5 Mins Read

How to Design Bigger Deals in SaaS Sales

Brandon Fluharty |

Brandon Fluharty |

⚡️ Today’s level up ⚡️

Last year, I wrote about the power of using a Maturity Model to 10x my income. Not all Maturity Models are created equal however. Today’s edition summarizes a special session led by Marco Ambrosio for the Make More Hustle Club. Here is the content and concepts Marco taught the group.

Let’s go!

Read time: <7 minutes


It starts with Greek philosophy

Source: Strategy & Storytelling

Before we get into designing a Maturity Model that helps you position a larger transformation deal with your prospect or client, we first need to get clear on the art and science of persuasion.

Now I’m not the biggest fan of the word “persuasion” in sales, because it has a bit of a “salesy” (and hence old school sleazy) vibe to it. But we can’t deny the fact that we do have to be “persuasive” in the way we speak and present in order to get others to take action.

Luckily, the right principles on persuasion have been around for 2,400+ years (thanks Aristotle). All you need to do is understand them and incorporate them in your next pitch meeting.

There are 3 key principles to Aristotle’s Persuasion Triangle (APT). Nail them, and you’re 80% of the way to a successful pitch meeting.


1. Ethos (Character): “Character of the speaker”

“Proofs from character are produced, whenever the speech is given in such a way as to render the speaker worthy of credence—we more readily and sooner believe reasonable men on all matters in general and absolutely on questions where precision is impossible and two views can be maintained. … character contains almost the strongest proof of all, so to speak.”

Translation – there are 3 core components you need to embody, as this is what your audience is asking themselves when you speak:

– Character (or virtue): Are you a person of integrity – someone the audience can believe is telling the truth?

– Credibility: Are you a person that knows what they’re talking about?

– Authority: Are you a person with specific knowledge that is worth listening to?

Key point from Aristotle: The speaker must not only establish credibility prior to the speech/presentation but also maintain it while delivering it.

“But this [credibility] effect too must come about in the course of the speech, not through the speaker’s being believed in advance to be of a certain character.”


2. Pathos (Emotion): “Disposition of the audience”

Proofs from the disposition of the audience are produced whenever they are induced by the speech into an emotional state. We do not give judgment in the same way when aggrieved and when pleased, in sympathy and in revulsion.”

What Aristotle is telling us here is that how our audience perceived (and acts upon) our message is determined largely by the emotional state they are in.

There are two considerations to make when aligning to the emotions (disposition) of your audience:

– The current emotional state: What is the audience feeling right now? That way, you can meet them where they are.

– The target emotional state: Where do you want to take the audience? What do you want them to feel at the end of your meeting?

For example, if you are going into an important meeting to discuss transformation using your products and services, and they are a current customer who’s frustrated with how their current agreement is structured – be sure to meet them there first and then bridge appropriately to where you ultimately want them to be by the end.


3. Logos (Logic): “The speech itself”

“Finally, proof is achieved by the speech (itself), when we demonstrate either a real or an apparent persuasive aspect of each particular matter.”

There are a few things to consider:

– Remove the fluff and anything from your presentation that is inconsistent or does not support your main thesis.

– Make sure your content passes the “reasonable test.” Even if an executive disagrees with your conclusion (not a bad thing by the way), is your argument at least reasonable?

– Make your message and call-to-action as clear and understandable as possible. Clarity sells and complexity smells.

Understanding these principles are key, because it helps you and your account team define who’s going to present the Maturity Model to your target audience.

Keeping your ego at bay and knowing when to run with it or delegate it is the key to unlocking 7 and 8 figure deals.


The 2 types of Maturity Models

Last year, I shared an example of a Sales-Centric Maturity Model. It was by far my most dowloaded free guide.

However, there are pros and cons with this type of Maturity Model.


Sales Centric Model

You’ll be able to move fast with this type of model, but it loses one key piece from the APT (Pathos – the emotional bridge you want to take the audience on).

The best time to use it is when you have a strong relationship with your Mobilizer and you want to align with them on the appropriate purchasing steps to move forward on the transformation journey.


