Growing Sales Pipeline as a Fin-tech
As a company selling finance software, looking outwards at the competitive business context, it might make you feel like the average US homeowner during the 2008 financial crisis. Finance software sales are not easy, and there are a number of reasons why it is a particularly difficult industry to excel in.
Firstly, changing or adopting finance software is an extremely long process, making the sales cycle slow and complicated. Furthermore, the use of finance software within a company is relatively constant, meaning that a shift in processes will have to be carried out deliberately and steadily. Moreover, the budgets within the finance department might actually be the strictest and tightest of all. Conjointly, finance tools often come with other IT tools, which means it can be even more difficult to make a company implement your standalone fin-tech software.
Its also important to note that finance professionals have a significant amount of confidentiality concerns, and so data security is a significant focus for them. Finance departments often want to keep their own data pools, they are very data-aware and will likely want your software to be able to integrate with other tools.
As a finance software salesperson, all these difficulties can certainly make one feel a-loan (sorry not sorry), so we’ve made a guide to help with that.
Be Aware of Laws and Regulations
Financial regulations are perpetually shifting and many finance professionals are extremely aware of these limitations. As a consequence, ensuring that your value proposition does not alert any of these concerns is important to ensure there is not a negative reaction from your prospect. However, these new regulations can also be an opportunity for young fin-techs if legacy systems that are dominating the industry are non-compliant.
Share Effective and Data-Backed Sales Content
As aforementioned, finance professionals tend to be quite data-savvy, therefore having numbers and powerful sales materials to back up what you are offering is key to help engage a finance prospect. Sales enablement can significantly various related practices are worth employing.
Implement Account-based Marketing
Finance executives are often very close to key decision makers, and the organisation of financial stakeholders can vary significantly from company to company. In fact, the CFO tends to be the right-hand woman or man As a consequence, undertaking account-based marketing practices to map the relationships and relevant influencers within a company is an effective strategy to increase sales.
Emphasize Time Benefits
Finance professionals are often faced with frustratingly repetitive tasks which can take up a significant amount of their time. If your software helps to replace some of this work through processes such as automation, then it can be possibly worth mentioning these benefits in your outreach.
Don’t Focus Too Much on UX
As we saw in our human resources software article, HR decision makers can be vastly motivated by the needs and preferences of their employees, meaning that an attractive UX can be an effective sales point for them. However, finance software are likely to be managed by a more limited part of the team and their key financial benefits rather than UX functionalities will tend to resonate more with a finance professional. It’s relevant to note though that if they are related to personal employee finances, it may be an appealing UX might help as well.
Choose a Champion
Within finance departments, there can be a certain skepticalness to adopting new external software and a high degree of risk aversion, primarily due to the fact that a large part of their job is to consider financial risk and associated concerns. Finding a champion that is tech-savvy, motivated to apply new tools is important to speed up the sales cycle and create momentum within the organisation you’re targeting on behalf of your software. A champion may likely be one of the people that most benefits directly from your software. Nurturing these individuals with effective and self-explainable content is vital to ensure they can champion your software with key influencers in the organisation.
Employ Consultative Salespeople
Due to the long sales cycles that can occur when selling financial software, it is important to take a patient approach while staying motivated. Salespeople that are used to quick transactions will struggle to maintain solid buyer relationships over a period which may last years. Consultative sales is a selling method where the salesperson spends notable amounts of time with their prospect understanding the problem and educating them on how to fix it. Navigating a complicated account requires endurance and focus to ensure there are no conflicts of interest (okay that was the last one I promise).
Have a Well-planned Security Layer
Before implementing a new finance tool, especially if you are targeting a financial institution, it will likely be put to the test in terms of its data security and protection levels. This must be considered in advance and your software needs to be ready to undergo such tests.
Specialise Don’t Generalise
High precision financial departments or institutions have high expectations for success. As a consequence, trying to solve many issues at an average level is not likely to be effective as they most likely have a somewhat satisfactory solution already in place. However, focusing on a specific and quantifiable metric can create a much more positive reaction.
Due to the fact that finance departments in large companies are quite extensive, don’t always aim for the CFO but also get in touch with people at a lower level. Identifying them through Linkedin and Sales Navigator is relatively simple and there are a variety of effective social selling techniques to reach out to them.