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SaaS Sales Problems

SaaS Sales ProblemsSaaS sales problems can quickly kill Software-as-a-Service businesses.

Take two of the most common:

  • My prospects aren't Internet savvy
  • My prospects don’t have enough time or interest to talk to my sales staff.

These issues have been hanging around for a decade or more. And when you combine them, you see results like former Boost CEO Amit Mehta encountered...such as 85% of people who download your app never installing the thing. Pretty serious SaaS sales problems, right?

His solution, detailed in a recent article about the meteoric rise and fall of Boost, was to have a lightbox pop up explaining in three simple images how to install the app.
 
saas sales problems

Image Credit: Amit Mehta

 
This change doubled his user base, and had a considerable impact on sales in his freemium model.

The Importance of Your Audience In Fixing SaaS Sales Problems

You can see why it's so important to consider your audience when it comes to SaaS.

If your target market is made up of business techs who regularly get into the nuts and bolts of desktop operations, and know what a registry is, that's one thing.

And if your market is regular public who, as they do with televisions and microwave ovens, use the technology typically have zero idea of how it actually works, that's quite another.

In Amit's case early on, the fact that different browsers have different processes for installing apps consistently blocked all but 1 or 2 in 10 of his "Joe Public" proto-users from installing it.
 

The problem I find with a lot of web-based SaaS apps is that they don’t properly onboard users on how to use the app. You need to hold your users by the hand and show them EXACTLY what to do. ~Amit Mehta

 
Boost got to #646 on the Inc. Top 5000 by fixing these SaaS sales problems, so this is good advice to take.

SaaS Sales Problems Are Often a Result of the Curse of Knowledge

A lot of this is the Curse of Knowledge striking again. You and your staff, as the developers, are embedded into that world. You know the terminology. You know the processes. You know the Whats and the Whys.

But your customer?

Do they know these things?

Or are they embedded into a different world, a world where those things don't matter much to their daily lives? Are they completely unaware of the concepts, beliefs and technologies you are so familiar with and casually work with ever day?

In that case, there's quite a gap to bridge, isn't there.

And what else does Amit say?
 

Validate that you have an app that people actually want to use and pay for! ~Amit Mehta

 
Well well, what a surprise.
 
>> If you have a problem anywhere along your conversion process—from attracting customers to delivering your product or service—talk to Jason Kanigan. He is a process improvement expert, copywriter and sales force developer. And he's been working in the IT field with VARs, SaaS developers, and network security firms for a decade. <<

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Curse of Knowledge: How Is It Hurting Your Sales?

Curse of Knowledge in salesCurse of Knowledge is a sales killer. It affects every salesperson who has been in their role for awhile, and learned the "ins and outs" of the business. How does it do that? The Curse of Knowledge means when you know a lot about a subject, it is difficult for you to imagine the issue from a lesser-informed person's point of view.

It also means you get caught up in the bells and whistles--technical features--of the product or service you're offering.

Harvard Business Review explains how the Curse of Knowledge makes it impossible for us to fathom not knowing something once we know it. Since we cannot easily duplicate the other person's state of mind, it is difficult for us to share the idea.

What results does this bring us in selling?

The Problem of the Curse of Knowledge In Selling

I found three spun versions of the same article on tech sales. That's a little odd, but the content of the article is valuable.

In the write-up, a sales trainer describes how "salespeople typically simply list technical facts to potential clients and believe that that’s an effective sales method. Believe me, it isn't.

"The odd thing I notice from a sales point of view is that technology is getting more complicated, rather than — as we’re led to believe — more simplified.

"Consumers are becoming rabbits in headlights, trapped with the dazzle that is technology specification. It is the responsibility of technology salespeople to understand what a consumer wants, remove the dazzle and attend to that critical need, which surprisingly may not be the leading edge of technology."

Can you see how a similar knee-jerk salesperson reaction and effect upon the prospective customer are occurring in your industry?

How To Alleviate the Curse of Knowledge

There are two immediate ways to minimize the effect of the Curse.

First, use the Dummy Curve. Don't leap into features and benefits. When your prospect asks a question, find out why that is important to them--instead of opening up with the barrage of technical data. Unless they are the most serious of gearheads, they won't care about technical features. When a person buys, they don't care HOW you do what you do...they want the results of what you do.

Second, break things down into small steps. When you're explaining something, remember that learning a new concept is often real work! Don't rush.

Being conscious of the Curse of Knowledge is the first step to minimizing it. Remember, they don't know what you know...and to a large degree, they don't want to. They want a solution to their problem. A machinegun barrage of features and benefits isn't going to help them get there.

>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer. Do you have questions about the Curse of Knowledge? Comment below to let us know! And if you have a friend who would be helped by seeing this information, please Like or Share! Don't forget you can get powerful sales tactics books on Amazon/Kindle right now! <<