A phrase that’s become a sort of tagline around the Perri Marketing office recently is “Helping Small/Medium Software Businesses Punch Above Their Weight.” It’s written on our whiteboards, and it’s a kind of mantra we come back to over and over again when strategizing with our team and with clients on how best to serve their sales and marketing efforts.
As a small team ourselves, we believe wholeheartedly that you don’t have to have the budget of a multi-national software corporation (or ad agency) to compete with them. Thanks to advancements and better affordability in customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation software, small businesses have a better chance today competing against the enterprise software giants than ever before by allowing them to streamline their marketing efforts, automate what they can, and score leads for sales teams to focus their efforts on the most promising prospects. Calling every contact a “lead” is no longer a thing because lead is now defined in your CRM system based on the policies you set in the system (this is why you should question any “lead” you get from a third party). Your CRM system will tell you when there’s enough activity on your website and your inbound marketing efforts – your definition of a lead – to reach out to a contact.
We’ve been advocates for CRM and marketing automation technology since it came to the market in the late 1990s/early 2000s, and as certified resellers of ActiveCampaign and SharpSpring (and HubSpot experts), we have the tools and personnel to help small businesses implement this tech with little effort on their parts. But the tech is only one component of the success factors, sales process and go-to-market methodology play key roles and we understand how to factor that into the technology we help deploy.
In our latest whitepaper “SMB Software Vendors: You Don’t Need a Big Budget to Compete With The Giants, But You Do Need to Be At the Right Place At the Right Time,” we outline our philosophy on how small software vendors or SSVs can punch above their weight working smarter not harder, in 10 steps.
At the heart of this philosophy is having robust content that communicates the ways your product solves a problem or meets a need. And, being ready to deliver this content precisely when a sales-and-marketing “event” happens that triggers a potential customer to seek out your software to help solve their problem is what it means to be “at the right place at the right time.”
The triggering event for tech purchase could be the advent of a new boss looking to bring in technology from a previous workplace, or maybe it is a service delivery issue or data breach. These being-at-right-place-at-right-
time moments are when an SSV like you has the opportunity to identify a real lead, and for that to happen, you need content. And, your content should accomplish these goals:
1. Make it clear that you understand your prospect’s solution search isn’t about you, the SSV; it’s about the prospect’s problem. It’s nice to be wanted but nobody wants to hear you talk about you.
2. Tell a story. Find a way to turn technical jargon into a story anyone can understand, and remember people buy relationships more than they buy things and people love stories. Why not tell some stories to help forge relationships?
3. Prove you understand their buying journey. Put your best food forward by listening intently to your prospect’s questions about how you can break down the barriers of their sales journeys. Then provide simple answers that are targeted to their problem. They are looking for a specific fix and the simpler, the better.
4. Have a reason to follow up. Whether it be the answer to a question they asked you had to go look for, or with a piece of content like a whitepaper or technical paper that provides educational information related to their problem, you should have a good reason to follow up. Enterprise software sales is a long journey and the more content you have to share with prospects, the more reasons you have to reach out to them.
More about these being in the right place at the right time…
These are just a few of things you should strive for from our latest whitepaper, but with more than 10 years of helping SSVs punch above their weight, we understand what it takes to persevere through a lengthy enterprise sales cycle.
There’s a reason the Fortune 1000 likes SSVs. You provide far better customer service than the software giants you’re competing with and your solutions are problem-specific because your solutions are your lifeblood. Enterprise giants like SAP and Microsoft can afford a few software duds but you cannot and this is why your solutions are better and your desire to succeed (better customer service) is paramount. But you have to first be on your prospect’s radar. We’ve learned over the years that once you get a foot in the door with the right content at the right time, you can compete and this paper describes that. Download this whitepaper here. More about Perri Marketing, here.