I’m giving a short talk at a software conference in a next month, and the topic is “sales“. As I’ve been putting together a set of slides, it’s given me time to think about how we do sales and what we’re trying to accomplish.
Most software folks like to focus on their product, and that’s what we did the first few years that we were selling software. We’d end up doing a long demo that highlighted every nook and cranny of our estimating and scheduling software.
Afterward, we’d sometimes get a sale. Yay! But more often, we’d spend weeks or months trying to follow up with our prospects, and it was really a long and painful process for everyone to get to the point where we’d either sign up a new customer or we’d give up.
The process isn’t secret
One of the first lessons we learned is that most countertop fabricators don’t have a lot of experience evaluating, buying, or implementing software. So, part of our sales process needs to be describing the overall process.
Usually, when we get new leads, they’re interested in “seeing the demo“, because that’s the only experience they’ve had in the past. We always agree to a demo… but that’s just an excuse for a conversation with our prospective customers. In the first email to schedule the call, we also outline the process.
- We’re going to understand your business.
- Then, we’re going to do a demo – that’s tailored to your business needs.
- Finally, we’ll discuss how to get started.
Each of those steps is important. And, by using this process, we’re much more likely to not waste our time, or the time of our customers.
I’ve got 99 problems, but software ain’t one
The key part of our conversation with our customers is understanding their business problems. Nobody has the problem of “not enough software“, so we really need to dig in and understand if there are problems that we can solve effectively.
When we’re talking with countertop fabricators, we try to understand:
- How they’re scheduling and estimating today
- What works well about that
- What doesn’t
- And, what’s the consequence of not changing
Once we understand the cost of how a particular countertop company is running their business today, we can talk about the places where we might be able to help. And, we’ll concentrate our demo on those places.
The world’s most perfect demo
The shorter our demo, the better. If I can show you one feature that’s going to save your business thousands of dollars per month, we’re done. Even if we don’t have the “perfect” software, that’s not the point. We want to help you solve a business problem.
Software is a tool, like any other tool in the shop. And if software is making or saving you money, then it’s worthwhile. So, we need to make sure to understand your business enough so we can show you a solution to your problems, not just a bunch of bells and whistles.
A splash of cold water
After we understand your business problem, and we’ve show how we can help… then we talk about what’s next. It’s important we set the expectation. Our software doesn’t implement itself, and the most important thing for our customers to be successful is time. Hopefully, you’ll hear something like:
“Based on our conversation, it sounds to me like we could help you with your business problem. When you’re ready to get started, all we need is a credit card. Within about 30 minutes, you’ll get an email from Moraware Support.
You’ll be able to log in right away, and start. If you decide to cancel within the 1st 90 days, we’ll give you a full refund, but even after that, there’s no long-term commitment. If you decided to start today, we’d also call you tomorrow and schedule a few short support calls. That way you’ll carve out time this week, and we’ll make sure you’re comfortable talking to us.”
That’s our sales process in a nutshell. If you’re considering our countertop estimating and scheduling software, hopefully your experience will be like what I’ve described.
Want to know more? At Moraware, we make software for countertop fabricators. CounterGo is countertop drawing, layout, and estimating software. JobTracker is scheduling software that helps you eliminate the time you waste looking for job folders. RemnantSwap is a free place to buy and sell granite remnants with fabricators near you.