SaaS Sales: 10 Tips on Selling Software in 2023

SaaS Sales: 10 Tips on Selling Software in 2023

Whether you’re just getting started in the world of software sales or you’ve been doing it for a while, understanding the trends and tips for success is critical to your success.

After all, the software sales landscape is constantly changing, and what worked last year might not work this year.

When offering software as a service (SaaS), it’s important to remember that you’re not just selling a product (i.e., the software), but a service as well. Your sales strategy needs to be focused on building relationships and providing value, not just closing a one-time deal.

This applies whether you’re selling CRM software to help businesses manage their customer relationships, AI sales software to help sales teams automate their sales pipeline, POS systems to help companies to keep track of their inventory, or anything in between.

In this article, I’ll share the best tips for selling software as a service so that you can stay ahead of the curve and ensure success in this ever-changing industry.

Let’s get right into it.

Top Tips For SaaS Selling

Before we get into the actual tips, remember that the perfect SaaS sales rep needs to be a person of many talents.

These include (amongst others) being one part sales pro, one part consultant, and one part advisor.

If you’re that sales representative, you need to quickly understand the needs of your potential customers and offer them a solution that meets those needs in a way that is both affordable and easy to use.

In other words, as the salesperson, you need to walk the line between being unable to take no as an answer (which comes from a place of knowing that your solution can help the customer) and being empathetic to the fact that change can be difficult.

With that in mind, let’s get into the top tips to implement.

1. Know Your Target Customer.

When it comes to B2B SaaS companies, the foundation of all selling starts with knowing who their target customer is.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many sales professionals try to sell to anyone with a pulse.

Not all customers are created equal, and trying to sell to everyone will lead to frustration on your part, and a lot of wasted time and effort.

Instead, focus on targeting a specific type of customer that you know you can help.

These could be businesses in a particular industry or companies of a specific size.

Knowing the customer’s pain points goes hand in hand with knowing your target customer.

Your target customers will have specific pain points that your software should be able to help with.

Whatever the pain point is, make sure you are clear on what it is and how your software can help to solve it.

With the customer acquisition cost constantly increasing, it’s more important than ever to focus on selling to customers that are a good fit for your software.

A sales team must carefully consider each customer and whether or not they are likely to succeed with their software before trying to sell to them.

2. Do Your Research to Build a Strong Value Proposition.

SaaS sales reps can no longer rely on the features and benefits of their software to sell it.

Customers are becoming savvier and can quickly see through a sales pitch that is nothing more than a list of items that sound inflated in value.

Instead, it would help if you focused on building a strong value proposition that speaks to the specific needs of your target customer.

This goes hand in hand with researching and genuinely understanding what customers are looking for, and how your software can help solve their specific problems.

Your value proposition should be clear, concise, and easy to understand.

One way to do this is to be active on social media, allowing you to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in your industry and what your target customers are talking about.

Another great way to do research is to set up Google Alerts for specific terms your target customer is looking for and for your competitors.

This will help you to quickly see any new developments or changes in the market that you need to be aware of.

3. Understand the SaaS Sales Cycle.

Unlike other types of sales, the SaaS sales cycle is continuous.

This means there is no real “beginning” or “end” to the cycle, and it can be challenging to know when a potential customer is ready to buy, especially if you’re still in the early stages of your relationship.

The best way to approach the SaaS sales cycle is to consider it a journey your potential customer is on.

At each stage of the journey, they will be looking for different information, and you need to be able to provide them with what they need to know.

With most SaaS operations having a monthly recurring revenue (MRR) model, the SaaS sales model involves various stakeholders from multiple departments within a company, each with its objectives, which can make for a complex sale.

If you have a marketing team (which you should), they should be focused on generating awareness and interest in your software.

Then, your sales team’s job is to turn that interest into actual paying customers.

In addition, consider that enterprise SaaS sales are different from traditional sales in that you’re not just selling to one person but rather to an entire company.

This means that you need to be aware of the different decision-makers within a company and their other objectives.

For example, the CFO will focus on the deal’s financials, while the CTO will be more interested in the technical aspects.

Understanding each decision-maker’s objectives will help you tailor your sales pitch to close the deal.

4. Charge High Prices.

The value you provide should be reflected in your pricing.

If you’re providing value and solving a real problem for your customer, you should charge high prices.

Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth.

Charging low prices while boasting about the value you provide will only serve to devalue your software in the eyes of potential customers.

Also, lowering prices is usually a losing race to the bottom.

Once you lower your prices, it becomes harder and harder to raise them again, even if you’re providing more value.

Rather than lowering prices, you can decide to offer bonuses or other perks to customers who buy your software.

Suppose you can offer valuable bonuses that make customers feel they’re getting what they paid for through the bonuses alone.

