Software Sales Tips by Matt Wolach

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Scale Your SaaS

Reaching $1M MRR: Matt Wolach on SaaS Sales Strategies for Rapid Growth

Check out the full episode here: https://www.stunandawe.com/post/reaching-1m-mrr-matt-wolach-on-saas-sales-strategies-for-rapid-growth

Understanding the intricacies of customer needs, sales processes, and effective outreach strategies can make all the difference between success and failure. Recently, I was featured on the Growth Leap podcast, hosted by Michel Gagnon. A treasure trove of insights were unveiled, shedding light on how to diagnose software sales problems, build effective sales processes, and create a sense of urgency in SaaS sales. Let’s explore the key takeaways from this enlightening conversation.

PODCAST-AT-A-GLANCE
Podcast: Growth Leap Podcast
Episode: Reaching $1M MRR: Matt Wolach on SaaS Sales Strategies for Rapid Growth
Guest: Matt Wolach
Host: Michel Gagnon, CEO of Stun&Awe

TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE

Building Your Brand for Effective Outreach

In an era of automation and AI, I highlight the importance of cultivating a solid personal or company brand for effective outreach. Software sales professionals can establish trust and credibility by consistently providing value through content and engaging with the audience. I caution against overly sales approaches and emphasize the power of personalized, one-on-one communication. Leveraging tools like AI for content creation can streamline the process, but genuine human interaction remains paramount in building meaningful connections.

Creating Urgency and Scarcity in SaaS Sales

To drive conversions in SaaS sales, I recommend effectively leveraging urgency and scarcity tactics. By offering time-sensitive bonuses or limited-time deals, sales professionals can compel prospects to take action. I cite successful companies implementing offer stacking techniques to incentivize swift decision-making. By instilling a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out), sales teams can accelerate the sales cycle and boost conversion rates.

Navigating Interdepartmental Dynamics

In the complex landscape of SaaS businesses, friction points between sales, product, and tech departments are going to happen. The importance of effective communication and mutual understanding to foster collaboration and alignment. I shared insights from my experience in hospitality management, where similar challenges arise between different teams. Companies can mitigate conflicts and optimize cross-functional collaboration by creating channels for open dialogue and implementing structured processes.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS

Diagnosing Sales Problems

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of diving deep into the sales process and buyer journey when approaching a new client. By asking detailed questions and understanding the nuances of their operations, you can pinpoint inefficiencies and areas for improvement. I stress the significance of not accepting high-level answers but delving into the specifics to uncover underlying issues. Through techniques like mirroring and active listening, he encourages clients to articulate their challenges, facilitating the identification of solutions.

Starting Out in SaaS Sales

For startups venturing into SaaS sales, it’s all about having meaningful conversations with potential customers early on. By understanding their pain points and aspirations, SaaS startups can tailor their product development, marketing, and sales strategies to meet market demands effectively. Startups should approach these conversations authentically, focusing on problem-solving rather than overt selling. This approach generates valuable insights, establishes credibility, and builds rapport with potential customers.

Perfecting the Sales Process

We discussed the “Perfect Deal Process” (DEAL), a comprehensive framework for software sales success I created in my first SaaS company that got us to a 63% close rate. This process encompasses Discovery, Education, Association, and Leading, and guiding sales professionals through every stage of the sales journey. Organizations can maximize their chances of closing deals effectively by focusing on customer needs, delivering value through education, and assuming leadership in the sales process.

In conclusion, this episode offers invaluable insights into mastering the art of sales in the dynamic SaaS landscape. By diagnosing sales problems, building effective processes, and leveraging persuasive techniques, sales professionals can drive meaningful outcomes and propel their organizations to success in an ever-evolving market.

For those looking to embark on a journey of sales excellence, Matt Wolach’s wisdom serves as a guiding light, illuminating the path to sales mastery in the modern era.

TOP QUOTES

Matt Wolach

[09:56] “Everything I’ve learned over the years that I’ve applied with my own businesses, I still do.”

[16:03] “You are in control of this process. Don’t let them just go somewhere where you don’t want ’em to go.”

[22:05] “You don’t need the best product to win. You need the best process to win.”

LEARN MORE

For more about how Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com.

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Check out the whole transcript of the episode here:

[00:00:00] Matt Wolach: We need to be in the lead. We need to take control of the process. Do not let a buyer dictate what’s gonna happen here or there. Salespeople are the guides. They’re the ones who are the, the leaders of this process, they need to take the buyer through that process.

[00:00:13] So DEAL, that’s the perfect deal process, and that’s what hundreds of companies around the world have implemented and using successfully every day.

[00:00:20] Michel: Hi everyone and welcome to Growth Leap. I’m your host, Michel Gagnon. We talked to pretty awesome business builders who are designing disruptive and meaningful companies.

[00:00:34] Hi everyone, and welcome. Today I’m thrilled to have Matt Wallach with us. Matt is a savvy, entrepreneur, founder, investor, mentor, and podcast host who cracked the code for scaling businesses rapidly. Imagine hitting $1 million in MRR without heavy ad spending. I. Well, that’s Matt’s specialty. Matt is B2B sales coach at Xcels, CEO of Turro Wave and Chief Revenue Officer at Ring.

[00:00:59] But he’s all about empowering software leaders to boost their lead generation and seal deals fast. In our chat today, we’re diving into Matt’s world of shortening sales cycles. A must hear for anyone in the SaaS sales game. So get ready for an insightful session with Matt Wallach.

