Here’s how to reduce friction in your B2B sales cycle and improve your demo booking rate 🚀

Demo drop offs in B2B SaaS sales is a completely avoidable early stage friction point. If you have a long sales cycle (say 8+ weeks) frankly, it’s one friction point you can’t have. Here’s how to improve your prospect’s journey by reducing friction at the demo stage.

Look at the data to find friction points in the buyer’s journey

First, look at the buyer’s journey — how long did the prospect spend on the site before filling in the form? Did they even visit the site?

Look at your analytic tools (HubSpot, GA, HotJar etc) and see if you notice a correlation between demo no responses and web activity. Then talk to customers who have recently converted to understand if they can recall their experience and points of friction. At Outfit, there were two obvious friction points:1. We made it too hard — people had to fill in a long form, wait for sales follow up, then calendars needed to align. But, often people just wouldn’t write back to us. Which led to problem 2. 2. There was a brand issue. If follow up was longer than 10 hours after a prospect submitted the form, they often didn’t respond to our AE leading to the assumption that brand recall was a big issue.

Use your automation tools to handle the heavy lifting

Friction point 1 is the easier to combat than point 2. If you use an automation tool such as HubSpot you can automate your demo requests.

To tackle this at Outfit, we mapped out a workflow like this (also see the Twitter stream for a sketch workflow):

  1. Submits demo request
  2. Lead score calculates
  3. Workflow beginsIf unqualified: There’s a manual qualification check. If they actually are qualified, they go to sales. If not, they’re politely qualified out. If qualified: a personalised email from an assigned AE goes to the prospect 10 minutes after the request. The email contains an introduction, thanks them and gives the prospect a calendar to book in for a demo.

Once the meeting is booked in, then it’s time to ensure the prospect doesn’t forget you before the meeting. For example, you can start an awareness email nurture that highlights education and customer case studies. Plus, you can make sure you have remarketing brand ads running as additional air coverage. While this certainly isn’t going to be the be-all-end-all fix to your brand recall woes, it will help.

Execute, test, review and iterate

Ensure you educate the team about the new process, get their suggestions and buy in, set it up, test it and wait a month. Ideally your business will see an uptick in booked demos and most importantly, your prospect feels seen, as well as empowered, to book a time that’s convenient for them.

At Outfit, we’ve had two benefits:1. More prospects booking demos (and better yet, actually showing up!)2. AE’s have more time now there’s less follow up.

However, don’t just end it here. In a few months, review and iterate. For example, maybe A/B test the subject line of your booking email if it’s not being opened. Consider more and more ways to reduce friction. Marketing is all about test and measure, sure. But most importantly, marketing should be about what’s best for your prospect and what’s the quickest way to go from the never knowing your brand to actually purchasing you offering.

I’d love to hear what you thought of this article, or any other advice you have on this topic.

Hello there, I’m participating in #Ship30for30 on Twitter. It’s a writing program with the aim to produce content people actually want to read. You can learn more about it here*. This is the first cab off the rank. Essay 1 of 30.

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