B2b software sales best practices

B2B Software Sales: A Quick Guide to Best Practices & Tools Ed Chessman March 07, 2023

In the art of sales, time is the most fleeting of resources. In a recent survey, as many as 65% of sales professionals feel that a deficit of time and appropriate resources are their biggest challenge (Data Dwell). That's why the best sales reps and sales managers are continuously looking for new ways and tools to improve their game.

In this guide, I will share 5 best practices and a handful of great tools that every sales rep, sales team, and sales manager should consider adding to their toolbox.

What are B2B software sales best practices?

1. Do your homework early


While top sellers spend an average of 6 hours every week researching their prospects (Crunchbase), there's more we need to know to maximise our chances of winning new business.

First, it's important to understand what's happening in the market, and the best place for that is on SaaS industry-specific websites. Learning about key influences and understanding macro trends enables you to align your solution to initiatives that matter.

Next, by understanding a company's key objectives and strategic initiatives you can communicate how your solution or SaaS offering delivers real business value, and here the best resource is quarterly and annual reports. And read them carefully because the devil is often (always?) in the detail. A 2020 survey by LinkedIn found that 88% of buyers agree that the sales teams they ultimately do business with are “trusted advisors.”

Finally, map each target account to identify who's who and plan a route to power. Sales Navigator is my favourite place for this type of research, but I'll get into tools a little later in this article.

2. Create a joint closing plan

joint plan

There was an 18% difference in revenue growth between companies that defined a formal sales process and companies that didn’t (Harvard Business Review), and every great sales process has planning as a core fundamental.

Sales plans are an excellent way to communicate strategy, action plans, and timeframes to coordinate internal resources.

Also read: A Step-By-Step Guide to Identifying Sales Patterns

I can also strongly recommend building a sales closing plan in partnership with your business sponsor. You will not find a better method of qualifying deals than asking your business sponsor to work together to agree on the steps and timeline for getting a deal done.

3. Communicate continuously 

Always be closing

Once you, as a sales representative, have qualified a deal and committed resources, work your sales pipeline tirelessly from a communication perspective. You need to be on the phone once a week with your business sponsor, even if it's just a short check-in to ensure their teams have everything they need.

Another best practice often overlooked by new sales reps is to prepare and share an agenda in advance of every meeting. Be clear in communicating the meeting objective, who is attending, expectations, and a proposed order of events. Communicating both agendas and the actual sales plan to all internal teams is important, too. According to a recent Salesforce survey, 81% of sales representatives say team selling helps them close deals.

Keeping in close communication is the best way to monitor the health of an opportunity. Without fail, one of the biggest signs a deal is in trouble is an unexpected pause in communication where calls and emails are ignored. As good fishermen say, 'learn to cut bait early at any step in your sales cycle when there's a clear sign of trouble.'

4. Demonstrate value early


A study by Salesforce found that companies that validate technology early in the sales process are 2.8 times more likely to achieve their sales goals compared to those that validate technology later or not at all.

A technical validation event is a standard part of enterprise sales cycles because very few companies purchase new technology without a test drive. For companies providing free trials with product-led B2B SaaS sales strategies, I strongly recommend learning how concierge onboarding using a tool like Glass enables you to deliver a 5-star service to prospects.

For software deals selling web-based software led by sales teams, proactively present an action plan early to suggest your prospect runs a short pilot against agreed success criteria. Make sure any trial or pilot will demonstrate value against a top-level pain or objective. And lastly, make sure you agree on the plan with your business sponsor because running a pilot with anyone else is just wishful thinking and most likely a waste of time.

Closing sales must never be left to lady luck.

5. Prospect every single day

Books on Cold Calling

A great sales strategy will take you far, but without plenty of gas in the tank, you'll never know if you are going to reach the finish line.

Great sales reps don't rely on a marketing team for lead generation, they create their own success by prospecting relentlessly every day. Pay attention to that last point: Every. Single. Day.

Also read: What's An Acquisition Channel? A Comprehensive Guide + FAQs

Note: Need help with cold calling? Check out this article with the 17 best books on cold calling. Or bookmark this article with some of the best outbound selling scripts around to enhance your sales funnel.

Powerful sales tools you need in your SaaS business toolbox

While every sales team already has a number of tools and CRM software used to manage sales cycles, top-performing sales reps always search for the best SaaS sales cycle tools available to fill in any gaps.

software sales

Here are a few of my favourite tools which SaaS sales reps might wish to try.

1. Quick yet powerful research

  • Google News makes it easy to do a quick company name search before every big call or meeting to make sure you haven't missed any breaking news or updates.

  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator is by far the most accurate directory of who's who in a company, and for building highly targeted target lists, it's outstanding.

2. Communicating clearly

  • Google docs are the only way to collaborate because if you're still sending Word docs back and forth by email, seriously dude... wake up.

  • WhatsApp has become the gold standard of networking and good communication here is solid proof your deal is going along just fine.

  • Loom is a new favourite for communicating complex ideas by video, doing in seconds that would take minutes or hours by email.

3. Supporting potential customers

  • Glass is a powerful tool for personalizing interactions with website visitors using a conversational growth strategy; it's also great for qualifying leads (ex: existing lead, qualified leads, new clients, current saas customers)

  • Slack is great for internal communication, and I can highly recommend inviting each prospective client to join a Slack channel for communication during technical validations

4. Prospecting with a personal touch

  • YAMM is a tool for a sales development representative to email groups of prospects. You simply create a google spreadsheet with your prospects & email address, craft an email template and press go. It's important to personalise things too. A study by HubSpot found that personalised outreach emails have a 29% higher open rate and a 41% higher click-through rate compared to generic emails.

  • Airtable is a new tool in my arsenal but it's awesome at creating workflows on top of tables. Lately I've been using it to manage early outreach activity.

In closing

Great sales reps continuously push the edge to improve their game and refine their sales processes, sales targets, and SaaS sales model.

And the best reps know that adopting best practices for SaaS companies and using the most efficient tools is a best way to manage and maximise the precious commodity of time, customer acquisition cost, and close more deals faster. Happy selling, folks.

Ed Chessman is founder of cowXsales, a startup sales consultancy. He has created and closed over $22M in new business revenue leading sales for global software companies and early stage startups. Early stage tech startups are Ed’s true love where he enjoys working with founders to build great products. Ed lives on the south coast of England where he enjoys spending time with his family, running in the South Downs, and trying to master the art of sea swimming. 

About Glass.io

With Glass.io, you can reach across the screen and help visitors make a buy decision. See exactly how visitors use your website in realtime, trigger a notification to the right sales rep when they show buying intent, and start a personalized conversation (chat or video) at the perfect moment.

Plug your leaky sales pipeline by engaging with your website visitors while you have their attention. Sign up for an account here.

Ready to get started? Create an account.