4 Beginner Tips on How to Start Selling SaaS
Using SaaS appears simple enough at first glance – and if only selling SaaS was simple as well. So how do you go about selling SaaS? That’s something that many companies and vendors tend to struggle with, and it’s not hard to see why.
Most of us have anywhere between 5-10 software subscriptions or more, and the average consumer shies away from getting more than they feel they need. When selling SaaS, you need to set yourself apart from the rest and build a good relationship with your customers and earn their loyalty.
Fortunately, we have some tips to help you get started on the right path to selling SaaS. We’re going to take a look at how to establish a real connection with users and turn them into devoted, loyal customers.
But before we go into the tips, there’s something to keep in mind.
Who are your customers?
What kind of person does your service benefit? Create a buyer persona for your customers, and keep that in mind throughout every step of your sales SaaS strategy. Once that’s done, move on to these tips to create your strategy for selling SaaS.
1. Show customers the benefits, not just the features!
Put yourself in the mind of a potential customer for a moment. You’ve seen ads for a particular software, and it looks interesting, but you have to do some research before you make a decision.
Of course, before you make a purchase, you need to know how that software is going to benefit you and suit your needs.
Purchasing a subscription is only worth it when it makes a positive impact in the buyer’s life, so showing that positive impact will help sway prospects to become customers.
Show value, not just features!
Contrary to common practice, it is much more effective to tell customers what the product does for them, the customers, rather than focus on the many features of the product.
It seems like common sense, but if you’re well-versed in all the features of your product, you might forget that everyone else is not. Get to know your potential customers, what they want in a service, and then show them the unique benefits that only your software can offer.
Instead of using demos as a mini-training session, use them to show these benefits to the customer. Pinpoint those features that are particularly useful for the average user, and make sure to highlight them. Once a user signs up for a trial, make sure to restate these benefits throughout the trial.
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2. Sell SaaS through loyalty by establishing emotional connection
Loyalty and emotional connections are easier to build on a human level. That’s why most people prefer to speak to a person rather than a robot, so make sure your company has a personable approach to customers.
Always follow up!
Don’t just sign up prospects for a free trial and leave them alone. Follow up with them, as often as you can. As soon as you can, send them an email, or give them a phone call if you have access to a phone number.
When sending them an email, make sure there’s a human element to them, especially in the sender’s address.
Think about this one for a moment. Are you more likely to open and respond to an email from the sales or marketing department of a company, or an email from someone with an actual human name?
The human element here is vital. Customers are more likely to be interested in a company or service recommended by someone they know, so make sure you have an affiliate program in place.
The importance of an affiliate program can’t be understated. Offering bonus features or a temporary discount for users who refer friends and family can do wonders for your company, and make sure to promote these offers often. That’s how Dropbox gained thousands of customers!
Dropbox offered any user who invited a friend to join 500 MB of free storage. Users took advantage of the offer, of course, and Dropbox went from 100,000 to 4 million registered users in a mere 15 months.
Is your software in the form of an app, or does it have an app that supplements the website? Don’t forget to promote and maintain the app. Ideally, you would want the app to go viral, but don’t leave that to chance. Do all you can to create a viral app – it’ll be great for your SaaS sales, too!
The more a customer can emotionally connect with the software, the more likely they are to use it often and recommend it to friends and family. That’s how you make successful SaaS sales.
3. Revamp your email campaign
Don’t email your customers once and then forget about them, or email them every once in a while out of the blue. Customers need to know that you care, that they are important to you, and that needs to be apparent in your email campaign.
After your initial follow-up, make sure you’re sending enough emails on a regular basis. One or two a week is effective. You don’t want the customer to forget about your company or service, so keep in touch with them.
Wondering how to increase customer lifetime value? Take steps to retain your customers. Make your emails interesting and create engaging subject lines that will compel your customers to open them.
Test your subject lines to see which ones perform better. Do your users like emojis in the subject lines, or are they put off by them? What kind of language makes customers more likely to open an email?
Within the content of the email, you also need to have a call to action in each one, so your customers don’t just skim the email and then forget about it, and your company.
4. Make sign-up as easy and smooth a process as possible
Getting the interest of prospect users is only half the battle. Once they’re on your site or app, make sure your interface is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Free trials are a great option, but be careful.
Make sure signing up for a free trial is as easy and hassle-free as possible. A potential customer may be interested in your service, but off-put by needing a credit card just to sign up for the free trial.
To avoid that kind of situation, consider allowing sign-ups without the need for credit cards. Once the trial ends, simply prompt the user to purchase a subscription if they enjoy the service.
A user who is confident about the benefits of a subscription and has seen them first-hand will happily reach for their credit card, and that’s a lot better than making a prospect reluctantly submit their credit card information, or turn away altogether because they’re not sure it’s worth their time and effort!
How long are your trials? Some companies offer 30, 60, or even 90-day free trials, but is that really a smart move? Shorter trials tend to perform better than long ones.
14 days is long enough for a free trial. Making it any longer poses the risk that these users forget about the service entirely, or decide it’s not worth it, never actually becoming customers (hence you need a robust onboarding strategy for your SaaS).
Or worse – they sign up for a 60 or 90-day trial, use the service as much as they need, and cancel their account as soon as the trial is over, because they’ve already gotten all they need out of the service.
Make the sign-up process as easy and smooth as possible – users will appreciate it, and it will give them more time to focus more on the benefits of the service.
These 4 tips are what you need to get started as a beginner to selling SaaS, but they’re far from the only effective ways to increase your SaaS sales.
It may not be an easy process at first, but we have plenty of more information available to you on our blog, including the 4 best practices for SaaS customer success.