Sales Tales: Winning Business after COVID 19 doesn’t have to be a Drama

Today’s tale: play like a pro and it won’t be deja vu all over again

1900m — the summit of Mont Ventoux. Image taken by the author
  1. Understand how to win each of the 3 Acts.
  2. Understand what can go wrong and how to fix it.

Understand the 3 Acts

Let’s start our journey with a common misconception: many think there are only 2 Acts in the software sales drama. Develop product market fit and then scale up. Sounds neat. You do customer research, design a product, build it, test it out and you are ready for prime time Series A scale up. Hire those industry reps, give them some leads and off you go. When you hit problems it’s either the product or the execution.

Understand how to win in each Act

The 3 Acts differ in whom you prospect for business, how you win deals and the type of sales people you need. It may be a while since you have played in the lower divisions and gone through the Search phase so be careful to play the right tactics. Playing Scale tactics when you are back in Search just won’t work.

  1. Act Two: do what it takes
  2. Act Three: do only what we do.

So what can go wrong and how to fix it?

The number one request for help I get is how to close trials. Companies get introductions to supposed potential customers, offer the prospect a free trial which then goes nowhere. Usually this means Act One companies don’t realise they have to solve a customer’s pain rather than pitching their technology. Instead of “show up and throw up” sales meetings, try “let the customer build their own baby” by using their imagination. Customers can often give you false hope by taking meetings to learn about what you do, not refusing a free trial, but then not doing anything. If the introduction is from a powerful person, prospects are even less likely to say they are not interested and more likely to look falsely enthusiastic. Here is our guide to closing trials , the most popular Sales Tale in the series, which has the winning tactics you need.

Sales Tales reads on Medium
Software Sales is a 3 Act Drama

Tech vendor scale upper. Decide market strategy. Plan the numbers. Hire the people. Hit the numbers. Solve the problems. McKinsey, MUSE, SUNW, XROX,