How to build a sales enablement strategy for SaaS
What is sales enablement and why does it matter? Because it saves you time and makes you money. For SaaS, sales enablement is what makes your marketing efforts come to fruition in the form of paying, subscribed users. Sales enablement is taking the awareness and leads you come in contact with, having the right conversations, and converting them to paying customers.
What is sales enablement?
It’s bridging the gap between marketing and sales to enable conversions. The goal is to shorten the time between product discovery by a lead and becoming a converted, paying user.
Have you ever been scrolling through social media and a brand’s post catches your eye but you don’t take any further action? Why didn’t you? Was there no incentive to move forward? Not enough of the right information for you to take action?
They got the marketing part right – they got your attention and they found you in the right place. But they did not close the deal – no sales enablement.
Who is responsible for sales enablement?
Your marketing and sales team, and in the case of SaaS, product team, are responsible for sales enablement. With SaaS, sales enablement is even more integral. It’s a lot like product marketing. Your product should drive sales enablement. Your marketing team should get your product and messaging around its core value in front of the right customers. Your sales team should have the right conversations throughout the sales process with leads to convert new paying customers. And finally, your product team should be listening and evolving your product to meet customer expectations.
How do you “do” sales enablement as a team?
It sounds like a general, vague concept but there are specific actions for each of your teams and roles within them to take that make result in sales enablement. Let’s break it down by the three different parts of your SaaS team.
Here are actionable methods for building a sales enablement strategy for SaaS:
Sales enablement for marketing and content team:
For your marketing and content team, you want to obviously focus on putting your product in front of the right audiences in the right places to generate qualified leads. But to support sales enablement, you want to also present them with the right information, messaging, and content to bring them further along in their purchasing decision. Here are some things that your marketing and content team can do:
- Use targeted messaging:
First and foremost, segmenting and making your messaging specific to your SaaS buyer personas is key to shortening the sales process and enabling sales. When leads encounter messaging that is specific to their problems and makes your product the clear solution, they are much more likely to take action.
How to do this:
Your marketing team should identify key target audiences, buyer personas, and decision makers. You should then do messaging exercises to determine the goals and pain points of these different personas so you can create ideal messaging that positions your company and team as authority and a trustworthy solution.
- Provide compelling case studies:
What do leads look for when making a purchasing decision after finding out about your product? Qualification. Provide case studies readily available on your site. It’s best to have case studies that are in the same industry and written for the same roles that you’re targeting. When leads see other customers finding success with your product, it’s much easier for them to make a decision to try out your product.
- Provide informative resources to support customers:
Not only does providing content on your site that is informative for customers drive organic traffic but it positions your product and team as the go-to solution for the problems your target customers face. Having a strong content section or blog on your website with content centered around helping your customers solve problems and better reach their goals is a way to bring customers close to taking action on your product. The more engaging your content is, the more time they spend on your site. It’s important to include CTAs to your product or taking some action like a trial or demo to ensure you’re not just driving traffic.
- Make finding the right information for decision making easy:
For larger organizations or more complex customers, the sales process may be more integral and include more decision makers or steps. Make finding this information on their own once coming to your site easy. Have case studies, pitch decks, documentation, feature comparison charts, etc. easily accessible. Providing this easily can make the decision process more automated and streamlined.
Sales enablement for your sales team:
It seems common sense of your sales team to be focused on sales enablement but for SaaS it can be interesting. Your product should really sell customers because with a subscription model, they will be paying over time, month over month or year over year. Your product has to drive sales. But there are things your sales team can do to drive sales enablement – especially with more complex customers.
- Automated lead generation and prospecting:
To enable sales, get the right customers in contact with your team at a great scale and faster by automating lead generation and prospecting. Your marketing team is in charge of driving organic leads. Your sales team is about reaching out and pulling in the right ones. You can use platforms like LinkedIn to find the right roles at organizations and discover other organizations and roles to reach. There are tools to help you automate this process. You can then use a CRM to interact with and continually nurture these leads in an organized way with your team. The goal is to get their attention and have your product sell.
Your focus should be PQLs or Product Qualified Leads. These are leads that have shown direct interest in your product by using it in a free trial, freemium account, etc. These leads discover the value of your product themselves and don’t need to be “sold” by your team. For more PQLs, focus on getting leads to try your product or interact with it right away by focusing on the value and specific features.
- Readily offer demos and trials:
To the point above, once your team has found ideal leads and gotten in touch with them, to show your product’s value to them and have it sell itself. Have your team’s focus be live demos or getting leads signed up for free trials to experience the value of your product itself. With SaaS, it’s often hard to cover all the things your product can do in a cold email or phone call. It’s best to get customers in front of the product as quickly as possible and provide a next step. Read more about whether you should offer a free trial or a demo for SaaS leads.
Sales enablement for your product team:
SaaS has a secret weapon: you can use your product and its growth to continually sell and bring back old leads. Your product, when the value is clear and it matches what users want, sells itself. Here are ways that your product team can do that better:
- Use visual content to let your product sell itself:
Create content that shows the functionality, features, and value of your product. Have demo videos and screenshots on your site and throughout the sales process. It’s much more powerful than just describing what your product does. Once seeing your product in action, leads will want to try it out themselves. Your product can be your most powerful sales tool.
- Engage leads with product updates and new features:
Use the work your team is using to improve your SaaS product for sales enablement. Your updates and new features are great ways to show new leads that your team is working hard to improve your product to meet their needs and bring back older leads.
You can use Beamer to show your product updates and features to both new potential users, your current users, and to bring back old leads. Beamer is a changelog that sits in your website and within your product where you can share updates, new features, news, and bug fixes with your users and leads. All they have to do is click a “What’s New” tab on your website or an icon in your product to open up a sidebar newsfeed with all your updates. You can add photos, videos, and GIFs to make your updates more engaging and easily explain new features and updates. You can segment updates so that users, leads, and returning leads see updates that are most relevant to them. Enable push notifications to bring back old leads and users when you share an exciting update. Beamer is an in-context way to let your product sell and engage users for your team and ensure leads and users know how your product is improving.
- If you’re on freemium, upsell with updates and new features:
Similarly, if your SaaS uses a freemium model, you can use Beamer to showcase premium features and upsell users and leads to your premium plan. It’s an easy way to showcase your product within your product and in front of leads on your site.
- Improve your product based on you customers’ feedback:
To keep on track with providing what your ideal (and current) customers want, leverage feedback to not only engage users but also create features and updates that are going to align your product with your best customers to attract more. You can collect feedback via surveys via email and with Beamer NPS and from product update emails and announcements on your Beamer feed. With Beamer NPS, you can discover who your promoters are and discover what they want to see from your product and what they like the most. Driving improvements and updates with feedback keeps users engaged and “on the money” in terms of the direction of your product and how you promote it.
Sales enablement is a full team effort – especially for SaaS. But with your product, you have an amazing opportunity at your team’s disposal. You can use it to leverage your product to sell for you by providing consistent value and an evolving solution for users. To engage with users and show off your improvements to drive engagement and sales, try Beamer.