SaaS stands for Software as a Service. From English, software as a service. Therefore, for companies that sell services, structuring the commercial process and scaling sales is always a great challenge. Therefore, techniques, strategies and tools are needed at this time.
The adoption of technology in various sectors, segments and markets has made SaaS companies grow a lot.
The digital transformation, becoming a necessity for any business that wants to remain competitive first, is something increasingly present and constant.
At the same time that opportunities appeared for those who sell software as a service, competition grew.
And this brought a new scenario: the bargaining power, which used to be with service providers, passed to the customer.
What does that mean? That, in order to scale your SaaS sales, you need to have extremely well-structured processes.
It is the only way to attract, impact, delight, relate, sell, retain and retain customers.
About structuring the SaaS sales process, techniques, strategies, tips and tools is what this post is about, from now on.
The SaaS Sales Market
If you’re starting to structure your SaaS sales process, here’s some good news.
A study published by Market Research Future pointed out that the trend, until 2022, for the SaaS sales market, is for growth. The projected peak, by the way, is 21% for the sector.
No wonder more and more companies (especially B2B ) are investing in technologies and improving their processes.
So, to be able to identify good opportunities, you need to segment the market. Understand:
- the size of the market;
- priority regions;
- list competitors and their locations;
- do a SWOT analysis and understand your competitors’ positioning and differentials;
- see the price your competitors charge.
From there, it’s time to look internally. Start projecting your average sales ticket and also how much you will likely have to spend to acquire customers.
This is the CAC. In the beginning, of course, everything is estimated. But if you already have data from the previous year and are doing a new sales plan , this task is easier.
That said, do:
- define what is the average ticket of your sales in 120 days;
- what is the average ticket and price you want to sell;
- how many months will your company have to invest (cash flow)?
- how long will prospecting possibly take to get results?
Who is your ideal customer?
Before you start prospecting and selling, you need to be clear about your business’s ideal customer profile (ICP) .
Which companies does it make sense to sell to? Do they really have the ability to continually consume your service?
In this task, focus on:
- make a segmentation by CNAE ;
- segment by region;
- separate companies by their number of employees, billing and branches;
- if you are a company active in SINTEGRA ;
- assess your financial score.
It helps, in your marketing strategies, to draw the persona you will approach. Thus, you will know where the person (the manager, the CEO) is, what their habits, language….
All of this will help you better understand how to approach a customer for the first time – and generate value for them!
How to Create a SaaS Sales Team
Escalating SaaS sales is only possible when you have a really good, trained and customer-focused sales team.
But, for this, it is necessary to be clear that you will need much more than sellers (so-called “closers”).
A complete team, which is efficient and effective on a daily basis, is composed of:
- BDR: Business Development Representative;
- SDR: Sales Development Representative;
- LDR: Lead Development Representative.
Each of them has a different function.
This professional is, in general, responsible for prospecting outbound customers for your company.
Its functions are:
- responsible for in-person networking at events, fairs, lectures, etc;
- puts outbound marketing actions into practice and initiates the relationship with potential customers;
- makes prospecting active customers by phone and WhatsApp;
- send cold mail and cold call 2.0 ;
- employs social selling strategies to relate to social networks (LinkedIn).
It is the professional, in general, responsible for organizing the lists of leads to start capturing customers.
Its functions are:
- list generation with Big Data providers;
- list generation in your CRM base ;
- LinkedIn list generation;
- list generation with cold mail tools;
- consolidation of lists.
This professional is, in general, responsible for qualifying leads from marketing strategies.
However, you can also participate by prospecting customers. Its functions are:
- contact the leads generated by the company’s inbound marketing actions ;
- links to find out the degree/level of interest in the service sold;
- customer service through online chats and messenger;
- relationship through WhatsApp;
- sending email to connect with prospects ;
- schedule appointments for sellers to make the sales demonstration.
Better understand the difference between pre-seller and seller:
CRMPipeRun · Difference between Pre – Sales and Sales
Salaries, commissions and awards: make everything clear and correct
Of course, it doesn’t generate frustration. And a frustrated and unmotivated sales team is all you don’t need, do you agree?
Salaries, target awards and sales commission need to be clear to everyone and, more than that, recorded.
Both in contract, work portfolio and also in your company’s sales playbook. For those who are still creating the entire sales structure, define:
- the prospecting team with a fixed salary close to that of the sellers;
- benefits such as VT, VR, medical and dental insurance, among others;
- job and salary matrix (career plan);
- do a salary survey to make a fair remuneration ( Glassdoor, Unions, etc).
Then set the goal and commission rewards. You can make this very clear in your company’s sales playbook.
Everyone’s salary, of course, does not need to be exposed to everyone. Then define:
- prospecting team = award for goals (accomplished SQL);
- prospecting team = commission on each sale made (not for a closed schedule!);
- prizes in travel, participation in fairs, events, courses, lectures
Pay attention to: CAC/cash flow, as there are percentages to be considered for charges on salaries. And also with the variable from 25% to 75% of the total monthly remuneration.
In other words, schedule yourself. Plan yourself. Make an adequate, healthy financial management focused on honoring the commitments made.
How to take SaaS sales training
To be able to have a successful team and to scale your SaaS sales you need training… Lots of sales training!
But, how to assemble and fit it into the sales routine? After all, the idea is not to train them once and put them up for sale immediately.
The wheel can’t stop turning, right? At the same time, you always need to reap fresh insights with current data.
