How to Close More SaaS Demos – Mor Assouline
From Demo to Close offers Sales Demo Coaching for AEs in B2B SaaS companies. Founder of FDTC, Mor Assouline, previously struggled with sales and even gave up on it completely for a while. Eventually, he refocused and mastered sales. Now he helps coach others to do the same. In this interview, Mor Assouline shares with us how to close more SaaS demos. Check out this interview if you want to start closing more SaaS sales demos.
[00:00:02] – Peter
Okay, so I’m here today to interview Mor Assouline, from From Demo To Close. And we’re going to be talking about Mor’s background and how he was one of the first employees in some SaaS and tech startup companies and how that’s led him now to run his business as a sales coach for founder-led sales businesses and SaaS companies that have around sales operations. So, thank you for joining me more. Can you tell me a little bit more about yourself, your background and what you’re working on now?
[00:00:36] – Mor
Yeah, for sure. So my background is in tech SaaS startups, B2B SaaS startups. I would always go into an early-stage company, whether either no employees, just the founders, go in as the first employee turned VP of Sales within a matter of months and then have to scale that company and hire and train. So I’ve been a VP of Sales three times in a row, took a company from a little less than 1 million ARR all the way to 10 million ARR. Some of them got acquired and for a lot of money.
And recently, around October, November time is when I sort of like got out of the VP of Sales role and decided to go my own and start FDTC, which is from them to Close, where I train AEs and B2B SaaS companies, how to close more demos. A lot of times some of the companies I work with are founder-led sales, so there’s a coaching aspect and then there’s sort of a training aspect. Some companies would need to start off with training first and then coaching to reinforce it. So it depends.
[00:01:39] – Peter
Great. Okay. I love the way you’ve transitioned. Obviously you’ve got loads of experience in SaaS sales, building sales systems teams, building up the businesses. So how did you take your knowledge, how did you distil that into your coaching that you’re doing now? So you’re obviously focusing now on how to deliver great sales demos that close, right? How did you distil your knowledge into this coaching programme that you have?
[00:02:10] – Mor
Yeah, well, so one of the things I’m very adamant about is when I was the VP of Sales, I would document everything and then I would edit and tweak it based on new learnings, but I would document everything. I had the playbooks that I built out for the company and then I had my internal playbook for me. So if I were to go into another company as VP of Sales, I have my internal playbook to go off of. So I already had so as like, I would do demos myself or train the AEs to do the demos and I was like, oh, that’s a really good way of pitching a feature. That’s a really good discovery question.
I started documenting this and then when I launched FTC originally, it just launched as, this training course. And so I just brain-dumped everything alongside whatever I had on the document. So that was like version one. And then what I realised was in order to train people to do sales, call or discovery, whatever it is, you need to have frameworks for them to go off of. It’s easier to remember the framework versus remembering in-the-weeds details.
[00:03:12] – Mor
So I started taking all the information that I brain dumped on this document and building up frameworks for it. So, for example, if you are talking about a feature and you want to talk about the impact of a feature, there’s a certain framework that I use that I got, I tell I teach AES and founders how to go about it versus just talking about the benefits of the feature.
[00:03:34] – Peter
Great. Okay, brilliant. And so can you talk us through what are the typical tips and lessons that you have for any SAS founder out there that is selling through demos right now and how they can improve their demo close rate?
[00:03:50] – Mor
Yeah. So most SaaS founders that are doing founder-led sales, it’s their company, it’s their baby. So what I’ve noticed is they end up talking about all the bells and whistles and all the cool features that they think are super impactful. But the truth is, the prospect doesn’t really care. The prospect either reserve 35 minutes, 45 minutes, an hour of their calendar to find out, hey, I have a problem. Show me how you can solve my problem.
Problem is, founder comes in and says, let me show you I can solve your problem and let me show you a bunch of other stuff. The prospect doesn’t care. So the most important part of the sales process is the discovery. That’s where you’re collecting intel. Where I find founders make a mistake is they’ll ask the prospect something like, even a’s do this. What’s the reason you scheduled the demo? Prospect says, oh, we’re looking to increase efficiency internally for our team. Oh, well, you’ve come to the right place. Our company does this and they start feature dumping. So the discovery is the most important part. That’s where you should really the only words that should be coming out of your mouth are essentially questions because you’re collecting intel.
[00:04:55] – Mor
One of the most important questions that every person should be asking on a demo is what’s the reason you decide to schedule a demo today? Assuming, by the way, it’s an inbound lead because a lot of companies are doing outbound activity. So there’s that. You have to set the context there. So assuming that you have a demo request on your website, prospect books it, you get on a call. Peter, I appreciate you jumping on the call today. Out of curiosity, what’s the reason you decided to book a demo with me? You’re going to get a reason. You’re going to get like an initial response.
The mistake that most people make is they take that initial response and run with it. What they should be doing is go a layer deeper beneath the initial response. So you tell me more. The reason why I booked a demo with you is because our team are not doing well on demos, and we need to close more. So what you need to do as a person doing the demos is dissect that. So, Peter, when you say your team are not doing well on demos, how do you mean?