[00:01:15]

[00:01:19] Michel: Welcome Matt to the show.

[00:01:21] Thanks for joining us.

[00:01:23] You’ve had tremendous success building sales teams and processes for software companies. Can you share a bit about your background and what you’re, you, uh, to sales in the first place?

[00:01:33] Matt Wolach: Sure thing, Michel Thanks for having me, by the way. Uh, So I originally was not in sales. I came from a customer service background. I was educated in hospitality management, hotels and restaurants. And my, younger years, my early career was all in hotels and restaurants, and I still have a passion for all of that. But, uh, I was drawn into SaaS and specifically sales, uh, because we started a company, one of my friends had a uh, idea for a, a startup software and said, Hey, I need someone to be able to sell this thing, and I feel like you have the capability to do that. And so, uh, we got together, started the company and I was the arm of, marketing and sales and had to basically learn from scratch.

[00:02:15] And it was. It was rough, early, you know, no, mentor. Nobody told me what to do and how to do it, and no frameworks to follow. There was some serious struggle and some, some pain and anguish and fortunately I was able to, uh, figure all that out. Spent many years figuring it out, but I was able to get there.

[00:02:32] The Realization that Drastically Changed Matt’s Sales Approach

[00:02:32] Michel: You mentioned your background and how you had to learn it the hard way, you know, by yourself initially. I’m interested in learning how you can simplify a little bit your process or what are the key pillars of your approach that you know now sound gonna probably obvious for you, but you know, you had to figure that out over the years.

[00:02:54] Matt Wolach: Yeah, for sure. So, uh, it, it was definitely a struggle early because part of what I was doing was thinking about myself and thinking, okay, I need to close deals. And so we have a great product. I need to just show these people the product, they’re gonna love it, and they’ll get started. And so I would get in there and I’d start showing ’em the product, and we’d be clicking these buttons and doing this and that, and they’d say, yeah, it’s neat.

[00:03:19] And then nobody would ever sign up. And what I realized was I was really way too focused on myself and, and our company. And guess what? People don’t care about yourself. They don’t care about your product. It, it looks nice, it’s clean, it’s great. They don’t care about the product. They care about their problem. And so once I realized I had to focus on them and I had to focus on their challenges and what kept ’em up at night and what made them freak out and worry, that’s when things really came together for me, Michel. That’s when I realized, okay, if we can harness that and really focus on what hurts for them and how do we make sure they understand that that hurt is really bad and it’s painful, and how do we make sure that they understand there’s a way to solve that hurt and other people have solved those same pains using this method. Again, they don’t really care about the product they care about the results. So do they trust that that really happened, that other people were really like them and went through the same challenges that they did and got some amazing results? And if they believe that, if they can trust that. Then they’re gonna want to get your product because if they understand their problem’s bad, they trust that you can solve it. It’s a really powerful emotion that you create in that prospect, and they’re gonna really want the product.

[00:04:33] The Keys to Mastering Discovering Calls with Your Prospects

[00:04:33] Michel A: One of the things I heard you saying was, the discovery call, right? Trying to understand what the customer needs when you’re in the SaaS business. I think this is slightly different than if you’re offering services. You know, I used to be a management consultant.

[00:04:49] You would, come in, with all of our suits and say, okay, what’s your problem? What do you need? And then you would ask the right questions and leave with a pretty, detailed view of what needed to be done. And then we would basically bring our army of, of associates and partners and, and then we would design a, , bespoke type of solution for that person. When you’re in the SaaS business, I mean, yes, you can adapt your product, you can, uh, tweak things here and there, but you, you don’t have the same flexibility. How do you deal with this?

[00:05:25] Matt Wolach: There’s a few ways to deal with it, and first, you have to make sure that you’re talking with the right prospect. And so many times, especially early days of your, of your launch, of your tool, you want any money you can get. You want any customers that you can find, and so sometimes we shoot too wide of a, of a net and we capture things that aren’t gonna be great, right?

[00:05:45] The, some of the fish you capture when you throw a wide net are not gonna be perfect and good to eat. And that’s a problem because if you get the wrong people within your funnel, first of all, you’re gonna spend way too long on trying to convert them and convince them, even though it’s not gonna fit, and they won’t believe it.

[00:06:00] And if they do sign up. That might be even worse because now they’re going to hate the product. Tell everybody it’s a terrible product, but really it just wasn’t for them. So the first thing is, let’s get the right people on board. But then once you do or once you do have those conversations with the right prospect, it’s absolutely on you to make sure that you get them to understand this is the right tool for them.

[00:06:22] And. Discovery, like you said, is the foundation of that. Discovery the, the process of asking them questions and learning about what they’re going through is vital, and you cannot have a strong sales process without it. Now, here’s the problem with discovery. Most people, when they get into discovery, if they’re in sales, and this is what I struggle with early, is you think discovery is only about finding fit, right? I just said you have to find the right prospect. And so we think we only have to find the fit. And what that means is once we understand that they are a fit, we stop discovery. That’s not good. We don’t wanna do that because there’s more reasons to do discovery other than just finding fit. Great. We found the fit. Yes, we do wanna make sure of that, but we also wanna make sure that they know what we’re talking about. They know that we get it, that we understand what they’re going through, that we’re not just some. Some weirdo trying to push stuff on them that we’re actually within this industry.

