Qualifying Clients – SaaS

Post Written by
Srdjan Salamunović
Last modified on July 3rd, 2020 at 5:11 pm

What is SaaS? SaaS stands for “Software as a service”, it’s a software licensing and delivery model. Usually accessed by users via a web browser. In the past few years SaaS became a delivery method for many business applications:

  • Office and messaging software
  • Payroll processing software
  • Management software
  • CAD software
  • Development software

Companies (SalesForce, NetSuite, Linkedin, etc. ) Few words on Saas (Software As A Service) companies. People are mostly confused about the SaaS, however, it something we are all being using in the past few years (Google Drive, SalesForce, NetSuite, Linkedin, etc.) This knowledge transfer will focus on why is important to fully qualify clients before offering a solutions and what steps / procedures are used from the sales side to close the deal. Focusing on the SaaS company’s.


IBM - determine the prospects / clients needs Opportunity is considered validated is the prospect meets three of four BANT items.


SaaS - subscription model that draws from OpEx budgets whereas traditionally,purchases came out of a CapEx budget.


Do organizations today still make purchase decisions on a single senior authoritative voice enforcing the decision?


What is a Need vs. a Must and a Want? Does SaaS really address a Need or are most of the services just a “Nice to have”


Is the concept of timeframe different for a SaaS deal with a sales cycle measured in days and an implementation of a single “click”? In the recent years sales approach changed so B.A.N.T is a bit modified. There are few problems when qualifying a SaaS deal:

  • Problem for SDRs: When SDRs are given BANT to qualify a deal, it backfires as they essentially are starting to sell while a client is still in “education” mode.
  • Problem for AEs: When AEs are executing BANT to qualify a deal, they are getting affirmative answers yet the deal is still not qualified.

This results in either low quality sales qualified leads, or worse, low quality deals in the qualified sales pipeline expected to close. Let’s see a different approach:

  • Budget (Priority over budget)

SaaS companies have healthy income (monthly, yearly, some are charging per minute). We can say that budget is NOT the first priority. What we need to focus on are three steps: Nice To Have Need To Have Must Have At this stage client is still in the discovery phase, what we need to see is where how our product is ranked, is that the top initiative in client’s company?

  • Authority ( Distributed and not hierarchical)

While most SDR’s are trying to find key man (decision maker), a single user can be most important. User is assigned to research the market and it’s up to him to choose which services he’s going to report to the manager who will them just ask C level executive for approval. Meaning that user can change the entire course of action. What needs to be done is to learn what kind of decision process is being followed.

  • Need (Impact over Need)

The impact of a service is best found by talking to a customer. Understanding what impact our service is going to have on the client’s side. This takes just few additional questions, maybe you won’t get all info on the first call, not a problem, organize second call, continue conversation over the email. Client need to trust us, this will help us to better diagnose the client’s true needs.

  • Timeline (Critical Event over Timeframe)

Instead of focusing on specific time frame when deal is going to be closer (o course that internally we need to set up goals), but, in conversation with the client he shouldn’t feel pushed with a bunch of questions around the timeframe. Instead, let’s ask client when he expects to have critical even (example: when he expect his traffic to increase due to marketing campaign he’s plans to push). This will give us opportunity to open more relaxed - open conversation about the close date, installation of our service and finally live - production. In the meantime it’s better to confirm with the client if there are any changes with the critical event instead of pushing him to get the PO done. Critical event is not when you will get the PO but when client is going to start using your service. It’s all about solving their problem. BANT is still usable, but we just need to make sure it’s a bit re-adjusted:

  • N = Need = Impact on the customer business
  • T = Time-line = Critical event for the customer
  • B = Budget = Priority for the customer
  • A = Authority = Decision Process the customer goes through

Main goal is that sales is no longer about pitching a service to a customer but rather helping a customer identify the real problem an assisting him to find appropriate solution. It’s crucial client is qualified the right way, there will be more damage trying to keep client if he’s not satisfied with your service then to onboard him once you can provide him appropriate solution for his needs. Think as a problem solver, not as a salesperson.

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