To start a business is like unending passion, especially for entrepreneurs. You get an idea, you put that idea on paper. You do a complete dissection of the same until you are convinced it won’t ever fail. Its survival of the fittest in this modern world. And every business, including SaaS, needs revenue to drive its growth. Today, we will be highlighting some statistics and necessary selling techniques to help SaaS business owners in their survival.
Ready to dive into the world of SaaS business owners?
Back in 2018, SaaS companies had over 9 competitors on an average – Price Intelligently
Every business starts out small before making it big!
This is the time period where individuals in your team feel stretched thin because of the multiple roles they portray.
This is where you dig into various selling techniques and tools for helping you make your SaaS business successful.
First thing first, “So what do you sell, exactly?”
Cisco’s Global Cloud Index for the period 2013-2018
Some start-ups are selling technology (SaaS to be precise), some are busy selling cloud software and the relevant pieces that reside inside the cloud technology.
The success recipe cannot have just a single ingredient, can it now? It takes various ingredients to create the flavour of success.
The same goes for every business, even for a SaaS business.
Your customer success team, marketing team and the sales team must work together. This is how your business will grow.
What’s the selling technique?
Many entrepreneurs and small business owners often find themselves stuck in the weeds of operating a SaaS business.
The treacherous waters of modern business world demand constant flow of revenue. If that doesn’t happen, your SaaS business will find itself sinking in no time.
The median cost for a SaaS company to acquire a dollar of new customer revenue is $1.18. – For Entrepreneurs
As CEO of a SaaS business, running the show takes a lot out of you.
Even having a team sometimes doesn’t help you solve the flaw in your selling techniques.
You have to be 100% sure that all the necessary ingredients have been well-mixed in your success recipe.
Necessary selling techniques for SaaS business
We would like to help you generate more revenue. So, let’s take a look at the selling techniques for modern SaaS businesses.
1. Map the customer’s sales journey
Customer needs and requirements grow with passage of time. For SaaS, it’s the same story. Yet, this fact makes a very critical point. Every new product or service has an endless learning curve.
SaaS business owners must make the customer journey beautiful. You must be their partner in this journey.
Act as their guide and help them get a grip over the basics to move towards advanced capabilities.
Having such a personalised engagement helps you increase customer retention. It also makes you part of their daily operations.
But, how can you retain customers, if you don’t have one in the first place.
You read it right. Customer acquisition is the first step in mapping the customer journey.
The millennials today types their issue in Google. Google, then fetches relevant results based on their search query.
Once the search engine shows results, they contact you by visiting your website, to get a solution for their issue.
- Often, they don’t understand their own requirements.
- They are confused regarding their needs.
- This is where you kick in as experts.
To stand apart from the competition, you must showcase materials that make you true expert in your field.
Like eBooks, videos, whitepapers and various other expert materials.
Make sure you don’t over burden them with your knowledge base.
Also, you must show them how these features are helping your present customers through case studies.
First Month – 4 Weeks of prospect communication
- Teach them the basics of using your SaaS product.
- Share emails that have precise steps of using the features.
- Engage the prospects with emails that have visual guides of using your product.
- Send out automated weekly emails and smartly track their open rate.
- Send out tutorials with a link to your support portal.
- Engage customers and inspire them to actively use your product or service.
When you follow these techniques, you prove an expertise. This also helps you establish a long-term business relationship with your customers.
Second and third months – Turn them into paying customers
- The first month is over and so is their trial period.
- Converting trials into paying customers is the major part of your job as a SaaS business owner.
- By now, you have aided them in their customer journey.
- Helped them understand your product or service inside out.
- You have established the fact that your SaaS product can be used for solving their problems.
- Now is the time to build upon the foundation of trust.
- Show them the advanced capabilities of your SaaS product.
- In this phase, you will need the help of your sales and marketing teams.
- They will be doing timely check-ups on your customers.
- This is where you will even look for up-sell or cross-sell opportunities.
- Kick in the referral template and ask them to pitch your SaaS product to their inner circle.
If you have succeeded in providing a satisfying experience so far, the customers will happily refer you.
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2. Use data, always!