[00:05:54] – Mor
So that is a framework. So when you get an initial response on the discovery, you want to go a layer deeper, repeat back to the prospect what they said and then follow it up with how do you mean? What tends to happen is the prospect starts to extrapolate and starts to elaborate and tells you a lot more detail. So the first thing I’d recommend is focus on the why, which is the motivation. It’s the reason why they decided to book the demo. They decided that an hour of their time with you is really important. So that’s the first step.
[00:06:25] – Peter
I love it. And then you’ll get to the underlying issues right. Which might be some context around why their demo close rate isn’t very high, what might be happening in their business and their team, any kind of other factors that might play into it. Right.
[00:06:43] – Mor
Yeah. You’re trying to figure out processes and motivation and all that. So you should have a list of discovery. I call them pillar questions, so main questions to ask. And then you can have your other questions that you can either ask early on or save for the demo when you’re doing the demo.
[00:07:00] – Peter
Okay, so this is pre-demo. Right. You’re not showing them anything on the product yet. You’re just getting them on a call, you’re understanding why they book the call, and then you’re digging a little bit to get deeper into the underlying reasons or drivers that led to them booking a call with you, right?
[00:07:19] – Mor
[00:07:21] – Peter
What’s the best way to transition from that? How do you know when you’ve done enough discovery and the right moment to transition into the demo?
[00:07:30] – Mor
Yeah. Your product has certain features that you’ve built out, and those features help solve certain problems. So in order for you to find out which feature to even talk about on the demo, you need to identify the problem so you can sort of match them together. So that’s on you. You should know your features well enough to know which problems they match. So that’s the first thing.
One of the things that you should incorporate into your discovery before you do a demo I’ll maybe go through the framework right now is you want to set the objective of the call. Then you want to set the agenda of the call, then you want to do an upfront contract, then you want to go into your discovery questions. So I’ll demonstrate for a minute. So imagine you booked a call with me today. I would say something like peter, appreciate you jumping on the point of today’s call. I’m setting the objective. The point of today’s call is to learn a little bit more about your business and a little bit more about what you’re trying to accomplish and your challenges and see if we’re able to solve that.
[00:08:30] – Mor
If not, that’s totally fine. And if we are, that’s great too. As far as what we’re going to COVID on the call today, I’m going to ask you a couple of questions just to understand a little bit more. Then I’ll go into the demo to show you which functionalities and features you can pull to solve XYZ problem. And then towards end, we’ll talk about onboarding next steps and pricing. Does that sound fair? You’ll say okay. I’ll say, great. And Peter Upfront contract, my only ask is, for whatever reason, if you feel like it’s not a fit, would you feel comfortable telling me? You’ll tell me yes.
That’s the upfront contract. The reason why I’m doing that is it’s a micro commitment. I want you to commit to me early on so as I’m going through the demo and when I get to the pricing and the closing, you’ll feel very comfortable telling me the truth. You’ll say yes? Okay, great. And then I go into my discovery questions. You have a list of questions. Once you are done with the questions, the point of the questions, remember, is for you to understand the prospects problems and if you feel that you can solve those problems.
[00:09:29] – Mor
So if you feel like you can solve the problems, you say something like this, great. Well, I appreciate you answering all these questions, Peter. Based on what you’re telling me, it sounds like and I’m going to repeat back the problem it sounds like you’re dealing with X-Y-Z. And based on that, we do have functionality that will allow you to solve that problem. So let me share my screen and show you how we do that. And I transition into the demo. And maybe the first screen could be a little bit of a background about the company if you want. But the idea is you do a recap of what you’ve learned from Discovery and then you’re like, all right, let me now share my screen. And then you transition to the demo.
[00:10:04] – Peter
Yes. Hey, I love that. What did you call it?
[00:10:06] – Mor
A micro contract or mini micro commitment? It’s a micro contract a micro commitment?
[00:10:12] – Peter
Yeah. I love that because I’ve never heard of that before or I’ve never seen somebody do that. And I think what’s great about it is that sometimes on the sales calls, you get an objection, which might not be the real reason. It might just be something to get out of the situation. Okay. They might just give you X reason. Okay, we’re looking at a couple of products. We’re going to think about this and come back. But you haven’t really understood what their objection is right. So at least that frames it and gets them to agree and commit to enabling them to share what their real objection is. So you can actually handle that or use it as feedback for future sales demos. Would you say that’s the purpose of that?
[00:11:01] – Mor
Yeah. The micro commitment? Yes, and I’ll talk about objections for a minute. So the micro commitment, the purpose of that is so when you get to the end of the call and you talk about pricing, what tends to happen is when people don’t ask upfront, like, hey, can you will you tell me the truth? They get to the end and they’ll ask the process. So what do you think? Is this a fit? And the prospect is beating around the bush. So by you asking the prospect to commit to you, to be honest, at the end, it’s going to be a lot easier for the prospect to open up.
