The Psychology of Selling SaaS.
I find it interesting to jump on calls and sell Blue to potential new customers.
I hear lots of the same pain points repeated over and over again:
- Lots of manual work going on
- Difficulty in reporting on who’s done what.
- No ability to audit or keep people accountable
- Existing systems are clunky or difficult to use
And when I show them Blue, I can see that the wheels start to turn and that they like the platform.
But, I sometimes feel I am selling something that is not good enough. This is because I have seen the development from day one to when the platform could hardly do anything, to the present day, where it is flexible enough to handle myriad use cases for companies in dozens of verticals.
I do enjoy reading the detailed release notes of some of the competing platforms, which have often raised hundreds of millions in capital. In one specific one, the CEO discusses hiring over a hundred new engineers by the end of the year and committing to fixing x,y, and z bugs.
Obviously, we’re not the only ones having problems behind the scenes!
This is, in some ways, comforting. Misery loves company 😉
I believe that this feeling closely mirrors the problems of social media. You know everything about your life, warts (hopefully not literal!) and all. But you only see the highlight reels of other people’s lives.
And so, a type of cognitive dissonance happens when you are trying to present yourself to the world. You know the full you, but you only need to present a tiny fraction of you for public consumption. You don’t share your fears, or your anxiety for the future.
In other words, your bugs.
The same way when selling SaaS. One presents this excellent platform and pain this beautiful picture of the future. But, simultaneously, you know that there are 174 bugs in the backlog and that you’re still halfway through a significant infrastructure update.
However, I think this will always be the case. There will always be a difference between what we show the world and what we know to be true behind the scenes.
This may or may not bed a bad thing, I’m not sure. I think it depends on the gap between the reality of a situation and its presentation of it.
If that gap is small, then this is fine. You are simply removing noise from an otherwise accurate image of reality.
If there is a big gap, you are moving from white lies and omissions towards fraud.