Company Centric Model

When delivered by the right person, this type of model helps brings together all 3 principles of the APT: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.

In just 2 slides, you can help anchor the executives in the room with not only the emotional connection of wanting to transform, but also the logical path to making it a reality.

In every meeting and design session I orchestrated, these two slides were easily the most impactful and where we spent the majority of our time.

20 minutes in to one meeting with a major retailer, the CEO said this was “the most interesting thing he had seen in the past 3 months,” and asked “what do we need to do to get there?”

Nothing tees up unlocking a multi-million dollar deal better than that.


Key items to have in place before you pitch

→ The team you need in place to build this:

– Harmonize these distinct points of view: Industry, Value, Scale, Product

– Assign a subject matter expert to each one

– You can move faster by using an expert facilitator (someone trained in running design sessions)


5 things to know:

– How long does it take to get through each stage?

– What are the biggest challenges and where do they happen?

– Where are the majority of your customers on this model?

– How often do you update this model?

– Do you have any key partners in place to help with system integration/services?


→ 8 key principles for creating a high value model:

– Pathos: Make it about them while still including the main outcomes you deliver.

– Start in Reverse: Work backwards from where the market or their customers expect them to be in 5 years.

– Objective: Include quantitative metrics where possible.

– Implementable: Don’t ignore operations or the operating model that get them to the promised land smoothly.

– Defendable: Develop cross-functionally and pressure test internally.

– Flexible: Think heat map vs everything neatly in one column.

– Simple: If the design looks complicated, then the path does too.

– Double click: You’ll want one high level conceptual slide and one medium level – the medium is where you’ll win.


→ 3 things you can do immediately:

– Reflect: Infuse Aristotle’s framework into every presentation and meeting to speed up pipeline progression and qualifying out.

– Inspect: See if your company’s Maturity Model holds up to the 8 principles. Find the creator. Ask questions.

– Direct: Identify the right people for your key team and pitch your Sales Leader to build or refresh a more effective Maturity Model.


Elevate your game

This is not lighthearted work, but when done right, it has a massive impact on your clients, company, and commissions.

I attribute the $27.3M ARR I closed in less than 4 years (which led to $3.7M+ in personal earnings) to effectively leveraging a Maturity Model in every engagement.

I had a team of experts I assembled for each account. We always anchored to the right Maturity Model for the client.

Although I hope this edition gives you a lot to think about and discuss with your sales leaders, there is so much more to unpack.

It’s why I invited Marco Ambrosio, who introduced me to the Maturity Model, onto our last Make More Hustle Less Monday session.

I designed this club around giving the sales community the strategic selling skills and operating system I used to become a multi-millionaire through SaaS sales and retire from the corporate world at age 42.

You can access the full session, resources, customizable slides, and expert facilitator to bring this into your own organization. You’ll also get access to 12+ additional hours of secrets of the 7 figure performer.

2 ways to unlock it:

– You’re already a 7 Steps to 7 Figures student – JOIN HERE

– You’re brand new to this content – UNLOCK HERE

That’s a wrap – see you next time!




About Marco Ambrosio

Marco Ambrosio helps companies, products, and people grow. Known as a serial intrapreneur and people-first leader, Marco has built 8 figure service offerings from scratch, helped land multiple 8 figure SAAS deals, and bootstrapped products from 0 to launch in multiple countries. A master facilitator, he is a design strategist and innovation executive by trade. Connect with him on LinkedIn and invite him to help your organization design an effective, transformation Maturity Model.



When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

1 | Unlock the 7 Figure Seller OS

Most subscribers combine the 7 Steps to 7 Figures system along with a membership to our Make More Hustle Less Club (select the Intermediate option) where we put the system in action as a community (big changes coming and prices will increase soon!).

2 | Book a 1:1 advisory session

You can book a 60 minute session with me here.

3 | Apply to my Category of One 1:1 coaching program

All Q1 slots are filled, but I will be selecting Q2 spots in about 3 weeks.

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