Overcoming Stalls in Product-led Sales

Indecisive buyers block PL sales? Offer limited choices, public comparisons, & track usage progress to nudge decisions. Design great user experiences & provide success stories to build trust & win deals

Alok Shukla

By Alok Shukla

Apr 30, 2024 4 min read

NEW - FunnelStory is a proud sponsor of Gainsight Pulse in St. Louis this year (May 15-16). If you are attending Pulse, you can connect with us in many ways

  1. Visit our Booth in the Main hall.

  2. Attend our session on 15th May at 10:15 AM CST on "AI in Action: Cut Busywork by 80%, Turn Customer Journeys into Revenue."

  3. Register for CS Leadership Dinner at Gainsight Pulse on 15th May 2024. Seats are limited.

Overcoming Stalls in Product-led Sales

In the last blog, we looked at why indecision plays a major role in lost sales opportunities and how to discover indecisions in product-led sales (PLS) scenarios. We also looked at one scenario of overcoming indecision in the PLS process. In this edition, let’s look at a couple more scenarios.

Scenario: Prospect stalls due to valuation problems

With too many features and options to choose from, prospects can often find it difficult to narrow down on a specific option. It is also difficult for them to understand whether their choice is superior to what other customers offer.

 Key Strategies:

  1. Limiting purchase options is a great way to force prospects to make decisions with limited but directionally focused information. It is akin to a server helping patrons in a restaurant with personal choices on what to eat (on a menu with too many options).

  2. Providing competitive analysis and adopting publicly available feature names and options allows prospects to easily compare the pros and cons of different functionalities from a public source which reduces the possibility of indecision (stall) significantly.

  3. Communicating weekly or daily progress of how a product solves key problem statements for a prospect creates a body of proof points that can help justify a valuation exercise.

Situation: Prospect struggles with uncertainty of outcome

The possibility of a prospect being unable to see the value of a solution or struggling to reach the desired outcome can stall most trials.

Key Strategies:

  1. Forming well-designed FTUX (First-time user experience) + STUX (Second-time user experience) is a great way to mitigate indecisiveness. A well-designed FTUX ensures that a prospect sees the promised value of a solution in minutes, creating a well-crafted, direct path to success and creating immediate stakes for the prospect. A well-designed STUX can ensure that a prospect learns the value of a solution by re-emphasizing the value with ease of repeatability of reaching that value state.

  2. Building case studies and cookbooks or playbooks can build confidence with prospects during a product-led sales implementation. A Case study that describes the problems of similar prospects and how your solution was able to resolve their needs allows a prospect to gain confidence in your product. Similarly, a cookbook or playbook-style solution approach helps prospects visualize how this product can help them achieve a desired outcome.

  3. Offering digital customer success by helping your prospect with a built-in adoption plan to ensure success goes a long way to answering the “day after” questions. If the prospect understands that both the vendor's and the prospect's goals are aligned, it will help overcome the prospect’s hesitation to make the decision.

In conclusion, indecision is the leading cause of loss of sales for the accounts with purchase intent after the product evaluation cycle has started. It is difficult to discern indecision early in most environments. However, it is substantially harder to discover in product-led sales environments, where a prospect may not interact with a salesperson for an extended period during the sales process. Applying these strategies to discover indecision in product-led sales and solving for them through smarter product and GTM decisions, can help improve conversions significantly.

In other things

FunnelStory hosted a CS leadership dinner in Los Angeles earlier this month. Few of the topics the team discussed during the dinner centered around:

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐫𝐮𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐂𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐫 𝐉𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐲: "Segmentation is key," said one leader. “Not all customers deserve the same treatment." Others passionately agreed that regular journey mapping helps them visualize the experience and communicate strategy to executives.

💫 𝐂𝐒 𝐓𝐨𝐨𝐥 𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐤: Notion scored major points for collaboration. But the crowd favorite? ChatGPT still needs fine-tuning despite concerns about its AI capabilities.

💫 𝐀𝐈'𝐬 𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐑𝐨𝐥𝐞: We heard AI is revolutionizing how one company scales support for lower-volume customers and how another is refining email communication with ChatGPT's help.