Events

How Can TechCEOs Capitalise On Events To Drive Leads?

B2B Events should be part of any TechCEOs demand generation strategy. We recommend atleast 2 events any growing firm should participate to connect and engage with B2B buyers. Key reason why you should do this is that events are a place where a large number of B2B decision makers show to check what’s out there, learn and update their knowledge.

 

What’s more important, no other form of marketing activities gives such a large opportunity to present the brand, its values and establish a real face to face relationship with potential buyers. World-class marketers confirm this thesis. In 2019, most of the respondents (68%) indicated in-person events as a most successful tactic for generating qualified leads for the top of the funnel.

 

While most TechCEOs do participate in events, not many know how to make them work in their favor.

 

If you do not know why you are at an event and have a well defined process to drive value then you are wasting both your time and money. True value is generated days before and beyond the day of the event.

 

Case study of A Leading GTM Software Company

GTKonnect, a leading provider of Global Trade Management solutions based out of the USA wanted to improve their presence and create brand awareness in the GTM community. Though the company was present in GTM events year after year, they never made and impact with powerful marketing initiatives.

We worked with the GTKonnect management to re-position the company, develop a new brand message and target a launch at few select events.

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Weak Messaging

How Weak Messaging Can Derail Your Demand Generation?

Have you wondered why potential prospects walk away from your Tech firm without buying?

 

Do you know why your demand generation campaign is not yielding any result?

 

Do you know why sellers simply cannot connect with prospects and articulate value?

 

TechCEOs and leaders usually assume it’s your products, service offerings or lack of right references that keep prospects and clients away from you.

 

But often, it’s simply that you are confusing the heck out of your potential prospects and customers, and they’re going to competitors whose messages they can easily understand.

 

Have you watched any Hollywood movie lately? If we watched Harry Potter try to knock off Voldemort, settle into a nice lifestyle with his friends AND discover his true identity and past, that movie would be terrible. Real life is messy, but movies filter out all the clutter and give us a clear, compelling story.

 

Here are the three most common ways that Tech firms confuse (and lose) customers:

1. You only talk about yourself. Your messaging is ‘Me Centric’.

This is probably the most common thing TechCEOs do to confuse their customers. They lead by talking about themselves. Their service offerings, history, their awards, how long they’ve been doing business in the South East Asia, India and the US. Customers don’t understand how the information is relevant to them, and they tune out.

 

Why?

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Demand Generation

Do TechCEOs Get ROI From Marketing?

Propelling a company forward is lonely, and TechCEOs/ founders have to make difficult decisions every day with limited time, resources and imperfect information. In our experience, we see hundreds of TechCEOs struggle with demand generation. They invest monies into marketing and struggle to get any ROI.

 

When I ask TechCEOs, “Is your marketing working?”, this is what they say.

 

“I don’t have time for marketing. I only believe in sales.”

 

“Tried it. