SaaS (Software as a Service) organization, is a cloud service organization providing consumers software applications accessible over the internet. These applications are hosted over “cloud”. They can be used by both individuals and organization to perform a wide range of task. The best-known examples being LinkedIn, Salesforce.com, Workday and more.
With the advent of technological era, numerous SaaS organizations are procurable in the market. To be on the cutting edge these organizations has to build exceptional sales policies, to draw consumers on-board. This task is allocated & taken care by the SaaS product team. They are the one who is given the responsibility of qualifying leads generated by marketing reps, moving them into the sales funnel and finally closing the deals.
Listed below are few cornerstones to be adhered in setting up growth process of SaaS.
1. Identifying prospects:
The sales team should have a splendid talent to identify and determine their prospects. A lot of reasoning is required for this. Reasoning to be based on questions like: Whom to contact? What are the needs of the prospects? Does the product fits in the needs of the prospects? How can the prospect be benefited from it?
2. Reaching leads through calls, emails or social media, right one at right time:
Voice Call is one of the best methods to connect with lead. It opens a way for the one-to-one conversation with them. This method works well when the packet size of the software is high (In terms of pricing) & complexity of software is high (In terms of functionalities, features & modules).
Emailing is also the method which is suitable and preferred by all type of business deals, it may be SaaS software or big projects. It provides your leads a visual data and content (proposal) when you are on the phone; trying to close the deal. Sales team should make a target of calling as well as emailing to be done in a day/week. Both calling and emailing should be balanced.
Check out this tips on how to get more responses from sales calls.
Social media also works as one of the best ways to connect with leads. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook should be leveraged to build stronger and longer relationship with the prospect. Social media connection will increase the chance of you getting into prospects social feed. This will help you cut down your cost of paid marketing on social networks(checkout this blog to generate leads from social).
3. Identifying your customers intelligently:
It is always better to deal with smart prospects than to put efforts in prospects who are unfamiliar and unacquainted ones. It is always said that selling to those who value the product (software/system) is easier to close. While on the other hand selling to those who are unfamiliar with benefits of system and technology turns out to be painful.
The unacquainted customers will be complaining about the product and will require support often. They will always spread negative about the company or the product. Salespeople will also be delighted to keep in touch with those intellectual ones which help them procure knowledge base. Moreover, chances of getting valuable suggestions and improvements in building software product is also high. Closer time of such customer can be faster than others.
Check out this amazing article on choosing the Right Customer by Robert Simons on Havard Business Review.
4. Demos serve as the persuading agent
Providing software demo to the prospects who are qualified can play a big role in persuading them to use the software. It is recommended many experts that the demo should not be longer, preferable time is not more than 15 minutes. Try to convince them how your software can help them be more successful, rather than explaining what your product does. Do not make it a training session, focus on benefits provided by your product.
5. Incorporate trials, but make it short:
Trials should be offered to the prospects. It does happen that prospects who are reluctant to use the software many times agree to use software when the trial version is provided.
The trial period should be kept short; it should not last for more than 30 days in any case. Studies say that short period trials are taken more seriously. Providing longer trial version will make the prospects postpone purchase and they might forget to buy it. Moreover, it will help the companies shorten the sales cycle. This will reduce the customer acquisition cost for the companies.
Check out this amazing article by Lincoln Murphy a SaaS Guru on Ideal Free Trail Length.
6. Persistent follow-ups to be done:
Being meticulous & Strategic with your follow-ups helps you close more deals.
Follow-up can be done on the every relevant actions & trigger, this will help increase the touch points & add value to your sales pitch. Below mentioned are few triggers when following up emails or trigger emails can be sent
- Another prospect from same Company is signing-up after few months
- After demo.
- A Trial session is getting over.
- The annual plan is getting over.
- After few weeks of inactivity on software.
- After few days of continuous usage of software.
All these follow-ups can be automated using the SaaS Software named – Intercom
Intercom helps in performing trigger based or events based emails.
One more Check out this amazing sample of upgrade emails which helped SaaS companies convert high; by Janet Choi
7. Adequate pricing:
The prices should be intelligently set. Too high pricing can lose your prospects. And too low will give them an impression that your software is not much useful.
Running a colloquial survey about pricing always serves the purpose. Quote the price of the software and wait for your client’s reaction. All those feedback from the clients will provide you with the correct directions for setting the price of a product.
8. Procuring clients for prepaid annual plans:
It is always a good practice to persuade clients to go for prepaid annual plans. This can be done by offering specified discounts
(Identical for all customers) if product bought for the whole year. This will help to access substantial cash flow and it will also hold the customers for a year. Once the plan is to lapse, the client can be followed-up to buy a product for the next annual period.
See this amazing video “Actual Live Sales Call Sales Training” – Grant Cardone. See how he closes the deals which inside sales team was throwing away.
9. Avoid Discounts:
Though discounts are always tempting, it helps to procure customers easily short-term only. For long terms providing discount is never a good idea.
The salespeople find it easy to sell the product by attaching the discounting clause to it. This makes them lazy and they refrain from putting in the much-needed effort required for selling smartly. It also brings the revenues down and the predicted target becomes almost impossible to reach. It is also not good for branding. The customers might discover the price difference company offered for the same product differently to them. This hampers the goodwill of the company.
Hope the above points serves you best in setting up an growth process in SaaS.
Do share with us your experience applying the above strategies. Also, will be looking forward to more strategies to be added to the list. Your views and suggestions are most awaited (in below comment box) and valued.