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Help me out

One of my clients said that even though they see the value in my product they just don't have the budget in this quarter to move ahead with this. I am very inclined to give a free trial until next Q to have a foot in the door. But would that be a good idea?

What would you do?
Attached poll
*Voting in this poll no longer yields commission.
๐Ÿ‘‘ Sales Strategy
๐Ÿ“ˆ Closing
10
Trinity
WR Officer
+7
BusDev
You can delay payment and don't give it for free.
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
True. This could be a better option too
Adslanger1
Opinionated
+3
Senior Account Executive
๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
Show 1 more replies
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
That's a good idea. I was also thinking of breaking down payments as an option. Do you think that'd be a good move?
Trinity
WR Officer
+7
BusDev
They will always find the money if they see value in your product/solution. Give them payment options (break down the payments or delay payments to next quarter, hell you can even add that you would delay payment but extend their contract ).ย 
Show 3 more replies
DizzyRascal
Opinionated
+5
BizDev
that is my go-to option too!ย ย 
Broncosfan
Politicker
+5
Account Manager
Could also delay payment but with a promo period for first few months. It gets them to sign the contract, get's them using it immediately, and also delays the need for them to pay for a bit. I think that solves the problem IF that's the real objection.
SA
SADNES5
Politicker
+6
Business Development
You tie them up for a longer deal. If Q1 can't make it work in the budget. Extend the term, and price consideration.ย 

So you can't make a 3 year deal work? How about we go for 5 years, which means we can have more wriggle room in pricing.ย 

You said you have issues with X, this fixed that. It now also hits that mark in the Q1 budget, where initially it missed due to upfront payments/price. When we push this into a 5 year solution. It basically locks you into a "free Q1 but it's spread over the contract."

Path of least resistance.
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
This is brilliant! I'll try to negotiate a longer term or a payment breakdown. Either option they choose goes my way
SA
SADNES5
Politicker
+6
Business Development
*welcome to sales* :Dย 
Beans
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
Push for a longer papered commitment and include this Q as incentive.
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Yes, good call!
paddy
WR Officer
+10
Account Executive
If they truly see the value and have the will to move forward there will always be room for budget/negotiating payment terms. I'd be weary that they are being honest about it being a budget issue.ย 
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Yes seems like it. I will have to dig further
paddy
WR Officer
+10
Account Executive
That being said, offer the trial as a way to call their bluff. If they do see the value but it's "just a budget issue" then a free trial seems like a no-brainer on their end. Might be able to uncover other reasons for not moving forward if they refuse the trial
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SA
SADNES5
Politicker
+6
Business Development
Also... Don't give shit away. Ever.ย 

Everything in business is transactional.ย 

"Free" means they have signed for a longer term; *only* when they sign.ย 
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Got it!
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
What if you did a no payments for xx days?
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
That was my first thought but reading the comments in this thread, I think I will go for a broken or a delayed payment
thegoodleads
Good Citizen
Senior Account Executive
I think it really depends on the product and cost. If this is a Saas and you feel confident that once they start using it they will be hooked, then definitely give it to them for free. If it's a physical product or the like, then I wouldn't give it for free.ย  I like the idea of delaying payment til next quarter.
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Its a SaaS product but I have heard from many people that it wont be a good idea to give a product for free for long time
thegoodleads
Good Citizen
Senior Account Executive
Yes, totally agree, but I think SaaS is a little different. I think it depends on how long it takes to truly get onboarded and start seeing the value of the product. I also think a month isn't a long time (if their fiscal year is with calendar year, then next quarter is less than a month away). Even two months I think is reasonable.ย  I would definitely get some sort of commitment for the "free trial extension" - like a LOI or something of the like (you can blame management that they can't extend the free trial without an LOI). As a former SaaS buyer myself, if I saw the value of the product during the full trial, I was much more apt to purchase at the end because I saw the value. If there wasn't a free trial, I would find an alternative that had one.ย 

Ok, and one more variable - I think it depends on your target's size. Larger companies may be more inclined to purchase without a free trial.ย  But they also have the resources to do the research on the competition. SMBs don't (which is what I was working for when I was a decision maker for SaaS - marketing tech).ย 

Ultimately, there's a lot of variables that would need to be evaluated before really knowing whether it's a good idea to give it away for a defined time.ย  People who say it's NEVER a good idea to give a product away may have had different experiences or products.ย  Having been on both ends, I think every sale is a case by case basis and a gut call.
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jbusiness
Catalyst
+2
Sales Manager
If there is no front money there is generally no back money either.ย 

Extend a payable to net 90, give 15 months for the price of 12, get 5% up front and 95% over a schedule.ย 

