Dear SaaStr: What are The Top 5 Mistakes Every Salesperson Must Absolutely Avoid?

Boy, I could make a long list.

But my top 5 mistakes, in SaaS at least, that every sales rep has to avoid:

  • Not being a true expert in the product they are selling. This is way, way too common. Sales in SaaS is helping solve a problem. Not selling a commodity. A true expert in the product will sell a lot, lot, lot more than an order taker. There is a place for order takers in SaaS, but you need a dominant brand and market share (60%+) for that playbook to work. Few startups are there yet.
  • Not listening and solving the prospect’s problem. Way, way too many reps just share the same speech, the same email, the same canned demos. But the best ones ask and listen, and then tailor everything to again solve the prospect’s problem. When you do, you sell so, so much more.
  • Overdiscounting. This sign of desperation just sends way too many mixed signals to a prospect. Price is rarely the #1 issue. Insta-discounting just lowers the price further than it needs to go … and rarely adds the urgency to a sales process the rep thinks it does.
  • Treating smaller customers poorly. You just lose the sale. A small customer cares just as much about their business as a large one does — often more. Small businesses have more on the line than larger ones, not less. They buy less software, and the risks are higher, and they don’t have anyone to manage business process change.
  • Fear. Fear kills sales. Sales is hard. You get a lot of “No’s”. The competition often really is better than you in many ways. But once Fear sets in, it’s over.

Sell a product you truly love. Become the world’s leading expert in it. Share that love with every prospect. Solve their problem — for real. And after you do, ask to close the deal.

They probably will.

Ok now, a few other unforced errors I see today more and more:

  • Being late.  Just don’t do it.  Don’t be late to a call with a customer.  It shows they aren’t a priority.  Don’t be 5 minutes late.
  • Follow up on leads instantly.  As soon as possible.  Do not follow up tomorrow, or when you have time.  Follow up in minutes.
  • Make sure you know all the stakeholders.  Today, almost every deal has multiple stakeholders.  Ask if you can help demo others.


A bit more here:

10+ of The Top Mistakes Sales Reps Make … That Kill Deals (Updated)

And a related vid here:


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