Most WaaS Buyers Make Their Purchase Decision Quickly
When your prospects need a web solution, they do online research…naturally. Some may ask business acquaintances, others may watch a demo video, some sign-up for a free trial, and then buy.
The process could take a few minutes, hours or a few days.
There aren’t any long, drawn out sales meetings, RFPs (Request for Proposals), head-to-head “bake-offs,” contract negotiations, etc. Prospects find it, try it, like it, then buy it. It’s that simple.
No One Wants a Long Sales Process
Why do they make their decisions fast?
For starters, there are several WaaS developers that won’t engage in long sales cycles. All the time it takes to schmooze, demo the product and negotiate is too time consuming and expensive. It doesn’t fit the low-touch sales model. It makes little sense.
Equally, WaaS buyers can’t afford it either. They don’t have the time to waste. They want to decide, then move on to the next task.
You need to remember, the WaaS buyer’s full-time job isn’t to evaluate and buy new website solutions.
With websites-as-a-service solutions, the person doing the evaluation is often the end-user. It’s the business owner who’s evaluating a WaaS as a marketing tool, the sales manager who’s evaluating a WaaS as a sales tool, or the office manager who’s just trying to get a new site up for the company so he can move on to the next task.
Aside from shopping for a new site, these buyers have a day job. They manage companies, sales teams, or HR.
Quick Deployment and No Contracts Speed Up the Process
Since WaaS is much easier to deploy and there’s often no long-term contracts, this often speeds up the evaluation and buying cycle. Prospects have the option to try something for a short period without incurring large expenses, and the best part is, if they’re unhappy, they can just walk away with little loss in both time and money.
An Exception Could be Enterprise Sales
As always, there are exceptions to every rule. Large enterprises often go through a more rigorous evaluation process than small to mid-sized companies. These large companies often need customization, or require long-term commitments.
However, that still leaves a lot of WaaS solutions to be bought pretty darn quickly.
The Good, and The Bad for WaaS Developers
A short evaluation cycle can be both good and bad news for WaaS solution providers.
The good: Buyers can reduce time and expense from the sales process. Most won’t require developers to go through arduous RFP processes, month long evaluations, and numerous exchanges over contract negotiations.
The bad: Developers need to be fast. The window of opportunity is only open for a short period. Jump now, or miss your chance.
As soon as a prospect displays interest – they fill out an online form, start a free trial, ask for information, whatever – the WaaS developer needs to react quickly. A few days won’t cut it, it has to be now!
That doesn’t mean that they have to get on the phone ASAP. Someone that signed up for a free trial might be eager to get a call, but other buyers might not be as far along in the process.
But never the less, I suggest that you should at least acknowledge the customer’s interest and offer a way for them to move forward in the process.
Make a Great First Impression, Quickly
As soon as a developer gets an opportunity to put their turnkey solution in front of a prospective customer, either with a free trial, or a demo video for example, you have to capitalize on that opportunity. Wow them in the first few minutes, show them the ease of use and value add benefits. This is not the time to plod them through every feature and function of your WordPress Multisite (WPMU) network.
“Lost” Prospects Aren’t Always Lost
If your prospect didn’t purchase a “done-for-you” website template from your WaaS, you shouldn’t count them as a “lost” sale so quickly. There are many cases where they got distracted by other tasks (also known as their real job.)
After they’ve worked through their other tasks and have time to focus on a WaaS solution again, you’ll want to make sure you’re still in front of them. Emails, newsletters, social media posts, valuable white papers, are all examples of cost-effective ways to do that.
Often I like to explain to WordPress multi-site developers that marketing WaaS solutions is strategically different from traditional software. They have different audiences, different needs, different messages and a different process. The short evaluation process with a WaaS is one of the main differences.
Make sure you’re in sync with your prospective customers. If WaaS buyers are quick to buy, WaaS marketers need to be quick to respond.