This article was published on 13 November 2020
As part of #SouthernSaaS2020, it was fantastic to hear from J. Ryan Williams - an experienced builder of sales teams in Silicon Valley who has taken three companies over the $100m revenue mark. He focused on how to market and grow SaaS businesses through effective sales.
“I love New Zealand,” J. Ryan said at the start of the session. “One reason I love New Zealand is because startups there seem more structurally sound.” Talk about warming up the room!
J. Ryan was firm that sales advice “often sucks”, and that one company’s success might not work for another. “It’s not right to say, I was successful in Silicon Valley, so I know what works for you.” He touched on taking the mystery out of sales success, and likened sales to a continual experiment. “If you’re a technical person, knowing that it’s just an experiment makes it all easier. J. Ryan boiled it down to a simple method. “This is my prediction,” he said, “this is what I’m going to test, and this is what happened”
One of J. Ryan’s key points on sales was articulating a specific problem and then communicating a method which creates value for your potential customer. He ran through a series of closed, open, scaled, and prioritisation questions used to figure out how best to discuss with them your SaaS product. “Ask your clients questions on calls,” he added. “And not just about your product. Get a sense of who’s who, what problems they’re facing, and about their industry as a whole.”
Attendees walked through case study business profiles alongside three Kiwi SaaS professionals discussing their startups – a big thanks to these three and to J. Ryan who ran an awesome session.
Stay tuned for more insights over the next two weeks of our virtual conference Southern SaaS 2020, made for software-as-a-service (SaaS) professionals looking to network, upskill, and inspire in New Zealand’s growing digital product sector.
Join our Kiwi SaaS community for valuable connections, capability opportunities, and advice from industry experts.
Southern SaaS 2020 is a virtual conference arranged by New Zealand’s innovation agency, Callaghan Innovation, for software-as-a-service (SaaS) professionals looking to network, upskill, and inspire in New Zealand’s growing digital product sector.