063 – 50/40/10: Why Your Product Only Makes Up 10% of Your Success | Mark S A Smith

063 – 50/40/10: Why Your Product Only Makes Up 10% of Your Success | Mark S A Smith

As founder of the Bija Company, Mark S A Smith (@marksasmith) designs and implements sales, marketing, and customer acquisition systems that find and recruit willing buyers for disruptive products. Along with being an author and entrepreneur, Mark hosts the Selling Disruption podcast and writes over 250,000 words per year. His next book is, rightfully named, Selling Disruption.

Having been an engineer prior to getting into sales, Mark likes to figure out how things work and apply that to his sales systems methodology to help executives become more effective and more efficient.

One of the most asked questions Mark gets is, “how do I beat the competition?” Mark challenges that question. It shouldn’t be how to beat your competition. The question you should be asking is, “how can you help your customers beat their competition.”

When you lead with curiosity to understand your prospect’s customers, you can create alignment between them and your offering.


  1. Sales is Change Management: This is especially true when we’re selling disruptive products, but it’s our job as salespeople to change how our prospects view the world and show them how we can help them achieve their desires. Anything else, Mark says, is narcissistic or even psychopathic.
  2. Saving Money and Saving Time are the Two Worst Value Props: Both concepts are limited value propositions. The limiting factor of saving money is taking what a prospect is currently spending and lowering it down to zero — whatever the number, you can’t go any farther. With time, there’s no such thing as 100% efficiency, so this proposition is also limited to a finite ending.
  3. Maslow Drives all Deals: When you’re selling at the top of an organization, executives are more vision driven than they are pain driven. While I don’t disagree with that, I did challenge the notion that pain based selling is counterproductive in those situations.Mark says once a person has moved past the first few rungs of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs they are focused on inventing a future that does not yet exist using methodologies that have not yet been invented and they will partner with companies that will help them get that vision.

Book Recommendation


  • CostelloWhat if every sales rep inherited the habits of your best rep? With Costello, they do.
  • The pipeline-centric system is strategically built on a proven selling methodology that keeps teams focused on the only thing they can control in sales – actions that push deals to close.

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