Matt talks with Safa Mahzari, the host of Revenue Podcast, about the art of defining target audiences and the importance of focusing or narrowing down on a niche.
Matt elaborates on a ton of sales and marketing concepts. Amongst them, the practice of hiring for culture, the art of catching up in a fast-changing SaaS world, and the science of managing software fatigue.
While sharing proven success metrics for founders and early-stage SaaS companies, Matt touches on the need for sales and marketing to align, the ins and outs of contract renewals, the art of employee management, and the importance of the trio of specialization, diversification, and roles definition in a SaaS company.
Podcast: Revenue Podcast
Episode: Defining Your Target Audience – with Matt Wolach
Host: Safa Mahzari
Guest: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor.
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Let the Niche Make You Rich
For startups, the itch to cast a big net and to explore huge bodies of water is appealing. The prospect of reaching out to different lots of prospects and solving myriads of problems drives the founders of startups, especially in the SaaS world. However, Matt thinks that this is a recipe for disaster.
Matt thinks that the first and most important thing startups need to do is to map out an ideal market, to determine which niche to operate, to define target audiences, and to find the perfect product-market fit.
Matt advocates focusing and narrowing down on a niche as it makes it easier to find customers who you understand, customers whose problems could be solved, and customers who understand the value that your solution is bringing.
Matt advises startups to be very specific about the niche they want to rule. It is better to be in a space where you are one of a few, where you are not competing against market giants. After dominating a niche, you can then think of channel resources to hit a new niche.
Remember, you need momentum to scale. You cannot start with the big market because you might never get off the ground.
Live in the Customer’s World
Your customers are not robots. They need the solution that you proffer but they are intelligent enough to analyze a sales situation. Customers can sniff out the subtlest of disconnects and they know when a salesperson understands them.
An ideal customer profile is a good tool but it just might not be good enough. Matt advocates investing in understanding the customer. Understand your customers’ workflow and the systems and processes they are going through. Then try to fit your product in.
Build a rapport with the customer before pushing your solutions. Focus on getting valuable tidbits of information out of customers. That way, your product help customers live their dream.
Learn to Smarket
By convention, sales and marketing are always at loggerheads. Sales and Marketing, traditionally, are like opposition parties, each pointing fingers at the other when things go wrong. The Sales and Marketing friction, no doubt, triggers redundancy.
The way forward is to make sure sales and marketing align toward a particular goal. Sales and Marketing should no longer be separated. Both should strategically mesh into a unit.
Matt says that the best leaders are the ones who can make sure sales and marketing align without friction.
Liberate Yourself with a Sales Process
The ideal sales person-customer relationship is best described as a process comprising well-spelled out stages. To Matt, not having a sales process is similar to not having a clear vision of how to make things happen. Understanding how to structure a sales process appropriately and how to take a prospect from the level of awareness down to the close helps prevent throwing up your product on your customer.
Matt pioneered a framework for the perfect salesperson-customer relationship called the Perfect D.E.A.L. Process. With this framework, a salesperson listens to a customer to DISCOVER the customer’s problem. Then, the salesperson goes ahead to EDUCATE the customer on the need for a solution. The next step the salesperson takes is to ASSOCIATE his or her solution to the client’s pain. In doing all of these, the salesperson must LEAD and take charge.
Matt thinks that a sales process should be done so deftly that a prospect continually gets more emotional about their problem and more excited about the solution.
Rule Your Small World
“It is critical to understand who you are talking to. I talk to software founders all the time. The first thing we map out is who their market is. Oftentimes, I get a huge wide mark. Founders usually want to cast a big net and they come back with regrets.”
“It is so important to find your niche, to find those people who you can solve their problems, those people who you know, and those people who understand the value that your solution is bringing.”
“The message of your marketing should not sound good to a lot of people. It should sound great to your perfect customers. Thinking this way makes it easier to speak to your customers, develop your ideal customer profile, pitch to your customers, and develop your product towards them.
“Be very specific. Find that niche where you are not competing against the big boys, where you are special. Be in a space where you are one of a few. Niche down to a point where it is easier to go up against other competitors. Dominate the market before considering hitting a new market.”
Twist the Knife
“You need to do a lot before the Demo to get the customer. Make customers realize they have a problem. As the salesperson, you need to be the expert and understand that prospects might have a knife in their guts without knowing it.”
“Through a proper discovery, you can uncover and identify problems that the prospect never knew existed. You have to make sure that they recognize that they have a knife in their gut.”
“The way to get prospects emotional enough is to twist the knife; make sure your customers understand how bad their situation is. Understand that the discovery process is all about getting your customers to a point where they know they need a solution.”
“The discovery process is all about the customer. When you jump on customers, they think discovery is over and you are going to miss something that could help you in the sales process. Do not try hard to sell during discovery. Focus on information out of customers.”
New Contracts versus Contract Renewals
“Whoever is working on contract renewals needs a different skill set than the person working on closing a new business. The person working on renewals is very relationship-focused while the person working on closing a new business is strategy-oriented.”
“If you are not constantly closing new deals, you are not growing in scale.”
Help Your Employees Grow
“Diversifying and defining roles makes you get more businesses and builds a succession plan with your sales team. With specialization, each person in your team can focus although you should let team members prove themselves in different roles.”
“If you are going to manage employees, do not just be a boss. Be a supporter. Understand that helping employees accomplish tasks creates loyalty. Help your employees grow in a path to the next level.”
“When employing, sell the dream of the company to your employees. Show them the very unique opportunity your company gives. Remember not to compromise hiring for culture. Do not compromise culture for talent. Find a fit for capability and culture.”
[17:11] “Be in a space where you are one of a few.”
[23:46] “Stories done well in the sales process outperform ROI analysis.”
[33:40] “The power of a Demo lies in showing the product while navigating and explaining how the product solves the prospects’ problem.”
[43:16] “If you are going to manage employees, do not just be a boss. Be a supporter.”
Watch The Entire Interview
Hear the entire interview at your favorite podcast site, or here: https://youtu.be/n3VuLb4jurs
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/
As part of the founding team in his first SaaS product, Matt owned the sales & marketing processes. But he struggled to sell and gain traction for the company. It took years of learning and tweaking before Matt created The Perfect DEAL Process, an innovative yet easy to implement method for closing more software deals. To find out more, visit https://mattwolach.com/about-matt