The Essential Stages In The SaaS Sales Process
The SaaS Sales process varies from conventional sales since it does not sell standalone services or products. Instead, the team sells subscription access to businesses and customers. The selling involves a long-term process rather than selling upfront and making one-off transactions. Focussing on the stages of the SaaS Sales Process will help you to boost performance and win customer satisfaction.
You can break the complex sales process into six stages and focus on each to achieve more. All will require specific attention for a successful implementation.
1. Prospecting: Knowing Your Target Market And Audience
The first stage is called prospecting and involves identifying the target for selling. Prospecting will identify the target market and plan strategies with marketing materials to reach and inspire that section. This stage will use different channels, including social media, ads, and blogs, and get the desired exposure.
Since your target is the tech-savvy audience, you can ensure your presence on all the possible platforms to win their trust. You can consider inbound marketing to capture SaaS leads. Channels to include in your marketing approach are social media, a company or expert blog, Google Ads or Linkedin Ads, the company newsletter, or downloadable e-books and whitepapers.
Apart from all these, you can consider organizing or attending a trade conference or trade show to increase your visibility and show your expertise among your prospects. You can connect with your potential buyers and build trust through events. However, face-to-face contact is rare in the SaaS model since it focuses on a remote connection.
2. Qualifying Leads: Which Visitor Will Contribute To Sales?
You might have many visitors to your website or blog. But only a view might actually consider your services or products. In order to know which visitor will be more interested in your service, you may start qualifying your leads.
Qualifying leads is essential in the SaaS model since it decides which visitor will contribute to sales. You can hire experts to interpret the data of your visitors and score them based on their buying intention. The data will decide the likelihood of closing, and you will have a clear picture of which visitors are worth chasing.
Another way to qualify leads is to contact potential customers after they did a trial of your software. Even just talking to them will help you understand their buying intentions and further streamline your communication and key messages.
3. Showing Your Service Or Product By Trial Or Demo
Once you have an interesting lead, your next step will be to show your service or product as a solution for their needs or wants.
The steps in this stage will vary based on the type of products. You can use different skills to inspire potential buyers and influence their buying decisions. You can consider free trials for inexpensive services or run demos by Sales Reps for expensive or complex services.
In addition to a sales demo or free trials, you can plan for a more complex presentation, use a case study, or even go as far as offering a paid trial.
4. Addressing Concerns And Objections
After presenting your product or service, you can address the concerns of your prospects. You cannot win the trust of your target audience if you cannot answer their questions or address their concerns.
Perhaps your prospect finds your product too expensive. Or he might feel that your product lacks some essential features. Try to focus on the benefits and solutions your product or service may bring your prospect.
5. Closing The Deal
In this stage, your prospect will turn into a paying customer. This is the phase where you deliver your final proposal, make negotiations, and finalize the deal.
Many Sales Reps offer discounts to satisfy stubborn prospects. For example, when the price is the concern, your target might consider your competitor the moment you will hesitate to offer a discount.
But instead of offering discounts each month, you may consider providing free service for a certain period, or giving a discount when a customer chooses annual (pre)payment.
6. Nurturing The Customer
You can create a trustworthy environment and retain your customers to make more of your business. Since SaaS services usually lack face-to-face communications, it is essential to offer friendly but professional customer service to support your customers.
For example, you may consider providing training to new users to activate your product. Or develop more advanced products for the specific needs of clients. If you facilitate ways for customers to easily give feedback on your product or service, you have the input to create an even better solution.
- Ideally, you start the retaining process right at the beginning of the relationship. For example, you may start a subscription with a boarding campaign. Or include some best practices for your product in the first month. Consider newsletters, informational videos, and other activation campaigns.
- Measure your customers' satisfaction throughout the life cycle. To know if your customer is satisfied, you will need to engage with them. Suggest improvements so that the customer feels their input or feedback is important and thus create a more involved participant.
- Only approach your customer when it’s relevant. Make sure the moments of contact have added value for your customer. Also, when you give your customer a gift or discount they feel appreciated.
- Make sure the retention offer matches the usage of the service or product. For example, when you notice your customer is using your product less, you may consider downgrading the subscription. Try not to stick to the terms of the contract, but instead focus on retention. Your customer will appreciate the effort and flexibility.
- Approach customers before the end date of the subscription. Retention marketing starts well before the subscription ends. For example, tease your customer with new products or features, or offer a discount when he prolongs the subscription.
- Personalize your approach. Offers are most successful when they are tailored to the customer's needs. When you understand your customer, you know what he wants. And you can approach your customer with a personalized offer.
Wrapping It Up
The SaaS Sales Process involves several stages and works differently than traditional selling methods. Most things will depend on your business type and target market. The objective is to know your targets, present your products, address the concerns of potential buyers, and nurture your customer. Focus on all these stages since each will contribute to the result. Once you build trust, you can expect long-term relationships.
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