The path of success to propel the growth of B2B SaaS is a rocky road. Right from generating qualified leads to attaining a sound annual recurring revenue (ARR), businesses have to pass through a complex landscape to achieve success. The technological upsurge is making the marketspace more competitive, and a well-articulated sales strategy is more than required to stay at the top of the competition. In the digital economy, to sell your software, you have to proactively engage in education, supporting buyers to fulfill their needs and hook them in your products; the marketing tactics require to be robust.
In the B2B sales space, the SaaS organization has to deal with the target audience with their logical purchase decision. Often, there is more than one decision made in making the purchasing decision. Going by the stats, it is observed that 57% of the buyers’ purchasing decisions are made before they have any conversation with the sales reps. SaaS is growing super fast, and by 2025, they are expected to reach $400 billion. So to keep with the pace, the marketers and the sales team must hone their skills to propel the customer acquisition process where they have to cross-sell to their existing client base.
In this article, we have accumulated some of the significant challenges faced in the SaaS sales cycle and also have listed a few tactics to overcome the challenges to boost your business growth. Let’s have a look:
What Makes The SaaS Sales Cycle Challenging?
In B2B sales, the SaaS organization has to go through a longer sales cycle, and the challenges are more complex, as the software you are using is not a physical product. Hence it requires adherence to a marketing strategy that delivers the value proposition. With the updated release of different versions, you must be precise to render your message to a significant market.
Since you are already in a niche market, creating accurate buyer personas and assessing the customers’ behavioral patterns is necessary to acquire more qualified leads. Furthermore, to get the audience’s attention to your content requires to be detailed and able to educate the reader about how your products can solve their pain points to bring the decision-makers to the sales cycle more quickly. We have specific challenges associated with the SaaS sales cycles. Let’s try to understand the obstacles in the path you may have:
1. Competitive Marketspace
The current shift from the on-premise software to the cloud-based SaaS requires some time to break the pre-built apprehension of the consumers. Primarily the target market may be apprehensive about the data security as it is a significant aspect they think about. So your privacy terms should be cleared without branching the audience’s trust, and offering content with the in-depth product details hails to break these notions. However, the positive aspect is that with the significant increase in the SaaS product, now organizations are more accounted for with these solutions, and awareness about the product is already generated.
But the rapid growth has brought another challenge: you now have more competitors to contend with, and staying visible in the crowd requires a more strategic approach. Each day, a new SaaS business is trying to break into the B2B saas market space. And giants who have already established themselves in space have more reserves in capital and human resources, as well as have built years of trust. The venture studios are also now inclining towards investing in SaaS, making the industry more fierce.
In the noisy SaaS space, you can utilize the market research survey to build data-driven insights on the current marketing trend. In addition, myriad robust survey research tools are available to bring you the audience traits that assess your consumer needs, requirements & their pain-points.
2. Building A Loyal Customer Base
Customer retention and developing a loyal base of customers is one of the significant challenges in the SaaS sales cycle. While the SaaS business emphasizes new customer acquisition to drive more profit, the focus also should be given to customer retention, as Salesforce data has revealed that a 5% increase in customer retention can propel profits by up to 125%.
But the challenge here is that in the current era, the B2B buyers are tech-savvy, and stats show that by the time a buyer spreads to a sales rep, they already have about 57% of the buying process. And the buyers have more options now, and the decision-makers such as CEO and CFOs hardly respond to the cold outreach.
Besides, the buyers are now demanding, and they often look for practical, easy-to-use on-site search, intuitive navigation, detailed product images, and product descriptions. Further, a chunk of the buyer seeks self-service options and quick checkout. Delivering the holistic user experience is becoming more challenging now but a necessity to build a loyal base of customers.
And with so many similar offerings, customers can take the jump if they are dissatisfied with your solution. To prevent that, your product should add value to their news and should offer customizable product packages. And most important, there should be some offerings to your existing customers based on engagement and feeling them valued. Developing a good customer service program is the need of the hour to increase customer retention and reduce the churn rate.
