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Is your sales process really helping your organization maximize its revenue potential? It’s a question worth considering, especially as you scale your sales force. Sales complacency can be problematic, to say the least — and failure to address known issues can be even worse.
Regardless of the size of your organization, understanding the necessary adjustments to your sales process can go a long way toward winning more customers and increasing your sales.
1. Make demos focused on benefits, not features
In their book Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days, Jay Conrad Levinson and Al Lautenslager write, “The latest and greatest equipment means nothing to a potential buyer unless that feature translates into lower cost, faster delivery, or something else of value. Founded 100 years ago means nothing to a potential buyer , unless that feature translates into an advantage of reliability and a guarantee of doing business in the future. […] Sell benefits. Benefits provide clear answers to customer questions, such as “what’s in it for me?” or “What results will I get that will improve my current situation?”
This mindset is especially relevant when offering a sales demo to a prospect. Focus on all the features your product offers, and it’s easy to overwhelm them. Show the true value and potential impact by focusing on the benefits, revealing how it will solve their problems.
Making your sales process benefit-oriented requires extensive buyer research. But when your team understands the actual problems prospects need to solve, it will be much easier to deliver a successful pitch.
Related: 5 secrets to winning more sales
2. Shorten the free trial period
Many SaaS companies offer free trials as part of their sales process, thinking that giving prospects hands-on time with their software can be the most compelling sales pitch of all. This is true – to an extent. Most SaaS companies average around a 25% conversion rate of their free trials.
While that conversion rate is certainly good, it can be improved. A common pitfall is that giving prospects a full month to test the software can take too much time. This can reduce the sense of urgency, especially with prospects who simply want to take a look and see what your solution has delivered.
Instead, offering a shorter trial period (such as seven to 14 days) can create that sense of urgency that drives potential customers to actually use their free trial. This can encourage a deeper dive, making them more likely to convert.
3. Use CPQ (configuration, price, quote) tools.
One of the best ways to improve your sales process is to use a configure, price, quote (CPQ) tool to streamline your team’s ability to generate accurate quotes for prospects. These programs use automation based on a set of rules pre-programmed by your company, such as acceptable discount thresholds, product adjustments, and other factors.
In a DealHub case study, one company was able to increase its average deal size by 15% while reducing quote and contract errors by 95% by using a CPQ to implement automated pricing mechanisms. Preventing pricing errors and ensuring consistency in the quoting process will make it easier for your sales team to follow pricing standards and guidelines, helping them close deals faster and generate appropriate revenue.
4. Offer additional plan options
Most SaaS providers offer monthly plans, as lower prices and the lack of a long-term commitment can make it seem more customer-friendly. 70% of SaaS companies only offer monthly pricing options.
In reality, you can easily improve your sales process by also offering customers the option to choose from annual rate plans. An annual plan can reduce customer churn and increase their lifetime value by ensuring they remain customers for a longer period of time. This will also improve your organization’s cash flow and make customer acquisition costs more manageable.
Many of the most successful SaaS platforms understand the potential reluctance of prospects to sign up for an annual subscription and counter this by offering discounted annual subscriptions. Providing more options (and providing the right incentives) can lead to more conversions and more revenue streams in the long run.
Related: 6 super easy tricks to get a lot more sales
5. Focus on your existing and former customers
It usually costs between six to seven times as much both to acquire new customers and to retain existing customers. Needless to say, your sales team should dedicate a significant portion of its processes to how to generate more revenue from your current customers.
One of the best ways to do this is through upselling or cross-selling. For example, if your company offers multiple subscription tiers, you can upsell a customer to move to a higher paying tier.
As with the initial sales pitch, upsell and cross-sell pitches should be tailored to individual customer needs. This time, however, your team will have information about past interactions and how they use your current services, making it easier to tailor the pitch. Increasing the lifetime value of existing customers can cost much less, take time, and have a higher chance of success.
Creating a better sales process
Following these best practices for improving your sales process will also ensure a better experience for prospects and customers. Not only does this help you close more deals and earn higher revenue from the first sale. It helps ensure that your customers stay with you for the long haul – which may have the biggest impact on your lifetime earnings of all.