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Time Tested Tips for Selling Your SaaS to Enterprise Businesses

Read on to learn how you can navigate the challenges involved in B2B SaaS Sales

Kapil Swarnkar
Business Development Manager at Global PayEX
Tips to scale B2B SaaS sales

There’s more to selling technology than the plain old ‘persuasion’ tactics. Whether you are a patient sales professional who follows the spray and pray approach or you are a rep who functions like a sniper, selling SaaS can be your cup of tea. 

For professionals who enjoy the process of probing, listening, sitting with a problem and solving it, enterprise sales could be one of the most fulfilling profiles for them. The recurring revenue model that SaaS businesses follow needs customer success at its heart to ensure a user’s stickiness to the product. That is why it's a wonderful time for the problem solvers to be in sales.

Is SaaS Selling Any Different than Normal Selling?

It’s common for users to look at sales professionals and their recommendations with skepticism. But when it comes to SaaS selling, sales professionals are not selling ice to Eskimos. In fact, they are solving complex problems, quantifying the cost-benefit by directly impacting the cost center or profit center and helping their customers succeed continuously. As simple as it may sound, there is a challenge involved in selling SaaS depending on the size of the client businesses.

In my last few years of selling to enterprises, I have learnt a few lessons, albeit the hard way. But here are a few basic ones that have made it to my sales playbook.

Don't overcommit and underdeliver

Sales pitches in general are taken with a pinch of salt across industries. Legacy sales professionals thought it was acceptable to promise even what they can’t deliver. However, that kind of selling can be treacherous when it comes to SaaS

It's extremely important for sales reps to not just be aware of existing products but also of the product roadmap to be able to convey future deliverables clearly. It is often observed that the enterprise customers want all from one solution and the IT teams want to minimize the number of software touching their ERP but it is extremely important for the sales team to politely decline the requests which are a distraction in the journey of their product. It is extremely crucial to build trust during SaaS sales by promising realistic outcomes.

Know different buyer personas

While dealing with enterprises, the sales team will have to come across multiple stakeholders across the business hierarchy. The salesperson needs to understand how the product they sell impacts each of those stakeholders and be sensitive towards their reaction.

The range and type of concerns related to a new SaaS offering can vary across the business. There may be some teams or members at the client’s end who could be scared of their jobs becoming redundant after automation. There may be some senior executives who would skip the micro details looking at only the overall impact of the product on their cost or profit center. And then there may be mid-level executives or an IT team who often evaluate the solution from a security and integration standpoint. Crafting personalized selling pitches for each of these stakeholders ensures fool-proof success. 

Get clarity on the approval matrix 

It is extremely easy to lose a winning deal by not having an understanding of the approval matrix. While your SaaS company could be a start-up with transparency across functions, the enterprise sales team has to understand that functions in a legacy organization work in silos most of the time. It is important to identify a champion within the organization and get visibility around the approval matrix at the very beginning to forecast closure timelines. To avoid losing the deal in this web of approval matrix, the sales teams have to drive their deal from top to bottom to keep the ball rolling and/or impact the KPIs of each decision influencer. When one looks through all the noise empathetically, then it will be clear that a good SaaS product when implemented not only impacts the cost or profit center of the customer but also helps the people across functions at the customer’s organization improve their KPIs.

Define the success metrics of POC 

You are a start-up and you offer a free POC to get the deal but it is crucial to define the success metrics of POC before even starting out. A paid POC, even if not ideal from a revenue perspective, ensures better engagement throughout the POC period and does not lose attention. However, if it comes to a free POC, quantify and define a successful POC before you agree. A loosely engaged POC without defining the success metrics is likely to be window shopping and a waste of precious tech resources who would configure the product for enterprises.

Calculate cost-benefit based pricing

The key benefit of SaaS is minimal CAPEX cost and the sales team must think through a quantifiable cost-benefit that their SaaS solution promises to the client. A good interface, convenience with daily tasks and fancy reports are subjective benefits and the absence of objective cost-benefit can hamper an almost successful enterprise deal. It is often a best practice to have cost-benefit numbers in place before communicating pricing to avoid sharing unjust pricing that is too high or too low. One can refer to public shareholder or finance reports, or simply ask the numbers from the clients directly to optimize pricing in a personalized way.

In the End

An enterprise sales cycle might test your and your team’s patience but that is the game. Enterprise sales are more of a marathon and less of a sprint. At the end of the day, all salespeople are out there trying to bring in revenue and if handling a shorter sales cycle and volume-based selling is what you enjoy then mid-market or SMB sales can help you deliver results in SaaS.

Also read: SMarketing - A must for Enterprise Marketing

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