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How to Get B2B SaaS Prospects to Embrace Change

Prospects and change.

I’m a sucker for shiny, new online services.

Even when I’m happy with what I’m using, it is tempting to try something else.

For example, I participated in a conference call with someone using Sessions.us, an AI-powered platform. A friend who raved about it (and the sweet deal he purchased on AppSumo) piqued my interest.

But I didn’t leave Zoom for the Sessions bandwagon for several reasons. 

Zoom integrates with many of my other tools, so switching to Sessions would have meant a lot of manual work. Sessions also had similar prices, so there was no economic advantage.

My experience with Sessions reflects the experience of most consumers. Even though there are better options, jumping on another bandwagon takes a lot of work.

Understanding Resistance to Change

Change is hard. It’s really hard.

People don’t like to switch horses midstream; they’re comfortable with existing tools and processes. It’s like eating oatmeal every morning. There’s nothing wrong with oatmeal, but better and arguably more delicious options are available.

This resistance to change can happen due to several factors:

Comfort and (sad to say) laziness:

Once people discover a product that works reasonably well, they stick with it rather than investing time and effort into purchasing and learning something new. 

It’s the adage of “dance with the one that brought you.”  If a customer has used a product for months or even years, it becomes an integrated part of their daily routine and how they get work done.

Learning Curve:

Knowing a new SaaS service or platform can be daunting and a huge barrier that people must be more willing to tackle. Learning is often equated to work, long hours and potential frustration when things aren’t easy and clear.

It means that companies looking to attract prospects need to be crystal clear about how the product works and, as importantly, how they can easily and quickly get up and running. Even if there’s a learning curve, they must position it as gentle and seamless rather than long and painful.

Triggers for Considering Change

At some point, something causes a prospect to say, “I’m willing to think about change.” The spark or motivation can happen for a variety of reasons.

Lack of innovation or the shiny new toy syndrome: 

Customers may look elsewhere if a product has not been updated or improved in a long time. Many successful companies have become fat and happy because they have many customers. 

One of them is Kodak, which rejected digital technology for cameras (which it invented) because its film photography business was so big. 

Kodak’s engineers invented the first digital camera in 1975. When Sony introduced the first digital consumer camera in 1981, Kodak executives dismissed its impact.

You could also point fingers at Research in Motion, which dismissed the iPhone as a threat to the BlackBerry. 

RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie infamously said, “It’s kind of one more entrant into an already very busy space with lots of choice for consumers … But in terms of a sort of a sea-change for BlackBerry, I would think that’s overstating it.”

What happened to Kodak and RIM is that their products looked old, tired, and boring over time, allowing new players to highlight their innovations. Today, for example, there’s growing competition from companies that have embraced AI or automated workflows.

Price Fatigue: Customers may become unhappy with rising prices, especially if the product hasn’t been updated. Price fatigue may decrease customer satisfaction and loyalty. When the return on investment (ROI) becomes less apparent, customers may question the product’s value and look for more cost-effective or alternative solutions.

Price fatigue can occur due to various factors, including:

  • Lack of innovation: When a product or service remains stagnant, with no significant updates or improvements, customers may feel higher prices aren’t justified.
  • Overreliance on price increases: Companies may rely too heavily on price hikes to drive revenue growth without considering the long-term consequences for customer satisfaction.
  • Inflation and rising costs: Companies may pass on increased costs to customers through price hikes, leading to price fatigue.
  • Market changes and competition: Shifts in the market, such as the entry of new competitors or changes in customer preferences, can lead to price fatigue if companies fail to adapt and innovate.
  • Customer perception: Customers may see price increases as unfair or unjustified, leading to decreased satisfaction and loyalty.

Pressure from peers is a powerful force

Peer pressure can be a strong change agent. For example, if a prospect has been using a tool like WebEx but notices that their peers are raving about Zoom, they may start to feel like they are missing out. 

This fear of missing out (FOMO) can be a major trigger for change, even if the prospect is happy with their current tool. After all, it’s hard to be 100% happy when everyone else seems to be having a better time with another product.

Similar to peer pressure, social proof is another compelling psychological trigger. Prospects are heavily influenced by what others in their industry, social circles, or respected authorities are doing. 

A company can leverage this approach by providing social proof such as testimonials, case studies, and examples of other companies or individuals who have successfully made the switch. 

When prospects see their peers embracing the new product, it will be easier to follow suit and maintain credibility.

One of the biggest barriers to getting prospects to switch is the perceived cost and effort required to make the change. 

Switching costs can feel intimidating, whether it’s the time needed for training, data migration, or adjusting workflows. To overcome this hurdle, highlight the long-term benefits and cost savings that outweigh the short-term inconveniences. 

Offer resources, support, and guidance to make the transition smooth. By mitigating these concerns, you remove a significant obstacle preventing prospects from embracing your new product.

Creating a Compelling Case for Change

So, let’s focus on how you can become a “change agent” who educates and convinces prospects to come to the other side.

Highlight Pain Points

Focusing on your prospects’ issues, pain points, or problems is crucial to compelling a case for change. 

It’s not enough to simply present your product’s features and benefits; you need to understand and articulate your prospects’ real-world challenges and how they impact their business. By emphasizing the need for change, you can position your solution as the solution to their problems.

Articulate the Costs of Inaction

Show prospects the costs and consequences of sticking with the status quo. It involves the immediate and long-term impacts of their current situation. Here are some strategies to highlight these costs:

Quantify the Pain:

Use data and statistics to quantify the impact of their problems. For example, “Companies that rely on manual data entry spend an average of 300 hours per month on administrative tasks, leading to an annual cost of $150,000 in lost productivity.”

Highlight Opportunity Costs:

Explain what they are missing out on by not making a change. It could include lost revenue opportunities, inability to capitalize on market trends, or failure to leverage new technologies that competitors are adopting.

Emphasize Risks:

Discuss the risks associated with not addressing their pain points. For instance, “Continuing to use an outdated CRM system increases the risk of data breaches, which could result in significant financial losses and damage to your brand’s reputation.”

Use Real-World Examples: Provide case studies or examples of other companies that faced similar issues and the negative outcomes they experienced by not addressing these problems promptly. Conversely, share success stories of those who embraced change and reaped the benefits.

Empathize and understand

It’s important to convey empathy and understanding of their struggles. Acknowledge that change can be daunting and that their reluctance is valid. It builds trust and shows that you are genuinely interested in helping them solve their problems, not just selling a product.

  • Acknowledge Their Challenges: “We understand that switching to a new system can seem overwhelming, especially when your team is already stretched thin with their current workload.”
  • Provide Reassurance: “Our team will be with you every step of the way, providing comprehensive training and support to ensure a smooth transition with minimal disruption to your operations.”

Visualize the Solution

Once the pain points and their costs are articulated, shift the focus to how your solution addresses these issues. Use visuals, such as before-and-after scenarios, to help prospects visualize the positive impact of making a change.

Before and after scenarios: “Before implementing our solution, one of our clients was struggling with a 20% customer churn rate due to inefficiencies in their service delivery. After switching to our platform, they saw a 15% increase in customer retention and a 10% boost in overall satisfaction.”

Charts and graphs: Use charts and graphs to illustrate improvements in key metrics, such as reduced costs, increased productivity, or higher customer satisfaction.

You can create a powerful narrative that underscores the necessity of change by highlighting your prospects’ pain points and showing the costs and consequences of sticking with the status quo. It will help your prospects be more open to new solutions and embrace the change you advocate.

Simplify the Transition: 

Simplifying the transition process is essential to effectively encouraging prospects to embrace change. Comprehensive onboarding support is a crucial element in this strategy. 

Offering onboarding programs that include step-by-step guides, personalized training sessions, and easy-to-follow documentation can significantly reduce the intimidation factor of adopting a new product. This support ensures new users feel confident and capable as they explore and use your product, minimizing initial frustrations and resistance.

Another way to engage and delight new customers is to offer accessible and engaging tutorials. These tutorials should cater to various learning styles and use videos, infographics, and written instructions. Offering a library of resources allows new customers to learn in a way that suits them best. 

Here’s an example of good onboarding from Tally. It’s the email I received after confirming my email address. It welcomes me as a customer and clearly explains what I should do next to experience the form-building tool.

Getting prospects to consider new options requires a deep understanding of the factors that trigger their willingness to explore new possibilities. By recognizing and strategically addressing the barriers to change, companies can help prospects move forward confidently and get them excited about a new product with new or different possibilities. 

Remember, change is not a one-time event but a multi-faceted process that needs nurturing.

With tenacity, consistency and empathy, you can inspire your prospects to consider and enthusiastically embrace your product.


The obligatory CTA

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