Selling a SaaS product can be a complex process, requiring a nuanced approach due to its dynamic nature. Just like any other B2B product, the main purpose of selling a SaaS is to resolve various pain points that customers face. However, unlike traditional sales, where the product is delivered to you immediately after purchase, B2B SaaS sales are a little bit more complicated.
The complexity of SaaS sales lies in the difficult process of delivering well-engineered and supported software, managing global sales tax compliance, and navigating revenue difficulties across subscriptions, payments, and invoicing. They are also more oriented toward fostering long-term customer retention than securing one-time transactions.
In the following chapters, we will explore some of the best growth strategies for early-stage SaaS companies based on our extensive experience working within the industry.
Strategy 1: Introduce Usage-Based Pricing
Implementing a usage-based pricing (UBP) strategy is a move that can significantly impact the sales and revenue trajectory of your SaaS company. The advantages of UBP go beyond just monetary gains and touch upon various aspects of customer engagement, satisfaction, and investor appeal.
Shorter Buying Cycles
One of the notable advantages of adopting a usage-based pricing model is the creation of shorter buying cycles. Customers are more likely to make a purchase when they understand that they will only be charged for the specific features or resources they use. Maintain transparency about the pricing structure during your sales process to avoid discouraging potential customers who may be uncertain about the cost implications.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
Usage-based pricing increases customer satisfaction through its flexible, conservation-friendly, and easily understandable nature. The model encourages conservation, making customers more conscious of their consumption, leading to potential long-term cost savings.
The transparency of usage-based pricing builds trust by ensuring that customers are always aware of their expenses without hidden fees or surcharges. This transparency, flexibility, and simplicity leads to higher customer satisfaction, ultimately resulting in lower increased sales.
Appealing to Investors
Another great thing about UBP is that it also enhances the appeal of a SaaS company to investors. Firstly, it has the potential to increase CLV as users who find value in a product and use it more frequently are likely to stay with the platform for an extended period, thereby boosting revenue over time.
Secondly, customer satisfaction and reduced churn rates associated with UBP contribute to a more stable customer base, which is an attractive prospect for investors.
Lastly, the affordability of usage-based pricing compared to other models can make a SaaS product more accessible to a broader audience, potentially leading to increased customer acquisition and, consequently, revenue growth. Investors are keen on models that not only drive immediate revenue but also position the company for sustainable, long-term success.
Strategy 2: Focus on ABM Campaigns
ABM isn't just some platform like 6sense or Demandbase. It's a comprehensive strategy used by both sales and marketing teams that can increase your SaaS sales successfully. Its approach revolves around identifying and engaging specifically high-value accounts that perfectly align with your ICP.
Unlike the generic one-size-fits-all tactics, ABM empowers you to craft your marketing messages and content according to the unique needs and challenges of your key accounts.
ABM will also make your company stand out from the crowd, delivering a more personalized and compelling experience to your most valuable prospects. This focused strategy enhances the likelihood of conversion and customer loyalty, driving your revenue growth and ensuring long-term success.
There are three ways in which ABM increases your SaaS sales:
1. ABM Shorten Your Sales Cycle
By leveraging ABM to identify the high-intent accounts and focusing all of your sales efforts on them, you shorten the sales cycle and end up earning more MQA to SQA conversions. This helps you eliminate the time wasted on prospecting unfit accounts and significantly reduces the time it takes for the sales team to close deals.
2. ABM Prioritizes Quality Over Quantity
ABM focuses on quality leads rather than quantity, which helps in identifying the most promising accounts for sales outreach. By using first and third-party intent data, ABM identifies accounts that are showing interest in the product and reaches out to them at the right time. This addresses the pain points of your prospects throughout their purchase journey and creates a better customer experience.
3. ABM Aligns Your Marketing and Sales Teams
The great thing about ABM is its ability to align sales and marketing teams seamlessly. Through collaboration, both teams can identify and prioritize target accounts, ensuring an increase in sales outreach. This targeted strategy enables SaaS companies to deliver highly relevant content, address specific pain points, and showcase how their solution directly addresses the unique challenges of the target accounts.
By providing a more personalized experience to the prospects, ABM can increase the chances of closing deals and ultimately increase SaaS sales.
Strategy 3: Implement Learning Management Systems (LMS)
When someone mentions the implementation of learning management systems in SaaS companies, the first thing that pops up in most people's heads is improving customer productivity and satisfaction. And while this still remains true, not many can see the potential LMS has as a tool for increasing SaaS sales.
LMS improves sales processes in numerous ways. Here are a few examples:
Provide Your Sales Team With Better Product Knowledge Through a Product Training
By providing better product knowledge to your sales team through product training, you not only make them more confident in answering customer queries but also empower them to guide clients toward well-informed decisions. Sales reps equipped with in-depth product knowledge can communicate more effectively, building trust and credibility with potential clients and closing deals more efficiently.
Train Your Sales Team on Pre-sales Activities
Use your LMS to train sales teams on pre-sales activities. This includes strategies for lead generation, prospecting, and qualifying leads. By learning these skills, sales reps can identify potential customers more effectively and tailor their sales pitch accordingly.
Train Your Sales Team for Post-Sales Follow-Up
LMS can also train sales reps on post-sales follow-up, which is an essential aspect of the sales process that often gets overlooked. By training sales reps to follow up with customers after a sale, you show your customers that you care and you want a long-term relationship with them.
