There’s a lot to consider when founding a B2B SaaS tech business.
First and foremost will be product development; ensuring a unique SaaS product can impact a competitive B2B market.
With a strong value proposition in place, it’s time to optimise sales and marketing operations and consider the core components of strategy, infrastructure, team and clients/community.
As a conceptual activity, strategic planning is not always given the time and attention it deserves. A gung-ho attitude will only serve a startup so well without a plan backed by actual research rather than internal theory.
A strategic plan to align sales and marketing activity gives direction to activity in the early stages and continues to provide focus as a startup grows.
A strategy will consider brand messaging, competitors and positioning, customer pipeline, and of course in-depth research of prospects, to name a few components.
A solid strategy is nothing without the infrastructure to execute it. SaaS startups can practice what they preach and benefit from many SaaS providers to support day-to-day operations.
A sales tech stack can make or break a business. Consolidate services where possible, or integrate. There are many ways to do this, and an API call can be all a startup needs to reduce administrative burdens on sales and marketing teams significantly.
A quality CRM is invaluable to support startup growth as several teams work across accounts. A CRM that can integrate with other software services ensures better control over data and an efficient sales cycle.
There exists a lot of power in automation. Automation services allow startups to engage more prospects and accelerate pipelines. Easing pressures on the workforce can also reduce the risk of employee burnout as engagement demands increase with growth. Different automation options will suit different businesses, and workflows should be built around unique customers for the best results. While there are many benefits to automation, businesses need to be careful that they do not not become robotic in their engagement.
While infrastructure and automation are valuable, nothing can replace the value of real team members.
Recruitment should not be carried out in haste, and the value of diversity should be recognised. Once talent is on board, due time should be made available for teams to come together, including across departments to share insights and align activity. This extends beyond uniting sales and marketing teams to product development and finance etc., building relationships and understanding across all departments.
With a talented team in place and working cohesively, it can be tempting to try to motivate staff with targets and commissions. While there can be a place for this, businesses should be mindful that increased sales through overpromising will lead to disillusioned customers. Short-term wins do not necessarily lead to long-term gains.
Providing training programmes for all staff will not only enable the business but also empower the individual. A talented team member happy in their role on day one will likely value the challenge and opportunity to evolve their role as the company grows.
Clients and Community
Businesses succeed by enabling their customers to be their marketers, generating new leads from word of mouth and referrals. In addition to offering referral rewards, businesses can enable customers to promote them by creating content that they can share and celebrating their successes, for example through case studies.
The value proposition for a SaaS B2B startup will shift in time to keep pace with new technologies; offering a great opportunity to build trusted relationships with clients and provide feedback channels through access to beta versions.
There is a wide community for startups, and leads can be generated from leveraging network connections including peers, suppliers and clients. Build relationships and support each other.
How can you optimise sales and marketing to close more deals?
Optimising your sales and marketing operations is not a quick one-time fix.
Successful startups constantly evaluate and refine their processes to adapt to changing times and achieve sustainable growth.
At Sales for Startups we can help you gain clarity in your strategy, gain confidence in your execution and get traction through your sales operations.