SaaS Software Sales Process Workflow
The Software as a Service (SaaS) industry is booming. According to a study published by BetterCloud, the SaaS industry generated $46 billion annually as of 2017. The popularity of internet-based software has led many companies to jump into the market, without realizing that the SaaS sales process is a different animal than many other sales processes. If you are thinking about diving in or have already taken the plunge and are struggling to be successful with your SaaS sales cycle, we are going to walk you through the basics and the best way to reach your sales goals.
What is SaaS Software Sales?
Software as a Service, is software that is internet-based – the tool is accessed, managed, and used online. SaaS customers include individuals and organizations of various sizes, but B2B SaaS sales processes focus on selling services to other companies.
SaaS software sales processes generally fall into one of three models:
- Self-service: This SaaS sales pipeline model allows customers to buy for themselves, relying on SaaS sales funnel stages like marketing and lead generation to sell services instead of sales representatives. It is a good SaaS sales methodology for products at a lower price point that are more user-friendly.
- Transactional: This software sales process model is better for products that cost a little more and are more customizable. The marketing team passes qualified leads to a small team of sales reps who focus on helping customers overcome their hesitation to buy and look for opportunities for upselling. The transactional model is the most popular sales process for SaaS software because it is relatively easy to set up and scale.
- Enterprise: SaaS software sales using this model tend to be for specialized, high-ticket software. It requires a team of sales professionals and a larger investment in infrastructure and longer SaaS sales cycle stages.
The model you choose will determine how many salespeople you hire and the level of customer interaction and support you will be able to provide.
How is SaaS Sales Process Workflow Different Than Traditional?
The sales process for software is often more complex than a physical product because software is intangible. Understanding software, technology, and jargon-filled SaaS sales meanings can be difficult for many companies. Sales professionals must be able to overcome these challenges and may need specific SaaS sales training. SaaS sales processes offer free trial periods, and the final sale sometimes requires complex integration with existing systems. These added elements expand the SaaS sales cycle length. The more expensive and customized a product is, the longer the average sales cycle for SaaS is.
SaaS Sales Pipeline Stages
There are some key SaaS sales process steps you should make sure to include in your strategy to ensure a good sales workflow.
Prospecting: This is where you identify your target audiences and analyze who they are and what they need.
Identify leads: Generate prospective customers through your lead sources – social media, content creation, website, webinars, events, and paid advertising.
Qualifying leads: Evaluate your leads to see if they are likely to purchase your product. Sales professionals often break them into categories – marketing qualified leads have interacted with your brand, product qualified leads have experienced the product, and sales qualified leads are ripe for purchase.
Presentation: This is where you present your product as the solution to the lead’s challenges through demos and free trials.
Addressing objections: Potential buyers often have a myriad of reasons they hesitate to buy. In this stage, you determine their barriers and work to overcome them.
Closing: This is where you finalize the contract and onboard your new customer.
Follow-up: Keep in touch with your customers to make sure they are happy, troubleshoot any problems they have, and look for opportunities to sell upgraded or additional products.
Then it’s all about lather, rinse, and repeat! Each step is critical, and an error in any one of them could result in a lost sale or your customer entering the dreaded sales churn. Because of this, as well as the complexity and length of the SaaS sales process cycle, it is a good idea to invest in a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) to track your interactions and metrics.
Despite its unique challenges, being successful at the SaaS sales process is fundamentally about building relationships, selling exceptional products, and providing excellent customer service – and optimizing your workflow to accomplish all of it. At Paradigm, workflow strategies are our sweet spot. We can partner with you to create sales workflow systems and processes that align with your strategic objectives and revenue goals. Contact our team of workflow strategy experts today.