According to Redpoint Ventures Managing Director Tomasz Tunguz, SaaS companies invest between 80 percent and 120 percent of their revenue in sales and marketing in the first five years of their existence. That’s a lot of monetary pressure to put on sales and marketing teams. And when it comes to SaaS sales, it’s a totally different beast from other B2B tech sales. You’re selling software and service — and this means that company you’re trying to woo is tied to your business for as long as they want to use your product. It’s a true commitment!
While there are points of crossover between general tech and SaaS sales, that doesn’t mean they both have the same fundamental truths. Here are a few things all SaaS sales reps find to be true for their niche market:
1. SaaS requires high-touch selling.
Relationship intelligence platforms, sales enablement solutions and other SaaS products take more explaining than consumer tech products like phone cases and portable batteries — and the sales process reflects that. Where someone might see an online ad for a sleek new portable battery and make an impulse buy, that one-touchpoint sale rarely — or dare we say, never — happens with a SaaS product. High-budget, business-impacting purchases are going to take several touchpoints to get prospects to convert and stick around.
That’s where PR can help strengthen your firepower through various types of coverage that support each step of the SaaS customer journey. From heightening awareness with targeted product and company coverage, building consideration through directly addressing a problem that you solve, and driving prospects to a purchase through thought leadership and beyond, PR can play an essential step in aiding in SaaS sales efforts. Additionally, continued media coverage can help retention efforts that ultimately lead customers to become true, outward advocates for your brand.
2. You’re not selling software, you’re selling success.
When it comes to dedicating a part of their budget to your product, prospects want to know what they’re investing in is ultimately going to be successful. That’s why case studies validated by a third-party outlet — like a top trade publication — can be a major component for driving the conversation forward. When you can show a prospect ways you’ve directly impacted a similar business, it takes out the guesswork for their team as to whether you can deliver on what you’re promising.
3. You’ll lose out on time and effort if you try to sell to the wrong target.
Picture this: You’ve had your eye on the dream customer for your DevOps SaaS product for years. Time after time, your outreach to their CIO goes unanswered — totally unnoticed. You finally get the chance to meet her at a local networking event, and as soon as you dive into talking about where your product might fit into her company, she immediately says, “That sounds interesting…you should talk to our automation architect. It sounds like your product might be something his team could use.”
All those carefully crafted emails and follow-ups could have actually pushed the conversation forward if you had been sending them to the right person from the start. If you don’t have the right target, that could mean months of ineffective efforts for your SaaS sales.
When it comes to PR for your business, targeting the right audience with your message is the first key to supporting your SaaS sales efforts. Not all outlets hold equal weight from buyer to buyer — what might resonate with the audience of a national business outlet like Forbes likely isn’t going to be what reaches those in-the-thick-of-it product engineers. The New York Times might make for a great logo on your website, but as you target the outlets your audience is actually reading, you’ll be able to begin pushing those who will actually buy through your sales funnel.
There’s one ultimate truth: being a SaaS sales rep ain’t easy. But, with the support of a PR partner that knows how to best support your biggest struggles, you’ll be able to use coverage to strengthen your sales cycle and help win over (and keep) those perfect customers.
Want to know how BLASTmedia can be that partner for you? Contact Lindsey Groepper to find out!
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- 3 Truths That All SaaS Sales Reps Understand - September 25, 2018
- Why PR Works for SaaS - April 17, 2018