As a marketing business intelligence analyst I get 20-30 emails and several phone calls per week from various SaaS sales reps hawking their latest and greatest software suite that “revolutionizes” SEO, PPC, CRM, Business Intelligence, Analytics, Project Management, eCommerce, programmatic, or marketing automation, ad nauseum. The list keeps growing and growing every year. BTW, thanks to Scott Brinker over at ChiefMarTech for keeping track of the industry growth to put things into perspective for we marketing folks. The point is, there are more and more sales reps out there selling more and more marketing software. Now some of these sales guys and gals really do their homework. They Google my name, stalk me on LinkedIn, and one rep even researched enough to convince our experienced assistant that he was a friend and to patch him through to my direct line.
All this wasted time and effort could be saved by implementing these five software sales tips:
1. Own the top search engine results page for your topic.
Unless you are a startup that launched this week, Googlebot should be able to find, parse, and match your site to every relevant keyword combination I can think of in my query. If you’re on the second page or even lower where they hide dead bodies, I can’t take you seriously.
2. Offer a free trial based on time instead of fixed calendar days.
Let’s start with 8 hours, on my time. Start the countdown at login and stop the clock at logout. Get me addicted. I don’t have the luxury of planning when I will be able to master the learning curve of your SaaS. I get interrupted all week with other priorities. What if I have a couple hours next week? Next month? Oh darn, the trial expired. Even if the clock runs out six months from now, I’ll have to buy it if I’m hooked on it. Your urgency to sell is not my urgency to buy.
3. Pass the baton to new sales reps.
Make sure that my sales rep who was promoted or demoted passes the baton to the next person who contacts me, so I don’t have to explain my unique situation to you every time. No, I already said I don’t care that you have a Zapier integration! Bro, do you even CRM?
4. Help me help you.
Make it easier for me to explain to my CEO why your SaaS is worth investing in. This is an entirely different set of progressive messaging from me, the tactical user. Help me sell your app to the CEO who has even less time than I do.
5. Include all features in the free trial whenever possible.
How can I become addicted to your software if I haven’t been able to establish the muscle memory using it to make my clients happy? So what if a bunch of little hacks take advantage of you? What does it cost you? Nothing. And your software will become the best-kept industry secret in an industry vying to be the first to divulge every best-kept industry secret. Free peer advocacy, squared. Take a look at The Grateful Dead. While everyone else was nickel-and-diming music lovers selling $8 cassette tapes, they were handing them out for free, exponentially spreading their message, and becoming more and more popular selling concert tickets at $30-300 apiece. Make me want to attend all your concerts and tell all my friends about you.