Building a Strong SaaS Sales Team: The Key Components of a Winning Strategy
Having a great SaaS sales process is one of the most significant opportunities in a SaaS company. Selling software in B2B markets is tough and requires greatly skilled sales team members. A successful SaaS sales team brings in revenue and provides opportunities to influence other areas of the company, such as marketing and product development.
This article provides insights into the importance of recruiting the right kind of people so that you can use sales as a growth driver. A strong SaaS sales team can lead to success by increasing revenue, attracting new customers, and improving customer relationships.
Challenges To Face When Building a SaaS Sales Team In B2B
SaaS companies benefit from investing in building a strong SaaS sales team. Because one of the key values of having a strong sales force is that it increases the ability to obtain funding from investors. This ability to attract investors is especially valuable in SaaS start-ups and SaaS scale-up companies.
Creating a strong SaaS sales team is no picnic though. There are a number of challenges to consider when building a sales team.
1. Current Labor Market Tightness
This term refers to the shortage of young and skilled workers. B2B and Saas companies typically have a lower staff turnover rate than their consumer counterparts. But the SaaS sales ratio is much lower. This means that a limited number of sales roles are available for hire in the market. Many sales professionals work at a company for at least a year and are not immediately available.
Saas sales team candidates face a competitive hiring environment, with limited resources and a competitive salary. Saas sales teams provide competitive wages and incentives to attract sales candidates in the market. A solid track record of success is essential for future SaaS sales recruitment. This can increase revenue, customer growth, and employee retention.
Timing is everything and having an extended network of sales professionals helps one know who to contact at what time.
2. Challenges of Sales In The B2B Industry
Especially for SaaS companies active in the B2B industry (meaning selling to other companies instead of consumers), sales are more challenging. Sales to B2B companies usually mean having a longer sales cycle. Potential customers need more touch points when considering a purchase, especially when it is a high-ticket product or service. Sales cycles of 6 months or longer are no exception.
3. Challenges of Selling Saas Software
SaaS products and services are used in a wide range of industries. But the SaaS industry is highly competitive and there are many factors to consider when selling SaaS. Does the SaaS company provide a need-to-have service, or is it only nice-to-have? Does the solution require support by implementing the software, or is it a self-install service that only needs creating an account?
SaaS sales teams are essential when delivering helpful product information to potential customers. And because of the longer sales cycles in both SaaS and B2B, selling a SaaS product or service usually requires a broader understanding of what the customer needs.
Creating Specialized Sales Roles And Matching Personal Skills
Sales engineers are specially trained to introduce SaaS applications to a potential customer. This includes helping to set up the application, improving efficiency, and providing additional value. Sales engineers are also responsible for creating more productive workflows by liaising with other company departments and creating a more positive customer experience.
Within a SaaS sales team, you need to isolate the different areas of the business and align your team and their personal skills to focus on that processing element. The organizational structure for SaaS sales teams is flat and flexible, allowing for accessible communication. Effective communication is essential for a SaaS company's smooth running, particularly in sales.
Common SaaS Sales Roles
- Sales Development Representative or SDR (focus on outbound actions to create contact with potential customers and starting conversations)
- Market Development Representative (focus on follow-up of inbound leads)
- Account Executive (focus on meeting with potential customers)
- Customer Success Manager (focus on recurring use of the service or product by existing customers)
- Account Manager (focus on upsell opportunities at existing customers)
Also read SaaS Sales Jobs
Having these separate sales jobs and allowing team members to play their particular part in supporting potential customers during the extended sales cycle, helps create focus. Sales professionals won’t get distracted by trying to master all the elements of the entire sales process.
Creating Sales Teams In Various Compositions Based On Approach
Creating a SaaS sales team, it’s best to compose a team where every professional focus is represented. And also, where personal strengths and skills are best shown to their advantage. How does that work?
Standard Approach Of Building a Sales Team
The standard approach of building a sales team judges the performance of each individual. It sets goals and personal definitions of success. This allows team members to have more personalized growth and achieve personal results as well as professional results. Such an approach helps to drive a focused and consistent message to the various potential customers.
Focus On Inbound Approach When Building a Sales Team
When you want to focus on an inbound approach when building your team, you’ll need a team with sales and marketing professionals that focus on creating awareness for your product across all channels. From Google campaigns, to press releases, and Linkedin campaigns. You will attract targeted visitors and potential leads to your website or blog and your sales team will focus on converting those leads into new customers.
The benefit of this system is that customer acquisition costs are lower in a targeted demographic. This allows for faster market penetration and higher conversion rates for marketing campaigns. Saas sales teams require constant leads, which can be produced through a marketing team if needed.
Focus On Targeted Approach When Building a Sales Team
When you focus on a targeted approach, you need further alignment with your marketing professionals. The marketing team will be responsible for attracting potential customers by identifying the different types of customers who would be interested in your company's offering. Criteria can be company size, job title, country, industry et cetera.
By targeting potential customers and supplying them with essential messages, marketing will provide your sales team with Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs). Your sales team will then need to follow up and convert a MQL to a paying customer.
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