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A frictionless buying experience offers the customers a good mix of both—a delightfully automated product experience punctuated by the sales handshake when needed.
Here are six specific ways to fine-tune your sales approach so that you can design a customer-focused buying experience:
There is no debating that free trial is an amazing gift to the SaaS world. But now that free trials have become a default practice in the SaaS world, many brands offer them without putting too much effort into them.
In fact, in some cases SaaS trials frustrate a lot of buyers. Their biggest complaints include complicated sign-up processes, difficulty in setting up the software, product configuration, and usability issues.
Begin by making the new user sign-up easy.
Set up an email nurturing cadence simultaneous to the trial period to help the new users make the most of your product. Give your prospects quick and easy options to contact you directly if they have any queries.
Remember that it’s better to not have a trial offer at all than to offer a faulty buying experience that’s a waste of time for both you and your customers.
Depending on the kind of customers you are targeting (e.g., enterprise, healthcare, defense), you might be better off offering a free product demo instead of free trials.
Some brands—like Avoma—offer both ( a 14-day free trial and also an option to schedule a demo).
One way to improve the demo booking experience is — embed a calendar right on the demo page to let them pick a convenient date and time for the demo meeting. This helps you to avoid the back and forth in email correspondence once the customer requests the demo.
If you offer your prospects a free trial of your product, you might want to add a human touch to it for better impact. By design, most product trials are set up in a way where sales is entirely cut-off from the automated process.
Instead of leaving your prospects at the mercy of their self-discovery, give them the option to reach out to the sales reps for assistance when they want to. The idea here is to remove friction in the process, and not push a hard sell.
While some SaaS brands have no problem making their pricing publicly available, some others are very secretive about their pricing plans. While some brands have valid reasons for not sharing their price openly on their website, you can always give a starting range.
Also, pricing can be used as a qualifying parameter to deter the wrong target audience. Sharing your pricing information right out of the gates sets the right expectations for the customers and helps you save time and resources.
While offering annual-only pricing seems profitable, you need to offer the monthly billing flexibility too. If you trust your product’s capability to solve real-world business problems, then you will naturally have the confidence to offer a fair and flexible subscription option, and let customers choose what they want to do.
Allow them the space to crawl, walk and then run.
One of the fundamental mistakes that SaaS brands make in ruining the buying experience for their customers is—they deliberately partition the discovery call from the product demo for no specific reason. It’s just part of their playbook.
As a customer, would you like to be in three levels of discovery and qualification calls before you get to see the demo? Obviously, no.
If a prospect has already researched your product inside-out and if they pass your initial qualification criteria, you can use the discovery call to show them how your product solves their problem, right there on the same call. It makes things simpler for everyone and they might appreciate you for saving their time.
A version of this article first appeared on Avoma.
Yaagneshwaran Ganesh (often called as "Yaag") is among the top 100 global martech influencers, and is responsible for the growth and product adoption for Freshchat, a customer engagement platform powering live chats and conversational marketing across industries. He is also a TEDx speaker, a member of Forbes Council and author of 5 books, with the latest one titled “Syncfluence”. He has been a speaker across business forums such as CII Young Indians, Chamber of Commerce Netherlands, Kerala Startup Mission (Initiative by Govt of Kerala), and academic institutions such as IITs, Saxion University of Applied Sciences and more. He is an active member of the startup ecosystem and is part of the Google for Entrepreneurs initiative "Startup Weekend", thus being a sounding board for startups in APAC and Europe. Yaag also writes columns for HuffingtonPost, Forbes, Martech Series, Martech Advisor, dtNEXT, Techstory, ManagementNext and has been a regular blogger on RonSela.com, the thought leader on marketing practices.
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