Matt Matergia | 05/03/2020
BIY as a path to DIWM (part 1)
Touchless sales, self service, product led growth, call it what you want, the way that consumers and businesses buy is changing. 86% of respondents in our recent Buy-It-Yourself (BIY) report believed that SMB owners already are, or will soon be self-purchasing. In this two-part blog post, we’ll explore how digital service providers can adapt their sales channels, and leverage BIY as a path to more service-based offerings.
BIY is not the same as DIY
Before we delve any further into the subject, I think it’s vital to make a distinction between BIY and Do-it-Yourself (DIY). It’s easy to interchange BIY and DIY - but in absolute terms - BIY focuses on sales, whereas DIY focuses on fulfillment. The emergence of BIY is a consequence of the freedom of information. Information has never been more freely accessible and the on-demand economy means we get what we want, when we want (all without speaking to sales people, of course!).
This free access to information has not only led to a shift in consumers, but also in the persona of small business buyers. And more importantly, it has made them more independent, intelligent and impatient (something we covered in our New Small Business SaaS report). But, while purchasing and procurement may continue to change, there is always a constant with small businesses - they are time strapped and they need help. And because of that - service and customer support has never been more important.
The opportunity for BIY as a sales channel
As a sales channel, BIY is as much about lowering the barrier of entry for potential customers to make it easy for them to buy on their terms, as it is about lowering your cost of customer acquisition. Essentially, BIY broadens your customer acquisition channel beyond the traditional “outbound” field and/or telesales - letting small business owners decide WHEN they want to engage, AND making your offerings attractive to younger business owners who prefer to self procure. As a sales strategy, this allows you to target a wider set of potential customers that could have been otherwise too expensive to sell to while adapting to the way that consumers are being conditioned to buy- all while potentially lowering or at the least, shifting costs.
Sales teams are expensive and having reps blindly calling on prospects isn’t efficient. Allowing your marketing efforts to funnel qualified leads into a BIY funnel or opening up your product to sell itself, gives your salespeople the freedom to focus on providing a more consultative sales approach focused on helping and advising qualified potential SMB clients, rather than the traditional sales pitch. However, while BIY may seem like a humanless sales approach, it doesn’t make the role of salespeople obsolete. So what is the role of a salesperson in a BIY reality? Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog post next week that will focus on how sales people fit into BIY, and how BIY can work as a path to a do-it-with-me (DIWM) approach to servicing your small business customers.
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