This change has been fueled by technology: It’s now easier and cheaper than ever before to develop software, and with 3.5 billion people having access to the internet, the potential customer base for SaaS companies is vast. So it is very important to know the Sales strategy for SaaS product
While technological advances have spurred software development, it’s the subscription model favored by many SaaS businesses, which has transformed it into a thriving industry. SaaS companies typically charge a subscription for their product, which is delivered and stored in the cloud. The subscription business model means companies reach profitability over time and must continually provide value, otherwise their clients will become at risk of churning.
Clients often prefer being able to make smaller, monthly payments, while investors like businesses that generate predictable recurring revenue, which makes it easier to forecast and understand the business’ health.
And when it comes to business health, growth is critical to success. That’s why we’ve put together a roundup of strategies SaaS businesses can use to ramp up their lead generation efforts. Need inspiration for your own strategy? Check out the ideas below.
1. Keep your trials short:
A long trial might seem like a good way to hook your customer, but you’re really just hurting your startup. For 99% of startups, trials shouldn’t be any longer than 14 days.
Most people don’t use free trials for the full duration. Take a look at your data and you’ll see that the vast majority of your trial users duck out after about three days.
Users take a short trial more seriously. Your prospects will procrastinate, and when they procrastinate, they forget. With a shorter trial period, they’re more likely to try your product immediately.
Lower customer acquisition costs. When you shorten your trial, you also shorten your sales cycle. If you’re able to shorten your sales cycle from six weeks to three, you will significantly reduce your customer acquisition costs.
If you still have a low conversion rate after shortening your trial, try these three strategies to nurse lost trial leads into activation.
2. Optimize your email campaign:
Unless you have a killer email campaign, most of your prospects are going to forget you exist within hours of enrolling in your trial. Here are three strategies to get the most out of your drip email campaign.
Use “human” email addresses. Don’t ever send an email from a department. Instead of “Sales@YourBusiness.com”, use “YourName@YourBusiness.com”.
Send a lot of emails. Christoph Janz’s, one of the most successful SaaS investors of all time, advice to SaaS founders is, “If no one is calling your emails ‘spam’, maybe you’re not sending enough emails.”
Send activity-based emails. Your drip campaign should automatically email your leads for a number of “If no one is calling your emails ‘spam’, maybe you’re not sending enough emails” situations, including when they sign up if they visit the account or cancellation page, and if their trial is about to end.
3. Call your trial sign-ups immediately
Most fledgling SaaS businesses don’t call their trial users and those that do often wait until the last day. They don’t know how to sell SaaS. In the early stages of your startup, you should call every single trial user within five minutes of signup. If you do that, you’ll:
Drastically improve your reach rate. There’s a good chance the prospect is still on their computer with your product fresh on their mind. The longer you wait, the less likely your prospect is to answer.
Quickly qualify or disqualify prospects. You need to make sure that your solution is a good fit for your prospect’s needs before you offer to close the deal. If it isn’t, you can use the call to help them explore other options.
Handle objections effectively. A controlled phone call is the best environment to successfully manage objections. If they don’t have any, you can use this time to preemptively resolve common objections.
The business that understands the customer, owns the customer. Pick up the phone and get to know your trial users or they’ll never become your customers.
4. Give short, value-focused demos
The most common mistake I see startups make when giving demos is treating the demo like a training session. Your lead doesn’t need (or even want) to see every little thing that your product does. They want to know how it will help them be more successful. Here are three strategies to give product demos that sell.
Qualify first. Don’t use demos as a qualification tool. Always qualify your leads before you give them a demo.
Keep it short. 30–60 minutes is way too long. If you can’t explain how your product helps your prospect within 15 minutes, you don’t know your product or your prospect.
Focus on benefits, not features. Your prospects don’t care about every little button on your interface. Don’t tell them what your product does, tell them what it does for them.
A successful product demo is a demonstration of value, not a training seminar. Treat it that way and you’ll be much more effective.
