Sales strategies for closing more SaaS leads

By Kevin Ruef, below, co-founder, 10-8 Systems

Creating and marketing SaaS products and services can often be a challenging process. Considering how many individuals and businesses rely on SaaS solutions every day to help streamline their workflows or organize their day-to-day, there is also an endless list of competitors all vying for the attention of potential new customers.

However, there are a variety of strategies that SaaS companies can use to help maximize their sales potential by attracting the right leads to their business and closing them effectively.

Understand Your Ideal Customer Profile

Before you can start increasing your sales, it’s first important to know who your potential customers actually are. This begins by establishing your ideal customer profile. To do this, you’ll want to write down very specific details about the businesses or individuals who will most likely be purchasing your solution. This way, you’re not wasting time chasing down leads that come from sources that don’t match your ideal customer and, more than likely, aren’t ready or willing to make a purchase.

Part of establishing your ideal customer profiles is also considering what industries your customers will operate in. When selling to other businesses, you want to know whether your market is primarily made up of small business owners and employees or larger corporations. This is important for identifying the average employee count as well as their overall budgeting requirements.

The goal is to identify the primary pain points with your potential clients and match these challenges with the solutions you’re looking to offer. You’ll also want to thing about the decision-making process for these target clients and understand who will likely be the one to give the green light to purchase. This will help you narrow your focus and make sure you’re tailoring your sales approach for the largest impact.

Build Trust and Establish Expertise

When businesses are looking for a qualified SaaS solution in which they want to invest, trust can be everything. Customers need to know when subscribing long-term for a product or service that they’re not just purchasing from a SaaS provider, but they’re acquiring a partner that can help propel their business forward.

A great way to start building this trust is by regularly sharing free, helpful content relevant to your potential customer base. This is a great way to help increase the organic traffic volume you receive on a regular basis, but it also is what helps you to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

Another great way to build trust is by gaining and advertising customer testimonials. These are great ways to showcase real, unbiased opinions about your products and services and can be a major reason why someone decides to go with your solution instead of a competitor’s. 

When possible, showcase statistics extracted from clients that highlight the amount of value your business has provided. Whether you’re quantifying the total dollars saved or the number of processes that have been streamlined using your service, it helps to show tangible results that potential customers can give to themselves. 

It’s important to remember, though, that trust can take time to build. This is typically shown by the longer sales cycles often seen in the SaaS space. However, this trust directly impacts your ability to close new leads, so it’s important to take proactive steps to start building it from the first interaction potential customers have with your brand. 

Focus on the Value Proposition

When you take the time to create a great SaaS product and incorporate great features, it can be tempting to focus specifically on them during presentations or on the website’s build. However, while having a variety of features is a great thing, they won’t hold much value to potential customers unless they know how they’re going to make their lives easier.

Sales pitches should focus primarily on value proposition, which is the motivating factor around why individuals will subscribe to a service. A value proposition represents the core benefits a customer will gain when using a product – whether it’s saving time and money or allowing them to significantly improve on the tasks they’re doing manually.

To do this effectively, companies will want to avoid focusing too deeply on the technical specifications of your solution and concentrate more on framing it in terms the customer will understand. Focus on them and the problems they’re experiencing, and then you can weave into the narrative the different ways your solution can help them.

You’ll also want to take steps to quantify the value of your solution whenever possible. Some customers may not even know why the current way they’re doing things is ineffective or may not realize how much time they may be wasting when completing certain tasks on their own. This is your opportunity to help educate them.

Handle Objections with Confidence

It doesn’t matter how great your product may be – there is a high chance that not everyone will see its apparent value like others. In these cases, you’ll want to prepare yourself for a certain amount of objections in various areas. Smart companies don’t look at these objections as failures but rather as opportunities to dig deeper into understanding their customers and helping them address any concerns.

You’ll want to think ahead of time about the potential obstacles your customers might face when justifying the budget for your solutions. Maybe the challenge is price-related, or there are larger concerns regarding the security of the data they provide. Whatever the challenges might be, it’s important to strategize how you can help them overcome them.

If and when an objection arises – whether during a presentation or after completing a product trial – actively listen to the concerns. Try to understand where the main cause of hesitation might be coming from to give you a better sense of what they need. In some cases, negotiating for better terms or pricing might work, while some customer may just need an extension of their trial to give them more confidence in subscribing long-term.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Many times, you’ll come across potential customers who just need a little nudge in the right direction to close a sale. Establishing a sense of urgency can help move individuals from passive interest to committed first-time subscribers. But the important part is getting to this point without looking desperate or pushy.

One way you can help move the needle on a decision is by offering limited-time offers or promotional pricing on the solutions you offer. When you have time associated with these offers, it helps to add some urgency to the decision-making process and reduces the likelihood that a potential customer simply forgets to move forward or asks additional questions.

You’ll want to be purposeful in the type of language you use in your marketing initiatives as well. You don’t want to use works like “cheap” or “free” whenever possible since this can often leave an unfair assumption on the quality of your products. Instead, try to focus on using terms like “exclusive” or “limited-time.”

In all your efforts, it’s important to frame any urgency you’re trying to communicate as being in the customer’s best interest. Frame your dialogue so that it shows your interest in improving the productivity or efficiency levels of your customers while also helping them save more money as quickly as possible. 

Master the Art of the Follow-up

To be effective at selling anything, it’s important to know how to master the art of the follow-up. Very few SaaS sales are made today without some type of follow-up program in place. The goal here is to nurture a lead who just came across your products or services and help to keep your brand at the top of their mind.

Still, it’s important to remember that there is a fine line between showing helpful persistence and being annoying. To walk this line effectively, you’ll want to mix up your approach by using the right combination of personalized outreach and automated reminders.

If you’ve arranged a discovery call or product demonstration, it’s always best practice to send a thoughtful follow-up email to the participants to thank them for taking the time to review the product. This is also a great opportunity to invite continued dialogue by encouraging them to ask any further questions they may have come up with after the call.

You can also incorporate a number of automated tools into your sales pipeline that will automatically follow up with potential leads, offering them helpful content or research materials to back up the value of your products and services. As leads transition from cold to warm, having a personalized check-in with a sales representative often can bring the most positive results.

Get More Results From Your SaaS Sales Campaigns

The SaaS industry can be a competitive one. This is why it’s important to adopt an effective strategy for gaining and nuturing qualified leads. By following the strategies mentioned, you can make sure you’re focusing your attention on the leads most willing to convert while taking the necessary steps to help turn them into long-term, loyal customers.

Kevin Ruef co-founded 10-8 Systems after exceeding multiple companies’ sales records (both domestically and internationally). With more than a decade in sales, his experience ranges from B2B, B2G, and B2C. Since the company’s start in 2019, Kevin has been responsible for business development, strategic partnerships, and business operations.