Think about the last time you bought a shiny new electronic gadget. Did you read the manual, or did you start tinkering around with it? Most of us go for the latter.
The outcome? We never end up using the new gadget to its fullest potential.
Investing in an outbound sales team or strategy is vital to the SaaS sales industry. Still, many sales leaders don’t take the time to learn the critical components of building an efficient strategy. This leads to missed targets and a lack of growth.
Outbound sales doesn’t need to be intimidating, but it does require the correct planning and execution to be successful. This article highlights five outbound sales SaaS tips that will help jumpstart your strategy so you can start crushing your goals.
Why is SaaS Sales Different From Other Types of Sales?
Most of the time, SaaS is sold from a distance. Think about it; there’s no tangible product a prospect can hold.
You’ll often sell software offerings on the phone or using virtual selling approaches. The prospect wants to buy software, so you’ll offer a demo, a free trial, or a freemium subscription. Every SaaS salesperson needs a potential buyer to understand the outcomes of using the software.
It’s challenging to get the end user and the senior stakeholder on a call, though. SaaS salespeople, therefore, need to make two calls, one for the user and one for the leader.
Other complexities to navigate include
- A longer sales cycle with multiple stakeholders
- Creating value early on and talking to the right people
- A varied sales cycle depending on price and product complexity
SaaS sales can feel overwhelming if you don’t have the right mindset and tools to execute your strategy. And an excellent strategy requires understanding your sales model and how to help your prospect navigate it.
SaaS Sales Model Types
The Self-Service Model
As you’d expect, this model requires no sales activity. Lead generation plays the largest role here, effectively meaning marketing takes full responsibility for the sale. There’s still a sales process.
Marketing teams drive awareness and convert a prospect to a lead. They then set up an automation process, including email and directing users to test out your product with a free trial or move them straight to a purchase.
Pro Tip: Don’t stop there. A robust onboarding experience and consistent communication create brand advocacy.
The Transactional Model
The more expensive a product, the more likely a prospect will want to interact with the company. Large purchases, especially in the SaaS world, require a longer sales cycle and various decision-makers.
With the transactional model, you’ll have multiple sales reps and a (hopefully) cross-functional team, so marketing can provide content that sales teams use to progress sales.
The Enterprise Model
Succeeding with an enterprise sales model will require a sales team, outbound marketing, and enough capital runway to endure the long sales cycles.
Enterprise selling is complex. You’ll need to nurture customer relationships, give decision-makers personal attention, and provide a tailored solution. They’re usually high-ticket deals and carry more risk.
1. Understand the Difference Between Outbound and Inbound
The fundamental difference between inbound and outbound sales is how prospects reach the initial interaction. Inbound is pull; outbound is push
Inbound prospects initiate the sale. If your strategy is to attract prospects with inbound marketing, your ideal clients will find you. They may have searched for answers on Google and came across your content. Maybe a friend referred you to them.
Your ideal client researches your product, attends a demo, webinar, or event, and contacts your company. After the initial contact, you’ll set up a meeting and officially start the sales process. In this situation, salespeople are like trusted advisors.
RELATED READ: What’s Wrong with an Inbound-Only Strategy
An outbound sales strategy involves salespeople finding and contacting prospects through cold outreach like calls, emails, and messaging on social platforms. Inbound leads require qualification, but outbound sales reps research potential customers to pre-qualify them.
An outbound strategy increases the likelihood of booking calls with your dream client. With an outbound sales strategy, you can identify the company you want to land and call them directly instead of waiting for them to come to you.
2. Hire the right people
I have nothing against hiring ‘green’ talent. But, a junior or entry-level SaaS sales representative has 0-2 years of experience compared to a mid/senior SaaS sales representative with 3-8 years of experience.
Many SaaS businesses use a subscription or license model and charge accordingly. With long sales cycles and a lot of money changing hands, you want salespeople who aren’t afraid to hear the word no.
Better yet, they don’t just give up after hearing no. Many salespeople don’t follow up with prospects after hearing one ‘no!’
In my book, The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, I highlight the first three competencies a salesperson needs
Sales reps need the discipline to will themselves to take action, prospect, and follow up when they make a commitment. They need the optimism to keep pushing after hearing ‘no,’ and care enough to give clients their full and undivided attention.
Can you train these competencies? Absolutely. Salespeople need a team and a leader to create the right dynamic for outbound sales to thrive. Help your sales reps develop consultative skills and watch as they crush their targets.
