This perception is one of the primary reasons SaaS sales cycles are slow: Your solution is considered a nice-to-have, not mission-critical.
And obviously, this can be the case – however…., in 9 out of 10, this it’s something you have total control over.
As the headline suggests: It’s a “perception.”
It’s the story your prospects tell themselves.
Why? Because you haven’t convinced them in clear terms why it IS mission-critical.
When people go out to market to buy a new [CRM, ERP, HCM – name your favorite acronym] – they look at the project in isolation.
More often than not, they’re not specialists in buying new technology.
They’re a specialist in the job they do – and technology is just helping them.
Here’s where the problem arises:
👉 If they don’t see how your solution is going to give them a significant advantage – it’s nice to have
👉 If they only see a nicer UX or easier application management because now it’s “SaaS,” – it’s nice to have
👉 if they hear vague promises like ‘you’ll be more efficient, have more control, and have better insights’ – it’s nice to have
Mission-critical is what the name suggests: it’s software vital to the functioning of an organization.
Because it is vital, they’ll very likely already have something in place – even if that’s entirely manual.
And as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broken – they won’t fix it.”
And that’s precisely where the opportunity resides: To discover what’s broken.
What I’ve seen working time after time to turn ‘nice-to-haves’ into ‘mission-critical’ is this:
- Connect the dots to what’s changing for them internally.
As an organization, they have aspirations about where they want to be in X years. These aspirations result in evolving goals. And that’s where mission-criticality grows.
- Connect the dots to what’s changing for them externally.
Mind you; your prospect operates in a market. And each market has external forces that create new opportunities and new threats. So your prospect has a choice here: Anticipate and adjust or do nothing. That’s where mission-criticality grows.
- Envision with them what’s the risk of doing nothing. What could this mean for them personally – and what could this mean to the business. Think about the things they’d try to avoid at all costs: churn, reputational damage, profitability crisis, not meeting investor expectations, etcetera
What you’re effectively doing here is getting to the essence.
It provides clarity. It’s sending a strong message to your buyer that you care, understand their business, and what creating impact is all about.
It helps them make the progress they need, and that’s genuine.
So a question to reflect upon.
How many deals are stuck if you review your current SaaS pipeline because your prospects perceive your solution as nice to have?