SaaS Revenue Framework: Trackable and Scalable

Apr 13, 2023

You need to have a sales process, a framework, or a SaaS sales model in place. Call it what you like! You need the structure.

Otherwise, you're just meandering through the business world. You have no idea what your sales reps are saying or how they are logging activity, if at all.

This situation is completely controllable and applies to 90% of tech startups that are founded by technical personalities. That's not to throw shade at technical founders! They've built some of the amazing products we use today like Qventus, AppsFlyer and Playground Labs - and if you don't have a technical founder as a SaaS company, you probably should.

However, if you have no revenue framework, your startup is going to crash and burn.

Convinced? Great.

Let's get into HOW to make a SaaS sales model that brings in revenue, is trackable, and is scalable. I'm going to unpack the customer acquisition funnel that should figure on all revenue strategies for SaaS.



SaaS Sales Model: The funnel

The 8 stages that I give the founders I work with can be grouped under 3 headings if you like simplicity: Discovery, Outreach, and Customer. However you group them, you need to be tracking everything that happens in all 8 stages in your CRM.

  1. Connect
  2. Discover
  1. Prep
  2. Demo
  3. Follow-up
  4. Close
  1. Onboarding
  2. Active
Here's why you need each stage, and I'll even give you 8 tips for SaaS success!
  1. Connect
    Every call, connection request, voicemail, inbound, WhatsApp, and text needs to be documented. Do not only track actual 2-way communication at this stage. Why? Because you need to be qualifying leads at this stage, no later.

    Tip: Only 2% of calls close on the 1st or 2nd call so don't get your hopes up here!
  2. Discover
    Here, you're finding fit: Do they have a problem you can solve and are they going to be good to work with? This is a conversation stage and some might feel like you're qualifying but really you're focusing on their need and timeline.

    Tip: If you do this stage really well, you can influence that timeline.
  3. Prep
    In reality, this is always happening. You need to be prepping for every interaction after discovery. So even when you have an active client, you should be looking at what features they've been using what barriers they might have hit, and arriving at calls with active users with a solution to hand.

    Tip: Go beyond fact-gathering, investigate their personality and plan your strategy accordingly.
  4. Demo
    There's always going to be a layer of deeper discovery here, but really you should be delivering value at the demo stage. You're NOT presenting the product, you're connecting their pain to your solution.

    Tip: You might consider demos part of your follow-up touches. 
  5. Follow-up
    This stage needs to be just as carefully documented as any other and you should be including even connection requests and missed calls in your tracker because the prospect sees them too. Another demo might be a valid stage in follow-up, especially if there are multiple decision-makers.

    Tip: Have multiple selectable options for "type" or kind of follow-up in your CRM so it's clear to your sales team that even quick texts need to be recorded. 
  6. Close
    Collecting payment information through the platform, getting a yes, and signing a contract are not your close. Getting someone onto a trial is only a qualified prospect. It's when the dollars came through to your company, you can consider this a deal closed.

    Tip: In all your communications but especially at this stage, focus on the customer, not the deal.
  7. Onboarding
    The transfer of a brand new client over to a Customer Success Manager (CSM) is delicate. The handoff must be clean, obvious, and well-communicated. Otherwise, the sales rep is going to be the POC for the client.

    Tip: Document this stage as soon as you document any sales model. There is still a chance for the customer to churn.
  8. Active
    For some reason, I rarely see this status in CRMs. However, the deal is not done. Your software better hold up to promises that were made during the sales conversation. I see most companies' sales teams wipe their hands and leave the CSM to manage everything. But notes must be shared
    and strategic meetings need to happen between the CSM and Sales.

    Tip: Even for former evangelists, inactivity is a major red flag for churn.

Where to find more revenue strategies for SaaS

The above funnel model is neither the Bible nor instructions from IKEA. What it is, is a solid, sound framework that will stand the test of time (and the test of use.)

Sound like something you need? Get even more details in the Selling SaaS Playbook.


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