As an enterprise software builder, you recognize the importance of product understanding.
You’ve put hours upon hours into the development of your software and have finally created a product that you’re proud of. You’ve dealt with marketing, and now people are going to start purchasing and using your software. Not just single people, mind you, but teams of people will be working with this product, and that can get a bit unruly.
If your customers have a hard time understanding the use and features of your product, you’re going to have a hard time getting any work done amid all of those support requests.
Empower Your Employees
Before you worry too much about your customers’ understanding, however, you’ve got to start with your employees. The most effective way to educate both your sales and customer support team is to provide them with thorough knowledge base documentation.
If your entire team is up-to-speed with the fine print and unique features of your software, you’ll find that sales are made more quickly and support tickets are archived with minimal fuss from you.
Clean, detailed documentation is the grease on the wheels of a finely-tuned software machine.
An Easier Sales Cycle
Your documentation is still providing incredible value, even after your well-educated sales representatives score a new client. Scoring that client – can take 6 – 18 months for an enterprise software sales cycle – so you want to do everything you can to keep them.
Enterprise software often requires an in-person training period for customers. You simply can’t toss a new product into a group of people and expect them to magically start utilizing each feature perfectly. They need to be walked through the nooks and crannies of your software in order to experience its full impact. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with this. You want satisfaction in your product… but this portion of the process can take a while.
(This is the part where knowledge base documentation is going to swoop in and save the day… or at least a few costly hours.)
If you present your documentation as a necessary training component, rather than an optional supplement, you’re going to end up with a higher level of client understanding. Use a portion of the documentation as a pre-training primer, refer to it regularly during training, and reference it at the end of the process. If the client’s team is familiar with navigating the documentation, they will be far more confident in the use of your product, and you’ll be able to finalize your sale without excessive back-and-forth.
Granting the Gift of Independence
Nothing lasts forever… and in the case of larger companies, that’s especially true when it comes to employees. Can you imagine having to send a representative in for new software training every time a client hired someone new? Do yourself and your client a favor by providing them with detailed, easy-to-follow documentation. They will appreciate the ability to train their own team members, and you’ll appreciate the extra time that you can dedicate to finding more clients and improving your products.
We know that the word “documentation” doesn’t exactly conjure up the most exciting of images. We get that. We also know that, without documentation, your product can easily get left behind.
We’re living in a world of instant technological gratification; if a company can’t easily master your software, it’s going to find something else to rely on. If you can take the time and put forth enough consideration to create a piece of high-quality product documentation, you (along with your clients and your team) are sure to reap the benefits.