This year, many business leaders have predicted that we will see a rise in adoption of the freemium business model and the sale of small-budget, short-term solutions. These will also be given priority over more traditional sales models. Currently, it is estimated that half of all B2B SaaS companies offer some type of free trial, allowing people to test their services risk-free.
Below, we explore how this trend may affect your company, regardless of what you sell.
Getting users hooked
Though some view freemium business models as a modern-day phenomenon, companies have been offering free trials for ages to get people hooked on their product or service.
Back in the day, AOL used it to get consumers to adopt the Internet, something users were extremely hesitant to do at first, and a move that eventually would shape the face of history. Hubstaff saw a huge increase in sales leads after they offered their users a trial too.
There are, of course, costs your business will have to incur if you offer free trials. However, there is a lot of potential to increase your company’s reach and long-term sales in doing so.
Trials, tests, and rents
If you don’t think your company has a product that would work in this arena, you may want to think again.
Pharmaceutical companies give away free samples by the truckload, engineering companies let people test their equipment for a nominal fee, and technology companies share their services for up to two weeks by the millions.
There is likely a way that you haven’t thought of yet to get your own company in the game. If you are planning to delve into this strategy, One tactic to remember is that very few people will actually use your product more than a few days if you offer a very long trial (unless it’s something crucial to everyday business). Keeping your free trial period short encourages customers to use it before they lose it.
This is likely a good time to talk to your customers now — especially if you have something new coming out on the market soon. Selling them on a different service or upgraded version of your current product should hopefully give you an indicator of how new businesses would respond.
If offering a free one-week trial is met with interest and enthusiasm, then it’s a good place to start. Branching out into other arenas at the very least gives you the means to start collecting data that can be used to determine future company strategy. It may also increase the word of mouth you get between businesses through your offer. As marketing and sales expert Amber Naslund says, “In the world of B2B, your professional network is everything. Because your business is about business, the potential of who you know and who they know is where powerful connections happen.”
Instincts and sales
You’re obviously looking to take people from the short-term side of the fence to the long-term, but you’re also looking to maintain your business relationships across the board. If a buyer is skeptical about your claims, then a free trial ensures they won’t feel misled or trapped in a partnership that isn’t working for them.
If you’re seeing a lot of free trial user churn, you may end up with the feedback you need to improve your offerings in ways that make it more relevant to the business community at large. This can also be the perfect chance for people to see what your product or service has to offer, allowing it to help in selling itself.