4 Steps To Optimize Your B2B SaaS Sales Cycle
July 19, 2022 Edwin Kooistra
The Business to business (B2B) industry has been gradually growing over the last 8-10 years, estimated to be valued at a behemoth worth of almost $7 trillion in 2022.
Described in the easiest terms, a B2B sales process is a transaction between two organizations rather than between an organization and individual customer. Business to business sales processes are usually made up of larger sales value, more informed & insightful buyers, a multistage negotiation process, and longer sales cycles.
In comparison to B2C, closing leads in the B2B sector takes longer and is very difficult due to several reasons. Interesting insights from a research article identifies that on average B2B buyers reject four offers before accepting the ideal one, with almost 6 to 7 people involved in the purchase decision making process.
The insights also identify 60% of B2B businesses indicate that the industry is highly competitive. This stern competition requires SaaS organizations to routinely optimize their sales processes to make it more convenient for buyers while reducing onboarding times.
The great news is that 60% of B2B buyers repeat their purchases with organizations. This means that developing sleeker and quicker sales process cycles is necessary to retain customers for sustainability in a competitive environment.
4 Types of B2B SaaS Sale Cycles
SaaS B2B sales cycles can be categorized into four unique models that we will briefly overview.
1 – Inbound Sales Cycle
The Inbound sales cycle is powered by engaging customers through valuable content marketing through digital platforms. These also termed ‘self service cycles’ involve creating brand awareness, delivering SaaS service benefits, and then possibly converting freemium users paid subscriptions.
The inbound sales cycle is dependant more on its marketing efforts, which eventually become its sales initiative and hence requires fewer sales reps. These types of sales cycles do however require sales assistants or customer experience teams to upsell to and retain existing customers.
2 – Enterprise-level Sales Cycle
Enterprise level sales cycles generally involve high cost customized software and an outbound approach from B2B sellers. These sales cycles are longer due to varying organizational decision-making hierarchies. B2B SaaS sellers who work with enterprise level software usually have fewer sales but higher revenue.
These cycles involve long negotiations to build more personalized SaaS applications that will assist entire organizations to become more efficient, develop effective processes, and improve accountability. Since this process requires more negotiations, sales personnel play a crucial role in convincing multiple stakeholders while closing the lead over longer sales cycles.
3 – Transactional Sales Cycle
These are complex sales cycle models that involve great care and creativity from both sales teams and marketing teams to nurture leads over long intervals.
In addition to sales team approaching buyers, it is essential for marketing teams to focus on making customers aware of inefficiencies in their organization and offer them centralized solutions to alleviate them.
Usually considered high volume sales cycles, transactional models need considerable attention from both sales and customer support teams to ensure continual customer growth & retention. Transactional sales cycles may even require software customization and dedicated support systems for particular clients.
4 – Free Trial Sales Cycle
New SaaS sellers generally offer free trials to build an active user base. Customers get a realistic preview of the service while recognizing all its advantages. Since its free, great care must be taken by the SaaS provider to limit the free trial by time (e.g. 30 Days), features (e.g. Unlock data insights with premium), or a lower cost.
Enterprise level SaaS solutions generally have longer trial periods for buyers to get accustomed to the software, learn all its benefits, and allow them to experience services in real time.
5 Factors To Understand Before Optimizing Your B2B SaaS Sales Process
- Identify Your Target Audiences
- Collaborate with Decision Makers
- Focus on Lead Quality
- Schedule Product Demos with Prospects
- Closing Leads Successfully
1 – Identify Your Target Audiences
It is crucial for organizations to know specifically who their audiences are. These are all the potential target customers who will take an interest in the content and services of the business. Marketing and sales teams usually develop ideal customer profiles and buyer personas to identify their perfect audiences.
2 – Collaborate with Decision Makers
SaaS marketing and sales teams should regularly engage with business decision makers to build resolute rapport within organizations. Collaborating with final decision makers like CMOs, CFOs, CTOs, and other senior management allows providers to learn more about customer pain points and innovate services accordingly.
3 – Focus on Lead Quality
Marketers should prioritize their focus on lead quality, consistently, with audiences bound to move to other services. Nurturing B2B leads through valuable content and communications is essential to convince them to make a buying decision. SaaS businesses should preferably have multiple sales funnels using multiple platforms to engage with prospect leads.
4 – Schedule Product Demos with Prospects
Sales and marketing reps should prioritize product demos with interested prospects to immediately display the benefits of their services. An increasing number of SaaS providers now offer video demos over social platforms like LinkedIn, YouTube, and FaceBook on a mass scale via their official profiles.
5 – Closing Leads Successfully
While closing the lead is crucial when the opportunity is presented, the relationship does not end with the transaction. Closing leads successfully is an ongoing process where customer success teams continuously engage with clients to identify issues and innovate services.
4 Steps to Improve Your Business to Business SaaS Sales Process
- Position The Right Sales Team
- Track All Stage Of Your Sales
- Quick Customer Onboarding
- Offer Solution to Problems
1 – Position The Right Sales Team
It’s of critical significance to position the correct sales teams to engage with different customers in accordance to their stage of the buyer journey. A successful sales team must focus on researching the customer, educating them, communicating with them, providing them benefits, and nurturing them to make a buying decision.
2 – Track All Stage Of Your Sales
It is a very advantageous practice to track multiple sales and marketing funnels. This allows SaaS sales teams to directly engage with interested prospects. Marketing teams can create different types of engaging content depending on different pain points and use cases.
3 – Quick Customer Onboarding
Convenience is the name of the game, therefore SaaS businesses must ensure their sales process is quick, simple, and convenient for customers. From deploying streamlines signup landing pages, to easy access to live support, businesses must remove redundant steps in the sales process for superior customer satisfaction.
4 – Offer Solution to Problems
Enough cannot be emphasized about solving customer pain points at every stage of their buyer journey. Businesses are looking beyond doing business with service providers, they are looking for partners who assist them solve problems.
The competitive nature of the SaaS B2B sector demands that service providers consistently improve their sales processes. Providers must focus more on solving customer problems and customization than looking for higher revenue numbers.
In addition, sales teams need to be more engaged and proactive in the SaaS B2B sales process to ensure constant customer engagement with the brand.
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