It hasn’t been released to the public yet, but Inside sales metrics gurus The Bridge Group, Inc. just finished their “2010 Inside Sales for SaaS Companies” report, and they kindly sent me an advance copy.
I’m not going to reveal too much about it, but like their previous sales metrics reports, my reaction can be summed up in a single word:
There’s way too much good stuff in terms of specific metrics, data analysis, and key insights to post here, so go pick up a copy when it becomes available, but there were two key ideas I gleaned from the report:
Idea #1—In very clear terms, the study demonstrates that SaaS vendors have better sales performance than their license software counterparts—and the analysis indicates that it’s probably because they know how to push and leverage their own product solutions to get the highest benefit.
The demonstrated benefits are real and significant. The study shows that on average, compared to licensed software vendors, SaaS vendors:
- Have 20% more reps hitting quota (70% vs. 50%).
- Have more scalable sales processes, with measurable, repeatable, metrics.
- Have a nearly a 25% shorter sales cycle.
- Have higher lead-to-prospect conversion rates.
Some of it may be the nature of the SaaS space, but if the SaaS vendors themselves are getting these kinds of benefits, it seems pretty clear that the people they’re selling to should see some of the same.
Idea #2—It still comes down to Leads.
As the study itself states, “The #1 challenge for inside sales in this model [SaaS] is leads . . . This is a machine that needs to be fed.”
But it’s not much of a stretch to say that the #1 challenge for ANY sales organization is leads. Companies have to optimize and leverage their lead generation strategies to the max, especially when industry statistics show that organizations consistently have their reps make 5 or less contact attempts on new leads, let new leads grow cold by waiting 24-48 to attempt to make contact, and only contact 50% of their valid leads because they’re simply not giving enough effort or engaging in the right processes.