In this episode, I host Gavin Tye to discuss the effective sales process that enables you to sell your product by creating demand.
Gavin has an extensive background in sales and has undertaken high-value selling since 2015. Furthermore, he is a reputed growth mentor with a successful Youtube channel helping B2B companies increase their sales. He is also a lead generation strategist, creating his B2B sales philosophy, “Sales Market Fit.”
What is the philosophy of ‘Sales Market Fit’? It focuses on aligning your sales processes and efforts to be one or two steps ahead of your potential client so that you can help them accelerate growth, win more clients, outsmart competitors, and grow their business. It is about creating consistent demand through sales interaction that does not rely on marketing so that consumers need your product within the market. In other words, it is about helping your client to buy from you without selling to them.
What do SaaS companies need to do to create demand before selling? A marketer does not always have a full understanding of the problem existing in their business. Any B2B SaaS business founder should first understand the specific business processes they impact directly or indirectly and figure out how to quantify them. As such, you need to demonstrate to the target audience how much it costs them and highlight the existing inefficiencies of their business processes so they can move forward. A SaaS company has to know the business processes they are solving. Who in the business is most impacted by the processes that have the authority to buy from you? Have consistent effort to test your messaging and market.
A B2B Saas founder must be a subject matter expert on the problem they are solving. They are key to using their knowledge to highlight the direct and indirect impact of the current business processes. It would be best if you worked with the potential client with the help of a calculator to demonstrate to them.
When should companies hire their first salesperson? Every B2B SaaS founder has to take control of the destiny of their own business. Knowing what sales entail enables the founder to hire the right salesperson and gauge if they are doing right. It is dangerous to outsource the sales function hoping that the people you have hired will be your savior.
Knowing your numbers is crucial. Always have a number you need to hit. It would be best if you were realistic about where your B2B business is. A startup will need to undertake a lot of lead generation to onboard clients.
What are the Common mistakes most companies make in selling B2B sales? One of the most common blunders people make is to get hyped on emotion by becoming too optimistic about a potential sale. Optimism is critical. It helps if you wake up every morning believing that the next big client is around the corner but also realistic enough to accept that they are probably not. It would help to put in the effort to lead them through the processes to increase your chances of a sale. Problem-solving skills will help you get around what you do not know how to do because you are dedicated to learning.
You need to create a problem for your clients. Clients are often at 70% in their journey in the market. As such, you stand a chance to lose out if your B2B SaaS startup offers a differentiated product or solution because the potential already has an idea of the solution they need. It becomes imperative to devise ways to bring them along by framing a problem to convince them that they require your solution.
What are some of the challenges faced while selling B2B SaaS solutions? One of the challenges is people failing to take action even after taking them through the processes. You must survey customer behavior and augment every mistake in such a case. Also, you often do not see the impact of your action until about 5-6 months later.
Potential future changes in sales: There may be more differentiation going in the future, which will convince the customers of the value offered.
Advice to B2B Saas starting to grow their revenue to US$10k – He advises that they understand sales as a journey. Talk to as many potential customers as possible and align your solutions to the problems. Also, develop a relationship with customers before you can pass them to a salesperson.
Advice to B2B Saas realizing US$ 1 million – Given that you have already earned the trust of your clients, hire salespeople incrementally and ensure they adhere to the working protocols already in place.
What is the stage at which a company needs a B2B SaaS advisor – The right time is when the company is ready to approach the market.
Key Time Stamps
- (0:54) Introduction of the topic and today’s guest expert
- (1:42) Why you need to listen to Gavin
- (3:18) Debunking his ‘Sales Market Fit’ philosophy.
- (5:30) What SaaS companies need to do to create demand before they start to sell
- (8:30) How to quantify your direct and indirect impact on business processes
- (9:56) When should companies hire their first salesperson?
- (12:48) It is highly crucial to know your numbers.
- (15:24) Common mistakes most companies make in trying to sell B2B sales.
- (17: 42) You need to create a problem for your clients.
- (20:09) Challenges he faced in selling B2B SaaS solutions.
- (21:40) Future changes in sales.
- (25:40) Advice to B2B Saas starting to grow their revenue to US$10k.
- (27:35) Advice to B2B Saas realizing US$1million.
- (29:28) What is the stage at which a company needs a B2B SaaS advisor – The right time is when the company is ready to approach the market.
- (30:52) What is the typical account value of your client
- (31:50) His final thoughts
- (32:49) Gavin’s contact information
00:01 – Intro
Stuart Butterfield once said every customer interaction is a marketing opportunity. If you go above and beyond on the customer service side, people are much more likely to recommend you. And we couldn’t agree more. Welcome to the growing b to B sas. This show is not like any of the other startup podcasts. On this show you’ll get actionable and usable advice. You’ll hear about all aspects of growing a business to a business, software company, customer success, sales funding, bootstrapping, exits, scaling. Everything you need to know about growing a startup with sas. You’ll get it from someone who’s going through the same journey. Welcome to growing a B2B SaaS. Now your host, Joran Hofman.
