SaaS software, also known as cloud-based software, has now gone mainstream, making it easy for teams to leverage all the software programs they need to work collaboratively, wherever they are. The acceleration of digital transformation means it’s possible for different business tools to work together seamlessly better than ever before, giving you a fully-contained digital ecosystem.
Every new capability that you get from software solutions gives your business advantages that have the potential to edge out the competition and increase revenue. Let’s look specifically at how SaaS software can help sync your sales and support teams so they work together in perfect harmony.
The Importance of SaaS Software
SaaS software makes running a business easier and more efficient than ever before. You gain the benefit of having the time and resources to focus on other parts of the business that generate revenue.
What’s so special about SaaS applications? SaaS is an acronym for software as a service. In simple terms, SaaS is a web-based model where software vendors host and maintain code, servers, and databases that make up SaaS applications. Users can then access the application using any device that has an internet connection. It’s as simple as that!
The other thing that’s nice about SaaS is that you can take a few things off your to-do list. There’s no need to purchase expensive hardware. You don’t have to install it, maintain it, or troubleshoot it either. Your software vendor takes care of all that for you.
The Benefits of a Subscription-Based Model
It all sounds so great, but you may be wondering what’s the catch. There’s no catch. It’s just a different model — a convenient, subscription-based model, as opposed to paying for everything upfront. Your company gets to use the software for a designated period of time, and you can pay as you go (usually monthly or yearly). Some SaaS softwares also charge per user or the volume or resources you use, so you can benefit from flexible pricing as your needs change (like due to seasonality).
Sometimes, it makes perfect sense to buy a product. Other times, it makes sense to pay for a product only for the amount of time you need it, like by the month or the year. Your fees typically include the software license and support.
You’re not stuck with it. If you no longer need the software, something better comes your way, or it just doesn’t work the way you intended it to. As long as you abide by the original terms and conditions, you can cancel your subscription.
We’ve come a long way from the days where you had to build a server, install the application, and configure it yourself. With SaaS, you can forget about the headaches of troubleshooting and system shutdowns that disrupt your business, and even reduce the IT labor requirements for your company as a whole.
Unlike older systems, SaaS systems can host massive amounts of data. What’s more, you can run any number of other SaaS applications seamlessly and simultaneously for a total software ecosystem. There’s no need to replace outdated equipment or install software on every desktop. All you have to do is install the latest update.
The Benefits of Software as a Service
SaaS software provides a host of benefits for small businesses everywhere, including:
Here are some more specific benefits of using SaaS programs for your IT and Operations departments:
- Increase revenue
- Generate quality leads
- Improve sales workflows
- Report progress
- Team building and improving morale
- Improve productivity
- Improve interdepartmental collaboration
- Increase conversion rates
- Monitor and decrease attrition
- Optimize resources
- Deliver quality customer experience
- Establish performance metrics (response time, retention, engagement, etc.)
- Saves time in:
- installation-simple download and no need to configure it
- updating systems-SaaS provider leverages cloud computing for updates
- Reduces time to benefit
- Leverage a trial period
- Lower maintenance costs
- Easier to analyze customer needs
- Lessens downtime
- Spend more time on identifying the right tech stack to improve productivity and efficiency
As you can see, there’s a lot to be gained from using powerful cloud-based softwares for your business that can all talk to each other.
For example, sales and support teams have been using CRM systems for quite some time. The combination of a CRM system, cloud-based phone system, and sales or support integrations brings all the right digital tools to a central, accessible location and syncs them together seamlessly. This is the benefit of using cloud-based softwares.
When your sales and support teams run like a well-oiled machine, they’re in the best position to provide the best possible customer experience.
Let’s look more closely at how various sales and support software programs help you set up workflows that create an efficient rhythm within your sales and support teams.
- Cloud phone system – Offers a robust set of voice calling features to record calls, route calls, and much more.
- AI and transcription – Automatically transcribe calls and uses AI to detect different speakers and produce transcripts for team training. Try Avoma, Chorus.ai, ExecVision, Gong.
- Productivity – Automatically sync your contacts with your other business tools and automatically calls new leads in your CRM using cloud numbers, then pass calls to sales teams for nurturing. Try Callingly, PieSync, Typeform.
- Sales automation – Automatically log calls, sync details with deal screens, enable click-to-call features for dialling prospects, set up leaderboards, and gamify incentives. Try Freshsales, Outreach, Pipedrive, OneUp Sales.
- Data and reporting – Build advanced dashboards and sales reports. Try HappyFox BI, Plecto, Zapier.