[00:07:20] We get it. We’re a part of this, this whole going on within this industry, and we know our stuff. That’s critical. Number three, we can connect with them on a personal level if they can feel like you get them and they connect with you as a person. You know, people buy from people and if you can get that connection to happen. That’s critical and that can happen even just in discovery, even with just you answering questions or asking questions. And the same thing as before when I said, you need to get them to realize you know what you’re talking about. If you ask the right questions, they’ll know that. You don’t have to say, oh, I’m an expert in this and I know how to do that and I’ve got this many years of this. No, but if you ask questions a certain way, they’ll know. You understand the industry, you understand the lingo, and it’s really powerful what can happen.

[00:08:07] Matt’s Most Powerful Strategy to Use in Discovery Calls

[00:08:07] Matt Wolach: So those three things are critical, but the fourth thing on the reason we need to do discovery might be the most powerful. And this is one that most sellers absolutely do not do.

[00:08:18] They forget it. Only about 3% of sellers are doing this Michel, and it’s really, really powerful when you do it. The fourth thing is get the buyer to hate their problem. So, so many times , a prospect will come onto the call and they’ll think. We’re just thinking about this tool. Maybe this will make us a little more efficient, or maybe we can save some money, whatever.

[00:08:37] It’s, they’re not really in super pain. They might realize, yeah, this kind of stinks. I don’t like this. But they know they don’t absolutely loathe and hate their pain, but it’s our job to make sure they understand how bad the pain is because. Anybody who doesn’t really hate their pain, they’re not going to take action.

[00:08:56] They’re not going to go through those steps to get something set up because there is some, some friction to getting a product regardless of how easy you try to make, getting your, your tool in their hands, regardless of how simple your setup process and onboarding process is, they’re still friction or at least perceived friction, and so they don’t want to go through that unless they really feel the need.

[00:09:18] They are compelled to do it. It’s up to us to do that, to get them to understand how bad their pain is. Now I have an analogy for this, which Michel, you might have heard, but I wanna make sure the audience knows it. It’s called Twisting the Knife. It’s my knife analogy. It goes like this. So a buyer might come to you and they say, Hey, I have a problem with my shoulder.

[00:09:39] I need help. Now, obviously if you’re selling software, it’s probably not the shoulder, it’s something else. But this is the analogy. So I have a problem with my shoulder. I need help. So you as a good salesperson, looks at it, says, okay, yeah, let’s solve that shoulder. But then you might say to yourself, well, yeah, I see the shoulder, but they, they have a knife in their belly and that knife in their belly might be a bigger problem, is definitely going to hurt them. Why don’t they wanna fix that? Well, I guess they don’t care about that. I’m just gonna sell them the fix for the shoulder. And that’s fine, but it actually doesn’t work well because if they think they have a shoulder problem. You sell them the shoulder thing, but they never really cared about it. They never really felt like that was a major issue.

[00:10:20] They just kind of wanted to solve it. They’re not gonna take action, and you’re not gonna have good close rates, or at least they’re not gonna close very fast at all. So a very beginner seller will just sell what they say they need. Number two, the next level seller, they’re gonna realize, okay, you told me the shoulder, but I, I see there’s a knife. And so they’re gonna identify that. What we need to do is we need to make sure the buyer understands and identifies that, Hey, you know what? The shoulder looks bad, but you have a knife in your gut. Like that’s terrible. You’re gonna die from that. And so a next level seller will get that buyer to identify that, oh yeah, I do.

[00:10:59] You’re right. Thanks for pointing that out. And most sellers from that stage will stop there because they think, okay, well I got ’em to realize it. They must see how bad that is. But unless we go to the next stage, we lost an opportunity because a lot of people think, oh, I did a good job. I pointed out the real problem. And they see it. They’ve identified it. Good check. We haven’t gone to step three. And the step three sellers are those elite sellers. They’re the ones who don’t get them just to identify the problem. They get them to identify the problem, and then they make sure they realize how bad the problem is. And so instead of pulling the knife out saying, I’m gonna solve your problem, you’re good to go.

[00:11:34] Here’s the tool, it’s gonna solve it. Well, they didn’t really care about it. If you just pull the knife out at that point it’s like, yeah, it was a problem. Thanks for solving it, but maybe we’ll do this in a year or two. No, that seller who’s elite, they don’t pull the knife out, they twist the knife and they make sure that the buyer realizes how bad the pain is.

[00:11:51] Now, I wanna point out, ’cause a lot of people are like, oh, you’re bad. You’re telling people to be bad salespeople. No, I’m making sure people understand how bad their own pain is. We’re not. We’re not giving them new pain. We can’t do that. It’s making sure that buyer realizes how bad their situation is, because so many times, especially when you’re so focused on all your things you’re working on, and you don’t really see the forest for the trees, you don’t realize if you take a step back, you might realize, uh oh, we are in trouble, or we’re really behind the industry, or if we keep doing this, we are gonna go out of business or lose a lot of money or lose people, whatever it is. And so as the seller, you have that perspective and you can share that. And so by twisting the knife, you might say, Hey, where would you be if you didn’t have this problem? And what else could your team be doing if they didn’t have to deal with this? And how much exact time are you spending on this little thing that you just shared with me? And getting them to get to that granular level of detail helps them realize, uhoh, this is bad. We’re falling behind. And when you can do that. You can really see close rates take off. One of my clients, Greg, he came to me with a 1.9% close rate, and when we identified what was going on, it was his discovery.