Therefore, structure it as follows:
- leave 4 days for sales and 1 exclusive for training (the latter when you are building a new team);
- once structured, set aside 1 hour a day for training, reviewing the previous day’s numbers, sharing practices, etc;
- create and share sales scripts, persuasive words, writing and storytelling techniques ;
- define how approaches 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be (telephone, email, WhatsApp…);
- define the qualification approach (roadmap to identify fit and ready-to-buy customers);
- define the disruptive approach (sending email and a contact in case the customer changes his mind);
- define the approach to work around objections and deal with resistance;
- define the follow up approach in the different steps of the funnel.
Sales team ramping
But to really make a difference to the potential customer who is in contact with you, to differentiate yourself from the competition, you need to do more.
Sales training improves and leaves your process always in tune with the customer’s pain. Excellent.
But within the time set aside for this, it is necessary to be aware of competitors. And here it is up to the sales manager to have a more active mission.
The ramp up of the commercial team may occur through:
- market training;
- discussion of the most latent pains and needs of clients;
- non-sales speech;
- debate on more effective sales methodologies;
- demand for content for marketing to help attract and persuade customers.
Theory is important, but practice is even more important. That cliché already said: “light is born from the discussion”.
Therefore, run weekly campaigns of proposed improvement actions and assess their impact at the end of the period.
- what should have been done and wasn’t?
- what was done well and should be kept?
- what was done wrong and should be corrected?
Bonus: don’t forget the cases!
Cases are excellent ways to get around objections. Put them there in your playbook, ok? If you don’t have any ready-made, either in video or in text, better start producing them.
When a customer sees, in practice, materialized the improvement that you are saying exists, you increase your power of persuasion over them.
So, let’s get to work:
- which clients do you write cases for?
- what logos can you use in event presentations and sales demonstrations?
- what earnings and what ROI have your customers achieved with your software?
Activate your customer success area that is constantly in contact with your customers to find out which of them have the potential to become a case.
It’s a mission for success and marketing to accomplish together.
How to set SaaS sales goals and objectives through 5 pillars
How bold can you be in setting sales goals and objectives ? It’s a complex question, obviously, to be answered.
But only you can do it yourself based on your company’s history (if any) and the historical rate of the market and competitors (if it is possible to obtain).
But basically 5 pillars will help you define these numbers to be fetched.
- Sales SLA.
1 – History
- What sales history does the company have?
- How many schedules do your salespeople work on each week?
- How many schedules does your marketing team get (MQL)?
- How many MQL are transformed into SQL (sales schedules)?
- How many SQL schedules are missing monthly for your sales team?
2 – Product
- What is the adherence of your product to the market?
- What features, modules, attributes add sales?
- What is the product roadmap for 6 to 12 months?
3 – Market
- How is the market (recessive or buyer)?
- What questions/information are important?
- What external (macro and micro) factors can influence (up or down) your sales?
- What is the projection for the economy of the country and the sector in which you operate?
4 – Team
- How many salespeople ( inside sales and field sales ) are available?
- What is the ramp-up time/phase of sellers?
- Which sellers (closers) can actually be considered ready and mature?
- What are the calendar windows/schedules available for each seller on a daily basis?
5 – Sales SLA
- What items do we have to provision to build an SLA ?
- Have you been able to focus on the decision maker, influencer or c-level (CEO, CIO, CFO…) to close the sale?
- What is your company’s average sales close time?
Sales and Prospecting Metrics Important for SaaS Enterprises
How do you know if your sales management is correct? Is your company moving towards achieving the proposed objectives?
There is no secret or mystery at this time. You need to be aware of the sales metrics that truly matter to your business.
Calls are crucial both in the sales itself and in the prospecting phase. And there are basically 3 levels to be analyzed:
- Basic (Quantitative);
- Intermediate (Qualitative);
- Advanced ( PDCA ).
Let’s go to them:
1 – Basic Level (Quantitative)
Pay attention to the cadence of funnels and automations within the prospecting funnel and also pre-sales. Set up one qualification form per step.
Thus, it will be possible to measure:
- how many companies entered;
- how many companies have we lost;
- how many calls were made;
- how many messages were sent
- how many schedules (SQL) were marked.
2 – Intermediate Level (Qualitative)
Perform A/B testing of approaches and scripts. The mission, obviously, is to see which one brought better results. So answer:
- What rates do companies respond to your emails and your phone calls?
- What conversion rates by funnel stage and by campaigns?
- What are the loss rates and reasons by phase and by campaigns?
- What are the no-show rates (unrealized SQL) for reasons?
- How many SQL schedules x campaign x seller?
3 – Advanced Level (PDCA)
Take advantage that your sales system has integration with webphones, make a sales coaching with your team listening to recorded calls with potential customers.
And then answer:
- What rate of effective calls vs. attempts per campaign?
- What rate of list companies x SQL calendars per campaign?
- What influencer rate hit x SQL schedules per campaign?
- What decision-maker rate reached x SQL schedules per campaign?
- What purchase intent fee (45 day period) x SQL schedules?
- What purchase intent fee (90 day period) vs. SQL schedules?
- What rate of business proposals vs. SQL schedules per campaign?
- What sales rate vs. SQL schedules per campaign?
By doing this, you structure your SaaS sales process, rely on trained professionals who are increasingly focused on your customer’s success.
This is how you will grow your sales and stand out from the competition: with processes and intelligence.
So, how can we help you?
Take the opportunity and read two articles that will help you to have even better processes in your company.
The first talks about the importance of process automation in sales and how to do it.
The second deals with sales intelligence and how it impacts your business.