In the world of B2B sales, SaaS is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries. Globally, the market is expected to grow as high as 716.52 billion US dollars by 2028. Your market has a lot of opportunity: Is your team prepared to seize it?
Sales training is challenging in any sector of sales. Sales professionals have sat in too many conference rooms listening to too many speakers provide too little value to get excited about the opportunity to engage in sales training. But the problem isn’t sales training as a whole: It’s ineffective sales training.
Effective sales training is still possible—you just need the right tools and the right approach.
This post will look at some of the unique sales training challenges in SaaS sales. Then, I’ll provide three tips to help you overcome any challenge and supercharge your sales force with incredible training.
SaaS Sales Training Challenges
Before you can win any battle, you need to understand what you’re up against. Let’s begin this post by talking about the challenges sales reps face in SaaS sales. SaaS can be particularly challenging to sell for a few reasons:
- Lack of a physical product: Many sales reps make the mistake of rushing to a demo to show off a product the customer can’t physically see. When you rush to a demo, you risk focusing too much on the features rather than demonstrating to the customer what value and outcomes the product can provide.
- B2B vs. B2C challenges: B2B sales require a different approach from B2C. B2B sales require you to win over not just one customer but multiple organizational stakeholders. Another challenge SaaS sales reps face is explaining the strategic outcome to senior leaders. Without this step, you will fail to get their consensus or support.
- Freemium to premium sales: Many SaaS businesses market their solution by offering a freemium version of their software, hoping users will upgrade once they see the solution's value. If your contact believes the free version is “good enough,” it can be challenging to help them see the value in upgrading.
RELATED READ: The Value of the Sales Conversation vs. Your Solution
In addition to these SaaS-specific challenges, sales training is tricky to get right on the whole. If you’ve previously used sales training programs and been disappointed with the results, you might be tempted to believe that sales training just doesn’t work. The truth is that sales training can be incredibly effective—but only if the training takes a modern approach to sales. Many sales training programs take a legacy sales approach that will get your reps ghosted by prospects and cause more frustration than they’re worth.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at three of my top tips for finding a SaaS sales training program that actually works.
1. Identify Core Sales Challenges
You’ll have a much easier time getting quality results from your sales training efforts if you target your training to address your team’s core sales challenges. No two sales teams are identical, so cookie-cutter sales training approaches are unlikely to produce the best results possible. The best sales training programs are flexible enough to be targeted toward addressing specific challenges.
You might already be well aware of your team’s biggest challenges. If not, here are some common challenges your team may struggle to overcome:
- Integration with Marketing
- Consistent CRM System Usage
- Overcoming Objections
- Qualifying and Managing Leads
- Winning Return Business
Your team may also struggle with some SaaS-specific challenges in the changing environment. For example, many of your sales likely take place virtually these days. It can be challenging to command a lead’s attention over Zoom or on the phone than it would be in person. In this case, virtual sales tactics might be a training topic your team should pursue.
Before engaging in training, look for patterns of challenges across your team. Once you’ve identified your team’s challenges, you’ll be able to target sales training to meet those issues head-on.
2. Focus on Creating Value, Not Extracting It
Many sales training programs lean on legacy tactics—the types of sales strategies that customers have labeled “commission breath.” If you’re relying on training that teaches reps these outdated methods, you’re more likely to drive customers away than to close more deals when your training is complete.
Instead, you should use a modern approach to sales, pursuing training that positions your reps as trusted advisors and consultants. Select topics that are relatable and usable for your team and industry. By focusing on training that provides actionable advice, you’ll increase your reps’ engagement in the training process.
You may also want to explore sales coaching as a part of your SaaS sales training plan. When used in conjunction with robust training programs, sales coaching can help reinforce skills, encourage behavioral shifts, and build mentor-mentee relationships among your team members.
Lastly, make sure you’re training multiple tactics and strategies. Most top performers use more than one strategy, so giving your staff various tips and tricks further maximizes their chances of success.
3. Focus on Mindset
If your staff doesn’t understand why they need to change, they won’t make meaningful progress during sales training efforts. As a result, you need to focus on mindset during training, showing your reps the value of making the behavioral shifts required to find success.
One important mindset to have in sales is an indomitable mindset. Sales is rife with rejection, particularly in SaaS. All salespeople hear "no" much of the time, but software as a service tends to have higher than average rejection rates. Why?
First, the explosion of offerings has many companies competing for too few dollars. It's important to frame this correctly. The mindset your reps need to have is that prospecting is a long-term play. Knowing who needs (or will need) what you sell is impossible. You are making relationships and opening an opportunity to continue to communicate with the people who would benefit from what you sell.
No means not now… or it means you just need to adjust the perception of the value you create.
In addition to embracing a mindset where you thrive despite rejection, you must foster a one-up mindset in your reps. The one-up mindset is a concept I came up with and wrote about in my book, Elite Sales Strategies.
If you have a one-up mindset, you establish authority over your prospects, positioning yourself as a valuable source of counsel, information, and expertise.
If you foster that energy in your reps, your sales training efforts will be far more successful.
Level-Up Your SaaS Sales Training
Sales training is challenging in any field, but SaaS sales teams face unique challenges that can make it even more difficult to train sales reps effectively. These three tips will help you get the building blocks you need to help your team succeed.
I designed my Sales Accelerator to offer all these steps and more. My program will help you identify the core challenges blocking your team from sales success. Then, we’ll design a customized training program for your team.
The Sales Accelerator offers hundreds of hours of training in courses and tracks that make it easy to adjust to any sales goal. It will give your team courses and tracks that help give your team the confidence, talking points, and mindset they need to crush any target. To see how the Accelerator can create a massive shift for your team, get started today.