Overcoming Common Objections in SaaS Sales: Strategies for Addressing Customer Concerns

Objections in SaaS sales are inevitable. After all, buying a SaaS product is often a big decision, especially when it comes to robust packages that are costly and require extensive effort for implementation.

So it’s only natural that you’ll encounter resistance. It’s just part of the process, and objections should be anticipated, both when a lead is interacting with a salesperson or performing their own individual research.

A big part of overcoming SaaS sales objections, however, is to 1) identify those that are most common and 2) prepare a response for each scenario. That way, you can cover all the bases to keep more leads in the sales funnel and ultimately make more conversions.

Here are some of the most common objections in SaaS sales, along with the appropriate rebuttal.

The Product is Too Expensive

This is one of, if not, the most common barriers to making a sale. Many leads just don’t feel they have the budget to justify buying.

That’s why you should always be ready to tackle this objection head-on.

The best way to go about that is to help leads see the big picture, focusing on the overall value, increased productivity, cost savings, and long-term ROI. Even if your product is more expensive than a major competitor, clearly articulating the core value your SaaS product offers is essential to overcoming this objection.

At HireDNA, for example, we quantify the real-life results our users get from using our product as you can see here.

Why Should We Choose You Over a Competitor?

Let’s be honest. The SaaS industry is incredibly saturated. No matter what niche you’re in, you’re likely up against some stiff competition, with everyone battling for their slice of the market.

Modern SaaS buyers know they have tons of choices. So, naturally, most will examine at least a handful of products before making their final decision.

Further, many will ask themselves or a sales rep why they should choose you over a competitor. So this is an area you should put plenty of effort into — something that online appointment scheduling software Calendly does expertly on their website.

On the Compare page, they provide links to eight separate product comparisons with leading competitors so leads can see firsthand how Calendly stacks up and why they should choose Calendly.

I recommend creating a resource similar to this that leads can browse, as well as having your salespeople fully familiarize themselves with each comparison so they can fire off the benefits of choosing your product at a moment’s notice.

We Need to Try Before We Buy

In the past, many SaaS companies strictly had paid versions of their products, and that was it. But in more recent years, offering a free version has basically become ubiquitous.

“If you’re a growth-stage B2B SaaS, there’s a 71% chance you offer some type of free version of your product—even higher if you’re a Cloud 100 SaaS,” writes Peer Signal. “Why? Removing friction increases growth potential; free is how people want to research and buy software products today.”

With a large percentage of leads wanting to try before they buy, the best way to accommodate them is to offer a free version of your product if you haven’t done so already. Even better, make it so no credit card is required, as popup builder Sleeknote does.

I Don’t Fully Understand How Your SaaS Product Works

Most SaaS products are loaded with features, integrations, and more which contribute to the value. And that’s great.

The only downside is that figuring out a new product can feel overwhelming. And whenever a new client implements a new product, they’re likely to encounter at least some resistance from team members because, after all, they have to learn something new and get out of their comfort zone.

Therefore, this is something you definitely need to address, and make sure you take steps to succinctly explain the fundamentals of how your SaaS product works and why using it is beneficial.

This is another area where Sleeknote excels, where they have a “Learn” section of their website that includes a help center, webinars, and more.

Besides that, they give leads the option of getting their own personal Sleeknote tour.

By clicking here, a person can “Get your tailored introduction to Sleeknote or tons of popup inspiration for your site and book a free personal call.”

The Contract is Too Long

While offering flexible, short-term contract options has pretty much become the norm, I felt this was an important SaaS sales objection to include. That’s because limiting customers to overly lengthy contracts (like annual contracts only) can really put a damper on your conversion rate.

If you’re one of the SaaS companies that only offers annual contracts, I would say it’s almost a necessity to have shorter terms available. While this will likely result in a higher churn rate, it should be beneficial in the long run, as it should get more leads to go ahead and buy.

I like how Zendesk approaches it by giving customers the option of choosing a monthly or annual subscription term and toggling between the two choices to see how much each option costs. For instance, here’s how much a customer will pay for different plans for the platform to support five agents with a monthly contract.

And here’s how much they’ll save if they opt for an annual contract.