00:53 – Joran Hofman
Welcome back to the grow. Your B2B SaaS podcast. We discuss all topics on how to grow your saas. No matter in which state you are in, whether you folks product led, customer led, or saleslet growth, you will need to know how to sell your product by creating demand for it. That is what we’re going to talk about today. By creating demand, selling should become a lot easier and you should also reduce your sales cycle, which is going to accelerate your growth, which we all care about. We’re going to do this today with Kevin ty. He has an extensive background in sales. He’s been in high value selling since 2015. He’s a mentor on growth. Mentor? He has his own YouTube channel helping bdb saas companies to improve their sales and lead generation strategies. And to close it off, he created his own B2B sales philosophy called Sales Market Fit.
01:41 – Joran Hofman
Welcome to the show, Gavin.
01:42 – Gavin Tye
Thanks Joran. Thanks for having me.
01:44 – Joran Hofman
No problem. I guess for the ones who are not convinced yet after this introduction, why should people listen to you today?
Intro Gavin Tye
01:50 – Gavin Tye
My background comes from since 2015, I entered the startup space here in Australia. Our market here is actually relatively small compared to other parts of the world. I come into the industry, there was a global no cloud policy still in effect. So B2B SaaS enterprise sales was still in its infancy. What I learned during my time was there’s a lot of focus on product led growth or Product Market Fit. Sorry. Product market fit. And what I quickly learnt in selling to B2B, especially large businesses or government organizations, is every organization that you enter is completely different. It’s like a person. There’s no two organizations the same. There was no talk in any sales literature that I read that aligning your sales process to how your target markets buy. Those big organizations dictate how startups and btb businesses engage with them. It makes sense to become, in my scenario, to become an expert in their journey.
02:45 – Gavin Tye
How do they buy something or how do they quantify value in the business? How do they make a purchase and how do they go through their procurement channels? It’s really no one’s speaking about it. It’s called Sales Market Fit when it’s aligning your sales process and your efforts to be one or two steps ahead of your potential client so you can help them along the way, celebrate growth, win more clients, outsmart the competition and basically grow your business. That’s what I’ve dedicated myself to doing, is helping businesses find their right sales Market Fit, which is so critical in today’s market.
What is the philosophy Sales Market Fit?
03:17 – Joran Hofman
I love it. That was going to be the first question I wanted to ask regarding your own philosophy. Right sales market fit. Is that the case? Like you need to understand, I guess, how they sell. That the core of the philosophy or are there more things to it?
03:31 – Gavin Tye
Yeah, so the core of the philosophy is no one likes to be sold to, so we just can’t sell. The way the world has changed in the last three or four years, so many more meetings are done online today, so we have to be adding value in other ways. We can’t rely on face to face meetings. If we push too hard on a zoom meeting like this, people will just disengage and they won’t take our call anymore. So we can’t sell. A sale is a consequence, and it’s a consequence of someone deciding to buy. Now, I learnt this selling high value sas. The ticket price was somewhere in the range of month with a four to five, $600,000 implementation fee on a five year contract. Massive contracts, so you cannot sell it as a salesperson. What I had to do was help people along their journey and create demand.
04:18 – Gavin Tye
That’s the essential part of the philosophy, is how do you create consistent demand through your sales interactions? That’s not relying on marketing. It’s not a marketing function. They need your product within the market. There’s basically three stages of demand, and it starts with interest and then it goes to a need, then it goes to a want and then it goes to a need. Most people merely operate in the interest. Are you interested in what we do? Let me get your proposal. It doesn’t go anywhere. It just can’t navigate through the complexities of a large business or a B to B business. More often than not, that’s really my philosophy, is helping the client get to that decision to buy you as quick.
04:51 – Joran Hofman
As possible, having them to buy you without you trying to sell them, basically. That is always the most tricky part.
04:57 – Gavin Tye
Correct. Every sale needs movement, and they need movement from their current state in their business towards going, I cannot stay in this current position. These business processes that are in the current business are costing too much money. I have to move to or find a solution. Often with startups that have a differentiated solution, or we definitely had a differentiated solution that was completely different to everyone else in the market. You have to work on creating that differentiation, highlighting the problem in another way and showing there’s a solution to get them to move to that solution. That makes sense.
What do you need to have before you can start selling?
