When you are a salesperson who works closely with companies that offer free trials or free demos, you get to see all the statements about why they're the best. Every emerging start-up business and business owner are passionate about their products are convinced that it's exactly what the customer needs.
These businesses also buy into the widely accepted wisdom that free trials and free demo sales processes work. Often they do. When we're dealing with the issue of creating an offer like a free demo, a free trial, or a free assessment, it becomes another problem.
These types of offers will attract both potential customers, who are ready to buy today; but also, people who are just starting the buyer's journey and may be a long way off from buying. They are probably not ready to speak with a salesperson, yet.
How do we manage this?
It all begins with having the right methodology. That is with inbound sales and wth the right tools to make that happen and make you more productive. We look at that being in HubSpot CRM.
Before we get into how to handle this process, I'm going to spend a little bit of time outlining, again, the inbound sales methodology. There are four phases;
- Identification. Who is our ideal client?
- Connecting. Opening up that conversation with the person.
- Exploring. Where we dive deep into the wants, needs, desires, of your potential customer.
- Advising. Providing a solution and costings for the customer with the aim to ask them, "are they ready to get started?"
People who fill out the form for a free trial or offer are going to fall into the second phase, connection. Clearly, they have identified themselves as being a potential customer. When somebody completes the form for a free demo, we need to ensure that we build in a test criteria, a qualification process.
Just because a person may decide that they want that free demonstration or that free trial offer, doesn't mean that they are your ideal client. That's where, within HubSpot CRM, we use the functionality known as a Deal. This is where we create a deal and we break up our stages. Commonly, there is the stage that we would typically put them into, is to invite chat or invite to qualify.
When a person fills out a request for a demonstration, we would reach out to them to arrange a time to do the software demonstration. At that point that we would qualify them to make sure that they are our ideal client and that they are in a position to buy the product or service. Note here I talking about if you're selling a high-end product or service. If you are selling a $20 item, just give them the free offer.
When it comes to selling a person with a free demo, the sooner you can reach out to them and build that qualification and trust with them, the higher your success rate will be. We still need to ensure first point of contact is about building trust and learning their needs and challenges.
Ask yourself, "Is this person a good fit for my product?"
Now that you've qualified the prospect, we want to explore and work with them. We're going to dig into their challenge. Will our service meet their needs? If not, then do you really want to continue having this conversation with them?
Areas that you want to cover in the explore stage are
- What are their challenges?
- What's the problem that they are really struggling with?
- What's the urgency? Is the problem a pain for them now?
- Are they willing to invest in it? What's the deadline?
- So they have the budget to afford your solution?
- Do they have the resources to implement the solution to get the results?
If their answers is yes, we would move them on to the advise stage, where we would create an agreement. In the advising stage, we are doing the agreement and preparing the final pricing. In HubSpot CRM, the power of using the Deal Stages helps to manage your time so that you can stay focused.
I'd like to really point out to you is, when you can map out your own sales process, you can then automate it. Before you jump in and start offering free demonstrations, always make sure that you have a clear understanding of the sales process and how you're going to manage it.
Always remember, free demos are great offers, but they also attract a lot of people who are not ready to buy. So, make sure that you build into your system the ability to divert the leads out; because free demos are very easy to attract people to and they can become very expensive and time-consuming for your sales team.