SaaS-only VC Jason Lemkin recently wrote on the SaaStr blog that SaaS founders should listen to him and to the original core message in the award-winning, bestselling book Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross: “Invest in both inbound AND outbound sales early.”
Jason rightly points out that many founders are often scared of outbound and “prefer to answer inbound contacts.” But, of course, building a great company isn’t about what you prefer: it’s about what works. And outbound works.
Jason says (the emphasis is his), “If you can get even 5% of any cohort, of any sub-segment, of your targeted buyers to agree to do a demo out of a LinkedIn connect, a targeted email, or even a phone call…you have something.”
Even a phone call! Imagine calling someone on the phone to let them know about your breakthrough SaaS offering!
Imagine, indeed. But actually do it? Most don’t. Would you? After all, Lemkin is talking to “SaaS founders,” most of whom have zero experience with outbound phone calling. They have been told “cold calling is dead,” and, while they desperately want their new SaaS baby to survive and thrive, maybe they don’t want it so badly as to try something so, well, old-fashioned, something so quaint, as picking up the phone.
And I agree with them: “pounding the phones” to get “5% of any cohort” to take a meeting with you is quaint. Worse, it’s wasteful. You will end up in voicemail, or worse, more than 95% of the time. You will get frustrated. You will want to drive a stake through the heart of that not-quite-dead-enough zombie called cold calling. And you will give up after an hour or two. I would too.
Or, more likely, you will give the job to a junior person and let them eat the frustration and pain. And when they complain that it’s hard to get that “cohort” on the phone, you will let them use email instead, hoping to break through the noise on the world’s noisiest marketing (not sales) channel by coming up with the world’s cleverest subject line. You will get some bites. You will not, however, get “5% of any cohort” into a demo. You will be lucky to get 5% of the cohort to even open these emails before discarding them, much less to take a demo.
Where There’s a Will…
However, there is a way — and it works every single time. Here it is, step by step:
- Shoot an email to me — email@example.com — with the subject line, “Jason Lemkin says I should invest in outbound.” Indicate three time slots when you’re available for us to talk. Or, if you prefer, just give me a call on my cell at 408-203-4321. When I answer, which I usually do, say, “Jason Lemkin said to call you.” Or text me. Or send me a calendar invite with the same subject line. I’m easy.
- Invest 15 minutes with me to learn about a breakthrough that lets you, as an SaaS founder, become an instant outbound powerhouse — and have fun doing it. (Ignore the fact that this seems impossible.)
- Invest another 4 hours — but ZERO dollars — to experience this breakthrough, personally, in production, and with real results you can take home and monetize.
- Armed with 100% reliable knowledge gained from personal experience, take another look at Jason’s powerful advice.
The fact is that as a SaaS founder, you are a complete zombie-slayer when it comes to turning outbound into demos. You just need the right weapons and a quick lesson on how to use them. Give me a call and find out just how right those smart guys Jason Lemkin and Aaron Ross are about investing in outbound.
Don’t delay. Time’s a-wasting.