3 Levels In The Excessive-Performing SaaS Gross sales Sequence


SaaS (software program as a service) is the commonest mannequin for software program gross sales at the moment, which is unlikely to vary.

However whereas SaaS merchandise are ubiquitous, a radical understanding of the SaaS gross sales course of is way much less widespread.

Subscription consumers have a distinct perspective towards spending and extra intense expectations of the way you’ll service their wants and nurture the connection.

Plus, an honest chunk of SaaS gross sales development comes from rising current accounts, not simply closing new gross sales, which requires a wholly new method to gross sales group buildings and processes.

This text will information you thru the three broad levels of the SaaS gross sales sequence and supply actionable methods that will help you shut extra gross sales and drive income development.

Use the hyperlinks beneath to leap forward:

What’s SaaS gross sales, and the way does it differ from conventional gross sales?

SaaS (software program as a service) is a mannequin through which software program companies promote their product utilizing a subscription-based pricing mannequin. Slightly than putting in the software program platform on their very own pc, clients entry SaaS software program over the web (i.e., from the cloud).

SaaS gross sales is the method of promoting software program inside this mannequin.

Whereas most of the similar rules of conventional promoting apply (figuring out buyer ache factors, establishing rapport, and so on.), the SaaS gross sales course of is exclusive in two methods.

Firstly, you’re now not promoting a tangible product. When software program was bought beneath the perpetual license mannequin, clients nonetheless obtained a CD-ROM or USB drive to put in their product. Extra importantly, they owned it perpetually.

With the subscription mannequin, when clients finish their subscription, they now not have entry to the platform—clients are basically renting, not shopping for.

The second main distinction is how pricing works. SaaS merchandise are typically bought on a month-to-month subscription foundation. For instance:

Screenshot of ActiveCampaign's pricing page
ActiveCampaign’s pricing web page

From the shopper’s perspective, the dedication appears to be like very completely different. Consumers must forecast their means to afford this dedication into the longer term reasonably than assessing their monetary functionality to fund a single buy proper now.

So, it’s essential to develop a gross sales sequence that works for contemporary SaaS consumers.

Let’s check out what this could appear to be.

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construct a high-performing SaaS gross sales course of 

On the highest stage, the SaaS gross sales course of is split into three core phases:

  1. Lead technology and nurturing 
  2. Gross sales demonstration and shutting
  3. Account nurturing and development 
SaaS sales process
SaaS gross sales course of

First, you must decide the SaaS gross sales mannequin you’ll be working inside.

There are three predominant gross sales methods right here:

  1. Transactional
  2. Enterprise
  3. Self-service

The transactional gross sales mannequin is the commonest methodology in SaaS, the place software program corporations promote primarily to small and medium-sized companies.

Product pricing is often non-negotiable, and new gross sales are pushed by a gross sales group normally consisting of gross sales improvement reps and account executives. Leads could also be generated by outbound gross sales professionals or by way of inbound advertising and marketing practices.

The enterprise software program gross sales course of targets high-value clients with many customers. 

On the enterprise stage, groups promote at a excessive value however a low quantity (the other is true for transactional gross sales) and customarily construct customized pricing and repair packages.

The self-service mannequin is a standard method for low-price, consumer-facing merchandise (assume Netflix and Spotify). Gross sales groups are sometimes non-existent, and a freemium pricing construction (or a free trial) is often what drives lead technology.

SaaS gross sales cycles differ considerably between these fashions. Enterprise gross sales, by and huge, take an extended time to shut and require extra focused gross sales efforts (groups sometimes take an account-based advertising and marketing method).

General, the common B2B SaaS gross sales cycle ranges from one to 6 months.

Typical length of B2B sales cycle
Typical size of B2B gross sales cycle

Now, let’s dive deeper into the SaaS gross sales course of.

1. Construct a lead technology sequence 

Within the SaaS enviornment, the everyday buyer journey appears to be like one thing like this:

  • Consciousness (recognition of want)
  • Consideration (analysis and weighing up of choices)
  • Resolution (buy takes place)
  • Retention (objectives are achieved, and the shopper probably turns into an advocate)

SaaS gross sales reps nurture leads all through this course of, although the purpose at which leads enter the gross sales pipeline is dependent upon your gross sales methodology. There are two choices right here:

  1. Outbound gross sales
  2. Inbound gross sales
Outbound sales vs. inbound sales
Outbound gross sales vs. inbound gross sales

Within the outbound world, BDRs (enterprise improvement reps) carry out chilly outreach to potential shoppers, set up match, and generate certified leads for AEs (account executives). Gross sales is chargeable for lead technology.

