As marketing and sales pros, we’re at a major pivotal point in SaaS right now.
The market is bloated with products that a lot of us don’t fully understand. And we’re faced with one of two choices:
To continue working in uncertainty, diminishing the buyer’s experience as we sink deeper into obscurity. Or, to harness the information that’s at our fingertips and foster the best matches between customer and product.
Here’s what we’re unpacking today:
- Why the current buyer’s experience is dangerously disconnected
- Trends every marketer should be aware of
- How to move marketing and sales into the next generation
The disconnected buying experience
Jake: I want you to think about the buyer experience.
I went to Google, I saw your Glassdoor page, I saw your LinkedIn profile, I went to your website, I looked at a couple of case studies. I then go talk to this person who gives me back zero value. The next person then is the salesperson. Hopefully, the salesperson has some idea of what’s happening.
So for a vast majority of you, your sales organization is incentivized to close deals as fast as humanly possible with no regard for usage. How many of you actually comp your salespeople based on usage? You don’t even need to raise your hands.
A salesperson is compensated to jam you through the funnel as fast as humanly possible and tell you the same thing that they all tell you. And of course, none of you software companies say this, it’s so easy to get started. It’s so easy to get started.
Our customer success team is world-class. I’ve never met a company that didn’t say their customer success team was best-in-breed, world-class.
But guess what? Change is hard. Things happen. You’re trying to impact hundreds or thousands of people with your software. It’s not quite that easy, right?
Then, go to me as a buyer. Now I’m handed off to customer success. Customer success is almost universally compensated on retention first and growth second. I mean, again, nothing necessarily wrong with that. But I think what we’ve all seen is the issue that’s come about with customer success: you only hear from them around renewal time.
The customer success person is not researching your business. They’re not. Of course, for big enterprise accounts, it’s a little different. But for the most part, the customer success person is probably overloaded with accounts. They don’t have time.
It’s how quickly can I get this off my plate and get it onto the next person’s plate? And that’s this universal conveyor belt that we have.
3 trends every marketer needs to pay attention to
Jake: The first is transparency. I want you to think about what transparency is actually going to do for the buyer.
How many of you have gone into the dealership knowing slightly more than the actual car salesman? Because you went and did your research. My friends, we had this luxury for a long time in B2B where we had all the chips, we had all the cards. Guess what? They’re all on the table now.
I think we, in our little software bubble, tend to poopoo the competition a lot. Saying, “we don’t need to worry about what they’re doing.” Now you need to understand. You don’t have to bad mouth anybody, but you need to understand.
We have to start to get prepared that buyers are going to start to come to the table way further down the funnel.
Jake: Next is technology.
The amount of automation and things that are available behind the scenes — and really our use of technology — is an issue. You know what we’re doing right now is the dark side of technology. We’re trying to automate more interactions with the buyer as opposed to automating things that are behind the scenes. We have to start to think about using technology to automate more behind the scenes.
We’re investing between $500-$1,000 per rep now with tools, but they’re not talking to each other. We’re not syncing. We’re focusing on automating the wrong things and focusing on automating buyer interaction as opposed to things behind the scenes.
Ubiquity of products
Jake: The next thing is the ubiquity of products.
The amount of the differentiation between products right now is at an all-time low. So product ubiquity has an all-time high. And what that means is, again, your sales reps need to know how to differentiate.
They need to have that human communication. When products all look and feel the same and there are so many contenders, your sales team’s ability to differentiate is really what matters.