If you’re building out a SaaS business, as a Founder, you’ve got two levers: ship code, close deals, ship code, close deals.
That’s one of the biggest things I learned when I was transforming myself from an engineer to a true startup Founder.
I realized I was never just one feature away from growing my company, I actually had to look at the two together: shipping code and closing deals. It wasn’t just more features, it was actually having a sound go-to-market strategy.
Assuming you’re done building out your SaaS marketing engine, now it’s time to implement your marketing engine, and enter into a sales process.
This post is going to explain my three SaaS sales tips that I’ve used over 10 years to close deals.
- Your Why?
- Why Us?
- Why Now?
I picked up these three SaaS sales strategies as I was taking ToutApp, my company, from zero to seven million ARR.
We went on to sell ToutApp to Marketo, a market leader in this space. I served at Marketo as SVP of strategy. At one point, I ran all of the European region, their sales organization. At another point, I ran the entire ANZ region, and at a different point, I ran the entire Alliance’s organization, globally.
In each of those cases, we were closing deals. In the ToutApp case, these three principles came into play to actually close deals effectively.
Interestingly enough, these three principles are timeless. They’ve worked in different stage companies, different size companies, and in different regions so I’m super excited to be digging into these with you.
Sales Tip #1: Address Your why?
The first thing you really need to address, whether you’re designing your sales organization, sales, and marketing strategy or going into an individual sales conversation, is why you?
Why you is the biggest question that anyone being sold to is wondering.
Whether it’s an ad I’m seeing as a buyer in a sales conversation, I’m kinda like why the hell am I doing this call?
Do I actually need this call?
People constantly need to be reminded why you.
You have to build that trust and connection within the first five seconds of every sales call. You have to make them feel understood, and you have to actually highlight the problem that you are solving for them.
Now there’s a very specific way to do this really well. I highlight this in my Unstoppable Sales Funnel Training.
The other thing that I will highlight is you’ve got to know your ideal customer.
Regardless of whether you’re working on the sales process, marketing process, or your product. Creating an ideal customer profile is the most important thing. When you do that in a very specific way, ‘why you’ becomes very easy.
Once you’ve addressed why you, why are you talking to this person, how do you get their attention, how do you build the rapport, how do you highlight the problem they’re probably having? The second thing you want to do is why us?
Sales Tip #2: Address Why Us?
Why us? Why should you be paying attention to me?
When we went to VPs of sales at ToutApp, we would say look, it takes seven touches to convert a lead to an opportunity. It takes seven touches across phone, email, social, maybe even physical events. How many of you salespeople do you think are doing that?
That’s a great way to do why you, because they all understand, like oh, this person understands my problem, they actually have researched this, and the staff is highlighting from a reputable source. So, tell me more. That’s ‘why you’.
Now the second question becomes well why should I trust you, or buy from you?
They’re like yes I agree, you have my attention, but to keep that attention, you have to explain to me why I should trust you. That’s what gets into why us.
The best way to do ‘why us’ is to highlight social proof, show trusted data, and highlight your unique point of view.
Let me explain. . .
Whenever we went into these kinds of conversations, whether it’s at Marketo or ToutApp, we always came in with our unique point of view. We always highlighted a macro trend that was happening, not by us, but an independent trusted body that shows they have a problem.
Then we started to highlight the customers that trusted us, the logos that were already with us, and then we started to say, “And by the way, we have a unique way of approaching this problem, this is a real problem, and here’s what we believe, let us teach you.”
So we went from actually identifying what the problem is, which is why you, and getting their attention, to actually saying here are the trusted sources, here are the other people that trust us, and here’s our unique point of view.
When we did that, we started to build that trust in terms of ‘why us’.
So let me just pause here for a second.
I highlighted the why you, and the why us. Now we are in seller’s positions because we’re building companies, selling software, and the seats to your buyers.
Think about the last time you were buying something. Think about the last time you had to make a significant purchase. You have to make a significant commitment. You were investing in something.
Think about if that salesperson really made you feel understood? They understood your problem, they highlighted it, and that really made you feel understood.
Did they really make you feel safe by showing the social proof, trusted data, and teaching you something you didn’t know about that problem?
If you can start to imagine how much better of an experience that’s going to be, even in the first 30 seconds to a minute of a sales conversation, or when you’re thinking about building your sales organization, or marketing organization, to actually arm your people with this, you can start to see the difference in this.
Here’s the thing, people will nod, customers will say yeah that’s a macro trend, that’s really true.
They will say wow, that’s a really compelling solution. They’ll even say like wow, some of my friends are using your product, that’s cool. But if you don’t do this last piece, you will not close a deal.
Now look, you may be in the lower end of the market. Maybe you’re doing this through a webinar and you never talk to a person. Maybe you’re in the highest end of the market where you’re doing a nine-month to a 12 months sales cycle with six-figure deals or million-dollar deals.
You still have to address this last piece. And that is why now.
Sales Tip #3: Address Why Now?
My last SaaS sales tip for you is you need to address why now?
Here’s the thing, there are two questions that really come to mind, in the prospect’s mind, when they’re entering this phase of this conversation.
They might trust you, they might agree that there’s a problem. They want to understand what you are going to actually achieve with them.
You have to explain that, as in if you make a certain decision, what are you actually going to achieve, what’s changing, what’s going to be maturely better, and maturely different?
Because anytime I say yes to someone, I know there’s more work involved. It’s not just money.
And so they’re wondering like, do I need to make this decision now, or can I do it later? I agree with all the things, I trust this guy, but why now?
So you first need to highlight what are you going to actually achieve?
So often I see people say, well you’re going to get this feature, and this feature, and this feature, and this benefit, but they don’t say the results they’re going to deliver, and you got to highlight the results.
Then you have to tie that with what’s at stake if you don’t do this now.
You actually have to understand through the sales process, where how pronounced the problem is, and usually, that comes down to either risk or money. They might lose money if they don’t make this decision now, or they will take on more risk, which will then lead to them losing more money.
You’ve got to position in one of those ways so they understand exactly what they’re getting and if they don’t get it, what will happen to them. What’s at stake and that comes down to why now.
So, now you know, whether you’re entering into a sales conversation, you’re preparing your sales, or you’re putting together your website, these are the three key principles that you actually have to answer, and incorporate into every customer touchpoint.
For more on this, I recommend watching the video below that walks you through all of this again in detail.
These are the three SaaS strategies that you have to incorporate into your sales process if you want to close deals and ship codes.
Now you know how to shorten your SaaS sales cycle, how to make it more effective, and close more deals, but you may not know how to exactly craft your messaging. How to actually get that marketing funnel right so that you drive more leads,
If you’re working through all this, chances are you are building a SaaS product, and you’re driving to that next stage of growth; to that product-market fit. If that’s you, luckily for you, I’ve created an entire guide. Grab your free copy below 👇