Is your B2B SaaS converting less than 20% of your trials?
You’re spending money to acquire trial signups for your growth-stage B2B SaaS. You know that every customer who converts is worth thousands of dollars in LTV.
But your trial to paid conversion is lower than 20% - a reasonable benchmark to aim for. Which means you’re filling a leaky bucket by wasting money on acquiring trials that don’t convert.
You’ve redesigned your onboarding flow more than once. Maybe you’ve even added an onboarding drip email campaign. And you’ve got some good hunches about what your customers’ Aha moment is.
But you and your team still struggle to get your trial to paid conversion to 20% (and beyond!) You want to grow conversion, but your team doesn’t have the depth of experience or a step-by-step framework to get you there.
On top of that, there are dozens of tactics to comb through and test to improve trial to paid conversion (Product tours? Drip emails? Checklists? Bots? The list goes on...) You’ve tried many, but sometimes it feels like you’re trying tactics without a cohesive approach. You figure there’s got to be a better way.
Brian Norgard, CPO of Tinder, says:
"Kareem gets what users want. He has spent years thinking deeply about how and why users do what they do. He's one of the few people that really gets HCI and usability. Talk to Kareem, you will learn."
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Poor conversion is costing you money
I’ll let you in on a little secret. There is indeed a framework you can use to improve your conversion rate. You can follow this step-by-step process to increase your trial to paid conversion.
This framework will help you, your team, and your organization understand:
- exactly WHICH trials to optimize for (and which to ignore)
- WHY trialers signed up for your app (along with why some converted... and some didn’t)
- WHAT problem trialers hope your app will solve for them
- And HOW to get trialers to seeing value in your app
If you had that information, how many more trials could your team convert?
Even if you just started converting a modest 5-10 more trials per month, how much ARR would that add over a year?
And with more ARR, how much faster would your team and business grow?
Collin Stewart, CEO of Predictable Revenue, says:
"Kareem had great insights about our customers after a very short time. His ability to see both the product management and the engineering sides of the equation is one-of-a kind. I hope to get a chance to work with him again."
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How you can increase Trial to Paid conversion
Improving your trial to paid conversion rate is simple, but not easy. You need to:
- Understand obstacles that prevent trials from converting
- Remove those obstacles so more signups convert
Here are the three steps that I’ve refined over time with clients and my own three B2B SaaS companies to discover (and address) the obstacles that prevent trials from converting:
- Identify your customer segments and their needs. All segments are not equal - you need to understand each segment in depth and what job they "hire" your product to do.
- Validate your customers’ Aha moment. Once you have your assumptions spelled out, you can use data to validate each segment's "Aha" moment.
- Improve your UX. You can use your insights about your segments, their needs, and their Aha moments to improve your UX to drive conversion.
Here's more on how you can use this process to improve your trial to paid conversion.
Step 1: Identify your customer segments and their needs
Since each customer segment has different goals, you need to determine your key segments and hypotheses about what each one wants.
Specifically you need to know:
- The customer segments you should focus on (and why) - and which to ignore. If you’re focusing on the wrong segments you’re drilling holes in your funnel and your conversion rates will drop.
- Each segment's Desired Outcome (the problem they want to solve by using your app)
- The steps each segment must take (in and out of your app) to achieve success. I help you break your customer's journey down into the steps each customer must take from Signing Up to achieving their Desired Outcome. Once we understand the steps, we can focus your onboarding flow on helping customers achieve those key steps.
- The kinds of changes to make to your Onboarding experience to get customers to (and through) each step towards success
To figure these out, I'll guide your team in an in-depth working session to identify and align on the above. I'll document your insights and put together a 5-10 page actionable Growth plan that your team can use to improve your conversion funnel.
Once you understand your key segments and have hypotheses about your desired outcomes and steps to get there, we can use your existing data to confirm your theories.
|Just a few of my happy clients|
Step 2: Validate your customers’ Aha moment
Ultimately you want to figure out why some trials don’t convert, and why they do. You formulated some hypotheses in section 1.
But you don’t need hypotheses - you need facts.
The good news is that facts are right in front of you - in your product usage and qualitative data. That data gives you reasons why some customers are successful and why some are not. And once you understand those reasons, you can use that information to convert more signups.
Here’s how we validate your aha moment with data:
- We take your top customers and your bottom customers and look at the differences in product usage between them. This helps us understand what the Aha moment truly is - measured by what your best customers actually do. And once we understand your segments’ Aha moments, we can change your UX to get them there quickly (see step 3 below).
- I'll watch your screen recordings to see where customers stumble and read relevant customer surveys and help desk tickets (and any other relevant data you have).
- We'll email trials and recently-converted customers to identify stumbling blocks they ran into
From this data we'll learn:
- What the jobs are that your users “hire” your software for
- The reasons trials don’t convert
- The reasons current customers almost didn’t convert
- The UX stumbling blocks that prevent trials from getting to value
Once we have answers to the above questions, we can use those insights to get more trials to their Desired Outcome, faster.
Step 3: Improve your UX (by getting trials to their Aha moment faster)
The fastest path to increasing trial to paid conversion is to:
- Understand the value customers need to get to be successful
- Make it clear how they can get that value
Once you complete steps 1 and 2 above, you'll know what your trials need. The main problem now is how to best use your self-guided web experience to get them that value.
To help your customers get value sooner, I use my two decades of UX experience to improve your Onboarding UX (both inside your app and out). I'll make a prioritized list of recommendations to simplify and clarify your app's experience to help trialers get to value quicker.
This list is helpful for your entire team:
- Execs, to get clarity and alignment on the reasons prospects sign up and the value they expect your app to deliver
- Marketing, to align messaging with the value your trials expect
- Product and dev, to improve the product experience to get trials realizing value faster
When we combine deep customer understanding with qualitative and quantitative validation, this UX review becomes a powerful set of recommendations to improve your trial to paid conversion.
I’m Kareem, a 3x B2B SaaS founder w/ two exits. Over the last 20 years I went from developer to Product Manager to founder to consultant. And now I want to help you improve your B2B SaaS trial to paid conversion rate.
I started developing my onboarding framework in 2003 when I was Product Managing ESPN.com’s Insider business (a seven-figure ARR product). By focusing on conversion I grew revenue by 25% in 6 months.
My first UX review of another company's product was on Flickr’s upgrade flow while I was training with a NYC-based Customer Experience consultancy in 2004:
Since then I’ve watched hundreds of people stumble through Onboarding flows in usability tests. I’ve learned what does work (and what doesn’t). I’ve also put together dozens of onboarding UX reviews focused on increasing trial to paid conversion.
“What makes you different from other onboarding consultants?”
Other consultants focus solely on your in-app UX. But onboarding is more than a set of tactics. When we work together, we build your onboarding strategy. We confirm who your ideal customers are and what jobs they're trying to do. We use your existing data to validate those jobs, and then inform both your in-app UX and out-of-app UX with our findings to improve conversion.
Simply put: you'll be confident the changes we'll determine will both increase your conversion AND be a profitable investment.