Within the inbound world, the method is to draw prospects to your organization. Advertising groups are chargeable for lead technology, although SDRs sometimes pre-qualify leads earlier than a demo takes place.

Naturally, the SaaS gross sales ways for lead technology differ considerably relying in your chosen methodology.

Producing leads with an outbound gross sales method 

Keep away from a sprig and pray method the place reps name anybody and everybody who may be a match in your firm.

A well-defined ICP (perfect buyer profile) is important to your success.

Your ICP describes the kinds of clients you’re going after, the traits they exhibit, and the important thing stakeholders within the firm with whom you’ll want to attach. 

Right here’s an instance of what an ICP doc may appear to be for a challenge administration platform.

Use gross sales intelligence instruments like LinkedIn Gross sales Navigator to collect an inventory of potential clients based mostly on the standards recognized in your ICP.

For instance, one of many stakeholders a gross sales rep utilizing the ICP above wants to speak to is Venture Managers.

In Gross sales Navigator, slim all the way down to establish potential prospects who presently maintain that function.

example of a linkedin sales navigator search
LinkedIn gross sales navigator search

Use knowledge enrichment platforms like ZoomInfo’s SalesOS to be taught extra about these prospects and decide whether or not they meet your preliminary qualification standards (for instance, firm dimension or annual income).

When you’ve pulled collectively an inventory of pre-qualified candidates, it’s time to construct an outbound gross sales sequence.

The usual method is to schedule a cadence of telephone calls, emails, and social media touchpoints. The objective right here is to additional qualify and e book these leads for a gathering with an account govt (who will provide a bespoke answer utilizing consultative promoting).

There are just a few concerns to make right here.

The primary is the variety of touchpoints in your sequence. Typical knowledge is that it takes greater than seven calls to shut a sale.

Nevertheless, this may be overkill in some industries and purposes and might alienate your clients. However for some enterprise organizations the place you’re making an attempt to promote to a C-Suite decision-maker, it’d take many extra than seven calls to shut a deal.

The reply?

Check. Arrange just a few completely different cadences rooted in sound hypotheses (seven calls is the norm, in the event that they don’t come again after three, they’re not , and so on.), and set up what works greatest for your clients.

The second consideration is timing.

Wednesday is the perfect day to make calls (with a greater than 50% distinction between Wednesday and Monday, the lowest-performing day).

SaaS sales calls
SaaS gross sales calls


The intervals between 11 AM – 12 PM and 4 – 5 PM look like the perfect slots for getting your calls answered (a core drawback for outbound gross sales reps). 

SaaS sales call time of day
Finest time of day for Saas gross sales calls

Once more, these are across-the-board figures and will differ considerably based mostly in your use case. For instance, in the event you promote a software program platform that helps night time shift staff monitor productiveness, then an 11 AM name most likely won’t get an incredible response.

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Producing inbound gross sales leads 

The inbound gross sales methodology is a extra favorable method for many SaaS corporations. It’s extra sustainable in the long run, delivers greater high quality leads with greater buy intent, and is smoother from the shopper’s perspective since they’ve extra management within the shopping for course of.

Nevertheless, it’s a longer-term play. It might take a while to arrange an excellent funnel of inbound leads from the content material advertising and marketing efforts you’re working. 

This is the reason corporations usually come out of the gate with a hybrid method favoring outbound and step by step tilt towards inbound as their advertising and marketing investments repay.

The gross sales sequence itself is basically comparable, involving a sequence of emails, telephone calls, and social media touches with the objective of reserving a demo with a gross sales rep. 

That is except, after all, the lead has booked a demo instantly by way of your web site. On this case, you may merely have one touchpoint prior, the place an SDR calls to pre-qualify the prospect and achieve some intel that can assist the AE promote extra successfully.

The first distinction within the inbound sequence is how leads are generated.

Advertising takes extra accountability for lead technology beneath the inbound mannequin, and the commonest sequence appears to be like one thing like this:

  1. A possible buyer learns of your organization by way of free content material (blogs, guides, and so on.).
  2. They understand your product can remedy an issue they’ve and carry out extra analysis (normally exploring extra of your content material).
  3. The potential buyer accesses high-value gated content material (comparable to an e-book or webinar), which is the place the “lead technology” occurs (you seize an e mail handle).
  4. A advertising and marketing e mail sequence is utilized to nurture and educate the lead.
  5. Gross sales software program intent filters and lead scoring assist gross sales reps perceive which leads current essentially the most highly effective alternative.
  6. Gross sales reps attain out (typically working a sequence of e mail, social, and telephone touchpoints) to e book a gross sales demo with an AE.

