With the SaaS market so saturated, it’s not about simply ‘he who shouts loudest’. It’s more complex than that.
As Peter Cohen points out (quoted from Kissmetrics), typical software customers are quick to buy:
“When [SaaS customers] need a solution, they do some online research, maybe ask a colleague, try the solution or watch a demo, and then buy. The whole process might take a few days, maybe a few hours. There’s no long, drawn out sales engagements, RFIs and RFPs, head-to-head “bake-offs,” contract negotiations, blah, blah, blah. Customers find it, they see it, they like it, they buy it. Done.”
So, what’s the solution?
You will have to appeal to your prospects through every stage of their decision, right from when they first become aware of your product, right to where they need to make a decision over which software to choose.
This is why inbound marketing is key.
The nature of inbound marketing is to magnetize customers to your service, no matter what stage they’re at, and demonstrate that you have the solution to their problem.
The following 3 factors are at the very core of inbound marketing, and may be why you are struggling to sell more software.
You’ve not identified your buyer persona
When considering how you can sell more software, you may be quick to jump to conclusions: is it the price? Is it the necessity of the product? Is it the market?
But have you gone back to the drawing board by asking — am I appealing to the right individual?
Creating a buyer persona (a fictional reputation of your ideal customer) will aid your content creation for all stages of the buyer journey. You’re not just asking ‘who will buy my product,’ but instead should be asking ‘what problems will my product solve, for which pain point, and for whom’?
Understanding all the issues the persona may face, and who you’re writing your content marketing for, won’t just result in a better product, but more useful, evergreen content as a result.
You’ve not considered the user experience
Apple products have led the way in the tech industry thanks to countless innovations, but it would have meant nothing if the iPhone was hard to use.
Does your software offer a similar type of smooth user experience? And likewise, does your marketing?
Of course, your primary goal is to convert visitors into leads and leads into customers. But what does this process look like? Is it complex with twists and turns at every corner? Or is it personalised to the persona’s pain points, and helping them answer key questions?
How will buyers react to your attempts at follow-up communication? Will they be turned off by the hard-sell, or hooked by more useful content in their inbox?
Marketers need to map out the customer journey and create a conversion path that won’t scare people off along the way. This takes time, but great user experience is key to excellent inbound marketing.
You haven’t built enough trust
One of the core elements of inbound marketing is to spend most of your time talking about problems– maybe all of it.
Sure, you can shout to the heavens about how great your software solution is, but until the prospect recognises that they have an issue, and you are the solution, then they won’t pay attention to what you’re saying.
Inbound marketing sales cycles can feel slow. At first the prospect may sign up to your email updates after reading a great blog (from a great social media post). Then, they download a guide of yours that arrived in their inbox. Next thing you know, they’re signing up for a webinar, then demo, and then you’ve got yourself a customer.
But the key is to get yourself out there as an authority on the subject. Seek case studies and testimonials. Film explanation videos and tutorials. Create a page entirely dedicated to the security of your services. These are just a few simple ways you can build trust.
Selling more software is tough, but not once do you see Moz, or Hubspot, or Buffer screaming out buy our stuff.
Those who invest in inbound tactics, and practise becoming a hub for information (rather than merely just a product) have thrived under the challenge of selling more software.
Put these into action and you will start to see the traffic, leads, and customers that will impact your bottom line in no time.