How Technical Credibility & Metrics Will Help You Close More Deals
Author: collin stewart
Sara Archer is a former neuroscientist turned SaaS startup operator and has 8+ years building ambitious, international sales teams. She is absolutely determined to convince the skeptics that ‘sales’ is not a dirty word. In her current role as Head of Sales with ChartMogul, she helps top-tier subscription businesses around the globe grow faster using their revenue data — think recurring revenue, churn, customer lifetime value.
Sara joined the Predictable Revenue Podcast to talk about how technical credibility and the knowledge of SaaS metrics will help you close more deals.
Why Is Technical Credibility So Important For Sales Reps Today?
If you’re relying on a sales engineer or your CS team to answer technical questions as a salesperson, you’re leaving money on the table. In most cases, anything you’re selling integrates or interacts with other things in a customer’s environment. “So as a salesperson it’s really critical that you’re credible about how those things interact so that you can help that customer get to their intended outcome,” Sara explains.
Imagine if you sell CRM software, for example. That CRM drives a workflow that enables a result — revenue growth. But think about all the integrations at play. Leads are created in the CRM by an integration, leads are enriched by an integration. Quotes are created, contracts sent, payments processed, and so on. That means if you’re exclusively selling the CRM product and features without the integrations, you’re missing out. The more you understand how these components work together to help the customer generate revenue, the better you can help the customer accomplish this.
How Can Sales Reps Learn More Technical Information?
“It starts with being like a voracious problem solver. If you really want to help customers and you really want to exceed quota then you have to deeply understand the environment where a customer lives and how you can help them succeed in that environment.” Every salesperson is different, so it’s important to leverage your personal attributes during learning. Listening or reading and practically building are two great ways to learn.
If for example, you are very personable and have established a consensus and colleagues you can learn from directly, that could be a good starting point. You could even get some direction on further reading to facilitate learning. If learning through doing is one of your greatest strengths, you could also try building something new. This doesn’t have to be complex code, integrations, or APIs — it could be as simple as a new Zapier workflow.
How To Learn About Your Target Market & The Tools They’re Using
“The best customer research starts with talking to customers.” This entails asking customers what other tools they work with. If you have close working relationships with customers, it’s helpful to visually see what they’re actually doing at their desks, including what applications they’re opening and whether they have deep links between different systems.
Another way to learn is to look at your target audience’s job specifications. “If they’re hiring a Head of Finance or a Head of Customer Success, are there specific tools or technologies that are referenced?” Alternatively, you can be scrappy by doing things like inspecting the script that’s running behind their website or checking what’s behind CTAs. If you see that they are using Stripe as a payment processor for example, you’re then in a stronger position to “tailor messaging to say to say, ‘I don’t just want to sell you on a value proposition, I want to sell you on a functional value proposition because I’m intimately aware of the technology that people like you interact with. And things are going to work, I’m promising you a solution that’s functional, that’s well integrated, that’s seamless.”
Do Prospectors Need To Have Technical Knowledge?
“It depends firstly on your ACV. When you have a large enterprise ACV, a longer sales cycle, and more touch points, it’s probably okay that the SDR or BDR has limited technical knowledge. But if the goal of the sales cycle is to get the customer to their intended outcome fast and to reduce friction, it’d be really frustrating for you if I asked you multiple times during the discovery process to explain how you process payments.”
That being said, it’s very useful if SDRs and BDRs understand that acquiring technical knowledge can help progress their career. Could you leverage tech to improve the prospecting process, for example? Developing this type of skill and knowledge increases self-sufficiency, which are invaluable to future prospects.
How Do SaaS Metrics Impact Credibility?
SaaS metrics should help customers understand the evaluation of cost and value during the purchase decision. You can quantify value in different ways. For example, if you spend $50,000 to attend a trade show, will you get $50,000 worth of bookings in return? Taking it a step further, you may need to account for varying factors. For example, of that $50,000 in bookings, could half of it churn in the first three months?
Salespeople must be increasingly strategic when working with executives. You should endeavor to understand what ROI means in the context of their business, how they measure ROI, as well as any other metrics that are critical to success. There’s a reason why sales methodologies like MEDDIC reference metrics. It’s because buyers need to quantify their justification. What is the economic impact of choosing your solution versus doing nothing? These metrics can include things like customer lifetime value, cost of acquisition, or payback period. All of this impacts credibility and helps you close more deals when channeled correctly.
The Impact Of Technical Credibility & Knowledge Of SaaS Metrics
Having technical credibility and good knowledge of SaaS metrics is going to improve sales results. “That could be at the top of the funnel and creating more pipeline because you’re better able to see exactly how the different components work together within a customer’s business. or it could be a higher win rate because economic buyers and customer champions across the board say, ‘Man, they really understand our business and how this will impact our business.’”
Technical knowledge enables you to help customers solve problems and reach the intended outcome faster.
To learn more about how technical credibility and the knowledge of SaaS metrics will help you close more deals, reach out to Sara via LinkedIn or Twitter, or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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