“I’m A SaaS Sales Rep, And I’m Not Sure How The Space Is Changing in 2021. Should I Be Looking For New Opportunities?”
You Came To The Right Place To Find Out.
The SaaS, or “software as a service” space, like all aspects of software sales, is an ever-changing landscape.
There are definitely jobs to be had, for beginners as well as seasoned professionals. So should you be looking for new opportunities?
Well, of course, that depends on you and your circumstances. I think we can all agree on one thing, though; SaaS sales reps are in demand, and compensation plans are competitive.
If you are considering a change or are completely new to the space, it probably makes sense for you to consider engaging a staffing agency. An agency can help candidates quickly source the best opportunities for their situation. We’ll touch on that a bit more later in the post.
This short post will help identify and explain four key areas of the sector that are changing in the coming year. Most importantly though, you will learn how these changes can potentially impact your sales career.
Four key areas for savvy SaaS salespeople to watch for, and react to(!), industry-wide:
Significant Price Changes
- Overall Market Growth
- Significant Feature Additions/Enhancements (Not Complexity!)
- End-User Buying Habits
So let’s dive right in.
What’s going to happen with SaaS pricing and pricing models in 2021?
Growth in the SaaS space is definitely on the horizon (see below), and product pricing will most likely take some interesting twists and turns this year.
As workforces continue to adjust in size, SaaS companies will adjust with reduced per-seat prices while increasing usage costs. This trend is already happening and will probably continue.
As a salesperson, you can expect to see adjusted commission structures in parallel with this trend. Be ready to adapt to higher residuals and lower upfront commission dollars. If you decide that adjusted commission plans are not to your liking, consider engaging a staffing agency to start a new job search.
Start early with clearly defined personal objectives, and make sure the placement agency is aware of your goals.
Gartner expects the overall market to hit around $140B by EOY 2022.
What does this mean for you as a sales rep? Job prospects are definitely good. As an experienced salesperson, you will likely be on the radar of hiring managers looking for talent should you decide to enter the job market.
That’s great news, right? Yes, it is, but as always, keep things in perspective. As we’ve pointed out, software pricing models and associated commission plans will be changing.
Adapting to new and innovative compensation plans can be a daunting process. Try to keep an open mind about new opportunities. Do your due diligence on the company and the comp plan prior to shortlisting anyone. Remember, you’re in the driver’s seat if you’re in exploration mode for potential new job opportunities.
Leaders and significant “up-and-comers” in the SaaS market are expected to add significant features and enhancements to their software in the coming year.
This will be accompanied by decreased complexity in future releases.
Sound counterintuitive? SaaS applications and tools are intended to simplify two things; business processes and the lives of the personnel in the workforce involved in executing those processes.
Complex and clunky are two descriptors that should never be used when describing a SaaS application. From a recent article in Forbes:
“People want easy, and if one tool does a better job but looks clunky, the pretty tool will win a lot of those contests.”
The SaaS winners will have more functionality with a less complex UI/UX. Mobile functionality will continue to be huge as well. SaaS tools are designed to increase workforce productivity and efficiency. Mobile capability cannot be removed from that equation.
End users will change the way they make SaaS buying decisions in the coming year.
Buyers are always looking for that perfect price/value inflection point when sourcing products. SaaS products face the same buyer scrutiny as any other business productivity tool.
As the space expands, SaaS products will become more vertical and niche-focused. We’ve touched on the structural price changes earlier in the post. These changes will undoubtedly continue to cause lower subscription and upfront fees, with an increase in usage fees.
The business world, especially anything in the cloud, is going to a “pay-for-usage” model, so this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone in the space.
Vertical and niche market focus will go “hyper” in the coming year as well. It is becoming commonplace for enterprises to use multiple SaaS tools to solve niche problems. From document and email management, to communication channels and methods, to shopping tools, and everything in between, Micro SaaS tools are here to stay.
So what should you take away from this?
Remember, SaaS software tools are meant to solve business and workforce productivity issues. So if you’re looking to get into the space as an account executive or business development rep, pick a SaaS company with products that solve unique business problems.
Seek wise counsel from your staffing agency partner. They can help you narrow your search, and save you considerable time and effort, before you even get started.
Be ready for; new compensation models, niche products, and new end-user buying decision metrics to enter the picture.
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