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Mistakes salespeople need to avoid while prospecting SaaS customers

2 min read

If you think selling SaaS products is an uphill task, you are not alone. For the record, selling something that is not tangible is a different ball game that calls for a whole new set of rules and a hell lot of practice. SaaS sales entails selling a software that customers can access from a particular online website or portal.

SaaS products have a complex tech architecture and warrants a thorough understanding of the nuances and intricate tech details of the software, by the salesperson to help him sell the service without any shortcomings. SaaS software tends to be highly customizable too in terms of features and sales reps need to have that panache and upfront education to handle customer negotiations about which product features will help their business.

While that is a really a tough task at hand, the fact that the sales cycle of a SaaS product stretches from weeks to months, is itself a harrowing affair for a sales rep.

All said, no matter what sales roadmap you build, how great your product is, how much you boast of your customer service, you won’t be able to crack a SaaS deal unless you stay clear of this mistakes.

  1. Stretching the free trial: Who doesn’t love to get a free service that stretches for a couple of months or more? Everybody! Most B2B sales startups make the colossal mistake of going overboard with free trail packages. While a 15-30 days trial package seems normal, some companies extend that to 60-90 days, thus stretching the sales cycle unnecessarily. Longer the trial period, more difficult will it be for the sales rep to close the deal. Companies should therefore keep a tab on the length of the free trial package and make sure that sales reps communicate with the prospects during that free trial period, not when it’s over.
  2. Dangling the discount carrot at the start: Some SaaS startups lack the confidence to accept that their product is better and don’t need a discount to get accepted by customers. In order to obtain more customers for their product, they start dangling the discount carrot well before the customer has taken a trial of the product. That’s where things go downhill. Customers think that your product is not worth it, or you are trying to hoodwink them, when they hear of a discount. So, in order to maintain a strong foothold in the market, it is advisable to stay away from the discount trap. Instead you an offer two months free service for a two-year contract.
  3. Overlooking the credibility of the product: A common misconception of SaaS start-up companies is that customers are happy with their product and that their product will sell no matter what the market weather or customer is. Truth is, any amount of marketing won’t sell your product if you don’t accept the infirmities in the software and focus on exaggerating a few bells and whistles in it. Remember, if you can’t back your marketing efforts with a credible and efficient product that can solve people’s problems, then your product won’t sell. Apple products sell not only because of their shrewd and effective marketing strategy, but that their products are top ones.
  4. Purchasing leads without verifying: Most sales reps don’t want to take the grind of scouring for leads from various sources to sell their SaaS products. They resort to blatant lead purchase from unverified sources. The result is, you have a ton of leads that are outdated or overworked. Most of them have purchased SaaS products from other companies and the rest are tired of repeated calls from SaaS companies. That is why the prospecting rate is dismal at the end.
  5. Ignoring customer retention: Remember an old customer is more valuable than chasing a new lead. Customers that have purchased from you before have a 60% chance that they will buy from you again. Since former customers have a full-blown experience about your product and know the value and quality your products bring to the table, it would be a piece of cake for you to sell your SaaS products to them. So, never ignore your old customers.
Sumit Mondal Content Analyst at Square Yards.
Sumit Mondal Content Analyst at Square Yards.

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