How Not to Market SaaS Solutions

This is a painful story. The lessons learned affect all SaaS solution providers and especially Enterprise Content Management providers.

“This account illustrates the 3 deadly marketing mistakes undermining almost all SaaS solution providers and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system providers. The lessons uncovered here can halt market share from slipping deeper into the laps of competitors”

Early in 2002 I had been away attending a private tech school in the Los Angeles area. Shortly after moving back to my hometown I took an outside sales job for an independent distributor of a prominent document management software company.

During my first 90 days with the company, despite having received very little actual training from the senior sales rep, I generated more solid leads than all the sales reps previous to me generated in two years, combined. This didn’t go unnoticed.

The owner of the company had me drive 80 miles round trip to sit with him and explain what the heck I was doing. He had mentioned no one had produced results like mine.

This Freaking Powerful Underground Method
Literally Forced New Leads Into The Company

Well, until I came along the company required sales reps to drive to a business area, park their cars, and just get out and go door-to-door one business after another trying to sell their software and hardware packages. It was as if they were trying to sell a copier or something. A widget.

As you can imagine that didn’t work out too well.

I too was required to repeat this dumb approach. But after my first 30 days of knocking my head I gave up the approach for something better. That something better is what got me pulled out of my territory and into company headquarters.

What was I doing?

Database marketing. I was targeting companies based on specific set of criteria.

  • Company size
  • Number of employees
  • And most importantly, legally obligated to adopt Enterprise Content Management systems into their businesses.

You see, I took this job shortly after the Enron scandal of late 2001 broke. This was at a time when the feds first initiated sweeping changes forcing specific industries to adopt electronic records management systems.

How To Get A Crystal Clear Picture Of Reality

So after getting nowhere bumping my head with random senseless cold calls, I researched which industries were affected by the changes. I then pursued those industries that had locations and headquarters in the two counties of my territory.

The owner was so impressed with what I had laid out to him, he asked me if I’d be willing to teach this process to his second in charge. The company manager.

I was delighted.

The way I saw it, by their switching the bulk of this activity of finding companies, finding the contact names of c-level execs, and mapping out efficient territory driving routes for me I could spend more of my time talking to qualified prospects and less time digging through public databases myself.

Well, that is not what happened.

Why You NEVER Want To Show All Your Cards

About Andre Bell
Andre strives to help marketers discover the near-immediate impact of honest ethical marketing practices. He has advised hundreds of business owners on how to keep their dignity as they implement direct response marketing methods that work. Andre is one of only a handful of remaining professionals who can boast having become an online marketer a decade before the World Wide Web came into existence. And as a serial entrepreneur Andre launched his first direct mail business around the age of 12-years old. He has been building and advising ever since.

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