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What is SaaS sales?

SaaS sales is the process of selling web-based software that customers access through an online portal. SaaS sales products are used to solve a business problem.

Like all B2B sales, the end goal is to make the customer more successful. The product usually has a subscription-based pricing model, so customers effectively become repeat customers every month, quarter, or year.

This page aims to answer the most important questions surrounding SaaS sales. Scroll 👇 or use the menu to jump to a section.

SaaS sales 101 | What is SaaS? | Who conducts SaaS sales? | What is a SaaS sales strategy? | What is the SaaS sales process? | What are the main SaaS sales activities? | What are the most important SaaS metrics? | What tech can help with SaaS sales? | Cognism's guide to selling SaaS | Supercharge your SaaS sales with Cognism

See how Cognism can skyrocket your SaaS sales - click 👇 to book your screen-share.

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SaaS sales 101

Join Emily Liu, Cognism's Video Marketer, as she counts down the top 10 tips for selling SaaS, straight from our own SDR team! Press ▶️ to watch her sales tutorial.

What is SaaS?

SaaS (software as a service) is a type of software hosted by a single provider or software company. The software is managed by its customer success team and supported by the provider’s product engineers. SaaS allows users to connect to and use cloud-based apps over the internet.

Who conducts SaaS sales?

SaaS sales are conducted by Sales Development Reps (SDRs) and Business Development Managers (BDMs). SDRs focus on outbound sales and qualifying leads, while BDMs focus on conducting product demos and closing deals.

A SaaS sales team has one main objective: to move qualified leads through the pipeline and generate new revenue for the company.

What is a SaaS sales strategy?

A SaaS sales strategy uses a variety of sales techniques, with the end-goal of closing deals or upselling current clients.

With SaaS sales strategies, there is no “one size fits all”; you need to find what works for your business. Deciding on the SaaS sales strategy depends on where your company is in its SaaS adoption and development. A SaaS Sales strategy plays a huge role in your ability to grow and position your company for long-term success.

To reach the ultimate goal of generating revenue, your strategy should focus on:

  • B2B lead generation - generating customer interest in a product with the goal of turning that interest into a sale.
  • B2B prospecting - directly reaching out to your target customers to introduce your company, product, and services.
  • Closing deals - the final stage of the transaction, where agreements are signed and the sale is made.

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What is the SaaS sales process?

The SaaS sales process refers to the stages a company goes through to close a deal with a potential customer. There are five stages in the SaaS sales process:

  1. Lead generation -  generating customer interest in your product.
  2. Outbound prospecting - reaching out to prospects via phone/email/social media.
  3. Qualification - evaluating if the prospect is the right fit for your company.
  4. Demonstrating - conducting a live demo for the prospect.
  5. Closing - negotiating terms with the prospect and making a sale.

What are the main SaaS sales activities?

There are three main SaaS sales activities:

  • Cold calling - where salespeople contact prospects via the phone, qualify them and arrange a meeting.
  • Outbound email - where a salesperson contacts prospects via content-rich, engaging and personalised emails.
  • Social selling - where salespeople engage with prospects on social networks (the main focus should be LinkedIn with B2B SaaS sales).

What are the most important SaaS metrics?

The only way to measure the performance of your SaaS sales team is to track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

KPIs are incredibly important in the SaaS sales sector, where deals are signed and revenue is calculated on an ongoing, monthly basis. The most important B2B sales KPIs to track are:


The KPIs tracked by Cognism’s Sales Development Representative team. These include:

  • Productivity metrics - the number of emails sent, phone calls made and LinkedIn activity an SDR generates (e.g.: the volume of InMails and connection requests sent to prospects).
  • Success metrics - including the number of meetings booked and attended by potential customers. Also the number of SQOs (sales qualified opportunities) the SDR sources, based on the BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing) criteria.


The KPIs tracked by Cognism’s Business Development Management team. These include:

  • Personal metrics - the average dollar amount of each BDM’s deals and the number of demos attended vs the number of opportunities won.
  • Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) metrics - in dollars, the amount of MRR booked by each BDM, the MRR target for each BDM, and the percentage of the target won by each BDM vs their target.
  • Demo metrics - the number of demos booked vs the number of demos attended.
  • Pipeline metrics - a variety of KPIs tracking the SaaS sales pipeline, including the total number of open opportunities, the total number of opps moved to demo and to contract, plus the total number of lost opps vs the total number of closed-won opps.

Inbound vs outbound

The final SaaS sales metric to look at. This involves:

  • Comparing your inbound and outbound metrics. The percentage of inbound and outbound conversion rates are compared, followed by a comparison of the monetary value of inbounds and outbounds that are won.
  • Finally, comparing inbound vs outbound revenue won (in dollars). All of this comes together to determine the total amount of revenue generated from both inbound and outbound SaaS sales.

What tech can help with SaaS sales?

The SaaS sales process can be greatly improved by the adoption of sales technology. A wide variety of SaaS sales tech exists which can be implemented at all stages of the sales funnel.

Cognism has curated a list of the best B2B SaaS tools - click to see the ultimate B2B SaaS sales tech stack.

Cognism's guide to selling SaaS

Revolutionise the way your team sells SaaS products. All you have to do is implement 3 simple ideas. To find out more, click 👇


Supercharge your SaaS sales with Cognism

Never miss a revenue opportunity again. Cognism can help your SaaS sales team build pipeline, prospect effectively, and reach your ideal customers when they’re most likely to buy - with 400M+ global profiles, up to 16 data points on each individual, and 800K+ B2B data points updated daily.

Step up your prospecting game today - register for your free demo with us!

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