Handling Objections in SaaS Sales Like a Pro

Again, SaaS sales objections are unavoidable, and that’s fine. Potential customers should be diligent about researching a potential product and make sure it’s the right fit for them.

Whether one of your salespeople is interacting one-on-one with a lead or a lead is doing their own research, having responses for the objections listed above should help you overcome a lot of resistance, make leads more comfortable with making a purchase, and ultimately boost your conversion rate.

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How to Optimize Each Stage of the SaaS Sales Funnel

You’re probably well aware that very few SaaS leads are ready to buy right away. According to the RAIN Group, it takes an average of eight touches to get a conversion. To move leads smoothly through the SaaS sales funnel, you need to understand how the pieces fit together and optimize for each stage.

This is essential for 1) reducing friction points, 2) creating a positive customer journey, and 3) setting your sales team up for maximum conversions. Here’s how to do that.

The SaaS Sales Funnel I Use

First off, let me say that there is no one-size-fits-all SaaS sales funnel that works perfectly for everyone. There are multiple variations, with some longer involving several steps and some shorter with only a few steps.

But for simplicity’s sake, I like this one, which involves four key steps — awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty.

Note that not all SaaS sales funnels include a post-purchase stage like loyalty. But given how critical retention is to SaaS success, optimizing for a post-purchase phase is incredibly important.

With that said, here’s how to tackle each stage of this particular SaaS sales funnel.

Awareness

The awareness stage is at the very top of the funnel where potential customers first become aware of your SaaS product and brand. For the majority of prospects, they’re simply conducting some preliminary research, or as I call it, doing their “recon” on potential SaaS products that may address their needs.

Sometimes, they’re actively searching for solutions. Other times, they just happen to stumble upon them.

While there are numerous ways potential customers may become aware of a SaaS product, more often than not, it’s through one of three ways:

  • A search engine
  • Social media
  • Content marketing (this is often found through a search engine or social network)

Therefore, these are the three main areas you want to optimize.

Search

Start with on-site optimization and technical SEO, which includes creating a sitemap, increasing site speed, and internal linking. You can find a ton of great information on this here.

Also, follow best practices when creating content, such as performing keyword research and using proper headers (H1s, H2s, H3s, etc.). This is a great resource for learning about optimizing content for search.

Social Media

Leverage multiple networks that your audience is active on to boost your brand exposure and find targeted leads.

Content Marketing

This overlaps somewhat with optimizing content for search. Having a variety of content should help you raise brand awareness and pull in targeted leads from a variety of sources. Here’s what types of content perform best in 2023, according to Semrush.

Consideration

Once your brand is on a potential customer’s radar and they’re considering your SaaS product, they’re officially a lead. To optimize this stage of the SaaS sales funnel, you’ll want to focus on lead nurturing, which can be done in a variety of ways, including:

  • Email marketing
  • Product comparisons
  • Case studies
  • Webinars
  • Testimonials

And if you offer a free trial version of your product, you can tap into product-led marketing. When done correctly, this can have a tremendous impact, not only reducing the sales cycle and boosting conversions but also enhancing the customer experience and instilling deeper loyalty.

If you’re not familiar with product-led marketing, I suggest reading this guide.

Conversion

Now is the fun part. After successfully moving potential customers through the awareness and consideration stages, you’re ready to pull the trigger and make a conversion.

There are three key strategies for optimizing the conversion stage of the SaaS sales funnel.

One is to use strategically placed, crystal-clear CTAs that encourage leads to buy. Here’s a good example from Zendesk.

Next, be transparent with your pricing so leads know exactly what they get, how much it costs, and what features each plan includes. Zendesk does a great job of this as well.

Finally, get in the habit of continuously A/B testing the content you use for conversions. You may, for example, want to experiment with different CTAs to see which gets the most clicks and results in the most purchases.

As you accumulate more data over time, you should be able to refine every aspect of the conversion stage and convert the maximum percentage of potential customers into actual customers.

Loyalty

The fourth and final piece of the puzzle is everything that comes post-purchase — the loyalty or retention stage.

As I mentioned before, retention is vital to the long-term success of a SaaS company. After all, it doesn’t matter how great you are at converting if you can’t retain customers for the long haul. And with an average annual churn rate of 10-14% annually, it’s something you need to be diligent about optimizing.

