How to Increase Your HR Software Sales
What comes first the chicken or the egg? Who hires the first human resources person in a company? You might find yourself awake at 3 am pondering these paradoxes, but if you are a software company selling to HR, sales might be an even bigger challenge. Human resources software encompasses a variety of categories: HR management suits, workforce management, time tracking, performance management, employee engagement, video interviewing, compensation management, benefits administration, core HR and (believe it or not) many, many more.
This level of competition naturally means that a large number of B2B software companies possess human resources directors as their primary target group. As a consequence, it is increasingly difficult to reach human resources professionals as they are often being approached by salespeople. Moreover, many other companies approach the human resources department to gain entry into a company. This may be coaches and trainers for any nondescript department or even consumer-facing companies that try to obtain access to the employees of a company through the HR department. For example, insurance firms could be offering group deals to a company and may try to go through the human resources department in a B2B2C approach. Yeah, just when you think an acronym can’t possibly get more complicated, then that’s when you’re wrong (who knows what B2B2C really means anyway). In addition, coworking spaces and other office management solutions or HR/recruitment service providers that aren’t in a software category will be trying to reach decision makers from human resources. Moreover, human resource departments have typically a younger demographic, which studies show are less responsive to calls and cold outreach, and when considering all the aforementioned competition, email is a competitive channel as well.
All these challenges mean that HR software companies are facing an uphill battle in terms of accessing higher-level decision makers from human resource departments and being successful in hr software sales. Thankfully, we’ve compiled some channels where you can find these decision makers.
Channels to Target Human Resource Professionals
We’ve already written about how social selling is an increasingly effective method to generate new leads. Whether this involves sharing interesting content, social listening or joining Linkedin and Facebook groups to interact with your potential buyers. However, most specifically, Linkedin is an excellent way to gain access to human resources professionals. As previously mentioned, this department often has a younger demographic, and this leads to them being more proficient and prominent on social media sites such as Linkedin. However, even more notably, HR professionals are required to be on Linkedin due to their job role, either for recruitment or employee engagement purposes. This means that almost every human resource decision-maker will have a public and present Linkedin profile which they ACTUALLY use (definitely not looking at you, IT support).
Networking events are another place where human resource professionals can often be found for recruitment purposes. These can either be industry-focused fairs and conferences where they look for talent. Additionally, there are various events specifically oriented towards human resources which are great places to find HR decision makers, which may be speaking or helping to organise the event.
Alongside the obstacles we discussed above, further difficulties arise when considering HR budgets. Human resource departments do not typically have the highest budgets to spend on new software or services, although this is growing. In comparison, marketing departments often have a significant amount of extra budget to spend on new solutions which makes them easier targets. Due to the fierce level of competition and various other obstacles when targeting HR leaders, software companies must look for the most effective ways to get the attention of human resource executives. Read on to understand what selling points can be leveraged to sell successfully to HR.
What is Important to an HR Decision Maker?
Good HR managers listen to their employees and try to match their needs and desires. Moreover, HR professionals try to align the in-company experience with the one they face outside of the office. This entails that the technology being implemented should not only support the employee experience but try to mimic the glossy technology interfaces we are faced with in the B2C world. Although many companies prioritise technological advancement and functionality, employee groups from separate industries may prefer different solutions based on non-identical priorities.
Data Security and Reliability
If data is the new oil, then human resource departments are the wild west. Okay, that analogy is not perfect, but what I’m trying to say is that HR departments use a lot, and I mean a lot of internal data. Whether this data covers employee compensation, recruitment, or personal and sensitive information, data security and reliable data systems are key for an HR professional to consider.
We’ve all seen at least one culture-touting software startup advertising their culture as one of their best assets to potential new talent (us included). We think this trend of culture-focused companies is here to stay, and a key part of HR professionals is to keep its employees in line with the values and ethics that a company professes to follow. So if you are a salesperson working in HR software sales try to look into the values of the company you are selling to and align to those
HR professionals often observe their industry colleagues to choose suppliers and providers for their solutions. This means that showing HR leaders how you have helped a similar company is a key point in gaining their attention. This can be supplemented through case studies, referrals and channel networks.
Overall, HR is a growing field with an increasing budget, so software companies targeting this target audience have many opportunities to make an impact.