Episode 57: Steven Benson – The Evolution of Sales

In our SaaS Fuel™ Episode, Jeff is joined by Steve Benson, CEO and founder of Badger Maps, the number one app on the App Store for outside salespeople, and Badger Sales University. In this episode they explore a common question founders ask:  “How can I fund my idea and get capital to scale?” 

Steve brings uncommon insight into SaaS growth and funding options. He shares his journey of bootstrapping and his decision not to raise capital when it was time to scale up (and what he did instead) Using this strategy, Steve was able to make investments, hire people and steer the company in the right direction. He delivers sales insights on the differences between remote and in-person selling, and how to build strong relationships with customers in any environment. No stranger to media, Steve is the host of Outside Sales Talk, a podcast specifically for outside salespeople.

Key Takeaways

00:00:48 Jeff’s Spring Break: An “almost-skiing”-career 

00:06:28 Steve’s Founder Journey: A Story Of Persistence And Value Creation

00:08:16 The Inflection Point: Mapping is Difficult and Hard Thing To Do

00:10:08 How to Start a Software Company Without Venture Funding

00:12:04 Bank Risk Tolerance Doesn’t Include Financing Unproductive Enterprises

00:14:41 Marketing Has the Lowest Net Present Value But the Best ROI

00:15:24 Resource Availability Determines Early Hiring Strategy

00:16:33 Organization Structure Matters and How It Benefits Your Business

00:18:41 Building A Strong Sales Team:

00:18:55 Putting Layers in Place, Put Customers First

00:20:22 Cash Flow Management and Forecasting Are Essential

00:21:46 Revenue-Based Loans Change Your Repayment Amount

00:24:30 Money Professionals Have Dozens of Small Jargon to Cheat You Over

00:25:34 Steve's Clever Loan Escape 

00:26:28 The Evolution of SaaS Over The Years

00:29:06 Recognizing SaaS is Essential To Economy and Business Transformation

00:30:20 Shocking Truth: How Many Ways Our Solution Can Be Used!

00:31:12 Badger Sales University – Sales Training for ALL – Including You

00:34:56 Coaching and Leveling Up Your Team Regardless of the Economy

00:36:25   Face-to-face Meetings Accelerate Sales

00:38:01 Remote Sales: Faster, Cheaper, but Better?

00:39:24 Get to Know About Badger Maps

00:40:54 The Legend Of Badger Maps

00:42:37 The Trick to Pick A Global Name

Tweetable Quotes

“A lot of startups die because they don't listen to the person who's really talking to the customers.” – 00:19:15 Steve Benson

“Paying attention to the terms is so important.” – 00:26:11 Jeff Mains

“We often need to relearn to prospect and rethink who we're selling to in a bad economy.” – 00:36:12  Steve Benson

“I mean, face-to-face meetings are really important to lots of different types of sales. They shorten sales cycles. They need relationships, and I think they're always going to be important.” – 00:36:57 Steve Benson

“And you got to read contracts real carefully. Anyone that deals professionally in money you have to be real careful with because they've got lots of little terms to screw you.” – 00:24:34 Steve Benson

“Growth is one area where you never want to slow down and you certainly don't want to fall down.” – – 00:03:29 Jeff Mains

SaaS Leadership Lessons

  1. ALWAYS listen to the person who actually talks to customers.
  2. Reading the terms carefully is very crucial! That's a really important indicator to keep an eye on.
  3. Your company's business structure will affect taxes, personal asset risk, and your ability to raise money from angel investors or venture capitalists.
  4. Raising debt capital from lenders in the SaaS industry can be a good alternative to raising venture money. Get SaaS Funding
  5.  The first salesperson for a startup should ideally be someone who can really sell, not a manager, or someone who talks a good game.
  6. Seeing customers face-to-face is crucial to many different kinds of sales and relationships are essential to their well-being.
  7. In-person meetings are still important for sales. Phone or internet interactions can work but may be clunky and awkward.
  8. Training in the art of negotiation is something that everyone should periodically revisit. 
  9. Pipeline tracking and management is a worthwhile endeavor as a motivator, especially in a down economy.
  10. The Internet is a public forum, so if your product stinks, people will talk about it.
  11. Train up your sales team at Badger Sales University.

Guest Resources

Steve Benson (Linkedin): https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevenbenson

Steve Benson (Twitter): https://twitter.com/SteveBenson

Steve Benson (Instagram): https://www.instagram.com/stevebensonsf/?hl=en

Badger Maps (Instagram): https://www.instagram.com/badgermaps/?hl=en

Badger Maps (Twitter): https://twitter.com/BadgerMaps

Badger Maps (Linkedin): https://www.linkedin.com/company/badger-mapping-solutions

Badger Maps (Website): https://www.badgermapping.com/

Badger Sales University: https://badger-sales-university.teachable.com/

Resources Mentioned

Steve Benson (Linkedin): https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevenbenson

Badger Maps (Website): https://www.badgermapping.com/

Badger Sales University: https://badger-sales-university.teachable.com/

Outside Sales Talk: https://www.outsidesalestalk.com/

Google: https://www.google.com/

Scaleworks: https://www.scaleworks.com/

Element Finance:https://www.element.fi/ 

[Leonard Capital] 

Founderpath: https://founderpath.com/

Google Ads: https://ads.google.com/home/

Sarbanes-Oxley (Investopedia): https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/sarbanesoxleyact.asp

Siebel (Oracle): https://www.oracle.com/cx/siebel/

iPhone: https://www.apple.com/iphone/

Episode Sponsor

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