SaaS Sales IV: 6 Challenges Faced When Selling SaaS
Sales are based around the main concept of selling the product or in other words, closing deals. Hard tactics that have been used for decades are promoted and passed down to sales. However, these traditional methods that were once effective do not apply to the enterprise sales of today. SaaS is a complex product that requires the sales representatives to follow a custom sales funnel that works for the product at hand.
In enterprise SaaS, the sales cycles are long, buyers are sophisticated and the sales rep has to try to pitch the intangible product to prospects. In all of this, SaaS sales representatives face unique challenges. This blog will educate you on these common challenges and how to overcome them as a sales professional.
Enterprise SaaS must be able to support a large number of users and user roles to be able to help achieve the enterprise’s goals and objectives. This requires SaaS products to be complex. Corporations function across multiple locations and sometimes industries with hundreds or thousands of employees. When such enterprises buy software they expect that it will integrate with their existing applications, whether it be human resources management, customer support, or marketing platforms.
It is no surprise that the more complex a product is, the harder it is to sell. With customizations and configurations of the web-based software to the business needs along with demos and trials makes it an expensive and time-consuming process.
The SaaS sales teams should educate the prospects about the product, answer their queries, and conduct demonstrations of the product. This extra time and effort that they put in during their sales process bear fruit, in the end, helping them close the deal.
Buyers Are Busy And Wary
It takes time, energy, and money for a buyer to decide on what product to purchase. From analyzing what is important and what is not to check if the product can deliver on the requirements identified by them, a lot of time and effort goes into choosing the right product.
Buyers are overwhelmed and weary from the relentless SaaS sales representatives approaching them, pitching their products by letting loose the tsunami of information on them. Time is money and buyers do not want to waste their time engaging with SaaS products that do not align with their needs. They are wary and on the fence about every SaaS sales pitch with good reason because they do not want to make a wrong decision, costing them not only money but ROI.
The best way to address the doubt and uncertainty felt by buyers is to provide proof of your product’s quality and reputation. This can be done by a collaboration between the marketing and sales teams. Through social media and advertising testimonials of customers and case studies about the product can be put out in the world to earn the trust of the buyers.
Longer Sales Cycles
SaaS sales cycles are known to be longer than a typical sales cycle. This is because buyers never buy the product at once or even within a month. The more complex and pricey a SaaS product is, the longer you can expect its sales cycle to be.
SaaS products can take months to be sold because of various factors such as price as mentioned before along with the number of stakeholders who must approve the purchase. These longer SaaS sales cycles can be a challenge for the sales teams. It is an obstacle in them meeting their monthly or quarterly quotas and hard to even predict them.
A solution to this can be to benchmark your sales cycle until you get used to measuring your results. These results can be aligned with the general expectations of the sales team. Having more knowledge about your customers and the sales process can also help you meet your sales goals.
Alignment of Sales And Marketing
A fact that most sales professionals know but do not acknowledge is that marketing is just as important as sales. The cooperation between sales and marketing teams and their processes can help generate and qualify new leads and close many of these deals.
To be able to achieve this result, it is paramount that both teams have clear communication and share the goals and objectives they have set out with each other.
However, the problem here is that it is rare that there is clear communication and effective collaboration between the two departments. Marketing teams bring in leads that they deem suitable and salespeople hold a grudge against them for bringing in low0-quality opportunities.
To overcome this challenge it is necessary to bring the two teams together as early as possible and instill processes that can enable them to work together as one team rather than separate entities.
Buyers Have An Abundance of Options
There is an abundance of SaaS products available in the marketplace which makes it hard for salespeople to establish their presence with their own SaaS products. Every day new products are released in the market, which not only creates competition but also gives the customers way too many options to choose from.
The best way to deal with it is to think like a customer. Through this methodology, you can figure out how to stand out from the rest. Communicate the value proposition your product offers and how it can benefit the customers by addressing their pain points. Do not just list out the features of the SaaS product, instead take an approach where you focus on the benefits to make you stand out from the competition. Another way to overcome this challenge is to use the language and mode of communication that your lead prefers to better help them understand.
Make your marketing and sales distinct and different from others.
Loss of Leads Due to Poor Follow Up
For SaaS sales, the problem may not always lie in generating leads but following up on the leads. The longer sales cycles mean that even if your prospect shows interest in buying the product, wanting to know more, they will not make a purchase for a couple of months usually. Thus, here the SaaS sales representative will have to make sure that they effectively follow up with the prospects so that they can successfully convert them into a customer.
Ignoring leads and not doing your due diligence as a SaaS sales representative in following up with the lead will result in them losing interest and forgetting about your product and what you are offering. Nurturing the leads by keeping in regular contact with them, providing them the information they need, and pitching the product to them as the solution to their problems. All of these steps need to be taken to take them to the next step of the buyer journey.
Developing a systematic system of following up with the leads over time will help you be on top of your SaaS sales game, addressing the prospects’ concerns and moving them along the sales pipeline to the purchase decision.