05:28 – Joran Hofman
Yeah, it definitely makes sense. Maybe to zoom out for 1 second again. I mean, saas companies will say we need to sell even though they need to create demand. What would they need to have in place to create demand or before they can start selling?
05:42 – Gavin Tye
That’s a really great question. One of the challenges with founders and startups is they work in the solution space. I have created a solution that does X and does Y. Now one of the biggest misconceptions is the market actually has a full understanding of the problem that exists in their business. Now we also need to understand like if you’re selling a human resource platform or a crm, it’s very hard to measure the features of a crm or a HR system, but it does have an impact on the business process. Like a HR system could help onboard employees quicker, help reduce the interactions. The manual effort that the hdr team has to interact with the team is more efficient at capturing records, so it does make the HR function more efficient. Or a crm will help close clients quicker because you can get the information at the fingertips, go to follow ups.
06:30 – Gavin Tye
Well, get insights with AI, which is where they’ll be heading soon. So it does impact the business process. What we need to understand as a business, any founder or any B to B business, is understand what are the business processes that you impact direct and indirectly and then figure out a way to quantify that. You need to show your target audience how much that is costing them. We need to highlight how inefficient their current processes are so they have to move forward. And I learnt this the hard way. When I said our ticket price was $25,000 to $45,000 a month, people were saying wow, this is amazing, this is going to change our world. But they weren’t taking action. What I learnt was is they could not equate value to $25,000 when they weren’t paying anything on a balance sheet in their business. These are conservative businesses.
07:16 – Gavin Tye
It wasn’t until I showed them that, hey, your current processes are costing you $500,000 a month, potentially exposing you to a large amount of risk. I don’t think you can sit in this state anymore. You have to find a solution. I’m like yes you are right now we need to find a solution. I was like look at what we’re selling. It’s a 20 x roi. It actually solves all those problems we highlighted. You should buy it. And I went yeah, absolutely. Know the business processes that you’re solving, knowing who in the businesses are most impacted by those processes that has the authority to potentially buy you, which is a form of a buying persona then effort. You need effort, consistent effort to test your messaging, to test the market. Just start with those three things, know the real problems, figure out a way to measure the current impact so you can measure your roi, find your potential, people who will pay or who are most impacted by that, and then consistent effort through lead generation on a regular basis.
08:07 – Joran Hofman
I love it. I think a lot of companies struggle with this, right? Where they will have sales demos. Clients or prospects are really happy. They’re really enthusiastic. They’re probably like, oh, this is a great solution, and then they get stuck in the funnel, as in they don’t take the next action. I think that’s really common. How you explain it, as in identify the business process, your impact, and quantify it, I think that really makes a lot of sense. Maybe one follow up question here, like, how deep do you have to go? You’re going to put a real number on it, right? You mentioned 20 X already, so you’re probably going to put a value money wise on it. Yeah.
08:42 – Gavin Tye
Look, as a subject matter expert, like a founder in a B to B business has to be subject matter expert on the problems they solve. They’re the actual key to using their knowledge to highlight the direct and indirect impacts of a current process. Indirect impacts are what actually builds out the roi. Like, for instance, if I’m a team of four in a business and I’m data entering, but we can’t do the data entering until we can’t start the job, until we do the data entering. That’s a direct cost, but the indirect cost is the three people waiting also because they can’t do the work either. It’s about finding a calculator or finding a way to demonstrate it. You don’t want to spend three or four or five weeks with a client to do that. It’s inefficient. It’s not worth your time, but at least get to a resemblance of a calculator or work with a potential client to develop one, and then you iterate that over time.
09:29 – Gavin Tye
It has to be a defendable assumption. You have to be able to defend the numbers you come up with, and then you iterate it over time. When you go through the process, if a client goes, Holy wow, that’s an amazing roi. Yes, we definitely want to progress further, you go, hey, that had a great impact. That just significantly moved that deal from interest to a need or down that demand curve. You just continually testing, did I get the right outcome? To the next stage of the funnel, of the strategy of the framework.
When to hire your first sales person?
09:54 – Joran Hofman
Yeah, I like it. I think the question especially, of course, younger companies will have as in they don’t have a salesperson yet, so maybe let’s start with that. As in, when do you recommend companies to hire their first salesperson?
10:09 – Gavin Tye
I think a founder really needs to control their own destiny of their business in the first instance. I’ve seen so many times where a founder has not thought that they’re sales orientated, so they won’t do sales or they’ll leave it to the last part of the day. They’re not getting that done, they’re not engaging with the market, they’re not learning the messaging that works. It is iterative process that we need to be comfortable to fail fast. There’s no two ways around it. What happens is because a founder is not strong in that space, they’ll outsource it to a salesperson. They have no way of knowing if that salesperson is performing well or not. Because what happens if they get down the past six months, seven months, eight months, the salesperson hasn’t closed, they’ve wasted eight months, have to let the salesperson go, have an added to that body of knowledge of how to help a client buy them and they’re at a loss.
