A tale of two sales processes for virtually the same product

A tale of two sales processes for virtually the same product

A tale of two sales processes for virtually the same product

January 27, 2023

In Q4, we were evaluating software for a potential need 60-90 days out. The two solutions we were evaluating did the same thing for the same price ($15K-$20K all in). Both had all the case studies and reviews you could ask for. Both G2 awards up the wazoo.

This tool would require company wide usage in varying degrees, mostly engineering though so it’d be me with the budget, but my co-founder/CTO for the green light.

All things considered, as a buyer, I thought it would be quite challenging to evaluate which way to go. Perhaps based on their logo or colors? 😊

What ensued was two wildly different sales processes that made the decision for me. In a competitive market, the sales process differentiates more than the product. Let’s dive in.

Company A Sales Process

  1. Signed up for demo on the site, took my info as the founder (Gave them all that BANT in my form!)

  2. I was routed to an SDR (the nerve! but ok i get it)

  3. I had the interrogation call for 15 minutes reiterating what I put in the form.

  4. I was then routed to an AE for a 30 minute call where they walked me through a deck and we did 5 mins on the product.

  5. I was then sent an email that took 3 scrolls to get through on a desktop, 9 scrolls on my phone. It contained 21 different links and 3 attachments containing every G2 award they must have won in history, every case study, every pricing model, etc.

  6. I was overwhelmed and didn’t respond that week - I was then put into what seemed like a “follow up cadence” that was templated. One of the emails, I shit you not, was a picture of a billboard they had put up in NYC where I live. You know, the important stuff.

Company B Sales Process

  1. Signed up for demo on the site, took my info as the founder (Gave them all that BANT in my form!)

  2. I was sent a short Loom from an AE who addressed some of what I put in the form and included their calendar link to setup time.

  3. I had a call with the AE where she did more discovery and a mini-demo.

  4. I was then sent a follow-up loom of the full product demo.

  5. I asked a couple questions - they addressed these in 1 link including answers, product demo, dev specific demo, proposal, and few other resources.

You can guess which product we went with, but given the focus on buyer enablement these days. I thought it’d be helpful to break down why this really matters for sellers.

You won’t be in the room when decisions are made

While I was running the process - I really needed the green light from CTO/dev. Our dev team is in a few time zones so they won’t be joining live calls nor do I think it’s a good use of their time.

Company A would require me to forward long emails internally that no one will read or make me package things up for the internal team, but I’m lazy so won’t do that.

Company B made it super simple to easily share 1 resource that encompassed everything for each stakeholder.

Focus on buyer engagement to tailor follow ups

Everyone is hyper-focused on writing the best cold emails using intent to find “in-market” buyers. There’s not enough written about the follow-up when you’ve actually spoken to someone that’s in-market versus using a data tool.

Company A was relying on email opens as their source of my engagement in the deal. They had no idea what I was looking at or downloading, nor who I was sharing with internally.

Company B likely had analytics on that 1 link to see what we were consuming, who else was consuming, and made their follow ups timely and relevant.

Make it easier and faster to buy

I get that every company has their process with SDR to AE and so on, but you’re wasting people’s time if you don’t use the information you ask for in a lead form making them regurgitate it on live calls.

Aside from the process, sellers need to simply make it easier to buy a lot of the time. Most buyers are already 80% of the way there before ever interacting with sales. On top of this, you’re lucky if the buyer spends more than 5% of the overall project live on the phone with you as a seller. Most time is spent doing their own research on the internet and talking to trusted peers/groups.

This will only accelerate as millennials become the main decision makers for stuff who have different habits when it comes to making decisions (less phone, more digital, async channels).

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