Selling software in 2019: 3 steps to success

Whether you’re selling software you’ve made yourself, a software product for a major corporation, or Software as a Service (SaaS) you’ll need to follow a few basic principles in order to get your product into the hands of customers.

There is no better time than now to be in SaaS. But more opportunities mean more competition. If you want to lead the pack, you need to know how to sell SaaS.

There’s a whole library of literature and insights on the sales process and the basic foundations you’ll need to start selling software successfully.

But what about the little tips that aren’t often shared that can make all the difference to the success of your sales teams? Let us share three of those very nuggets.

Create your ideal customer profile

Always invest time in creating your ideal customer profile so that you can focus your sales and marketing efforts on generating high-quality sales leads.

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It’s basically a description of a fictitious organisation (company, government agency, non-profit) which gets significant value from using your product and provides significant value to your company.

You can use your existing customers to help shape this profile. List your top 10 customers and find the common attributes they share.

Next, formalise what you’ve identified in a customer profile template that includes relevant information about that organisation. You may want to consider variables like:

  • What size is the organisation?

  • Which job titles do you interact with to promote your product?

  • Which industry does the business operate in?

  • What do they stand to achieve with your solution and why would they not purchase?

  • Where are their pain points?

  • What features and benefits do they need to deliver their services?

  • How do they procure and who is involved?

  • Are they innovative or risk-averse?

Keep evolving the profiles and use them to shape where you target your sales efforts.

Rate your success against this profile – if you’re not converting leads in this area, maybe you need to revise your profiles to find organisations that are better matched to your offering?

Don’t be a wolf, don’t be a lamb – be a good parent

Traditionally, sales reps fall under two extremes: the ‘wolf-like’ assassin, or the gentle lamb.

Today these extremes are not as useful as they may previously have been. The aggression of the wolf is not always valued by customers, and when we know they can simply choose not to renew their contract after 30 days with the SaaS model, pressure and pushiness won’t always secure long-term commitment.

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Likewise, the too-soft salesperson could be vulnerable and fail to deliver value to their own business as a result.

The latest aspiration in top sales behaviour is to be the good parent.

Good parents have the best interest of their child at heart, but they also communicate from a place of strength:

  1. They give clear directions

  2. They confidently take charge of the conversation

  3. They lead with clarity

A great salesperson knows the product and market better than the prospects and knows how to overcome the challenges they may be facing. Using their expertise, the salesperson can guide and shape the prospect to make a good decision based on both business objectives.

In a nutshell, the salesperson needs to respectfully exert influence.

Learning never stops

Don’t get complacent. You’ve had a good run; you know your demo inside out and you’ve overcome the same objections with many prospects.

But what’s new in the market? What’s changing in your product? What are the all-new features planned on the roadmap that you can delight prospects with and assure that you’re always ahead of the curve?

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Salespeople need to stay up to date with SaaS as quickly as its licences renew.  

As a channel partner, use the vendor to get the latest product insights. Challenge them for more detail about the research and development, the investment going into the product.

And don’t be afraid to push information back into the development cycle. If you’re hearing new market trends and identifying untapped needs with prospects, make them heard. And that way you’ll keep the whole organisation learning, too.

Find out more

Do you want to learn more about how we support our teams when showing new customers our software solutions? Join our Partner Programme and you’ll not only get access to our software, but also our expertise. Visit our partner page or get in touch with us on email.