Originally posted at onenetinc.com/blog
To be truthful, selling consumer products can be a lot more fun than products with large enterprise price tags. All the cool stuff you learn about — such as boosting conversion rates with A/B tests or watching sales soar after you launch a creative email campaign — they have faster results with small consumer products.
Enterprise is a much harder game. The research process for buying is very complex. Consumers will find and compare you to your competitors. They will want to know about exact features — not just sales language.
If your product doesn't have self-service signup this one is for you.
If your product does have a self-service signup, skip this as you're better off focusing on onboarding and user adoption. For example, Slack makes it incredibly easy (almost addicting) to onboard your entitre team before the IT buyer needs to whip out a credit card and pay.
It's very hard to sell to both a marketing director and CTO at the same time. They have different pain points they are trying to solve. Most importantly, they are judged by different criteria for being good at their jobs.
People, especially in large organizations, are self-motivated.
Here's a breakdown of different buyers and how you can influence them.
In general, C-suite executives do not necessarily care about features and product capabilities.
After all, that's the concern of practitioners, which we talk about next. The C-suite buyer typically cares about...
Unlike practitioners, who are motivated by specific features and product capabilities, the C-Suite audience generally need to hear a sales message that talks about the measurable financial value the product offers.
The practitioner wants...
Marketing managers, directors, and analysts are practitioners. They are more interested in features and product capabilities as they try to picture how the product will practically fit into their work life. The practitioner typically cares about...
For example, a web developer who needs to find a new shopping cart software may be interested in hearing that your eCommerce solution integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics. If the solution did not integrate, this would mean two weeks of changing tracking tags and setting up conversion funnels.
In contrast, the CTO is looking at the long-term. She doesn't necessarily care if the solution integrates with Google Analytics — she is willing to invest a few weeks of her development team's time in changing tags if the solution has long-term ROI.
If you want more advice on this topic, I recommend the book Selling to Zebras. I've taken the idea of "selling to power" from there and seen the principles work very well in the real-world. More about selling to Zebras here.
One of the biggest issues we've seen with SaaS companies is pushing publish. There are always new tools to implement, new UI changes, new websites, and lots of ideas. But it's also easy to never get much done.
Here's a basic framework we use. We've kept it generic as your business will have its own metrics and goals.
Let's say our fictional SaaS company wants to grow from 3,000 to 5,000 paying subscribers in six months.
It's easy to get distracted. It's fine to adapt and roll with changes but you should make sure that you focus on these four essential phases of the customer journey:
It's important to demystify how marketing actually works. People need to hear about you (consideration), they need to be convinced that your product is the best accessable option to solve thier pain point (consideration and then be sold on the value of taking the desired action (purchase). After initial transaction, they need to be convinced to stick around and refer their friends (caring).
If you are having trouble, it's likely that you are ignoring one of those stages.