Software as a service or SaaS jobs are growing in importance in the digital era.
The question is: why?
SaaS solutions have lower up-front costs compared to the traditional software licensing model. That makes them more affordable even for small to medium-sized organizations. Anyone in the world can access the applications through the internet and a web browser.
Organizations can select different solutions to meet their growing needs. Set-up and deployment of such applications are less tedious as well, due to cloud computing.
SaaS spending and adoption fuel the growth of the industry. So, the demand for workers in this field will continue to rise. In this article, we will delve into the opportunities in the SaaS industry. We will also discuss the requirements you need to fulfill to join this growing field.
But let’s first take a look at the state of SaaS:
What is SaaS?
SaaS pertains to a cloud-based software licensing and delivery model that’s offered to consumers on a subscription basis. This makes it an affordable alternative to traditional licensing models. And unlike on-premises software, SaaS applications are hosted on the cloud. That makes them highly accessible to their users.
Not to mention, a cloud-based solution is more scalable and customizable. Users can tailor it to fit the needs and objectives of their business. They may alter its functionality and look-and-feel.
To land a job in this field, you ought to have a bachelor’s degree. Employers won’t always require it, but it’s quite useful when moving your career forward. You must also work on building a solid technical background. After all, you’ll be dealing with a highly technical market, no matter what role you end up pursuing.
Here are three kinds of certifications that can help boost your career in SaaS:
- Profession-specific certifications
- Field-specific certifications
- Product-specific certifications
SaaS Sales Job Description
Disclaimer: This is a general job description for this position. Every employer will have different criteria for hiring.
SaaS Sales Representatives
Sales representatives in the SaaS industry are responsible for illuminating the value of software solutions to prospects. They’re in charge of educating consumers on a product’s ability to optimize and revolutionize operations.
Sales representatives in the SaaS industry wear multiple hats. Let’s take a closer look at the daily responsibilities of software sales jobs.
- Making discovery calls: As a sales representative, you have to make discovery calls. The point is to determine whether you and your prospect are a good match. To do that, you need to understand your prospect’s pain points, priorities, budget, and goals.
- Sending follow-up emails: After speaking to prospects, sales representatives have to send follow-up emails. Those emails highlight the main points of their meeting and business plan. It can also serve as an opportunity to confirm upcoming meetings or product demos.
- Conducting product demos: For prospects who’ve agreed to move on to product demos, sales representatives may prepare a set of questions to confirm their business challenges. You can then proceed to showcase the features of the office software that can solve your prospects’ pain points. Following the demo, you may schedule your next meeting if your prospects are still interested.
- Providing technical support: Once you’ve converted prospects to paying consumers, you’ll continue to provide technical support. You will help them maximize the use of SaaS solutions. In addition, you may have to advise clients on necessary user training.
Key areas of expertise
No matter what role you want to pursue, having a firm understanding of the software as a service architecture is imperative. You ought to fully comprehend the fundamentals of the SaaS model, as well as its operational nuances before you start working in this field. In doing so, you can avoid devastating financial mishaps.
If you want to enter sales, you must know how to use data to your advantage. Analytics enables you to make well-informed decisions. It sheds light on potential problems and highlights your little victories.
Of course, you ought to master your products. Whether you’re offering SaaS messaging software, CRM tools, ERP solutions, or other SaaS examples, you should know how to explain your offerings to end-users. Not to mention, you ought to show them how your solutions can address their pain points.
Above all else, you have to understand your target consumers. In SaaS, you can’t simply sell your products to a random group of people. You have to make sure that you’re selling it to prospects who suit your solutions.
Is it possible to work freelance in the SaaS industry?
Of course it is!
Remote SaaS jobs are quite common these days. You can make a living by working from home or anywhere in the world. Just know that the freelance lifestyle comes with risks. The advantages, however, can easily outweigh them. All you need is a little effort and commitment.
If you’re ready to open yourself up to new opportunities, you might want to try the freelancer life.
Here are the advantages of working freelance:
- Unlimited earning potential
- Opportunities for growth
- Diverse work exposure
- Remote work
SaaS Sales Requirements for Management Positions
Want to build your sales experience?
If your career goal is to achieve a management position in the SaaS industry, you ought to invest in education. Aside from gaining years of experience in the field, a bachelor’s degree can take you a long way. Some employers will require a degree to advance your career. Others will require certifications to land higher-paying SaaS sales jobs.
As you move on to management, you’ll be spending a lot of time crunching numbers, looking at reports, and assessing users. Simply put, it’s important that you’re proficient in the tools that managers use to oversee sales teams.
Local colleges or universities should have several programs for you. If you prefer online learning, you also have multiple platforms to choose from. One of them is Cornell University. They offer an executive leadership certification, which spans only four months.
Whether it’s through online or classroom learning, earning sales certifications can help you win over employers.
Best Locations For SaaS Jobs
The wages for SaaS roles may vary greatly, depending on multiple factors such as your location, position, experience, and employer.