In that case, this can be a great way to increase your perceived value without having to lower your prices.

5. Create an Effective Pitch Deck.

A pitch deck is a slideshare presentation used to communicate your company’s story and value proposition to potential customers.

Creating an effective pitch deck is essential for any SaaS company, as it will be one of the first things a potential customer sees.

Your pitch deck should be clear, concise, and easy to understand.

It should also be visually appealing and tell a story that resonates with your target market.

Some things to keep in mind when creating your pitch deck include:

  • Only have the essential information: Don’t try to cram too much information into your pitch deck. Keep it concise and focus on the most critical points.
  • Using solid visuals: Use strong visuals to help tell your story and communicate your message. This could include charts, graphs, infographics, and photos.
  • Making it easy to understand: Avoid using jargon or industry-specific terms. Instead, focus on making your pitch deck easy to understand for anyone who sees it.
  • Telling a story: Your pitch deck should tell a story that resonates with your target market. This will help to engage your audience and make them more likely to remember your company.

The right SaaS sales model pitch deck can be the difference between winning and losing a deal, so it’s essential to put in the time to create a strong one.

Related to creating a compelling pitch deck is factoring in the type of content you create.

Using content to your advantage is a skill that will help you close more deals.

Knowing how to start a blog and create effective posts, working on your social media influence, and starting an engaging YouTube channel can be great ways to showcase your SaaS product in action and communicate your value proposition.

Sales teams need to work with marketing teams to ensure that there is a steady stream of high-quality content being produced.

This content should be tailored to the needs of your target market and be easy for them to consume.

6. Train Your Team.

With SaaS sales metrics in mind, training your team on how to sell your software is essential.

This includes teaching them about your product, target market, and SaaS sales process.

It’s also essential to provide ongoing training and coaching to improve their skills.

Some things to keep in mind when training your team to sell SaaS products include:

  • Product training: Your team should deeply understand your product and how it can benefit your target market. They should be able to articulate this clearly and concisely.
  • Market training: Your team should also profoundly understand your target market. They should know who your ideal customer is and what their needs are.
  • Sales process training: It’s essential to have a sales process in place and to train your team on it. This will help ensure they make the most of every sales opportunity.
  • Ongoing training and coaching: Provide ongoing training and coaching so your team can continue improving their skills. This could include regular sales meetings, one-on-one coaching, and training on new selling techniques.

In addition, always keep your existing customers in mind and offer them training on using your product effectively.

Customer success is essential for any SaaS company, so ensure that your customers know how to use your software correctly.

7. Use Inbound Marketing Tactics.

Getting people to come into your sales funnel can be a challenge, but it’s essential to get it right if you want to be successful in SaaS sales.

Inbound marketing is a great way to attract new leads and customers into your sales funnel.

It involves creating helpful content that draws people in and then nurturing those relationships until they’re ready to buy.

A sales-qualified lead is much more valuable than a warm lead, so it’s essential to focus on quality over quantity.

Various inbound marketing tactics that you can use to generate leads go back to the content you create and might include:

  • Become a thought leader: Use your blog, social media, and speaking engagements to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. This will attract people to you and allow you to show off your product.
  • Host webinars on topics related to your product or industry: Using the right webinar software, you can offer high-quality webinars that will attract leads and customers.
  • Connect to people through your story: When you’re telling your story, make sure it’s relatable and exciting. This will help people connect to you personally and make them more likely to become customers.

The above applies to those that offer SaaS to small businesses and startups as well as those that follow an enterprise sales model where larger companies are involved in making decisions.

At the end of the day, people are still making decisions, so your sales team needs to be focused on generating real connections.

8. Leverage Social Proof.

Sales and marketing teams need to work together on this one to be successful.

When considering buying a product, people often look for social proof to see if others have had success with it.

This could include things like customer testimonials, case studies, and reviews.

Including social proof in your advertising and marketing materials can be a powerful way to increase conversions.

It’s essential to ensure that the social proof you’re using is relevant and targeted to your ideal customer.

For example, if you’re selling software to small businesses, then including a testimonial from a small business owner would be more effective than including one from a Fortune 500 CEO.

In addition, using pay per click (PPC) advertising, you can create targeted ads that only show to people in your target market.

This ensures that they see social proof that is relevant to them and increases the chances that they’ll convert.

This not only allows you to generate targeted leads, but you can also track everything to see what’s working and what’s not.

A B2B SaaS company that can combine great sales techniques, inbound marketing, paid advertising, and social proof is likely to be successful.

9. Offer a Free Trial or Demo.

Value-focused demos provide new leads with an overview of how your product works and what it can do for them.