[00:13:00] It was basically nothing. And so what we did was we put this structure in, we taught him in twist the knife, and I worked with him hard so he could get really good at it. He’s now over 30% on his close rate. He basically went from 2% to over 30%, 10 x his close rate overnight because of this process. And it’s just amazing what you can do when you get buyers to realize. If their problem is way worse than they thought.

[00:13:23] Matt’s Top Questions and Why Not to Sell in Discovery Calls

[00:13:23] Michel: Do you have any questions that, like, for instance, one of the questions I like to ask when I’m in a, a sales meeting is just to say, what are your top three challenges? Sometimes that you don’t know where they’re gonna lead you and you discover, a knife in the belly, uh, that you were not aware of or that they were not aware of. Do you have a list of questions where, where you always make sure that they’re being asked?

[00:13:48] Matt Wolach: Yeah. I, I like that question. You just asked top three challenges. That’s great. It’s kind of a, a starter, just kind of open up and where are we gonna prod? Um, but one thing I really like is. Again, know your market, know your target. Know the types of people you’re talking to, and because of that, you know what, in general, most people do badly.

[00:14:08] Like what are they not doing well? What are they missing? And those are the things that your product solves, right? So what are they not doing well? What are they missing? What are they do badly around what your product can do? Then what you do is, I like to say throw a grenade. Oh my, I guess my analogies are pretty macab, but, uh, we throw the grenade, we, we basically ask a process question around that.

[00:14:29] Now, you know, they’re terrible at it, so you might say, Hey, tell me what happens when this and this occurs. What do you guys do? And you know, like, they probably don’t do it. Or it’s a fire day and there’s, everything’s terrible. Let them feel that. Oh, I hate when that happens. Oh, I gotta first scramble and create all these reports.

[00:14:47] And then Mary has to go through the reports one by one, and she has to pull out this. She gotta do this. Wait, wait. Who’s Mary? What’s her role? Oh, Mary is our director of whatever. Okay, cool. What are you paying, Mary? Oh, we’re paying her 50 grand. Okay, cool. And how long does it take Mary to do that? Oh, well I, I’d say maybe a couple hours.

[00:15:03] Every time. Every time. How often does this happen? Twice a week, I’d say twice a week. So two hours, twice a week. So four hours. So 16 hours a month, Mary is spending on this little thing. That’s what you’re telling me. And right there, they start to see it. They realize I never, I never looked at it that way. Now you’re their guide. You’re their advisor who just opened up their eyes to something that’s going on in their business that they never even realized. And you told me she’s paid 50 K. So we calculate that, da, da da, da, da. You’re spending $14,000 a year on this, on just this. Right there. They’re freaking out. And just by how you react to it, how you break it down for them, because you asked a process question. Now one thing I wanna point out is we’re not pulling the knife out, we’re not gonna sell. Oh, we do that. Here’s how we do it. And this is where a lot of people get into trouble in discovery. They try to sell in discovery.

[00:15:52] Don’t sell in discovery. Don’t pull the knife out until it’s time. In discovery, we wanna just keep that pain feeling, keep ’em wallowing in that pain. And later when we show them the product, when we get into the sales portion, that’s when we can do what we call associate and we associate our tool, our solution to their pain.

[00:16:11] And that’s when they realize, this is what I need. I remember them telling me about this pain and getting me feeling terrible and now this is the thing that solves it. That creates a powerful emotion in their head and we, we’ve got ’em at that point.

[00:16:24] How Matt Diagnoses his Clients’ Sales Problems

[00:16:24] Michel: When, you approach a, a new client like, uh, the one you mentioned earlier, how do you diagnose the problem because that low, uh, win rate can be linked to or related to a lot of different symptoms and problems.

[00:16:41] Matt Wolach: So great question. Uh, so basically. Everything I’ve learned over the years that I’ve applied with my own businesses, I still do. So when people come to me and say, Hey Matt, we need sales help. And I ask them questions like you said, like What are your main challenges? And they give them, and then I ask the process questions like I just said. So walk me through your, your sales process. Walk me through your buyer journey. If a lead comes in, what do you do? And that gives me so much information, Michel, because they say, oh, well we do this, and I don’t just sta for, oh yeah, we, we connect them. Well, how do you connect? What do you do? How do you reach out?

[00:17:13] How soon do you reach out? Who reaches out? All those things tell me, is this a good process or not? I instantly know. You’re missing this, you’re losing on this, and you have a leak in your funnel right here because I’m asking the process question. For me, it’s around your sales process and how you can close deals for somebody else.

[00:17:31] Their tool. It might be around their efficiencies. Somebody else, it might be how they save money within their accounting, whatever it is. There’s something that your tool solves or your solution solves that people probably are terrible at that you have to identify that by asking those types of questions and kind of prodding in their process.

[00:17:48] And so when people come to me, I ask ’em, what is your process? And get detailed. It’s too many times we stay high level. And too many times the seller just accepts when a buyer says some high level answer, don’t stand for it. You are in control of this process. Don’t let them just kind of go somewhere where you don’t want ’em to go.

[00:18:07] If they give a high level answer and you want more, dive in. Wait, wait. Okay, so tell me, what do you mean by that? How does that impact this? And one good way to dive in that I love Michel. Something I can share, I use, I share this with my clients a lot. It’s called mirroring. Mirroring is where you basically just repeat the same thing back to them with a question tone.

