If you build it, will they come?

May 9, 2024
Dylan Munn

Partner GTM Strategist

Dylan Munn

When I first started in sales in the payroll industry, I shadowed my sales manager, who on cold calls often likened our service to that of a plumber's: "Your payroll might seem adequate until a disaster strikes, much like you only call a plumber during a flood or a significant mishap." This analogy beautifully encapsulates the value of preemptive measures — by investing in better solutions before dire situations, you might not only save considerable expenses but also enhance their efficiency.

I’ve spent my career encouraging small businesses to do just that. My role at Check encompasses supporting our partners through the inception, deployment, management, and expansion of their payroll go-to-market (GTM) strategies. I frequently get the same question from potential or new partners: how will I get my customers to switch payroll providers? What we’ve learned is that a payroll sales approach is not more difficult from other products, but it is different.

Our partners generally have other products that they’re used to selling before adding payroll, and the payroll sales process is a different battle. They often engage in high-velocity, product-led sales motions with minimal setup requirements, which leads our partners to be accustomed to a high volume of closed sales. The payroll sale, by contrast, involves a more nuanced sales tactic due to its complexity and the implications that come with switching providers. If prospective customers are in the market for new payroll services, they are either about to pay employees for the first time or their current provider is dropping the ball to the point that they’re spending hours every week on hold. The essence of payroll sales lies not in quick closures but in managing a broad spectrum of prospects.

Check supports our partners every step of the way, starting with transforming a payroll sales strategy into a different sales mode. By creating a tailored solution for each partner we help address companies with varied employee types, numbers, and unique pain points.

Why your payroll solution is better

There is one constant truth for our partners: they are able to offer a better payroll solution for their customers than legacy payroll can provide. There are two main differentiators that are true across the board.

First, your solution is tailored to the unique needs of your customer – whether that be hourly workers, tipped wages, or industry-specific needs. Legacy payroll provides a one-size-fits-all offering to all customers, regardless of the variation in their specific operations. 

Unlike legacy payroll systems that adopt a one-size-fits-all approach and attempt to cater to a broad spectrum of industries with a generic set of features, our partners bring a level of customization and understanding of their customer base to the table that is unmatched. This tailored approach resonates deeply with partners’ target demographics. Payroll enhances platform utilization and client retention by addressing the unique challenges and requirements specific to each industry. As these platforms refine and evolve their payroll products based on direct feedback and the nuanced needs of their markets, they are able to offer solutions that are not only more efficient but also more effective. This laser-focused strategy leads to the creation of superior payroll products that legacy providers, with their broader, less specialized focus, simply cannot match. 

Additionally, your payroll product is seamlessly integrated into the same platform where your customers access and control the rest of their critical business operations. That means your customers can more efficiently run their businesses and spend their time focusing on growth via your solutions. 

Consequently, satisfied customers become advocates, driving organic growth through word-of-mouth, a testament to the value and precision of a service designed specifically for them. In this way, our partners are not just adding a feature to their suite; they're setting a new standard for industry-specific excellence, leaving traditional, one-size-fits-all solutions in their wake.

How you can sell payroll

Without divulging all of Check’s secrets, there are two fundamental aspects to payroll sales: segmentation of the customer base and effective demonstration of the payroll platform. 

Unlike other product launches, it is unlikely that your initial payroll product will service all of your customer types when first launched. Segmentation amongst a partner’s customer base is essential. A frictionless, fully automated payroll process from closing out each payroll period to check issuance is, in most cases, a myth. In order to successfully launch a payroll product, you’ll need to identify which of your customers are best fit. You may look at your customers’ industries, the varying employee sizes, or even the states that they operate in. You can map out which cohorts of your customer base you can immediately support as well as provide insights into your product roadmap that will allow you to create a tailored payroll offering specifically designed for your customer types.

In most sales motions, the leads come at a high-velocity, are primarily inbound, and are product-led. Sales representatives are showcasing the features and benefits that the prospect has come to review. The payroll sales motion is different. A payroll sales demo must discern three main factors: the number of decision makers, current platform pain points, and a clear ROI. Unlike many other sales motions, there may be two to three decision makers in moving payroll providers. Next, a sales representative has to find what small, but numerous, pain points the prospect experiences with their current payroll provider. Finally, after demonstrating how their new payroll platform will resolve the prospect’s issues with a more efficient system, the sales representative can present a clear ROI to the prospect.

The success of a strong payroll GTM strategy hinges on effective segmentation, a systematic demonstration process, and many more core considerations. Check is fully focused on helping our Partners launch successful payroll businesses and offering customized support to navigate the complexities of the payroll industry. Interested in exploring how Check can help you offer a better product to your customers? Connect with us.

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