10:54 – Gavin Tye
There’s been plenty of great businesses that have died because they haven’t had the right Sales Market Fit. I haven’t aligned it. A founder should know how to progress a client through the stages and go, right, I understand that I can add my tacit knowledge or my subject matter expertise and I can help that process. Now, the salespeople can scale and do what they do following this exact process. It’s at your own peril if you outsource it to a salesperson without a strategy in place, because you’re hoping that they have the skills to close sales. There are plenty of bad salespeople out there, as we all know.
11:25 – Joran Hofman
Exactly. This is the core for starting companies, right? You need to figure things out yourself before you’re going to outsource it. Whether it’s sales, whether it’s affiliate marketing, whether it’s marketing. You will need to figure out things yourself first before you’re going to outsource to somebody else. I think Sales Market Fit is a really great name for that.
11:46 – Gavin Tye
It comes with prioritizing it’s not easy to do. You can set up systems, so once you have the framework done, you can set up systems to automate some of it. You have to make it a priority. Like if you’re a technical founder and your skill set is writing code and doing everything else other than selling, you need to do that first thing in the morning, get it out of the way, like going to the gym. You can concentrate on everything else. You have to be conscious of when your target clients are ready to receive your information because you will create a self fulfilling prophecy where you’ll go, I’m no good at sales, I’m so bad at it, I’m going to leave it to 04:00 in the afternoon, I’m going to reach out to my target audience. They’re tired, all they want to do is go home.
12:25 – Gavin Tye
You reach out to them and they go, no I’m not interested. Leave me alone. You’re like, I knew I was no good at sales. You’ve just created a self fulfilling prophecy. You just need to make it a priority and you will eventually get better at it.
12:35 – Joran Hofman
Yeah, I think that’s good. Especially when you look at it at the end of the day. Indeed, as you keep it at the end of the day, it’s really easy to say, I’m going to do this tomorrow and then tomorrow you’re going to do the exact same thing, so get it out of the way. I think that is the biggest step here.
12:49 – Gavin Tye
It comes down to knowing your numbers, right? Like saying, hey, this year I want a budget of $20 to $30,000. Like a sales goal of 30,000 30,0000, 3 million, whatever that goal is, knowing your numbers of where clients fall out in the pipeline and then getting to a number at the end saying, at a minimum, I need to send out this many email sequences as a starting point, then I can do other lead generation activities as well to reduce that number and get better. If your number, hit your number, then do everything else. The effort is easiest to control your skill and your targets. You can work on that later.
13:21 – Joran Hofman
Yeah. I think knowing the number, I think especially for technical founders, make sure you have a number in place which you want to reach. We just had a brief chat before this podcast. You showed exactly how you plan things for your clients. That is critical, right? Where you actually have a plan and you need to know which numbers you need to hit and where do you want to work towards correct.
13:40 – Gavin Tye
And you need to be realistic. If you’re a startup with no clients, MVP at best, you’re not going to win every client. You have to look at the technology adoption curve and you got the innovators and early adopters. You’re really looking for a specific type of client at a specific time that they’re ready. The chances are really minimal that you will find them. You have to do a lot more lead generation effort to produce results. If you miss that, just statistically, it makes it very difficult. You need to be realistic about where your business is and the right strategy. This strategy actually will help you evolve as you go through the technology adoption curve. But be realistic. If you’ve started out a business, maybe ten clients in B to B for your first year is phenomenal. Maybe the next year 30, then the next year 100.
14:26 – Gavin Tye
You really need to be realistic and you have to do way more effort in the beginning to start that momentum turning of clients coming on board and seeing your value.
14:34 – Joran Hofman
It is the most challenging part as a founder, but in the end, if you do it well, it’s going to be the most rewarding as well.
14:40 – Gavin Tye
I’ll give you an example. I’ve just met a client recently. Last year they went down the route of what traditional B to B companies do. They went down the route of engaging with a marketing company. All year last year, this marketing company built out complex funnels and by September they went somewhere close to $50,000 to $100,000. Not one lead, because they didn’t understand, they didn’t own the strategy, and they didn’t know how to find their sales market fit. I’ve come on board, did those numbers and went, right, this is what we have to do as a minimum. We’ve got two leads in the last week, and it’s been two weeks of working with them, but changing the process. It’s like walking before we can run. And it’s being realistic and doing effort. It’s so critical.
Common mistakes made in B2B Sales
15:22 – Joran Hofman
Yarn yeah, I can’t agree more here. I think we’ve been already talking about a lot of common mistakes, or this is like a really typical one you seen in one of your clients. What is a more common mistake you see companies make while trying to sell their B2B sales?
