SELLING SAAS AND SERVICES
The market for Software-as-a-Service continues to grow strongly, with nearly a third of IT spending forecast to shift to the cloud by 2022. However, such subscription-based services present companies with unique Sales challenges – often compounded by highly competitive application areas and well-established incumbent suppliers.
Based in our Cambridge office, Mike Taylor has more than 20 years’ international Sales leadership experience within fast-growing information and services start-ups – particularly those targeting the financial services, consulting, and pharmaceuticals sectors – and he works primarily with clients focusing on the sale of services.
SERVICES WILL NEVER SELL THEMSELVES
Your customers don’t care about the service you offer; they care about how it is going to help them.
To sell any service effectively, you need to identify your core audience and have a very clear and specific value proposition for each customer or customer type.
We have multi-sector experience, and work with our clients to refine their Sales messaging, always focusing on outcomes rather than features.
We have found that starting conversations is relatively easy, especially if you have a good story or offering a novel service. However, this can distract early-stage companies from the most important growth driver – closing deals and generating actual revenues.
First sales are always the toughest to get over the line. We work with early-stage companies to secure such beachhead sales – and then help them to scale the business. A Sales Pipeline is an important tool, but it doesn’t matter if you are not closing deals.
CLOSE DEALS RATHER THAN BUILD PIPELINES
BUILDING CUSTOMER CONFIDENCE
Because your services become embedded in a customer’s business, they will need to develop complete confidence that you understand what they do. The quality and execution of your individual salespeople is critical in meeting this threshold.
We have spent many years building and coaching Sales teams to sell complex, custom services. We can use this experience to help clients with their recruitment and always enjoy mentoring individual salespeople to maximise their performance.
Customers often expect a trial period, but it is our experience that long trials extend the Sales cycle without increasing success rates. We always advocate a clear and short path from trial to subscription.
Similarly, we have found that undercutting the market-price can damage customer perception of the quality of your offering.
We are always happy to share our experience with potential clients and offer them informed opinion and fresh perspective – and where we cannot help them, we will try to find someone who can.
KEEP TRIALS SHORT AND PRICES HIGH
I am delighted with Hugh’s contribution to our business. He has acted as a catalyst for positive change, bringing new focus to our Sales Team while enabling me to manage them more effectively