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Sales Saas: A Beginner’s Guide

The software as a service (SaaS) industry is growing at an unprecedented rate. In 2020, the global SaaS market was valued at $157 billion, and it is expected to reach $307 billion by 2026 1. 

With such a vast Sales Saas market, it’s no surprise that many businesses are looking to get into the SaaS game. However, selling SaaS products is not the same as selling traditional software. 

It requires a different approach and a different set of skills. In this article, we’ll take a look at what SaaS sales is, the differences between selling SaaS and other products, and the best techniques for mastering it.

What is SaaS Sales?

SaaS sales is the process of selling web-based software. With SaaS software, a service provider hosts the application at a data center, and customers access it via the Internet. 

This setup saves clients the cost of maintaining the hardware needed to run traditional software and gives providers a steady stream of subscription revenue. Anyone new to the SaaS sales rep role must learn how to pitch, demonstrate, and answer questions about highly technical products. 

You’ll also need to get used to a subscription-based business model that relies heavily on retaining customers and upselling existing accounts. And because most SaaS products are significant investments, you’ll have to adjust to a long sales cycle.

Differences Between Selling SaaS and Other Products

SaaS products and services tend to be expensive, in part because they’re usually engineered by an external company that also supports and maintains the system.

 This means that sales reps approach selling differently to imbue the entire sales cycle with added value. Consultative selling is a favored approach among salespeople in this space, and companies will invest more time and money into each qualified lead in order to allow their reps to add value at every step.

This often equates to more travel and face-to-face meetings than sales in other industries. While other products and services are often bought in bulk, this is not the case with SaaS. However, relationship management is still just as important – if not even more so – because SaaS contracts often need renewing at regular intervals. This could be every quarter, six months, or year, depending on the contract. So while it may feel like a one-off sale, in reality, the process is ongoing. 

For this reason, it’s critical that sales reps maintain their strong relationships with clients and don’t just disappear once they make a sale. This adds an element of account management to the role of a SaaS sales rep, meaning that salespeople in this industry must cultivate additional skills. 

Furthermore, due to the relatively high cost of SaaS products, there is typically a longer sales cycle with many more touchpoints from both sales and marketing than the average process. SaaS products also tend to be complex, so sales reps need a solid understanding of the specifications and tech behind the product they’re selling.

Techniques for Selling SaaS

Selling SaaS requires a different approach than selling other products. Here are some techniques that can help you master SaaS sales:

  1. Understand Your Customer: Before you start selling, you need to understand your customer. What are their pain points? What are their goals? What are their budgets? By understanding your customer, you can tailor your sales pitch to their specific needs.
  2. Focus on Value: SaaS products are expensive, so you need to focus on the value they provide. How will your product help your customer achieve their goals? How will it save them time and money? By focusing on value, you can justify the cost of your product.
  3. Build Relationships: SaaS sales is all about building relationships. You need to be there for your customer every step of the way, from the initial sale to the renewal. By building strong relationships, you can retain customers and upsell existing accounts.
  4. Be a Consultant: SaaS sales reps need to be consultants. They need to understand their customer’s business and provide solutions that meet their needs. By being a consultant, you can add value at every step of the sales cycle.
  5. Use Data: SaaS sales is data-driven. You need to use data to understand your customer’s behavior and preferences. By using data, you can tailor your sales pitch to their specific needs.

Conclusion

Selling SaaS products is not the same as selling traditional software. It requires a different approach and a different set of skills. By understanding your customer, focusing on value, building relationships, being a consultant, and using data, you can master SaaS sales and succeed in this rapidly growing industry.

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