3. Identify Your Target Audience
I spoke earlier about reaching your dream clients. Before you can do that, your team needs to know exactly who that is! Without an ideal customer, sales reps might get more ‘nos’ than necessary.
But don’t guess! Base your dream client on customer research, existing customers, and marketing data. Get granular. It helps to create a profile based on the following criteria
- Demographic: their location, role or title, and industry.
- Psychographic: their dreams, desires, how they want to work, and what they want to achieve.
- Technographic: Are they open to adopting new technology? Have they used premium tools in the past?
- Firmographic: type of organization, number of clients, revenue, their competitors.
Knowing this much about your potential clients makes it easier to create value. Imagine how much value you could create for them on your initial cold outreach if you have a product that solves a problem their industry faces.
Other questions you can ask here:
- What industries do you work best in, where do you see the most success, and where are your happiest customers?
- What roles are most influenced by your product? Who are your end users, and who are your key decision-makers?
Lastly, conduct surveys and customer interviews to gain further insight into what your dream client is going through.
Identifying your ideal customer profile will help your outbound team direct their efforts accordingly, and be more strategic with their time.
4. Find the Right Tools
There are plenty of tools available to salespeople. Sales are challenging enough. With tools available to make it easier, why would you not invest? Not to mention, you can optimize your team’s process and progress if they’re all using the same tools.
They describe themselves as The Outreach Sales Execution Platform. Their tool allows your team to create pipeline and close more deals. Your team will be organized and on top of their prospects and touchpoints through
- Simplified and automated workflows
- Ai-driven insights from the largest database of sales engagement data to guide reps through the sales process
- Visibility into the progress of deals
If you want insights, Gong has them. The platform captures what’s going on with your customers and team, giving you a holistic picture of your market and team. You can capture everything from video calls, to phone calls, emails, and more.
With all the data you collect, you can analyze every sales interaction to discover the key questions clients ask and help new hires replicate best practices.
Leadfeeder provides incredible insight. You can use Leadfeeder to see which companies visit your website, whether they fill out a form or not.
You can take a targeted approach to outbound prospecting based on the time a prospect spends on your website, the pages they visit, and more.
The tool integrates with Pipedrive, Salesforce, HubSpot, Google analytics, and many other CRM platforms, helping you fill your sales funnel with qualified leads.
ZoomInfo's sales engagement tool, Engage, provides features like sales automation tools, email analytics, a sales dialer, and more.
You can use this tool to create multi-channel prospecting campaigns tailored to the needs of your business and industry.
ZoomInfo's solution also helps provide users with the insights they need to tailor their messaging to the specific contact and prospect they're targeting. You can also use this tool to capture interactions across the entire account, increasing alignment within your sales team and organization.
5. Make Your Offer Clear
Your SaaS product or service solves a problem for your ideal client. That’s the dream. And if you create and provide incredible value, your price point should reflect that. For both you and your ideal client.
With a transparent pricing structure, you can communicate it easily, like this Leadfeeder example. There are two pricing options; the Lite version is free, and the premium version starts at $79/mo. They tell you what you get on the free plan and what you get on the premium plan. Can you see how this would be easier to sell?
When it comes to making your offer, make it clear and straightforward. Create a sales pitch deck that focuses on customer success. Set the scene. Describe what’s happening now, what’s going to change, and how you can help them navigate the changes.
Remember, customers want to know how your product helps them and how they’ll feel when they get results. They’re not worried about features at this point. They can learn about features when you provide an excellent onboarding experience.
Pro tip: If you don’t prepare for every sales call, you’re doing a disservice to your team and your clients. Determine what your client needs from you and draft your talk tracks. Most importantly, know everything you need about your client, their company, and their industry.
Crafting the Right Outbound Sales SaaS Strategy
When your team:
- Understands the difference between inbound and outbound
- Masters your ICP and buyer personas
- Has the tools to be successful
You can do outbound right.
Outbound doesn’t have to feel pushy or invasive. If you randomly connect with a prospect on LinkedIn and spam their inbox with requests for calls… That’s invasive. The difference between inbound and outbound marketing is simply who makes contact first.
RELATED READ: How to Avoid Being a Slimy Salesperson
Outbound sales can be tactful and powerful if you take the time to prepare. Build relationships with prospects and be ready to make calls when you need to.
You’ll rely heavily on prospecting to hit outbound sales goals. If you want to discover how to double your meetings with dream clients and master cold calling, check out my Prospecting Playbook!