Maybe you recognize your situation in some or several of the following typical challenges software companies are faced with. Obviously, each company’s business and marketing needs are unique and we are dedicated to working with each client on their specific situation. These are just a few examples.
Q&A on some typical challenges:
- Q: We just completed our annual operating budget and our growth plan calls for 5% increase in gross revenue. Yet our marketing budget is remaining relatively static. How do we change our marketing efforts so we can support the sales growth?
- A: Simple but not easy: It's the same challenge for every company, regardless of their product, revenues, target audience and marketing budget. The "duh" answer for any company is targeted and cost-effective marketing plans to reach the right customers, at the right time, with the right message in order to get the highest qualified leads. However, the key is the right mix of "pull" (i.e, interacting with your prospects when they're in the evaluation or buying stage) vs "Push" (i.e. conducting marketing activities when you don't know what, if any, level of interest they have in your products). Knowing how to balance this mix, and ongoing ROI analysis, is critical to maximizing your marketing budget for more qualified leads with a shorter sales cycle.
- Q: I think I’m doing OK in getting leads for the sales team but why do they constantly complain that their pipeline isn’t big enough to meet revenue goals?
- A: You may think you are getting enough leads but frequently they may not be truly qualified leads. Or, you may need to evaluate your lead nurturing process and even consider marketing automation tools to supplement your CRM.
- Q: We have a direct sales force. I want to expand our reach. How do I go about getting channel or retail partners?
- A: Adding to your distribution model may, or may not be a good idea. Sometimes a hybrid direct and channel model works. But frequently, all you need to do is stay focused on your current sales model but improve how you market that way. If your sales force is regionalized you should take a good hard look at any key regional market opportunities for your products and where your penetration is low. An extremely worthwhile effort is MSA analysis. This will tell you the size of the market place opportunities for your products by metro area. Overlaying your sales coverage/penetration can bring some very big "ahas".
- Q: I have a start-up business but have no marketing expertise at all. I can’t afford a full-time marketing employee yet so how do I get any marketing in place?
- A: Firstly, you probably don’t need a full-time marketing employee at this stage. If you're not a marketer yourself, what you need is solid marketing advice on how to begin talking to your potential customers. This doesn't require a large marketing budget. But it does first require a thorough profiling of your target audience; by industry, company and purchasing decision maker. Once you've truly targeted your customer there are many cost-effective ways to start interacting with them to build your customer base and testimonials.
- Q: We have a successful company with $30mm in revenue and we’re poised to take the business to the next level. How can a marketing consultant help us with that?
- A: Perhaps you are looking at additional VC funding or maybe you’re simply looking for additional revenue growth in new markets. Either way, a strategic audit and assessment of your go-to-market and marketing strategy can reap dividends in your growth plans.