There are millions of conversations happening across the social web. For humans to grasp these conversations and turn them in their favour is too far-fetched.
The modern business market has provided platforms which help business identify opportunities in these conversations.
Getting help from these technologies is the best way SaaS businesses can multitask and improve their sales.
3. Have a customer-centric selling approach
Okay, now listen very carefully!
Keeping your customers happy throughout their buying journey is the most important part.
A happy customer is equal to a paying customer.
We are not asking you to be selfish and think of your customer as a number in an excel sheet.
Encourage your potential customers to share their problems that they have while using your SaaS product.
“Doing so lays the foundation of customer-centric selling.“
- After this, you just continue guiding them down the right path towards solving their issues.
- SaaS business owners and their customers need to work together to mutually benefit from the relationship.
- Customers get to solve their core business problems and SaaS business keep the subscription cycle running.
In this age of social selling, where everyone is reading about product and reviewing them, customer-centric selling takes the lead.
Your customers are going to talk about you. And they are going to do that over social media, where millions of people are present.
What would you want them to post regarding your SaaS product?
Something positive always, right!
Customer-centric selling will help you gain loyalty, referrals and positive word-of-mouth from your customers.
4. Sell solutions, not just products
SaaS companies struggle with the task of presenting their solution as a ‘product’. Showcasing your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is one way.
It helps promote your SaaS as a true solution in front of the customers.
“Better sales conversations require you to sell more than a product.”
Ask the right questions to them.
Doing so will make the customer a part of the ongoing conversation. Here are the questions that you can ask to the prospect
- How does X function within your business?
- Are you interested in improving the result of X part of your company?
- If you solved X problem, how much would that be worth to you?
- If you could change one part of your business, what would it be?
- How do you currently do X, and how much time and resources does it take?
Asking questions also helps you determine how further they are into the path of decision making. A smart sales CRM for SaaS business can help you track the entire customer journey. It can also store the contact data in a central data repository and make it easily accessible from anywhere, anytime.
Your solution must provide satisfactory answers of the prospects’ questions too.
What customer success team actually do?
On a business level, reducing the churn rate is the most important job of a Customer Success team.
And how is that done?
The days of “shelfware” are done!
- The secret sauce of high-value customers is your customer success ingredient and it’s understandable.
- Modern customers know the difference between the past and present scenario.
- They want something that is out of the box yet suits their usability and budget.
- They are not content with buying a box.
- Customers buy results.
It’s the job of the tool plus the guidance from the customer success team to help them get the desired results. Customer Success for SaaS companies is still a fresh arena and many modern businesses are yet to get the perfect grip on it.
Customer success process
I found that the easier the process is, the higher conversion rate you’ll get. Fill out as much as you can for your customers in order to get them to do what you want. — Trackin
Our advice for modern business owners – ‘talk directly with your users’.
But, keep the guesswork out of your thinking process.
You will not know what the prospect wants until you ask them.
Many businesses are inculcating this habit in their business process. Doing so helps them save various resources and not go on a wild goose chase.
The most beneficial part of this process is that you will be able to solve their problems with your SaaS product.
Having a SaaS process allows you to create a blueprint of your success.
It allows you to replicate the results, get loyal customers and upgrade SaaS features depending upon their usage.
After all, you are selling SaaS and not just a legacy software.
And it is no hidden fact that the modern customer is always in charge.
Feedback is important!
Using the feedback is the best way to get to know what your customer thinks. It is the most honest review of how your solution is making a difference in their daily work life.
These feedbacks also help in making tweaks to your SaaS product.
One of the most loyal or older customers is leaving your subscription plan. If you just let the customer go, you are losing two opportunities.
First, you can never know what made the customer leave your solution.
Second, you will never know if you could have helped change their decision to leave you.
This is why customer feedback is a necessity for SaaS businesses.
With the feedback you can easily know if the reason for leaving your solution is related to pricing or lack of features.
Based on the answer, you can convince the customer that you can do something regarding the issue they are facing.
Customer feedback helps in making your product truly appealing to your end users.
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What role marketing plays in your SaaS business growth?
