Name a C/VP level financial decision-maker of a Global 2000 company or US Federal Agency who wakes up in the morning and says: “I can’t wait to meet with a sales rep today!” ~ Christopher Bell, III
Over the years, I’ve read countless LinkedIn job descriptions for Enterprise SaaS Sales candidates or Strategic Account Managers that included this phrase or some semblance of it: “candidate should be a sales “hunter and closer…”
I used to grieve for those who chose the life and routine of a coin-operated SaaS Demo Queen being held hostage to brute-force, manipulative, 1980’s go-to-market sales tactics while praying over end-of quarter sales forecasts to justify their next 90 -days of employment… unless they were my competition.
Prospects As Prey?
If you’ve hired sales hunters to hunt for prospects then by default, your prospects are prey. Inversely, for the sake of self-preservation, the prey (your sales prospects) run and hide from the mob of predators (like you) and will do their best to avoid you at all costs. Think about it. What C/VP level financial decision-maker of a Global 2000 company or executive in a US Federal Agency wakes up in the morning and says: “I can’t wait to meet with a sales rep today!”
Some of your best future customers are now trained to run or hide from your best people, best offering, and have implemented dysfunctional buying processes to protect themselves from your organization. Is anyone able to quantify the cost of vendor avoidance? I’ll mine into this dysfunction in my upcoming articles but here two of several insights SaaS sales leaders may want to marinate in:
A Paradigm Shift
- Speak the Language of the Executive – Money & Metrics. Learn to articulate and present business insights, solution options, perspectives, and nuances about your prospects business that differentiate you from the common SaaS peddler who is battling in “Demoville” and praying that they will be short-listed. Talking “biz” first, ushers one into executive tiers and discussions that technical evaluators are not qualified to have.
- Don’t “Close.” Begin promoting and opening new executive-to-executive business relationships that collaboratively include a predictable transaction instead of “closing” a deal. Ultimately, I want to PROTECT & INSULATE MY CUSTOMER (and my SaaS CLV) as a potentially valuable revenue stream.
“The reasonable man (person) adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man (person.)” ~ George Bernard Shaw.
Old sales cultures and so-called “best sales practices” are like institutions – they’re not built for change. It’ll take an “unreasonable” senior sales executive with the support of their “we-don’t-lose” executive team to decide if they want to equip their most competent Enterprise SaaS Sales professionals to drive more frictionless engagements that result in more predictable deals.
Agree or disagree? Please share your comments!