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SaaS Sales Startup

How To Win Competitive Deals

The conventional practice is to convince prospects that your product is superior to your competitor’s.

But it’s not required. There is an alternative option.

It might be sufficient to convince prospects what’s good about your product with a clear, honest, and informative way.

I even have a slide in our Sales deck that tells prospects about the gaps in our product that they will miss in the near term when they switch over from our competitors to us.

If the prospect feels certain that your product is good, and appreciates your honesty, it’s very likely that they will still buy your product.

Categories
Entrepreneurship SaaS Sales Startup

Predictable Salesperson

You have probably heard of Predictable Pipeline and Predictable Revenue.

But have you heard of Predictable Salesperson?

It’s the one who builds the Predictable Pipeline to deliver the Predictable Revenue.

Predictable Salesperson believes in – “You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

She believes – how you choose to live your days is how you choose to live your life.

She’s putting in the time and effort every day to reach the success she truly wants.

She’s skipping binge-watching the new series because she’s working towards something bigger.

These are the decisions that define who a Predictable Salesperson is and how successful they become as a sales professional.

It’s about daily habits, not about the end goals.

How do you become a Predictable Salesperson?

Create a repeatable process for yourself that you can do every single day without fail.

Focus on actions you control rather than putting all the pressure on results that might not come.

Categories
Entrepreneurship SaaS Sales Startup

“Maybe” Is Not The Worst Response In Sales Anymore

The common adage in Sales is “maybe” is the worst response you could get from the prospect.

It’s better to get “no” than “maybe”.

“Maybe” is a land of hope. Reps shouldn’t waste time there and instead seek “no” and chase new opportunities.

But is it still true with the modern B2B and SaaS buying behavior?

With the power of buying is shifting to buyers, are Sales reps being forced to be very transactional?

Your prospects might have other burning fires going right now. Sometimes the need is there, but the timing is not right.

They’re getting the job done just fine right now. But the need could go stronger as their world evolves.

Just because it’s a “maybe” right now, it’s not a “no” in the future.

“You can’t turn a no to a yes without a maybe in between.” – Francis Underwood

What should Sales reps do when they get “maybe”s?

• List down the most common objections that cause your prospects to answer with a “maybe”.
• Educate sales reps to approach these objections with new sense of purpose and respect the buyer’s world.
• Craft an outreach email campaign to stay on “top of mind” and provide continuous education value.

And eventually when their need becomes stronger, their “maybe” will turn into a “yes”.

Categories
Philosophy Sales

Just Do It, Together

Nike’s new Ad “You can’t stop us” deserves all the praise and attention as it’s an incredible achievement in video editing.

But I think they missed one thing.

They could have updated their tag line to – “Just do it, together”.

“Doing it together” is how we achieve greatness in our life.

Even if you’re playing an individual sport, you achieve greatness with a team of coaches, physicians, etc.

They may not be with you in the field, but you can’t perform and excel without their help.

Today’s modern sales is very similar.

Individual Sales reps don’t close deals on their own – especially in B2B SaaS or Enterprise solutions.

It takes a village.

Modern selling is “collaborative selling”.

It’s about how efficiently your team can collaborate with all key stakeholders to close a deal and serve a customer.

You will have to adopt tools that enable frictionless collaboration.

It will be your competitive advantage.

Just sell it, together.

Categories
Philosophy Sales

3 Kinds of “Yes”

I didn’t know that not all “Yes” are the same.

When Chris Voss shared his secret in the book “Never split the difference”, it opened my eyes.

There are actually three kinds of “Yes”: Counterfeit, Confirmation, and Commitment.

A counterfeit “yes” is one in which your counterpart plans to say “no”, but either feel “yes” is an easier escape route or just wanted to disingenuously keep the conversation going to obtain more information from you.

A confirmation “yes” is generally an innocent response to block-or-white questions. Mostly it’s just simple affirmation but no promise of action.

