In the previous article we discussed the ‘poor expectation setting’ problem – where at the start of the sales conversation or demo, the salesperson does not set a clear expectation for what will happen at the end of the call. The end of the call then fizzles out with some wish washy statement of intent from the prospect that leaves the salesperson feeling positive but unclear about exactly what will happen next, and usually without a firm date in the diary to talk again.
We've worked with some of the fastest growing SaaS companies in the world but we also get to speak with those that are struggling to scale despite lots of interest.
There are lots of reasons that some SaaS businesses don't scale (more of those in future articles) and another common mistake in the sales process is not adequately covering budget and moving this to an ‘investment’ conversation.
Many of the SaaS companies we work with have fairly transparent pricing models. Pricing is sometimes made available on the website with tiered levels for different numbers of users or enterprise size. Just because our pricing is fixed doesn’t mean that we don’t need to engage in a thorough conversation on the topic. What we often see is a sales team that present the pricing in order to inform the customer how much this will cost them after they’ve extolled the benefits. This presentation of pricing is also often a little uncomfortable or even clumsy for the sales person who struggles with what to ask the prospect once the price is presented.
The best SaaS business that we work with understand that there is more work to do here. Rather than present the price, at Sandler we train sales people to position and discuss pricing as an investment by the prospect and know that they need to help the prospect make a connection between the money, time and resources they need to invest and the impact that this change will have on the business. They also need to probe the prospect about how willing and able they are to make this investment, recognising that prospects are not typically honest when it comes to budget and investment.
Before sharing any pricing it might be helpful to set another short up front contract with the prospect. I recently heard a client’s salesperson of ours say the following:
“James (Prospect), given we’ve walked through the demo and you’ve shared that you feel implementing this in the business would significantly reduce the time your team spend on non-revenue generating activity, would it make sense for us to talk about the level of investment needed to achieve this? [James said Yes, sure]. “Ok, Great. I’m going to share the tiered rates on my screen and I’d then like to ask you a few questions about how you feel about it and whether you can see the business making this type of investment. Does that make sense?” [Again, prospect said Yes]
This short exchange creates a comfortable situation for the salesperson and the prospect to talk about investment (time, money and resources). The prospect knows they will be asked some questions and have agreed to engage. The salesperson can now use this as further qualification and continue the conversation with those prospects that are willing and able to make the investment; and disqualify those that through their answers and responses demonstrate that they’re not.
If you’re SaaS sales team would benefit from opening this conversation better and then having the questioning strategies to expertly qualify and stop wasting time chasing opportunities that just won’t close – get in touch and we’ll schedule 15 minutes for a call to work out if it makes sense to meet or to attend one of our free events for Leaders.
To attend one of our free events for leaders click the following link and scroll down to "Crash A Class". Simply fill in the form and select the next date that suits you - https://www.westlondon.sandler.com