Whilst the common assumption is a free trial and zero-touch approach is the best way to sell SaaS, there is often debate as to whether this is the best approach, or if a demo is the best approach.
For some products it’s obvious – a low-cost product that is quick to get started with a free trial makes sense, whereas a complex enterprise product with a long sales cycle requires a sales led demo approach.
However, many sit in the middle and there may not be a right answer.
So, which option is best for your SaaS product – a demo or a free trial?
To help you decide which option is right for your SaaS product, here we look at both strategies in more detail and explain some of the pros and cons of each.
Typically, the customer trials the product for free over a limited period of time, such as 14 or 30 days. This lets the user see the value of the product and experience the features first-hand, in the hope that they will sign up for the software at the end of the free trial. An extension to this is the freemium or Product Led Growth business model where the free trial is typically limited by features, rather than time.
Clearly there are a number of key benefits to a free trial:
Despite the many benefits associated with free trials, there are some drawbacks too.
If a free trial is right for your SaaS product, check out our blog Getting Customers Onboard: 6 Stages to Ensure Your SaaS Free Trial Converts to learn how to convert more free trial users into paid customers.
A demo is typically undertaken online using a tool like Zoom and it allows you to showcase your different product features to a potential customer on a one-to-one or one-to-many basis.
If a demo is right for your SaaS business, here’s 6 quick tips to make your SaaS demos a success Great, someone’s booked a demo for our SaaS product.
For some SaaS products, the free trial option might drive more sales, whereas for others, a demo may be the better option.
Whichever method you choose, will depend largely on a number of different factors, such as your product’s complexity, target audience and sales cycle. However, it’s likely that the option you finally decide on, will be determined by the one that drives the most sales for your SaaS product. And in some cases, you may even find that offering both options – a demo and a free trial – is the best option for your SaaS product.
You can always test this – try a demo, try a free trial, try both, look at the data and make decisions from there.
Xander Marketing works in partnership with SaaS businesses around the world to support growth through new customer acquisition, increasing leads, generating more website traffic and raising industry awareness.
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