With the spread of the pandemic, SaaS providers like Zoom became successful from companies having to change to remote work. These businesses continue to do well from maximizing their Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR). If you’re a newbie to the SaaS industry or a sales rep who’s looking to improve their MRR, here are some metrics and strategies you should take advantage of to better understand what makes these companies effective.
What is SaaS Sales?
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is cloud software available over the internet. Since a SaaS product is usually more difficult to use than a physical product, prospects require a lot more sales representative education and preparation before they feel ready to purchase.
This kind of sales has distinct processes and metrics that are different from other physical products and services. The aim is to improve the bottom line of your clients, whether that’s saving them time or money or earning them more money.
But your company is not the only SaaS company out there. Companies big and small are using SaaS in their workflows to automate and adapt, empowering them to transform their lines of business and remain agile. Researchers say 73% of enterprises were going to use all or most SaaS solutions by 2021, and nearly 85% of small businesses had already invested in SaaS.
Selling SaaS is demanding. It takes patience, and when it comes to cloud-based apps and services, SaaS sales teams need to succeed and stand out in a highly competitive environment with these skills:
Fluent with their SaaS product and understand its value
SaaS reps must first be comfortable talking about and using technology. Since SaaS is used with other business software, reps have to understand its technical aspects and be able to answer questions such as if their product has an API that can work with another major SaaS.
As you educate yourself more about your SaaS product, you may find that prospects may not be persuaded at first to give up doing things the manual way such as entering data in Excel spreadsheets or using pen and paper for financial accounting. Some people are content with how things have been going in their workflow and don’t see a need for change. Others don’t have the budget. That’s when sales come in.
The best SaaS sales reps can educate prospects on the value of their product and how it can help their company. They can show the ROI of a SaaS product, convincing prospects they’re losing a chance if they don’t get this product. The best reps know how to position their SaaS product and pitch it to prospects to achieve SaaS success.
Work together with marketing
As the SaaS sales cycle has a longer cycle compared to other industries, reps should be able to collaborate with the marketing team to get qualified leads. The marketing team should be data-driven experts in social media advertising and search engine marketing.
Instead of advertising offline or to a wider, more general audience, the marketing team should invest in targeted ads that bring relevant traffic. Having great content on your site is another way to convert the traffic to users. Your content should be readable and easy to understand for your users, not for just the company.
Considers the customer's long-term success.
Top SaaS reps consider the success of a new customer in the long run. If a sales rep over-promises a product’s capabilities to a prospect to close the deal, this is not a big deal in some industries. But if a SaaS product doesn’t deliver what was promised by the rep, that unhappy customer is likely to churn rapidly and go to another competitor.
SaaS sales reps look out for the best of the overall business, not their sales commissions and quota. Even if it means missing their goals, the best ones won’t lie to prospects in order to close the deal. They know not every SaaS deal is a one-time deal and understand the importance of payback period for every customer. Reps make sure the prospects become satisfied, loyal customers and will open to upsells in the future.
Work with the scalability of the company
Scalability is one of the biggest benefits of SaaS. Reps must be able to field customer feedback and demands that can translate into feature-rich SaaS products made for better customer experiences. They have to keep up with ever-changing features and take time to learn more about them.
But there is also a potential downside with scalability. For instance, if the company relies on one-on-one connections to close deals, more reps are needed for large amounts of leads, which may not be sustainable on their own.
A solution to this problem is either to incorporate more technology and self-service or have reps adopt a more efficient sales process to help them close deals quicker.
What Does the SaaS Sales Process Look Like?
Every SaaS company has its own approach, but here's the breakdown of the general SaaS sales process.
1. Understand your customers
Sales reps in SaaS can damage a company if they close a deal with the wrong customer. Customers that do not match the ideal customer profile are more likely to waste the time and resources of the business. Reps should consider the pain points of their customers so that they know why your approach meets all their needs. This involves developing buyer personas and recognizing existing ones. If the prospect is not quite the right one for the company, the best reps are comfortable disqualifying the prospect and shutting down the sales process before it goes too far.
2. Qualify prospects
Not all inbound leads from blog posts or targeted ads are worth your time and effort. A SaaS sales rep can call or email soon after a lead enters their contact information to decide if they are interested and can be moved to the next stage.
They can learn some key information from their leads to better qualify them. They can take the time to learn more if the product fits the prospect’s needs and pain points at the moment, how much money do they have to buy, and who are their key decision-makers.
3. Present a product demo
An email sequence can be the meat and potatoes of your SaaS sales process. The aim is to move qualified prospects along to a one-on-one meeting to learn their pain points and show the value of your SaaS product through a product demo.
A product demo can be about 15 minutes and showcases the purpose and functionality of the SaaS product. Reps can use relatable, easy-to-understand language to address their pain points, clarify the product’s features and let them know the next step to buy the product.
Reps need to be good storytellers that rely on data and information to make the demo more valuable, so they can refer to other teams who analyze business and products.
4. Know common objections and respond well
It is crucial for sales reps to keep track of the objections since SaaS organizations scale quickly and efficiently. Sales reps can gather useful knowledge by tracking objections and learning how to respond to them. In order to know who will use the product and who it benefits, reps need to ask the right questions to explore the real needs and address them.
5. Close the deal and retain customers
When a prospect becomes a customer, you make the final pitch, negotiate, and have them sign the dotted line. After that, SaaS sales reps must make the effort to keep loyal customers. It's easier to keep a customer than to recruit a new one, after all.
Providing enhanced (or entirely new) add-ons might be an incentive to upgrade existing customers. The secret to retaining satisfied customers lies in providing prompt, customer-oriented service.
6. Always improve the above steps
Every company and rep have their own unique processes, but the most successful reps never stop improving, which results in more MRR for the business.
SaaS Sales Metrics You Need to Know
You should continually monitor and evaluate your SaaS sales efforts to find out whether your plans are working—and if they will lead to more sales. These are the key metrics you need to analyze in order to perform well.
Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)
Monthly recurring revenue or MRR is the amount the company expects to receive depending on the value of your existing customer subscribers. Every customer's monthly fee adds up to MRR, so you know how much the company is receiving.
Annual Contract Value (AVC)
The Annual Contract Value or AVC shows a customer’s contract value over 12 months, making it easier to see the firm’s overall success.
Annual Revenue per Account (ARPA)
ARPA is a useful metric because it helps you understand if your sales strategies gradually affect the MRR. Dividing your MRR by your active accounts gets you there. You can track this amount over time so you can better define your sales strategy.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
The customer acquisition cost or CAC is the cost of signing a new customer. This method will help you find out if your sales and marketing efforts are worthwhile. For calculating CAC, divide your revenue and promotion costs by the number of new clients you signed in a given timeframe.
The win rate is just how many leads are closed by a rep within a set time period. Knowing the win rate helps one figure out how many leads need to be in the pipeline to make their goals. There are several ways to calculate this, but one calculation can be to divide the number of “won” opportunities from those lost.
A consistent sales cycle using metrics and certain sales techniques are all invaluable for achieving the SaaS sales objectives and increasing MRR. To set up everything and fine-tune them for optimal performance, it's necessary to take the time necessary to get all the balls in the air, allowing for more winning opportunities.