Software-as-a-Service or as it is popularly known as SaaS, is the latest buzzword in the IT industry. According to Gartner, 16% of all enterprise software applications will be delivered through the SaaS model by 2014 and SaaS revenue is expected to reach a staggering $22.1 billion by 2015 as more companies are starting to invest in Cloud.
So, there is a great reason why enterprise owners should go for SaaS products. But, selling SaaS products to enterprise owners or customers can be little hard. You need to understand the buying process of the enterprise and know the stakeholders involved in closing the deal. Also, you need to create awareness among enterprises that what additional benefit they will derive from SaaS, if they move from on premise solution. To make the process easier, you first need to reach the right people within the enterprise. If the person you have identified becomes an evangelist for your SaaS products, then your effort to hard sell your product gets reduced significantly. We have identified other top factors you must take into consideration before you sell your SaaS products to enterprise owners.
1. Address security issues – Enterprise customers are always concerned about security. If they think you don't understand their security needs, there is high chance that your effort to sell SaaS product will run into disaster. Make them realise that you properly understand the security issues related to SaaS products and explain the ways to mitigate them.
2. Control over data – Enterprise customers want more control over users and data. In a SaaS deployment model, sensitive data is obtained from the enterprises, processed by the SaaS application and stored at the SaaS vendor end. The customer needs to be made aware that all data flow over the network needs is secured in order to prevent leakage of sensitive information.
3. Value over features – Technology can get very complicated and complex, but stay focused on the value to the customer, rather than get caught up in the features. The popularity of SaaS is steadily increasing because it simplifies deployment and reduces customer acquisition costs. Because it’s based on pay-as-you-go model, the license fee includes support and any new features that get rolled out from time to time.
4. Identify the buyer early – This is quite common, where companies spend months selling into someone who is not a buyer. It usually becomes a lot of wasted time for everyone. Ask the questions early on. Picking the right customer who is in need of your product is important to achieving sufficiently large sales volume and profitability to survive and prosper as an organization.
5. Communication – Maintain constant communication after a sign up. Sometimes people sign up weeks before they need a system like that, but it’s good to be on their radar. Improving your listening skills can make a huge difference to your communication success - people need to know that you fully understand their case.
6. Know the product – SaaS software always changes. It's important for your sales team and staff to stay up to date and know the value the updates offers to your customers. If you are not confident about your own product, how will you make your customer confident in taking the decision to buy it?
7. Build real relationships – Stand out by being honest, building and maintaining a relationship with your prospects/clients. Don't make it so transactional. This will help drive the renewals as well. Just like in any relationship, it is important to show people how important they are. Getting your customer’s point of view on your existing product or a yet to be released one, can be a win-win situation for you.
Finally, know what you can and cannot promise. Don't give promises you can't keep or commit to requests you can't fulfil. Don't say yes to everything your customer propose. If an enterprise customer wants to do a pilot first, proactively manage the process. You want to make sure that your product gets adopted.