3. Change In The Existing System
In the B2B SaaS space where you have the early adopters, you may also encounter laggards who are reluctant to adopt the software even if you have displayed the value addition and USP of the products or how your product can be slave their pain points.
The ongoing economic scenario and factors such as becoming a more concern in the SaaS marketing process are the continuity of the business, losing skilled workforce in the tight labor market, losing brand evangelists, etc. Explore the on-site platforms if you have a SaaS business with a virtual working space. These platforms eliminate the requirements for a robust IT infrastructure and automate countless endpoint management tasks.
To win over the new client over all these difficulties, identify the key person you should influence helios. Even though that person may not be the one with the budget decisions, that individual is an integral part of the vital advice system and affects the end-user decisions.
You may face objections and should be prepared for that, but reduce the risk with the entrusting data and the thought leadership content, webinars, tradeshow, podcasts, etc. By weaving an effective target market, you have the chance to bring them to your sales cycle and push them to the bottom of the sales funnel.
How You Can Surpass B2B SaaS Sales Cycle: Key Tips
Following are a few tips to spice up your SaaS sales cycle. Let’s have a look:
1. Trials Assessing Product Complexity
You have to be strategic with offering free trials to benefit from the process. The primary focus of the trial period is to help the prospects understand the overall product and what benefits it provides. If you have simple SaaS products that can be easy to understand, you can opt for the seven-day trial period, as the prospects time to understand the product USPs and it also helps you shorten your sales cycle.
For the SaaS product with moderate complexity 14-days trial period is ideal, and this time frame is enough to explore the product benefits. For the SaaS product with more complexity, you need to help the prospects to understand the product well in-depth to build their trust in you. Hence, rather than rushing, offering a 30-day product trial is wise. It helps for a product to be assessed well, as well as sharing educational content such as ebooks or a checklist can help to understand it better.
2. Focus On PPC Marketing
PPC plays a significant role in your SaaS sales growth and can boost revenues when it is done right. When you adhere to the best practices, it helps to achieve continued sales growth via search engines. It builds credibility and trust among your target audience and also generates brand awareness. You have to pay only for the user ad click, and even if you have not received any click, your product ad appears at the top of the search result, which can easily grant the audience’s attention.
Besides, PPC offers you precise data; you can track the campaign performance & can accordingly utilize the campaign based on the KPIs set such as CTR or CPC. The acetate quantifiable performance repost helps SaaS businesses measure the ROI easily. You have the insights on the budget amount spent on the ass, ads view, ad click generated, and the conversion you have received.
Worth mentioning that with the intense competition in PPC, your landing pages bring sales success. Optimizing the leading pages with staging the value proposition above the fold, visual information, social proof & benefits, and clear and crisp content with the proper title tag can soar up the performance.
3. Enhance The Average Revenue Per Customer
To improve your revenue, focus on boosting the Average Revenue per User (ARPU). The metric values can be calculated with the formula ARPU = Monthly Recurring Revenue / Number of users.
To reduce churn and propel up ARPU, focus on growing your product and work on the potential feature growth. Improvised products deliver unique values that translate into the ARPU in your business. Work on your price tiers strategically, and you need to be transferred and have logic behind the increased price rate. Besides, adhere to upselling or cross-selling to your existing customers. When you offer them the upgrade, it creates hype among them, helping to boost the average revenue per customer.
SEO is also instrumental in surpassing sales. With both on-page & off-page SEO efforts, you can enrich the changes of your brand discoverability. Adhering to tactics such as link building, meta-tagging, and keyword optimization, topic clustering helps drive more leads. At the same time, you are leveraging content marketing to ensure you follow the E-A-T SEO tactics.
Also, working on content marketing and email marketing drive results in the SaaS process. Adopting well-weaved tactics based on assessing your business’s current status helps to sustain among the upsurging competitors and leads the company towards sustainable growth.