I am looking for suggestions on how to validate prospects before allowing them access to a free trial of our software. Currently we sell a web-based solution to companies through a sales team. We are in the midst of going to a full SaaS solution that would allow new clients to purchase licenses directly on the website instead of going through a sales team.
The first phase of this new offering would be to allow prospects to sign up for a free trial of the system. Our fear is that by allowing anybody to sign up for a free trial we are giving our competitors a look at what our system offers and how it operates.
Anybody have suggestions on how to qualify or validate prospects before giving them access to the system?
Why wouldn't your competitors pay for your software to find out about it? I know we pay for competing products as market research.
To clear out freeloaders, require a small fee for the trial; or set up a subscription (but not bill them if cancelled before the trial is up). Just putting in the credit card number will weed out most non-serious people.
How much of a secret is your technology? You most likely need to revisit your strategy as try-before-you-buy is an online defacto standard.
Unless you seriously think you are the first and only company to pioneer your secret sauce, I would open up the gates. No matter which way you look at it, if your solution is great, others will replicate.