Take a couple of minutes to answer the questions below before you proceed to read through the blog.
- Have you been through a buyer experience?
- Have you ever made a ‘not-so-right’ choice of a product or a service?
- Are you willing to enhance the buyer experience of your customers?
- Is there a scope of improvement in your software/solution procurement process?
If your answer is YES to one or more questions above, then this blog is for you. I have tried to gather all my years of IT Sales experience as a blog to help businesses and entrepreneurs for enhancing their buying/selling experience. [Your thoughts and feedback are welcome to enhance this topic so that I can publish this as a guide.]
Everyone, in his/her lifetime, is a consumer of goods/services and I am no exception to it. I decided to purchase a new refrigerator, as the existing one has functioned more than its capacity and warranty. I did research on the existing brands and models and headed to purchase one that fits my needs.
When I stepped into the store, I was surrounded by a swarm of salesmen and the manager had to step in to assign a dedicated Salesman to help me out. The Salesman showed all the existing latest models with smart features like mobile app connectivity, auto-connect to inverter during a power outage, dual door and sensor bundled with huge storage capacity, and much more. I was swayed by the smart features in this model and had totally forgotten on the model that I zeroed in on. I had to shell out a handful of my savings, way more than the budget that I had allocated for this.
A year later, to my family’s surprise and mine, we found that we have not used any of the smart features. The storage seems to be more than adequate for our lifestyle and most of the space in the refrigerator had been vacant all these days. Added to this, I have been paying heavily for the operation and maintenance costs.
SaaS buyer’s Guide
I am sure everyone had been through such an experience, on one or more occasions, with any product or service. If you are an Entrepreneur or a business decision-maker, you can draw an analogy to this incident in business opportunities. When you are looking to procure Software for your business, you should not be carried away by those smart and exciting features which do not really fit your needs. It is going to cost you more in terms of money and time, having chosen a Software that provides more than what you need. The scenario is no different when you must choose the right SaaS solution for your business. So, how do you ensure you choose the right one, without succumbing to the temptation of smart features and over promises?
This blog is a 4-part series that describes how to go about buying a product or service for your business or personal needs.
Identify your need
Firstly, try to find out the answer to this question – Is there an immediate need for the product or service? If so, what is the need? What triggered this need?
Secondly, draft the need and the requirement.
While you draft your need, keep an eye on the budget. Many products or services are left unused and have been unsuccessfully implemented due to budgetary constraints. Financial aspects of your need will help you narrow down on the potential vendors who will fulfill the requirement.
Are you addressing a pain point or improvising the process?
Identify the current fundamental issues that triggered the need for a new product/service. For example, as a start-up, I tracked my leads through notepad, spreadsheet, and email. However, as the business scaled, this was not working anymore. That is when I thought I will need a CRM that will help manage prospects and customers efficiently. Having used one, I found that the CRM software lacked automation capability, without which the work looked tedious and was prone to manual errors. In this case, an improvement in the process is necessitated.
List down the critical features/use-cases that you expect out of the Software or Solution. Differentiate between must-haves, good-to-haves, and so on. Deal breaker features must have to be identified and marked accordingly.
Involve the Stakeholders
This is mandatory. Identify the stakeholders who ought to use the software or service and gather their point of view. For selecting a CRM software, it is necessary to involve the Sales Director, Regional Manager, and the Sales Executives. Involve them in demos, workshops, and commercial meetings. Make them a part of the selection process.
The next part is the selection process and product hunting
Let us see if we all are on the same page when it comes to Buyer Experience.