Referrals are one of the most effective types of leads – Heinz Marketing
Referrals are low cost and close relatively quickly.
Yet, there is a mismatch of referrals among sales and marketing department.
56% of sales reps admit referrals are “very important”.
Yet, just one-third of businesses have a dedicated referral program.
A lot of debate has been done whether incentivizing referrals is a good idea or not.
Many believe businesses can’t generate referrals without an incentive plan.
Test out which one works for your SaaS business, optimize the same for better results.
The most important part is launching a referral program.
- Create a landing page that people can refer.
- Share guidelines how you accept referrals.
- Having guidelines will allow you generate quality referrals.
- Mention the time interval of the incentives.
Marketing team can draft referral templates and share it across other departments.
Sharing the templates makes it easier for sales, customer success, and support teams to ask for referrals.
But, before we do that, let’s brush up our knowledge about sales.
What role sales plays in general for SaaS businesses?
To be successful, SaaS businesses need to personalize their customers’ buying experience.
Majority of buyers make their purchasing decisions based on their past experiences.
A humane selling methodology always leaves a good remark.
Modern SaaS business owners can personalize their customers’ buying experience in various ways. Here is an example of how Intercom did it.
What roles sales manager plays in organizations?
Sales manager plays a critical role in the success and failure of any SaaS business.
- He is vested with the power and resources of achieving the subscription targets.
- Generate optimum revenue.
- Sales manager has to be clear about his role in a SaaS organization.
- He must know what he is supposed to do for making the SaaS product a success with the prospects.
You can catch more about the sales manager’s roles and responsibilities in our upcoming blog. But before we close in on our article, we would like to share some statistics related to SaaS business.
SaaS sales statistics you must keep in mind
- 44% of SaaS companies offer a free trial – SaaSX
- After hitting $10M in ARR, the median growth rate drops to under 50% – Openview
- It’s 4x cheaper to upsell existing customers than acquire new customers: costing just $0.28 to acquire an additional dollar of revenue – ForEntrepreneurs
- The average SaaS company spends just 6 hours determining their pricing strategy – Price Intelligently
- 51% of large (revenue >$2.5million) SaaS companies use field sales as their primary method of distribution – ForEntrepreneurs
- If a credit card is not required, the visitor to retained customer conversion rate increases to 1.2% – Totango
- Just 17% of paying customers login to their SaaS service on a daily basis – Totango
- Best-in-class SaaS companies achieve 5-7% annual revenue churn – the good churn rate – translates to 0.42 – 0.58% monthly churn. – Sixteen Ventures
- A 1% increase in pricing strategy yields an average 11% increase in profit – Harvard Business Review
- The fastest growing SaaS companies have an average Quick Ratio of 3.9: generating $3.9 in revenue for every $1 lost to revenue churn – Insight Squared
Stat 1: Unlike many other industries, if a software company grows at only 20%, it has a 92% chance of ceasing to exist within a few years. – McKinsey
Stat 2: Even if a software company is growing at 60% annually, its chance of becoming a multibillion-dollar giant are no better than 50/50. – McKinsey
Stat 3: The fastest growing SaaS companies scale their organizations rapidly, growing their teams by an average of 56% each year. – Tomasz Tunguz
This is our conclusion
“SaaS will dominate the tech market”
Don’t believe us? Then take a look at the graph from Statista.
We have one more graph to show you before we bid adieu.
This graph paints a clear picture in front of you. When businesses are one year old, in the market, they have between 9-10 competitors. This makes for a very tough competition. With PPC and other marketing campaigns, you can generate leads.
- But what about the quality of those leads?
- What about the way you will sell your SaaS product to them?
- What about storing all the prospect and customer data?
As we said, the modern world is too fast to even let the leads get past you. You blink you miss.
Let us know in the comments how you are handling your SaaS selling techniques. Is a process in place that takes care of most manual tasks? Are you aware that you can take care of major manual labour with automation?
If you are not aware of how you can improve your business’s sales, you have not been using Salesmate CRM. This one stop solution boasts of many useful features and integrations that come in handy while managing tough business situations. Want to know more about Salesmate and what it can do for your business? Then drop a query by getting in touch with us.