And a commitment “yes” is a real deal – a true agreement that leads to action.

The commitment “yes” is what you want, but the other two types also sound the same, we confuse ourselves to believe we have a commitment “yes”, but instead, we have either of the other two.

If the counterpart doesn’t take some kind of follow-up action, then it’s most likely not a “commitment”, but a “confirmation”.

The conversation might also look like a “commitment” in the beginning, but very soon can lead to a “counterfeit” after you provide the necessary information and then they ghost you.

Hope this helps you recognize which “yes” is being used so you can truly know when to seal the deal.

Categories
Philosophy Sales

Do You Really Get What You Ask For?

They say – you get “what” you ask for.

Unfortunately, that is just the 1/3rd of the truth.

It also depends on “how” you ask for it.

This is about your communication.

How convincing, confident, and truthful are you? What words do you use? How’s your energy?

And lastly, it also depends on “whom” you ask for.

This is about your network.

What’s that person’s authority? How’s your relationship with them? And more importantly, what they know about you?

Categories
Sales

Great Salesperson

I don’t think there’s any such thing as a born salesperson.

If you demonstrate empathy, learn to be charismatic, and, most importantly, choose to work hard, you can be a great salesperson.

Categories
Entrepreneurship SaaS Sales Startup

I Have Fallen In Love with Selling

I’m an engineer by training. But have fallen in love with selling.

Here is why.

Selling is personal. Share your stories. Be vulnerable.

Selling is interpersonal. Meet new people. Build relationships.

Selling is collaborative. Get help from colleagues. Strategize with the team.

Selling is disciplined. Be consistent. Make and keep promises.

Selling is scientific. Follow the process. Learn from the best.

Selling is artistic. Be creative and solve problems. Make it unique.

Selling is hard. Face many rejections. Persevere until you succeed.

Selling is addictive. Win one, two, ten. Keep winning more.

Selling is rewarding. Create impact. Make companies successful.

Selling is mysterious. Wonder why it worked. Diagnose why it didn’t work.

Categories
SaaS Sales

Playing Chess and Selling

My 8-year old daughter has learned to play Chess during this quarantine to keep the screen time under control. 😀

So I’ve been playing Chess with her pretty much every day and realized how similar it is to Selling.

As a Chess player and as a Salesperson, you have to:

1. Think several moves ahead

2. Have a game plan

3. Follow the steps, and not play for a quick win

4. Be flexible with your plan and adjust the course as per new scenarios

5. Learn from others’ game plans and strategies

6. Practice, practice, and more practice with different types of players

7. Play with confident body language

8. Be patient, resilient, and still stay sharp

The only thing that’s different is – in Chess, another person is your opponent.

In Sales, you and prospect are on the same team.

So in Chess, you aim for a win.

In Sales, you aim for a win-win.

Categories
Entrepreneurship Marketing Philosophy Product Management SaaS Sales Startup

Know More

What separates a great salesperson from a good one?

It’s the same thing for a marketer, copywriter, engineer, lawyer, surgeon, and many others.

They know more.

There are only 3 ways they can know more:
1. They have more experience
2. They seek more knowledge
3. They continuously apply their knowledge

1. The hack to gain more experience at less age is to be more curious and take risks to work at small-scale companies.

The first job I got in 2002 after college was with one of India’s largest IT providers – Infosys.

I left it in 8 months, took a 40% pay cut, and went to work for a 100 person company.

2. The hack to seek more knowledge is to have a growth mindset and devour as many books and training as possible on the subject matter.

I’m an engineer by education, but people get surprised by how much I know about UX Design principles, Sales methodologies, or Copywriting.

All credit goes to reading a lot of books and taking online courses.

3. The hack to apply more knowledge is to try more in your day job but also do side hustles.

The only way I became an SW engineer from an HW engineer, or a product manager from an engineer, or a salesperson from a PM is – my side hustles.

So invest in yourself and know more than others.