SaaS companies, as a general rule, don’t pull from services firms in their ecosystems (consultancies, agencies, integrators). We think this is shortsighted. In the past year, we have worked on a few service plays and it opened our eyes a bit more to the potential of cross-sourcing between these company types. A few quick observations for SaaS sales recruiters and Services sellers who want to switch.

Why are service sellers worth considering for SaaS firms?

Services sellers generally have a better view of Total Cost of Ownership of solutions than SaaS sellers because they see beyond the MRC cost of a single platform. They often see the full tech stack and all the work that goes into implementing and maintaining that tech stack, and the components within it. This often makes them better listeners and often more strategic than their SaaS counterparts. They also get access to more trusted relationships with senior decision-makers because of this. One trick pony SaaS platform sellers don’t get that full perspective.

Why it is hard for SaaS firms to consider service sales candidates?

1. Attitude -SaaS firms tend to discriminate on whether sellers have sold software on an MRC or ARC basis. This is a bit of an artificial barrier – it really isn’t rocket science – especially if there has been heavy exposure to integrating SaaS platforms. Nothing that can’t be taught in a quick course from Sales Impact Academy or equivalent.
2. Familiarity with the players to source from. SaaS recruiters know the SaaS ecosystems well but are less exposed to the more diluted service provider ecosystems. (hint: consult your partnership team!)
3. Comp alignment (base/commission). There are more 60/40 and 70/30 splits in services that don’t align with 50/50 Saas comp splits.
4. Barriers to finding candidates –
a. Services sellers are generally terrible at making themselves look attractive to Saas companies. Rarely do they highlight in resumes or profiles the names and industry keywords of the SaaS platforms that they integrate/work with in their day jobs. They throw away the olive branch keywords that can get those or related SaaS firms to consider them.
b. Titles are confusing. Identifying SaaS-like hunters, farmers and GAD types and leaders thereof in services firms is tricky for Saas firms who have pretty clear titles to go after in SaaS firms.

If you are a Services seller, looking to transition to SaaS sales work on 3a above, provide descriptive titles to explain your role in SaaSy terms. Also, consider doing a course on SaaS selling to bridge any perceived gap there. #sales#saas#recruiting#services#Integrators#agencies

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