The No-Nonsense Guide To Inside Sales For SaaS Companies

The No-Nonsense Guide to Inside Sales for SaaS Companies

by Micah James — 2 years ago in Development 6 min. read

SaaS companies (Software as a Service Company) are companies that host an application and make it available to consumers over the internet. These companies need highly skilled salespeople to understand their products and to market their software, as well as to sell to other businesses more efficiently. Inside sale is an efficient method of making sales while emphasizing the relationship between companies.

What are Inside Sales?

First, we should define inside sales. At a basic level, it is any type of sales that are handled remotely through either phone, email, or social media. It also usually refers to any kind of B2B or business-to-business sales. This is particularly relevant for SaaS companies since they are likely selling their software or product to other businesses rather than directly to a consumer.

Typically, many inside sales reps work from a central office. However, that may not always be the case due to the spike in remote work during the COVID-19 crisis. Platforms like Zoom allow inside sales reps to work from home and be just as efficient if not more so than if they were working in a physical room. They can host meetings, direct presentations, and conduct demos all from the comfort of their home.

Many confuse telemarketing and inside sales, but the two are actually very different. They both involve a high volume of cold calling, but the two jobs involve completely different strategies. While telemarketers will try to sell something to a consumer with a single phone call (also called low-touch sales), inside sales reps are trained for high-touch interactions with prospects. This means multiple calls, emails, and demos before closing a deal.

Inside sales reps must be able to speak intelligently with prospects while directly focusing on their needs. Because of this, inside sales reps research their business leads and decision-makers before reaching out (unlike telemarketers who cold call random consumers). This creates a mutually beneficial arrangement rather than a simple sale.

Also read: Top 7 Best ECommerce Tools for Online Business

What Makes Inside Sales Unique?

Inside sales managers often leverage unique strengths that each of their reps brings to their team. Along with guidance from sales engineers and marketing teams, they will tailor a pitch to show how their prospects can benefit specifically from their product.

Many SaaS companies use inside sales because their products tend to be complex, subscription-based, and require approval from more stakeholders than a Netflix subscription. For any company or business to be confident in this expenditure, they must be positive it’s worth it.

In the SaaS industry specifically, reps must pay attention to the prospect’s challenges, solutions, design preferences, and more. That is why the research must be in-depth and complex when it comes to inside sales, particularly with SaaS companies. It takes teamwork, strategy, and creative thinking to allow for the best possible outcome when creating relationships with prospects.

What are The Best and Most Helpful Traits of an Inside Sales Rep?

The most helpful traits of inside sales reps are as follows: confidence, great communication skills, organization skills, efficiency, and strong knowledge about sales technology.

Confidence is important for any sales rep, and inside sales is no different. For entry-level positions, there is a lot of rejection. Reps must realize it’s nothing personal.

Great communication is another necessary skill for being a highly-skilled inside sales rep. Physical interaction is often much more powerful than remote interactions, due to the body language and other cues you can read while attempting to get your message across. Inside sales reps must be able to adeptly communicate on the phone and write powerful messages over email without being able to read those messages.

Inside sales reps should be experts on social media, and be able to engage and uniquely communicate their message on those platforms. They should strive to make their content just as engaging and interesting as an in-person conversation.

Organization skills and efficiency are also very important for inside sales success. Sales reps are typically busy people. They often structure their days to get as much work in as possible. Since their days are consumed with back-to-back interactions, reps mustn’t waste time searching for an email address or phone number.

Another important aspect of a successful inside sales rep is knowledge of sales technology. Inside sales reps should be familiar with CRM software, lead generation, AI, and other common subjects and tools used within the industries of their prospects.

CRM (customer relationship management) software allows sales reps to keep track of the sales pipeline. The most widely used program within this category is Salesforce. After a sales rep qualifies a lead, they can enter their information (such as their name, title, authority level, etc.) into the system and that information will be logged for the rest of the team to work with. The team can use this information to craft an effective strategy and close the deal.

Another useful software for inside salespeople is lead generation. This system is similar to that of Zoominfo and Pipedrive, which help gather leads based on certain criteria. This allows a rep to locate contact information quickly and not spend unnecessary time searching for it. This creates a much more efficient research and prospecting process overall.

Similar to many other industries, AI is becoming more influential in the field of inside sales. Chatbots and other programs allow reps to automate their sales process for speed and effectiveness. It’s helpful for sales reps to have a working knowledge of this and other emerging technologies that may be used more frequently in future sales.

What are SaaS Sales?

Now that you understand what it takes to be a good inside sales rep, it’s also important to consider how this position is unique when working with the SaaS industry. As specified before, SaaS is any company selling access to its product online (that typically charges a subscription fee).

One important aspect of this process is upselling to existing customers. The fastest-growing SaaS companies tend to rely on this much more than their competitors.

Upselling can be difficult because a rep must re-engage and offer something new to a customer that already has an established relationship with the company. When looking to upsell a customer, the rep must go into the interaction with knowledge and savvy. The customer already knows if they’ll deliver on these promises or not and is familiar with their products’ flaws.

One of the best ways to accomplish an upsell is to integrate the products into your efforts. For example, try leveraging data from a client’s account rather than just picking up the phone on a whim to see if they’re interested in a premium plan. Track how closely they are reaching their data limits. Pay attention to any interactions they have with the product that suggest they would benefit from an upgrade.

It’s necessary to be persistent when you’re working in SaaS sales. The average sales development rep makes up to 52 calls a day, and that’s only the beginning.

Here are some stats from TOPO that illustrate the value of persistence in this industry:

  • It takes 18 or more dials to connect with a prospect
  • Call-back rates are typically below 1%
  • Only 23.9% of sales emails are opened

Consistency is key to SaaS sales success. A sales rep must be confident and know that they can close a deal (rather than just hope that it closes). Consistency is key; as long as the rep continues to follow up with customers and prospects, they can keep the sales process going.

A key to success that many inside sales reps (and sales reps in general) overlook is the importance of aligning marketing and sales. Marketing has an important role in sales, as it helps funnel viewership to any product. A company’s marketing department can sales teams by tracking visitors, trials, conversion rates, and closed deals to improve a company’s key metrics over time. The relationship can be mutually beneficial, allowing a sales team to give marketing teams insights from the ground level to decrease the cost of customer acquisition.

An important part of SaaS sales (and sales overall) is to work as a team. While this might appear self-explanatory, many sales reps believe they can work best while isolated. But effective sales reps know they work more efficiently as a team. The fastest-growing SaaS companies expand their teams by 56% each year – to work in this business, it’s essential to know how to work in a team.

These highly researched tips are recommended by the best sales reps. They will help you become a better sales rep and make your time at any company more worthwhile. If it helps you to take a sales course or consume webinars and podcasts on a certain subject, then by all means do it! Anything that helps to become a better sales rep and a better team member may make a big difference in achieving your team’s sales goals. SaaS is an interesting and complicated field where success is possible around every corner – it helps to be prepared.

Micah James

Micah is SEO Manager of The Next Tech. When he is in office then love to his role and apart from this he loves to coffee when he gets free. He loves to play soccer and reading comics.

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