3 Effective Sales Strategies Every SaaS Needs To Know
Acquire more customers and grow revenue with these sales strategies for software businesses
Almost every user or business uses some form of SaaS product today, and the range of options is expanding and advancing. Meaning your software is probably not the only choice available, and it is competing against many others.
92% of estimated SaaS startups fail within three years, and one of the primary reasons behind failure is simply not getting the sales companies to push forward and grow.
Building effective sales strategies is critical to attracting the right customers and ensuring they choose your solution. Below are three proven SaaS sales approaches to help you prevail in the 8% of SaaS startups that continue and thrive year after year.
1. Turn more free trials into paid customers
The majority of SaaS businesses offer some free trial to showcase the solution and generate leads. However, it would help if you found the right formula to maximize the number of free trials turned into paid customers.
Decide on the suitable free trial duration
How long should your trial be? This highly depends on the complexity of your software. It should be long enough that users can reach the “Aha! Moment”, when they realize the value of your product. But a shorter trial period will create a sense of urgency to test out your solution and make the final purchase decision.
Some of the typical free trial periods — and best options — include:
7-Day Free Trial — If your SaaS product is quick and straightforward and doesn’t require a lengthy learning curve, then a 7-Day free trial is long enough for a user to decide whether they’re going to buy.
14-Day Free Trial — If your SaaS product has many features that need to be explored and tested, 14 days is still short but gives a little more time to trial a product out. Also, remember that most business customers will only be trialed for ten days.
30-Day Free Trial — For complex SaaS products, a 30-day free trial may be required, especially if you’re targeting enterprise customers that will need to perform multiple showcases to stakeholders and test integrations with other products.
Offer the right assistance
In most cases, the free trial period is the first experience customers will have with your product and company. It is critical to the success of the remaining of your sales process. How you care about free trial users lays the foundation for the upcoming business relationship.
While it’s ok to leave customers to test the product themselves, you should remain available and provide users with the proper guidance. This is also a great way to start the sales conversation.
Make sure you plan specific assistance for larger clients you don’t want to miss out on. You can proactively offer 1-to-1 support or service to integrate your solution with their system and perform a “Proof of Concept” where they test your software in real-life conditions.
2. Stay connected with prospects
Just because you haven’t closed a sale on the first attempt doesn’t mean this prospect will never purchase from you. Only a tiny percentage of leads are ready to make an immediate purchase.
Nurture dormant and dropped off leads
There can be many reasons why a customer has not purchased from you after a trial period or a demo. The price might be too high for them, they did not get the value of your solution or simply got distracted. More often than not, trial users are just curious about a future need but acquiring a solution is not an immediate priority.
No matter the reason, it’s essential to maintain contact with these leads and build trust and brand awareness. Lead nurturing consists of continuously engaging your targets with relevant content. This way, you ensure to stay on top of their mind when they are ready to make a purchase decision.
Obtain feedback on why they did not purchase
It is crucial to include a feedback process in your sales methodology. Discussing why a prospect did not purchase can provide many insights regarding your existing sales and product strategy.
Are your targeting the right customer profiles? Are you prioritizing product developments? Is your product missing a critical feature that competitors have? Obtaining input from dropped-off leads can help answer all these questions.
3. Partner with the right people
Most SaaS businesses solely rely on direct sales to acquire customers. However, many successful software companies have realized that involving another party in the sales process can help grow their client base.
Leverage channel sales
Channel sales come in different shapes and forms (resellers, distributors, affiliate partners), but essentially it consists in selling your solution through other partner businesses. Think about channel partners as a retail store for your answer: customers purchase from the partner instead of buying directly from you. Most partners will handle lead generation and marketing activities on your behalf in exchange for a cut of the sales or a commission.
Selling through third-party partners is a game-changer for SaaS companies. However, it's critical to find a partner you trust and with whom you can build a long-term business relationship. Please read our complete article about channel sales to learn more.
Consider sales outsourcing
Sales outsourcing is an efficient way to boost your internal sales team's productivity (and revenue). It can help your salespeople focus on activities with a higher value and build relationships with key clients. Consider hiring an external sales team to handle the lead generation, qualification, or customer success tasks. An outsourced sales team is an excellent addition to your existing sales reps.
Using sales outsourcing to handle some parts of a sales process is quite common. But keep in mind you can also leverage these services to bring your solution to new markets, lead market research or handle renewals and upsells of existing customers. Possibilities are endless.
Grow your SaaS sales
Looking for more ways to grow your software business? We're the #1 sales outsourcing partner specializing in SaaS sales. Reach out to our team and see how we can help you build sustainable revenue.