From Freemium to Pilots: The Battle of B2B Customer Acquisition Strategies (AMA)
If you’ve spent any time in B2B SaaS, you’ve likely lived through multiple GTM motions. So which motion is best? And what do other companies run? We put together a panel of folks with completely different GTM models so we can explore the overriding principles that should lead this decision.
The Importance of First Experiences
The first experience that prospects have with a product is crucial. It determines if they want to come back for more. There is a difficult balance to discover between providing value to the user while minimizing the resources required from human pilots. People want to get things done, and having someone in the middle can sometimes hinder their experience. Over time, a try-before-you-buy approach has become the expectation.
Running Effective Pilots
Pilots are an extremely effective way of converting prospects to customers. Julie Oddo’s team goal is to convert 85% of their pilots to customers. To do this, her team condenses a year’s worth of value into 60 days.
Why 60 days? Instructors build content, learners take the content, learner survey, and insights review. Multiple personas touch the product, so it requires a 60-day trial period. Paid pilot programs, such as the one offered by Learn to Win, do an excellent job creating a partnership between two organizations because both companies have skin in the game. For businesses that have more intensive onboarding, require cross collaboration to see value, or involve complex workflows, a pilot program is a great option to consider.
Free Trials Provide Plenty of Options
Many PLG companies approach customer acquisition with a “forever free” plan. Yet there can be a struggle to convert those single-player users to enterprise level features. Providing incentives such as a 14-day trial with higher limits, better support, and access to premier features can incentivize enterprise plan conversion. Templates and tours get users up to speed quickly with little human touch. Not all users want free trials, so it is important to offer immediate value to free users.
Condensing the value to the shortest amount of time possible is the main takeaway. Every business, regardless of size or product offering, should try and identify what is the shortest amount of time it takes to get someone to value, and then focus on driving that experience.