You know it, we know it: speed is an important metric in the SaaS sales cycle. On the one hand, a faster sales cycle means that your team is operating efficiently and that it has the chance to engage with more prospects to increase the sales pipeline. On the other hand, a rapid sales cycle enables sales reps to lock in their commissions faster, and have a better chance of pulling in another contract or two at the end of a fiscal quarter.
Given that speed is the goal, what are things you can do to optimize your sales cycle? We’ve answered that question below with five recommendations. Take a look.
There are two layers to this recommendation. For starters, you need a reliable process for sourcing qualified leads and engaging them within the sales cycle. This will require ongoing collaboration and alignment between the sales and marketing teams in order to define what a qualified lead is, their pain points, the information they’re looking for, and how to best engage with them once they enter the sales cycle. At the end of the day, if you’re not scoring your leads properly, you’re likely going to spend a lot of time spinning your wheels with prospects that don’t actually want or need your SaaS solution.
Once you have a qualified lead and you’re pursuing an opportunity, you should make sure you’re talking to decision makers. Take a look at past successful deals that were closed quickly and see who was involved: was it the CFO or a key procurement lead? Was it just the department head? A lot of your prospects likely operate in a similar way, so it can be worth replicating what has worked in the past.
What can help in accelerating the process is creating ideal buyer personas for various sales scenarios and having a playbook for how to approach it. For this, you can use defining parameters such as company size, market position, budget, industry, regulatory landscape, and more.
Prospects appreciate it when vendors are clear and upfront about their pricing. It makes it easier for them to make decisions quickly without having to revisit the contract when a new hidden or surprise cost is introduced. Make sure your sales collateral has a clear breakdown of what your solution costs and any extras they can add on to their contract or subscription. If you have any discounts, be transparent about these as well — this might be the deciding factor for a prospect to sign up for a higher tier than they originally thought.
Other tools you can use publicly to share your pricing include:
A great way to speed up the sales cycle is to take a proactive approach that focuses on what your solution can do for prospects. Take the time to understand your prospect’s pain points and use that information to showcase how your solution solves those specific challenges. Beyond custom demos and trial periods, it’s important to have a trove of relevant case studies and references that you can leverage during the sales cycle. This way, your prospect can have a more tangible point of view when they’re asking their financial decision makers for support with purchasing your solution.
Today, there is a vast wealth of sales and marketing technologies that are dedicated to automating tasks in the sales cycle. With the aim of empowering sales reps and streamlining the sales process, these tools use large amounts of data to automate and personalize as much as possible. If it feels like your sales process is still quite manual in nature, it might be time to change that. Take the time to investigate what tools might make the most sense for your team and invest in building out your tech stack.
Note: If your company is SOC 2 compliant, you’re going to need a tool to share your report quickly and efficiently with prospects, so that it doesn’t slow down the sales cycle. Pima can help.
If you’ve captured a prospect’s interest, the last thing you want to do is fumble at the finish line. Your proposal and contract signing processes should be as seamless and unobtrusive as possible. Use templates for your proposals and keep a repository of terms, offering language, and other key information so that you can import it quickly. For your contract, use a contract management system that allows prospects to sign electronically so that they can get it back to you as soon as possible.
Speed and efficiency is the name of the game for SaaS vendors. In a highly competitive market, if you’re not moving faster than your competitors, then you risk getting left behind. Take some time to review your sales process and identify where the gaps are. Solve any quick fixes first, and then prioritize the high-value projects that will elevate your sales process to where it needs to be.
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