Provide Quality Training To Potential Users
Offer online courses, certifications, and training programs through LMS to demonstrate the value of SaaS products to potential users. This draws more users to your platform, increasing your customer base.
Improving Customer Satisfaction
LMS helps users gain expertise in the SaaS company's products, leading to better adoption and usage of them. This not only results in increased customer satisfaction but also leads to positive word-of-mouth referrals, further increasing the customer base.
Some of the most famous SaaS companies that have successfully implemented LMS in their business are:
HubSpot Academy: HubSpot is a leading CRM and marketing automation platform that provides a free online learning platform, HubSpot Academy. The academy provides various courses, certifications, and training programs to help users gain expertise in HubSpot's products. This helps HubSpot increase its customer base by providing quality training to potential users.
Salesforce Trailhead: Salesforce is another CRM platform that offers an online learning platform, Trailhead. Trailhead provides various courses and certifications to help users gain expertise in Salesforce products. By providing quality training to potential users, Salesforce can increase its customer base and improve customer satisfaction.
LinkedIn Learning: LinkedIn is a popular professional networking platform that offers a learning platform, LinkedIn Learning. LinkedIn Learning provides various courses and certifications to help users gain expertise in various topics, including business, technology, and creative skills. By providing quality training to potential users, LinkedIn can attract more users to its platform.
By integrating proper sales training with LMS, sales reps gain expertise in products and techniques for increasing sales. The LMS can be combined with assessments to ensure that sales reps have a solid understanding of the product and can communicate its value effectively. Overall, LMS can be a useful tool to improve sales and increase revenue for SaaS companies
Strategy 4: Create Conversion-Driven Case Studies
Trying to get that first initial contact with your customers is like trying to get the first interview for your dream job. Just like when HR compares the CVs of different candidates, prospects compare the different companies; in other words, they're the ones interviewing you—and they're skeptical. This is why showcasing comprehensive case studies goes without saying.
Your case studies are the social proof that gives prospects the push to make the first initial contact with you. Case studies prove that what you do for others will work for them, too. A good case study shows what you have done for your customers so far; a great case study moves your prospects through the different phases of the sales funnel and converts them into customers.
How Do You Create Case Studies That Convert?
Crafting case studies that grab your audience's attention and drive conversions includes three simple but important things:
Put Your Client in the Spotlight
When creating your case studies, shift the focus from your brand to the real hero—your client. Show other potential clients the success stories of businesses in situations similar to theirs that achieved amazing results with your partnership. By showcasing your clients' successes, you're fostering trust and credibility among your target audience. This approach ensures that your prospects not only see your offerings but envision how these offerings are the ones they need for their own success.
Get Real About Challenges of Your Clients and the Reasons for the Collaboration
Your case studies should give your readers a clear sense of the challenges your clients faced and the reasons why they chose to work with you. Be honest and clear to help your prospects see the value in what you offer. This is how you build that genuine connection with your clients.
Show off Your Achievements
To really make your case studies stand out, don't hold back. Show off your best work in case studies - highlight all the wins, like increased revenue, better conversion rates, improved customer satisfaction, and more.
Strategy 5: Increase Conversions With AMP Emails
While there are so many methods SaaS businesses can use to communicate with clients and prospects, such as social media, text messaging, and video ads, emails are still the dominant ones. The introduction of AMP emails in March 2019 has only strengthened their position, providing new opportunities for marketers to experiment with.
This technology provides a webpage-like feel in an email message and lets you do various things inside an email, such as enabling users to fill and submit a form in an email, respond to an event's invitation and RSVP, and participate in online surveys within an email.
How do AMP Emails Increase SaaS Sales?
The primary goal of any email marketing campaign is to nurture leads and increase sales. Email marketing maintains relationships with old customers while attracting new ones at the same time. Transforming your emails to AMP emails enhances this process significantly, particularly for SaaS companies.
AMP emails can improve your sales processes by providing:
Faster and Easier Onboarding
With AMP for email, you provide a quick and free onboarding process for new users through your emails, with no need for a call or meeting. By embedding forms and surveys in the emails, you get all the necessary information from the users that you need, so you reduce the onboarding time and increase the chances of user retention.
Personalized and Interactive Content
AMP for email enables you to create personalized and interactive content that can engage the users and increase their interest in your product. You can use features like image carousels, product catalogs, and call-to-action buttons to create a visually appealing email that leads the user to your product landing page.
With AMP for email, you provide a quick and seamless transactional process that can help in converting leads into customers. By embedding a checkout option in the email, the user can easily complete the purchases without having to navigate through different pages, resulting in a faster conversion process.
The success of a sales strategy depends on how quickly one can convert a lead. The longer a potential customer contemplates, the lower the chances of conversion. AMP for email reduces this time by making the whole transactional process a lot easier.
As we step into 2024, we need to finally understand that the key to successful SaaS sales lies in embracing innovation, fostering customer-centric approaches, and continually refining strategies to stay ahead.
To remain profitable in the SaaS industry, prioritize the implementation of the latest technologies and solutions to meet the always-evolving needs of your customers. The SaaS sales journey may be complex, but with the right strategies in place, you will not only navigate the complexities but also thrive in the world of SaaS sales.