15:35 – Gavin Tye
There’s a mix. I think optimism is really important as a salesperson. It’s also the achilles heel as well. I think a common mistake people make is we try so hard to get people interested. We do a demo, we do a discovery call and we do a demo. Everything’s going well, and that’s how I’m really interested. Great. I’ll send you a proposal. It fizzles out, like you mentioned that before, they let their emotion get the better of them. Instead of knowing that a client needs to go through a certain set of stages, it could be informal or formal, it just depends. They still have to go through these stages to see value. What they do is they get hyped up on emotion. And I’ve done this before. I said, that’s a great meeting. We are 100% going to close them two years later. Haven’t closed them.
16:14 – Gavin Tye
I think alone, large part of being a sales professional is undertaking the emotion out. Although it’s exciting going, okay, I know they need to go through these stages. I can lead them through quickly, but I know they need to go through this in order to purchase consistently. And that’s the biggest mistake. They’ll go, we don’t need to follow this process. This time they said they’re going to buy, and then it gets tripped up three months down the track because you haven’t done what you needed to do. Another project gets prioritized or another platform gets prioritized in their business, and next minute you’re wondering what happened, right, you’ve wasted three months.
16:42 – Joran Hofman
This is really identifiable, especially as a founder, to have that emotion in and to be really optimistic and to really trust on what people say and to drop the stages. I think that’s blaming myself now as.
16:55 – Gavin Tye
Well there’s three critical skills. I think one is optimism. You need to get out of bed every day to think that the next big clients around the corner. You need to be realistic to say they’re probably not. Or when I get engage with them, I’m going to have to do all this effort. They’re going to have to go through these processes. I might as well lead them through it because that increases my chances of a sale. The other one is problem solving. I don’t know how to do that, but I’m dedicated to figuring out and being the best at it, better than the competition, and make my platform the undeniable choice in their business. Why wouldn’t they buy us? The question we need to ask is, what do I need to do to make our platform the undeniable solution for them? Why wouldn’t they want us?
17:32 – Gavin Tye
Instead of saying, do you want to buy us? Why wouldn’t you? We help you. We give you such an roi and take out so much risk. Whatever improve safety, whatever the value proposition is.
How to create demand for your SaaS
17:41 – Joran Hofman
Exactly. Again, it all starts with what you said at the beginning. It starts with demand. And you mentioned now problem solving. If they don’t have a problem they were aware of, you have to create a problem. I think you already mentioned with the HR example, like, you need to create a problem or quantify it and then put it out there basically.
17:59 – Gavin Tye
Correct. One of the challenges as well, if you’re waiting for the market to come to you, they’re 70% through their buying journey, which means they have formed a form solution or a formed vision of what the solution looks like in their business. Now, if you’re a differentiated product against the competition, they’re not looking for a solution that you are. They have a frame of a solution probably similar to your clients, your competitors. The chances of you winning are not good when you stack up against when you’re playing on the left playing field. What I try to do and what I’ve done in my role is the strategy is how do I act different, behave differently to outsmart the competition before they even know there’s an opportunity. Now, it requires more effort in the front end of the process. It’s longer to win a client, but your win rate significantly increases because you’re bringing them along.
18:50 – Gavin Tye
Imagine you’re working with a client two months or something before they go to market and you have framed the problem. Like you can solve a solution, then the competitors don’t have a look in. One of my biggest wins ever was I met a client on a November of one year. I worked with them on workshops and everything before they went to a public tender. This is a New Zealand government agency. They went to tender and we quoted a rate of something like $40,000 per month on five year deals. We closed on that Mr at the end of a government procurement process because I worked hard on defining the problem. The best of all, one of my biggest competitors, which was a large software company out of the Us. The guy who was my nemesis in the region was dating someone in that business. He said, I did not even know the tender was coming up till it was out.
19:33 – Gavin Tye
We’d lost it before we even started. I was like, that’s the best win that I’ve ever had. Because I swept it out from the competition because I did a lot more work upfront. You just have no choice.
19:42 – Joran Hofman
Exactly. Deals like that you have to do in the work, right? If it’s 40k on your current revenue, then you will have to do the work to make sure the problem. You go from there.
19:55 – Gavin Tye
Why the current existing competition would not solve your problem. I wish it wasn’t like that. I wish as a B to B startup, you could go in and go, hey, I’ve created this great product. You want to buy it? And they were like, yeah, sure. It just doesn’t work like that anymore. It’s getting harder and harder to differentiate ourselves.
