How To Get Clients Without Relying On Your SaaS Partner With Doug Davidoff

Accelerating Sales to Scale your Business


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If you’re waiting for your SaaS partner to bring more business, you should rethink your go-to marketing strategy. Doug Davidoff, a HubSpot Elite Partner, is here to explain why you shouldn’t rely on your partner for getting leads and how inbound continuous to work to get you leads. He also shares his sales process and a unique approach to keeping conversations going.



03:04 – What are the problems Doug solves for his clients? Making a tradeoff decision.

04:52 – How's the current economic climate impacted companies' perspective on growth? You still want to do things to keep motion going.

08:20 – The go-to-market strategy. Don't rely purely on the SaaS partner.

12:01 – Educational approach on your ideal client. The goal is to know your customer better than they know themselves.

20:07 – Why you shouldn't rely on your partner for leads. Don't partner with anybody on the basis of revenue share.

31:49 – Choosing a horizontal instead of vertical. It's about defining a problem set and solving it.

35:09 – The best source of leads. Inbound continues to work.

38:32 – Deep Sales Dive. Doug's sales process.


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The go-to-market strategy

For Doug, everything starts with the single most important question every business executive should answer every day: ‘Who do we want to be a hero to?’ We’re talking about your ideal client profile. Over the course of 18 years, Doug’s company has probably changed that profile four or five times. And when they change the profile, everything about the company changes because that is what defines them.

In the beginning, the problem that they solved was sales structure. And then, they moved to how companies were managing lead generation towards the full funnel. A few years later, they were focused on what is now called revenue operations, and what they do for customers is get them out of their own way.

The trick here is to spend most of your attention on understanding customers’ problems that they haven’t quite fully identified. How? What are the gaps they have there and seek to position the outcomes?


Educational approach on your ideal client. 

Doug is convinced they strive because they really dig in and understand, listen very closely, and watch what their ideal client watch. He’s seen sometimes people that don’t have an affinity for their market, which makes it harder to take that educational approach because great opportunities come when you know your customer better than they know themselves.

And along this journey, Doug discovered that customers might have been looking for your solution before but didn’t know your approach existed. They knew they had a problem but didn’t know the right way to solve it. And that’s how educating yourself about your client’s problems is what gets them to say they need you.

Yes, demonstrating expertise and thought leadership gets the word out, but those don’t influence behaviour. And this is another mistake that he sees constantly. Instead, the idea is to deliver insight about what they think they know that isn’t so. You want the person to think that they might be doing something wrong. The message is not about why you should buy from us. It really is why should you talk to us? Why should you consider this? Why should you spend time investigating? And if that person is the right profile and you start a conversation about growth, you will win over your competition.


Why you shouldn’t rely on your partner for leads 

Doug’s golden advice about partnerships is that you should not partner with anybody on the basis of revenue share. If they want to give you revenue share, that’s fine. But in the business of delivering a set of services, how do you grow your business? Do you think your partner wakes up every morning asking how they can make the world better for you? They’re making decisions for their platform, and you’re making decisions for your business. Don’t ever forget your job is to serve your client.

But some people still complain about why their partners are not sending them more business. From Doug’s experience as a HubSpot partner for 11 years, they brought them in because of what they’ve done, and they took them five or six years to understand. People have the idea that life would be easier if their partner would get them more business. And when you do that, that entitlement attitude will never help you grow. It’s not until you don’t need them that you can truly absorb what a partner can bring to the table, and you can truly pursue sustained growth.


Inbound leads

Doug’s inbound engine continues to work. They continue to deliver a unique point of view, and their lead generation strategy is giving a lot away. They give a lot away about the problem, not as much about the solution. But to make it work, you also have to be able to articulate and define who your customer is and who are the people that fit your customer. 

But what is the secret to getting those inbound leads? If you can generate a relationship with 200 companies that view you as somebody they could ask a question to get an answer for something that matters, a percentage of them are going to have a problem. So if you have a relationship with 200 companies and 6 to 10 companies are going to reach out when they have a problem, half of those will begin to take action, and you’ll generate two to five different opportunities. 

So spend less time worrying about getting the sale or setting the appointment and more time just establishing the basis, mutually helping each other, having conversations, and business will happen. You can’t control whether they have a problem this month or not. You just have to be there so when it happens, they think of you.


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The Sales Deep Dive

What are the sales habits that help you accelerate your sales?

I try to read something that I know my customers are reading.


What are some of the tech tools you use to accelerate your sales?

We’re huge fans of Seventh Sense, which is an email delivery optimization tool. Email is such an underutilized channel, and it’s harder than ever to make it work. Sharing documents is also a big issue for us, and this new company, Cloud Files, has a really sweet interface.


If I could grant you one wish for your business, what would that be?

It would be clarity. I hate it when people are playing games. So let’s just put our cards on the table. And if it makes sense, it makes sense if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. So, clarity and directness.


What’s something you wish you had started earlier?

I’m going to share one thing I wish I’d started earlier. And the other thing is something that I have to keep reminding myself all the time. What I wish I had started earlier is understanding the importance of plumbing. The smaller things make the bigger difference, so I wish I had known the importance of plumbing earlier.

And the thing that I always have to remind myself is the focus should be velocity, not speed. And that means far more often than not, slow and steady wins. US Navy Seals have a mantra: ‘Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.’ And what I find is that everything takes longer than I thought it was going to take. But when you keep the focus on consistency, I look back to what we were doing two years ago, three years ago, and I just, I can’t believe we’re doing what we’re doing today. I just need to remind myself that that’s the key, that consistent, ongoing element is what makes the difference.


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About Doug Davidoff

Doug Davidoff

Doug Davidoff is the founder and CEO of Imagine Business Development. He’s directly advised more than a dozen companies that have successfully sold for a combined value of more than $1 billion. Doug started as a HubSpot partner in 2011 and is now an elite partner with a team of 22 and is great at picking horizontals. Doug knows the difference between what works and what sounds good and doesn’t work.





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