5 myths about SaaS sales you probably believe

by Steli Efti

unicorn

If you want to generate more SaaS sales there’s one thing you need to know:

Finding a handful of prospects through a clever hack and doing cold outreach doesn’t have nearly the same impact as it would have had two or three years ago.

So…

What exactly can you do to make more sales?

Start by understanding the myths that too many SaaS sales pros believe.

It’s this ignorance that stops many of us from achieving our quotas and driving consistent and sustainable results. But for you, that ignorance is going to fade today as I’m going to debunk five of those myths and arm you with insights that you can put into action right now.

Data doesn’t matter until you have a big sample size

One of the things I hear from far too many SaaS startups is the idea that they’re too small to worry about their metrics. I ask them about churn and they don’t have an answer or I ask them about LTV or CACR and their eyes glaze over (LTV = Lifetime value, CACR = Customer Acquisition Cost Ratio).

Unfortunately, a lot of people working with sales in the world of SaaS throw acronyms around without actually understanding them. You need to understand both what these acronyms mean and your own company metrics if you want to optimize your chances of making an impact.

Even at a small scale, understanding your company metrics can help you in understanding what decisions are costing the company too much money and what decisions are working very well.

Sales metrics matter.

Metrics can be the difference between a surprise spike in churn and a manageable one. It can be the difference between recognizing what outreach approach is working and what is not.

If you’re not familiar with SaaS sales metrics - Here are a few great resources to check out:

Data is king

Now, data is great don’t get me wrong.

But insight is king.

Understanding how to use your metrics effectively is the key to being an effective sales leader. Whether we’re talking understanding which outbound emails are being opened when you send them or what landing pages are driving the most relevant leads - the insights we gather from data is the key.

salesmetricsincloseio

In the Close.io dashboard above, you can see that there are two different follow up emails being used and the open rates for each are different. Option A has a higher open rate than Option B which could be due to a more compelling subject line in that email. Using this information, a sales professional can be more strategic in crafting their subjects and more effective in driving sales.

We should also point out that data isn’t only about the number you see when you access your dashboard. You should be gathering qualitative data by surveying and talking to your customers as well. These insights will help you inform the other members of the team of customer pain points, funnel opportunities and much more. 

When you send a proposal, be patient

NO!

Don’t be patient.

Reach out and ask the decision maker (not just your internal champion) what the process is going to look like between receiving the proposal and closing the deal. Spend more time understanding their needs and offering value wherever possible to increase the likelihood that they will fight for you and your product internally. Refuse to sit on the sideline in limbo. Refuse to play the guessing game.

Help your prospect, help you.

Of course, I don’t recommend you taking the approach of “Just Checking In” as that’s a very self serving approach. Instead, you should follow up with your prospect and deliver additional value:

followupemail

If we create content, the customers will come

b2bcontentmarketing

Content can play a big role in SaaS sales but it’s only one piece of the puzzle.

As you can see in the visual above, the amount of content being created is at an all time high. Because of this, it’s more challenging than ever to create content that stands out.

It’s not enough to write a blog post, create an ebook or publish a white paper and expect the world to take notice. Content creation is just one part of the content marketing puzzle. Once the content is created, it’s time to distribute that content effectively.

"People visit your blog but don’t convert (How dare they!). Don’t fret – all is not lost. Let’s put aside the fact that they may very well return and convert another time even if you don’t do anything else. Instead, you can take control and increase the chance of that happening by targeting visitors that have come and gone with remarketing." — Sujan Patel

Then, ensure that the content you’re creating is aligned with both the goals of marketing and sales.

Sales need to offer marketing the insights they’ve gathered while talking with prospects to help them create content that will help them convert. Whether it’s information that they gather during cold calls or insights they gather after identifying the key selling points for their product—the channel for communication between sales and marketing is key to a successful content effort.

You can't sell until your product is perfect

Jonathan Brill once said, about startup sales; "A finished product is a nice to have."

And I agree.

You should begin selling your SaaS the day you sign up for the job.

As soon as you’re brought on for sales or if you’re the founder, it’s time to sell.

It’s time to start selling the vision, the solution and the team.

It’s time to sell to to potential customers, the media, hires, partners and buyers.

It’s easy to spend tons of time testing the market and asking people what they think of your idea. It’s more challenging yet also more rewarding to find someone who believes in what you’re doing and is willing to give you a cheque to fill a need 3, 6, or 12 months in advance. Find these people, establish a relationship with them and make them your champion.

I’ve had many conversations with sales reps who have been tasked with selling products that were half baked. Sometimes the apps worked from a technical perspective but were completely unusable for a non-technical person. But by sharing the vision of the product and focusing on the value they were able to lock in contracts that would fund the completion of the product.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve uncovered the myths of SaaS sales, it’s time to get back to work.

Use these insights to guide your strategy and share it with your team so they can also work at an optimal level.

If you work in SaaS sales and have identified other myths that have been driving you insane, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you or feel free to tweet us on Twitter @Closeio!

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