Challenges for B2B Sales
20:09 – Joran Hofman
Exactly. When we talk about it’s getting harder and harder, I can imagine you had a lot of challenges, obstacles you face while selling, of course, B to B sound solutions. Can you give us some more examples?
20:20 – Gavin Tye
The way I got to this framework was like a five year journey. It was very difficult. Australia is not a big market when were selling to power utilities, mining companies and water utilities. The market here is in the hundreds. You can’t do lead generation, like go through thousands and thousands. We would go through and quickly get people interested, but they just were not taking any action. It was like, well, what would I do if I was in their position? Why would I not take action? It was like, Well, I can’t see the value, I can’t quantify the value. I was like, okay. At every stage of the journey, we got further with a client and then we got better at it. I started surveying their workforce of 2000 people and showing them they’re spending $100,000 a week on just searching for information. Or people had safety incidents by touching live wires because drawings were wrong.
21:08 – Gavin Tye
It was only when I started doing that they were like, oh wow, this is massive. And then were created. That momentum. You can also create momentum and they can go straight past you to a competitor. I’ve made every mistake under the sun. I forgot that I submitted pricing, got to an end of a tender, and our tender was way higher. It was the worst meeting I’ve ever been in? I’ve had some doozies. You just can’t be afraid to fail. You’re just going to fail, make mistakes, and you just got to be confident and trust the process that those mistakes get fewer and fewer over time.
Changes happening in B2B Sales
21:36 – Joran Hofman
Exactly. I mean, you have to fall to get up again and learn. How do you see sales changing within companies right now? Because, of course, with the new normal being more online, big layoffs happening in tech, do you see any changes happening within sales?
21:52 – Gavin Tye
I know that businesses would like to go to sales. People like less businesses. Right. Not have salespeople in there. I think at a certain point, you’re going to need a sales team to actually help people walk through their complex buying process. It’s getting difficult. There seems to be a cookie cutter approach at the moment with a lot of companies who do they do the demo, try to close you on the call and do all sorts of things. What I see is people might go back into doing more differentiating themselves. Like the voice of the customer more, thinking about the customer more. Gary V talks about this in marketing. Right. You need to think about the customer first. A lot of businesses don’t do that. They try and sell, hey, I’ve got a target I need to close. Do you want to close instead? Helping a client achieve their goals.
22:32 – Gavin Tye
I think you’ll see some differentiation. I’m not sure about sdr. It depends if the process is right. I think you’ll see people aren’t getting the results that they probably want, so they’ll have to start focusing on the customer. I believe they don’t have the right framework or the right strategy that aligns to how their target markets buy. They haven’t got the right sales market fit.
22:50 – Joran Hofman
Yeah. I think it’s really important what you say also in sales. Right. Customer first. I recorded a couple of podcasts already, one regarding ux, one regarding customer success, and it all comes down there as well. You need to create value, where, of course, with sales, it’s more creating demand, but in the end, demand turns into value, as in, they wouldn’t want to have your product, but they can get the value you proposed they can actually get.
23:13 – Gavin Tye
Absolutely. Sales and cs are so aligned because what you’re saying is this is the roi that you’ll get. You need cs to capture that roi, and then when they want to expand the service into their business, they still need to go through this process. You just don’t have to build trust because you already have trust. Someone wants to expand or go into another department. Oh, great. Well, let me show you that. That’s how you need to capture the value, demonstrate roi, and still follow the sales market fit process. Cs and Sales are on the same continuum line. They’re just separated by implementation.
23:45 – Joran Hofman
Yeah, 100%. You have to work together to make sure in the end the company grows. Why we’re in B2B SaaS is to keep growing.
23:52 – Gavin Tye
It one of the challenges that come with, like selling with a long pipeline, is sometimes you’ll do an action which sometimes I would do something in the beginning of a sales process, but you wouldn’t see the consequence come out until six or seven months down the track at cs. It was only when were getting you get the feedback that I’d go, oh, I understand that. Like, for instance, we did an agile procurement process with this big company and we thought we did the best implementation scoping, but it didn’t work out like that. I was like, what have we done here? I was like, they haven’t seen the outcome. We need to focus on the outcomes that they’ll receive from day one instead of features. Startups should talk in outcomes, not features, because they can’t compete on features to their competitors, but they can generate better outcomes.
24:34 – Gavin Tye
I was like, right now I developed a tool to demonstrate the current state, the outcome they would get from day one of Go Live and that eliminated that problem, but they just wouldn’t see the impact for months until I got to that point down the track. So it’s important that they work together.
24:49 – Joran Hofman
Yeah, I think that’s really important. I guess like outcomes again, you can relate it back to value. What kind of value are they getting? So that is the key word.
