Here's What's Important to Buyers - Before AND After Their Purchase

April 11, 2018 Brooklin Nash

One of the most important elements of sales is to identify the core needs of your potential customers. When it comes to software sales, this can become a bit tricky - after all, no single product will ever meet all of the demands of any given client. 

While creating the perfect software solution for everyone may not be possible, you can identify a couple of factors that nearly any customer will be looking for. From there, you’ll have something to work with as you pursue leads. 

TrustRadius recently published a study on what potential buyers and current customers found important in the software they were purchasing. The results can be helpful in revamping your sales approach and gaining some traction. 

The Before & After Study: Adaptability and Scalability Rise to the Top 

In the TrustRadius study, respondents identified the three most important factors for determining successful software (out of a list of 11). The top three factors according to their responses were: 

- A product that shows measurable results (39% of customers)

- A product that can adapt to fit your processes (34% of customers)

- A product that will be adopted quickly (33% of customers)

But that’s not where the results stopped. TrustRadius followed up by asking customers who had already purchased software to rank the same 11 criteria - in order of what became most important to them after they purchased and started using the software. This time the top three were: 

- Can adapt to fit your processes (42% of buyers)

- Will scale as you grow (39% of buyers)

- Shows measurable results (35% of buyers)
 

You can see that both adaptability and scalability jumped up quite a bit for current software customers. Once customers have been guaranteed a return on their investment, they start looking at how to use the software in new ways and how to use it alongside consistent growth. 

What These Results Mean for Sales Departments 

So you’ve got the nitty gritty on what customers find important. But how can you take this and run with it in sales? 

#1: Offer Demos

One way to give your potential customers an idea of how the features of your product work is to offer a free demo. This is a fairly painless approach to honing in on one of the major considerations for customers: adaptability. The study from TrustRadius makes it clear that adaptability is something that is important both before and after a customer purchases. 

#2: Look for Authentic Engagement 

Customer reviews and testimonials can go a long way in convincing a potential customer of what is really important about your product. It will do a lot more good to have an actual customer outlining the scalability and adaptability of your software than for it to come from the sales department. 

#3: Don’t Focus on “All the Bells and Whistles”

The study made it clear that customers care least about a software product having everything they could possibly need. Instead, customers are looking for a simple solution whenever possible. Take this into mind when making your sales pitch. A good idea would be to find out what your customer is looking for before you launch into just how many features your product has. 
 
Using these three takeaways from the study, sales teams will be able to more closely align with the needs of a potential customers and ultimately, shorten the length of the sales funnel and increase the bottom line.

#4 Know What Tools & Processes Are Already In Place

While many people don't think about it when making a purchase, it's very clear that post-purchase, ensuring the new software fits current processes is important to success. Knowing what an ideal customer is up-front for you based on their current technology choices can guide you in knowing what considerations may need to be made pre- and post-sale. For instance, if many of your successful customers use Salesforce, it might be good to mention pre-sale that your company has seen a correlation between people who use Salesforce and success with your software. If you're not sure what an ideal customer's technographic profile looks like, Datanyze has a free technographic analysis that allows you to discover technology trends among your best customers.

Featured Image Source: Online payment, Man's hands holding smartphone and using credit card for online shopping by Jirapong Manustrong Shutterstock 

About the Author

Brooklin Nash writes about the latest tools and small business trends for TrustRadius. When he’s not writing, you can find him reading YA dystopian fiction (with guilty pleasure) and cooking.

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