More businesses today are moving to SaaS. Implementation is fast, systems are agile, and updates are less burdensome. Therefore, it’s no surprise that “SaaS is expected to grow sharply to nearly one-quarter (23%) of all enterprise workloads by mid-2018,” according to 451 Research. Effective SaaS sales professionals are learning to adjust to these changes.
They’re refocusing their efforts on becoming more consultative than transactional because buyers can change providers at any time. Buyer expectations now extend beyond the initial purchase. The strongest sales professionals are creating relationships.
In our last post, we offered five best practices for selling the cloud. Here, we look at another five. Sales professionals need modern skills to position modern solutions.
Focus on Customer Success Management
A “closed” deal never truly closes. Sales professionals are expected to be an ongoing resource for the customer. This level of engagement is critical to generating renewals that maintain cash flow while limiting customer churn.
Just as the sale never closes, the competition never ceases. Other sales professionals will not slow their pursuit simply because a customer has started a relationship with a provider. Successful sales professionals never let their guards down.
Delivering consistent value for the buyer means staying ahead of company-specific technical challenges and developments in the industry. Sales professionals need to prepare their long game in order to unlock the lifetime value of their buyers.
Measure and Report Customer Business Impact
Customer dissatisfaction doesn’t always make itself heard. It’s important to seek regular feedback and keep all lines of communication open.
Don’t assume that a lack of dialogue signifies contentment. Too often, the customer’s frustrations rise to the surface when it’s too late.
Sales professionals can leverage the platform’s analytic capabilities to prevent this problem. Customer-generated usage and engagement metrics offer insight into solution performance.
This process begins when the sales professional works with the buyer to identify goals and standards for success. This upfront information equips the sales professional to address the issues and correct problems proactively.
Leverage Insights to Address Evolving Needs
Customers need competitive solutions. The problem, however, is that what’s competitive today won’t be tomorrow. The sales professional must offer insights that inform future strategies. They must think ahead on the buyer’s behalf. Simply put: evolve or disappear.
This is one of the most powerful and challenging aspects of selling cloud solutions. Preparation means understanding the nuance of the customer’s business while considering downstream challenges. The sales professional’s competitive advantage is understanding how to spur the buyer’s competitive advantage.
Resolving Service Issues Promptly
SaaS capabilities are becoming important to nearly all aspects of a business. As a result, there are greater opportunities for problems to arise. Effective sales professionals uncover these potential service issues before they become a source of concern for the customer.
The strength of the sales professional stems from their ability to proactively address problems. In many cases, the customer’s perception of the sales professional is only as good as the last interaction. Make each one count with reliable service and resolutions.
Remaining Agile in SaaS Sales
Changes in cloud computing are not only inevitable — they’re accelerating. If the sales professional is going to stay in the game, they must match this rhythm.
They can do so by effectively connecting customer needs to specific solution capabilities. While SaaS solutions boast considerable power, sales professionals must remember that the software is a tool. Therefore, the tool is only as effective as those who use it.
Sellers don’t add value by making SaaS solutions known and available. They add value by helping inform the user how it fits their business and goals. Doing so requires agility as the scope of SaaS broadens.
Today, SaaS adoption is strongest in customer-related categories, including marketing, eCommerce, and customer service. The buyers in these categories understand the importance of their relationships with their customers. Therefore, SaaS sales professionals must be prepared to match this commitment when talking to the buyer.