Okay, we discussed the average Saas salary. We also talked about life as a freelancer.
But there’s still one burning question we haven’t answered.
What are the highest-paying states for SaaS professions?
New York: Highly-urbanized areas such as New York tend to offer higher wages compared to other cities. For instance, New York-based SaaS employees earn a hefty paycheck. Their average salary is around $111,399 per year.
California: In California, professionals in the SaaS industry make around $65,402 to $128,807 annually. Specifically, they have an average base pay of $101,645.
Texas: Annual salaries for SaaS occupations range from $58,895 to $115,991. Texans in the SaaS industry earn an average of $91,532 per year.
A quick Google search of “SaaS jobs near me” will lead you to countless opportunities for remote work.
Here are some of the reasons why you may want to work freelance:
Earn more than full-time employees
Working freelance means gaining the opportunity to earn more than you normally do in a nine-to-five job. You can take on as many tasks as you possibly can. However, there is a downside to this. Without a steady paycheck, you do have to actively seek for projects so you can put food on the table.
Take your career into your own hands
When you go freelance, you have the sole responsibility for your career’s development. You won’t simply have to fill a role that a company has. It’s all up to you to identify and pursue the ideal opportunities that will bring you closer to your goal.
Gain a diverse working experience
Large, well-established companies, as well as small independent software vendors, may present opportunities to those who want to enter the SaaS industry as a freelancer. The advantage of going freelance is that you have the freedom to work with different service providers, companies, and digital infrastructures. That diversity should further hone your sales and business skills, as well as your technological fluency.
Work from anywhere
Whatever SaaS role you intend to pursue, you can work from anywhere in the world if you go down this route. You may, however, occasionally have to appear at face-to-face meetings and online conferences.
How to get into SaaS sales?
Employers won’t always require you to have a bachelor’s degree to land a sales role in the SaaS industry. Nevertheless, it can make you stand out in the job market. Not only that, a degree should make it easier for you to advance your career.
Of course, there are other means to expand, as well as prove, your knowledge and skills in SaaS sales. There are three kinds of business certifications that are worth investing in.
Let’s take a closer look at them below.
- Certified Professional Sales program
The National Association of Sales Professionals offers this certification. This is a six-week course that should transform you into a top-performing sales representative. After learning the right techniques to shorten the sales cycle, close more sales, and build the right sales habits, you’ll earn the CPSP certification.
- Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect certification
If you’re hoping to pursue cloud architect jobs, you can validate your technical expertise by earning this certification. It tests your knowledge of the network, security, storage, and design solutions on Azure. Before you can attempt to earn this certification, you need to pass the AZ-300 and AZ-301 exams.
- Professional Cloud Architect certification
This certification is something you’d want under your belt. It proves your expertise in cloud architecture, as well as the Google Cloud Platform.
Many SaaS vendors design and develop products for specific industries—healthcare, retail, or insurance to name a few. Aside from earning certifications that validate the skills you need for your profession, you may want to pursue certifications in your industry.
- Accredited in Medical Sales certification
You can get this certification if you’re a sales professional in the healthcare industry. This proves that you have the knowledge and skills to thrive in the industry.
- Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect certification
Good for validating your technological fluency, this certification is for sales professionals working in the technology sector. Whether you want to gain AWS skills or pursue AWS jobs, this will be very helpful.
SaaS vendors, including some of the best SaaS companies to work for, expect management to have a certain level of technical fluency. To prove your expertise to employers, you ought to get software-specific certifications. Particularly for tools that are very useful in your line of work.
Of course, there’s no way that you can earn a certification for every single software on the market. Thus, you may want to focus on well-known platforms such as the following:
- Microsoft Office 365
What technical and specialized SaaS sales skills are required for this line of work?
SaaS sales representatives must be well-versed in the realm of venture capital. You ought to understand what it means to have an IPO, to be funded, or to be acquired by another company. Due to the ever-changing nature of the tech world, SaaS prospects are often concerned with funding. They want to make sure that your company isn’t going anywhere in the months to come.
Strong understanding of SaaS software
Products won’t sell themselves. Whether you’re selling customer relationship management or enterprise resource planning solutions, you should know everything about the products you’re selling. Since SaaS sales representatives deal with a highly technical market, you must have the answers to all your prospects’ questions about the technical aspects.
At the same time, you should be able to explain how your products may solve their pain points. Also, how they complement other applications. In doing so, you’ll have a better chance of closing sales.
Have you made a rash decision that led to disappointing results? To make well-informed decisions, you have to leverage the data you have. That’s why you ought to know how to turn sales data into more digestible forms. Using charts and graphs, you can easily track your sales metrics and monitor your progress towards your goals. This way, you can also determine trends and gain insights to inform future strategies.
What soft skills are important for SaaS jobs?
