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High-Impact Sales Training Techniques for Software: Key Lessons for Success

Are you struggling with sales techniques for software? Discover the key lessons for successful software sales!

I am pro salespeople, so when a salesperson calls me, I tend to take the call. Those of us who ask people to make cold calls should have the common courtesy to take cold calls, but not all of them.

A recent call from a person selling software got me thinking about the mistakes software sellers routinely make. His software is designed to allow leaders to document their coaching sessions, something I don’t think is necessary. I explained that I had no need for this software. He continued by asking me to schedule 30 minutes to see his demo. While I am okay taking a call, I value my goals and my time enough that I would not spend 30 minutes on something I don’t want or need. After trying multiple times to convince me to view his demo, he confessed he gets paid for each demo. I was not willing to help him with his income while I was working on my own goals.

Another salesperson called to offer me the chance to see their brand-new software before any of my competitors. Naturally, I had no need for the FOMO-creating demo. After I told this salesperson I didn’t need a demo, he started listing out the software features. Before we parted ways, I gave him my best advice on how he might improve his sales results. The salesperson asked if he could role-play what I shared with him. He asked a number of questions, and I gave him the answers.

Yesterday, a salesperson called me to show me their new CRM software. I explained that I acquired my first 286 Pentium computer in 1991, and that I know what a CRM looks like. I asked him, “Is there a box with the First Name followed by the Last Name, and maybe their email address and their phone number?” He laughed and continued his pitch for a demo, explaining that they were taking market share from the company that makes my current CRM. It would be rare to have to explain a CRM to a person you believe will buy a CRM. I asked him to answer why I should change, causing him to hem and haw a bit, trying to come up with a reason. We both failed to find any reason to rip out my CRM and replace it with a new one.

Key Insights on Selling Software Successfully

I believe that there are 4X more SAAS solutions than the number of stars in our universe. This is not unlike other industries that have many companies swimming around in the red ocean. All these many and varied sales software are capable of doing what they are supposed to do.

Lesson Number 1: Sell Outcomes, Not Features

Stop trying to sell your drill and start selling the hole. No one wants to buy software. They want an outcome that is important enough that they would spend time exploring the software. If you call people to bother them about a demo that creates no value for them, you would do better to explain the strategic outcome that might cause a decision-maker to entertain a conversation. You should believe that no one wants your software, but they do want an important outcome.

Lesson 2: Answering the “Why Change?” Question

In all three of these real scenarios, none of the salespeople were able to answer the question “Why change?” Unless and until you have a compelling reason the prospective client must change, you will have a difficult time booking a demo, as the client has no need. Like Lesson 1, this isn’t true for software sales alone; it is important for any B2B salesperson and every sales organization.

Lesson 3: Novelty Isn't Always Enough to Close the Deal

In the age of artificial intelligence, most other software pales next to it. You might have something different, but without an answer to “Why change?” and a truly strategic outcome, novelty may fail to cause your prospective clients to buy new software. This is especially true when they are paying monthly for the other software they are using now.

Lesson 4: Tailoring Conversations to Leaders and Teams

The conversation you have with a leader is not the same as the conversation with the end users. When you ask the CEO to join a demo, you are not likely to get their time. A leader will need a conversation about why they should change and the strategic outcome important enough to give you their time. The end users will need to see the demo to ensure the software does what they need.

We can apply these four lessons to B2B sales in other industries. It would be rare to find B2B sales training that would teach these four lessons. If you sell a commodity, it is almost certain that you will need to observe the four lessons in this article.

Before you leave this article, make a checklist of these fabulous four lessons and how many of them you need to practice going forward. If you are a sales leader, the best B2B sales training will have your sales team addressing the lessons you find here.

Do good work, and I will see you tomorrow.


Sales 2024
Post by Anthony Iannarino on May 31, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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