You’ve got some really great software that you’re offering for sale via the SaaS model. You know how important your salespeople are to your business growth, you know that your primary focus as a business needs to be attracting more and more new customers to your product. But what are the qualities that you need to nurture and reward in your sales team?
Know the product
It may sound obvious, but the most important thing is for your sales staff to know your product and the technology involved in delivering it to your customers. This isn’t just about knowing technical specs, it’s also about understanding the wider business world. How are you going to persuade a client that they should abandon their much-loved spreadsheet system for your product if you can’t explain why your software is the superior solution?
Know the customer
This is good advice in any sales field, but particularly for SaaS products because selling to the wrong customer can lead to the one thing you don’t want, which is churn. Your sales reps need to be connecting you with customers who will repay the investment you make bringing them on board.
Keep an eye on the future
Salespeople are often rewarded for immediate success, signing a customer up at any cost, but in SaaS your sales force need to keep a longer view. Selling an ongoing service means that clients need to stay in love with your product, not just love it at the moment. If they don’t? We’re back to churn again.
A sales incentive that works well for most products, discounts can really hurt a SaaS business where clients are paying monthly for access to the product. That 10% discount will continue to cut into your bottom line for years to come if the client settles happily with your company, so make sure that your sales staff are aware of their discount limits.
SaaS needs slightly different skills from a salesperson than a regular product; you’re not just selling a thing, you’re selling a service and the long-term relationship that goes with it.