A sales rep lives in one of the most vital and difficult roles of the sales industry, particularly in SaaS or B2B sales. They hold the responsibility of identifying prospects, engaging said prospects, then driving value and interest to turn a perfect stranger into a sales qualified lead. With complete control over the top of the funnel, sales reps can make or break a company's revenue performance. No pressure, right?

With all the challenges a sales rep faces, one commonality applies to each of these stages - know your product! The following explores three difficult questions every sales rep can answer by fully understanding the product they sell.

What is a "good fit" company?

The first stage in a sales rep's cycle is to identify "good fit" companies - AKA prospecting. The easiest way to establish a good fit company is to know the capabilities and limitations of your product. Is your product geared toward a specific industry? Is there a maximum employee, customer base, or revenue number required for your product to be effective? Will the service reach of a company affect your ability to help them?

Good fit criteria to consider:

  • Industry
  • Size or number of employees
  • Current customer base
  • Annual revenue
  • Service reach (local, regional, national)

This information is fairly easy to find through the world wide web or the dozens of prospecting software programs available. If you understand your product's limitations before you begin prospecting, qualifying or disqualifying companies becomes second nature.

Who really cares about my product, and how do I get them to talk to me?

The key to identifying a decision maker lies in understanding the need your product fulfills. Does your product help companies find new opportunities? Does it help manage or close current opportunities? Is it built for retaining current clients? The purpose of your product will point you to the right department within an organization and guide you in creating compelling messaging.

The next step is engagement. Create your messaging with personas in mind! Marketing, Sales, PR, Customer Service, and Executives all have different metrics for success within their correlating roles. In order to drive action, it is vital for a sales rep to not only understand the KPIs of their prospect, but also understand how their product directly affects that metric.

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How is my product different from my competitors?

One of the most difficult hurdles for a sales rep is creating the need for action. With the competitive marketplace we live in, odds are many of your prospects are already using one of your competitors' products. What can you do to overcome stagnant prospects and drive action?

Know what makes your product different from the competition, and be ready to explain why their current efforts aren't good enough! What can you offer that no other competitor can? Research the competition, and drive conversations with the unique differentiators of your product - specific to the persona you're speaking to.

A deep understanding of the product will ease the pains in each stage of a sales rep's day-to-day. It builds confidence in what you're trying to do, and prospects can tell when you believe in what you sell.

Remember, decision makers hold their company's best interest above all else...if a sales rep doesn't know their product, they will struggle in identifying, engaging, defending, and selling in the B2B sales world.