How to sell SaaS: 5 tips for startup sales success

If you clicked on this article, you already know what SaaS (software as a service) is and are already working closely with it. However, for the benefit of readers who are new to this, and as a quick refresher course, we’ll run through it once more.

SaaS is a type of software that is hosted, secured and managed by a single provider. It can be accessed online and is serviced by the provider’s own product engineers and customer success team. While it is a lucrative industry to be in, the competition is definitely stiff – and most startups would struggle with establishing a solid customer base when pitted against the Goliaths of the industry.

Selling SaaS is different from other types of sales because of the long-term commitment it requires from customers. They are bound to not just your product, but also the service and maintenance requirements that come with it, and this is often bundled together at a rather high price to begin with.

We hope that all this information did not deter you, because we’re here to help. At SalesWorks, we’ve supported not just well-established clients with customer acquisition, but also up-and-coming startups in successfully executing their sales strategies. With experience in eight territories across the Asia Pacific, we help brands build customer loyalty, improve product visibility and provide a great experience to their customers – and we can most definitely do the same for you and your brand.

Now, back to the subject; we’ve put together this guide on five tips for sales success, so if you are a startup selling SaaS, then this is exactly what you need to do to make that happen.

1. Identify target audience and prospect qualification criteria

Identify target audience and prospect qualification criteria
Image: Yo!Kart

The first step to any sales strategy is to have a solid and thoroughly researched target audience persona. Understand who your audience is, what their problems or pain points may be and how exactly your product fits in resolving that for them.

This helps you narrow down pursuable leads based on their qualification criteria. Remember that not all leads are worth pursuing, especially when it will cost you time and money to nurture them.

2. Create valuable product demo programs

Create valuable product demo programs
Image: Crank Wheel

Your customers need to have a taste of what they’re buying, so focus on the benefits your product offers – not its features. Instead of fussing over what certain buttons and tabs can do, make it a value-focused demo session that tells the prospective customer what that product can do for them, not just what it does functionally.

3. Don’t offer long trial periods

According to an article by Forbes, seven days is a good enough time for your prospective customers to have a feel of what the product can do for them. In case you were thinking that seven days is too short, just remember that the trick is to leave them wanting more.

A shorter trial period helps your customer focus on putting time aside to really go through the software and prioritise solution areas that are instrumental to their needs. This works so much better than giving them ample time to play around and not really look at the most relevant functionalities right away.

4. Have a great onboarding and support program in place


One of the biggest causes of hesitation is always the long-term relationship with a SaaS provider. More often than not, disorganised onboarding (on top of a barely-there customer support team, which we will get into in our next point) quickly leaves a bitter taste in your customer’s mouth.

Customers are in it for the long term with you, and as a startup, you need to work a little bit harder in winning their vote of confidence. Having a defined onboarding and support program in place is crucial in making your customers feel like they have your utmost attention, and this will ensure that they remain with you.

5. Sell with a human touch

Sell with a human touch
Image: Pexels

Though the goal is to sell software as a service, having a person to put a face to actually means a lot to customers.

Regardless of how technologically advanced the product is, your customers would want to have a person that will take care of them in case they need it – and this is where you can truly stand out from competitors. Our tip? Put someone in charge of customer service and support, and watch your brand become a success!

Want to successfully sell SaaS? Work with SalesWorks!

We understand that running a startup means that you may have just too many things happening at once, and are not able to tackle all of the above. This is where having a seasoned partner like SalesWorks can add value to your business.

We offer an extensive customer acquisition service from prospecting and reporting and more, so find out more about us and how we can help you today by dropping your details here, and we will contact you for further discussion.