Been evaluating products for the last couple weeks. Here are some observations:
- Have videos that show the product at work. I can only read/watch so much marketing talk (it’s always the same talk). Show me videos and give me the option to see screenshots too.
- Are you guys serious about making a sale? Have online demos that actually work. With usernames and passwords on screen, or better yet, already filled out on the demo login page. Make the demo site have lots of data already. Make the demo site fast and beautiful. The number of product demos that don’t work (hello Nagios XI) or are slow/ugly is amazing. For comparison, Magento’s demo site is excellent.
- Don’t make me sign up for demos or pricing information. It just irritates me, and you are going to get lots of @mailinator.com signups which doesn’t do your company any good. If I want more information, I will contact you. But not before I’ve evaluated your product.
- Show me how the product fits into standard business processes and solves common problems. Better yet, show me how it has solved problems in real companies in the real world. Yes, get your client’s permission to pimp them – it leaves a lasting impact. splunk.com does this very well.
- Know when to speak business talk and when to speak technical talk when pimping your product. Don’t mix them up, and know which page on your site is targeting whom. And be clear about your product proposition. In math parlance, your product pitch needs to have rigor, depth and (if time permits) breadth. Serious buyers will understand and appreciate your focus.
- Write in English. Have your demo sites in English. Have your videos in English. Have your screenshots in English. I don’t understand your language. English is today’s global lingua franca.
- Put up pricing information. Pricing information allows me to evaluate whether your product fits my budget constraints. if the big guys can do it, you can do it too. Forcing me to contact you for pricing information means you are probably going to lose a potential sale because I just don’t have time or have better things to do with what little time I have. The only time I’d contact you is if you’re shortlisted and I am going to negotiate with you.
- Clearly outline your SLA’s and support details. Include cost options. If I need better SLA’s or support details, I’ll contact you to negotiate.
That’s pretty much it.