Gartner Research

Selling SaaS: What All Software Providers Need to Know

Published: 29 August 2014

ID: G00265692

Analyst(s): Chris Pang


High-growth SaaS providers employ agile, disciplined sales operations and management practices. Software sales executives can learn from these leading-edge practices to optimize their own sales operations and management styles, as well as improve sales performance.

Table Of Contents


  • Methodology
    • Profile of SaaS Providers Interviewed
  • Key Observations: What Sales Processes Differentiate High-Performance SaaS Providers?
    • They Invest Early and Heavily in Sales-Enablement Technology to Increase and Manage Their Pipelines
    • They Use a Very Selective and Granular Approach to Market Segmentation
    • They Use a Business Development Team to Augment Their Sales Team
    • They Know When to Divide the Sales Rep's Time Between Hunting and Farming
    • They Have Generous, but Tightly Controlled, Commission and Bonus Plans
    • Recommendations for Sales Process
  • Key Observations: What People Processes Do High-Performing SaaS Businesses Employ to Staff the Business?
    • They Have Proactive Succession Planning at All Levels to Mitigate Inherent Churn in Sales Roles
    • They Tune Their Sales Management Style to the Maturity Level of the Company
    • They Apply the Same High Standards in Hiring Inside Sales as They Do Field Sales
    • They Hire for Personality Traits and Domain Knowledge
    • They Hire for Attitude
    • Recommendations
  • Conclusion: Discipline, Rapid Change and Taking a Chance Should Be Core Values Aligned With Your Sales Process and People Attributes

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