24:57 – Gavin Tye
You have to be able to prove it. Anything that you say that, you have to be able to prove it because people are not very trusting and so you have to take that off the table. I can prove that we have helped others and this is what you could expect and we will work on proving that for you.
25:11 – Joran Hofman
Yeah, I mean, that’s really important, right? You have to be trustworthy. If you are going to create those numbers, basically creating that problem, quantifying it, make sure that you can prove it and they will be able to get that.
25:23 – Gavin Tye
Yeah. It all starts even with lead generation when you’re trying to spark their interest. Hey, we help in this process around X, Y and Z, you get this kind of result. Great. You’ve just demonstrated that. You better carry that thread through the whole process and measure it when the time’s right.
Sales advice for founders growing to 10k MRR
25:39 – Joran Hofman
Yeah, when we zoom out a bit again and talk about Bdb sales, I always like to take things into different stages. What kind of advice would you give somebody who’s just starting out and trying to grow their business to ten K? Monitor recurring revenue?
25:53 – Gavin Tye
My advice would be is don’t scale too quickly. You’ve got to be able to get the voice of the customer. You need to talk to as many customers as you can or have an hypothesis of the value that you’ll provide. I think of a sale as a journey, like a beginning, a recommended journey and then an end. We need to get them to a starting point where we can demonstrate the most amount of value, most problems in all software in today’s, not B to B sas, but where we’re trying to replace comes from duplicated processes, disparate sources of truth, manual effort, lack of visibility, all this kind of stuff. Aligning your solution is the opposite of that, but highlighting all the problems or the causes in their business, but practicing your message and doing that effort and trying to talk to as many customers as you can and aligning it to those problems.
26:39 – Gavin Tye
But then you’ll find the right people. There’ll be people looking for a solution. And they’re the early innovators. As soon as you present your problem the right way, they’ll buy you. You won’t sell it to them, but you’ve got to find them. They’re hard to find. They’re really rare.
26:53 – Joran Hofman
Yeah. In this case, when you say you mean the actual founders. To come back to what we said before, don’t hire a salesperson before you actually sold yourself.
27:02 – Gavin Tye
If you can build a strong relationship with a company and they buy into your journey and they really love your mission, they respect you as a founder. That gives you a lot of leeway for lack of features or an MVP. You want to be able to bring them on the journey with you and get behind you and root for you and want you to succeed. That’s not going to happen with a salesperson. It’s rare that it happens with the salesperson. That only happens with the founder. You can transfer that to others, but they’re going to buy the person really in the beginning. So don’t be afraid of that.
Sales Advice for founders growing to 1m ARR
27:34 – Joran Hofman
Yeah, and when we go past that beginning, so I guess we go past the founder relationship. We’re trying to grow towards like 1 million ARR. What kind of advice would you give if companies yeah, there’s a point that.
27:45 – Gavin Tye
It comes where the founder becomes a hindrance. They slow the process down, they become a bottleneck. What we need to do is start capturing that information as quick as we can. Like you think about those roi calculators or the problems that exist in the market, both indirect and indirect, and create a framework that they can add to bring other salespeople into it and slowly bring them along the journey. If we think about a sales process, here is where you close. Founder was always going to want to be involved in that later part for at least a long time. Bringing in a junior person or salesperson, so their skill set moves through the pipeline and gets closer to running the whole sale. Transferring that tacit knowledge of the founder is really critical. Having a system and processes and a framework in place where everyone can add to that body of knowledge and then recognizing where you are in the market and then doubling down, adding to the framework and scale scaling slowly.
28:39 – Gavin Tye
Don’t bring on ten salespeople. They’re right, we’re ready to scale. Bring one, then two that works out. Then bring on another couple. Then you just have momentum. Momentum will grow quicker.
28:48 – Joran Hofman
Yeah, it will make things a lot easier as well. You can onboard to salespeople as you would like. If you can hire 5% at the same time, they’re going to be more difficult to maintain quality as well.
28:59 – Gavin Tye
Correct. You’ve got to make sure that they follow that process, that you work really hard to create it’s when it gets diluted and people go, now I’m not going to do that. This one little thing, I don’t think I need to do it in this particular opportunity. Sometimes that one action you can follow an opportunity for. Let’s just say you’re engaging with someone. You decide, I’m not going to engage with procurement or legal this stage. I’ll wait right to the end. You get to the end and you go, I wish I had it done. That three months ago. I just wasted so much effort.
29:25 – Joran Hofman
Those were the questions regarding staging or the stage A company is in. I guess maybe one question regarding your company and what you’re currently doing. Like you’re advising Bdb saas companies. Right. What would be the ideal stage a company should be in for you to come on board and to really help them to grow faster when the founders.
