If you’re buying new software for your business, do you want to write a check, put it in an envelope, and mail it from the post office?
Most people would say, “No thanks!” It feels wrong to use such old-fashioned buying methods to purchase a very high-tech product. Shouldn’t buying software be just as easy as using the software itself?
In fact, it should.
B2B companies should aspire to build a buying process that is as seamless as what many B2C companies already offer consumers. One of the keys to Amazon’s success has always been the ease of purchase on their site – just add what you want to your shopping cart and click “Buy.” Your B2B customers probably use and love Amazon, and they expect their B2B buying experiences to be similar.
Your company can’t afford to stick with old-fashioned sales methods. If you want to easily convert interested leads into happy customers, you need a completely frictionless buying process that makes it easy for someone buy your product, and buy it now.
SaaS Makes it Simple
Software-as-a-Service businesses have taken off in part due to the incredible ease of purchase compared to traditional software. Modern buyers simply aren’t looking to lock in a contract for 5 years with an expensive, on-premise solution that will be out of date in a year. Instead, SaaS products offer:
- Inexpensive monthly payments
- Minimal configuration and setup
- Fast time to value
- Ease of use
- No long-term commitment
However, some companies have still made it too difficult to buy their SaaS products. You have to build a buying process that doesn’t offer any impediments to the buyer at any stage. Your company should have a clear outline that shows the buyer’s process – from first engagement all the way through to their first billing cycle. Even if your business already has paying customers, you could be missing out on a ton of deals if the buying process isn’t fully optimized.
Converting Free Trials
One of the most popular ways to easily onboard new customers is through the use of free trials. A free trial offers customers the ability to try out some version of your product easily and quickly, with no commitment and minimal interaction with sales. A free trial is incredibly appealing to buyers because they get a chance to see exactly how your product works and whether it’s right for their business.
However, it’s not enough to just offer a free trial and step back – you need a plan to convert those free users into paying customers. Some companies offer a full version of their product for a limited period, while others offer a free pared-down version of the product that teases customers with capabilities and makes them want more. You have to find what works best for your product and your industry, and find a process that entices users and pushes them to buy after a trial.
A frictionless buying process should make it simple and easy for a prospect who loves the free trial to immediately buy. One step that often holds buyers back is the actual act of talking to a sales rep, negotiating a deal and paying for the product. Forget the checks and the lengthy, faxed legal contracts – you need to make it simple and painless for your customers to purchase your software after trying it out for free. Have your team of sales reps use a sales tool like TinderBox to auto-generate contracts and enable easy electronic signatures to close deals fast. Your pricing page should be simple to understand, with each software tier clearly explaining what the buyer is getting for what price. That doesn’t mean your reps can’t negotiate or offer deals, but your pricing structure shouldn’t be a labyrinth. Eliminate any step that complicates the act of paying for your product.
For SaaS companies, the potential to upsell existing customers is also a huge part of business growth. This means that it should be incredibly easy for customers to buy more seats or licenses any time they want. The best way to encourage additional sales is to make buying low-touch to no-touch. If your customer’s business is growing and they need to buy more seats for new hires, why waste your sales rep’s time in selling to a happy customers?
Instead, you should offer some way for customers to click to buy more without calling your help line or even sending an email. Whether that means you have an in-app purchase button or form, you can decide. This is both great for your customer and great for you – the cost to acquire new business in this way is incredibly low. If you really want to drive your Monthly Recurring Revenue, aim for these easy upsell opportunities.
No matter how easy it is for prospects to buy your product, you can make it easier. Carefully examine your entire buying process and find any areas that tend to slow down the process. By offering a Saas product with free trials, easy payments, and quick upsells, you’ll see revenues take off.