Overcoming the fear of implementation

So, you’ve built a great product.  Bravo!

Better yet if you’ve figured out how to market it.  You’re getting it in front of prospective customers and they quickly see how it can be helpful.

But just showing the product’s benefits and advantages isn’t enough.  Prospects need to see more than that. 

Before they make a purchase decision, they want to see a smooth path to implementing your solution.  They want a painless way to get from where they are now to where you’re promising to take them.

They especially want to know that things won’t go wrong during the transition.

  • Important data won’t get lost 

  • Reports won’t be delayed 

  • Essential work won’t be interrupted 

  • There’ll be no pushback from end users.

No matter how wonderful your solution might be, prospects know that adopting a new product is risky.  That risk and fear can bring the purchase process to an abrupt stop.

What won’t help

I’ll offer some advice on how to overcome this obstacle, but first let me point out what probably won’t work:  Doing more demos.  Showing more features, benefits, and advantages doesn’t address the core objection.  These prospects already see the value of the new features.

And dropping the price is probably equally ineffective.  Fear of moving from one process to another is the issue, not cost.

What could help

Instead, you should show prospective customers a clear, low-risk path to successfully adopting the solution. 

Share your step-by-step implementation process.  Show them that you have a proven methodology for moving data, creating reports, training users, etc.  Make it clear that you’ve thoroughly worked through the process and can navigate them through it flawlessly.

Show customer success.  In addition to talking about the benefits and advantages of the solution, these stories should also show that transition process has been painless for others.  Happy customers shouldn’t just tout the wonders of the new solution.  They should also talk about how easy it was to get there.

Sell the whole solution.  Don’t just talk about the features and functions of the product.  Focus as well on the implementation, training, and support services that go along with the product.  With a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, you’re selling more than just software.  (See link to “Are you forgetting the service part of SaaS?”)

Free trial… maybe

Some of you might be thinking, “What about a free trial?”  That might be one way over the “fear of transition” obstacle.  The prospect gets an opportunity to see first-hand how the product works. 

On the other hand, when using a trial, it’s difficult to assess whether a full-blown implementation will go smoothly.  If the product you’re selling is to be deployed widely for a critical application – an expense reporting application, for example – that looks easy enough to an HR administrator or Finance professional, might be rejected by the employees forced to rely on it.  (See link to “A free trial isn’t really free.”)

Don’t miss this key step

I’ve written before about the long and often interrupted purchase and evaluation process for B2B SaaS solution.  (Link to “Are you giving up on your prospects too soon?”)  And I know the challenge for marketers in guiding prospects through it.  Adding yet another step doesn’t make your life any easier.

But omitting the work where you show prospect’s how to painlessly “get from here to there” and overcome the fear that bad things will happen during the transition isn’t something you can avoid.