An “easy” Saas sale in b2b is not impossible, it is a matter of method and today we will see how.
You have a first meeting with a potential customer. He has just the problem you solve. And it hurts.
You show him your solution and he likes it. Solving the problem seems pretty straightforward with this.
And the price fits him. It’s less than he expected. So you send him a proposal. They’ll discuss it internally and in a couple of days they’ll tell you. But come on, it looks like it will go forward.
Three days later: “Juan, have you been able to take a look at the proposal in the last few days?
“Hello Gonzalo. Look, we have been up to our ears. But these days I’ll discuss it with the team and I’ll tell you something right away.”
The next call and the next email there is no answer.
Has this ever happened to you?
The relationship goes cold and it seems that we are not going to close the sale of our Saas and that there is no way to get it back. What has gone wrong?
They had the problem, they liked the solution, and the price matched. Was he lying to us during the meeting when he said all this? It didn’t look like it. But then what?
If we were to ask the customer why the Saas sale failed, I’d bet he wouldn’t know what to tell us either. Because there is no concrete answer, no definitive reason.
Probably the closest thing to the truth is that we have failed to generate a mix of:
- More trust.
- More commitment.
- More urgency.
Saas b2b sales processes: I trust my tribe.
Some things are difficult to change. And one of them is the way our brain works. It’s programmed pretty much the same way it was 100,000 years ago, when we were hunter-gatherers living in tribes.
Back then, if you met someone once, you didn’t necessarily trust that person. You might have crossed paths while fetching water or looking for an animal to hunt. But he was from another tribe, and who knows what he might do. On the other hand, if you saw the same person three times in a week, you could be sure that he was from your tribe.
Anything else would have been too much of a coincidence. And if you are both from the same tribe, you are both rowing in the same direction, and you can trust each other.
The funny thing is that this reasoning happens unconsciously, and it continues to happen even if we don’t live in tribes. Thus, if we want someone to trust us, one of the easiest ways to do so may be to meet this person two or three times in a short period of time.
Large SaaS companies, such as Salesforce and HubSpot, have also realized this and have used it to their advantage in designing their sales process. If you have ever interacted with any of their trained salespeople, you will have noticed that it is difficult for them to tell you their whole movie in a single day and that there are occasions where they put a brake on your requests to want to know more to see you another day. They have designed a SaaS B2B sales model with several interactions separated in time, and, as when you finish the chapter of an interesting series, they know how to leave you wanting the next one.
How to achieve Saas sales: Divide and you will win
Julius Caesar and Napoleon also said it. We have to divide the content of our sales meetings in order to have the excuse to meet several times, leave the customer wanting more, and unconsciously end up trusting us.
Here I propose a structure with three main meetings and a final decision making call. But feel free to adapt this structure to what you see works best for you. As in everything, it’s the principles that matter, not the form.
First meeting: Discovery & Vision:
We call the first of these three outbound sales meetings Discovery & Vision. This meeting is about going deeper into the customer’s situation:
How are you currently solving the problem we are solving?
What problems are you likely to encounter in doing so?
How is another company very similar to yours (which happens to work with us) solving these problems?
The first two questions answer the Discovery part, the last one the Vision part.
Along the way, we will try to make the perceived distance between where you are now and where that other company working with us is becoming as large as possible. Because it’s not just about solving a problem, it’s about getting better at all the consequences that problem brings with it.
Second meeting: Demo
The second meeting, especially in B2B SaaS sales, is called the Demo. After we have found out where the customer is and have excited them with the vision of where they would be if they worked with us, the next step is to show them that this vision is not just an invention of ours. We have to show that their problem is very simple to solve with our solution. That it could be solved by his grandfather, come on.
In SaaS B2B sales, the most common mistake in this phase is to want to show everything the tool does instead of showing what solves the problems we have identified in the Discovery. By doing so, the customer gets the idea that he is going to pay more for the solution than he should, since it does many things he does not need. Ideally, we will show in 15 minutes how the 2-3 most important problems are solved in as simple a way as possible, and leave another 15 minutes for questions and next steps.
Third Sales Meeting: Path & Proposal
The third meeting is the Path & Proposal meeting. We have made the client aware of where he is, where he could get to, and we have shown him that the solution is real and simple. Now we have to show them the path to get there:
What would be the first steps to adopt the solution?
How long would it take?
Who would be involved?
How much does it cost?
As we go down this path with him, we have to make sure that every aspect is clear in every part of the sales funnel and that in his mind there are no impediments. If we feel there may be, we have to leave the space for it to come out:
“Juan, I see you very quiet. It looks like this part doesn’t quite convince you.”
In B2B SaaS sales, there are salespeople who prefer to avoid any negative situation, as if avoiding it would make it go away. If the customer wants to reach you and there is a mountain between you, not mentioning the mountain is not going to make it go away.
When you stop talking, he will still think that crossing the mountain is too difficult, and you will probably never hear from him again. Instead, if you give him a chance to tell you that he sees that there is a mountain between the two of you, you will be able to show him that there is a nice path along it.
After the last of these three meetings, we will send the proposal with the price, but not before scheduling ten minutes on the calendar for you to give us a response with your decision. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Outbound sales: B2B SaaS B2B sales closing system
The decision making meeting is the last one in the B2B SaaS sales closing system. I hope you find this system useful. Of course, all of this has many nuances and there are very different situations that we may encounter.
What happens if we get canceled this last ten-minute meeting?
What if the person we are talking to does not make the decision?
What if they ask for the proposal at the first meeting, do we send it?
We will see all of this later.