Trending This Week: The Latest on Inside Sales at SaaS Companies

Here are three key findings from research into inside sales at SaaS companies and how you can apply the insights to your advantage.

March 30, 2017

  • Two Gauges Showing Performance of Company Against Competitors

If you lead an Account Executive (AE) team for a SaaS business, it’s helpful to understand how your peers drive success among their teams. For its SaaS AE 2017 Metrics and Compensation research report, The Bridge Group (led by Trish Bertuzzi) analyzed responses from 384 B2B SaaS companies to uncover the latest inside sales trends. While the report sheds light on many aspects of managing an inside sales team – including team structure, compensation, and top challenges – we want to highlight three findings in particular.

Pipeline Sourced by Marketing

We all know that marketing plays a bigger role in filling the pipeline now that buying committees have more content to aid their decisions. The Bridge Group found that, on average, 36% of an AE group’s pipeline is sourced by marketing. However, as Annual Contract Value (ACV) revenues rise, the percentage of marketing-sourced pipeline falls.

  • pipeline-sourced-marketing

The Bridge Group has seen the percentage of pipeline sourced by marketing decrease as Annual Contract Value (ACV) rises for the past eight years. And it rightly underscores that account-based marketing is focused on driving high-ACV pipeline from strategic accounts. As the report says, “ABM was born, in part, as a way to more effectively engage with larger organizations and their sprawling buying groups.”

This data shows that sales teams should not be relegated to the sidelines of ABM initiatives. In fact, your sales team can be the secret to your organization’s ABM success.

Dials and Emails

The report found that AEs average 33 dials and 33 emails per day. While it didn’t say whether those were cold or warm outreach efforts, it did find that AEs only averaged 6.3 quality conversations per day. Quality conversations included those where “at least one piece of qualifying/disqualifying information is learned.”

Other research has found that 90% of decision makers don’t respond to cold emails or cold calls. Even if your AEs are contacting a known connection, it’s important for them to take steps to build trust with their outreach.

Acceleration Technologies

According to the survey, companies are investing in four different tools to help their reps close deals faster, on average. For companies that invest more into the sales team, that toolkit includes LinkedIn Sales Navigator. While we are biased, we’re not surprised to see that sales acceleration tools are helping reps perform revenue-generating tasks more proficiently. When sales professionals can more easily find the right prospects and share informed insights, stronger relationships are a natural byproduct.

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