A lot of sales jobs terminate with the sales rep saying, “This product is not sellable” or “I can’t make any money here.”
Many people I know will brush off these statements as petty excuses…and assume that the sales rep just failed in that role.
That’s fine, everyone can have their opinion, but sometimes the rep is right…it’s not sellable. But how do we know who’s right?
Here is the one No-BS way to tell if your product is sellable:
After buying from you, do more than 50% of end-users utilize the product in the exact way the marketing, sales, and executive teams all agree that the product should be used? Then…do more than 90% of customers renew and/or buy more?
If not, it’s probably UN-SELLABLE!
Customer Behavior Tells You Everything
If your customers don’t use your product as intended, you’re toast. If you are selling software and someone bought 50 seats, 5 of which are used on a monthly basis, your product will be one of the first to go when your customer’s CFO gets pressure to cut budget.
If all of your users are actively engaged and they are renewing without a question, you’re in great shape. Anyone who can’t sell in this type of environment should get out…the product IS sellable!
Prospects See More Than You Think
If your customers are not using your product as expected, you can bet that your prospects see that (at least as a possibility) during the sales process.
“Well, the sales rep is saying everyone will use it…but I know my team and I’d bet they don’t…at least after a few months.”
Your prospect knows their co-workers, and if they think they won’t use it, they won’t buy. However, prospects likely won’t bring up this objection, because it’s a tough one to argue. So…what do they do? You guessed it…say the price is too high, they don’t have budget, or something else that’s harder to argue.
If your customers aren’t engaged and happy with your product, expecting a salesperson to hit their quota is a pipe dream. Your product isn’t sellable.
Back Channels Exist
If you sell to several companies in the same industry, you can bet that your prospect knows your other prospects and customers. They all talk. When things “get weird” and prospects stop talking to you or customers cancel without great reasons, it could be due to companies sharing information with each other.
Even if you have rockstar sales reps, if their prospects are getting negative information from peers they trust, your product isn’t sellable.
What if it's Not Sellable?
In cases where the product isn't sellable, management and the sales team need to have an adult conversation and develop a plan. Maybe you pre-sell something that's being built. Maybe the sales reps move into an evangelist role for a quarter. Maybe everyone moves on and does something else.