From a sales perspective, selling SaaS products is completely different than selling other types of software. The SaaS model has evolved quite quickly in the last few years and it’s a trend that’s not likely to disappear, with a subscription format that provides business clients with specialised customer support and highly focused sales teams.
Small SaaS companies usually have trouble figuring out their business model in the beginning, and with that comes a series of common mistakes that need to be changed with strategy adjustment. In this article, we’ll discuss what makes SaaS sales different and give you a few tips about how to hire and design a sales strategy for your SaaS company.
It seems counterintuitive to think that SaaS sales can’t be handled by junior sales reps when usually a subscription has such a small price. However, in enterprise software, even though a monthly subscription might not be that costly, there are sometimes hundreds of people who will be using your service.
If you count the amount of seats that are going to be needed, sometimes that’s tens of thousands of pounds every month for each of your enterprise clients. This is an infinite commitment that requires senior sales reps and a longer sales cycle.
Other than that, the cost of your SaaS product will reflect differently in each company’s budget, which makes it essential for your sales reps to know the product well and be able to deflect objections using good argumentation tactics.
In SaaS sales, the total of your sales reps’ time will be spent looking out for new prospects. Rather than farming your current sales for some upselling, SaaS products imply constantly to be on the lookout for new clients.
With current clients, there’s not much a sales rep can do other than checking in every now and then. This constant hunting for sales requires a different skill set than what your average sales rep has. This reinforces the idea that you need senior sales reps for your SaaS company.
Taking into account the constant need to look out for new clients, there are a few consequences of that model. First of all, in the beginning sales are going to be expensive to get because of the commissions your company has to pay their sales team.
Then, another issue is that after the first year in business it gets harder and harder for your sales reps to commission, since the sales’ sources dry off quickly. This means that many companies will not pay their sales reps for anything other than getting new accounts.
There are a few things you can do against these issues. These tips come from large SaaS companies who have faced those challenges and came up with some ways to counter them.
Hire the ideal candidate
It might seem like a large expense to pay a senior sales rep a higher wage for selling a product that usually costs around 50 pound. However, unless you’re selling your product for companies which only require one seat each, you’re going to need someone who’s specialised in closing larger sales. Your best clients are multinational companies who pay for hundreds of accounts, so you need a sales rep who’s able to handle these sales swiftly.
Every business is different, so look out for your best hires when searching for candidates even if their wage seems more than you can pay. Experience pays off in this sector, and you’re going to need someone who’s able to manage complex accounts. Don’t assume that just because your product is easy to use that you can afford to hire junior sales reps to handle large accounts.
To hire the best person, get in touch with digital recruitment specialists who will be able to help you find the best candidates. Tech recruitment agencies know what it takes to sell your complex product, and they’ll find the perfect fit for this intricate job.
Build the right team for your sales type
The best SaaS companies usually have one or two sales reps getting leads and contacts to sell their products. This allows for your specialist sales rep to focus on closing large deals and managing their accounts.
The other team members can focus on preparing call lists, qualifying leads and doing demos. It’s essential to have a few team members performing these tasks. It allows your main sales rep to close the big deals that are going to ensure your monthly revenue.
Create great incentives
Since your sales reps are going to be on a constant hunt for new clients, it’s of the utmost importance that they remain motivated to keep doing so after the first year. It helps to have bonuses and sales incentives that will keep your employees happy. Growth equals success, so the main SaaS companies figure out ways to keep their sales reps engaged in their work with new incentives and sales targets that are feasible.
Comp plans need to compensate your employees after their sales sources become more scarce: so there should be some engagement from the higher ups to keep your employees satisfied and stop them from leaving your company for another challenge. Remember this is a fast moving industry, so your company needs to be able to have incentives in place for your sales reps or they’ll move on.
There is a lot of complexity involved in B2B SaaS sales. Your team needs to be focused on closing big deals with large clients, while paying attention to their current customers. Always give your hired sales reps comp plans and sales incentives for their good job.
Getting the right hires also helps – reach out for WunderTalent for SaaS recruitment. It’s better to get some help and hire the right fit for your company than just settling down with some salespeople who are not skilled enough to close the deals you need!