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Sales Training Insight: The SaaS Customer Lifecycle - Seven Pitfalls (Part Three)

Category: Sales Training  |  Permalink

Published: Monday, August 22, 2011

Sales Training Insight: The SaaS Customer Lifecycle - Seven Pitfalls (Part Three)

By Jim Naro, CustomerCentric Selling® Business Partner & Paul Ressler, Cirrostratus Group

This article is a continuation from Part Two posted on August 19, 2011.

7. Keep Your Customer Engaged with New Features

The functionality of a SaaS offering is typically upgraded two to four times a year and these features are added both to attract new customers and retain existing customers. Existing customers need to become aware of new features and their potential value.

Because of the frequency of SaaS upgrades, it's important to have a clear process and responsibility for communicating about new features and capitalizing on any up-sell opportunities. Marketing departments typically communicate new features to the customer via email campaigns, newsletters, or through a communication within the application itself. This will let your customers know that the product is continually being improved and that the value of the service is continually increasing as well.

Sales training workshops 

The account manager who calls a customer and says that they know that a certain type of situation always creates difficulty and proposes a newly available inexpensive upgrade to solve the problem is viewed as a problem solver and partner with the customer, exactly what you want them to be. To be positioned for this, the salesperson or account manager must have listened to the customer and understood their concerns.

Without this proactive activity around new features, valuable opportunities to strengthen the customer relationship and increase the value of the account will be wasted.

Conclusion
Avoiding these seven pitfalls will decrease your new customer acquisition cost, reduce customer churn, increase account value, and result in a more sustainable and profitable business model. Don't let the implied simplicity of the SaaS offering keep you from having clearly defined sales, implementation, and support responsibilities and processes. You'll need them more than ever.

About the Authors
Jim Naro is a CustomerCentric® Selling Business Partner. Jim specializes in helping technology companies capitalize on their investment in sales process and sales training to improve sales performance and, ultimately, revenue growth. Contact Jim at +1.603.881.7712, jnaro@customercentric.com or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/customercentric.

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