The SaaS industry is booming.
According to Cisco’s estimates, 75% of all cloud workflows will be delivered as SaaS. In the last decade or so, SaaS companies have had it easy with thriving market demand, abundant capital, and increased cloud adoption.
While SaaS businesses enjoy the advantage of having high-margin, recurring revenue, the competition in this industry is stiff. Brands are investing mega-bucks in innovation, research, and development to come up with better products, services, and deals than the competition.
But retaining customers is as crucial to SaaS brands as is developing cutting-edge products. After all, the SaaS industry thrives on numbers. More customer sign-ups, you grow. More cancellations, you stagnate.
Instead of thinking of ways to attract new customers, you need to focus on customer retention strategies. You need to invest in tactics that help convert your trial registrants and one-time customers into repeat, loyal customers.
Just implement the sales hacks discussed below.
7 Effective Ways to Increase the Sales of Your SaaS Business
Despite using the best SaaS marketing tactics, your sales will be unpredictable if you don’t demonstrate value as soon as people show interest in your products. Since SaaS products are intangible, you need to think of innovative ways to keep leads/subscribers interested till they finally convert. Here are some ways to do so:
1. Call New Customers Immediately
SaaS companies, especially new ones, need to seize opportunities for customer interaction. In fact, Steli Efti, the CEO of Close.com, recommends that you jump on a call with your new customers within 5 minutes of signing them up.
- Directly communicating with new users is a great way to increase your activation rate. Most people sign up for free trials and promptly forget about them. You can reel them back in before they get distracted by comparable products.
- The activation period is the ideal time to collect user feedback and market intelligence. Most serious users appreciate the extra attention and share insights enthusiastically.
- You can leverage user insights to shape your product strategy and boost your close rate.
- You can convert your simple “check-in” call into a troubleshooting call by fixing bugs that your new users encounter. Such proactive customer support is bound to foster customer loyalty and support.
All in all, a 5-minute welcome call can do a lot to keep new customers engaged and prevent them from going astray or dormant.
2. Demonstrate Value Through Webinars
Successful SaaS products become a part and parcel of their users’ lives, saving them countless hours and hassles in the long term. But it becomes hard for people to envision how an intangible product can improve their lives.
Leverage live webinars to demonstrate how your product solves your target audience’s problems. When people “see” how painless their lives will be, they get a worthwhile reason to venture out of their comfort zone and invest effort into learning a new tool.
You can go a step further and opt for a hybrid webinar – pre-recorded product demos interspersed with live discussions and Q&A sessions. When you use sophisticated webinar platforms like Camtasia, you can produce high-quality, interactive webinars that double up as sales sessions.
By pre-recording parts of your webinar, you save on production time and effort. Plus, you ensure that sessions go on unhindered despite typical glitches like patchy WiFi. You can focus on real-time discussions with your audience and product experts.
3. Send “Win Back” Emails to Dormant Trial Registrants
When you launch a new software solution, people might like your minimum viable product (MVP), but might not be ready to commit just yet. They might sign up for a free trial, explore the product, and then, go silent for a year or so. In that duration, your full-featured product might be ready but your subscribers don’t know about it yet.
You can pull out a list of such dormant contacts and send them “win back” emails. Offer them extended free trials of the full-featured products they signed up for, and highlight the improvements you’ve made in the meantime.
If you leverage this tactic at scale by automating your email reminders, you can increase your close rates significantly.
4. Send a Monthly “Report Card” of Your SaaS Product Via Newsletters
Serious SaaS brands work consistently to improve their products and make their customers’ lives easier. But, unless your customers are logged in constantly, they might never get to see the value you’re delivering to them on a daily basis.
To solve this issue, you can send a monthly report card to your customers, highlighting how your product saved them countless hours and dollars. At year-end, when ongoing subscriptions are put under the scanner by their management, they can defend their investment by citing your report cards. This way, they can obtain buy-in for the next financial year and you can earn repeat customers. This is also a sure-shot way to reduce customer churn rates.
Depending on what your SaaS product does, you can put a dollar-value on leads generated, hours saved, the number of issues resolved, etc. Try to calibrate your product’s performance in terms of metrics that matter to your customers. The closer you get to those metrics, the more valuable your product will become to your users.
5. Retarget Subscribers with Customer Success Stories to Boost Retention
Often, SaaS brands use retargeting to bring past visitors back to their websites. But, you can use retargeting ads to upsell to existing customers as well. For instance, you can use Facebook ads to entice trial registrants to sign up for your webinars with pre-filled forms.
You can go a step further and target customers that look like they are ready to churn with enticing deals and discounts.
Is that all?
You can demonstrate how other customers are using your products successfully. In these success stories, your customers can unveil advanced features and troubleshooting hacks. Such user-generated content is more authentic and compelling than self-promotional ads.
6. Make Onboarding Simple with a “Done for You” Package
Your new customers might need to move a lot of data to your platform before they can begin using your SaaS product. For non-technical folks, such teething troubles can seem unsurmountable. They might get frustrated, abandon your product, and ask for a refund.
A “done for you” package can take the pain out of onboarding. You might have to devise a system to import files from competitor platforms or even in-house solutions. If the files are in varied formats, you can’t automate their import.
For the extra effort, you can charge a nominal extra fee or bundle it up in the subscription and promote it as a free add-on.
7. Incorporate Live Chat
One of the best ways to drive up the sales of your SaaS business is through the incorporation of live chat into your website. Oftentimes, your potential customers might have some questions about your SaaS solution.
Answering these questions would be the key to getting them to convert quickly. That’s where live chat solutions can come to your rescue. Using a helpdesk, you can seamlessly address the questions posed by your prospects in real-time. This, in turn, would clarify their doubts and push them to purchase your SaaS solution.
Ready to Boost Your SaaS Sales?
At first glance, these hacks (especially the calling part) might seem too labor-intensive. But little tweaks to your sales strategies can have a big impact on the bottom line of your businesss. Moreover, there are many tools and technologies to automate mundane tasks like sending retargeting emails. Take advantage of them to stay efficient and productive, without overshooting your budget.
Do you have any secret sales strategies to share with the community? Please write them in the comments section below.
Read more from Shane Barker here.