Buyers vs Users

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Let’s say you sell a SaaS product, with software developers as the target audience.
They get in touch to talk about testing the product in their organization.
Even if they are the ones talking to Sales initially and drive a Proof of Concept, are they also the ones buying it?

Not necessarily. In some organizations, software developers can make buying decisions, either directly by using the company credit card or through their manager, who purchases based on a majority vote.

But in other organizations, the person buying the product is not the same as using it later on.
The buyer might be someone from the purchasing department or a C-Level executive.
In either case, have you tried talking to them in the same way you talk to developers about your product?
I did initially, and it wasn’t fruitful. A CTO doesn’t care too much about all the great features we provide.

First of all, a CTO wouldn’t directly use the product, but also, they have different metrics to determine success for themselves.
Metrics to determine success?
For instance, a developer might determine their success by the number of features delivered, the number of bugs fixed, or how many code reviews they performed.
On the other hand, a CTO might be concerned with the efficiency of the entire developer organization or how to save costs.
With these metrics in mind, can your product make an impact?
What are the benefits that enable cost savings and an increase in efficiency?

Now, how is that critical for sales conversations?
When you talk to developers in, let’s say, an initial discovery call, you discuss their use cases and see if you might be able to help them. It’s a technical conversation.
Then, you need to find out about the next steps and which ultimately makes the purchasing decision.
In case somebody else makes the purchasing decision, find out as much as you can about the process. Will there be a meeting? Who else is attending?
Can you talk to the decision-maker directly? For these discussions, you need to have your arguments and benefits at hand that matter to them. How can you save costs? How can you enable the team to be more efficient? What is your story?

Even if you can’t talk to the decision-maker directly, offer to meet with the developers to prep them for the decision-making meeting with your prepared arguments.
It’s common in today’s organizations that you have influencers and advocates in the organization who sell on your behalf. They like the company, the product and now put in the effort to get it purchased.
The better you can support them in these discussions, the higher the chance to close a deal.

Now, what are your benefits? Sit down and come up with the benefits necessary for the users. Then, do the same again for the buyer. What do they care about, and how can you make their lives easier?