Your goal is to show the lead that your solution is valuable and worth their time without going into too much detail.

It would help if you focused on what your solution can do for prospects along with your product’s main features and benefits.

You can also explore unique selling points that make it stand out from the competition.

When you’re giving a value-focused demo, it’s essential to keep the following in mind:

  • Don’t try to sell the product hard: The goal of a value-focused demo is not necessarily to close the sale on the call but rather to show the lead that your product is worth their time and attention. You can also (and should) follow-up if a sale doesn’t happen after a certain amount of time.
  • Mention that you offer an annual recurring revenue model (make sure that you do if this is not currently a thing): To increase customers’ lifetime value, SaaS companies should consider an annual recurring revenue model. The annual contract value of customers can then become much higher, which is essential for long-term success.

10. Focus on Customer Success.

When selling SaaS is focused on customer success, you’re much more likely to have customers that stick around for the long haul.

To achieve this, you must ensure that your product delivers on its promises and that your customer service team is top-notch.

This also means that the right product is constantly evolving to meet the needs of its customers.

To do this, you need to have a feedback loop to hear from your customers about what they like and don’t like about your product.

Having a transactional sales model that works means always thinking about how to increase your customers’ lifetime value.

The best way to do this is to focus on customer success and ensure they get the most out of your product.

By following these tips, you can be well on your way to having a successful SaaS company that generates long-term customers.

Various SaaS Cycle Lengths

Knowing what type of sales cycle your product falls into is essential for several reasons.

This way, having the right upsell presented as part of the pricing model in a SaaS business can make a big difference.

Moreover, the right benchmarks will allow the SaaS salesperson to measure their success correctly.

1. Short-Term Trials: 1-3 months

Sales development and execution in this range should focus on customer acquisition.

The main goal should be to get new customers to sign up for a free trial (while testing the length of time that works best) and then convert them into paying customers.

2. Medium-Term Subscriptions: 3-12 months

Here, the focus should be on customer success.

The goal should be to reduce the churn rate and increase customer lifetime value through this subscription.

3. Long-Term Contracts: 12+ months

The focus for this type of sale should be on account management.

The goal is to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty so that customers don’t even think about stopping the service and renew their contract when it’s almost up.

These types of customers are the ones that will become your biggest brand advocates over time.

Business Tools That Make SaaS Companies Work

Let’s finally consider the tools that can make or break a SaaS business and what they bring to the table.

Billing And Invoicing Software

Using the best billing and invoicing software is key to ensuring that you get paid on time and that your customers are happy with the billing process.

This software will automate many of the tasks associated with billing, including issuing invoices, tracking payments, and issuing refunds.

Customer Management Software

Knowing how to best use a CRM for marketing can help you keep track of your customers, their needs, and how to best support them.

As a result, you’ll be able to provide them with the best possible customer experience, leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Using the right VoIP providers can also help you save on customer support costs when making phone calls, as it’s less expensive than traditional phone systems.

Project Management Software

The right project management software will help you keep track of your team’s progress, deadlines, and tasks.

This way, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and that nothing falls through the cracks.

The right tools in this area will also help you optimize your communication with your team and provide them with the resources they need to be successful.

Marketing Automation Software

Here, the focus should be on automating as many product marketing tasks as possible.

This way, you can free up your time to focus on more critical tasks, such as selling and supporting your customers.

Whether it’s automated lead generation to help you build your list, collecting customer data to serve as feedback, or even using AI chatbots to help answer customer questions in a self-service fashion, marketing automation software can help you do it all more efficiently.

Human Resources Software

Taking care of everyone in your team, including your sales manager, sales representatives, account executive, etc., is essential to success.

To close deals, you don’t only need to have the right HR tools in place to manage your sales pipeline – having the right people can make or break SaaS sales.

From the moment recruitment starts (through platforms such as Glassdoor, Linkedin, or even internal recruitment) to onboarding and training, having the right personnel makes all the difference.

Accounting Software

Accounting software can consider key metrics such as customer churn, customer lifetime value (LTV), and gross margin.

The right software will provide you with information such as the base salary you can offer to your salesforce, how much you can pay for outbound lead generation, and what kind of commission structure makes sense for your business.

Data Visualization

To make the most out of your data, you need to be able to visualize it in a way that is easy to understand.

Data visualization tools can help you do this, and one can use them to create dashboards that give you an overview of your business.

The right data visualization tool can help you spot trends and decide where to focus your efforts.

Wrap Up

Getting involved in the SaaS industry can be a great way to make money, but it’s not without its challenges.

By understanding the different types of sales cycles and what tools can help you achieve your goals, you’ll be in a much better position to succeed.

Which tips did you find the most useful?

Are there other tips you would add?

Let me know in the comments below.

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