By now, you already know that your software sales process needs to look past the initial close and focus on long-term prospect relationships, and you’ve optimized your sales process and customer service follow-ups accordingly.
Yet, in order to realize more top-line growth, you need to not only delight current customers, but also better understand your prospective customers. Once you understand their pains and problems, you’re able to offer them a deal that’s tailored to their needs – and one that’s easier to finalize.
Better understand your software sales prospects by studying the following four factors and fine-tuning your sales strategy accordingly:
Factor #1: Understand What Your Product Actually Does
No matter what form of business software you’re trying to sell (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS or on-premise) you need to understand how your particular product addresses sales prospects’ pain points – and how it doesn’t. Depending on a company’s infrastructure, they might need an all-in-one Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, or their particular IT pains might mean they only require an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
The image below shows a simple breakdown of the SaaS spectrum for something as common as pizza:
When reaching out to a prospective customer, it’s important that your sales team investigates not only the prospect’s pains but also the pains of the prospect’s IT department when it comes to a particular software solution. If you understand the potential pains for setup and product delivery, you’re able to more effectively handle sales objections later in the process.
Factor #2: Understand Your True Service Offering
The common denominator between SaaS, PaaS and IaaS solutions isn’t actually a product license – it’s the service attached to the software product. Many software sales teams focus only on the results of increased market share or triumph over a particular vertical, but your prospects and customers don’t care about conquests. Rather, they care about how your software product and software service work as a combined package.
For example, offering 24/7/365, U.S.-based customer service is often a deciding factor for many prospects, much more than product features or potential upgrades. As a consequence, your salespeople should help prospects envision how this level of service solves their pains and makes their work easier.
Factor #3: Understand Relevance On Your Prospect’s Timeline
Many sales teams make the mistake of understanding relevance according to your newest product release or a particular industry-leading metric, but such understanding could be inhibiting your software sales. Relevance isn’t determined by these external factors – it’s determined by your prospects’ needs and timelines.
Consider this example: A prospect might have investigated your subscription-based software last year and found it irrelevant to his or her particular needs. When your company announces an updated release of that same software solution, the prospect won’t necessarily return to investigate. Instead, your lead generation team needs to follow up and communicate how the update aligns with the prospect’s current needs; only then does your product regain its relevance with that prospect.
Factor #4: Understand Your Competition’s Capabilities, Not Just Costs
It’s basic Business 101: Keep an eye on your competition at all times. Knowing the marketplace, industry trends and your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses is critical to keeping your business growing year-over-year. However, simply keeping tabs on the basics isn’t enough.
Especially when it comes to the software sales process, you need to understand your sales prospects’ common objections to your competitors’ software, and your own. While price might be a competition point, business software is less about renewal costs and more about software capabilities. If you’re continually upgrading your software to overcome prospect objections, then you’ll outpace your competition on every single sale – sometimes regardless of price.
From initial lead generation to final close, it’s critical to your software sales process that you understand your prospects at a deeper level than ever before. Once you establish an empathic understanding with your prospects on these four factors, your software sales are more effective than ever before.
Need more quick tips on how to improve your software sales process? Click below to download a tip sheet from Invenio Solutions® and discover how the Science of Sales™ helps you generate warmer sales prospects and optimize your sales cycle.