So what can you do to increase customer loyalty?

For starters, I suggest taking customer support seriously. This includes having a section of your website dedicated specifically to customer support like Zoom does…

…and making it easy for customers to get in touch with a support rep.

Next, it’s smart to send out period engagement emails to keep in touch with customers. For instance, you could provide them with tips on how to get the most from your SaaS product, information on new integrations or features, product usage reports, and more.

Third, always be looking to get feedback from users and implement that feedback to improve your product. This kills two birds with one stone because users want to know a company is listening, and it sets the stage for ongoing product improvement.

Lastly, you can use analytics such as churn reports to objectively track churn so you can determine what’s causing it and what you can do to stop making the same mistakes. Here’s an example from customer journey platform Woopra.

Fine-Tuning Your SaaS Sales Funnel

Optimizing your SaaS sales funnel end-to-end is of the utmost importance. By doing so, you should prevent major drop-offs from occurring, increase conversions, and generally make the customer experience more enjoyable. The formula outlined above addresses all four major steps and should get your funnel firing on all cylinders.

Looking to build an elite sales team? Use HireDNA’s cutting-edge technology to find the best of the best candidates.

How to Enhance SaaS Sales Performance By Leveraging Key Data

I think we can all agree that efficiently using data is an asset. For perspective, McKinsey & Company reports that “data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times more likely to be profitable.” But what are some specific ways you can enhance SaaS sales performance by leveraging data?

That’s what I’ll tackle in this post so we can have a clear understanding of how to put SaaS sales data to use in a practical way. More specifically, I’ll cover core areas of SaaS sales that can be dramatically improved by leveraging key data.

Let’s jump in.

Audience Segmentation

Today’s customer is more sophisticated than ever, with most having incredibly high expectations. This is true in traditional e-commerce, and it’s especially true in SaaS.

One of the best ways to meet or exceed customer expectations is with audience segmentation, as it paves the way for personalization. For reference, “80% of audiences tend to do business with a brand that personalizes their experience with it,” and “80% of companies that use market segmentation report increased sales.”

For example, you could use SaaS sales data to break your audience down into different segments, such as demographics, purchase history, engagement level, product interest, and so on. From there, you could tailor your sales approach to address each segment’s unique needs, thus creating a more enjoyable lead experience and increasing your odds of converting.

Lead Scoring

Your SaaS sales team’s time is valuable. If they spend time pursuing the wrong leads with a low likelihood of converting, they waste time and money, often with nothing to show for it.

On the other hand, if they pursue the right leads — sales qualified leads — with a high interest in buying, your conversion rate can’t help but increase. And you can send leads that aren’t yet sales-ready to your marketing team to be nurtured.

But how do you quantify leads and know who’s sales qualified and who’s only marketing qualified? This can be done with lead scoring.

By assigning leads points based on behaviors like website pages visited, website interactions, and contact methods, you can assign each lead a score.

For instance, a lead that simply read a couple of your blog posts and visited your pricing page would receive a lower score than someone who visited your pricing page, signed up for your newsletter, downloaded a PDF, and contacted you through a web form.

Using lead scoring data like this can be invaluable for identifying which leads to prioritize, which to nurture, and in some cases, which leads will never close.

Customer Journey Analysis

Every customer journey consists of a series of touchpoints. From the very first time someone learns about your SaaS product to the moment they actually buy, there’s a customer journey that takes place in between.

The better you understand the customer journey, the smoother you can make it. In turn, this creates a better customer experience, which sets the tone for more SaaS sales. And in the grand scheme of things, this can factor into deeper customer loyalty because it creates a great first impression, which will make many customers want to stick around longer, renew their subscriptions, become brand ambassadors, and more.

Another key way to enhance SaaS sales performance with data is through customer journey analytics, which “is the process of identifying customer touchpoints and understanding how they affect customer experiences and business outcomes.”

Here’s an example of what that looks like using a customer journey analytics platform like Woopra.

Using data like this gives you a bird’s-eye view of each customer touchpoint end-to-end so you can understand the customer journey on a granular level. This brings us to our next point.

Identifying Friction Points That Lead to Drop-off

By having customer journey analysis data, you can see exactly where leads are dropping off in the sales process.

