In the last week, I’ve had at least 10 conversations with B2B SaaS companies that are moving down market. Primarily enterprise software vendors trying to expand their reach by targeting the SMB (also referred to as SME) market - selling to small and medium businesses. It’s a tough transition, as I know from my own, sometimes painful experience. It becomes increasingly challenging, I believe, when you're selling directly to small business owners.
Three trends that suggest it’s time to update our sales model with some digital
For more than five years, we’ve been told that the buyer has changed. To that, I say: “SO WHAT?”
For the past weeks, I’ve been exploring the current state of pre-sales engineering and the product demo. A software buyer’s early product experience, or demo, is arguably the most critical part of any software cycles cycle. Which is a major headache for most software companies: every buyer expects to experience the product as part of their initial evaluation and education but pre-sales resources are at a premium. Go to any pre-sales engineer meetup or get-together and chances are that every pre-sales manager there will mention that they’re hiring. Our research shows that while demand for tailored, in-person demos is up, the ratio of pre-sales to sales has halved, going from an average of one pre-sales engineer for two sales reps to one pre-sales engineer for four sales reps or more.
Do you offer scheduled group demos, webinar software demos? Do they help you scale your pre-sales resources? Or could they be shrinking your pipeline?
Anyone involved in software sales or revenue generation will agree that the demo, or early product experience, is probably the most important part of any software sales cycle.
Which gives us a big problem – pre-sales resources are at a premium. The reason? The ratio of pre-sales to sales has halved, going from an average of one pre-sales engineer for every 2 sales reps, to one pre-sales engineer for 4 sales reps. In some markets, that ratio drops to 10, 20 even 30 or more to 1. Plus, today’s buyers expect an “early stage” demo as part of their initial education and evaluation (they may still require a full, scripted or custom demo for closing as well), meaning that demand for demos and product experiences is up.
What’s the most important stage in any buyer’s journey? You guessed it! It’s the initial product experience. Or, in software terms, the DEMO.
In the last five days, I’ve had at least 10 conversations with B2B SaaS companies that are moving down market - primarily enterprise vendors trying to expand their reach by targeting SMBs with smaller, “lite” versions of their software. It’s a tough transition, as I know from my own, sometimes painful experience. One of the most common misconceptions, I believe, is that software buyers in big companies are significantly different to software buyers in smaller businesses. Let’s break it down in terms of what any software buyer – regardless of company size - looks like today: