Product Positioning

New roles in marketing and sales in SaaS companies

Changed roles in Sales Development

As CEO of a SaaS company, you have a very large and extensive area of responsibility. In SaaS companies, however, the responsibilities and roles of individual teams have changed considerably in recent years. Sales engineering and online marketing have become core topics of marketing and sales. This can easily lead to a confusing and confusing situation in the company. The roles of each team grow with the solutions and must be distributed accordingly. This creates new tasks in the teams as well as new professional requirements for the employees. Sales development is therefore different today than in the past. Here we follow this development and show the individual steps to understand the tasks in the marketing, sales and CSM (Customer Success Management) teams. This phase model defines the roles of employees in each team. The requirements grow with the increasing volume of business activities and successes.

What does Sales Development look like?

Companies originally handled sales processes according to the so-called AIDA model. This was developed in 1898 by Elias St. Elmo Lewis and described the customer’s journey from his first contact with a company’s offer to the successful sale. In marketing, this model has always played a major role. However, the model had only been developed from the seller’s point of view. The active role of the customer in his customer journey was omitted. Today, Sales Development works in such a way that online marketing sellers are anxious to ensure that the customer’s actual action is taken and to tackle the growth of the business together with the customer. The tasks in marketing and sales are to accompany the customer throughout the customer journey. Generating leads alone is not enough. Customers need to be looked after in the long term and integrated into the growth of the company. If you, as CEO, want to know exactly how this process is designed, you will receive the necessary information below.

Build a sales model in different phases

A successful sales model can be built in 6 steps. An efficient sales model in SaaS companies requires efficient collaboration between different departments. This applies to both marketing and sales. Online marketing and sales engineering go hand in hand in the sales model. Every team plays a role at every stage. This applies to the marketing team as well as to the sales and customer success teams. However, specific roles are assigned to each team. You can find out how this works in the next chapter. The go-to-markete model (GTM) develops with each stage of growth and with the company. It is therefore not a rigid model, but a very flexible business model for sales development. In the following section, we show how this GTM grows with the company and the market and how you as CEO can gradually conquer the market with your teams.

This is what the modern sales organization looks like today

The GTM model for sales development and the development of a successful and efficient model for marketing and sales is divided into a total of 6 phases and in the penultimate phase in 6 stages.

Phase 1: Normalization of levels

The AIDA formula has become used in marketing in its original form. Instead, the new sales model is organized as a fly. Two critical gaps are closed. The first gap is the one in which customer promises are made and the customer is convinced of this. The second gap is growth. The customer is involved in the growth of the company. This creates a continuous growth loop.

Phase 2: Assign roles and involve departments

At this stage, as CEO, you have to decide which role is to which team. Each department has a specific task at each stage. The marketing team works at every stage. The sales team takes care of a smooth process of customer acquisition as well as customer support and the customer success team evaluates the sales activities in monetary terms.

Phase 3: The degree of specialisation

This depends primarily on the annual contract value of the customers in the company. This so-called Actual Cash Value (ACV) describes the specialization of a product. A low ACV means that customers here prefer a standard product that works smoothly, such as a Google Chrome plug-in. A high ACV means that customers attach great importance to a comprehensive product, such as an automation platform with high-touch service.

Phase 4: Distribution and definition of each role

In this phase, you define the individual roles of the teams. The teams consist of individual groups and consist of a sales development group, a sales role team, and a group for customer success. Each group consists of people who have a specific role to play.

The Sales Development group consists of a Market Developerthat tracks demo requests or fills out forms and contacts sales. It also confirms participation in events, webinars or trade fairs. The Sales Developer encourages a decision maker to take a specific action. He processes objections or arranges meetings with a customer advisor. The Account Developer deals directly with decision makers of other companies, often using provocative sales techniques. The Business Developer is supportive and organizes events or provides content.

The sales role team consists of a sales managerwho is responsible for a specific region, an inside sales representative, who answers customer inquiries and informs the customer about prices. The Account Executive focuses on a list of a specific number of customers and researches the exact customer needs. The sales engineer can tailor a product to specific customer needs and is the central point of contact in sales engineering. The solution architect performs a similar task in sales engineering, but does not take care of integrating the solution into the existing offering, as the sales engineer in sales engineering.

The customer success role group consists of an onboarding managerthat specializes in providing a product to the customer. The Customer Success Manager monitors the successes and strategically aligns its work with customer needs. The Account Manager is responsible for the commercial aspects of the partnership with another company. In addition, this team also consists of a technical account manager and a customer service representative. The Customer Education & Training Manager teaches customers how to use a product and also trains their own team. Finally, the Customer Experience Manager illuminates the customer experience and determines where there are opportunities for improvement. The Customer Engagement Manager focuses on the support of existing customers.

Phase 5: Gradual market penetration

At the beginning (level 1), the first 20 to 30 deals are completed. Online marketing is the starting point. After reaching a certain sales limit, the company begins to distribute the first roles and employees specialize. Level 2 targets the next revenue target and the account executive specializes only in closing and a sales developer is hired. This installs a pipeline that expands in level 3. In Level 4, the company has already achieved great growth, and the customer success team supports customers by renewing or renewing their contracts. At Level 5, the company specialises in specific markets and market segments. At level 6, the company is already successfully operating in several market segments through the system in marketing and sales.

Conclusion: New marketing and sales for SaaS companies

With this model, which goes far beyond online marketing, your company not only responds reliably to changing customer needs, but also adapts to changing framework conditions, which result from increased sales and sales success and through the growth of the company. Inbound marketing is subject to different rules of the game than conventional marketing. The solutions mentioned here are a way to successfully place your own company on the market in the long term through the use of marketing and sales.

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