That is the standard SaaS gross sales approach. Nevertheless, increasingly gross sales reps are leveraging social promoting, constructing presences on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn (utilizing their private profiles) to generate inbound leads for themselves and their group.

Savvy SDRs like Sam Nelson of Outreach construct massive networks discussing their merchandise, use instances, and buyer ache factors (and options to them) on LinkedIn, fostering consciousness and filling the highest of their inbound gross sales pipeline.

screenshot of sam nelson linkedin profile
Sam Nelson’s LinkedIn profile

2. Host customized, customer-centric gross sales demonstrations 

Within the B2B SaaS world, the demo is the place the ‘sale’ actually occurs.

SDRs and BDRs concentrate on nurturing and qualifying leads with the objective of reserving a gathering with an AE to promote the product and assist the prospect perceive the worth they’ll achieve by turning into a buyer.

Nevertheless, when you are making an attempt to promote, this shouldn’t really feel like a tough gross sales pitch from the potential purchaser’s perspective.

Clear up this paradox by guaranteeing gross sales demonstrations are extremely customized to the wants, wishes, objectives, and ache factors of the particular person and firm you’re promoting to.

SDRs and BDRs are chargeable for gathering this intel by way of the qualifying questions they ask throughout preliminary conversations.

Vital is the handoff of knowledge from these reps to Account Executives. Knowledge silos should be eradicated so the whole gross sales group has entry to the notes (PS. note-taking is essential!) and data captured on a buyer. That is normally dealt with by having all reps work inside the similar gross sales CRM.

AEs ought to have a templated method to product demos (you want one thing to construct from and don’t wish to be ranging from scratch each time) however should personalize by:

  • Eliminating info that’s pointless to the particular prospect they’re talking to.
  • Specializing in the options that remedy that prospect’s most urgent challenges and promoting the “dream” that’s their life with that drawback solved.
  • Making certain the demo is a dialog, not a pitch, by asking additional qualifying questions and digging deeper into motivating elements so the AE can promote into that ache level.

3. Drive SaaS income metrics by way of constant account development 

SaaS gross sales groups are chargeable for driving a number of key metrics, together with:

  • ARR and MRR (Annual and Month-to-month Recurring Income)
  • ACV (Common Contract Worth)
  • CLV (Buyer Lifetime Worth)
  • NRR (Internet Income Retention)
  • CAC (Buyer Acquisition Price)

Many of those gross sales metrics are pushed not solely by acquisition. They’re additionally pushed by the retention of present clients and the expansion of these accounts.

For instance, MRR decreases each time a buyer churns and will increase when reps cross-sell or upsell into an account.

Within the SaaS gross sales mannequin, the promoting doesn’t must cease as soon as a deal is signed.

Account managers (AMs) and buyer success (CS) brokers are chargeable for guaranteeing service ranges meet expectations and complaints are resolved rapidly and handled professionally. 

AMs should even be keenly conscious of the whitespace (merchandise you provide {that a} given account hasn’t but bought) out there and the way they will affect the shopper relationships to proceed rising the income from every account.

Utilization knowledge can present some perception right here. For those who’re promoting advertising and marketing automation software program, you may establish {that a} key account is making nice use of your e mail automation function.

Nevertheless, they haven’t bought the SMS automation add-on, which is one thing clients usually use together with e mail automation to create a multi-channel, multi-touch nurture marketing campaign.

Having recognized this, an AM can distribute content material or motion a gross sales name to debate potential advantages to the stakeholder and their firm. This helps develop the income from that account and helps the shopper get essentially the most out of your platform.


The objective of this information has been that will help you construct a high-performing gross sales group, keep away from widespread SaaS gross sales errors, and drive constant income development in your firm.

Whereas course of and process are important to this endeavor, effectively managing the gross sales engagement course of is simply as essential, which means automation will play an enormous half in your SaaS gross sales outreach program.
Strive ActiveCampaign at no cost at the moment, and uncover how our buyer expertise automation platform can remodel your gross sales efforts throughout the whole buyer journey.


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