Say, for example, there’s a higher-than-average drop-off from the sales demo to the free trial signup. There’s a smooth transition from one touchpoint to another throughout the rest of the customer journey, but your data shows that not as many leads are signing up for your free trial as there should be.

This would signify that your sales demo could use improvement. As a result, you could zero in on your sales demo further to figure out what’s wrong and come up with a solution. Then, once you optimize your sales demo, this hiccup in the customer journey should be resolved, and an increase in conversions should occur.

Identifying Strengths in the Customer Journey

Besides spotting friction points, you can also use customer journey analysis data to determine what you’re doing right.

Say that a higher-than-average number of leads are moving from your pricing page to requesting a demo. This would indicate that the core elements of your pricing page like design, informational structure, layout, CTA, and so on are working well and leads are responding favorably.

In this case, you’d likely want to leave your pricing page alone, as it’s already getting results. Also, you could analyze your current pricing page so you can pinpoint precisely what’s working for future purposes.

For instance, you could take screenshots and share this information with new members of your sales team.

Using Key Data to Enhance SaaS Sales Performance

There’s no denying the impact that data can have on SaaS sales performance. Companies that use it intelligently have a much greater advantage over those that merely “rely on a hunch.”

By understanding tangible ways to put data to use and which areas to focus on, you should be able to get the most from your SaaS sales team and make everyone’s life easier, while simultaneously creating the best possible customer experience for the ultimate win-win.

To build an elite sales team, register with HireDNA today. This software uses cutting-edge, science-based technology to find the best of the best salespeople.

How to Use Value-Based Selling in SaaS to Drive More Conversions

When many people think of traditional sales, they often envision aggressively pushing a product and landing the deal. While making conversions is obviously important, the old-school “going for the jugular” style often does more harm than good these days, and leads are less receptive to high-pressure sales tactics than they used to be. One form of selling that’s gaining in popularity and can be especially potent is value-based selling.

To quantify, “87% of high-growth sales organizations now take a value-based approach to sales.” And many experts have gone so far as to call value-based selling “the sales methodology of the future.”

Here’s how to use value-based selling in SaaS to boost conversions and take your sales team to the next level.

Transactional Selling vs. Consultative Selling

First, let me start off by saying that value-based selling takes a consultative approach to sales where you listen and educate a lead while building a relationship with them and highlighting the value your SaaS product offers. This differs from transactional selling that’s mainly focused on the features and specs of a product, “pushing” it on a lead and making a transaction.

For perspective, here’s a comparison of transactional selling vs. consultative selling (the camp value-based selling falls under).

Now that we have a basic understanding of these two different styles, here are the most integral techniques for using value-based selling to win over more prospects.

Research Each Lead’s Unique Needs

A critical part of succeeding with this approach is avoiding a “one-size-fits-all” mentality and treating every lead uniquely.

“When researching a prospect, aim to understand their company and industry, background, and current pain points,” explains HubSpot. “By understanding these pieces of information, you’ll have a solid grasp of how to serve them best.”

While this, admittedly, does take time, it’s an essential component of the process. To ensure you’re spending your time on the right prospects, I suggest using a lead scoring tool, ideally focusing on sales qualified leads (SQLs) rather than marketing qualified leads (MQLs).

By default, this will filter through your list of prospects and ensure you’re only spending time on those that are ultra-high-quality with a strong likelihood of converting. And for the MQLs that aren’t yet ready, you can send them to your marketing team for nurturing.

Build Authentic Rapport

The initial stage of the process of researching a lead’s unique needs will come into play here, as it will set the tone as you build rapport. As I mentioned earlier, an essential part of value-based selling is acting more as a consultant rather than a conventional salesperson. So the goal is to stay personable and “human,” getting to know each lead as an individual.

One area where many salespeople go wrong is jumping into the sales discussion too early. While converting is always the goal, value-based selling takes more of a “long game” approach where you first get to know a person and build an authentic relationship so you can deliver genuine value and address their specific needs.

Clearly Demonstrate the Value of Your SaaS Product

The first two steps in the process will set you up for the most important part of the journey — where you directly articulate exactly how your SaaS product will improve a lead’s situation.

