Offering a trial when a prospect is deep in the sales cycle seems like a logical way to push your sale along. You already know the value of your product. Giving a prospect the chance to take your product for a test run and experience the benefits themselves sounds like a sure way to seal the deal.
TOPO’s latest benchmark report noted that 54% of deals that went through a trial resulted in a Closed Won opportunity. So based off the research, offering trials to advance opportunities to the end of the sales journey does help to close deals.
But successful trials don’t stem from hands-off tactics, they require you to pay close attention to how the prospect adopts your product during the trial.
By maintaining an active trial process, where you check in and guide your prospect’s adoption of your product, you have more control over their experience, which increases your chances of success. Here are a few tips on how to manage trial adoption so your prospect experiences the product’s value and is encouraged to buy.
Adopt a Time Based Approach
The first step of any trial should be to set a time limit. With a time limit in place you create a sense of urgency — your buyer has a fixed amount of time to test the product. That urgency spurs the buyer to act and engage in the trial.
The length of your trial will vary depending on your business. While it may make sense to put a 14 or 30 day trial in place across the board, consider the companies you are working with. If you sell to small businesses, a seven day trial may be enough time to deploy and try out your product. However, if you work with larger companies, a 30 day trial may be necessary to implement your product across users and teams.
No matter how long the trial is set for, stay actively engaged with the prospect during this time. Even a seven day trial can go astray if you do not take the time to check in. Using SalesLoft you can easily create a cadence for trials and automatically schedule a series of emails to send to your potential buyers. Consistently communicating with trial accounts allows you to stay on top of trial adoption and decreases the risk of opportunities becoming lost.
Aim for Adoption
Making sure the product actually gets put into practice is key to a successful trial run. If the product is not implemented successfully, the prospect could fail to see the value of your product, and reject the sale. By taking a hands on approach you can make sure the trial runs smoothly and is adopted by anyone involved in the sale.
Let’s be realistic though, you don’t have a ton of time to devote to fully train every trial account. If bandwidth (or deal size) allow for it, see if you can involve your customer service or implementation team to quickly train prospects on correct product use.
Aside from formal training sessions, provide any training guides, best practices, or additional content to your trial accounts. You’re already going to use a cadence to consistently check in on the trial. Stretch that cadence even further by using templates that educate your prospect as you check in.
You can even use templates to quickly respond to questions that may arise during a trial. To maximize group adoption, email templated responses to your primary contact and then CC or BCC any members on their team. This way everyone receives the necessary information to get the entire group up and running.
Get the Seal of Approval
A successful trial requires more than making sure the prospect adopts your product. They need to understand the inherent value of incorporating your product into their daily routine. Once they see the value and accept the product, they will be a lot more likely to follow through on the sale.
Gaining acceptance requires two steps on your part. First, set expectations on the front end of the trial with clearly defined milestones. The idea is to show your prospect what the product will do for them in the long term in the confines of their trial period. Milestones can mimic the long term goals the prospect wants to accomplish. Consider challenges the company is facing or pain points and build your milestones as resolutions to those issues.
Once the trial is over, being able to attribute a positive change to your product is a huge win. Before the end of the trial, gather the necessary data so your prospect can explicitly see the milestones were met and make future projections. These steps provide a clear picture of the success your prospect can accomplish with your product moving forward.
As the sales rep, a hands-on trial is the best approach to optimize your prospect’s trial adoption. You create the business need when you guide prospects to fully adopt your product within a set time limit. But the trial is more than timely execution. You show your buyer the value of your product, which will make them a quality customer before the deal is complete.
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