This was exclaimed in frustration by one of my clients recently. You see, they sell SaaS. What I commonly refer to as “Something as a Service”. That “Something” could be data storage, lawn maintenance, security or any myriad of things. In their case it was software. What so many sales reps forget is that the operative word here is Service. In short, before a customer is prepared to commit to an ongoing subscription model (either short, but especially long term), they need to believe you (the seller) are committed to providing the right service that will produce the outcomes they want to accomplish.
When I looked at my client’s proposal to that customer, I was not surprised that the customer didn’t understand the offering. I didn’t either – and I have a fairly decent handle on their business model. The proposal focused on the offering and the commercial terms and conditions, but nowhere did it reference or tie those back to the actual outcomes the customer was looking to achieve. This is the classic case of confusing the “drill and drill bits” for the “holes”. Too many sales reps forget that while customers are paying for the “drill and drill bits”, they are actually buying “holes”. I find this situation to be all too common especially in technology sales.