Going back to objections, I only use the words and say the word objection and rebuttal and overcome, just because that’s the nomenclature of the industry. People know what objection means. But I think it’s a wrong way to think about things. When the prospect is saying, oh, that’s not going to work for us, or I have to speak to my colleague after this call, or the price is too high, it’s not an objection, it’s a concern. They have some underlying concern. Your job isn’t to overcome it, it’s to understand the concern.
[00:12:05] – Mor
So when you go into hearing objections, instead of hearing, you thinking, what concern does the prospect have? The language and the words that you use afterwards are very different. They’re not salesy. So if the prospect says, the price is too high and my job is hold on. What’s the concern? Is the concern high or value?
So I’d say something like, Peter, when you say price is too high, how do you mean? I’m trying to understand that’s the first thing when I hear a concern, and then I’ll maybe isolate the price. Peter, for the sake of this conversation, let’s put price aside for a minute. Besides the price, what other concerns do you have about what I’ve shown you? Because I’m trying to understand if it is price or if it’s value. Oh, no other concerns. Then maybe it is a budget thing. So I think a little rule of thumb for anyone listening is when you hear an objection, think concern. And when you are wanting to overcome, think, understand concern.
[00:13:04] – Peter
Great. I love those tips. I can see how through your coaching, you can really get people to think about the right way, have a structure for their demo, frame it well for the prospect, and deliver a good experience that actually addresses their concerns. How do you wrap up? What’s your close for the demo? How do you finish up?
[00:13:29] – Mor
Yeah. So when you say close, you’re talking about asking for the close, or just like wrapping up the entire call.
[00:13:35] – Peter
Well, I know obviously in sales, we’ve got this concept of the closing close for it, but I know you mentioned that you’ll talk about pricing and say, what do you think? Could this be a fit for you? How do you generally wrap up the call from there? Do you aim to book another follow up conversation? Is that what your kind of goal is for the end of the demo, or are you actually looking to sign them up there on that demo?
[00:14:04] – Mor
Yeah, it depends on how the demo is going after the feature. So one thing that is extremely important to do is after you show the prospect of features that are fit to their problems, you want to get post feature feedback because you want to know, based on what I showed you, Peter, is this what you’re looking for? Because if it’s not, then I can’t move on. I need to find out.
So I’m doing this throughout the call because by the time they get before the pricing, I’ll say something like, peter, before we go into pricing, based on what you’ve seen so far, I know you mentioned that you’re dealing with XYZ Challenge. Based on what I’ve shown you, do you feel like ABC companies are fit for you? Because if it’s not, there’s really no point going over pricing. So I want to first gauge interest. If you say yes, it’s a fit. All right, let’s go over pricing. We go over pricing if everything is a fit throughout the call and at the end, and I know that your timeline is ASAP, that’s a question you need to ask on Discovery. What’s your timeline then?
[00:15:02] – Mor
I’m going to try to go in for the close. So far, it seems like it’s a fit based on what you’re telling me. And you mentioned that you’re looking to implement something like this literally ASAP because your team are bleeding revenue. So what else would you need to see in order for me to earn your business today? That’s a straight close question. Just ask for the close. If, based on the call, there are still pending questions that I have to get back to you that I don’t know the answer to. I don’t know yet if it’s a fit because you’re not sure if it’s a fit, then I’m not going to go for the close.
The way I’ll wrap up, I’ll say something like, peter, basically, I’m looking at my notes here. You asked me three questions, and I’ll repeat back the questions. I’ll get back to you on those questions. Why don’t we do this? Why don’t we set some 15 minutes on the calendar for Monday at 02:00 P.m.? This way we can go over those questions together, because by then, I’ll already speak to my developers and I’ll have the answers. Does 02:00 P.m work for you on Monday?
[00:15:59] – Mor
And then if you say yes, I’m going to send you the calendar invite while we’re on the phone. I’m like, hey, Peter, I just sent you a calendar invite. You get it? Yes. Okay, cool. Great. So I’ll speak to you, I’ll speak to Monday. Any other questions? Great. No? Cool. And I hang up.
[00:16:12] – Peter
Perfect. That’s great. Hey, More. Thank you so much for sharing your tips. I think there’s a lot of value in their founders. Anyone doing sales demos I think could really benefit from the tips you shared with us today. So I appreciate that and also potentially from your training. So how can anybody cheque out more about what you do and potentially sign up? If they’re interested?
[00:16:33] – Mor
Sure, they can go to my website demo to closed. I’m currently doing a revamp, but the website that you go to now is the current and stage of the website, and there’s more information there. And then you can book like a discovery call with me to understand if that’s what you really need. You can also cheque me out on LinkedIn. I’m sure you can drop off the link and then I have a podcast that they can listen to as well.
[00:16:53] – Peter
Super. That’s fantastic. Okay. Yeah, I’ll grab the link off you and I’ll add it to the description.
[00:16:57] – Mor
[00:16:58] – Peter
Thanks again for joining us. It’s been great to meet and have this chat with you.
[00:17:03] – Mor
Thanks to you.
[00:17:04] – Peter
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