- Surveys – Send automated surveys to assess customer satisfaction after sales calls. Try Diduenjoy, Nicereply, Postcall.io.
- Help desk – Sync calls with help desk software. Try Zendesk, Planhat, Zoho.
- Surveys – Send automated surveys to evaluate customer interactions. Try Diduenjoy, Typeform, Postcall.io.
- Quality assurance – Leverage coaching opportunities, evaluate sales pitches, and analyze calls using AI to draw out common objections or competitor mentions. Try EvaluAgent, Klaus, Enthu.
- Data and reporting – Prioritize and adjust team goals quickly for improved support team performance by syncing data from various tools. Try Fire Tiger, Intelligent Services, Segment.
- Payments and billing – Accept credit card payments securely. Try Patia, VoxPay.
Understanding the Advantages of Cloud Computing
Virtually any company in any industry can tap into the advantages of cloud computing. It doesn’t discriminate!
SaaS works well for a variety of general use cases, including:
- Data backup
- Email platforms
- Disaster recovery
- Virtual desktops
- Software development
- Big data analytics
- Customer-facing web applications
- Fraud detection
For business purposes, SaaS gives you many advantages.
SaaS Software Advantages:
- Saves costs – Using SaaS programs saves on the cost of equipment and maintaining it. You won’t need to budget for the costs of replacing it when it becomes outdated, either, since these tools update themselves automatically.
- Security – Software vendors build security protocols directly into their programs and monitor them for protection.
- Flexibility – SaaS uses an open API (application programming interface) technology. An open API (also called public API) makes it possible for software developers to integrate software applications so they work together seamlessly. The advantage here is that cloud computing technology gives universal access to developers to enable their software solutions to work with other solutions.
- Mobility – Cloud computing technology works in connection with cellular technology. That’s a huge benefit, because your customers use their mobile devices every day, and so do your employees. If you can’t connect with customers in a timely manner, you could lose a sale or lose their business altogether.
- Valuable insight – It’s always easier to serve customers when you know what they’re thinking. The right SaaS solutions will help you to better understand your customers’ objections, buying patterns, problems, and the things they like about your company, as well.
- Increased collaboration – When a customer speaks to one of your employees and calls back a few minutes later and speaks to someone else before the system updates, customers get a bad impression of your customer service operation. SaaS leverages automation and updates customer comments and data in real time, so your sales and support agents are always referencing the most up-to-date information.
- Quality control – Quality assurance software programs use AI to evaluate calls and provide timely feedback on your teams’ performances. If a problem is looming, you’re sure to catch it.
- Disaster recovery – SaaS systems use redundant networks, so there’s no worry over losing your data during downtimes.
- Reliability – Vendors take the responsibility for ensuring that your systems are always running. You can expect guaranteed uptimes of around 99.9%.
- Loss prevention – The customer is always right. But, regardless of how well-trained your employees are, miscommunications happen. When they do, it costs you money. With voice calling features like call recording, voicemail, and transcription, you get an automatic record of customer interactions, so the customer history is always clear and relevant.
- Competitive edge – Cloud computing gives you the tools to be proactive and anticipate customers’ needs so you can be responsive to them. SaaS therefore positions your company to compete better on the customer experience.
9 Most Common Mistakes Sales Makes When Adopting SaaS Software
When your sales agents realize how SaaS applications will eliminate some of their problems and make it easier for them to reach their sales quotas, they’re bound to get pretty excited.
You’ll want to make adopting SaaS software a successful experience for them and the company, so let’s look at 9 of the most common mistakes sales teams make as they get acquainted with SaaS:
1) Not allowing customers to buy without the help of a sales agent.
The bulk of customers are doing their own research on products and services. Depending on the product, a customer might have the confidence to complete a sale on their own, so let them. Provide the option to speak with a sales rep if they want to.
2) Not following up during and after trial programs.
It’s important to send a few follow-up emails to ensure your customers are using the product effectively, and that they know where to turn if they run into any obstacles. Automated emails are a good way to coach your customers on how to use your products and services successfully.
3) Failing to evaluate feedback from trial users.
Frustrated customers churn, and without the benefit of early feedback, you may never know why. By evaluating feedback, you could win a customer over and prevent the same problem from reoccurring in the future.
4) Investing too much time on product demos.
A demo is an opportunity to spark someone’s interest in your products and services. Avoid using demos as training sessions.
5) Failing to identify the key decision-makers.
