3 replies
What are the best books to read if you want to sell software/saas?

Any reccomendations would be very helpful.

I ask this because a friend of mine has just landed himself a job straight out of university. He has no sales experience and the job he is going for is an inside sales position where he will be targeting enterprise level accounts.
#sales #software or saas
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Oh boy.

    He has to learn how to feel and sound and be perceived as at least equal to the people he will be approaching.

    Knowing product features is far less important than that. Everyone wants to jump to features because it's something they can get a handle on, but people do not truly buy because of features.

    Your friend first has to learn how to start conversations with this level of executive.

    SaaS companies I have worked with and watched over the years have two huge problems:

    1. They built something the founder thought was cool, but nobody actually wants or is willing to pay for

    2. They believe if someone sees their demo, the prospect will drop their wallet at the salesperson's feet in their eagerness to buy.

    Nope. Demos do not sell. Freebie giveaway periods do not sell.

    SaaS companies are bad at selling. That's why they're always asking for help in the expert platforms I'm a member of.

    Before your friend commits to this, he should find out what adoption level there is in the target market. What the buyers have to say, complain, praise about it. Then decide whether this is a winner to back or not. He'll have a miserable experience if it isn't.

    I do wonder why this company is OK with an entry level person representing them to experienced executives. My thoughts are either they are small and have a low budget to work with, or they feel "anyone can sell it"...both of which are dangerous assumptions...or they are big and adding "one more person" to their sales team is no big deal. I'd be concerned with "churn and burn" for your friend if that's the case.

    Rather than product features, your friend has to learn:

    > how to find and approach buyers so he can get conversations started with them (the most challenging thing in sales; if you don't get a conversation started, you have absolutely 0% chance of making the sale)

    > how to set up a referral system to fill the lead funnel

    > what problems these buyers have, and what language they specifically use to describe these situations, so your friend can use these phrases in his marketing and conversation starting.


    If your friend has been hired to solely run demos for people who have signed up for them, that's not selling. I'm not saying this is the case because I do not know. But it is a possibility and should be addressed. That's a grunt processing job and you don't have a lot of control in these roles where the scripting is likely put together by someone else--probably a gearhead.

    Your friend needs to learn basic prospecting, qualifying, questioning, and closing skills...just like any new salesperson...and just like many so-called experienced salespeople.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeremiah Walsh
    Originally Posted by dreamer123 View Post

    What are the best books to read if you want to sell software/saas?

    Any recommendations would be very helpful.

    I ask this because a friend of mine has just landed himself a job straight out of university. He has no sales experience and the job he is going for is an inside sales position where he will be targeting enterprise level accounts.
    I come from the SaaS industry. Is your friend still in need? PM me and I will try to help.

    If not, take a look at a book called "the challenger sale". SaaS sales is 100% solution sales... and its a tough thing to do. This might help a bit.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    I'll tell you a secret about sales.

    Do research on parent companies that have a boat load of small subsidiaries. Start at the bottom of the chain with the smallest subsidiary & work your way up to the parent company. This way you collect known referrals along the way for when your ready to make the big sales (parent company).

    Years ago I worked for an offline business that landed Harley Davidson & John Deere with this technique.
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