Less than 5 years ago, the only way to purchase software was to download the software that you wanted/needed onto your computer or onto your company’s server. If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember the days of going into Curry’s or PC World and purchasing the latest version of Microsoft Office or going into HMV and buying a CD.
Now that CDs are a thing of the past, like VHS, we have moved to Cloud-based models and greater software, and that means our sales strategies must move towards these new models. We’ve highlighted some of the key areas to review in your sales strategy to help with this.
How Software as a Service (SaaS) works
In case you’re new to Software as a Service, the first thing you’re going to need is that, most of the time, it’s referred to as SaaS. Unlike the old model of the CD, SaaS solutions live on servers owned and maintained, usually by the developer. This makes it much easier for the customers to access and use.
Traditionally in the SaaS model, customers pay for a right to access the software but generally don’t purchase a version of the software. Though the transition from the old CD model to the Cloud hasn’t been easy, it’s been profitable. A great example from Adobe is the transition of the Creative Suite from licensed software to Cloud-based subscriptions, Adobe’s revenue has increased by 44% and is still climbing.
8 tips for planning a SaaS sales strategy
All sales strategies require understanding the customer’s needs and educating them on how your services can meet those demands. Planning a SaaS sales strategy isn’t all that different from any other product or service. But, the main difference is that SaaS sales are it also requires a strong emphasis on the infrastructure from which the software will be hosted, focusing on performance, reliability, security and being in line with the various rules and regulations.
Here are our 8 tips on where to start when planning a SaaS Sales Strategy.
1. Strong value proposition
Sales 101: Why should a customer be interested in your product in the first place?
With software sales, you can get carried away with functionality, which is obviously key. However, the reason the customer may be looking into your solutions is their reliability. So, ensure to focus on elements like availability, performance, redundancy and security.
2. Create a sense of urgency
If strong value proposition is sales 101, this is sales 102, surely?
Purchasing new software is not a decision to be taken lightly, especially if the price tag is high. With the new SaaS model, buyers agree to make a commitment to work with your business for a period of time. Don’t let buyers get overwhelmed by too many options; the buyer doesn’t have time to sort through all the information. As a seller, the buying process prevents the buyer from cold feet or making no decision at all.
3. Story Time
Everyone loves a story at some point in the sales strategy that you’ll be pitching. Ensure that, at this point, you include experiences with other customers and relatable anecdotes that’ll help you connect with the buyer and feel more human.
4. Focus on the customers
Each company have their own processes; that’s how we get things done correctly. But there must be a percentage of flexibility in these processes. Even though that may work for you and your business, it may not work for your customers. Don’t just assume what’s best for you is best for your customers.
5. Know your Target Market
Each customer is unique and a one-size-fits-all approach to a sales strategy is rarely effective in the B2B context. This means you should make time to get to know each customer and their unique position before making your proposition.
6. Value Adds; It does what it says on the tin
Selling value adds, adds value to your business and theirs… simple. Every SaaS salesperson will try to make a pitch for how their solution checks all the boxes for their customers; you can demonstrate value by selling value-add offerings which will help you establish your knowledge of the customer’s industry and that you genuinely understand their needs.
7. Align sales and marketing
At all the best SaaS businesses, sales and marketing work hand in hand. Focus on building a relationship between these two teams. Marketing can learn a lot from the sales team, and the marketing team can help the sales team by pushing leads down the funnel.
8. Remember, repeat business is your friend
Rightly so, most salespeople celebrate landing a big customer, but that shouldn’t be the end of your efforts. Continue working on the relationship by helping the customer address their needs beyond the initial sale.
Candio is a purpose-built organisation to help Telecoms, IT and Utility companies increase their recurring revenue. By leveraging your customers, Candio partners, on average, have been able to increase revenue by £10.00 per customer.
We have a pre-built and successful sales strategy that will give you access to a range of self-service products designed to help small to medium businesses increase their online visibility while increasing your monthly recurring revenue.