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Choosing the Right Sales Motion for Your Business (28 Real-World Examples)

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The best sales teams don’t just sell — they keep customers happy and drive serious upsell, cross-sell, and expansion revenue. They do this by first identifying and focusing on the sales motions that are best for their product, team, and customer.

In this article we’ll review the four main sales motions B2B SaaS teams use:

Let’s dive into 28 world-class examples of how real companies use these different sales motions to drive revenue growth. And we’ll break down some of the tactics they’ve used to drive millions in sales.

If you’re trying to build a world-class sales team, this is where you should start.

NOTE: All of the data below is coming from getlatka.com.

1. Field Sales

Field sales (also known as outside sales) is the traditional face-to-face sales we all know and love (ok maybe not love). This is where a sales rep physically meets a potential customer to discuss needs, budgets, volumes, prices, requirements, timelines, and other contract details.

Airfare, meal bills, and other travel expenses can drive customer acquisition costs (CAC) into the tens of thousands of dollars. But meeting a client in person is still one of the most effective ways to build trust and, in turn, a solid, fruitful business relationship.

This has obviously been harder, and often impossible, since COVID-19, but as things return to normal, we will likely see a return to outside sales as well.

Field sales are great for:

  • Companies with large enterprise or government customers
  • Companies with small customer counts (10-100) and large annual contract values ($100,000+)
  • Companies with complex or custom-tailored products
  • Companies working with the start and middle of the supply chain (raw materials, manufacturing, warehousing, etc.)
  • Companies operating in less-digitized industries (construction, healthcare, real estate, etc.)

Here are seven real-life examples of SaaS companies taking advantage of field sales at different revenue stages.

Rifiniti: $150k ACV and $3M ARR

Rifiniti used field sales to turn an old Lenovo consulting relationship into their first SaaS customer.

Their website also offers a product demo to capture inbound leads and assist their field reps.

PipelineEquity: $360k ACV and $1.1M ARR

PipelineEquity generates a large number of their leads by speaking at events and writing for outlets like Forbes.

Their goal is very clearly to get you into a conversation with a rep. And to facilitate that their website shows some of the services they provide with a vague “get in touch” option and no pricing listed.

Talvista: $199k ACV and $996k ARR

Talvista’s field reps were able to land Cielo as their first customer by leveraging their past mutual companies and relationships.

In what you’ll see is a trend in high-value field-sales oriented companies, their website doesn’t list pricing, and instead offers product demo — pushing you towards a rep.

XactlyCorp: $180k ACV and $288M ARR

XactlyCorp got the first 100 customers by becoming a SalesForce Partner and participating in events, speaking, and collaborating whenever possible.

Once Xactly knew their numbers, they were able to save equity and use venture debt as they scaled towards IPO.

Their website doesn’t list prices and only offers product demo

Tuuk: $180k ACV and $360k ARR

Tuuk’s first customer was USAA, which was actually their founder’s former employer. Talk about a relationship.

Their website offers a product demo and no pricing (Deja-vu, right?).

GeoSpiza: $156k ACV and $468k ARR

GeoSpiza has a very lofty goal to hit 40 new customer meetings each month. And they’re working towards this goal by establishing thought leadership in the environmental space.

They’ve been invited to speak at events once a month, including the Economist Climate Risk Summit 2019.

This gives their field reps the perfect opportunity to target managers and directors associated with the Sustainable Supply Chain via Linkedin Sales Navigator and establish relationships.

Once again, their website doesn’t list prices and only offers product demo

Singular: $150k ACV and $23M ARR

Singular got its first five customers the old fashioned way — by banging on doors of local Israeli businesses, including GetTaxi, a taxi app

They are actually moving more towards inbound marketing. And as part of that strategy, they actively answer marketing questions on Quora to set themselves up as experts in the space.

Their website also offers a chance to book a product demo.

As you can see, there are many ways to go about landing high-paying new customers. The key is to know exactly who you are targeting, and then go all in to impress that potential buyer.

If you sell at a price point north of $50,000 per year, field sales is the perfect go-to-market sales motion for you. That kind of contract size almost always requires an in-person meeting!

If you sell at a price point lower than $50,000, you might be able to save the travel expenses and use an Inside Sales model instead.

2. Inside Sales

Inside sales — or remote sales — is the virtual equivalent of field sales. Instead of meeting the customer face to face, an inside sales rep will cold call potential leads, perform product demonstrations, and schedule a series of onboarding sessions. The customer is walked through the entire sales and onboarding process by a dedicated account representative.

