How To Use Sales Content In SaaS Industry
by Mathias Thulin, on May 10, 2018
SaaS industry has a unique structure and differentiating marketing content from sales content in this industry and using the right content based on the average annual deal size of your customers plays a critical role.
SaaS Industry is growing rapidly, and according to Bettercloud 73% of organizations say nearly all their apps will be SaaS by 2020! That’s great news; the market is growing and opportunities are increasing. But how you should do marketing & sales and how to use sales content for your SaaS business, absolutely depends on your annual deal size. Are you hunting rabbits, deers, or elephants? Each require a totally different approach.
Sales Content vs. Marketing Content
But before getting into that, let’s clarify the difference between marketing and sales content. According to Forbes, while the former is about charming people, the latter is all about convincing them. Content for marketing builds authority and generates leads. Content for sales communicates urgency, proves the value of your SaaS service and helps your buyers convince their internal stakeholders. We are talking about decision stage content (i.e. BOFU) that salespeople use during a sales engagement to educate and move the buyer forward, such as product demos, FAQs, spec sheets, presentations, price sheets, etc.
Sales Model Based On Your Deal Size
In SaaS industry, your sales model, the way you structure your sales team, or in other words how much sales cost per customer you shall incur, depends on your annual deal size, or your Average Revenue Per Account (ARPA).
No-Touch Sales (ARPA < $1000)
If you are hunting flies or mice, your sales model cannot afford a sales team. You might consider having a customer success team, and you should rely on virality, word-of-mouth, and excellent inbound marketing to generate leads and sell your service automatically. Examples: Mailchimp, Typeform, Wix.
In terms of content, at this level, you cannot afford any tailor-made content. For instance, instead of a live demo, you might have a pre-recorded demo (e.g. check our product demo), possibly for each of your customer segments. Or instead of having a free consultation, you can have an extensive FAQ as a self-service solution.
Inside Sales ($1K < ARPA < $20K)
If you are hunting rabbits and/or small deers, you can start having an inside sales team, and depending on the deal size you can do prospecting & outbound sales, and have some field sales coverage. Examples: Shopify, Atlassian, MindBody.
When it comes to content, this is the first level where you can afford having 1:1 communication, such as offering a free consultation, a live demo, sending semi tailor-made presentation decks and proposals with minor changes for each customer, simple estimates and quotes, along with reference cases.
Field Sales (ARPA > $20K)
If you are hunting larger deers and elephants, along with your inside sales team, you should definitely have a field sales (or enterprise sales depending on the deal size). Examples: Kissmetrics, HubSpot, Salesforce
This is the most lengthy sales process of all, where everything goes 1:1, and mostly customized for the corporation. At this level, you must have tailor-made presentations, live product demos, complex estimates, quotes, agreements, detailed proposals and contracts, lots of sales collateral going back and forth.
Know The Enemy And Know Yourself
Many SaaS providers have three or more pricing tiers, and sometimes the lowest tier falls into no-touch sales, whereas the highest falls into field sales. As we have explained above, hunting a mice is very different than hunting a deer. We have seen many companies wasting their resources trying to implement inside sales techniques (and content) for small deals.
If you think you might also have some unnecessary resource allocation, and misuse of sales content, go ahead and review your sales model and re-adjust it today so that you hunt your rabbits, deers and elephants with the right weapons.