You’ve got a great app or service. Wonderful! If only you can market it to your target customers.. then, that would be so much better. How do you sell your software online? Online marketing is crucial to your success factor and you can get started in so many ways and for the same reason, many cringe on the very thought of doing so. With new competition popping up all the time, you struggle to find ways on how to increase your chances of getting your product purchased. If Gartner has predicted that cloud-based business apps and SaaS services will reach $32.3 billion in sales by 2016, how can you join the roster of those who are out there to profit?
When Traditional Sales Methods Won’t Work
Don’t get me wrong here, but when it comes to software in the enterprise, traditional means of selling what you’ve come up with won’t work like expected. One reason for this is that the classic models were based on assembly lines – like building automobiles, manufacturing and so on. In the world of IT, change happens so fast that just when you think you’re done with step #1, you find yourself scratching your head that you have to redo things all over and start on a clean slate. Thanks to the internet, your customers are smarter. They want you to show how you can solve their problems. Simple. They are also discovering products via influencers, search engines and social media channels. Chances are, if you get an inquiry, your prospect already knows everything about you and would just like to validate or clarify what s/he has read.
How Can People Who Hate Marketing Sell the Software They Have Built?
I believe at some point, everyone got stuck in the how of things, especially when driving growth and sales is concerned. You probably heard of the word ‘growth hack’ – a popular meme on launching your business to the right audience so you can turn hundreds to millions of them into customers who have the money to buy what you offer. You’re a software engineer, an entrepreneur, a CEO and marketing is not your expertise. It’s never too late to learn and you can start with:
1. Beta Testing – Validate your software and get feedback by launching a squeeze page. By doing so, you can also invite email signups which you can use for generating quality leads who are interested and more likely to buy.
2. Free Trial – If you’re just starting out and you haven’t built a solid online reputation yet, you can offer free trial for a limited time for customers to test drive your product.
3. Freemium Model – You may also offer a free version side-by-side with options to sign up for basic to premium services. Make sure to make a clear comparison of the features of each.
4. Inbound marketing – whatever type of content you wish to share on your website, blog, related websites or social networks.. You have to make sure that you address your customers’ pain points for your product to connect with them in a powerful way.
5. Transactional marketing – if you plan to offer a one-shot deal without the need to upsell, you can check out how you can compete on price and feature alone without having to get active in conversations.
6. Relationship marketing – I’d rather recommend this even if you don’t intend to upsell. This is where you engage your prospects and customers in a conversation, building relationships with them in the long run. This way, you get to increase your influence and social proof over time.
Before anything else, you must always start with an open mind. Experiment and mix these six strategies in your hope of generating repeat business and customer loyalty for your brand.
**If you need help in developing your software from idea to completion.. to marketing online, just Ask!