5. Follow up relentlessly:
You will rarely close a deal on the first call. Startup sales success is dependent on your ability to follow up repeatedly. How often?
If your prospect has ever expressed interest in your product, follow-up forever. Don’t settle for silence or “maybe”; maybe kill your startup. Keep calling and emailing until you get a clear “yes” or “no”.
If the lead is completely cold, follow this 14-day plan:
Day 1: Initial contact.
Day 3: First follow-up. Reach out at a different time of day with a condensed version of your initial message.
Day 7: Second follow-up. Reach out at a different time of day and restate your call to action.
Day 14: Third follow-up. If you haven’t received any response from your lead, send the break-up email. This is where response rates skyrocket.
If you don’t receive a response to your breakup email, move on to more promising leads.
6. Sell prepaid annual plans:
Startups love SaaS products because of the reliable monthly revenue. While those plans may offer consistent revenue, it’s a slow trickle.
When growing your SaaS startup you need a waterfall of revenue, not a trickle. Consider offering your prospects discounted rates if they buy a prepaid annual plan.
Although this may bring down overall revenue in the moment, it gives you immediate access to substantial cash flow. You can use this influx of revenue to hire a sales team, expand into new markets, or improve your product. Here is the blog which will guide you through the important pricing tips for SaaS Product.
7. Content Marketing:
Businesses around the globe are leveraging content marketing to build their brand, attract visitors to their website and generate leads. A key advantage of content marketing is that it has a compounding return, meaning that just like a smart investment, it increases in value over time.
Importantly, content continues to drive leads, whereas other forms of marketing, like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, will only do so for as long as you continue spending. It’s, for this reason, we think of content as an asset that businesses own, whereas online advertising is rented. This distinction is important for SaaS marketers to consider. Always keep in mind that content is the king and it is the major factor in sales strategy for saas companies.
8. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):
SEO works for the hand in glove with content marketing by making your content discoverable on search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex, and Baidu. You should think of SEO in two separate, yet complementary categories: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-Page SEO: The good news about on-page SEO is that it’s entirely within your control. You need to create content that people want to read, link to, and share, but there are also other factors to consider. These include keyword strategy, internal linking, use of titles and descriptions, as well as page load time and UI. For a detailed look at what makes a well-optimised website, check out this on-page SEO guide.
Off-Page SEO: People frequently think off-page SEO refers solely to link building, but there’s more to it than that. While links are important, it’s the quality of those links that matter. High-quality links from trusted and authoritative sites trump quantity every time. Social media is also important, as shares and links from influential social accounts are another quality indicator.
The best way to gain links and shares is by creating a distribution strategy. HubSpot’s Global Head of SEO & Growth, Matthew Barby, recently gave a talk at SearchLeeds called ‘There’s more to life than “great content” which explores this in more detail.
9. Referral Marketing:
There’s a growing body of research that shows referrals are one of the most effective types of leads. Although referrals are typically low cost and close relatively quickly, there’s a referrals mismatch among sales and marketing, with 56% of sales reps calling referrals “very important’, yet only one-third of businesses having a program in place.
There’s a lot of debate on whether or not companies should incentivize referrals. One school of thought is that you won’t generate many referrals without an incentive, while the opposing view is that if you invest too heavily, you may get low-value quality referrals. The best advice is to test which works for your SaaS business and then optimize for that.
10. Google AdWords:
While inbound marketing can greatly reduce your AdWords spend, millions of people still click on search engine ads each day. If you don’t want to miss out on a portion of potential leads you should still continue to invest in PPC, especially with ads becoming more prominent in Google search results.
PPC remains popular for several reasons. It delivers targeted traffic to your website and is highly scalable, meaning you can increase or reduce spend based on the needs of the business on any given day. It also has a lot of inherent predictability — both in terms of cost and results — which appeals to CFOs or those that have traditionally controlled marketing budget.