Q: 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:

  • 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.

A bit more here:

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

And a related vid here:


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