For example, marketing, automation, and email platform Mailchimp offers very specific value for its customers.

This includes:

  • Helping them convert more customers at scale by “driving more traffic and sales by setting up automations that trigger emails based on customer behavior”
  • Using automation to create “pre-built journeys that help customers cross-sell their products, recover abandoned carts, re-engage existing customers, and win new ones”
  • “Delivering personalized emails based on customers’ buying behavior, survey responses, chat interactions, and support tickets to promote loyalty and growth

Mailchimp is an arbitrary example, but you get the idea. The key here is to convey precisely how your SaaS product can help while speaking to a lead’s individual needs and pain points. If you can do that effectively, you’re almost guaranteed to succeed at value-based selling.

Use Customer Success Stories

At this point, you’ve researched a prospect, built rapport, and articulated the specific value your SaaS product offers. Now it’s time to connect the dots and bring it all home. And one of the best ways to do that is by offering customer success stories where you tell a lead about real-life examples of customers that have actually used your SaaS product and experienced genuine results.

Going back to Mailchimp as an example, they have several case studies on their website that highlight customer success stories.

You can take a similar approach, using examples of your current or previous customers that have seen serious results and tailor them to address the unique needs and pain points of the lead at hand. By seeing the impact your SaaS product has had in a real-life situation, this can be just what you need to get a lead over the hump and commit to purchasing.

Winning at Value-Based Selling

Let’s recap. Rather than taking a transactional approach, which is often the basis of conventional selling, value-based selling goes the opposite direction. It’s more about thinking long-term rather than making the immediate sale and concentrates on consulting, educating, and relationship-building.

And while it’s probably not feasible to use value-based selling for every single lead (MQLs don’t likely make sense, for example), it can have a tremendous impact when you focus on high-quality SQLs. With most of today’s high-growth organizations already using it, value-based selling is something you should seriously consider implementing into your SaaS strategy.

Looking to find A+ reps for your SaaS sales team? Learn how this sales assessment can help and why 91% of recommended candidates have positive on-the-job performance.

Why 90% of Companies That Use a Guided Sales Process Are Top Performers

There’s a lot that goes into successful sales. And even the best, brightest, most talented reps can benefit from some type of standardized system. One that simplifies and streamlines sales to convert the maximum number of leads into customers. And that’s where a guided sales process comes in.

For this post, I’m going to provide some recent data that illustrates just how big of an impact a guided sales process can have and unpack the essentials that go into creating one.

A Jaw-Dropping Stat

Let’s cut to the chase. The Sales Management Association, a “global, cross-industry professional association for managers in sales force effectiveness,” conducted extensive research on the importance of a guided sales process. According to their findings, “90% of all companies that use a formal, guided sales process were ranked as the highest performing.”

That’s about as cut and dry as it gets. Sales teams that establish a formal system create a replicable framework that enables reps to take someone from being a prospective buyer in the early awareness stage to a converted customer efficiently with the least amount of friction. And like most areas of business, a guided sales process will evolve over time. As more and more data is accumulated, you gain more customer insights and a better understanding of their psychology, motives, pain points, and overall profile.

New ABM Approach - How to define an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) |  Smarketers

You also can spot flaws in your process and make the necessary adjustments to fine-tune them. So over time and with continual iterations, your guided sales process becomes hyper-efficient and allows your salespeople to operate at their absolute best. Besides that, having a winning formula helps accelerate ramp time so you can get new hires up to speed more quickly and hasten their development. That’s important considering it takes an average of 11 months for most reps to reach their full potential.

Other Insightful Stats

But it doesn’t stop there. For a deeper perspective, here are some other interesting stats curated by Super Human Prospecting that further illustrate the potency of having a guided sales process.

  • “Businesses with a standardized sales process see up to a 28% increase in revenue as compared to those that do not.”
  • “50% of high-performing sales organizations admit having ‘closely monitored, strictly enforced, or automated’ sales processes.”
  • Conversely, “48% of under-performing organizations have non-existent or informal sales processes.”

