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Which CTA Would You Want?

In gearing up for our launch, we conducted more than 200 product-market-fit interviews. We circled back with the best conversations and organized small, group discussions. We called these the Reprise Roundtables.

It has become an ongoing event - every month, we invite the most 'in touch' experts we've met to double down on the discussion and help us sort this space out.

In one of our marketing-focused roundtables, I watched a really interesting conversation take place. Kyle Lacy, CMO at Lessonly and Wes Bush, Founder and Principal at the Product Led Institute (check the footer for links to all of their books) had an exchange that I just had to share.

Then, Pete Prowitt from Loom came over the top and schooled us all (IMO). Check out my notes on the discussion, below:

Which CTA would you want? What does that mean?

A CTA, or Call To Action, is a button your leads can click on your website. Are you offering a "Free Demo" or "Contact Sales" button? Go check your own company’s website right now to see what exactly your company's CTA offers.

What are your prospects signing up for when they meet you? This question haunts your marketing team. This button’s effectiveness is often measured by click through rate, but it creates the first impression prospects get from your site, sets a tone for the first interaction with your sales team, and often decides where in the 'seller's motion' a lead gets dropped.

But what about the 'buyer motion?' All the thought leadership today talks to "meet people where they are" or being "customer centric" and "putting your customer first."

But what does it mean to be buyer centric here? What button does your buyer want?

Why does the Trial win?

Buyers seem to want a Trial CTA. But why?

If you ask the CEB Group, Gartner, Forrester, or Wes himself in Product Led Growth, they'll say that buying has changed, and most buyers now vote in polls to say they prefer to self-lead their evaluations. People call it the B2C/Consumerization of B2B SaaS sales. The appstore on my phone and the easy onboarding approach for apps like Netflix, Airbnb, and Uber have conditioned us to thinking, 'If I could just click around and see what it does...."

So, why don't we all do a Trial CTA?

This was a fascinating reaction for me to watch. I love free trials and every sales process I've ever designed has me pushing people into ungated/poorly qualified trials post haste.

But what if the trial itself doesn't "pop?" What if there's a delayed time-to-value, or the trial requires a couple of set up/config steps that a typical prospect will skip? What if the product doesn't make sense until you're properly trained?

Kyle's point was that we might "want" a trial, but is a trial always what we need?

Fascinating. But now I don't know where to turn...

Should we be "Buyer-Centric"?

Buyer-centric become the most-used phrase in all of our roundtables in the context of how we should change our CTA and initial sales motion.

While most said we should be buyer-centric, there was also agreement that we shouldn't translate that directly into what our buyers would want in our process. What was the debate?

  • How technical are you? Will a trial work or fail?
  • How expensive are you? Should we clear that first?
  • How long is your time to value? Will they give up before ROI?
  • How far apart is your user and buyer? Can your user role even approve a trial?
  • How mature is your space? What are your competitive factors?
  • Of course, these were just a proxy for the ultimate test. Which one works best?

Ask yourself these questions to help make an educated guess on what offer is right for you and your business. Efficacy in securing and servicing customers is the true north.

Summary/conclusion

In conclusion - the Roundtables felt there is no "right" answer on what CTA to have and how directly to cater to your buyers on how they'd want the sales process to start.

My favorite line came from Pete Prowitt at Loom:

"Your funnel should have multiple openings through which your prospects can enter. Stop picking a team and understand that we you can do more than one."

It's about listening to your buyers, understanding and reacting to the pivots in your process as they expose holes in your funnel, and not being afraid to try new things.

Read Kyle here:

Kyle Lacy on Amazon

Read Wes here:

Wes Bush on Amazon