5 founders share 5 sales strategies for SaaS startups

My Post114.jpgIn 2011, the famous investor Marc Andreessen wrote an essay titled “Why Software is Eating the World.”

Seven years later, SaaS is a billion-dollar industry.

But to lead the pack in SaaS, founders and startup teams should master sales. So, I spoke with five founders on how to sell a SaaS product based on their experience over the years.

1. Growth hack using Quora and SEMrush

With over 12,000 users, Funnel CRM is a sales tool helping businesses, agencies, and freelancers.

According to the company’s CEO Muhammad Gohar Shafique, Quora is one of the most useful resources to understand customer pain points. 

Whenever Shafique maps out a new content strategy, he usually goes through Quora to find the problems that his prospective buyers are asking. From there, he thinks of solutions to the problem and answers them on the site.

The opportunity is simple: getting traffic to your content by commenting on questions that your content actually answers.

Here’s the hack they use:

  • Step 1:  Log in to SEMrush and do a search on Quora.
  • Step 2: Navigate to the “Organic Research” tab under “Domain Analytics.” You’ll now have a list of top-ranking questions on Quora.
  • Step 3: Run a search for a keyword related to your content (e.g. “SaaS”).
  • Step 4: Sort the results in descending order by search volume.

Another simple hack is paying attention to customer support. “We provide 24-hour support and trained our support team to respond to messages within two minutes,” says Shafique. This approach led to a 43 percent increase in leads.

The company also makes it a rule that engineers and founders have to spend at least six hours per week as a support agent. “Why?” Shafique asks. “To understand customer pain points and then iterate the product faster to stay relevant and avoid being just another bloated SaaS product.”

2. Onboard the biggest players in the industry

Y Combinator-backed Cashfree is a technology platform digitizing both inward and outward bulk payments for 3,000+ merchants and brands.

A strategy that worked well for them, according to its co-founder Akash Sinha, is signing up the largest businesses in a given sector. “We spend most of our energy in getting the largest player, and once they come onboard, the rest of the players follow,” he says.

It’s also important to talk with the right decision makers. If your product is helping businesses improve their customer experience, for example, then talk with a product or marketing head. Scheduling meetings with department heads is way more helpful.

But the downsides of this strategy is that it requires patience. Since bigger clients take longer to make decisions, your overall momentum may take a hit.

Sinha’s advice is to chase both bigger and smaller prospects at any point in time. While it’s alright to focus on the larger companies, don’t ignore the smaller clients completely.

3. Don’t focus just on your product

SendX is a remarketing and retargeting SaaS solution that uses email, browser push notifications, and social media ads to drive more revenues.

Its founder Varun Jain shares their sales strategy: Before a product demo, the team researches about the prospect by looking at their latest news or events and their sessions on SendX. This allows them to understand the prospect’s background.

The team then does the demo, focusing on the prospect’s specific problem. They will typically only talk about SendX’s capabilities 10 to 20 percent of the time. – Read more