How awesome would it be if your products sold themselves?
You could retire to a beachside community and sip Mai Tais as you watched the sun set 🍹 ☀️…
But unfortunately, we live in a world where the internet is saturated and no one knows you’re selling a product unless you “show and tell” them.
You’ve got to post signs and use research and other tactics to get customers to mosey by and take a look at what you offer.
And if you’re selling to a business, this process is even more complex. There’s less of a chance of distracting business customers with shiny objects and trendy deals. Because as the name “B2B” implies, these clients mean business.
But have no fear!
2021 started with a sigh of relief that 2020 was finally over.
But even if it doesn’t end up being any different—we’re different, smarter, savvier, and ready for what comes—aliens 👽👽, asteroids ☄️, or zombies 🧟♂️🧟♂️.
We’re especially ready to sell B2B SaaS products.
That’s why in this article, I’ll tell you:
- What the research and data says about selling your SaaS services in a post-COVID environment.
- The major difference between selling to customers vs businesses.
- 7 detailed strategies to sell more SaaS products in 2021 (insert quippy pun about SaaS).
Let’s get into it! (Hold on to your SaaS, we’ve got a lot to cover!)
Are Companies Buying SaaS Products in the Wake of the Corona Age?
They sure are.
Companies are spending more than ever in the Corona Age season to fill the gaps they need for online communication.
So even though the coronavirus has impacted most businesses worldwide, SaaS buying is actually up by 50% according to a study by Blissfully.
It’s painful to even admit it, but COVID-19 actually has brought some positive repercussions to businesses in the SaaS industry.
Sounds weird, huh?
But the truth is COVID has heightened the effectiveness of digital selling.
And when you consider that, according to McKinsey, nearly 80% of B2B decision makers prefer human interactions and digital self service.
And considering over ¾ of B2B customers say that remote selling is more effective than selling in person even after the pandemic has ended, you realize the major impact the Corona Age has brought to business and consumers.
So no questions asked.
Companies are buying SaaS products in the wake of the Corona Age.
So what are you waiting for to start putting your SaaS products out there?
Well, I actually know what you’re waiting for.
You’re waiting for killer B2B SaaS sales strategies that will pay off in 2021…
But before I dive into those strategies, let me ask you this question…
How Do B2B Sales & Marketing Differ From B2C?
This may surprise you but…
A car isn’t the same as an airplane.
Sounds dumb, right?
Because obviously cars and airplanes are 2 different things.
Well, the same thing goes with B2B sales and B2C.
They’re different things.
But what’s really weird is a lot of people actually treat them the same. And that’s a huge mistake.
See, B2B sales (business selling to businesses) are very different from B2C sales (businesses selling to consumers)—even if the product or service sold is the same.
While consumers tend to be more about entertainment, emotional value, social trends, and all that jazz, businesses are all about business.
But how exactly can your product help a business make more money? How does it solve a specific problem that they can’t solve themselves? And how will it affect their budgets and bottom lines?
These are the pain points to hit with your content marketing or your B2B sales funnel as a whole.
But when it comes to B2C, the pain points are more along the lines of “I want to feel like I’m 20 years younger” or “how do I get people to like me?”
Here’s a pretty neat visual breakdown of the different marketing techniques each audience tends to respond to.
So there’s a different psychology, different markets, and a completely different way of selling.
A B2B sales funnel’s buying cycle takes way more time.
In fact, according to a research survey from Business2Community, 58% of B2B buyers said their decision process was longer in 2017 compared to 2016.
Because B2B sales funnels are simply more value-focused—and less emotionally focused—on how decisions are (theoretically) made.
B2B sales have more decision makers to go through.
In fact, according to research by Gartner, a typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves 6-10 decision makers.
And there are also 6 B2B buying “jobs” that customers must complete in order to finalize a purchase.
On top of that, B2B buying doesn’t happen in a linear order. Take a look at the B2B buying process below…
The B2B sales funnel is actually a lot longer and you don’t have as many upsell opportunities.