[00:18:25] It’s really cool. So if you ask a question and they stay high level and they’re like, yeah, it’s been, we’ve, we’ve done this, but it’s been really inefficient, and they wanna stop there, just say it’s been inefficient, and you ask it with a question tone and it makes them want to expand. Yeah. We, because what was happening is we were taking way too much time doing this, taking too much time. Because what happened was we would have to do this and they have to expand, and so you’re getting into the real problem. If they just stated inefficient, you marked that inefficient. We haven’t gotten them to realize this is bad and we need to fix it, and there is a fix. And so it’s really powerful if we can dive deep, get ’em to the real problem, and then let them know there is a solution to that.

[00:19:04] How to Start Selling a SaaS Product When Your Just Getting Started

[00:19:04] Michel: If we have a, uh, a startup team who’s built a new SaaS product. What would be your advice to them to kind of get started? Because many of them have to sell to, bigger companies, and you end up with a relatively complex, uh, sales process and, you know, stakeholder management.

[00:19:22] If we try to simplify it to, to the minimum, like where would you tell them to get started or how to think about approaching that?

[00:19:31] Matt Wolach: Well, I, anytime someone gets started, my, my biggest advice is have lots of conversations with your perfect fit customers and even before they’re customers. So the people in your market who you feel like might be perfect fits, you’ve got to get to know them and have those conversations. And this is something that on my own podcast Scale Your SaaS.

[00:19:51] If I ask people, this is what they say, how they became successful, how their, how their product took off from the early days. They had those early conversations. And in fact. I just talked to another one. He continues to have those conversations, even at $10 million and it’s, it’s fun to hear that over and over, and it just reminds me how critical that is because if you can have these conversations, you’ll learn what they care about.

[00:20:16] You’ll understand what the market overall is thinking about, what they’re focused on, what they hate, what they yearn for, what their goals are, and if you can understand those things. It’ll help you drive product development so you can make sure the product aligns with what the market’s wanting to do. It’ll drive your marketing and all your messaging within your marketing and what, what, how, how you hit your target. And it’ll drive your sales and your sales process. And if you can understand that, you’re gonna be much further along than somebody who just says, Hey, this is a problem. I think lemme just start building and figure out what happens. That’s a really tough place to be to, to if you’re not talking with your market. So my biggest advice is early days. Absolutely have those conversations. Some people say, well, how do I have those conversations? They might think I’m selling. And I say, you approach it as if you’re not selling. You go to them and say, Hey, I talked with so and so.

[00:21:04] They said that they have this challenge, so I’m trying to figure out if there’s a solution to the challenge. I just wanna have a quick 15 minute chat with you and understand if you’re feeling the same challenge so I can see if there’s a solution to it. And somebody who’s feeling that that problem, they’re gonna want someone to solve it and figure it out. They’re happy to have that quick 15 minute chat, and a lot of my clients are very surprised at how many of these calls they can book. And then once you have the conversation, you say, oh yeah, we’ve actually, we’re actually pretty far along. If you want, I can show it to you sometime. Why don’t I walk you through it, and then you can get into a demo.

[00:21:37] So it’s amazing how quickly you can start to generate some interest, some leads, but also amazing feedback on your product, your marketing, your sales, all of it.

[00:21:47] How Building Your Brand Helps Getting More and Better Leads

[00:21:47] Michel: Let’s talk about the outreach that you just mentioned. One of my first question was about product-led growth and AI and automation and maybe leading to lower response rates. Have you adapted the way you approach prospects. Did you have to change, how you do things? And if not, or if yes, doesn’t really matter, like what works well for you and your clients?

[00:22:11] Matt Wolach: Well, one of the things I. I think that helps if you’re going to approach and do outbound, is have some sort of strong brand, whether that’s your personal brand on some social like Twitter or LinkedIn, whether that’s your company brand. And some people are like, well, I just started. How do I do that? Well, you can start right away.

[00:22:30] And by the way, I highly recommend if you are not posting content value, if you’re not sharing with the world things that you can help with. Start right now. And at least when somebody, if you message somebody on, say LinkedIn and they go look at you, they’ll see, oh, this person’s talking about this and this.

[00:22:47] That’s cool, that’s helpful. It sounds like they’re in our industry and they know this stuff and oh, they’re, he is talking with somebody on video, somebody I recognize. So they must already be very respective if, if they’re having the conversation like we are right now. It’s, it’s powerful. If you can already pre like set the conversation and kind of show, you know what you’re talking about before you ever do, just post value, post content and engage with people. And so from that perspective, there are lots of great tools that can help you with that content. AI comes into play there a lot. That’s where you can, that’s where we use ai. That’s where you can use AI to come up with a lot of the great ways of getting that content engine rolling. But then once you, for this step, I don’t recommend ai, maybe you have some sort of outreach. Like LinkedIn automation if you want to do that or something to just start the conversation just to kind of trigger. Too many times though, I see people abuse that and they’re putting a whole huge eight paragraphs on how amazing their company is. Again, they don’t care about your company. They care about their own problems, and so if we can more turn it around and focus on them, then sure, I could see using that. We, I like going more personal myself, but you could do it that way to kind of try and speed up the process. Later on, after you’ve kind of established yourself, after you’ve kind of gotten that initial traction, using ai, uh, in those instances or using some sort of outreach model can work there depending on your market and your, your price point. I would just say in the early days, don’t go too crazy with it.

