We know that companies that use product data in the sales process grow faster, have higher net dollar retention (NDR), and have better gross margins.
We also know that customers are demanding less friction in the buying process, they want to use the product earlier in the sales cycle and are doing more research on their own.
Given both of these charts, the goal should be to allow the customer to trial your software while also using product data to help better inform how you can move the customer through the funnel. Unfortunately, whether you are running Sandler, MEDDIC, BANT or any other sales methodology there is a good chance it doesn’t account for the customer touching the product before they buy it.
How Can We Rebuild Our Sales Methodology?
What needs to change is how a seller introduces the trial into their qualification process and sales motion. Often when I ask a seller how they manage the trial process I hear, “we schedule a kickoff, check-in and final call” or “we have our Solution Consulting team run the process and stay laser-focused on being there for them in a similar fashion to an important customer implementation”. What is missing from this process? The seller not having a conversion plan that outlines how the customer should be using the product in the first week, 2 weeks or in something like a 30-day window. We want to change the model from “check-in” to a more prescriptive approach that can be based on a customer’s product actions that lead to milestones, and how the seller might want to react to it. All of this product data is available to sales if they know how to ask the right questions and if the company is set up to help the seller succeed in the trial process. If you can move the needle on the number of trials you convert this will have a huge impact on your revenue growth and expansion numbers.
Every company is different but I have included a framework for what types of product signals you might be looking for in a trial process. What would be great to play out in your methodology is how you would react to these product signals to create or sustain the momentum in your sales process.
As a seller, the last thing you want is to be caught flat-footed in a sales process, where you don’t have perfect information and you can’t forecast the next move. By having a trial methodology you can make sure that doesn’t happen as your customer demands access to your product during the sales process.