By Neil Smith
Software sales have changed a lot over the past few years. With the advent of SaaS and cloud based paradigms the overall decision making process has been shortened somewhat. And so companies that utilize the old fashioned software license based sales model might find themselves being pushed out of a deal even before they have put together a quote. These five guidelines can help you succeed in software sales.
Revisit your product and it’s pricing – you need to carefully analyze how your software product or service is positioned and priced. You can consider adding subscription based offerings or pay as you use based models to drive increased sales. Another very important factor to pay attention to is channel conflicts. This could arise if your firm has both a traditional software license and a SaaS based offering
Be clear about your value proposition – answer this: what do you feel is your product’s biggest strength and advantage against competition? Have a ready answer to this if you don’t already. This is your value proposition. It should be simple and your reps should be able to communicate it in a moment’s notice. More importantly the reps need to believe in it, because if they don’t, there is no way they can convince your customers to believe in it. Your value proposition differentiates your product or services from your competitors in the eyes of you customer. Competition these days isn’t necessarily companies selling the exact same product type. One place where you can highlight your value proposition is in your proposal. Your proposal has to be compelling and professional enough to convince your prospects that your product or services can meet their actual needs and do it better than competition
Know your target customers – you must document your target customer profile. What’s the industry they belong to? What’s the size of the companies involved? Are there any other common grouping characteristics? What’s the decision making process like and are there any common stakeholders? The time of your sales team is valuable; they should spend a chunk of it chasing most probable and beneficial customers. You might have to develop a sales strategy to cater to these segments individually. As an example there might be conferences and events where in you can connect with them
Look to build strong relationships – try to build relationships with stakeholders at both new leads and exiting clients. Assuming you have a well defined sales process you must by now have a clear idea regarding the scope of influencers and decision makers you need to reach out to. In this era most b2b businesses rely on internet for product research. By the time you might have made the sales call they would have already gathered product data and done a vendor short listing. With such conditions in place imagine how they’ll feel if you start with a generic sales pitch. A good way of establishing strong customer relationships is by building a strong channel network. We understand working with resellers, distributors and other software vendors is a pain but it could greatly enhance the reach of your product or service
Promote right sales behavior – both your sales team structure and individual reward program ought to be structured in a way that it promotes engagement with right customers to sell effectively. Your sales process must never get in the way of your reps doing what they do best – closing deals. Likewise your sales channels structure should be such that it helps you reach target customers in an efficient manner
These five tips are almost obvious but focusing on them will help you a great deal in optimizing the efforts of your sales machinery.
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