Seventhman Blog

  1. How to Sell Your Software Online in 6 Simple Steps

    "sell software"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!

     

     

     

  2. Positioning Statement: The Most Powerful Weapon in Your Marketing Arsenal

    "positioning"Most often, we’re so involved with that big idea for our business that we forget to make a succinct description about what makes our brand stand out.  We often overlook drafting that positioning statement which can help identify our distinct value to our customers, of what differentiates us from the competition out there.  While having a mission and vision is great to start with, we’re simply living in an age where attention span runs as quick as a 5-second sound byte.  If you can define your business in one sentence worth an elevator pitch, what would it be?

    Going Beyond the Slogan Concept

    When I started my outsourcing business, I have spent a lot of time in bringing my mission-vision to life – to define what exactly is it that I do, who I’m doing it for and what makes my offering unique.  So, I’ve come up with this statement: “We Help your Business Save Money and Accelerate Growth with Global Outsource consulting.”  Believe me, it’s not as simple as you think, but the effort is well worth it.  While the term ‘positioning statement’ may sound like a jargon for those who are not into marketing, creating one helps you focus on a niche than becoming another generic brand with messages scattered all over the place.  A positioning statement is not just another memorable slogan; you need to build that emotional connection with your customers/target market.  It’s not rocket science, really… you’ll see.

    The Next Step is Yours for the Taking!

    Don’t confuse a slogan with a positioning statement.  Crafting one is invaluable; think of it like the Sun of your marketing plan where other elements revolve.  A slogan or tagline is something that will evolve from this positioning statement.  You probably remember Nike’s famous slogan, ‘Just Do It’.  While it is quite ambiguous when it comes to the benefits it offers to its consumers, the brevity used for this advertising campaign just got stuck to our minds, like super glue.  Know this – that the next step you will take in your business will be influenced heavily by how well you write that positioning statement.  It even helps you build better business relationships as you have a compass guiding you in reading your road map while you tread the path to business success.

    Redefining Your Brand

    Let’s brainstorm this time and make a list!  Start with defining who you are, what your industry is, who your target customer is, what are their needs, who are your competitors, what value do you offer over your competitors, and what benefits do you offer.  Don’t worry if the list gets too long as you will narrow it down later.  Keep in mind that while editing, you have to give your target customers a reason to believe that you can deliver what your business promises.  And as always, don’t try to stuff a lot of items that don’t make sense.. because keeping things simple will always work the best.  Write.. rewrite.  You have to own that statement!  You have to make it look and sound credible.  Got it figured out?  You can come up with the final three and ask your team to cast their votes.  You can even test for feedback and see which one resonates well with your customers.

    You may not need a tagline to go with what you’ll come up with – but having a clear, compelling and thought-provoking definition of what your business is all about will give you that competitive edge, no doubt!  Sit down, get creative and take time.  A powerful positioning statement is worth all the investment you can make for your brand.

  3. Perceptions in the Age of Social Media

    "social customer"When was the last time you experienced a phenomenal customer service?  Why was it memorable?  In today’s market where customers are empowered like never before, digital word of mouth can spread like Greek fire about your brand on the Social Web.  The question now isn’t really about how innovative your business model is when it comes to new product or service offering, but how customers perceive your brand as a whole.  First impressions may not last, but perceptions do.  What impression are you giving to your customers in this social media age?

    Marketing and Customer Service: A Huge Divide

    Know that customers are social-savvy these days and they talk about brands on social media platforms, where you have no control about what’s being said about your business.  The age of industrial era marketing is over and companies need to realize that traditional marketing doesn’t simply work like it used to these days.  Customers expect you to listen and take action on their feedback about your products and services.  Simply put, don’t expect your customers to call or write you if they need help; you have to engage them in places like Facebook, Twitter, and many more.

    With a demand for world class customer service that consistently meet or exceed expectations, customer service and marketing departments must learn to work with each other in order to address what’s expected of them.  In the near future, the gap between these two will vanish as the social media landscape is changing ways on how people interact with your brand.

    Your Product is NOT the King; Your Customers ARE!

    The value of your business is taking a major shift from your products and services – to your customers.  As Steve Jobs said, “Sell Dreams, Not Products” and by delivering a value proposition that sells the dream of simplicity, functionality and beauty, the Apple brand has become the top of its kind.

    Learn This: High customer engagement is the key to your sales funnel and it brings us all back to how your customers and potential ones perceive your brand.  Just how satisfied are your customers with the level of service they get from your business?

    If you want to survive and grow in this age of social media where social customers have the power to make or break your brand, you will need more than just a customer service strategy to start with.  You have to involve your customers at every stage of creating your products or services… until its delivery.  Are you ready to revamp your business model to cope with this change?