Best Practice for Deals involving a trial?

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New Contributor

Anyone doing trial-based products and if so, would you track the customer's trial inside of the deal stages? 

 

It seems a lot of succesfull companies out there are engaging in sales activity with people who are on a trial period.

 

What would be the best practice? Map each stage of the trial to a deal stage (like finished week 1 of trial) etc... Or just things like what the salesperson does?

 

 

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Regular Contributor | Gold Partner

Hi @AlekNovkovski ! Good question. I like the way you are thinking.

 

Your deal stages should be data-driven resting points in the sales process. That means it is going to usually be a hybrid of factors from your side and the prospect's side that make up the definition for each deal stage - not just sales activity. Common criteria for deal stages is either action-based (e.g. conducted a demo, started a trial) or qualification-based (e.g. they have confimed that they are going to make a purchase and they can afford our solution).

 

Regarding tracking the trial in the deal stages, it depends on how strong a buying signal certain milestones are in the trial pocess. You don't need to have deal stages for week 1, week 2, etc. if the deal does not advance until the prospect takes a specific action in the trial or connects with a sales rep afterwards.

 

I'd recommend identifying those resting points (meaning they need to be in this deal stages for at least a day) that are meaningful to your reporting, segmentation, and automation. It could be the case that you have two deal stages to cover the trial - Started Trial and Ended Trial. However, if it is meaningful to your foreceast to know that they reached specific stages of the trial through actions that they took during the trial, those might be deal stages.

 

For instance, if you sell email marketing software and you know from historical data that people who start a trial and send a test campaign are more likely to close, "Sent Trial Campaign" might be a desireable deal stage. On the other hand, if it is not the action in the trial that matter, but whether they are willing to engage a sales rep during or after the trial, those will make better deal stages than granularly tracking the trial in deal stages. In that case, the trial activity might be better suited as part of your lead scoring model. 

 

Just be careful about having too many deal stages. It can get cumbersome to manage and result in inaccurate data. Hope this help. Good luck!

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Community Manager

Hi @AlekNovkovski,

 

Thanks for reaching out.

I'm going to tag some thoughtleaders to see if they can share their ideas.

 

Hi @Phil_Vallender @joshua-paul @johnelmer, would you be able to share your thoughts with @AlekNovkovski.

 

Thanks!

Jess   


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Regular Contributor | Gold Partner

Hi @AlekNovkovski ! Good question. I like the way you are thinking.

 

Your deal stages should be data-driven resting points in the sales process. That means it is going to usually be a hybrid of factors from your side and the prospect's side that make up the definition for each deal stage - not just sales activity. Common criteria for deal stages is either action-based (e.g. conducted a demo, started a trial) or qualification-based (e.g. they have confimed that they are going to make a purchase and they can afford our solution).

 

Regarding tracking the trial in the deal stages, it depends on how strong a buying signal certain milestones are in the trial pocess. You don't need to have deal stages for week 1, week 2, etc. if the deal does not advance until the prospect takes a specific action in the trial or connects with a sales rep afterwards.

 

I'd recommend identifying those resting points (meaning they need to be in this deal stages for at least a day) that are meaningful to your reporting, segmentation, and automation. It could be the case that you have two deal stages to cover the trial - Started Trial and Ended Trial. However, if it is meaningful to your foreceast to know that they reached specific stages of the trial through actions that they took during the trial, those might be deal stages.

 

For instance, if you sell email marketing software and you know from historical data that people who start a trial and send a test campaign are more likely to close, "Sent Trial Campaign" might be a desireable deal stage. On the other hand, if it is not the action in the trial that matter, but whether they are willing to engage a sales rep during or after the trial, those will make better deal stages than granularly tracking the trial in deal stages. In that case, the trial activity might be better suited as part of your lead scoring model. 

 

Just be careful about having too many deal stages. It can get cumbersome to manage and result in inaccurate data. Hope this help. Good luck!

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New Contributor

@joshua-paul Wow. Amazing post. Thanks for sharing.

 

I haven't been to find anything like this, where it explains the logic behind stages vs lead scoring etc. I think if Hubspot team converts your reply here into a knowledge base article or something, that would be a great idea. Great stuff. Thanks again for the detailed elaboration on the logic behind defining deal stages.

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