Redefining the B2B sales approach throughout a pandemic
Sales cycles in the B2B SaaS industry are renowned for being a lengthy process that involves networking with the right people, relationship nurturing and tailoring the offering (and sometimes the product) to meet requirements. When you look at the RegTech market specifically, industry research reports show impressive RegTech growth for the foreseeable future. According to a recent report published by Allied Market Research, the global RegTech market size is projected to reach $28.33 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 22.3% from 2020 to 2027. This research indicates that selling such solutions should be a cinch, given the market opportunity.
Through speaking to industry peers, clients and prospects, I have gathered that the sales cycles for GRC solutions are not always simple or short, as challenges exist for both vendors and buyers of RegTech solutions.
Some of those challenges are organisationally-focussed, others can be attributed to a global pandemic. COVID, being a once in a hundred-year pandemic, has thrown all norms out the window. Companies often make decisions based on their ability to predict the future using historical events. Unfortunately, the pandemic has disrupted that and made it difficult to predict. Halting or slowing business spend during COVID was a normal reaction, but inevitably, a direct impact of this was further prolonged sales cycles. Removing the uncertainty of COVID however, is not going to instantly shorten such cycles. Lengthy B2B sales cycles along with the organisational challenges that existed before COVID, will still continue to exist once COVID has passed.
Alyne ‘keeps it simple’ for companies to adopt Regulatory Technology
For us, challenges posed to sellers and buyers of RegTech solutions became clearer during the pandemic. A key approach Alyne adopted has been to keep it simple. This approach has contributed to our significant global growth in 2021. While not always easy, forcing ourselves to adhere to the theme of “Keep It Simple” did produce many successes along the way.
Key lessons learned include:
1. Show the immediate return on investment
Business executives have laundry lists of complex challenges. Rather than boiling the ocean, our teams prefer to focus on a key challenge that our solution CAN solve and demonstrate an immediate and quantifiable return on investment (ROI). As Alyne’s SaaS platform comes with out-of-the-box content, we are able to have qualified prospects access Alyne within a short space of time and automate their manual workflows that are often currently run by manual Excel-style processes.
Seeing is believing. When ROI is proven for business executives, many of our sales cycles are shortened.
2. Communicate the product value based on the identified business problem
Very importantly is to know who you are in conversation with. Most business executives are not always trained to understand technical differentiators, and so diving too deep into those aspects can often leave them missing the business value drivers. Focusing too heavily on the technical side, rather than the business value your solution provides can also lead to further colleagues being introduced who are more knowledgeable on the topic to further vet the solution – thus lengthening processes further. Equally, however, if you are in conversation with someone who's geared to understand the technical drivers such as the AI and Machine Learning capabilities, then speak to the strengths of the product in a way that meets their interest, but also focuses on the value or outcome that your capabilities produce - whether that is reducing risk, creating operational efficiencies or driving cost efficiency.
From experience however, a business executive, who I am mostly in conversation with, is not necessarily buying a GRC solution because it leverages leading technology; they are buying it because the value the technology delivers is solving a real and relatable business problem.
3. Form meaningful partnerships
Cultivating rewarding partnerships requires commitment from both sides. Good partners work to expand the footprint of each other. Alyne places heavy emphasis on forming meaningful partnerships where we see the mutual potential to better our product. An advocate in a partner who knows a prospect well will likely shorten the sales cycle by giving your solution credibility. In today’s market, it is paramount.
4. Multi-dimensional: Provide solutions for the future of their business
The definition of RegTech is loosely defined, broad and evolving. Therefore, it is imperative that you demonstrate that your product is highly scalable to meet the changing business needs. Sales cycles inevitably extend when decision-makers view your product as one-dimensional. In the world of RegTech, a software with good scalability, tackling multiple use cases at once, is ideal as business executives aim to optimise their business operations while avoiding a proportional increase in investment. Scalability is often a sign of long-term usability as it demonstrates to a prospect that your product has the ability to scale and meet expanding demand, once the immediate use case is complete. Having a product that is ready to scale will naturally accelerate the decision-making process.
As an example, global regulations, laws and standards are ever increasing and businesses know they may need to adhere to these new guidelines, amongst other factors, to establish global presence in the market. At Alyne, we have shortened global sales cycles by demonstrating that our software can automate the mapping of new regulations to a policy in our Control Library in real-time, through Alyne's Document Mapping functionality. Having a scalable product delivered by experts has assured prospects that they can leverage us in the future, in addition to now.