SaaS Sales II: The 6 Stages of SaaS Sales Process
The SaaS sales process is dynamic and varies from company to company. However, the general structure of SaaS sales remains the same with changes made to accommodate your goals. This blog is meant to educate you on teh basic structure and stages of a SaaS sales process that you may need to incorporate into your business model.
The SaaS Sales Process
Identify Your Customers
Identify the customer personas when doing research on your customers and potential clients to have a better understanding of their needs, experiences and pain points. You cannot move forward without building a basic understanding of who your customer is and what they need. Without identifying these factors and their relationship with your product, carrying out the SaaS sales strategy will not be successful.
The best way to go about customer identification is to create customer personas that match with your software and can be beneficial to them. By having a reference point, a salesperson can search for potential high quality leads and cater to the needs, wants and experiences of their customers.
Once you have identified your customers and their personas, the next step is to start prospecting. There are multiple ways to prospect from content marketing to cold email outreach. Sales prospecting is based on a set of strategies that allow salespeople to identify and collect social media profiles and email addresses along with in-person meetings and cold calling to organize potential prospects for your organization.
Using these methods to find and engage with people who might be interested in your product, which in this case is a software, can increase the chances of closing deals.
Build A Connection
Building a connection with your prospect through common interests or benefits can increase the chance of successfully closing the deal.
The sales process and techniques may vary from organization to organization but the main goal is to create a sense of connection between the organization and the prospect. As a salesperson you can choose to reach out to the customer through a cold call or through an outreach email and build their interest in the product and encourage them to visit your website or meet with you to further increase their understanding of the product. Timing is very important in this step because if a customer visits your website or sends you a reply, you should reply to them quickly. Statistics show that 35-50% of sales go to vendors that respond first.
Give your prospect an introduction to your brand to raise their interest and through CTAs give them something to do next. This can be anything from connecting with your sales team to reading more about your product.
Tip: Keep an eye on your sales team’s email response time to monitor and optimize it accordingly.
Introduce The Prospect To A Demo/Trial
As SaaS is a cloud product thus, the customers need assurance of how the product can integrate into their systems and what benefits it can provide them. The best way to address their questions and worries is to attempt to convince them to start a free trial. By having a demo trial of the product the prospect can be guided through the steps of the product usage and benefits. The product demonstration can be done via video, a guided tour or a personal guide by a sales representative.
Sometimes it may be better for an organization to promote a demo of the product rather than a free trial as it aligns more with the overall sales strategy.
Closing The Deal
This is the time when sales representatives are the most active during the SaaS sales process.
After the product trial and demo, the sales rep will reach out to the customer who has experienced the potential of the product and attempt to close the deal. A majority of sales reps choose email as their medium of communication with the customer for this form of outreach. You can make the job easier by providing incentives to the customers if they choose to purchase the product or sign up for the subscription.
Closing the deal requires the sales representatives to maintain a friendly, professional, and timely communication with the customer. A Salesforce report shows that 79% of customers prefer salespeople who act as advisors, guiding them through the processes and answering their questions along the way.
Upsell To The Customer
The SaaS sales process does not end when you close the deal. The real task is to ensure that active customers remain subscribed to the software and convince them to purchase additional products.
Research shows that it is much more cost effective to keep a customer than to find a new one. Active customers already have a sense of trust in your organization, retaining them through great performance and a high level of customer satisfaction should be your goal. With good prior experiences the customer is more inclined to try out new products or update to a plan with more features.
Customers remain loyal to an organization when they interact with friendly and helpful customer service reps. Which is why it is important to focus on your customer service and working in ways to improve their overall experience. Nurturing your customers by keeping in touch with them throughout a period of time can ensure that they are happy with the product.
It goes without saying that SaaS sales are more complicated than the regular inside sales but the process still shares familiarities. Just like standard inside sales, SaaS sales also requires you to know your audience, understand their needs and establish a rapport with the prospects to convince them to purchase the product to address their pain points.
To create a successful SaaS sales process you need to identify your goals, needs and what benefits your product provides. This information can play a great role in developing the ideal business model for the type of SaaS platform you are offering.