Never has there been a better time for SaaS business startups and SaaS businesses in general. The market is booming as new opportunities are constantly arising. Despite being a billion-dollar industry, SaaS is still considered to be in its infancy. TechCrunch compares it to the PC market in ’83 or the smartphone industry in ’03.
But with this attractive industry, there is going to be a great competition. According to Price Intelligently, SaaS companies had an average of 9 competitors in 2018. Speed is of the essence to get your SaaS from an idea on a piece of paper to the market—before someone else does. Regardless of how good your product is, it won’t sell itself.
You have probably spent a long time perfecting UI, ironed out any issues, and ensured that it is purposeful, scalable, and efficient. As you explain all of the amazing features to prospective clients, there is still something missing. The sales aren’t being closed. Let’s look at some of the best techniques that are necessary for all SaaS business owners wanting to increase their sales.
How to Boost Your SaaS Sales
- Know What You are Selling
This might sound like the obvious, but many forget the importance of this first stage. You know your product inside out and navigating your way around the features is easy. When creating your sales pitch, you need to think like a customer. Putting yourself in their shoes will enable you to highlight aspects of the features that will bring out the most benefits for them.
Whizzing through your SaaS might show people that it’s easy to use, or it might just create confusion. At the same time, you don’t want to treat your potential customers like idiots. Try your pitch on some non-tech-minded people and get feedback.
- Identify Your Ideal Customer
Profiling your customers doesn’t mean you are ruling out potential sales from other avenues. It’s about understanding which type of customers will gain the most from your product and therefore generate the most revenues. It might be companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations, possibly even specific industries.
Remember that the ideal customer could offer more than recurring revenue. They may have large networks that offer more leads or help promote your SaaS. The best way to identify your ideal customer is by looking at your existing clients, the size and type of their business, and how your product helps them.
- Entice Customers with Free Trial Periods
Around 75% of SaaS companies offer trial periods. It’s the logical way for customers to get a feel of the product before committing to payments. Before you offer a free trial period, you need to make sure that your product doesn’t require a lot of training and that your customers are motivated to use it. Also, remember that the customer has to see the added value of becoming a paid subscriber.
Considering such a high number of SaaS companies offer a free trial but not doing so, you might miss out on all-important potential sales. You should also consider the free trial length. 7 days is rarely enough time for a customer to appreciate the full benefits. On the other hand, one month may give the customer too much time to look at other available options. 14 days is a reasonable length of time to build a relationship and collect insightful data on how customers use your product and offer further advice.
- Build on Your Relationship Instantly
A common mistake is for SaaS companies to contact customers towards the end of the trial. Instead, you should be contacting them as soon as you learn that they have signed up for the free trial, preferably with a phone call. This increases your chances of speaking to them while your product is fresh in their mind.
This call also gives you the chance to talk to them about their needs and what exactly they are looking for and then explain the features of your product that will help them achieve their objectives. You can also uncover any concerns they might have and make a note to address them in the next follow up call.
- Enhance Your Email Campaign
Customers have a lot on their plates, and with no malintent, they forget about your product during the free trial period. A successful drip email campaign will gently remind your customers that they have signed up for your product and that they are missing out on all of the benefits.
Keep your emails personal. Avoid any address or title that comes from the sales team, and make sure your name appears. Emails should contain useful information to encourage them back to your product. Frequency is essential. Emails should be sent after your initial call when there is an activity with their account and especially if they visit the cancellation page or when their trial is about to end. Consider automated emails so that you remain on top of your drip email campaign.
- Qualify Your Customers
Customer acquisition costs you both time and money. It’s a mistake to think that every customer is going to be a good customer and therefore invest equal time into each of them. The customers who don’t qualify are going to take up even more of your time later on in the process. They will have multiple queries or complaints, and finally, they will cancel.
Selling to unqualified customers will increase your churn rate and your cost of customer acquisition. You also increase the risk of bad reviews and a damaged online reputation. To qualify your leads, know your ideal customer, understand their needs, and determine their decision-making process. If you don’t feel that your lead qualifies, recommend an alternative solution.
- Take Advantage of Your Reviews
Positive reviews are essential for increasing sales. People turn to reviews to gain honest opinions before making any decisions. Your business needs to be receiving a continuous flow of positive reviews, and you need to respond to every review to boost your online reputation further. Readers pay attention to how you handle your reviews!
Review management plays a massive role in your SEO. Search engine algorithms detect keywords that are associated with your product. The more people are talking about you (positively) online, the more keywords are found, and the higher up on the search rankings you will be placed–giving you a competitive advantage. Ask customers if you can share reviews on your website and social media pages.
- Create an Amazing Landing Page
By increasing your online presence, more people are going to be tempted to visit your landing page. This is where your interested customers convert into subscribers, and there is no room for errors. Landing pages must be attractive, straightforward, and visual. As a landing page is not your website, the design and layout are crucial.
Studies show that 80% of visitors won’t scroll down on a landing page, so this area must contain the features and benefits but without large amounts of text. You should also add social proof like reviews, particularly if you have customers who are well known in the industry. Don’t add links or unnecessary buttons that may distract your visitors.
- Increase Your ARPU
By increasing your Average Revenue Per User, you can get more out of the SaaS sales you generate. Have more than one pricing plan, and don’t be scared of high prices if you have a product to back them up. Avoid discounts because it can make your sales team lazy; rather than working on a personalized pitch and actually looking for the benefits for each individual, they rely on the discount.
See how you can upsell and cross-sell. Upselling encourages clients to subscribe to a higher pricing plan, so the next plan up has to have added value to the individual customer. Cross-selling is offering an additional product or service that compliments their subscription.
- Be Open and Honest in Every Step
From your initial pitch to your landing page to your product, transparency is key. Nobody wants unclear information or nasty surprises halfway through the process. What you say about your product has to match your product. This includes the pricing, the features available in the free trial, and any cancellation or refund policies you have.
If you have a large sales team, they must be trained in a certain way that highlights the importance of transparency. Everyone involved with your product and your customers needs to have the right attitude towards the customer experience.
- Ensure You Are Offering 24/7 Support
If a customer runs into a problem out of business hours, they still need to be able to find a way to resolve that issue. Expectations today are high, and people expect solutions at the moment. It’s no good asking them to send you an email and for you or your team to reply when you get the chance.
24/7 support doesn’t have to be a customer support line, which may well be expensive to manage. Online chat with the help of AI-based chatbots is an excellent way to engage your users and prevent them from looking for alternative solutions when they run into a problem with yours. Even having a FAQ page can provide a lot of information for customers to find their own solutions.
- Invest in Technology
There are so many amazing solutions that enable you to run a SaaS company at optimal levels. Online reputation management software does far more than simply monitor reviews. Some include unified inboxes to stay on top of customer communications, sentiment analysis to learn more about what your customers are saying, and data analytics that you can use to adapt marketing strategies for higher conversion rates.
You have worked hard to create a product that will genuinely help users–but it doesn’t end there. Increasing your sales is crucial if you want to raise the capital to grow your product. You will need to invest in some cases, whether that’s cash in software solutions to run a better business or time to train your employees. Every effort you make can significantly impact your reputation, product, and overall–your sales!