Trials and Tribulations
This issue, Andrew serves up some unsolicited advice to all of those software marketers offering free trials (and free sales bombardment).
By Andrew Davis
Dear Software Marketer,
There’s a massive disconnect between the marketing experience you’ve created and the sales experience you deliver.
I’m sure your product is excellent. Those explainer videos you’ve created for the platform you’ve built are stellar. I’m happy to report that the interactive tours, feature demos, and blog posts you publish are helpful, smart, and convincing. Bottom line: your marketing feels spot on.
So, I signed up for your free trial.
That’s when your sales team got overly assertive. Maybe even aggressive. Whatever you want to call it, the constant emails, drip campaigns, chat invitations, webinar appointments, demo meetings, and phone calls turned me off – so much so, that I canceled my free trial and signed up with a competitor.
As marketers, we spend a lot of time working to understand our target market. We build audience personas and map their consumer journeys. We answer our prospects’ most burning questions, and we create the impression that we’re here to help. (Nice work!) Unfortunately, the moment I fill out that free trial form and you hand me off to your inside sales team, everything changes.
Maybe there’s an easy fix?
I’m willing to bet your marketing team has never been tasked with selling your software. I doubt they’ve ever had to take a few qualified marketing leads and turn them into paying customers. Perhaps you think you already know how the sales process works, but I seriously doubt you know how it feels from my side of the screen. If you knew how it felt, you’d either change the way you market your software or change the way your sales team sells it.
Here’s the deal: If you (and your marketing team) spends one day sitting with your inside sales team as they try to convert a few of those leads you’ve created, I’m willing to bet you’d quickly identify three ways to make that sales experience better. And when you do, let me know, so I can sign up for that free trial again!
What do you say? Do we have a deal?
Whether you wanted it or not,
Author of The Loyalty Loop