If necessity is the mother of invention, there’s probably a software solution that’s already been invented to handle that necessity.
Indeed, people often look to technology to handle life’s little confusions. Whether it’s a consumer wondering how to resize a photo or a business person trying to figure out how to convert a Word document to PDF, there’s most likely a software solution out there just waiting to be discovered to get the job done.
Those seeking a virtual data room solution are no different. When it comes to needing cloud document storage, sharing and security solutions, especially for complex, sensitive transactions, financial and legal professionals are probably not waiting around for a phone call or an email from a salesperson.
More likely, that professional will have already begun to do their homework on their own.
The Way Software Gets Discovered Today
Technology, of course. It might start with a Google search or an email to an industry colleague, but potential buyers of a VDR solution will start evaluating vendors by first doing their own research.
Indeed, more than 75 percent of the customers surveyed by technology industry analyst firm Gartner described their purchase as very complex or difficult.
And salespeople do not make things easier. Companies believe that having a salesperson wine and dine potential customers will shorten the sales cycle and ease the prospect’s pain of choosing a vendor. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
According to the same study from Gartner, sales reps have roughly only 5 percent of a customer’s time during their B2B buying journey to present the benefits of the product they’re selling.
This is because employees are busy doing so many other things, and evaluating software vendors usually isn’t in a job description — but they’re happy to help out anyway.
As such, the buying journey has even become shortened. Companies need a solution immediately, and if, say, a finance or legal professional takes a total of eight hours (spread out over several work days or weeks) to evaluate various VDR solutions, the 5 percent figure cited by Gartner would work out to be just 24 minutes of time.
Could a salesperson really be effective in 24 minutes? Probably not. That isn’t even enough time to take the prospective customer out for a cup of coffee, much less share a screen and walk through the features of the platform.
Why It’s Become So Difficult to Buy
Pesky, annoying salespeople aside, there are other reasons why it’s so hard to buy B2B software, including VDR solutions, these days. Let’s have a look at some of the top reasons.
1. Not Understanding the True TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)
While Pricing is a regular menu item at the top of a company’s website and, once clicked, provides a seemingly straightforward table of pricing tiers with associated features and benefits, that listed pricing often isn’t the whole story.
And we’ve all been there: After we sign up, we notice the bill is a lot higher than we thought. (Is the bill ever lower than we expect? Very rarely…unless, of course, you’re using Caplinked.)
Buyers are suspicious of these “gotchas,” making the buying process tricky. Instead, the TCO needs to be presented early on in a fair, straightforward manner.
2. Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen
The collaborative, team-focused nature of work means that the number of decision-makers, evaluators, and end-users involved in selecting a software solution can become quite a large group. And everyone will have their own opinion.
This is where a single salesperson can’t possibly have the time to meet with everyone (even for the 24 minutes cited above) or please everyone, for that matter. Instead, a steady flow of product sheets, testimonials, case studies and even technical documentation — all content that can be shared — can go a long way in helping potential customers understand the value of the solution.
3. Too Much Complexity and Choice
Buyers don’t know what they don’t know. And oftentimes, software developers are so focused on pushing the coolest, most awesome feature that they fail to realize that the end product is simply too complex for their target market.
Making matters worse is that the list of possible vendors keeps growing, too. According to a list of SaaS companies obtained from Crunchbase in June 2020, there are more than 15,000 SaaS companies in the world. The set of options and solutions buying groups available keeps expanding, as new technologies, products, suppliers and services emerge.
With new vendors popping up every day, promising seemingly identical solutions, even for VDRs, financial and legal professionals wouldn’t have the time to meet with the salespeople from all of them.
The Best Solution for Virtual Data Rooms
A VDR needs to be more than simply a version of cloud document management with simply added layers of permission and security.
Organizations should consider an enterprise document security solution like Caplinked that has years of experience working with financial and legal teams and providing data rooms for sensitive and complex transactions and integrations. Reach out to start your free trial today.
Jake Wengroff writes about technology and financial services. A former technology reporter for CBS Radio, Jake covers such topics as security, mobility, e-commerce, and IoT.