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How to convince your prospects to switch software (REPUB DRAFT)

How to convince your prospects to switch software (REPUB DRAFT)

When you talk to prospects about switching software, you almost always encounter resistance. So how can you manage—and overcome—that resistance?

Let’s assume your software is legitimately better, which means switching is in the best interests of your prospects. Obviously, you can’t bully them into submission. That’s not how it works anymore. Simply saying, “Look, we’re better. Sign here,” isn’t a very effective sales tactic anyway. Massive discounts might seem like a quick fix in the short-term, but they rarely lead to long-term success for you and your customers.

When you’re talking to prospects who are hesitant to switch software, forget about complicated sales formulas and surefire sales hacks.

There are only two ways to convince an organization to make the switch:

  1. Be patient
  2. Follow up

I know this doesn’t sound exciting, but it works. And that’s all you should care about.

The cost of switching software

Before we go any further, let’s get one thing clear: the cost of switching software is high. You’re not just competing with the price of their product—you also need to consider the cost of training, adopting new processes, and many other factors that are difficult to quantify. If prospects are reluctant to switch, they may be thinking about cost factors that have nothing to do with your product’s actual sticker price.

So what’s the #1 reason why organizations don't switch software?

Bad timing.

Look at things from their perspective and you'll understand why bad timing can make a deal almost impossible. They might have just spent three months talking to vendors, evaluating products, dragging stakeholders to meetings, championing their solution throughout the organization, signing off on a budget, overseeing implementation...and then you call to pitch your product.

There’s no way they’re going to switch to your software at that point, even if it’s 10X better. The cost of switching is way higher than the value they’d gain from adopting your better software.

So what can you do?

Be patient

Acknowledge that this isn’t the right time, and adopt a long-term approach. The timeline for this deal won’t be measured in weeks, but in months.

And that shouldn’t bother you—you should be excited. If nothing else, you’re building a pipeline of great, high-value leads that you can close six, twelve, or eighteen months from now. You have an opportunity to build a stronger relationship and learn more about their buying process.

When the prospect’s current contract runs out, or the barriers to switching software are lowered, there’s a good chance you’ll have the inside track. Why? Because you understand their business. You know what makes them tick. You know the key stakeholders. You know their internal champions. And, most importantly, you know that they already value your product.

Follow up

To maintain a strong relationship with your prospects, you need to follow up every month (or at least every quarter) with a quick email or call. By doing so, you’re able to build a level of understanding, rapport, and trust.

These follow-up emails don’t need to be complicated:

Hey Rebecca,

Can we hop on a quick call on Wednesday @ 4:00 p.m. or Thursday @ 11:00 a.m.?

Cheers,
Steli

P.S. I think you might find this post interesting!

The more consistently you reach out, the more top-of-mind you’ll be when they’re ready to make a change.

Is the prospect worth your time?

Ask yourself this question regularly. There’s no reason to waste time on prospects who will never close.

If a prospect is a good fit for your software, keep following up—even if they’re unlikely to buy any time soon. But if you learn more about their business, and you decide they might not actually be a good fit, move on to other prospects in your pipeline, no matter how much time you’ve invested.

You should also consider the actual worth of the deal. If you're only going to make a couple hundred bucks, do you really need to dedicate more time, money, and resources to win over the prospect? Probably not.

Wrapping things up

When you know your software is the best, it’s not easy to be patient. But a prospect’s reluctance isn’t always about you. And it’s not always about right now.

If you want to close more deals, there’s no sexy sales hack. And there’s no secret formula for success. Just be patient and follow up. That’s the only advice you need when prospects aren’t ready to switch software.

Need help managing your prospects' objections? Download this easy-to-use objection management template right now!

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