[00:24:23] Why Talking About You Won’t Land You Sales

[00:24:23] Michel: There’s a lot of, people selling templated emails and different ways to approach a a, a prospect. And I kind of understand because if you’ve not done a lot of sales, it’s, it’s a bit like a mystical endeavor or adventure. You think that salespeople have this magic touch that turns every, um, every prospect into gold.

[00:24:46] Do you have any concrete advice on like, how do I approach people? Let’s say I’m reaching out to somebody on LinkedIn, do you have your special sauce there?

[00:24:57] Matt Wolach: Well, if you’re gonna be doing an, an outreach campaign on LinkedIn, for example, the, the ones and, and we’ve all seen it, the ones that get sent to to us, right? It’s where they talk about themselves and they’ve got this cool development company that builds products and they do this and they can do that, and they can do this. Like I get these all the time being a CEO of a, of a software company, and I don’t care. Like I, it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter to me, you know? But if somebody came to me just asking if I had a problem, like for me, let’s say if I were to go out, I might say. Yeah, I just spoke with a software founder in your country and they were struggling trying to figure out how to approach new prospects.

[00:25:39] They were getting nowhere trying to generate leads. Have you felt that same problem? I gave them a solution that they loved and they generated 186 leads in a week. Have you felt the same problem? I just wanna make sure. And that’s very focused on them. It’s not focused on you. It tells them that you know what you’re talking about and you’re part of this industry and that you can solve problems. All in a very quick, very personal email. It feels like something you might, or message you might send that one-on-one. And I think, and actually I just reviewed some of my clients, um, outbound emails yesterday that we just went through it. And the, the biggest problem is a lot of the messages sound salesy and it, it’s talking about this cool product and this amazing feature. Exclamation point. Exclamation point. And when sound too salesy. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Emojis. it’s, it’s, people are, people are not gonna like that too much. And so if you can come off as much more just kind of friendly and, and one-on-one, and I’m happy and here to help. And I think that that does wonders for your success.

[00:26:47] Michel: So, so the approach is to kind of validate, do you have that problem? And if, and if they do, then you can, you know, get deeper in that, really in that conversation. One of the things you’ve mentioned, I mean, you’ve focused on SaaS businesses. I’ve, you know, been managing a tech, uh, company for a while myself, and I’m always fascinated by the dynamics between departments. Especially when you’re, you’re building a tech product and then you have a commercial team on the other side. I’ve been through numerous debates and borderline fights and one of the things I keep telling the team, and I mean, we’ve made amazing progress, and it’s very different than from the past.

[00:27:31] But I mean, I always say like, the competition is outside, right? It’s outside of this meeting room. We’re, we’re in this together. I’m curious to know more about, what you’ve seen happening in your own company or with, with your clients. And I’m specifically interested in what happens between sales and product and tech.

[00:27:52] The best scenario is that it’s perfect harmony. And then you know what sales learn is, you know, fed into P&E and then P&E is curious about the sales discussion and, you know, everybody’s, um, happy, but that’s not always the case. What’s your experience with that dynamic?

[00:28:11] Matt Wolach: Yeah, it’s a great question. I, I think there are natural friction points between departments within a software company and I, I mentioned earlier my, my initial experience in career was in hospitality management and restaurants and hotels. So a natural friction point in restaurants is the servers, the wait staff, and the kitchen and the servers think the kitchen is too slow or putting up the wrong stuff.

[00:28:35] The kitchen thinks the servers don’t explain it well enough on the ticket, and so there’s natural friction there. There’s natural friction in a software company too. Uh, sales and marketing, lots of friction there. Obviously you mentioned sales and tech, and you’re absolutely right because the sales team will think that the tech team is too slow and not giving them what they need to sell.

[00:28:56] The tech team thinks the sales team doesn’t tell ’em exactly what’s needed or explain it well enough, or talk about how deep the problem is with the market, and it’s frustrating. It happens even in early days when it’s one sales person and one tech person, and it’s, it’s something that if you can solve that early, then you’re right.

[00:29:16] You can create kind of a utopian environment where the sales team is providing great information to the devs and they’re building it and they’re doing it on time and efficiently, and the velocity is great and, they’re keeping in touch with the sales team as well as the, the customer success team, so they know both what new prospects need as well as current customers.

[00:29:38] And it, it, I have been in organizations like that where it works great and it’s awesome and you just feel so good. Everybody’s feeling confident, everybody’s feeling like they’re all on the same page, and. It’s fun when it works well, but I’ve also been in organizations when it doesn’t work well and things are not communicated well and everybody’s in silos and it’s just really a struggle.

[00:30:00] You never believe that your team is gonna get product delivered right. The the dev team feels like the product they do deliver. The sales team doesn’t either sell well or they don’t sell at all. And. We need to create communication avenues so that people are feeling heard so that the right information is getting relayed and things happen. I’ve seen too many times, Michel, where one sales person hears one point of feedback from one prospect and they say to the dev team, we’ve got to have this thing. You’ve gotta go build it, and then they build it. And you later realize only that one prospect actually needed it and they never even signed up. And so now you built something, you spend time on it and nobody’s using it. Like that is a terrible process. So we have to have some sort of structure and and process around development and road mapping. But when you get it right, it works great.

[00:30:57] Michel: Never happened to me.