There are actually some high-quality B2B sales funnel examples worth studying like the one below…
Now that you know how B2B sales and marketing differs from B2C and the major difference between selling to customers vs businesses, let’s jump in (finally) to each of the 7 B2B SaaS sales strategies…
#1 B2B SaaS Sales Strategy: Invest in Content Marketing
Investing in content marketing for selling a B2B SaaS sales product is an opportunity to demystify the product and make it more approachable to businesses that may be intimidated by new software.
Because content marketing as a Google search term remains at an all-time high as more businesses adopt it as part of their marketing mix.
Just look at the growing volume of search traffic for the term “content marketing.”
Even in 2021 after Covid-19 has taken the world, the trend continues to increase (“But I thought content marketing was, like, so 2013?…” — Nope!).
Want proof of its power?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, B2B buyers consume 13 pieces of content on average. And 43% of B2B organizations measure content marketing’s ROI.
Content marketing is a growing trend. And that’s why this B2B SaaS sales strategy is all about that.
Content marketing has more to do with educating your audience on the problems your brand solves than selling people on why your company is great.
It should address direct needs of your ideal customers and it should align with your sales team’s efforts.
Just stick with content that services your customers in a meaningful way, and you’ll start to see a return.
Position yourself as an expert on your content. Add third party research showing your product’s effectiveness.
Add testimonials from influential people/businesses that have used your products or any form of social proof.
B2B sellers get most of their traffic from online communities like Quora, Reddit, Twitter, Medium etc. So explore those platforms when promoting your B2B SaaS products.
And don’t forget to tap into the power of video.
Using video for your content is an opportunity to connect with customers that don’t have the time to read a blog post.
And in fact, 86% of people want to see more video from brands according to Weidert. 95% of marketers using video said it has helped to increase user understanding of their product or service. And 80% of marketers say video directly helped increase sales.
Using video in your content marketing strategy helps.
It’s why we always promote our content with videos too.
#2 B2B SaaS Sales Strategy: Offer Free Trials
Offering free trials for your B2B SaaS customers gives them an opportunity to decide if your software is a fit for them or not.
In fact, 44% of SaaS companies offer a free trial according to Totango.
It’s exactly why we offer our clients a 7-Day for $7 trial to test AutoGrow’s service.
In this time, clients get to log in to our web app and delegate any creative and digital marketing projects they want.
They try our web app, they try our full-stack team ready to work on their accounts, and they try delegating the work to us.
If they decide they like us, then they just continue with our service. And if they don’t like us (which is improbable) then they just cancel their trial risk-free.
And the same thing happens with your SaaS products. If you’re looking to sell them, then the best B2B SaaS sales strategy is to offer customers a free trial.
The fact that it’s free gives them peace of mind. Because if they don’t end up liking your product or service or end up deciding it’s not a fit, then they feel like they didn’t “waste” any money there.
And that works even if you charge a small price like we do.
Here’s a tip though; when you offer your free trial, don’t give 100% of your product or service away.
What does that mean?
Well, try to tease them and show a part of your offer—not the full offer so they can come back for more.
For example, have features, time, or usage limitations, or require a credit card after when they sign up.
Because requiring credit card information from your customers can actually boost conversions.
Just take a look at the example below.
Ok so now that it’s clear that offering free trials as one of your B2B SaaS sales strategies works, let’s see what’s the next strategy…
#3 B2B SaaS Sales Strategy: Include Human Interaction & Let Prospects Easily Contact You
Give prospects more options to contact you.
Whether it’s via email, a contact form, on the phone, or via live chat, prospects will learn more about your business. And this, in turn, will translate into converting them into paying customers.
In fact, according to McKinsey, digital interaction with sales reps via video conference and online chat has increased from 38% to 53% and from 40% to 49% respectively.
So don’t be afraid to add a live chat widget on your website or some sort of video interaction between your company and prospects.
It’s exactly what we do and I can tell you as a fact that we’re constantly seeing results from offering live chat support, our free demo webinar, and scheduling a consultation call.
And when you apply this B2B SaaS sales strategy, keep in mind both the Law of Visibility and the Law of Friction—2 of the Laws of Sales Funnel Physics.
The Law of Visibility says that offers must be seen in order for sales and conversions to occur. And the Law of Friction says that the easier you can make the experience for an interested buyer, the more likely he/she will buy!
