Current state of ISVs emphasize features
Most B2B SaaS providers rely on highlighting features whenever they sell their products. Whether it is the website messaging or the sales playbook, emphasizing features is easy as features are what users see when they use the product. But many leaders at such SaaS providers miss the forest for the trees.
It is not the end users who are responsible for making the purchase decisions but the buyers who in most cases aren’t the end users. Even if the sales leaders are aware of this dichotomy, many such leaders still rely on pushing features to these buyers. This pattern is also observed in many AWS partners we have had observed at VeUP.
Benefits will showcase the perceived value
Now there is nothing wrong in mentioning features in all of your messaging. But the more effective way of selling is by showing the products’ perceived value to the buyers’ organizations.
Now you will ask, then how does one show the perceived value without relying on the feature set the users want? This is where one must look to identify the functional benefits & emotional benefits that your SaaS product provides. Messaging that relies on benefits to show the perceived value is a proven selling technique that helps SaaS leaders close deals faster, with clients who could have a significant impact on their turnover.
There are two types of benefits that your commercial leaders should rely on:
- Functional benefits: How does your product improve functional or business outcomes for your buyer and end user(s). Few examples for SaaS products include, but not limited to, time saved, revenue increased, faster transactions, reduced turnaround time, costs cut, reduced incidents etc. This is the one that quite a few SaaS companies do identify early on during the bootstrap phase of the product but still fail to incorporate this aspect in a serious manner across their messaging channels.
- Emotional benefits: How does your product improve the emotional wellbeing of your buyer and end user(s). Few examples for SaaS products include, but not limited to, feeling comfortable and nurtured, feeling secure, better knowledge, work smarter, feel trustworthy etc. Many leaders still believe unlike B2C SaaS firms where it does make sense to use emotional messaging, B2B SaaS firms need to emphasize rational messaging, which includes features. But current research seem to point in the other direction. One noteworthy research into 1400 successful messaging campaigns, has come out stating messaging that relies on emotional benefits has seen almost double the success (31% vs 16%) compared to the purely rational messaging.
How to define suitable benefits in your messaging
This where you will need to bring in your Cloud COE or team of cloud champions in a session facilitated by the Product Owner, and put themselves in the shoes of the targeted buyer persona and for each feature on your list, ask “if I am the buyer, what do I get from that?”.
By doing so you will find the team has shortlisted suitable functional benefits aligned against your product. Now once you have defined the functional benefits, in that same session make the participants take the features and functional benefits into account to define how does your SaaS product make your customers feel.
The outcomes from this session must be sent to the marketing team who should embed the benefits in the different messaging channels. Few examples of the many tactical actions the SaaS marketing team can do are:
- Mention the emotional benefits in the H2/H3 Heading tags on your website
- Highlight on every product web or catalog page the functional benefits aligned against product performance and efficiency
- Define on the pricing page the functional benefits around cost reduction and emotional benefits around stress-free purchase and renewal process
While it’s important for B2B SaaS providers to offer a feature-rich product, highlighting only the features may not be enough to close deals with buyers. To effectively sell their product, SaaS providers need to focus on showcasing the perceived value of their product by highlighting the functional and emotional benefits it provides to the buyers and end-users. By doing so, SaaS providers can differentiate themselves from competitors and build a better relationship with their clients. Therefore, SaaS providers should prioritize emphasizing benefits over features to improve their sales effectiveness and increase their revenue.
In most cases, even after understanding the importance of ‘the what’, many aws partners aren’t able to figure out ‘the why’ and ‘the how’ of product benefits. That’s why VeUP’s GTM services enable AWS saas partners to find and embed such product benefits in their messaging channels. Do get in touch to discuss how we can support you in developing the right message for your product.Our Services