Modern Logic collaborated with Lighter Capital on their latest webinar series, “Scaling and Accelerating SaaS startups”. This article is part of the series on the topic, “Accelerating Sales and Leveraging Technology to Build Engaged Communities.”
It feels bad to say no to a deal – but it’s a necessary evil, because not all deals are worth it. How do you tell when to drop clients and what criteria to use? Check out these tips to build “Sales Discipline” – hard-won knowledge from Anna Talerico at Arthur Ventures, Derek Baird at Sensyne Health, Brian Loar at GoCheck Kids, and Dustin Bruzenak, our CEO.
Narrow Your Focus: As soon as you have your ideal customer profile, narrow your aim. Those people are the only ones you should be selling to. The way you win in SaaS is to find the right person.
Start Early: Use data backed assumptions to begin, but once you have a critical mass with customers, understand where we should expand. Get a “best guess” and a “steer clear of list” – as in, “Steer clear of companies that look like this” and “Double down on ones that look like this.” Sell to pain that you can actually solve.
Know When A Deal Is Not the “Real Deal”: One of the most common tells is that a salesperson is really excited about an opportunity, but there is no source of urgency or a compelling event. If that ingredient isn’t there, you may eventually convince them to do a deal, but your odds of success are dramatically lower. If you have only 10 minutes to spend working with sales, ask what the source of urgency or compelling event will trigger them to move – otherwise, inertia wins 8 days a week.
Work the Deal With the Prospect: In your ideal scenario, the prospect has to be working the deal with the rep. A lot of people don’t like to say no and continue to hang out in the sales cycle forever. Seeing the prospect actively engaged in trying to buy this is a sign for success.
Take Emotions Out of the Picture: The emotional aspect of making deals is natural, but can become a problem. In life, we often make the decision that feels right to us, and then work backwards to justify it. The same thing happens in sales. Don’t let someone who can’t be your “Yes” be your “No” because you’re hanging on to something intangible.
Crush Hopes and Dreams (Sorry!): Your sales reps will have more hope than you do- especially your younger ones. Hope is a dirty word in sales. Make a hope jar! Sales aren’t made on hope. As a founder, use your instincts to dash hopes where it is justified. It’s amazing how many people pick up the phone in enterprise, even if they have no intention to buy.
Build Your Team Intentionally: The initial teams we build are often nebulous and squishy. There’s a lot of hope and a lack of rigor and evidence. How do we know know we have the right hire? We need data- inputs and outputs.