People treat โ€œfreeโ€ like itโ€™s free.ย 
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Really good points. I am trying to get them to do a delayed payment for most of the chunk
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
I'd suggest to not give free for that long
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Thanks a lot. This helps!
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
Welcome
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
Maybe a week trail, but if you give it for a quarter for free I feel like they will expect an amazing deal if they do end up purchasing
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
I thought so too!
Bittersweet0326
Politicker
+5
Digital Business Associate
Honestly, that's a BS excuse. Buyers are liars. They have it in the budget, they just don't see the value yet.
Don't give them anything, approach them next quarter.
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Good point. Considering along the same lines
MMMGood
Celebrated Contributor
+10
Senior Account Executive
Depends. Do your competitors do free trials also? If so, it would probably be a good idea to do it, keep them hooked on the product and track their response and success. Get more metrics for ROI, etc.ย 
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
They do 30 days free trial and I am willing to give that but beyond that is where I am stuck
MMMGood
Celebrated Contributor
+10
Senior Account Executive
Give/get. Come up with something to get in return for your free trial.ย 
Show 2 more replies
beachNsales
Politicker
+3
Account Executive
can you do net 90? or net 60 so you push payment to next Q?
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
What do you mean?
beachNsales
Politicker
+3
Account Executive
get them to sign the contract now and start using the product, but have the contract terms state payment or first payment isn't due for 90 days (or 60, whatever you are able to offer).
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Sergio
Contributor
+2
COO
You could do a provisional POC something like use it 30-45 days for free get billed day 46. You get the purchase order out ahead of time and if it really is providing value theyโ€™ll keep using and start paying.
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Yes or a longer contract
braintank
Politicker
+6
Enterprise Account Executive
If you're willing to give it away for free now, what'll stop you from giving it away next month or next quarter?
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Yes, that's why holding myself
braintank
Politicker
+6
Enterprise Account Executive
Definitely explore delayed billing or modified terms, as others have suggested above. They need to put skin in the game and you need to get the signature! Good luck.
Show 1 more replies
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
I think there are many things you can do here. 1st is offer the free trial as long as you can integrate it with them then you saved the going live time.
2nd for the payment I suggest to go in post-payment mode that way you can help them pay after using the service. Another option is to put in the contract more flexible payment terms instead of sat 30/15 make it 30/20 or even 30/30.ย 
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Yes the flexible payment option is what I'm leaning more towards as well
TheHypnotist
Opinionated
+2
Sales Manager
Ask "Is there going to be budget next quarter"? - If they say yes then you can come back then.

If you start by discounting or giving them a free trial then you are setting a precedent which might hurt you, and may make you look desperate to close sales.
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Yes, I did ask that, and they said they might but let's circle back then
Dr.Sales
Executive
What will change next quarter that will be different?ย 
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
No idea, probably budgeting maybe?
amyhyoung
Opinionated
+3
VP Operations
Coming in from a buyer's perspective...

It will depend on how complex your product is and its stickiness. I just bought HR software and I compared 4 different companies, they all provided free trial period ranging from 14 days-1 month bc it was necessary to understand the look and feel, as well as the intricacies of how it works.

If you're confident in your product and the experience the buyer will get from a trial period, then in my mind it's worth it to get them hooked. Once I started using the one I liked the most, it was impossible for me to leave and start over with a different vendor as I've already imported my employees' info and have started using the product.ย 

I agree with @paddyย though that using budget may be just an excuse (as I've used that one before myself). It will depend on how serious their intent is on buying this product (will they go to a competitor if you don't give them this?), or is this product a nice to have and they can wait till the next Q. If it's the latter, I would wait till the next Q and approach them.ย 
HoldemCaulfield
Politicker
+8
Sales Training & Enablement
1) I would question if this person actually has the authority to go through the paper process.

2) If so, do you need to go back and explicitly define what problem they have? If it's a lower-level problem, the budget is likely being prioritized to other priorities. If you attach to a larger-level problem and quantify it, that's how they can move money in the budget around to prioritize the pain.

What's the value that he sees? You may not be on the same page. In addition to that, what pain are you solving for them?

Finally, I don't think I've ever seen a free trial work in this way to get them in the door because:

a) Why would they later on agree to pay a premium for something that's given to them for free? Even if they do, they will own the leverage in the conversation.

b) Wow is the company going to ensure that they/end users are adopting the product? If they're already doing something else, it's doubtful that they'd invest the time in using a product that may or may not work and could be taken away from them without adoption.

c) this tends to devalue the product and the ability for a prospect to pay a premium for your services. I do understand the land + expand approach, which can work in some cases if you're looking to break into an Account and go into multiple locations. However, you'd need more guardrails around a pilot rather than a trial, definition success with this company, and knowing all of the stakeholders. More importantly, it would be a paid pilot.

If this is a single decision maker at a VSB or SMB company, you probably don't want to invest this much time in a deal like this in your pipeline. Hope this helps.
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
It's actually a major NFL team that I reached out too and who agreed that they had the problem that I'm solving but covid and lack of people in stadiums has put them in a financial crunch. So the reason there seems genuine but at the same time hard to tell because this is one of the reasons that people give all the time.

I totally agree with the C point that it devalues the product and that's what I am afraid of too but if I am new to the market, getting in door becomes kind of a priority. So it's a dilemma.
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