Strong verbal and written communication skills
SaaS sales representatives must have excellent communication skills to establish rapport with their clients. You must know how to engage with prospects and existing clients through different mediums, whether it’s through phone calls, emails, or face-to-face meetings. In this competitive landscape, the strong connections you build with customers will enable you to survive and thrive.
Excellent time management skills
Since the upfront deals are smaller in a subscription-based model, you can can’t afford to spend your time on a few big deals each day. That’s why software as a service companies may require you to have excellent time management skills.
Sales representatives should know how to gather accurate information about their clients in order to create customer profiles. Understanding these customer profiles is as important as the research process itself. Closing deals with the wrong type of consumer might do more harm than good. If you spend time and energy on pursuing leads that don’t fit the profile, you might end up wasting valuable resources.
SaaS spending is at an all-time high. The demand for SaaS products will continue to rise. To fulfill consumers’ growing needs, you can expect to see new SaaS companies pop up in the years to come.
Currently, you have 7,000+ potential employers. It goes without saying that there’s a wealth of opportunities in the field. Thus, there’s no better time to start a career in SaaS than right now!
No matter what role you’re eyeing, you can prepare for it by gaining a firm understanding of the SaaS model. As you hone your skills through experience, you can work on earning certifications to validate your expertise in the field. This should then help you thrive in your current position and prepare for management roles.
There’s really no reason to hesitate! A lot of potential employers, good salary and, if you choose, the freedom to work freelance. What more do you need? Go and explore the SaaS companies near you.
Q: What is software as a service model?
A: Software as a service benefits include lower costs, quick integration, easy customization, and hassle-free management.
In a software as a service distribution model, a service provider hosts applications and makes them available through the internet on a subscription basis. These SaaS applications cover a wide array of business operations—payroll processing, financial management, service desk management, and content management to name a few.
Users can even customize their SaaS solutions to fit their growing needs without changing the underlying codebase. Since the vendors manage everything, they can eliminate costly maintenance fees.
All of this is possible through multi-tenancy. In a multitenant architecture, each software is shared by multiple consumers. They may share memory, database, infrastructure, and web servers. However, their respective data remain safe and hidden from other tenants.
Q: What are the characteristics of software as a service (SaaS)?
A: Software as a service is one of a few cloud application services.
For this model, vendors offer software on a subscription basis. The applications will be offered through web browsers or application programming interfaces (APIs). No hardware is required to install them. The service provider deploys the updates automatically, requiring no intervention from the users.
Desktop as a service (DaaS) is similar to SaaS in that it offers software over the internet. However, its solutions are characteristically more extensive. Not only that, the DaaS products often provide higher levels of automation.
Much like SaaS vendors, DaaS service providers host and maintain their products, giving users easy access and hassle-free maintenance. The difference is that this model offers full desktop, as well as mobile availability. It also offers on-demand flexibility to growing businesses.
Platform as a service (PaaS) vendors, on the other hand, provide software and hardware tools to consumers. Like SaaS, the tools are accessible through the internet, highly scalable, and easy to run. These solutions are often geared towards developers, allowing them to build unique software without breaking the bank.
PaaS solutions are also becoming increasingly popular because they make app development less tedious for developers. With PaaS, developers can save time on writing code.
Another cloud application service is infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Similar to the other two, this serves as a budget-friendly alternative to on-premise solutions. Companies of all sizes can access IaaS tools over the internet to gain greater control over their infrastructure.
Q: What are the benefits of SaaS over traditional software?
A: SaaS applications are available on a subscription basis. In other words, companies won’t have to pay an exorbitant fee to use these digital solutions. Maintenance costs are lower as well. That’s because users won’t need to buy new iterations of the software each time it’s upgraded.
SaaS solutions help streamline business operations, such as automated user provisioning and marketing too. SaaS can even be paired with other approaches, such as Agile software development methodologies, to deliver solutions to end-users more efficiently. You can also use gamification techniques to level up your products and gain more clients for your services.
When it comes to cloud-based vs on-premise software, there’s one critical difference that sets them apart—location. For the former, the software is hosted on the vendor’s servers. That means it can be accessed through the internet using a web browser. As for the latter, it’s hosted on the user’s computers and servers.
Q: What is SaaS sales?
A: Some SaaS vendors prefer self-service support. Can you blame them? It’s easier when leads simply enter the funnel and sign up for a demo without your intervention. However, if you want to drive significant growth, you have to ditch the self-service interface for a sales-supported one.
SaaS sales pertain to the process of selling web-based applications to their target users. Like all the other salespeople, SaaS sales representatives are responsible for acquiring and retaining clients. They also deal with upselling to patrons.
Q: What companies use SaaS?
A: Businesses from nearly every industry, as well as individuals, can use SaaS solutions. Unlike traditional software, companies of all sizes can utilize SaaS solutions because of their cost-effective services. Thanks to the rising popularity of the SaaS model, more SaaS jobs have been created in the last few years.