The way we're selling software is changing, and companies embracing this shift are worth applauding. Zendesk made it to 5,000 customers without a sales team, and Basecamp got to 3 million customers without salespeople. The traditional way of selling software has taken a 180-degree turn as the buyer wants to control their journey from product identification, research, and exploration.
Today, emerging companies have transformed how the enterprise sales model works and are approaching sales in a completely new way. Earlier, the buyer used to go through the entire drawn-out sales cycle, whereas today, the keys are in the buyer's hand. On the contrary, the product-led growth company helps the buyer to understand the working of the product so well that going for a paid version never puts up questions in the buyer's head.
What are Product-led Sales?
Have you ever come across situations where the perceived value is much higher than the experienced value? As a user, this can take a toll on your head. However, it is one reason why product-led sales are in so much demand and booming every day. People like to try on things they aim to buy before splurging their hard-earned money on it to experience the real-time value. If you fail to keep up your words, the results are sometimes disastrous. But, on the other hand, it builds immense trust and bridges the gap between the buyer and seller.
Remember, the bigger the gap is, there are more chances of leakage from the funnel. According to a study by Intercom, more than 50% of users will sign up for a free trial of your software, go through it, understand its functioning for once, and will never come back if it fails to impress in the first go. So here comes the role of Product-led Sales.
"Product-led sale is a customer-centric approach for frictionless onboarding in the sales cycle." In simpler words, product-led sales is a modern way of buying as it crafts a compelling experience for your potential buyers based on how they want to buy whereas, not on how you want to sell to them.
What's Driving This Shift?
The question is quite obvious, "What's driving this shift in buying behavior." Well, it's the resources you invest in building a SaaS company. It was never cheap to build a SaaS company; still, there's no storage of competition in the market. As a result, acquiring potential customers is yet another hassle that requires utmost effort.
Let's have a look at some channels to mark that marketing isn't cheap anymore.
- Linkedin: 44% increase in CPM
- Twitter: 20% increase in CPM
- Facebook: 171% increase in CPM
(Note, here CPM is Cost per thousand impressions)
These data are enough to understand that we have rising costs and above all, the customers are least interested in splurging loads of money. So, using the traditional sales-led go-to-market strategy like every second person, the risk of disastrous results multiplies.
Why Are SaaS Businesses More Inclined Towards Product-Led Sales?
Over the years, the market dynamics and customer behavior have drastically changed. Now, the customer is much more informed, so they expect to understand and use the software before making up their mind to buy. As a result, endless SaaS businesses have shifted to this new approach that led them a long way and put their businesses in a great position to dominate the market.
Though this concept isn't free from risks, however, if you put together a compelling product-led growth strategy, you'll land on some incredible results that otherwise are a task.
Best Practices For Building Product-Led Sales Team
A product-led sales team is the driving force for any company; therefore, it is necessary to build a productive product-led sales team to multiply your ongoing sales and give users a commendable experience in the long run.
- Redefine your team's understanding of free trials
There will be times when your team will be reluctant for free trials as they often mistakenly believe that a free product trial will somehow replace their existence in the company.
As a result, the team pushes back the requests for free trials; however, it prioritizes product demo to sway the potential leads. This thought is understandable to some extent as they are usually afraid to lose control of the organization. However, the actual scenario is just the opposite.
Before successful product-led sales, it is essential to firstly build a successful product-led sales team to execute the tasks. Free trials allow customers to get solutions to their problems through the products.
Positive product-led sales encourage customers to purchase once they are satisfied with the free trial. As a result, the chances of them being "successful users" multiplied in the long run.
Over the years, the idea of selling and buying products has drastically evolved. Today, we live in the 21st century, the product trial world, which means the traditional way of selling products doesn't work the best today.
In this buying and selling process, the product-led sales team plays a crucial part as they understand the customer's challenges and suggest solutions to minimize them. The context that the salesmen provide can trigger potential customers to make a purchase.
Why Isn't The Traditional Sales Model The Best Choice In Today's World?
Though there's nothing necessarily wrong with the traditional sales model, yet it's not the best one to choose. Earlier, the sales process involved various factors, including the researching process, prospect, connecting, qualifying, demo, and closing; however, today, a free trial does the job in a much more effective and productive way.
Remember, there's no one proven method in the sales process to drive results, however, explore the different sales models and adjust them according to your business needs depending on various factors such as customers. Since your product is already tried and tested by the future user, the chances of a better user experience multiply.
The concept of product-led sales is the demand of the time as it keeps customers steps ahead, unlike the traditional way of buying and selling. Like other companies, if you want to make this shift, make sure to work on various factors, including building a compelling product-led sales team that focuses on adding value and prioritizing customer satisfaction.