4 Ways to Help Software Buyers Overcome a Challenging Purchase Process

by Samuel Pordengerg May 25, 2023 News
4 Ways to Help Software Buyers Overcome a Challenging Purchase Process

There are a lot of similarities between cooking and buying software. They are more complex than you might think.

If you have a detailed recipe, you can make your own beef Wellington. You might have all the ingredients and a step-by-step recipe to walk you through, but this doesn't mean you have the skills to make a good dish.

Buying software on paper is easy. It's a complex and nuanced process for buyers today. Buyers need to be more cautious with their spending in a market with tighter budgets.

There is good news and bad news. The buying journey isn't what it used to be, but it's important to understand what they expect and what challenges stand in the way

Why buyers experience choice paralysis

It is clear that the B2B software landscape is vastly different than it was. It is constantly evolving and changing.

What was it like to buy software in the 90s? Magazines are one of the best sources for researching vendors if you have been in this industry for a while. There were a few different ways to buy software back then.

  • Very little choice in vendors
  • No demo request forms (or exceptionally-designed websites)
  • You had to wait for a physical CD demo in the mail
  •  When you made a purchase, you again had to wait for a physical copy

Software buying doesn't look the same as it used to. Freedom of choice has made the problem worse. Selecting software that best fits your needs becomes necessary when you have so many choices.

You want to source a newCRM. G2 has over 800 different software products and services in this category. Whittling down your options is not easy.

The struggles of researching software vendors

Beyond choice, the challenges of software buying are still there. There are a few hurdles buyers need to overcome to get the go-ahead.

Sourcing the right content

Finding the right content can be difficult if a buyer has a list of vendors to research. It is more likely that buyers use other content in their exploration than in G2.

Whats holding up buyers - Chris Perrine thought leadership

They claim to be the best. There are interactive demos and stories on every website. Buyers without credible content are left wondering how they know who to trust and how to learn more.

More internal stakeholders

Stakeholders are more involved in buying software. This can make things difficult for both the vendor and the buyer.

Findings about stakeholders from the 2022 G2 Buyer Behavior Report

Adding in the countless others who will be impacted and how their opinions and needs factor into evaluating software is a must. Adding new stakeholders during the buying process makes the process more complex.

Changing decision-makers

Stakeholders are more likely to be included in the evaluation.

Decision makers data from the 2022 G2 Buyer Behavior Report

The person making the final decision about the project needs to be convinced by the buyers. Uncertainty and difficulty can be added if there is a strong likelihood that this person will change in the near future.

Reducing risk with shorter terms

The software decision affects many people. Buyers have to keep in mind cost as well. If the project doesn't work out, many management teams want shorter contracts.

Average contract length for SaaS 6 months or less

Half of the software contracts are less than six months. The percentage jumps to 69% in India.

Where to make the purchase

Companies prefer buying directly from vendors but are now looking at buying from third-party marketplaces. The rise of third-party marketplaces is now being seen. Some of the marketplaces give buyers more options and a more B2C experience.

The VARs of the past are not the same as the VARs of today. VARs are now focused on delivering services in conjunction with software applications to better serve their customers

Top considerations for software buyers

The buyer behavior changes with the market. Vendors have to constantly assess the buying journey and understand how to win more deals.

Every buyer is unique in what they want, but it's important to realize which factors are more critical in their decision-making There are three most common things software buyers want.

  • Ease of implementation: 93% of buyers indicate that the quality of the implementation process is important or very important when deciding to renew a software product. This makes sense because buyers are looking for the least friction possible when adding a solution to their technology stack.
  • Time to ROI within six months: It’s no mystery why buyers want to achieve ROI quickly, and a good implementation process and 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 study, buyers increasingly view ease of use as part of their decision-making.

4 ways software vendors can aid in the buying journey

It's important to process what we understand about their journey and take the right steps to mitigate these challenges Provide assistance and help make their decision simpler.

1. Stand out with great content

Content can help you stand out, communicate your value, and convey why you are unique. Content is the most common challenge buyers face. It's either hard to find or not answer their questions.

A lot of this content won't be found on your website, but it can still be important in helping buyers make informed decisions. Customer and expert content can be included in this.

You have to understand customer pain points and have a content strategy that addresses them to overcome these challenges. Take the time to gain insights into how your buyers consume content on their buying journey if you combine a mixture of content for every stage of the funnel.

2. Deliver ease and speed

The ease of implementation is important. Buyers are increasingly looking to achieve a return on investment within six months. This step isn't often taken care of. It's important to measure and communicate the value of the return on investment.

3. Explore financial flexibility and process optimization

The finance team can help drive growth by exploring new ways to increase customer acquisition. Flexible contracts that meet the needs of today's buyers is one area where finance can make a difference.

It is possible to simplify the buying process with finance. Vendors can make it simpler for customers to do business with them by streamlining the contracting process.

Today's buyers want more flexibility in their purchases, but it's important to balance this with your financial goals. Take a long-term approach to maximizing your success. Flexibility can be used to increase acquisition, build customer trust, and eventually convert them to longer-term contracts.

4. Leverage global marketplaces

Buyers are buying software through global marketplaces. Partnering to access new customers can help vendors grow faster, even though most vendors focus on direct sales. Alternative channels allow for the tapping of previously unexplored markets and the creation of new revenue streams.

Evaluating third-party marketplaces is an important part of your distribution strategy. Value-added services are being offered by VARs along with your solution.

Keeping tabs on buyer behavior trends  

Software buyers face an uphill challenge in finding the right software since there is no chance of us ever going back to demo CDs or trade magazines. The good news is that you can help them along the way.

Understand the challenges your buyers have to overcome in order to win more deals.

  • SaaS is still proliferating. However, the market is incredibly competitive.
  • Most buyers can’t find the right content. Step up to fill that gap and build trust.
  • Focus on measuring ROI. It sounds simple, but most vendors don’t do it.
  • Buyers want less friction. Explore ways to reduce friction in the purchase process.

Do you want to show off your badges? The G2 Content Marketing Subscription can be used to build trust and win more deals.

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