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. SaaS: Innovative Solution or Inevitable Trap?

    "saas"You probably have encountered the term SaaS and wondered what exactly it is.  Short for ‘Software as a Service’ – this is a model in which an application is managed by a certain provider, paid for on subscription basis and accessed by users over the internet.  In fact, you might have been using it right now without ever knowing that you’re one of the many who have driven the growth of Saas.  There’s your popular iTunes, iCloud, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft to start with.  There are many more notable service providers on the list.  Sometimes, these are referred to as ‘on-demand’ software that you can use for business or leisure (or both).  In the end, it’s all about convenience, customization, flexibility, collaboration and accessibility that turned SaaS applications into an integral part of how we do computing these days.

    The Pros and Cons of the SaaS Model

    For businesses, the major benefit is the cost savings of a subscription model vs. the large expense they will incur just to run and maintain an on-premise IT infrastructure.  With the cloud comes a whole new world of possibilities, especially when you need to scale bigger, implement faster and run your business 24/7.  Trouble is, along with these benefits come the risks.  There have been talks lately on data security breach and government access to your private data which may adversely affect cloud providers in the U.S.  Despite all the best packages around, system outages do happen and the last thing you want is a downtime.  With the rise of many startups in the SaaS scene, the worst case is not having an exit strategy when that provider goes out of business.

    SaaS: The Beginning of an End?

    It is quite mind-boggling to learn that something this forward is getting a nasty bite where revenue is concerned.  Just read this blog recently and the first few lines got me hooked: “Marketo filed for IPO with impressive 80 percent year-over-year growth in 2012, with almost $60m in revenue. Except, they lost $35m…”  There’s something wrong in this picture.  One reason I can think of for this major loss are serial switchers, those who will jump from one vendor to another because there are simply too many right now and most are offering freebies.  Why would you upgrade to a paid account when you can get something this good.. for free?

    When the Software Landscape Looks Greener for Small Businesses  

    Opinions are split though when it comes to the future of SaaS.  There are those who say that this model is ready to take off.  There is a push towards a single-sign up for multiple applications and more businesses are shifting from paper trail to going digital this time.  Who wouldn’t want to work on something that delivers functionality without having to do patches and updates themselves?  This may be great news for small businesses who, years ago, don’t have access to world class software.  Now, they can compete with  big brands on a fair game.

    Wouldn’t it be right to say that SaaS is the greatest equalizer of them all?  No matter who you are, you now have a cloud of opportunity waiting to be explored, thanks to powerful and affordable software solutions out there.