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Do You Need to Sell Your SaaS Product to Skeptics?

By Ryan Law on Mon, Oct 26, 2015

From Technology Enthusiasts through to Conservatives, we've learned how to sell our SaaS product to each crucial stage of the technology adoption lifecycle. Now, there's only one hurdle standing in the way of total market saturation: skeptics.

Who are Skeptics?

Any type of new technology has a long journey ahead of it.

Before it can gain public acceptance and widespread appeal, it has to progress through several stages of market adoption. At each stage of adoption, your SaaS product has to appeal to a unique subset of buyer, and it becomes necessary to re-frame your sales and marketing efforts to appeal to their unique motivations:

Skeptics represent the final barrier to total market saturation; and like the segments before them, skeptical buyers will approach your product with a unique set of motivations and needs. Unfortunately, those motivations and needs boil down to a single statement of fact: skeptics hate your SaaS product.

While the early market is characterised by a desire for change, innovation and disruption, the late market becomes increasingly resistant to change, only adopting new technology in light of definite performance gains (pragmatists) or definite performance losses (conservatives).

Skeptics take this attitude a step further, with a near point-blank refusal to adopt new technology, irrespective of its impact on their business.

Skeptics are the binary opposites of technology enthusiasts, using legacy solutions until the option no longer remains. They're prone to criticising new technology, irrespective of its proven success, and value tradition, stability and the status quo above all else.

Skeptics will do anything possible to resist new technology, no matter how widespread or popular it becomes, even to the extent of damaging the performance of their business. Instead, the only way to get your SaaS product into the hands of a skeptical audience is to force it upon them: secretly integrating your technology into another solution they already use.

What Do Skeptics Care About?


In the simplest possible terms, skeptics hate and fear change. New technology often displaces existing solutions, and changes established processes; and even if those changes are overwhelmingly positive, skeptics will still view new technology as an ineffective, unnecessary and unwelcome intrusion.

Job Security

Much of the skeptic's distrust of new technology stems from fears over job security.

In the same way that old school marketers fear the visibility and accountability offered by marketing automation platforms (like our own HubSpot), skeptics often distrust technology that has the potential to dramatically change their current role.  

Instead of embracing new technology, and using it to improve their performance, they resent change being forced upon them, and cling to the 'old way' of doing things.

Bad Experiences

Some skeptics may have had negative experiences with other forms of new technology.

Onboarding processes may have been slow and ineffective, costs may have soared with little warning, or software may have seriously under-delivered on their expectations - and their perception of new technology has soured as a result.

...and Little Else

Unlike conservatives, skeptics are almost immune to the influence of social proof or peer pressure. Skeptics have little concern for public perception, and no amount of case studies, tesimonials or recommendations will change their attitude to your product.

How to Sell to Skeptics

1) Don't Bother

By the time skeptical buyers become a concern, new technology has already saturated 84% of the market. The remaining 16% are a seriously tough sell, requiring you to commit a ton of energy and resources to coerce, badger and bully them towards a sale. 

In the unlikely event of closing a deal, you'll find yourself burdened with a low-margin (even loss-making) customer: somebody that doesn't value your product, and resents paying for it.

Simple question: do you even want that kind of customer?

2) Instead, Diversify

Instead of spending valuable resources trying to sell to skeptics, go after new markets. Whilst selling to technology enthusiasts, visionaries, pragmatists and conservatives isn't always easy, at the very least, these types of buyers will always benefit from your product. 

Instead of trying to force a sale onto buyers that don't want your product, you can spend time developing new innovations, and forging new partnerships with customers that are excited to use your SaaS product. After all, there's more to growing your SaaS business than getting customers: you need to get the right customers. 

Discover how to attract right-fit leads to your SaaS product, by downloading our free eBook below.

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