Now let’s unpack these stats a bit more. For starters, a 28% revenue increase instantly caught my attention. To think that a guided sales process can have this much of a direct correlation to significantly higher earnings is extremely compelling. The data, which comes from a Harvard Business Review study, found that this type of effective pipeline management can be massively beneficial for boosting revenue. And it makes sense. By providing salespeople with a standardized system to follow and reducing friction points for leads, increased sales should naturally follow.

The second stat about half of high-performing organizations closely monitoring, enforcing, or automating sales processes shows that another key part of winning in this area is ensuring salespeople follow the prescribed methodology. This doesn’t mean micromanaging or making the process overly forced, as elite reps will usually need some level of flexibility to “do their thing.” But it does suggest there needs to be a baseline for salespeople to stick to and that sales leaders should keep an eye on things, especially during initial implementation.

Lastly, the fact that 48% of underperforming organizations have either informal sales processes or none whatsoever shows that the opposite is true. Companies without a proper guided sales process lack structure, which, in turn, puts them at a disadvantage when compared to competitors with a formal system in place.

The Essentials of a Guided Sales Process

At this point, I think we can all agree that, when done right, a guided sales process can be a game-changer. But what exactly should it include?

While the sequence will vary somewhat from company to company, I like the outline Super Office provides, which consists of six key steps. This includes:

  • Prospecting
  • Preparation
  • Approach
  • Presentation
  • Handling objections
  • Closing and follow-up

Here’s a nice illustration of how that looks.

sales process cycle

Notice how it’s cyclical, and after the final stage of closing and follow-up, the process starts all over again through either repeat sales or referrals. Obviously, not all customers will result in repeat business or a referral. But this bears mentioning, as research from Small Business Trends found that “65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers.”

So besides simply streamlining the process of acquiring new customers, this system also makes it easier for salespeople to capitalize on opportunities with existing customers as well. For more info on the nuts and bolts of the actual guided sales process itself and how to construct one for your company, I recommend reading this post from Super Office.

Closing Thoughts

Most sales leaders won’t be surprised that having a guided sales process is advantageous. But I doubt many knew just how big of an impact it can have. And we’re not talking about hypotheticals here. Results will vary, but with concrete data finding that 90% of top-performing companies use guided selling, it’s clearly a strategy worth implementing.

And as I mentioned earlier, the benefits can be far-reaching. Besides just helping reps do their jobs better, it can improve onboarding for new hires and create more opportunities for repeat business and referrals. So if this is something you haven’t gotten around to yet, now is the perfect time to get started.

When it comes to filling your talent pipeline with high-level salespeople, HireDNA can help. This platform uses cutting-edge technology like intelligent matching and science-based assessments to find rockstar candidates that perfectly match your criteria. Learn more about how HireDNA works and its features here.

The New England Patriots and How to Build a Successful Sales Team

The New England Patriots is an excellent model for what a well-oiled machine is supposed to look like. Since Bill Belichick has been at the reigns, The Pats has perennially been a 12-win team. That includes one year with Matt Cassel at Quarterback, and this past season with Tom Brady serving a 4-game suspension). Over the course of 17 seasons, Belichick has won 14 division titles, racked up 26 postseason wins (the most postseason wins by an NFL head coach), 7 AFC championship games, and 5 Super Bowls.

There are many things people can say about the “hoodie”, but one thing no one can discount is his level of consistency.

Outside of his short and dry responses to questions from the media, Belichick’s process-oriented approach to the game has contributed a lot to New England’s dominance.

Let’s take a look at a few principles that organizations can learn from the New England Patriots when building a high performing sales system. 


Know your Strengths

The Patriots have never been perfect. The Patriots won Super Bowl 51 with a flawed defense against a high octane offense in the Atlanta Falcons. Identifying and leveraging their strengths over their weakness is what Belichick and his staff do well.

On the offensive side of the ball, they were missing their superstar Tight-End, Rob Gronkowski for the last half of the season. They didn’t have a dynamic receiver like Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham Jr. to cover the slack. They didn’t have a dominating defense like the Giants or the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom”, yet they still found ways to win.

What’s their secret?

Belichick and his staff have a great track record of identifying and leveraging their strengths over their weakness.

Taking an honest assessment of what your sales force does well gives you clarity of what to do in the long run. It allows you to have a bird’s eye view of your sales operations, and take inventory on what actions should be taken to improve efficiently.

The Patriot coaching staff understands there is no way they can be great at everything.

Understanding the DNA of your sales team will help you determine how to build around your weaknesses, what skills your salespeople need to be trained on, and the adjustments to the sales process to overcome your deficiencies.


Create A Sales Plan That Aligns With Your Goals

“In their eyes, Belichick was playing a very strategic, intricate game of chess while everybody else was playing checkers.” – Curtis Martin on how much his former teammates loved Belichick.

In sales, your version of winning the Super Bowl is to meet your sales quota for the year.

No other team in NFL history has attained the level of success as New England. At the core of what influences their operation is the effectiveness of their system.

They approach each season by starting with the end goal in mind. Being clear on what your goals are and the benchmarks you need to achieve are crucial. Belichick and his staff stay on top of what the trends in the league are and adjust their tactics accordingly.

One of the biggest perks to having a clear and concise system, is everyone understands their role and responsibilities.

The Patriots attention to detail and preparation stands out from a lot of other NFL organizations. They lean heavily on data and analytics and utilize their insights to develop their strategy. In contrast, the San Diego Chargers, who have experienced some success over the years have struggled to sustain it.

When asked about his thoughts about analytics and how it effects his game plan, Chargers coach Mike McCoy said that it didn’t. McCoy said, “I’m going to go with my gut decision on those things. No one can tell me on a piece of paper this is the right thing or the wrong thing to do.” Well, we all saw how that turned out. The Chargers ended up with a 5-11 record, they requested to relocate cities, and McCoy lost his job.

Relying on your gut instincts and not having a clear sales plan or playbook is a recipe for disaster.

Having a documented sales process and system is at the core of growing your business. It allows you to be clear about who the right people are for your team’s unique needs and creates transparency for your team.


Have The Right Players and Personnel

“You go to the draft board and think, ‘Here’s a nose tackle. Who needs a nose tackle?’ Well, eight teams in front of you need a nose tackle, and there’s [only] two nose tackles. It’s something you have to figure out where you can get the players to play in your system.” – Coach Belichick

Although it’s Belichick that gets all the accolades as being one of the greatest coaches ever, he didn’t do it alone. New England has some of the best analytics and coaches in the game.

Ernie Adams has served as the Director of Football Research for 16 seasons. Belichick and Adams regularly conduct a deep analysis of game film, stats and trends. These insights are used to develop plays and schemes, prioritize draft picks and determine who they should go after in free agency.   

In your sales organization, you need someone you can lean on to advise on the types of sales professionals you need for your system. 

Now, you may be saying to yourself, it’s easy to be successful when you have an elite Quarterback to execute the game plan. It’s easy to forget that the 5-time Super Bowl MVP wasn’t supposed to be here. Tom Brady was a backup QB, who was drafted in the 6th round of the 2001 draft.

What Belichick and his team understand more than anything, is strength is NOT the same as talent. When Brady was coming out of college, scouts said that Tom lacked the tools to be a starting Quarterback in the NFL. It turned out that what he lacked in talent he was able to overcompensate for with his football IQ.

The difference between the New England approach to free agency and others is that The Patriots focus on selecting the RIGHT player for their system, not necessarily the best.

When the Pats decided to upgrade their wide receiver core this past offseason, Belichick could’ve easily splurged. Mohamed Sanu, was a big name in free agency last season, but Belichick ended up signing Chris Hogan. Sanu ended up signing with Atlanta for $32 million with $14 million guaranteed (653 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns), while Hogan signed a 3-year $12 million dollar deal (680 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns). Who got the better deal?

No matter what your feelings are about the Patriots, their close to 20-years of dominance is unparalleled, especially in the salary cap era. New England’s ability to assess their strengths, recruit and train players that fit their system, and the uncanny ability to abstain from investing too much in low return free agents is the crux of their longevity.   

Everybody wants to have a team full of “Rock Star salespeople”. The truth is, the sum is always greater than the parts, and nobody does that better than the New England Patriots.

By creating and defining a sales system, identifying and building around your strengths, creating a recruiting strategy to attract and retain the right salespeople for YOURorganization, and having the right tools and technology in place, you’re in a great position to exceed your sales targets.