If you are still writing checks to buy software, then read on. This is just for you! Most companies would now cringe at the thought of putting a check into an envelope and posting it. It is not surprising that some companies still do it but thankfully B2B SaaS product companies are making it easier. To think of it, orthodox buying methods do not make sense for purchasing SaaS products. You would agree that buying B2B SaaS products should be as simple as using the product itself.
We all are so familiar with e-commerce platforms that we expect the “Buy” button to provide the same buying experience even for B2B applications. And why Not? Google and Twitter are now letting you buy indirectly from search or from a Tweet respectively. That’s the kind of seamlessness and simplicity organizations expect when buying B2B products.
New age businesses demand new-age sales methods. It is absolutely important to create a frictionless buying mechanism to allow prospects become customers.
One of the most important reasons for the sky-rocketing popularity of B2B SaaS products is their ease of buying compared to traditional on-premise software products. Organizations are not at all comfortable with on-premise applications that have long lock-in period, expensive upgrade process and the fear that it will sunset over a period of time. B2B SaaS products score highly on the following:
- Inexpensive and flexible subscriptions plans
- Ease of configuration and use
- Use till needed (with no long-term commitment)
However, the Buyer’s Journey for some B2B SaaS companies is still dotted with ambiguity. If the journey needs to be simple and seamless, then it requires clear-cut strategy that entails simplifying the process from first contact till first billing cycle to subscription renewal. This is true not just for new customers but even for existing ones.
Frictionless Trial Conversions
Free trials are the most popular way of onboarding new customers or prospects. The mere fact that prospects are able to try out a version of the product to see if it fits their business need is enough to appeal to the buyers. And in some cases, the icing on the cake is that the trial is free, easy and quick to use with no commitment and marginal interaction with sales team.
Free trial is not a magic wand that works by itself. It can bring some traction but cannot guarantee conversion if the prospects are not nurtured till they become paying customers. Each of the phases of trial should be designed carefully to work their magic. The following figure illustrates one of the engaging ways to make the buying process as simple as possible.
Different trial strategies work for different products. For some, trial access to a full working version for a limited time works. While for others, a toned down version is enough to pique the interest of prospects. It takes some time to study and find out what works best for your product.
Seamless Payment Mechanism
Whatever be the trial strategy, at any point, the buyer should be able to upgrade without having to go through the lengthy negotiation process that includes, complex pricing plans and contracts. This step of the buyer’s journey is the most important one and keeping is as seamless and frictionless makes or breaks the entire experience. To keep interaction with sales as minimal as possible, the pricing model and structure should be simple and transparent. This is opposed to making it look like a labyrinth of hidden costs.
Selling (and buying) Never Stops
Existing customers are as important as acquiring new ones and that’s why the B2B SaaS companies should also give considerable focus on upsell as this plays a significant part in revenue growth. If the value provided by the product is huge, which warrants the needs for buying additional licenses, then the buying process should be as low touch as possible. This frees up the sales team’s time to focus on new wins.
When we say low touch, it should ideally not entail any calling or emailing but as simple as single-clicking on the “Buy More Value” button to get more licenses. This way, both the customer and you as a B2B SaaS company are happy.
All said and done, it is absolutely important to analyze the entire buying process to find and eliminate impediments that slow it down. Fine-tuning this step of the buyer’s journey will ultimately justify all the effort that went into creating the SaaS product.