales thought leaders on social media is one of the best ways to get tips, advice and insight. In a fast-paced industry like SaaS, learning needs to be ongoing.  

Those who are most eager to improve during these difficult times will be the ones who emerge as SaaS sales superstars. 

Need to improve your SaaS sales performance? Click here to find out how we can help or fill in the Virtual Demand Generation form below.

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