At its core Software as a Service (SaaS) is a serviced software application that can be accessed
by users anywhere, at any time, and on any device. All you need is an internet connection. No
user installation or maintenance required.
Applications like Salesforce, Outreach, Gong, Qualtrics and Highspot and are all SaaS products that are becoming more prevalent in business, but innovative startups are expanding what we think is possible with SaaS through useful, ingenious tech.
It’s easy to assume SaaS just means software sold as a subscription due to how popular a monthly
or annual cost for a SaaS product is, but the reality is the product being sold goes far beyond
just a software license.
The differentiator is in how the software is deployed, managed, supported, and accessed. Since SaaS products are all delivered online, the true value is often seen behind the scenes. The value that emerges is in the physical servers powering access to the software anywhere in the world; compared to the traditional need for server owned and operated by the client. It’s in the developers managing and updating the software on a case-by-case basis to meet client needs in real time; versus a more rigid and static traditional software solution that does not easily allow for differences in releases. It’s in the speed in which software can be deployed to the client; compared to the lengthy set-up process for onboarding new software that requires both acquisition and activation of those physical servers and development team on company time and dollar.
Traditional software sales has long been about the product. The focus of
demos has been a walkthrough on how to use the product. SaaS differs, as the key point of sale
is in that value SaaS brings. Because of this ability to be flexible and agile to client needs,
it is vital to show understanding in the challenges the client has and how your SaaS product can
solve those challenges.
This is why building relationships is so important to be a successful SaaS salesperson. You aren’t just selling a product, where after the sale is made you move on to the next prospect. Instead, you are selling the aftercare, support, and ongoing benefits that come with the SaaS model. That means you need trust, understanding, and a strong relationship with any prospect or client to be successful.
SaaS Sales is one of the few careers where you can make over $100k in your
first year of school, even without a 4-year degree! This is perfect for the
money motivated human who wants to meet their financial goals by showing
up with grit, working hard to keep metrics high and caring about your buyer
and the problems you solve.
When you first think of sales you may think of the used car salespeople in movies. That narrative could not be farther from the truth in the SaaS sales space. Top Reps are focused on networking & forming value-based relationships with executives called decision makers. The most nurturing, emotionally intelligent, and curious people tend to do the best in these revenue focused roles. Fearlessness and competitiveness are required too. In the SDR role you will use lots of tech tools to make the sales cycle easier so being tech savvy is a must. You will use your ability to connect, influence and persuade to set meetings with your buyers. You will get noticed and set these meetings using cold calls, compelling emails, and social media DMS. The best reps get scrappy using video messaging, funny GIFs and attending networking events on behalf of their brand.
In this SDR role you will be solving real problems companies have, through the value the product you will be selling brings. It takes a hybrid skill set of nurturing relationships, and the hunger to drive a high volume of meetings to keep your pipeline of prospective relationships and buyers full. The average top performer in Sales makes $150k within two years of their Account Executive career. There is a clear trajectory in your sales career unlike many other careers. You can go from SDR to Account Executive to sales leader within 5 years and make hundreds of thousands a year. This sounds like a scam, but it is the reality we see it every day.
Understanding the tools sales teams use to build prospect pipeline to
complete the sales cycle is critical. Familiarizing yourself with common tech stacks with make
you stand out in an interview.
At IDR our Average Top performing SDR does $120-$150k in their first
year on a 50/50 split. Meaning 50% of your earnings will be from base salary, and
50% of your earnings will be determined by how hard you are willing to work.
In high volume prospecting outbound roles, time is your biggest asset. Being
intentional with your time and tracking your activities will help you make those 1% improvements
in your workflow, that will result in huge gains and a pipeline of buyers.
High metrics always win, follow up is the best way to build an organic
relationship and the more you understand your buyer and the problems they solve, the more
success you will have when prospecting and setting meetings.
In the SDR role you will master and build knowledge of prospect research, cold
calling, good discovery questions, overcoming objections, expanding your network, and writing
value based outbound sales emails.
Hunger, resiliency/grit, emotional intelligence, and money motivation are key
personality traits of those that are destined to be successful in
the SDR role and their SaaS Sales Career.
When selling SaaS and Software you will utilize several tools to make your sales process more seamless. A quick way to get ahead is to study these tools to put your best foot forward when interviewing and ramping up in your SDR role. Tools like Gong and Outreach, Hubspot and Appollo.io are some of the best sequencing tools out there.
Sales is like a funnel. You need to do a high volume of outbound to plant seeds you’ll harvest tomorrow. As those leads get disqualified, less and less will grow into buyers. Therefore, it is critical that you are outbounding every day. The dials and emails you send today, are the deals you close 30+ days out. Keep those metrics high, so that your chances of closing more deals increases.
Genuine follow up is the best way to build a relationship with a prospect. While a little less than half of reps give up after one follow up, and almost 90% give up after the 4th call. keep following up! Be sure to time block your follow ups to be sure you are nurturing relationships with decision makers. No one likes a transactional sales rep, so focus on personalization and being human!
Sales reps by nature are hungry and motivated to set meetings. What separates good salespeople from great salespeople is their curiosity around their buyer and the problems their ideal customer has. It is important when interviewing and carrying out your sales cycle that you show a deep curiosity around case studies, personas, industry trends and the lessons you learn in your discovery. Keep Studying & Stay Learning!