So the more visible you make your “contact” options on your site, the easier you’re going to make it for prospects to contact you.
#4 B2B SaaS Sales Strategy: Make Sure Your Product Fits Your Market
Did you know that 42% of startups fail because there is no market need for the product/service businesses sell?
Yep, according to CB Insights, that’s a fact.
So when you plan on selling your B2B SaaS products/service, make sure your audience actually needs it.
Make sure it’s really solving a problem for your audience, because if it’s not valuable and it doesn’t solve a problem, then people won’t buy it.
So make sure to truly understand your audience’s needs and craft a product that is tailored to those needs.
#5 B2B SaaS Sales Strategy: Be Always Customer-Focused
There’s a reason why businesses say “always put the customer first.”
It’s not a random quote. It’s a real truth.
And those businesses that put their customers first are the ones that truly improve client retention.
Because as all sales processes go, you first need to build rapport with your prospects with sales rapport building tactics.
Then, you must establish authority with prospects in sales.
And then, you can finally ask for the sale.
But throughout your entire B2B SaaS sales process, you need to focus on providing excellent customer service.
You need to understand what your customers want and need and show them you care.
And you can even also ask them for feedback—how they feel using your product or service, what suggestions they’d make. Anything.
Because this will help your customers feel valued, appreciated, and important.
And user feedback can actually grow your sales by 70%. So it’s really a win-win.
#6 B2B SaaS Sales Strategy: Utilize Co-Marketing
Try working with other businesses to build your brand and utilize each other’s audience.
As a matter of fact, 54% of companies say partnerships drive more than 20% of company revenue according to Partnerize.
So you can utilize co-marketing if, for example, there’s a company with a very similar audience to yours and you can ask them to work with you.
But how would you work with a company with an audience similar to yours?
Well, it could be working on a simple blog article (like guest writing) and promote the article to both audiences.
Or if you create a lead magnet together, then you’d be sharing the downloads’ contact information.
That way both companies will be co-working on getting twice the leads they’d normally would.
#7 B2B SaaS Sales Strategy: Offer Yearly & Monthly Contracts
Offering both yearly and monthly-based contracts makes purchasing more flexible for your customers.
Because of the Law of Range.
This law says that audiences respond better to having the freedom to choose from a variety of products and services.
This means that people love choices. They like having options to choose from.
Who wouldn’t, right?
Can you imagine being offered just a Tootsie Roll vs being offered to choose between a Twix, Kit Kat, and Milky Way?
People simply like being able to choose which kind of product they’re getting, even if those choices are the same price.
For example, take a look at our pricing page.
We not only have 4 different packages with different prices and features for clients to choose from. But we also give the option to clients to choose how they want to pay—monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Because don’t you think that more clients would actually sign up for our service if they have more options to choose from?
The same thing happens with your SaaS products or service.
Customers would prefer to have the option to choose to sign up for a monthly-based service or for a yearly one.
And well, we offer the quarterly option because we’re all about flexibility but I know it could sound a bit too generous 😉.
But the point is, make the process as easy as possible for customers to buy.
Only then you’ll increase customer loyalty and make your revenue and expenses predictable.
When you’re developing a software as a service, you want to make sure you’re maximizing the time and funds investment you’ve put in.
A popular quote circling the internet is “B2B is marketing to people at work, B2C is marketing to people at home.”
Remember that when you are selling as a B2B company, the decision making process will be longer and involve more people.
These decision makers need to prove to their team that the investment in your service will help them accomplish their goals.
So always start with your prospect in mind, from research to development of your product, to marketing, and content creation.
Establishing a deep relationship with your prospects will lead to loyal customers, repeat business, and customers that market for you.
And if you need help with your B2B SaaS sales strategy because you don’t even know how to create a SaaS sales funnel from top to bottom, AutoGrow is here for you.
We can take any work related to your SaaS business off your plate—from email marketing to designing your B2B SaaS sales funnel strategy.
Now tell me one thing, what’s your favorite B2B SaaS sales strategy from this article?
As usual, let me know in the comments below.
Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused.