Most B2B SaaS teams have a funnel shaped like a martini glass. It starts wide at the top, narrows immediately after the first stage, and then stays relatively constant the rest of the way through.
This is the vendor “qualifying” out. Lose early.
It’s also the prospect refusing to work within the process you’ve outlined.
Typically it’s either more demos or a trial.
Tell me if I’m wrong – but you know that’s the “next step” for 90% of SaaS vendors. We either get a “big demo” or a “free trial” as the middle of our funnel.
Here’s the problem.
With the big demo:
- it’s rude and assumes your champion has no power
- it also assumes your champion’s boss wants to meet you
- I don’t meet my vendors – I trust my managers.
With the free trial:
- typically it takes 2-3 config calls and a few weeks of usage before any value is shown
- I don’t want homework; I just want to see it work
- I want the aha! moment, not the “joy” of setting up software
Why do sellers make their prospects do things they wouldn’t want to do themselves? The truth is they never had a choice – until now.
Here’s the new “next step” after a first call:
Send your demo environment. Bonus points if you tailor the data to resonate with the specific champion you met. Because they already told you:
- which use case matters
- what integration points you need
- what roadblocks/fears they have
So build that right into a sandbox and email it over.
I’m talking right after a discovery call. Before the demo. Before the trial. Give your champion a clickable sandbox experience that shows them exactly how they’d use your product.
It gets your prospect straight to the point – this is how you would use our product. They’ll use this to loop their boss in. They’ll use it to build a business case. They’ll use it to get comfort with the idea of adopting your product. And they’ll do it all for you, instead of bailing from the first meeting because they don’t like your next steps.
Now do you want to take that next step?