Taking the sales experience online preserves the human touch while also allowing salespeople to reach more potential customers.

Inside sales are effective for:

  • Companies with mid-market enterprise customers
  • Companies with 100-1000 customers and mid-range annual contract values ($10,000 – $100,000)
  • Companies that offer a solid base product with extra functionality/customization
  • Companies working on the customer end of the supply chain (distributors, retailers, end-users)
  • Companies operating in well-digitized industries (media, IT, finance, professional services)

Here are 7 SaaS companies taking full advantage of the inside sales model:

Case.one: $5.6k ACV and $17M ARR

Case.one generated their Initial leads primarily via conferences and cold calls.

Their website also offers customers a chance to book a product demo.

ShipHero: $18k ACV and $5.4M ARR

ShipHero actually acquired their first customers via the Shopify App Store, and they’ve since built off that success with a fantastic inside sales team.

Their website offers a chance to schedule a consultation call based on the customer’s needs.

ActiveConversion: $11k ACV and $2.2M ARR

ActiveConversion generates leads via cold calls but outsources the actual calling while providing target numbers. Warm leads are then pushed to an account executive.

They add around 10 new customers per month at a CAC of $5k — a six month payback period works!

Their website offers a product demo and a 14-day trial.

Automation Links: $2.4k ACV and $242k ARR

Automation Links answers potential customer questions via FB Messenger and email on a daily basis. This keeps them top of mind with customers and makes it very easy for customers to connect.

They use these connections to push potential customers to their website, where customers can schedule a demo and a call.

Data Skrive: $36k ACV and $360k ARR

Data Skrive uses guest posts and content partnerships with a “Powered by Data Skrive technology” signature to drive traffic to the website.

Their website then offers a product demo performed by customer success representatives, and sales are closed by a VP of the channel.

This is a somewhat unorthodox system, but it works well for Data Skrive.

Roivenue: $20k ACV and $614k ARR

Roivenue gets 40% of its leads from conference sponsorships with about a 1% conversion rate.

They get around 100 leads just by sponsoring the IRX conference for $2,000 (talk about ROI).

All these leads push customers to their website, which offers a product demo with no pricing information.

BackOffice: $3.1k ACV and $936k ARR

BackOffice drives leads via partnerships with accounting firms, gas stations, and Allstate agents.

Their website also offers a product demonstration.

If your price point is high enough that you still need a decent amount of touch from reps, but it’s not expensive enough to warrant sales reps flying to potential customers, then inside sales is the perfect sales motion for you.

And as you can see from the examples above, there are tons of different strategies and techniques you can employ.
If your price point is between $500 and a few thousand dollars, consider a low-touch sales model — this still requires some human touch, but your website does most of the work.

3. Low-Touch Sales

Also known as tech touch, low-touch sales pipelines take advantage of technology to minimize actual human interactions.

Usually, a low-touch sale implies that only one or two human interactions happen during the customer journey — all other touchpoints happen between the customer and the software itself.

As you’ll see, this means that a lot more work needs to be done via the website itself. Say goodbye to the simple schedule-a-demo website model.

Effectively constructed low-touch sales models can skyrocket a company’s capacity to take on and retain customers.

They often focus on aggregated sales data analytics instead of particular accounts.

It’s most effective users are:

  • Companies with small to mid-market customers
  • Companies with 1,000+ customers and small annual contract values ($1,000 – $10,000)
  • Companies with several variations of the base product with little-to-no customization
  • Companies in very close proximity to the end-user
  • Companies operating in well-digitized industries (media, IT, finance, professional services)

Here are seven companies signing up millions in new revenue using the low touch sales model.

Veedeeo: $3k ACV and $300k ARR

Veedeeo used to drive traffic to its website from Capterra and Google Adwords, but now it gets leads primarily from a Vodafone partnership.

Pricing and tiers are very clear and transparent on the website. And users can sign up for a free trial.

Customer success reps are used primarily to upsell paid features.

RecruiterFlow: $3.3k ACV and $396k ARR

RecruiterFlow first converted traffic driven from Quora posts. They’ve now expanded their strategy to gain traffic from several sources.

Their website offers a free trial, full pricing information, and a product demonstration.

CoSchedule: $600 ACV and $4.8M ARR

CoSchedule was able to grow their email list to 10,000 loyal subscribers before even launching their product.

Their website offers an instant free trial, pricing, and a product demonstration.

