Last month, Localogy and Mono Solutions published a report focused on the feasibility of “buy-it-yourself” as a sales model in the local space. It’s a profound and timely topic. Platforms exist today that can guide a small business buyer through the buyer journey up to and across the line to actual purchase. And consumer purchase behavior, which increasingly involves doing research online and choosing who to buy from before ever talking to a salesperson (if at all), is rubbing off on SMBs.
Additionally, companies are under constant pressure to reduce their cost of sales. They also see the need to beef up their service and support to drive retention and upsell. These trends increasingly point to the combination of BIY and DIFM (do-it-for-me) as an optimal service model for selling digital solutions to SMBs.
Of course, the sales channel is an institution whose demise is often greatly exaggerated. Predicting the BIY future is not to predict the end of sales. Rather, its role will move more upmarket and play a greater role after customer acquisition than before it. This point was emphasized in a recent Localogy Insider post on sales growth at product-led companies.
Later this week, we will dive deeper into the issues raised in this paper in a Localogy/Mono webinar called “The Buy it Yourself Future is Here.”
After the paper’s release, my webinar co-presenter Matt Martergia and I chatted about the themes the report raised. Here are some highlights from that conversation, with audio clips for those of you who are driving or on the treadmill.
On how sales has changed
Citing previous Localogy/Mono research. Matt noted how a new generation of small business SaaS buyers has changed the game in how to sell to SMBs. And these behaviors naturally point to a BIY future.
“We’ve talked about the shift in buyers to being younger, more informed, more independent,” Matt said. “This [BIY] is the natural next step.”
On BIY’ing Gusto
As a supporting point to the conversation, Matt cited Mono’s recent experience in moving its payroll operations to Gusto. The cloud-based payroll company is known for zero-touch customer acquisition. However, as Matt notes, the human touches began in earnest during the onboarding process. And this led to Mono buying additional solutions, and being fully satisfied with the outcome.
“And I think that is what sales should be,” Matt said. “Really it’s people helping the buyer.”
On what sales will look like down the road
Ultimately, the role of sales will move much more to a post-acquisition service and upsell model, not unlike the engagement Matt describes with Gusto.
“I do not think that sales will be fully replaced,” Matt said. “But it is important to underscore that it is changing.”
Matt will also address this topic on Day 1 at the upcoming Localogy 20/20 event in San Antonio.
2:40 – 3:00
Local Businesses and the Buy-It-Yourself Future
As consumers, we are being conditioned to purchase online and on-demand – but what about small business owners operating in the local marketplace? This session will take inspiration from the recently commissioned Localogy report, “Is the Buy-It-Yourself Future Here?”, and explore how buy-it-yourself (BIY) will influence SMBs in the future and how digital service providers can shape their sales, support and overall service offering for a more collaborative and ultimately, more successful digital journey for their small business clients.
Matt Matergia, Mono Solutions