I like to discover all new things related to technology. First of all because I am a self-proclaimed geek but also as the CEO of a technology company I need to be able to understand what is out there and translate that to how applicable it is for my customers and my company. And because I am a pragmatist I will always want to come back to the essence which is ´what can it do for me or my customers´
Lately I have noticed that as soon as I start to use a SaaS solution or a SaaS add-on I am directly contacted via email by a US based telesales person with ´old world´ telesales techniques (my original title for this post was New World SaaS companies with Old World Telesales techniques makes for dark clouds…)
Hi Michiel, I have seen bla bla…., is it better for you to talk next Monday or Wednesday? Which always makes me want to reply with another closed question like Hi Matt (name invented), would you like me to slap you in the face from the left or from the right?
This one was one I just clicked on early in the morning when reviewing the Yammer analytics stats of my team before I started my 4 external customer visits for the day. The same day I had the email in my inbox as soon as it was early morning US west coast.
Guys please. This has not worked for a long time any more. You need to:
- Let me discover your product
- Understand who I am
- Engage with me in the way that I want
- And then maybe I will buy from you
- And even better I might become a fan and therefor your best and cheapest sales person and not only keep on buying but get others to buy as well
Maybe a good metaphor is having kids. There are different phases from birth to adulthood.
Fertilization. It is a miracle being able to make babies. You have to try multiple times before you get it done. Same way it is to get a new active lead. But once it is done you will do anything to protect the unborn child.
The baby years. You need to take care of me, give me food and shelter, love me and let me play in a Sandbox.
The Toddler years. It is very important that a toddler discovers the world for himself. Yes the oven is hot but instead of listening to mom or dad I might learn more getting my fingers burned once.
The Teenager years. As a parent you need to help set the framework, help them have a north star, help them understand what is good and bad but make sure that they can discover the world by themselves.
The Adult years. They will still come to you for help but will also be there to help you.
So this same process of about 25 years can be applied to selling in the cloud world and it can be a one-week cycle, a 3 months cycle or a yearlong cycle or even longer. The thing is you have to understand where your customer is on his journey so you can help him with the right things. All modern SaaS solutions have the telemetric capabilities to understand where the customer is on his journey
Also these days it is pretty easy to understand who your customer is (I mean the individual) with tools like Linkedin and Twitter. And one thing I always do with people who are selling to me or job applicants is to check if they at least looked me up on Linkedin (yes I can do that as I have a premium account and you can see that I have a premium account on Linkedin). Not doing that is almost like a lack of respect.
So for me the new world of sales comes back to understanding your customer, nurture him through all the phases up to maturity and then if you are lucky he will buy from you. Then your journey has only started because if you keep on learning and nurturing the customer will buy more and more.
And I completely off the ball here? Interested to hear your opinion