When I first started marketing and selling software to banks and financial services companies, an analyst said to me “selling in finance is easy, all you need to do is show a solid ROI”. While the stereotype of people working in finance is that they make decisions with their calculators, the truth is that they actually make decisions with their hearts and emotion just like the rest of us.
The most successful B2B software companies in banking and financial services are those with a value proposition that focuses on the buyers as human beings and their pain points. The first point to make is that selling software to banks and financial services isn’t really that much different from B2B software sales in general except that your tools must meet the relevant security standards, or you won’t even get past the first meeting.
Selling Software to Banks: Make their Life Easier
I’ve read a lot about “stickiness” and how software should be so essential to customers that they can’t live without it. The underlying point here is one of convenience, you want your financial services customers to be unable to imagine their life without your tool. Your marketing messages should not focus only on time savings and cost cutting, but also on ease of use and how much easier your customer’s jobs will be with your tool. Focus on how your software will let them tuck their kids into bed at night and catch their football matches at the weekend. Help them to do their jobs better and quicker, that is what sells.
Selling Software to Banks: Address their Fears
What keeps your target buyers up at night? This is why you need to do your homework before you even get started. You need to build a detailed picture of who you are trying to sell to. Can your software address some of these fears? Perhaps they are afraid of compliance and making a costly mistake and your tool can make sure all advice generated is compliant?
The best security tools on the market sell in financial services not because of their technical specifications but because they sell a vision to the CTO of a world where he or she isn’t lying awake at night worrying about seeing their name on the front page of the newspaper tied to a data breach.
Selling Software to Banks: Be Professional or Go Home
Financial services companies want to buy from companies and people who mirror them and to whom they can relate. Don’t get me wrong, start-up culture is great and a cool office environment can help drive recruitment and productivity. But the people on your team who are customer facing need to be able to relate to your target buyers. You need to sound and look professional and like you belong working in the bank you’re selling to.
Selling software to banks and financial services companies isn’t very different from selling enterprise B2B tech. While you can expect long sales cycles because of the speed at which these companies move, you want to do everything you can to make the sales go as fast as possible. Working with people who know the space and have sold in it before, is a good place to start.