Best Practices for SAAS Sales Companies

The following is a Q&A with our Customer Success Team around what a SAAS Sales Company using Copper should consider.

How might a SAAS Sales team use leads, people, companies and/or opportunities?

Leads: Sales prospects. Potential client contacts. SDRs can manage unqualified potential customers that come in from a variety of lead sources. SDRs can make use of the lead conversion process so that AEs can focus on a strong pool of qualified potential customers. SDRs may wait to convert a lead until a demo is scheduled.

People: A qualified business contact. Prospects that are currently in an AEs pipeline. Current customers using your service.

Companies: The organization that a specific contact is a part of. The organization or entity that has purchased a subscription to your service.

Opportunities: A potential business deal with a specific value or a current customer’s specific monthly subscription or annual contract.

How will a SAAS Sales company structure its pipeline?

Multiple pipelines are helpful here. You might have one AE Sales Pipeline and one Onboarding Pipeline.

  • In your Sales pipeline, you might have the following stagesQualified > Follow-Up > Presentation > Contract Sent > Negotiation > Won/Lost/Abandoned                                    
  • In your Onboarding pipeline, you might have the following stages: AE Introduction > Configuration > User Training > Implementation > Adoption > Onboarding Complete

You think of the Won, Lost or Abandoned statuses as follows:

  • Won - contract or terms of service is signed and there is a 100% chance that you will be doing business with the opportunity.
  • Lost - you did not move forward with providing them with the service and will probably not revisit this particular Opportunity.
  • Abandoned - may mean that the client went dark, or is waiting for a contract with a different service provider to run out, or has asked you to follow-up in 6 months when budget becomes available.

What custom fields should a SAAS Sales Company add to records?

We recommend creating the following custom fields for people, companies or opportunities, or basing your custom fields off the following concepts:

  • Industry Type
  • Subscription level (basic, pro, business, enterprise etc.)
  • Contract type - (M2M, Bi-Annual, Annual)
  • Contract Length (3 month, 6 month, 12 month)
  • Alternative value (are we tracking ARR or MRR in default value field? Total contract value? Do we need an additional custom field to track an additional value?)

SDRs work primarily in leads, bringing any interested potential customers from a variety of sources. They work to qualify leads before scheduling a demo and converting the lead into a qualified business prospect. The following system fields could be customized to benefit this workflow:

  • Lead Status - in lieu of pipeline stages
    • Default = New, Open, Qualified, Junk, On-Hold
    • Custom = Warm, Risk, In-Contact, Attempted Contact
  • Source - Any inbound or outbound lead sources
    • Adwords
    • Retargeting
    • Website inbound form
    • Trial Sign Up
    • Demo Request

Field Settings let you decide how your users interact with fields. We recommend making the following fields required for SDRs before converting a lead:

  • Industry
  • Primary Contact
  • Projected Close Date
  • Record Owner
    • Required Fields
    • Admin Edit Only

How should a SAAS Sales company structure its teams and visibility permissions?

You might consider adding company users to the following teams:

  • SDR Team - Possibly segmented by lead source
  • AE Team - Possibly segmented by territory
  • Onboarding Team

We recommend the following visibility permissions for your teams:

  • Email - Open. Teams work collaboratively and will often need to follow communication with potential and current clients across teams.
  • Record - Open. As leads become qualified prospects and qualified prospects become current customers, multiple teams will need access to records.
  • Reports - Open. View how other teams are performing to anticipate workloads and understand overall department performance.

What reports should a SAAS Sales Team pay attention to?

We offer in-app reports that are easily accessible. If you'd prefer to build custom reports, that's an option as well! Let's see how either type of report could benefit SAAS Sales. 

In-App Reports:

  • For Managers: Track your team and individual user’s daily activities and correlate productive touch points with conversion. Understand your team and individual user’s pipeline of opportunities and how you are trending towards your monthly revenue goal. The Lead Conversion report will help managers know what lead sources are most productive. Monitor loss reasons.
  • For Company Users: Track your daily, weekly, and monthly sales goals and see how how you progressing towards them. View your pipeline summary, as well as weighted and projected.

Custom Report Builder / DataStudio useful reports:

  • Percentage of revenue from different subscription levels (Basic vs Professional)
  • Percent of of revenue from different contract lengths (M2M vs Annual)

What integrations could benefit a SAAS Sales Team?

We recommend using Zapier to do the following:

  • Create a duplicate Opportunity in the Onboarding Pipeline after AE closes deal so that it is not removed from Sales Pipeline.
  • Automated emails for different stage changes. E.g. a welcome email sent during sales handoff. A scheduling reminder email sent if an opportunity has sat in a specific stage for x number of days.

Still have questions?

Still have questions? Ask in our Community, and get answers from our Customer Success Team as well as fellow users.

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