In this episode of SaaS-Story in the Making, host Matt Wolach along with Founder and COO of Success Champion Networking, Kevin Snow, talks about what both founders and salespeople should remember. Snow also explains the importance of automated processes and how they can be leveraged for faster growth, improved process efficiency, and more closed deals.
Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making
Episode: Episode No. 202, “Boost Sales with Automation”
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS Sales Coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor
Guest: Kevin Snow, Founder, and CEO of Success Champion Networking & Founder and Chief Strategist at Time-On-Target
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Be Your Own Top Sales Rep
A lot of SaaS founders ask me, should a founder do sales?
Founders are devoted to growing their business on a different level. Your company is your baby– you dedicated a ton of time planning, crafting your product, and researching for the best market fit. Knowing the company by heart displays a significant advantage in the sales aspect.
Some startups don’t need a sales and marketing team, but you will eventually need to hire a salesperson as you grow. But bringing someone in shouldn’t stop you from being your salesperson. Founders have an unfair advantage when it comes to sales, explained Snow.
They are naturally better at selling than hired salespeople. So, they should leverage this for three reasons:
- It’s naturally easy for you to continue selling.
- You know your market’s needs directly because you formulated them firsthand. So, you can better deliver what they want and learn how to convert them better.
- Formulate the process to be easy for someone to take over because it will help them work up to the standard you provided.
Create an Automated Process
Automation is not something new in SaaS. Yet, some still forget how important it is to include in their processes. Snow defined sales automation as ”finding those repetitive tasks in a sales process that is taking up time that is keeping your salespeople or the owner of the company from being able to do revenue-generating activities.” Thus, automating these parts for a more productive output.
He divided automation into two pools: task-oriented and communication-oriented. The examples he provided were that the first pool consists of fixing tasks concerning reentering client data in multiple systems. At the same time, the latter consists of sending out follow-up emails. These two tasks may be something that founders delegate to one or two people. However, it can be more prone to error and can be time-consuming. Thus, automating these things saves effort and allows you time for more important tasks.
Automation can also help provide data to see accurate employee performance, show what’s happening to the sales pipeline, and formulate management decisions. Automated processes can also give founders a precise representation of data on their revenue that can help them stretch out their plans.
Optimize Content Creation
Content creation is much more common in marketing– but it’s also essential in sales. And this is one of the aspects that founders fail to pay attention to.
Snow said that most companies don’t understand what content they need to employ at each sales process step. And this is where they should team up with marketing to develop a concrete strategy. Marketing should be responsible for creating various types of content depending on the level of the sales process. On the other hand, sales should be in charge of documenting which content is most in-demand so that marketing can do more of it. Eventually, it becomes their open process of communicating back and forth to deliver better content to clients.
Fortunately, content can also be integrated into the automation plan. Snow explained that “understanding how dual sale paths work and what’s going on, you’re able to do a drip campaign– an email drip campaign that’s tagged and triggered based on specific activity going on in the account. So they’re getting content at the right time.” Not only can you give value to your prospects, but you can also do it efficiently.
However, salespeople and the content they provide have a reputation of only aiming to close. This is another struggle that an automated process can fix. As salespeople provide content, they always try to accelerate the process– aiming straight to close. And this makes prospects feel pressured to decide. Worse, it makes them wonder about the content, whether they have problems, which can fix it, or salespeople just want to sell. Instead, try only pushing for the next step of the sales process. And use an automated process to map out the pipeline to deliver honest selling.
Processes Can be Your Alternative to Passion
Founders know everything about their companies. They have a passion for selling, and they’re able to do it effortlessly. However, there will come a time that they need to pass on these inherent traits to hired salespeople. The problem is, because of passion, they naturally do it. And it becomes a challenge to identify these effective ways to share them with salespeople.
A process can be an alternative to passion. Since salespeople don’t have the same passion and drive to sell as much as the founder, they can guide a process. SaaS founders should find a way to document which strategies convert more and what specific market they should aim for. Founders can have this figured out from the start. If it worked for them, salespeople should continue working on it in the future. They should map out their buyer’s persona. Just as Snow said, “So here’s how I sell, how do I wrap my sales persona and my sales acumen into this product and the service so that I can sell to this type of avatar in this type of industry,”
Get it Right From the Start
It’s never too late to set up the right process for your company. But for software startups, it’s better to get off on the right foot. This can start with talking to your clients. Aside from calling them back, sending follow-ups, and making appointments, you should also engage with those who didn’t close.
Feedback is the most crucial aspect of development. Asking clients about their experience with the software can help you develop your connection. All while improving the quality of your product. On the other hand, talking to prospects who didn’t close gives you a chance to re-engage. Ask them what you could do better to improve, why they didn’t choose to continue, what was the experience like? There’s a ⅔ chance that they would answer. This is your shot at getting them interested in you again.
[13:33] “When they’re talking to clients, they naturally have this passion behind their words and, and the passion behind their body language.”
[13:33] “We tell all our clients on the Time-On-Target site and the Success Champion site that if you’re the CEO, you’re the number one sales rep, you need to be out selling, you’re the face of the company. And if you’re not outperforming your sales team, you’re not doing your job.”
[14:40] “For me, sales automation is really finding those repetitive tasks in a sales process that is taking up time that is keeping your salespeople or the owner of the company from being able to do revenue-generating activities.”
[09:18] “Software founders can achieve sales in many cases, but a lot of them hit a wall when they realize that they need to scale– that their time is running out and they need more people to do this for them.”
[15:31] “You’ve got to have a process that they can take over because they’re not going to use the passion that you had.”
[15:31] “Because so many things can come up, especially when you’re in sales, you got a lot going on, you got a lot of different things to take care of, you got a lot of different tasks to get through. And if you don’t have something that’s helping you with that, you’re just going to be behind in today’s day and age. It’s just not going to work.”
To learn more about Kevin Snow and Success Champion Networking, visit https://successchampionnetworking.com/.
For Time-On-Target visit: https://www.time-on-target.com/
You can also find Kevin Snow on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinesnow/.
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/.