Although SaaS is at the peak among the three tires of cloud computing, namely PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS, selling SaaS products requires a well-planned strategy and tactics.
As a SaaS provider, you have tons of opportunities in the market as the SaaS market is expected to grow by 100$ billion during 2021-2025. Moreover, the market growth will accelerate at a CAGR OF 11.35%.
Against this ocean of opportunities, there is fierce competition for selling SaaS solutions, as there are nearly 30,000 SaaS companies worldwide, and 1000 SaaS companies from India. To stand out in this highly competitive market you need to move strategically for selling SaaS products even though they are highly useful in the market. Let’s see some steps of how to sell SaaS products from India that help you to reach more and more people to solve their business problems.
10 Steps to Selling your SaaS product from India
1) Establish the trust first
Customer trust is a key to driving loyalty and sure-shot business success.
Making people buy from you requires their trust in you. No matter what the price of your product, you need to work hard to gain their trust and make them buy your product.
It doesn’t matter what you sell, what matters most is why you sell that product. What problem of your customer are you trying to solve? Knowing the challenges of your customers and building the product to solve their problems will help you to build trust in them.
Establishing trust and confidence is a must for every business relationship including SaaS. It is the best way to sell SaaS products. Instead of putting effort only into selling your product or service, focus on knowing the problems and pain points of your customer to become their trusted partner.
As per Gartner’s research, 74% of people claimed that they expect more from the brand than just product or service in terms of how they treat their customers and 83% of people claimed that they will not do business with people they don’t trust.
2) Sell solutions, not products
People come to you because they have some unanswered questions and unresolved problems. And when they come to you, they are not sure about the solutions.
At this point as a service or product provider, you must guide them to choose the right solution for their problem. Ask the right questions to make selling an ongoing conversation about customers’ needs.
This will help them to identify how far along they are on the decision path toward buying. This makes the entire process easier for them to track on CRM. Understand more about future of SaaS application.
3) Keep your trials short
Once you have guided your customers with the best solutions to their problems, once you have earned their trust in your product/service, allow them to use your product/service for free for some time and let them get some hands-on experience.
But don’t keep this trial period of more than 15 days. The longer trial period may hook your customers, but it will hurt your start-up and at the same time it won’t urge them to make quick decisions.
As per the data, the majority of people don’t utilize the full trial period, they stop using it almost after 4-5 days.
A shorter trial period will urge customers to make quick buying decisions and avoid procrastination.
A shorter trial period will help you to reduce customer acquisition rates. When you shorten the sales cycle from six weeks to three weeks, customer acquisition costs will be reduced automatically.
4) Optimize your email campaign
Three strategies that will help you to get the most out of the email drip marketing campaign are
a) Use a Human Email address
Although you use automated email campaigns, the mail id should start with the name of the person instead of the company’s name.
Sending mail with the use of a person’s name will increase the opening rate of email marketing campaigns.
b) Send lots of Emails.
Your main job is to convince your prospect to make a buying decision, and for that don’t allow them to forget you.
Send all kinds of mail to your prospect including informative, entertaining, and engaging, but the idea is to not allow them to forget about you. Engage and inform them well about your products.
c) Send personalized email
Address the recipient by their name. This will make them feel that the mail is written especially for them. This also increases the chance of mail opening rate and engagement.
5) Hire a sales team
Hiring a team of sales professionals is a must for the successful selling of SaaS. A dedicated salesperson will help you to navigate ins and outs of SaaS.
The salesperson is the most important person, that’s why don’t rush, and don’t hire the very first candidate you come across. Don’t hire a cheap professional just because it is cost-effective, and don’t rely on outsourcing part of your sales to unqualified individuals. This will do more harm than good.
6) Understand the sales process
The best answer to How to sell a SaaS product lies in knowing the whole sales process. Although you have a dedicated team of sales professionals, make sure you are clear with each process of the sales cycle. A sales funnel is the fundamental aspect of the sales cycle, which is how clients go from being passive viewers of your marketing campaign to becoming customers.
The part of sales funnels includes
The top part: Here clients will be exposed to ads, such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
The middle: In this part clients land on your website. They clicked on your ad and came to your website because they want your product.
The Bottom: This is where clients make buying decisions after researching for themselves.
7) Provide a Demo
Providing a well-crafted product demo is a must for better understanding your customers. Make sure to create a clear, concise, and informative product demo that explains the value that your product has to offer.
Consider thinking about your target audience and product value if you face difficulty in creating the demo. You should be aware of the uniqueness of the product and should convey this to your customer.
Consider three strategies to provide a demo that sells
1) Qualify first: Qualify your lead before you give them a demo
2) Keep it short: Keep the duration of your demo as small as 15-20 mins. If you can’t provide a demo within this time, then you don’t know your product well.
3) Focus on benefits not features: Focus on the interest of your prospects by talking about the benefits of your products.
8) Manage ongoing relationship
Along with acquiring new customers, managing and retaining old customers is equally important. Once they have purchased your product make sure they are satisfied with its performance and your service.
Introduce them to new team members to make a smooth transition from selling to service.
Identify one contact for client communication to avoid any confusion, miscommunication makes everything easy for your clients.
Check ongoing communication in one place like a CRM or project management tool. You can also use a client portal to keep track of all customer communication.
Check each process periodically, bring the sales and marketing team back to the conversation and create opportunities for cross-sell and up sell.
A commercial bank of Kuwait, implemented REVE chat video and co-browsing solutions to provide live assistance. With the help of this tool, the bank has witnessed significant improvement in customer engagement.
As per the Aberdeen report, with the help of this visual engagement, there was 83% increase in annual revenue.
9) Map the Customer Journey
You are not done yet even if you have sold the product. In this highly competitive market, retaining clients is more difficult than acquiring them. And that’s why you must engage and communicate with them even after they become your customer.
Mapping a customer journey will help you to understand the user experience- what your user thinks, feels, and does at each stage of the buying journey. By mapping out the customer journey you can visualize customer motivation, drivers, and pain points, and eliminate silos.
Let’s see how you can engage with them and guide them for your product usage and thus become part of their daily operations
Month 1: Teach your customers the knowledge base of how to use your product and service. Create webinars, automated email series, and tutorials, and make your customers actively dependent on your service and advice.
Month 2-3: Show advanced capabilities and build the relationship on the foundation of trust. Bring up the sales and marketing team to action for cross-sell and upsell. Add more value and generate more revenue.
10) Don’t Give Discounts
Though discounts seem an easier way to attract your prospects, it does more harm than good.
By offering discounts you are making your salespeople lazy,as it’s hard to sell on value and easy to lower the price.
Discounts make it difficult to predict revenue. When you offer the same product to different customers at different prices it’s difficult to predict the revenue.
To get all the benefits of discounts, stick to strict discount plans. Don’t offer discounts outside of annual prepaid plans.
The Growth of both the parties; service provider and user go hand in hand.
You grow when your customer will grow, and that’s why focus on their business growth with the help of your product.
Selling SaaS solutions becomes easier when you focus on providing the solutions to the problems of your customers.
Thus, the SaaS selling process is a bit tricky but following the above mentioned tips will help you to close the quality deals and build lifelong business relationships.