Customers today aren’t buying the way they used to – they control the buyer’s journey. They are more informed and knowledgeable, and want to buy on their terms when they’re ready. Customers don’t want to be sold to, they want to find the right solution for their pain point.
Today, many SaaS companies adopt a “try and buy” approach. Give potential customers the freedom to explore the product before making purchasing decisions. But, don’t relinquish all control – a successful “try and buy” model requires a great user experience and a structured sales process. You must prepare to provide informative, educational assistance to help your customers choose the best solutions for their business.
This blog will walk you through 3 key steps to roll out an effective “try and buy” selling model that guarantees sales and customer satisfaction.
#1 Simplify the trial experience
The idea of “try and buy” is not new in the software market. Back in the old days, you had to download the trial version, install it, set it up, and try it out. And then 30 days later, when the trial was over, you would have to go back and buy the full version, download that and do all the configuration once again. It felt like software companies were trying to make it harder for you to test their products.
In the on-demand world of cloud applications and platforms, hardly anybody is willing to go through such hassle. First, find an efficient way to offer a trial of your services. For example, provision a fully-functional trial environment online that enables sign on with a few clicks. Spin up an environment with automated schedules and configuration.
The cloud makes it much easier to offer trials for your customers. The faster you can get trials up and running, the quicker you can accelerate the buyer journey and boost customer satisfaction.
#2 Leverage marketing as the new sales
Develop marketing strategies and produce online content that drives prospects to these product trials. Digital deliverables include e-books, smart papers, infographics, social titles, blogs, and videos – which are easily shared and consumed on any device. They should educate prospects about alternative technology solutions, emphasize the differentiating benefits unique to your product, and offer customer testimonials and case studies.
Once a product trial begins, marketing messages can help your sales team lead prospects to purchase. By offering integrated training, feature tours, best practices, and so forth, vendors can help trial users recognize more of the value of the offering and better convert trial prospects into paid subscribers.
Vice versa, you can use these marketing assets to collect data about your prospects by creating gated content that requires leads to provide their information before downloading an e-book or infographic. Such data will help you qualify your prospects, identifying those who are ready to take advantage of the trials and help salespeople prepare a targeted message for the leads.
#3 Add value to the buyer journey
Buyers can now find virtually all the information they need online, including comparisons with your direct competitors. They don’t want a lot of sales calls, but they do want the option of speaking to a product specialist while assessing a trial product. Hence, you must engage early in the sales cycle and offer personalized assistance at no charge.
Find out what they need from you to add value to the customers. Otherwise, they’ll have no reason to engage you at all.
Ultimately, there are three things every customer wants to know:
- Why Buy: Identify their important initiatives - understand what are driving their IT investments and be able to show how you can help them meet their goals
- Why You: Compare with other possible alternatives to your solution – ready to position and differentiate your product from that of competitors
- Why Now: Demonstrate quantifiable ROI – align your product’s capabilities, operational benefits, and financial value with the company’s key strategic initiatives.
In the “try and buy” selling approach the lines between sales, customer service, and marketing blend together. If done properly, you can create a much more enjoyable buyer process while reducing time and resources to close the deal.