How Reality TV Helped Me Sell More SaaS

In Personal Branding by Christien Louviere0 Comments

Selling SaaS is hard. Since SaaS is highly agile, it lends itself to commoditization because competitors quickly copy features and functionality as way to steal marketshare. One of the biggest advantages a SaaS company can create for itself is to hire sales staff that understands how to paint a picture of a successful business process utilizing your SaaS product.

As a daily practice, I look to industries outside of the tech start-up space for inspirational ideas on how to better my sales techniques. The only time I ever watch traditional cable TV is for live sporting events. The other time that I watch it is when my wife wants to spend some time with me on the couch. One of the few shows that we both like is BravoTV’s Million Dollar Listing series. The Million Dollar Listing series actually gives me weekly inspiration for various sales techniques. One of the most influential things I’ve stolen from BravoTV’s popular series is how to stage a sale.

Why “The Million Dollar Listing” demonstrates perfectly the need to create pitch perfect demonstrations…

I’ve been selling SaaS for nearly 10 years now and one lesson that I’ve learned many times is that the prospect never has a good imagination for what I am trying to sell to them. Even when I go through the painstaking efforts to creating a custom demo environment, I have to constantly refocus their attention on the solution on the screen and not the one in their heads. The most successful real estate agents on Million Dollar Listing all do a wonderful job of “staging” their properties so as to leave as little room open to interpretation as possible inside of their prospects’ heads. These agents will drop in excess of $25,000 per listing to move temporary furnishings into the property to help sell the dream to their prospective buyers.

The Kicker… Staging SaaS to specifically and explicitly demonstrate the problem that is solves…

So just how much can ‘The Million Dollar Listing’ show us about selling Saas? Well, if you want to sell a ton of SaaS licenses over your competition, you have to know how to stage your product. You don’t have to create a custom demo environment for every prospect, but you should focus on using examples from relevant verticals or even your competition. You don’t name your competition, but it’s highly likely they have a case study that you can use that could still be executed on your platform. Put the time in preparing properly to stage your product or demo. Take whatever marketing gives you and find a way to make it your own. Turn your software into a show that makes the prospect want to become a part of your client roster.

The Key Aim: Never lose sight of the solution and service that you are providing…

The trouble with SaaS, or any software for that matter, is that all too often the salesperson and the end client can be talking in two different languages without knowing it. The salesperson may focus upon the bells and whistles of the product and all of the advanced features that it may provide over whatever current solution the client is using. Equally, the client may have a seriously restrictive view of the product because their current solution has become so ingrained in their everyday business lives. Your key aim should always be to maintain sight upon the solution that you’re providing, and the service that is being harnessed through technology.

Explain what the tangible pains are that you are about to solve for your client, and set your demo environment to explicitly describe the benefits to their business lives, processes and ultimately to their company’s bottom line.

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