Optimizing the SaaS Sales Funnel: Strong Prospecting and Negotiation Skills Are Just Part of the Process
An increasing number of business leaders around the world are now choosing to invest in cloud-based applications and services. In fact, the global Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry is thriving, with an expected 2016 Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.5 percent.
This strong avenue for revenue means that competition is heavy in the SaaS industry, so that even the best solutions will not sell themselves. The sales process is shifting away from sales-based marketing to primarily education-based selling. Advanced, multichannel, content-driven strategies, now used by 93 percent of global B2B marketers, are required to connect with business leaders and influence purchases. Here are some ways that content is being used to drive sales:
Content educates customers: Customers today want to see more than just a spec sheet before making a purchase—especially when it comes to buying software. They want to watch videos, read blog posts and listen to podcasts. To further inform their decisions, they also desire to see case studies and white papers about how other companies benefitted from the same solution.
Content generates leads: A great piece of content will be shared across social media channels, and will be discoverable on Google. This attracts new leads and helps drive unique visitors to websites. And by analyzing click rates and downloads, salespeople can analyze great prospects worth following up with a call.
Today’s high demand for content is creating a youth movement in the SaaS industry. Companies are looking for young sales professionals—primarily 26 to 34-year-olds—who have grown up accessing content on the Internet and are, therefore, more expert at social media than some of their senior counterparts. The current market demands that these salesmen hit the ground running and reach key targets easily and quickly.
Strong selling mechanics are just a small part of the SaaS sales process. Today’s SaaS companies are investing in young talent with the intention of molding these professionals into high-end inside sales leaders who can generate business through referrals. In order to be considered in today’s competitive, data-driven market however, candidates must also add a few new skills to the resume: creative and technical writer; strong prospector, lead nurturer and speaker, effective cross and up-seller; and expert marketer.
As an executive recruiting firm that focuses on Executive Management, Sales, Marketing and Technical roles within Information Technology markets, J. Patrick and Associates has a firm grasp of today’s evolving SaaS industry and professional candidate pool.
Looking to fortify your team with qualified SaaS salesmen? We can help.
Are you a candidate seeking a position in the SaaS industry that satisfies the requirements mentioned above? Contact us today!