Ready to turbocharge and increase your SaaS sales in 2021? We asked Brooke Treseder, SVP, Revenue Operations at Checkout.com, Ellen Kindley, Chief Transformation Officer at Keyfactor, and Gordana Vuckovic at Contentstack to share their best tips to increase sales.
Key Considerations from 2020:
- Look at the data. Prior to the pandemic, many companies knew which vertical channels were doing well, but COVID caused a change in territory planning overnight. This past year has taught companies to be more agile, and more observant of the process as they move into the next fiscal year by looking at the data from last year, and current trends. Companies need to look at the company-specific data for their company for where to focus and where not to focus, as well as to understand what’s happening in the pipeline.
- Analyze or re-map your target account identification prioritization. Because your traditional or ideal customer could be a bit different post-2020, companies should apply a combination of firmographic objective data points such as mapping stock tickers to Salesforce, look at firmographic data, and also look at subjective feedback based on sales intelligence experience by industry. Ask yourself these two questions: what is the likelihood the consumer will buy this solution, and what is a consumer’s speed potential for purchasing? The sales team will be facing the right direction if those questions are answered correctly.
Focus on Prospects with Compelling Events:
Our experts saw deals stall out due to no decision or no change, leading to their addressable market getting smaller since companies are being more conservative with their cash. If your offering isn’t considered business-critical, then the mindset is that it can wait, and spending time to convince them otherwise is not something that can be controlled.
It’s important instead to concentrate on what can be controlled and spend time there. For example, in Q1 and Q2 stay focused on prospects with compelling events that force them to make a change. Tie your deal to a corporate objective such as a digital transformation, or a cloud-first initiative, or a new product line. Secure the deal through the use of all available resources such as executive relationships or board relationships in order to provide the most cross-functional attention possible.
Make it Easier for Customers to Grow With You:
Get creative if your sales have been stuck. Consider lowering the barrier to entry with a starter tier. The intent being to make it an easy start for customers, and remove red tape that occurs, especially when making large decisions. A product needs to be sticky for it to work, and the churn manageable. Lower tiers often have less back and forth negotiation and can create buy-in and proof for your customer to expand their use to the rest of their team.
Optimize your touchpoints. How many different touchpoints does a customer interface with you, whether it’s via an online application, email, or marketing? How many total touchpoints is it, and how can you decrease it to single-digit numbers as smoothly as possible? Consider rolling out a continual NPS to know how it feels to be the buyer at each stage of the journey.
Strengthen Channel Partner Relationships
For those selling into the enterprise, channel strategies are very important. In general, smaller companies, the channel partners, have their ear to the ground at strategic accounts and will know who is on a budget cut, budget freeze, their corporate objectives for 2021, and how a company offering will map to it. The current sales climate is to build stronger relationships with partners on a granular level, not simply have a channel team with paperwork in place.
Sales reps have to be talking to the channel sales reps, and have them go through account mapping exercises together: who do they know, what’s the organization chart there, what are their objectives, how can they work together. The goal is to have those teams build relationships, and think about ways that partners bring value to company deals. It’s important to sell that to the sales team too because sometimes a channel margin is coming off their quota, and their paycheck so it’s necessary to make sure the sales team believes the partners bring value by increasing relationships through deals such as new net deals, and through paperwork that can help with procurement. Engage partners proactively once the sales team understands the value that a partner is going to bring.
Optimize Your GTM Tech Stack to Further Enable Your Remote Sales Team
Transparency, accountability, scalability. Your cross-functional go-to-market team should be able to run a report on any given day and know what’s going on with existing customers, what’s in the pipeline, what’s expected to go live that week, and so forth.
Make your reps accountable. Our experts suggest making it easy for your reps to either run reports themselves or make it faster for them to get the data they need to sell from your sales ops team.
Last, invest in technology when you need to. Whether it’s a tool to help internal sales rep onboarding or transitioning your customer onboarding to a self-service platform, your tech stack should always support the company processes, but not define them.
5 Things to Think About for Turbocharging Sales in 2021:
- Targeting verticals or putting the right focus on growth
- Focus on prospects with compelling events to back the reason for purchasing right now vs. later
- Make sure the customer journey is easy for the person without being overly cumbersome
- If leveraging channels, strengthen the partnership, and if not then assess whether or not should leverage channels to give a broader reach
- Leverage the tech stack whether have a strong tech stack now or are revitalizing it with a huge opportunity to improve productivity of commercial teams