Freemium sales tips from an expert in SaaS
|Chris Rothstein in Marketing & Promotion Wednesday, September 20, 2017|
Freemium and subscription based sales tips for enterprise SaaS platforms to help enterprises improve their ROI.
Freemium has been billed as a way to generate new revenue without having to bring on expensive sales and marketing teams; however, one aspect that goes unsaid is these companies are still fighting over top-tier sales talent to chase after big revenue opportunities.
The fastest growing "freemium" companies, such as Slack and Dropbox, are combining a great product team with an amazing sales team. Even though people often only think of the product side of the business, the sales side is helping power the amazing growth they are seeing.
But what about the smaller companies - the soon-to-be-known workplace collaboration tool that wants to move some of their freemium clients to its premium offering, or the cloud-based enterprise solution that has some big prospects but no results?
Here are three best practices sales teams looking to shift away from relying on solely on freemium leads to a more traditional sales model:
- Get out there: Don't rely on freemium, alone: Freemium is a strong first sales step for a new enterprise SaaS company, but once you have a few clients under your belt, it's time to mature from your "new kid on the block" status. The best thing to do? Get out there with your key asset - a sales representative. It's important that you no longer wait for leads to come to you, but you actively seek them out.
- Always add value: Today's subscription-based SaaS model presents a new, recurring pitch process. While it gives you a chance to upsell a client, it also gives the client more flexibility and negotiating power. For these reasons, the modern sales rep is no longer simply a pitch person; they are a technical and savvy trusted advisor to the client. The changing sales role, especially in enterprise SaaS, demands a salesperson with an acute product knowledge. It could be your knowledge of their needs and business that keeps them coming back as a client year over year. This is where a more technical salesperson can really shine. Every business is looking to innovate, so if you have your nose on the trends, you'll be seen as an "innovative" player and can continue to grow through client retention. The payoff is priceless.
- Customers are good, but not all customers are good for you: Through monitoring your customer data, you have probably seen which freemium leads are more likely to develop into paying customers. Is it the small business midwestern consulting firm or enterprise corporation in a larger metro-area? No matter who it is, know that customer and find other customers like it. You need to find your "type" and what customers you bring the most value to. And if they're benefiting from your product, they'll be your best advertisers. Sales teams should to focus on winning the customers that are right for you. These are the people who will tell their network about your SaaS offering, and be as valuable to your business as you are to theirs.
The freemium model is not to be forgotten, but a modern enterprise sales team needs to supplement that with technical salespeople, a distinguishable company and loyal client base if it hopes to flourish. SaaS has disrupted traditional sales demands, but it's not too late for your sales team to evolve with the nature flow of changing sales model.
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