There has never been more pressure on SaaS executives to implement software sales techniques that work.
It’s true that it wasn’t always this way. There was a time when money was flowing throughout Silicon Valley so hot and fast that all that you needed was an idea and something resembling a long term monetization plan. But those days are long gone. Today, funding comes with the expectation of closing sales.
And make no mistake — your competition knows this too.
Unfortunately, simply having a better product is no longer how to sell SaaS to enterprise or small business customers.
Bottom line, executives that don’t deliver sales will soon find themselves out of the game and working to make somebody else’s dream a reality instead of heading up their own company.
Close It’s a five letter word that makes all the difference when it comes to selling SaaS to small business or enterprise clients.
But contrary to conventional understanding, the ‘close’ is not a singular act. Closing a deal is actually the end of a long game — played out on the gameboard of the customer’s journey. SaaS executives must make sure that journey begins and ends with a funnel designed from the ground up to close deals effectively, systematically, and consistently.
In other words, you need to build a marketing funnel designed to win the game of ‘close’.
And in that game of how to sell SaaS, inbound marketing can be the ace up your sleeve.
5 Software Sales Tips For SaaS Executives
Top of Funnel Content is One of the Biggest SaaS Marketing Essentials
You read that right. Much of getting better at closing leads begins with understanding that the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) is not an isolated place.
Think of it this way — if you were playing a game of poker and had the ability to choose the cards in your starting hand, you would have a much better chance of having the winning and at the end, right? The same is true with closing deals. The better your TOFU leads are, the easier it will be to close at BOFU.
This is why inbound’s ability to create exceptional TOFU content that will get the right people interested in your SaaS product is just like dealing yourself a hand full of Aces. Start with a strong hand and you don’t need sales closing techniques that rely on the luck of the draw later on.
Data, Data, & More Data
It’s a myth that inbound marketing is some kind of magic whose ROI cannot be measured. In reality, inbound is all about how to sell software by measuring the impact of every piece of content at every stage of the sales funnel.
There’s already been a lot of digital ink spilled on the subject, so we won’t go into it in detail here. But the bottom line software sales tip is that properly executed inbound marketing provides metrics like heat maps, form entries, click through rates, and even page views that allow for an ongoing measurement of what tactics are working and what tactics are not working.
Inbound will tell you exactly how a lead came in, what it did while it was in the pipeline, and whether it converted or not. And as anyone who has ever played poker to tell you, knowing players’ tendencies is in many ways even better than having an Ace up your sleeve.
Over a large enough sample, this will give you a full picture of what is necessary to close BOFU leads.
Standardize Your Content
As your inbound sales funnel software provides continuously updated metrics with real-time data about what is working and what isn’t, you should also be developing a plan to standardize your content types.
Here’s why. If you can nail down the process required to write a white paper, blog post, interview a happy customer, etc, you can easily repeat it over and over again. This will make it simple for you to create high-value content that you know from your data analytics will close sales.
Customers Relationship Management: Have Your Champions Ready
Although marketing technology has changed drastically in the last 10 years, customers have not. Customers are still people first — and people like to know that other people have used a product and were happy with it before purchasing it themselves.
SaaS inbound marketing is all about providing value driven content, and there simply is no more value driven content possible than having a customer say that your move product provided them with value.
This is why one of the most important BOFU tactics is to have testimonial content. This can come in many forms — video blogs, written interviews, testimonials on your website, letters of recommendation — but all them involve having an actual customer speak on behalf of your product to current BOFU leads.
Remember, it’s not enough to have an Ace up your sleeve — you have to show your opponent what you’re holding if you want to win the hand.
Reserve BOFU Tactics for BOFU Leads
One of the most important software sales tip is to make sure that you use the marketing tactics that will be most effective at the right time.
In other words, it’s important to make sure you’re only using BOFU tactics at the bottom of the funnel. That may sound self-evident, but the opposite happens all the time. It’s tempting to offer value in the form of free trials, assessments, or even discounts to attract attention in the market — but in fact, it should only be done when a lead is ready buy.
If you offer a TOFU or MOFU prospect a free trial, it may or may not drive them to BOFU. But what it will for sure do is preclude you from using that tactic if the lead does reach BOFU— which is precisely when it would be the most effective. Base your value offer by determining what type of content it’s going on. If it’s a TOFU piece of content, create a TOFU content offer.
Because at the end of the day how software companies make money isn’t only about having an Ace up your sleeve — it’s also about knowing the perfect moment to lay it down on the table.