GatherUp: $2k ACV and $2.7M ARR

GatherUp’s main source of traffic is from inbound. And out of 100 inbound leads, 25 will become customers. That’s an amazing conversion rate.

Their website also offers full pricing information and instant sign up, with the option to get a demo.

Upsales: $15k ACV and $7.5M ARR

Upsales got their first 10 customers by cold calling Swedish businesses from the yellow pages. Now 50% of their customers are from inbound and referrals.

Their website again offers full pricing information and a free trial.

Competitors: $480 ACV and $9.6k ARR

Competitors generate leads via Facebook lifetime deal groups, and their website offers a free trial, pricing, and 1-on-1 demo.

Zapier: $500 ACV and $50M ARR

Zapier generates leads from partnerships with companies like Airtable, among other strategies.

Their website offers pricing and allows potential customers to sign up directly. Customer success reps then reach out to help onboard customers.

This low touch model is one you should consider if your price point is between $500 and a few thousand dollars.

Anything cheaper than that, and the only profitable way to go to market is to optimize around a funnel that requires no human touch.

4. No-Touch Sales

No-touch sales are every company’s dream. The goal is to create a pipeline so smooth that no human interaction is needed to land and retain new customers. All your marketing efforts translate directly into new customers with zero calls, product demos, or onboarding sessions needed.

Due to the oversimplification of the sales process, only companies that meet very specific criteria can make no touch sales work:

  • Companies with small business customers
  • Companies with 10,000+ customers and micro annual contract values (<$1,000)
  • Companies with a simple, single product (no customizations)
  • Companies serving end-users
  • Companies operating in well-digitized industries (media, IT, finance, professional services)

Here are seven companies that fit the bill:

DirectIQ: $1.8k ACV and $450k ARR

DirectIQ drives traffic via Shopify marketplaces and the Google Apps marketplace.

This traffic them lands on their website that offers a free trial and a paid functionality directly without onboarding.

Lemlist: $720 ACV and $252k ARR

Lemlist gets 10,000 – 30,000 views weekly with their Linkedin videos. If you want to do more social media marketing, they’re the ones to watch.

Their website offers a free trial, full pricing information, and there is no onboarding required.

Uploadcare: $1.3k ACV and $1.1M ARR

Uploadcare uses several strategies. In one instance, they used A YCombinator post to drive several thousand free signups and 5-10 initial paid customers. This may not sound like a lot, but think of it another way, they got 5-10 customers from a single post!

Their website offers a freemium version along with two paid tier.

Putler: $540 ACV and $119k ARR

Putler transferred all of their desktop customers to their new SaaS business.

Their website also offers free trial along with a pre-programmed virtual demo.

Remindax: $480 ACV and $720k ARR

Remindax gets 90% of its leads through the “expiration date reminder” SEO keyword. Depending on how focused your product is, you can get a lot of value from spending a lot of effort to own a keyword like this.

10% of their freemium leads convert to their paid product.

Their website offers full pricing and signup for all tiers.

6PPC Scope: $492 ACV and $318k ARR

6PPC Scope gets leads via inbound marketing — like posting in the Amazon PPC Troubleshooting community group on Facebook.

Their website offers a free trial and pricing information

EmailAnalytics: $540 ACV and $100k ARR

EmailAnalytics gets all of their customers from organic search. The keyword, “email analytics,” generates 300 clicks per month for them. And out of that, they can usually expect 15-20 conversions to free trial.

In total, organic search generates 500 new trials per month for them.

Their website offers signup and pricing information.

Your Price Drives Your Sales Motion

A field sales team will never work if your price point is under $10k per year. You simply can’t afford to fly a rep to a customer, wine and dine them, and close if that customer will only be worth $10k per year.

 

On the flip side, you can’t put a price point of $100k on your website and expect people to sign up using your no-touch funnel. Every customer will want to talk to a rep and meet them in person before forking over $100k.

 

You need to keep this in mind as you are building your SaaS sales team and editing your sales funnels.

Find the sales motion that fits your product and audience, and build your team with that in mind. And remember that within each of these motions, there are countless unique approaches and strategies to utilize.

For more information on how to discuss pricing with your customers, check out this community discussion where other sales executives share their communication tactics.

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    • Profile picture of Danielle Gradwell
      @danzo
      ( 520 POINTS )
      2 weeks ago

      I make use of a sales tracking software, SalesQ, and I found this article to be extremely informative with regards to everything inside sales motions. Thank you!

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