The individual that’s interested in your product or service may not be the one who’s actually able to sign on the dotted line. Save yourself some time by asking who makes the decisions, and send off an invitation to that person for the demo appointment.
6) Selling to everyone that comes calling.
Qualify your leads before offering a demo or trial. These are customers that closely match your ideal customer profile. Those that don’t match up won’t be happy and might churn, leave a bad review, or become a constant complainer.
7) Not offering attractive billing plans.
It’s common for SaaS vendors to set up monthly subscription plans. That works well for many customers. But, because SaaS systems cost less than traditional systems, some companies would rather pay annually. Even if you discount the cost slightly for an annual plan, you’ll gain the benefit of a long-time customer. Also, it gives you more opportunities to earn their trust.
8) Failing to track metrics.
With SaaS software, your cloud-phone system and other programs automatically track metrics that tell you where customers are in the sales funnel, so you can move them along. Metrics will also give you insight into sales agent performance, flag problems, and help you evaluate productivity and efficiency.
9) Failing to set up workflows that follow up with prospects and reach out to existing customers.
If you’re not keeping prospects and customers engaged, you could be missing sales and leaving money on the table.
9 Most Common Mistakes Support Makes When Adopting SaaS Software
1) Limiting the ways customers can contact you.
Your customers prefer their favorite communication channel or the one that’s most convenient. Give your support agents options for how to connect with customers and give customers a choice in how to reach you, like by phone, text, email, or customer service portal.
2) Failing to offer self-service options.
Some customers don’t want to wait to speak with a person. They’d rather take the lead and get an answer on their own using an automated voice response system or a knowledge base.
3) Assuming that few or no support tickets means customers are happy and there are no problems.
It’s possible they’re not calling in because they haven’t been satisfied with your support service in the past. Automated surveys will give you insight into where your support agents are faltering and where they shine.
4) Failing to provide ongoing training.
With voice features like call whispering, call monitoring, and call recording, and transcription, you have the right tools to coach support agents. Good coaching means support agents will be better able to meet their goals and your customers will get a better experience.
5) Focusing too heavily on speed or price.
The way to attract and retain customers is through building the customer relationship over time. Use SaaS to keep in touch with them and inspire brand loyalty.
6) Failing to monitor response times and the time to resolve problems.
One of the great things about SaaS support software is that it often gives your support agents the tools to help customers on the first call. They can use a knowledge base to answer questions, transfer calls to agents that are available, and access all the details that make for excellent customer service.
7) Failing to personalize calls.
Customers like a personal touch whether it’s using their preferred name, honoring their hours of availability, or referring to their transaction history.
8) Being reactive rather than proactive.
To compete on the customer experience, you need to be able to anticipate your customers’ needs and meet them. The right software creates efficiency by automating support activities. Use it to send out surveys, notify them of deals and promotions, and keep them engaged.
9) Not leveraging the right software to capture as many customer details as possible.
Every time you interact with a customer it’s a chance to learn more about them. Leverage automation to gather as much information as you can about the customer journey.
Best Practices to Align Your Sales and Support Teams
- Use automation to train sales team members using interactive tools, such as a knowledge base.
- Use Aircall’s dashboard analytics to evaluate metrics and KPIs, set goals, gain insights, and spot trends.
- Set up efficient workflows and run them according to a consistent schedule.
- Block out specific times for prospecting, preparing, managing emails, and closing deals.
- Set daily goals according to how many interactions a sales rep needs to have to close a sale, and leverage gamification software for a little friendly competition.
- Use cloud phone features like call recording, call monitoring, and call whispering to coach sales reps on an ongoing basis.
- Arrange for regular times for team teaching, sharing, and input.
- Use warm transfer for sales reps to speak briefly with each other before transferring calls.
- Use SaaS software for lead qualification and lead scoring to ensure that all team members are getting good leads.
- Incentivize teams and celebrate their performances.
- Create feedback for learning purposes.
- Use SaaS software to ensure accountability for each support agent.
- Run efficient, informative team meetings with meaningful takeaways.
- Empower team members with the right tools and guidelines to allow them to apply critical thinking in their decision-making.
- Ensure that goals, roles, and responsibilities are clear.
- Set up regular times for performance reviews.
- Keep support agents active and engaged.
- Use SaaS software for your cloud phone system and software integrations to develop a single source of customer data.
The right SaaS software gives your team members the tools they need to work together seamlessly. Your customers enjoy a better customer experience as the beneficiaries of their efforts. Your company ultimately benefits from an improved bottom line.
It’s a win-win-win situation all around.