SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It is a web-based, cloud-hosted service-based tool where your SaaS helps customers solve a problem or fulfill a need.
That was the basic definition.
What’s the most important aspect as an SaaS owner or marketer?
The service itself. If your tool/service fails to deliver and your team isn’t capable of retaining customers to renew their subscriptions, it’s all over.
And what’s the second most important aspect?
See, building and selling SaaS tools is one of the top 3 best entrepreneur ideas. Because they are easy to manage, they don’t require physical inventory, transport, or manual labor management.
All an SaaS requires is productive and innovative management from a team passionate about the idea and the product.
Founders are not necessarily the best at marketing or sales. They’ve got the idea, the skills, and the team to build something. But regarding getting their brand out and closing more customers, they fall short.
So, SaaS founders and developers hire marketers and salespeople. Both of which charge a hefty sum of fees, and most of the time, the ROI (Return on investment) is not significant.
You have no idea what these marketers and salespersons are doing with your money. When you ask them about the results, you get a long sheet of reports, a conversion here and there, and loads of reasons your product isn’t converting well.
I’ve seen it happen multiple times. And SaaS founders struggle with this in their initial stages every time unless they have an experienced internet marketer or a previous business owner on the C-level team.
That’s why the most important skill a SaaS entrepreneur should learn is Sales.
How to convert visitors into customers – that’s what sales is all about. It is how you close a deal by turning a potential prospect into a customer.
Compared to hiring a competent salesperson, finding and hiring a good marketing agency is like a cakewalk.
Good marketing campaigns can only get your target audience’s attention, but that attention has no meaning if the conversion is not happening.
That’s where sales come in—the hardest job in the world.
Think about it, what’s harder?
Getting your friend to check out that new Nike shoe or getting him to buy it soon as it releases?.
Getting people to look at your offer or making them take their credit card and swipe it as soon as possible?.
Sales is the ultimate skill, and it’s not an exaggeration.
Now, it’s time to look at the key to effective SaaS sales and how to use it to get more customers.
The Key To SaaS Sales is …
Understanding the deep knowledge of sales at the C-level of business, especially for the founders. The notion that sales is dead and it’s all about marketing is ridiculous.
The best salesperson is the founder. Others won’t have the passion for it. – Bill Aulet
Only then will you be able to find out the phonies and legit partners who can sell your product.
Because it’s your product, you know why it was built in the first place and who exactly needs your tool. The “WHY” is a big factor here.
Why should I buy your SaaS, there are competitors?
Why do I need this? I don’t know if I have any use of your product.
It will also enable you to envision what you need to say, demonstrate and pitch visitors to turn them into customers.
The next key is developing partnerships with influencers.
Partnerships such as recruiting affiliates. I made more than $140,000 last year in affiliate commissions, at an average of 20% – 50%. This means I’ve helped my affiliate merchants earn more than half a million dollars worth of business.
And guess what, this isn’t hosting commission. It’s all by promoting SaaS tools. Including SEO tools, conversion tools, content writing tools, A.I. tools, e-learning tools, and more.
Strategic partnerships can help you recruit enthusiastic salespeople for you without an upfront cost. Affiliate marketing is a performance-rewarding marketing channel.
If an affiliate refers a sale, he gets paid. You don’t have to invest anything upfront. Just share a percentage of your revenue as a part of appreciation and reward for the affiliate’s hard work.
Affiliate marketing for SaaS can prove to be the biggest source of revenue. If done right, it can help you cut the useless cost of PPC marketing and solely focus on partnerships.
Take ConvertKit, for example. An email marketing software company that grew its ARR to $10 million using the power of affiliate marketing.
The key here is to find the right partners. This will decide if the campaign is successful or not.
I’d suggest finding top influencers in your industry and recruiting them as your affiliates instead of using marketplaces. Once you’ve built a solid brand name, go for the marketplace options.
It will take a separate article to discuss how to utilize affiliate marketing and partnerships to scale an SaaS.
For now, know this:
Find authority publications and establish a partnership with the founders. By far, this is the best way to scale your SaaS’s growth.
Just make sure your product is solid and delivers on what it promises.
What would be the single strategy you’d use to boost SaaS sales?
We’d love to know in the comments below.