Ready to start approaching the market. Somewhere after seed around seed before Series A, when they’re starting to get some traction and they’re comfortable, actually, and they’re willing a few deals over the line, like their tenacity is getting a couple of deals over the line, then they want to say, hey, what’s the pattern here? What am I doing? We can start putting that into a framework and say, hey, this is the framework. You’re probably doing this stuff that you don’t know or consider doing this. We will start building out the framework with a couple of those clients that we can go in and interview and start creating calculators or some anecdotes to demonstrate value in the lead generation and discovery process. Mainly I’m working with customers now or clients now that are just around seed, maybe pre seed moving into there. They’ve probably got three or four clients wanting to figure out how to do it quicker.
30:33 – Gavin Tye
They’ve gone through a lot of pain and gone, I can’t continue to do this, I need to get faster at it. Yeah, that’s where I’ve been working with a dozen of those clients now and then. I’ve also mentoring a heap of people where we met each other on growth, mentor everyone’s. The same problem they’re trying to sell to quick scale to quick and just slow down. Not slow down, just take one step back to go four steps forward.
30:54 – Joran Hofman
Yeah, maybe. One final question regarding that as in, and correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like you are working towards more enterprise deals. Right. Where you mentioned the company has four clients, what is the typical account value of one of your clients?
31:08 – Gavin Tye
Yes, so it varies. Some are larger ticket prices, some could be like 3000, $400,000 a year. Some clients, their annual revenue somewhere between 1800 to two and a half thousand to $5,000 a year. It’s all the same philosophy, just some of the processes are quicker than others or small people are involved in the larger deals, as you would expect. You need to work harder on rallying the buying personas or the groups of people in a committee to actually make sure that they demonstrate value when you bring them along the journey together. But it’s all the same process. Yeah, I can work with people where they would engage, typically with the market. If you’re self serve products, it’s not my skill set, it’s where you need to engage with the sales team.
31:49 – Joran Hofman
We’re coming to the end. Any final thoughts you want to share with other Bdb sas founders, which we haven’t covered yet?
31:55 – Gavin Tye
Just don’t be afraid to walk before you run. Just take your time and engage with the market. Don’t be afraid to fail fast. You’re going to make mistakes. That pit in your stomach if you’re afraid to make calls. Is it’s always there? It’s there when I make calls still, and I’ve been doing sales for more than 20 years, but it gets quieter. The best thing about that voice is when you have a win and then you’re so excited, that voice gets so much quieter and you really got to get over it, otherwise your business is at risk of not succeeding. Your tacit knowledge or your subject matter expertise is really critical in seeing your business succeed. Chat gpt is not you, AI is not you. Outsourcing it to a salesperson is not you. You are the differentiator and don’t be afraid of that. You should embrace it.
How to get in contact with Gavin Tye
32:37 – Joran Hofman
I love it. I can definitely relate to that. Final question. If people want to get in contact with you, what would be the best way to do so?
32:44 – Gavin Tye
You can get in contact with me on LinkedIn. I think you’re going to put the gavantai tye on LinkedIn. I have a few downloads on my website, Salesmarketfit co there’s a startup sales secret book there as well. 20 different lead generation strategies. You can find me on YouTube, which I think you’re going to put that in the notes as well. Yarn. Also, in the next couple of months, I’m going to release a B2B lead Generation Strategy, or workshop for founders and sales teams between Seed and Series A.
If anyone’s interested in that I’m taking only a small. I’m going to do the first few in person or online, so if anyone has ever challenges in that and they want to have a chat, you can reach out to me to apply and we’ll see if there’s a fit there salesmarketfit co you’d be able to find me there if nowhere else.
33:27 – Joran Hofman
Exactly. I read the book and I would definitely recommend already looking at that salesmarketfit co or check out Kevin ty on LinkedIn.
33:36 – Gavin Tye
No worries. Thanks.
33:37 – Joran Hofman
Cheers. Thank you for today. Thank you for sharing all your knowledge and hope to see you soon again, mate.
33:42 – Gavin Tye
Yeah, all the best and I love what you’re doing for the B2B SaaS community, mate. One day we’ll get to shake hands and have a beer.
33:49 – Joran Hofman
I would love that. I haven’t planned to come to Australia again yet, but let’s see.
33:55 – Gavin Tye
No worries. Thanks a lot.
33:56 – Joran Hofman
33:57 – Intro
Evidence you’ve been listening to growing a B2B SaaS. Joran has been ahead of customer success before founding his own startup. He’s experiencing the same journey you are. We hope you’ve gotten some actionable advice from the show and we hope you had fun along the way. We know we did. Make sure to like rate and review the podcast in the meantime. To find out more and to hook up with us on our social media sites, go to www.getreditus.com.
34:31 – Gavin Tye