14 Feb 2019
5 Ways to Optimize Your SaaS Sales Process
Harish Thyagarajan
#SaaS | 9 min read
5 Ways to Optimize Your SaaS Sales Process
Harish Thyagarajan

When it comes to the SaaS landscape, there’s no shortage of competition.


But, in order to beat the competition, you don’t necessarily need to be the most well-known or long-established SaaS company around.


You just need to know how to optimize your SaaS sales process to work for you.


That said, companies looking for SaaS solutions don’t usually sign up for the first solution they come across.


This makes your job of generating leads and closing sales challenging, no matter how successful you currently are.


With the right strategies in hand, however, you can speed up the SaaS sales process and grow your business, and have plenty of satisfied clients taking advantage of your solution.

What is SaaS?

SaaS stands for software as a service. It’s software that’s hosted, secured, and managed by a single external provider.


Customers access the software you provide online, customize it to their liking, and receive support from your customer service team.


When it comes to selling your SaaS solution to clients, whether they’re new to your service or customers looking to upgrade, you’ll likely face a longer sales cycle.


This is because SaaS solutions are expensive since your company is responsible for engineering, maintaining, and supporting the software you provide clients.


In fact, if you’re serious about your SaaS solution, you’ll take care to put the proper security measures in place to make sure your software, and the customers that use it, are protected from malicious activity.


You might even invest in SIEM security so that your software is protected in the following ways:


  • 24/7 managed security monitoring
  • Intrusion detection and prevention
  • Data loss prevention and file integrity monitoring


Ensuring your clients that their business is safe while using your SaaS solution is crucial to your reputation and growth as a business.


But that means investing in more costly protection of your software’s networks, infrastructure, systems, and applications.


Although you can’t get around the fact that your SaaS solution is pricey and that people aren’t usually ready to invest in expensive software right away, there are ways to shorten the SaaS sales process and boost conversion rates.


So, let’s take a look.

How to Optimize the SaaS Sales Process?


1. Create a Sales Funnel


Guiding prospective customers through your sales funnel is the way to secure more sales.


In fact, the path you set up for people to follow when they’re interested in what you have to offer is the only way to get paying customers.


The problem is, most SaaS companies fail to optimize their sales funnel.


Here are some ways to make sure your SaaS sales funnel is set up for success:


  • Identify your target audience, so that you’re focusing only on those that will benefit from the solution you offer
  • Find out how to interact with and engage your target audience so you can pique their interest
  • Discover ways to identify whether your leads are highly qualified and actually interested in buying from you, or are just window shopping
  • Learn the best ways to convert your leads into paying customers


Of course, this process is going to take a lot of research, planning, and even experimentation to find out what works best for your company.


But trust us, after you lay the foundation for your SaaS sales funnel, you’ll be happy to have invested all that time and effort.


2. Offer Free Trials


Offering a free trial for your SaaS solution is a great way to give prospective customers a chance to check out your solution before investing their hard-earned money.


They can get accustomed to how it works and even see whether it’s a good fit for their company.


However, try to limit the free trial to a short period of time.


Sure, offering lengthy trials seems like a good idea. After all, you want to give potential clients enough time to see how your SaaS solution can help them.


But when the trial lasts too long, you’ll find yourself with fewer conversions.


That’s because most people don’t use free trials, regardless of the length of time they’re available, for their full duration.


Usually, they quickly check in on what you have to offer and decide whether it’s the solution for them or not.


Not to mention, longer trial periods mean people have a chance to put off looking at your solution since they have the time.


Unfortunately, this means some leads will put off using your free trial, thinking they’ll come back later, and never return.


This means you’ve lost a conversion.


Though a 30-day free trial is typical for a SaaS-based solution, aim for 2 weeks instead and see how your conversion rates fare.


Free trials are meant to create customers, and the fact that they’re short-lived instils a sense of urgency. Use that to your advantage to secure more sales.


3. Focus on Email Marketing


Email campaigns are one of the best ways to optimize your SaaS sales process. That said, when it comes to getting more customers, it’s all about the timing.


Using a reputable email marketing provider such as MailChimp can help you create automated email campaigns that go out to the right people at the right time so you can land more sales.


SaaS Sales Process


For example, send out an automated email campaign to people at these critical points in the customer journey:


  • When they subscribe or request more information
  • Anytime they view the cancellation page during the free trial period
  • When their trial is about to end
  • After taking any action on your site that you think may lead to them making a purchase


Lastly, whenever a current customer performs a specific action on your website, such as check out upgrade offers, send them an email campaign too to see if you can make the upsell.


4. Create a Product Demo


If you’re not sure about the power of product demos, check out these statistics:


  • Product videos have the potential to boost sales by as much as 144%
  • Half of all internet users search for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store
  • 4 out of 5 people believe product demos are helpful


That said, you need to make sure the product demos you’re creating are useful to the people watching them.


More than that, you need to ensure the product demo they’re watching is going to make them want to buy your solution.


Here are some key elements to include in your video demonstrations:


  • Show potential clients that your solution has what their company needs to succeed
  • Focus on the benefits your SaaS solution provides
  • Always end with a call to action, so people know what the next step in the process is


Lastly, avoid creating training demos.


People don’t want to learn how to use your software – just yet.


Instead, they want to know that you can add value to their lives and improve their own business operations so they can succeed.


Need help creating a product demo video for your SaaS solution?


Check out Animoto, an online video creation tool that lets you create animated videos for your business.


Choose from dozens of pre-made templates to help you get started and customize the demo to meet your needs.

SaaS Sales Process


Get your SaaS solution noticed, generate high-quality leads, and close more sales than ever by creating an engaging product demo.


And always optimize your website for speed and performance, especially when you add video content, so you don’t disrupt the user experience.


5. Offer Annual Plans


Though many SaaS solutions are built on a monthly payment basis, aim to convince customers to sign up for an annual plan to really grow your business.


After all, larger sources of revenue paid upfront can spur your company’s growth.


Not every client is going to be okay investing in an annual plan.


But for those that are a perfect fit for your company and are sure they love what you have to offer, this is a great opportunity for you to collect more money right now.


From there you can reinvest in your business, SaaS sales process, and software you sell to make it better for not for current customers, but those that will be buying from you in the future.


Want to make sure people renew at the end of their annual plan?


Offer discounts to those that agree to sign up for one.


Doing this shows your customers you care, makes them feel they’re getting more bang for their buck and still gives you enough cash flow to make further investments in your business.


Final Thoughts


When it comes to shortening the SaaS sales process and growing your business, it’s all about targeting the right people at the right time with a solution that will work for them.


Being able to market your product effectively, build long-lasting relationships with current customers, and facilitate new relationships with prospective clients is the key to optimizing your SaaS sales process.


If you do that and use the above-mentioned strategies to generate more leads and secure more sales, you’ll see the business grow faster than you ever thought possible.

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