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ANALYTICS Analytics SaaS Success series Transformation Worldwide

Planning your SaaS sales strategy

Welcome to the third blog in our IBM Analytics SaaS Success Series.

As your business begins or continues making the transition to selling software as a service (SaaS) solutions, how you compensate your sales team will change. Nowadays, customers are doing their own research online and getting recommendations from peers on social media. In our increasingly digital world, face-to-face selling and exchanging business cards is becoming less prevalent. This means your sales staff, approach and compensation models will also need to evolve.

In traditional transactional businesses, a strong driver in compensation for the sales team has been a large upfront payment. Now, in many cases highly productive SaaS sellers are the ones who don’t have a preconceived notion of how commissions should be structured. As you begin shifting gears to build your annuity stream around recurring revenue in SaaS, compensation systems will need to be reevaluated. Many common SaaS compensation systems resemble those historically found in the insurance and financial product sales businesses.

Designing compensation structures in the SaaS recurring revenue business will require you to know different and in some cases new terms such as load, charge-back, contract extension, churn rate, maintenance fee and flat commission. Additionally, there are new systems to help account for and pay sales team members on these new metrics.

It is becoming clear that new drivers for SaaS sales behavior are emerging. Here are a few key sales questions that you may need to answer for your organization:

  • Will your existing sales force respond to a new way of being paid?
  • If you need a new sales force, who will they be?
  • Where will your new sales force come from? How much will they cost you?
  • What will you compensate them on: net-new ACV, contract extensions, etc.?

Cloud/XaaS resources

IBM Global Financing (IGF) is available for SaaS and can help make the journey to the cloud possible by making payments easier for clients.

Learn about land, nurture and expand IBM SaaS Reseller Incentive offerings and reap the benefits of building recurring revenue in SaaS.

Our next blog will focus on marketing strategy and ensuring you get your business’s lead-generation engine running effectively. Please comment below if there are any topics you would like us to address in our series.

Renee Fleuranges-Valdes
WW SaaS Channel Sales/Business Development Exec, IBM Analytics


View all Analytics SaaS Success Series blogs here.

Renee Fleuranges-Valdes is WW Cloud Channel Sales/Business Development Executive for IBM Analytics. In this role, Renee focuses on strategic growth areas for the SaaS business via the Business Partner channel. Her responsibilities include leading decisions on which analytics SaaS offerings are right for a particular channel, all the way to helping Business Partners transform their business to a recurring revenue model. Renee has worked at IBM for 35 years, and has held many different channel roles over the last 17 years.

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