Trying to connect with someone while they’re scanning their Twitter feed, replying to texts, and staring at a full inbox, while desperately trying to meet deadlines for whatever deliverables are on their long to-do list isn’t easy. But if you’re the poor marketing person trying to reach prospective customers, that’s exactly what you’re up against.
And that’s especially true if you’re marketing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. That’s because the person evaluating the solution is often the same person that will be using the solution.
The evaluator is the buyer
If you sell an HR solution, you're trying to reach the HR manager. If you sell a sales automation solution, your audience is the sales executive. If it’s a marketing automation solution, it’s the marketing professional.
When that's the situation you face, here’s the challenge: All of these folks are busy. They all have a full time job. As much as you’d like to think otherwise, these folks have other things to do besides evaluating your solution.
Gone are the days when an expert from IT may have taken the lead in finding and evaluating software solutions. It's a lot different for most SaaS solutions; no one has that dedicated assignment.
If you're the marketing person, what that means is that you need to work extra hard to grab a slice of your prospective customer’s attention.
Here are a few idea to help:
Easy to grasp message: Whatever it is that your solution does, you need to articulate the value clearly and concisely. If you force the prospect to work too hard to figure out how you can help them, they simply won’t bother.
Create urgency. The prospective buyer needs to feel a sense of urgency about the problem that your solution addresses. They need to know that every month, every week, every day that they put off solving the problem, their business suffers… badly. Evaluating and purchasing a solution is not something they can afford to put off for long.
Talk business benefits, not technology: Remember that your SaaS buyer typically is in sales, marketing, finance, HR, or some other non-IT role. They care about solving business problems: closing more business, optimizing marketing programs, improving cash flow, filling open positions, or whatever it is in their job description.
When you talk to them about your solution, you need to talk to them about business benefits, not just features and functions. They care more about what your solution does and how it can help their business; they don’t care so much about how it works.
Be consistent: To get through to these busy buyers, repetition works. They usually need to hear your message over and over before it has an impact.
If you’ve crafted an effective value proposition - something that is easy to grasp, creates a sense of urgency, and addresses business benefits - tell the same story everywhere. The prospective customer should see it on your website, at events, in sales presentations, on webinars, in papers, and anywhere else you’re promoting your solution.
Resist the urge to constantly tweak the message. You may be sick of hearing yourself say the same words every time, but that's what it takes to get through to your prospective customer.