Selling SaaS 101

Over the years, SaaS products have proven to be very popular (good news for those selling SaaS as they don’t have to struggle to find buyers if they have a great product). You can improve the “saleability” and value of your SaaS business or enterprise in the eyes of new potential buyers. Selling a SaaS product to an enterprise customer is arduous. This is why enterprise deals are normally big – not just based on how many users you sign up. The following as some of the issues to consider before you part with your SaaS product.

Selling SaaS 101

Customer-centric Selling

This technique is one of the most effective, not only in selling SaaS, but also in selling other products. Start by asking and encouraging potential clients to open up to you about their problems. This way, you may guide them down a path that is most favorable for you to provide the right solution. Ideally, customers and organizations work side-by-side to perform tasks that are mutually beneficial for all. Customers will gain by having their core business problems solved, and organizations generate revenue by solving such problems.

In this day and age of social media, where organizations and customers actively engage in an ongoing public forum or dialogue across social networking platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, websites and blogs, it has come to the attention of companies that customer-centric selling very important. Customers will always talk about you; including how satisfied or dissatisfied they are with your products and services. At this point, it is critical to build customer trust over time by working on leads that will even solve more complex problems. It also promotes loyalty, as you get more referrals and positive word-of-mouth that will translate into more revenue.

However, customer-centric selling is not something to achieve overnight.

Below are ways to help you attain your SaaS selling goals.

1.Establish Customer Trust

For a business to be successful, loyalty and trust must be one of the vital ingredients in the foundation of every business relationship. For a business, knowing customer core needs and pain points can enable you to become a trusted partner, not just another vendor or service provider. One common mistake that sellers make is rushing to sell without first understanding the needs of customers. You must first establish confidence and trust. Minor details such as a message on your homepage that tells customers that managing their financials should be rewarding can be a strong selling point for SaaS. The point is…before you go selling SaaS, you should first establish trust. Then you can have a simple call to action asking them to sign up for free trials.

2. Choosing your Payment Processor

This common issue can significantly affect value. A SaaS business has a majority of its revenue collected monthly, quarterly, or annually through billing recurring payment plans. Normally, the hundreds or even thousands of subscribers that pay through the year require these payments to be processed using one payment platform. A problem usually arises with monthly subscribers because they cannot be transferred to a new owner, yet majority of the business value lies here and are a key element of the entire sale.

For example, subscriptions in Paypal accounts are not transferable and this leaves only one option: the buyer takes over the seller’s account (complex, thus, used as a last resort). This would normally lead to very complicated transfer arrangements between buyers and sellers, especially for international business, and this deters investors from the very beginning. Ensure that you check with your merchant and sign up for a payment processor platform that is attractive to buyers as they have different policies.

3. Sell Solutions and Promises, not Just Products

When people come to your website or contact you, it is because they have a pressing issue that they want to be solved. However, in most cases, you don’t understand straightaway what they want. Therefore, it is your job as the expert to ask the right questions with the hope that you will be able to establish what their needs are and be able to solve them. Through asking the right questions alone you will also be able to determine how far along or at what point they are on the decision path to buying, enabling easy tracking of the whole process in a CRM. Before you embark on selling SaaS, you must keep track of everything to help in solving customers’ problems and provide value.

4. Managing Ongoing Relationships

Today’s customer is sophisticated and time-conscious. S/he expects you to move from point A to B right away, not thinking that there are several other processes in between. However, in reality, things are a bit different. It may take a whole month or even more to get your customer to buy. Therefore, employ best practices for going from selling SaaS to servicing your clients.

  • Properly introduce products and processes to new team members to make smooth transitions from your sales department to customer service
  • Identify the key contact for all client communications in charge of the relationship so that you can eliminate confusion and get ample time to manage staffing and services
  • Using CRM or any other effective project management tool, track ongoing communications in a single place
  • Check in periodically to see how things are going. Then, reintroduce sales and marketing teams into the conversation. It is also your job to create opportunities to cross- and up-sell. The first sale marks the onset of a critical journey you are taking with your customer.

Conclusion

Over the years, SaaS products have become very popular. Selling techniques such as customer-centric selling has been known to be one of the most effective, not only in selling SaaS, but also in selling other products and services. To sell SaaS, start by asking and encouraging potential clients to tell you about their various problems.

This way, you may guide them down a path that provides an opportunity for you to offer the right solution. For a business to be successful, loyalty and trust must be among the vital ingredients in the foundation of every business relationship. A SaaS business has a majority of its revenue collected monthly, quarterly, or annually through billing recurring payment plans. Using CRM or any other effective project management tool can help to track ongoing communications in a single place when selling SaaS.

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Omri Erel
Omri is the Head of Demand Generation, as well as the Lead Author & Editor of the SaaSAddict Blog. Omri established the SaaSAddict blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to SaaS and cloud migration.
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