Software Sales Tips by Matt Wolach

Scale Your SaaS

A Different Perspective on Prospecting Sale – with Nelson Gilliat


In this episode of SaaS-Story in the Making, Matt Wolach interviews Nelson Gilliat, the CEO of Buyer Centric Revenue and the author of The Death of the SDR: And the Birth of Buyer Centric Revenue. Nelson presents a different perspective on prospecting sales. With an alternative model called the Buyer Centric Revenue model, all marketing is inbound.

Nelson shares how this unique perspective on sales can effectively liberate marketers and sellers from the usual sales models like the Predictable Revenue. There will be no buyer handoffs via sales assembly, no commissions in favor of a salary, and no more short-term quotas. His new approach can set up businesses for success.


Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making

Episode: Episode No. 187, “A Different Perspective on Prospecting Sale – with Nelson Gilliat”

Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor

Guest: Nelson Guilliat, CEO at Buyer Centric Revenue


I don’t agree with everything Nelson said in this discussion, but it’s always interesting to hear different perspectives and viewpoints.

Allocate Your Resources Wisely

Nelson steps away from the conventional marketing models in his book and indicates how the Buyer Centric Model can work. This method entails slowly eliminating SDRs and prospecting in favor of exclusive proper marketing. The transition is slow and has several steps, and the first one is to look into your own CRM. Look at the leads generated by a prospect compared to the leads generated by marketing. In other words, compare the demo costs and marketing versus prospecting.

Furthermore, Nelson suggests looking at your metrics, such as the revenue, conversion rates, sales cycle, average selling price, cost per acquisition, cost per acquisition payback period, and possible opportunities. Nelson says it would be clearer to identify which ones you should be investing in by looking deeper into these aspects. 

Factor in how many resources you are allocating into prospecting versus proper marketing, Nelson adds. It’s not always 50-50 as prospecting is exceptionally intensive, resource-wise, and time-wise. “[This is one of the reasons why] outsourcing doesn’t make good, I think that’s awful.”

Automate Demo Qualification

The second step is to automate qualification on the inbound side, giving SDRs relief. Once the qualification has been automated, Nelson suggests having the SDRs go for marketing tasks they would be happy to do, such as market research, content marketing, demand gen, social media, product marketing, and customer interviews. “It’s a win for everyone.”

The second experiment is on the outbound prospecting side, says Nelson, adding that he recommends reducing it by 50% or 25%. SDRs can also be repurposed to do other research and development activities, he continues. 

Put Your Name Out There

As an advocate of proper marketing, Nelson says the way to market appropriately even for startup founders under a shoestring budget is to go for the organic route and build a narrative. Engage with your buyers constantly in a free B2B networking platform, like LinkedIn. Build an audience, respond to their comments, communicate with them, post your content on that platform. 

Creating a podcast and being a thought leader can be helpful, Nelson continues. Podcasts are not costly, and you don’t need to have a production-quality output. Expand your network by inviting people to your podcast as you build your brand.  

“Put your name out there. You’re not spending a dime or anything like that.”


What is the Buyer Centric Revenue Model?

Nelson proposed this alternative model to liberate marketers and sellers from the Predictable Revenue model, which according to him, sets up salespeople for failure. He is hoping the Buyer Centric Revenue model is a better direction than the existing B2B models as it depends on buyer preferences and modern technology. Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) are forced to do prospecting before sales. This new model’s goal is to eliminate this step in favor of proper marketing, considering inbound marketing either buyer-friendly or ROI-friendly.

According to Nelson, salespeople should be moving away from professionalizing the sales role as marketers are also fighting their own battles. With his Buyer Centric Revenue model, marketers won’t have to go through the complex prospecting process.

Why Prospecting Can Harm Sellers

When asked about the key things harming sellers, Nelson answered one: prospecting, which he called “essentially telemarketing, email spam, and Linkedin spam-sending.” 

“SDRs are suffering,” he continued, adding that the SDR role was a necessary stepping stone to go into sales. Salespeople trying to generate demand for sales and setting appointments for sales can face some failures, which are not going to help. To Nelson, if sales leaders want to set up sellers for success, it’s better to coach them right and let them do the actual sales. Process prospecting is the first major step to proper marketing. 

“Again, to salespeople, you don’t want to go around chasing annoying people to speak to you. You want people who want your help to make this decision, understand how it works, and then ultimately be successful.”

Proper Marketing Redefined

Proper marketing or good marketing nowadays looks toward demand gen, says Nelson. Demand gen is competing with the SDR as a prospect to generate demand. With demand gen, you can do many marketing tactics, like entertaining content distributed over social media strategically, wherein you can do either paid or organic. 

“I think all marketing is outbound,” he adds, citing examples like live events, summits, podcasts, and panels. According to Nelson, these marketing contents are buyer-friendly, scalable, and target the right buyers or customers. 


Nelson Gilliat

[12:47] “It’s marketing’s job to generate demand for sales. And there are so many ways that they can do that.”

[15:38] “You need to take into account that prospecting is extremely resource-intensive.”

Matt Wolach

[03:21] “Too many people have kind of a negative connotation with sales, and salespeople need to change that.”

[02:55] “For me, I always love seeing new views, points, or perspectives.”


To learn more about Nelson Gilliat and Buyer Centric Revenue, visit

You can also find Nelson Gilliat on LinkedIn at:

For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit