"What can I help you find?"
That's the question Josh Harcus used to grow revenues at Hüify 6X in a one year period. We heard about this story from Kyle Jepson at a HubSpot event and we just knew we had to invite them on to the show.
So here they are, Inbound Sales Professor at HubSpot Academy, Kyle Jepson, and renowned author and sales leader, Josh Harcus, on the latest episode of the Helping Sells podcast. We talked to them about how SaaS companies should think more like retail stores when it comes to talking to their customers.
Providing value before the sale
One reason that inbound sales tends to work better than traditional outbound sales is that inbound is hyper-focused on providing value to leads and customers before you extract value. Inbound wants to as much value to leads as possible before any money changes hands, whether that's through helpful content, a free product lesson, or a guiding hand on where to find the best answer to any question they may have.
This is the tack Josh and his team at Hüify took, trying to be the helpful guide. The team at Hüify calls every lead within five minutes of them submitting their contact information on the website, asking if they can help them find the information they were looking for. Not to sell them, but simply to ask the lead if they needed help finding the information they wanted. That's it.
"Did anyone find this a bit creepy?" Bill asked. "Not really," Josh explained. "I only know of one person who was annoyed." Everyone else was just surprised to be speaking to someone so soon, but that's it. The sales team presents themselves as a guide or helper to the lead, teasing information from the lead slowly, as they guide them to the information they're looking for. Leading questions help guide the sales person to the information the lead was looking for, but otherwise there's no pressure to sell, no pressure to book a demo.
The lead appreciates finding the information they're looking for and Hüify leaves them with a positive experience. Something that almost always dovetails into an actual sale at some point in the future. (Witness Hüify's 6x increase in sales in the first 12 months they started this practice.)
Bringing the retail shopping experience to SaaS
This idea of sales acting as a guide to leads and customers is similar to what we experience when we shop at a retail store. There are clerks in the store who often will ask customers, "Can I help you find anything?" within a few minutes of you entering the store. They're not pushing anything on you, simply asking to direct you to what it is you are looking for.
This notion of guiding leads and customers can work for SaaS companies too. "It opens the gates for what you sell," Josh said. When sales people immediately pitch a lead on their product, they end up pitching themselves into a corner. They limit themselves on the amount of sales they can achieve with the lead or customer because they're so focused their product. Everything they say is focused on the one product and the one feature it has, often missing the other benefits it can have.
"It's the Jobs-to-be-Done idea," Kyle chimed in. "The job people are hiring your product for isn't always obvious." In a retail setting it can be easy to find out the other ways people want to use a product or the other reasons they're looking for it. With a SaaS product, companies are too focused on THE idea they think everyone will want it for, instead of finding out the other reasons they may want it.
To listen to the entire conversation we had with Kyle and Josh, check out the latest episode of Helping Sells here, on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, SoundCloud, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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