Cooking delicious food and buying apps have a lot in common. All of this is more complicated than it seems.
Let’s assume you have a complete and detailed recipe for preparing your own Beef Wellington at home. You may have all the ingredients and a step-by-step guide to help you, but that doesn’t mean you have the tools or cooking skills needed to make a great dish.
Buying software on paper seems easy. The truth is that it is difficult and convenient for today’s consumers. Consider that consumers should also be more cautious when spending money in a market with limited funds.
The good news is that companies still need software. Although the shopping journey is not what it used to be, it is important to understand their expectations and the challenges that hinder them.
Why do consumers face selection constraints?
There is no doubt that the landscape of B2B software is very different from what it used to be. On top of that, it’s always changing and changing.
But take a moment to think about what it was like to buy software in the 1990s. If you’ve been in this business for a long time, you’ll remember that magazines are one of the best ways to research vendors. In fact, there were several distinct differences in software purchases since then:
- A very limited selection of vendors
- No application form (or specially designed pages)
- You had to wait for the demo CD in the mail
- When you bought it, you also had to wait for the actual copy
Fast forward to today, and it’s clear that buying software doesn’t seem like it used to. The problem has become free will. When you have so many options, choosing software means that the list that best suits your needs is important.
Let’s say you’re looking for a new resource Price CRM. Did you know that G2 currently lists more than 845 different types of software and services in this category? Narrowing down your options in itself is difficult.
Dealing with the investigation of software vendors
The difficulty of buying software goes beyond choice. The following presents a few challenges that buyers must overcome in order to give the green light.
Finding the right content
Assuming a buyer has an initial list of vendors to research, many find that finding the right one can be difficult. Of course, G2 is where most consumers do their research, but it’s possible that they use other tools for their research as well.
Everyone says they are the best. Every website has a great show and stories about their work. But consumers without trust are left wondering how to know who to trust and how to learn more before making a decision.
Lots of insiders
Buying software involves more stakeholders than ever before. This can be confusing for both sellers and buyers.
On top of the discussion among decision makers, add countless others who may be affected by how their opinions and needs are affected by program evaluation. Adding stakeholders throughout the buying process adds complexity as each stakeholder aligns with expectations.
Changing decision makers
Not only are many stakeholders involved in the analysis, decision makers can change throughout the process.
Buyers also need to convince the person who will make the final decision on their project. But if there is a high probability that this person will change in the near future, it can add uncertainty and difficulty.
Risk reduction is an acronym
Software is often a big decision that affects many of its owners. On top of that, price is another factor that buyers should keep in mind. Many management teams are pushing for shorter contracts to reduce the risk if a project does not go ahead.
More than half of the programs are six months or less. In India alone, this number jumps to 69%.
Where to buy
Usually, companies prefer to buy directly from suppliers but now they are looking to buy from third party marketplaces. However, we are now seeing the rise of third-party marketplaces such as AWS Marketplace and Azure Marketplace. These marketplaces offer consumers more choices and experiences like B2C in some cases.
Value-added agents (VARs) are also on the rise, but they look different from the VARs of old. Instead of just installing software, many VARs are now focusing on offering services in conjunction with SaaS software to better serve their customers.
Top goals for software buyers
As the market grows, consumer behavior continues to change. From long lead times to the spread of buying commissions, salespeople need to constantly monitor the buying journey and understand how to win more sales.
What today’s consumers want most
Every buyer is unique in what they want, but it’s important to recognize which items are becoming more difficult when making a decision. According to data from 2022 G2 Buyer Behavior Reportlet’s explore three things that software buyers look for.
- Ease of installation: 93% of consumers indicate that a quality control system is important or very important when choosing to upgrade a software program. This makes sense because consumers are looking for the least amount of friction possible when adding a solution to their technology.
- Time to ROI within six months: It’s no secret why consumers want to achieve ROI quickly, and a good setup with an easy-to-use product will help them get there.
- Ease of use: Coming in as the third most important factor for software buyers in this survey, consumers consider ease of use as part of their decision making process.
4 ways that software vendors can help in the buying journey
Consumers still need apps, so it’s important to improve our understanding of their journey and take the right steps to minimize these challenges. Your goal is to provide support and help make their decision more straightforward.
1. Be familiar with the content
Good things help you stand out, define your value, and show why you are special. The problems that consumers face almost always come back to the product. They are hard to find, don’t answer their questions, or don’t dive deep into their needs.
It’s important to note that a large part of this information is not available on your website but can be very important in helping consumers make informed decisions. This may include information from researchers and thought leaders, as well as customer information from analytical and social media platforms.
To overcome these challenges, you need to have a deep understanding of what customers feel and have strategies that address them. Consider adapting the content in each section of the file and take the time to learn how your customers use that content in their buying journey.
2. Delivery with ease and speed
As mentioned before, ease of use is important. However, there is a growing trend towards the need for ROI, and consumers are increasingly looking to achieve ROI within six months or less. Unfortunately, this step is often overlooked. To ensure success, measuring ROI and communicating its benefits effectively to your prospects is essential.
3. See financial flexibility and improve strategy
As businesses look for ways to stay competitive, your finance team can play a key role in driving growth by finding new ways to increase customer acquisition. One area where investments can benefit greatly is by offering flexible contracts that meet the needs of today’s consumers.
Another way money can help grow is by simplifying the buying process. By streamlining contract processes and offering multiple payment options, vendors can make it easier for customers to do business with them.
Today’s consumers want flexibility in their purchasing decisions, but it’s important to balance this with your financial goals. To increase your success, consider taking the long way. Use the benefits of conversion to increase acquisition, increase customer confidence, and ultimately convert them to long-term contracts.
4. Use international markets
We are seeing an increasing number of consumers purchasing SaaS through global marketplaces. While many vendors focus on direct sales, it is clear that partnering to find new customers can help vendors grow faster. Exploring alternatives allows SaaS providers to tap into previously untapped markets and open up new revenue streams.
When considering your SaaS distribution strategy, evaluating whether these third-party markets are a good fit for your product is important. In addition, it is important to note that VARs are making a comeback, offering value-added services along with your solution.
Keeping tabs on consumer behavior
Although there is no shot that we go back to CD shows or trade magazines for research, software buyers face a huge challenge in finding the right software. The good news is that you can take the right steps to support their buying journey.
Key points from this article
Understand the challenges your customers have to overcome in order to gain trust, deliver valuable insights, and win more.
- SaaS is still growing. However, the market is very competitive.
- Most consumers don’t find what they’re looking for. Expect to fill this gap and build trust.
- Focus on measuring ROI. It sounds simple, but many sellers don’t do it.
- Consumers want less hassle. Check out ways to reduce the hassle of shopping.
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