[00:30:58] Matt Wolach: Yeah,

[00:30:58] How to Create a Sense of Urgency in Saas with Offer Stacking

[00:30:58] Michel: Matt never, never happened to me. One of the things that you advocate is creating urgency in scarcity in the sales offer. And, um, , when you sell, you sell SaaS products, sometimes you’re selling that to a bigger, more complex organization. How do you actually create that sense of urgency and, and scarcity?

[00:31:19] Matt Wolach: So many times within a a sales motion, the prospect just needs to get over themselves. Right? Like sometimes they are like, yeah, I like this, but I don’t know. I’m not sure. And they, they kind of feel like it’s right, but they just drag their feet and this happens a lot. And anybody who’s ever sold is like, yep.

[00:31:39] Seen that a lot. They know it’s perfect. You know it’s perfect and they just still kind of hold on. So we need to create that urgency to get them realizing they’ve got to move forward. Now, part of that happens right at the beginning in discovery, like we talked about. If we can get them hating their problem, they’re gonna want to move fast to get away from that problem.

[00:31:59] They’re gonna wanna move fast to solve that so that it starts there. In fact, at every stage there’s something that we can do that gets them realizing we need to move forward. And one of the things that I love with my prospects is, hey, make an offer that will get them feeling like they’ve gotta take action now.

[00:32:17] And so one of the things you can do is what’s called like a fast section bonus. You can say, Hey, here’s, here’s how it is, here’s how what you’re gonna get. Here’s all the things. By the way, if you sign within the next day, week, month, whatever it is, based on your sales cycle average, you’re gonna also get this and we’re gonna throw in this, and you’re gonna have this and you’re gonna do this.

[00:32:36] ActiveCampaign actually does this really well. They say, okay, if you come to this session afterwards, if you sign up, you’re gonna get this, you’re gonna get this, you’re gonna get this. They stack, what’s called offer stacking, a lot of different cool things that you can get in addition. And if you don’t want, if you wanna sign up later, great.

[00:32:51] You won’t get those, but you’ll still get the package and the tool and all that. And, and that makes people feel like, okay, well I do love it and I, I, I want to think about it, but I also realize I’m probably going to get this or need this. Eventually, I might as well just do it now. Let’s just do it now. And so one of my clients, Robert, he did this and he took his sales cycle length from seven months to a month and a half. Because of this, and it’s amazing what you can do if you start putting in some of these techniques and start getting real results.

[00:33:22] Michel: You talked about active campaign doing that scarcity and urgency tactic quite well. Earlier today I was watching something they were talking about HubSpot and how HubSpot has linked the compensation of salespeople to what they call the CHI in the Q index or the customer happiness index.

[00:33:41] Right? To make sure that sales people were not overselling or selling to the wrong prospect who ended up, you know, uh, churning. Do you have any examples of SaaS companies where you say, these are the ones you want to emulate. You know, our copy in, in your process, they’re doing the selling very, very well.

[00:34:02] Matt Wolach: HubSpot’s a great one to call out. So Dan Tire, who’s like the HubSpot sales God is a friend of mine and great guy, super smart, and he was on my podcast as well and just basically like laid out so many great strategies. So there. They do a lot of things really well. They also have a combination of a, of a, a product-led growth process and a sales led growth process, which at scale, that is a smart way to do it.

[00:34:24] And a lot of people think you gotta do one or the other, like we talked about before, but you can actually do

[00:34:29] You Don’t Need the Best Product to Win

[00:34:29] Michel: Are you seeing maybe a type of SaaS businesses where you’re saying, okay, this is the right space within SaaS to be, at the moment

[00:34:39] Matt Wolach: I don’t know about that because, uh, I have about 250 some clients and probably like 230 different industries, and it’s to, and some of ’em are, are wild to me. I’m like, wow, there’s. There’s people that need that. But yeah, I guess there is. We get in and look at the market and I realize, holy cow, this is a thing. So I can’t say, yeah, you’ve got to do CRM, you’ve gotta do FinTech or MarTech. There’s so many different opportunities and so many different creative and innovative new things people are coming up with. I’m not a very innovative guy. I know that once you have an idea, I know exactly how you can get that thing sold. I’m not gonna be the one that comes up with new ideas or says, this is the best industry. One of the things I think in, in talking about this because it’s a, it’s a great question and kind of tangentially, some people will ask, well, we have to make sure our product is amazing and it’s the best product or else we’ll lose.

[00:35:31] And what I will actually tell people is. You don’t need the best product to win. You don’t need the best product to win. You need the best process to win. I have seen great products fail because they had a terrible marketing and sales process, and they didn’t know how to get it in front of people and get people closed. And I’ve seen average products be the winners and be unicorns because they understood how do we create a buzz? How do we get in front of people? How do we make sure they understand they need this right now? How do we pull out their challenges and get them to realize they can solve ’em with this? And the, the teams that do that are the winners.

[00:36:05] They win.

[00:36:05] Typical Sales Problems and Matt’s 40-Point Demo Rating Scale

[00:36:05] Michel: Maybe just one last question. With all the experience you have and the client base that you have, what are the typical problems that you see?

[00:36:15] Matt Wolach: I mean, lead gen obviously is always huge and, and, and that happens at different stages. ’cause you might have in your early stage, oh, we can do it this way. But then as you grow and you start to scale, then you have new lead gen problems. Obviously you’ll need more leads, but then you have other channels you have to implement.

