8 Top Tips for Selling SaaS During a Downturn


Economic downturns are challenging for businesses across industries, but they present a unique set of opportunities and constraints for founders in the B2B software sector. If you’re navigating the tricky waters of a down economy, rest assured: not only can you weather the storm, but you can also emerge stronger on the other side. Here’s how.

1. Re-Evaluate Your Value Proposition

During a downturn, the usual value propositions may no longer be as compelling. This is the time to pivot your messaging to focus on ROI, cost-efficiency, and business continuity. Take Slack, for example; they repositioned themselves as an essential tool for remote work during the pandemic, thereby becoming indispensable for many companies.

2. Lean into Customer Retention

Retaining existing customers is often more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. Utilize platforms like Salesforce to manage customer relationships, upsell, and ensure customer satisfaction. A happy customer can become your most powerful advocate.

3. Prioritize Problem-Solving Over Features

Your product may have a range of excellent features, but what problems does it solve? During economic hardships, businesses are looking for solutions to pressing problems. Your sales pitch should zero in on the pain points that your software alleviates.

4. Flexible Pricing and Payment Terms

Cash flow is a concern for everyone during a downturn. Be open to negotiate payment terms and consider offering short-term discounts. Companies such asAdobe temporarily offered their software for free to certain sectors, earning them customer loyalty that paid off long-term.

5. Engage in Strategic Partnerships

Partnering with companies that offer complementary services can provide a win-win scenario. Dropbox and Zoom teamed up during the COVID-19 crisis to offer integrated services, thereby expanding their customer base while adding value to existing users.

6. Focus on Data-Driven Decision Making

Leverage tools such as SilkChart to gather data on customer interactions, pain points, and behavior. This data will guide your sales strategies, helping you make informed decisions at a time when every move counts.

7. Enhance Your Online Presence

Invest in content marketing, SEO, and social media to maintain visibility. Companies like HubSpot thrived during downturns by offering free educational content, thereby drawing potential clients into their ecosystem.

8. Double Down on Training and Skill Development

Capitalize on slow periods by investing in your team’s skill development. Platforms like LinkedIn Learning offer courses on B2B sales strategies, objection handling, and other critical skills. A well-trained sales team will be your biggest asset when the economy rebounds.

Selling during a downturn demands a strategic, empathetic, and data-driven approach. By offering tangible solutions to real problems, extending flexibility to your customers, and empowering your sales team, you’re not just surviving the downturn—you’re setting your B2B software company up for future success.

Team members collaborating

Up your sales game

Start improving your sales calls and winning more deals

Request invite