[00:36:30] You have other ways of optimizing or maybe things you didn’t optimize yet. And so lead gen is always a struggle. Um. Lead conversion, getting them into calls, getting them, you know, into next steps. Once you start creating some, some buyer journey stages, getting them from step to step to step. I see leak points in problems everywhere within the process. Obviously the demos are always a problem. We rate demos and I actually have a 40 point rating scale, and most software companies are only doing 16 out of 40 on that demo. And those 40 are the things you need to do in your demo to get a buyer converted. And that means companies or averaging 16 out of 40 means most of the things that will get the buyer to say yes and feel that emotional pull to your product you’re not doing. And so demos are really, really tough. In fact for a lot of companies, they pay me to rate their sales reps, rate their demos, and like the best one ever was like 23 out of 40 on the first time they saw me. Now, once they go through training, once I coach them and show them exactly how to do it and why it’s important, then they get to 35 to 40. But in those early days, it’s so funny seeing, they think, oh, our demos are fine. Okay, let’s just take a look. And then we go through it and it’s like, uh, you’ve got a 15 out of 40 and they, they, I break it down and show ’em why. At first, they’re like, wait, what? Only a 15? And then I show them. They’re like, oh, okay.

[00:37:55] Yeah, that’s right. That makes sense. It’s pretty powerful. So the demos are big. And then the, uh, scaling of the team, you know, taking a sales team from just the founder to a founder, plus one or two, to five, to 10, to 20 to 40. That’s not easy, and there’s, there’s several steps along the way. In fact, I just met with a client right before this about that very thing.

[00:38:15] She’s in the process of hiring her third, fourth, and fifth rep, and it’s, it’s a struggle to get them up to speed to get them. Uh, right. Uh, one of the things we do is we help them, we help our, our founder leaders create a, a playbook so that they have the process documented, they have it ready to go, so that if somebody comes in, they can pick up and start selling fast.

[00:38:36] They’re not a drain on the books. And so I would say all of those things. I know I just labeled a lot of things, Michel, things are really struggles for a lot of teams.

[00:38:47] Matt’s Perfect D.E.A.L Process That Can Get You Up to 87% Close Rates

[00:38:47] Michel: I know I said it was my last question, but I lied. I have to be, I have to stop saying it’s my last question because it happened to me again earlier this week. You just talked about demos and I’m, I’m just curious, because we started with discovery, and how you basically have to understand their pain point. Is this something that you also do or recommend with demos

[00:39:07] Matt Wolach: Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, I, I put discovery with the demo. You might have it split into different calls. Some people have it separated, some people have it together. That’s fine. I kind of think of the process altogether, but really what we have is what’s called the perfect deal process. It’s a process I created.

[00:39:22] That’s the 40 point process we mentioned. That’s what got my initial SaaS company from a 8% close rate to 63% close rate on our demos because of that process, and now I’ve got clients doing up to 87% close rate. Um. Essentially there’s four main pieces and it’s called the perfect deal process, DEAL, because DEAL is an acronym.

[00:39:43] We talked about discovery. That’s the first step. The second piece is educate. We’ve gotta make sure that we’re educating our buyers on some sort of shift in the industry. Some sort of, you know, uh, transformation that’s happening that they need to be aware of. We also need to then a associate our tool, our solution to their problems and the shift that’s going on. And remember if we get them so worked up about these problems and then we say, well, yeah, here’s the solution, it’s right here. Then it’s less about we have to push the solution and more about just. We’ve got it and it works, and other people love it. So telling stories around that is great. And the last part, L is lead. We need to be in the lead. We need to take control of the process. Do not let a buyer dictate what’s gonna happen here or there. Salespeople are the guides. They’re the ones who are the, the leaders of this process, they need to take the buyer through that process.

[00:40:35] So DEAL, that’s the perfect deal process, and that’s what hundreds of companies around the world have implemented and using successfully every day.

[00:40:43] Michel: Any last advice for our audience. And also I’m interested in where, where’s the best place for our audience to follow and find you.

[00:40:51] Avoid the Commission Breath

[00:40:51] Matt Wolach: Parting words is. Help be a helper person, not a salesperson. And that’s one of the big things I can say. If you, if you’re thinking like, I gotta sell ’em, I gotta sell ’em, I gotta make this money, I gotta make this commission, whatever it is. That’s called commission breath. And your buyers will smell it and they will run.

[00:41:08] But if you’re thinking I gotta help them, how can I make them better? How can I improve their themselves or their company? They’ll also feel that, and they’ll be attracted to, and they’ll want to work with you because they think that you’re going to help them. So that’s my, that’s my parting words. Um. Where can you find me? mattwolach.com. M-A-T-T-W-O-L-A-C h.com. I have free giveaways there, like a free scorecard. You can download and track all of your stats and it has awesome graphs and tells you if you’re behind or not. Um, you can also text me right from there. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Matt Wolach.

[00:41:40] Uh, you’ll see me posting every day about some sort of help or or value that I can share with you to help you grow your company.

[00:41:49] Michel: Amazing. Thank you so much, Matt, for your time and for all of your great advice.

[00:41:54] Matt Wolach: Yeah. Thanks for having me, Michel. This was a lot of fun.

[00:41:56] Simon: Thanks again for listening, I hope you enjoyed the show. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast. And as usual you can find the show notes at stunandawecom.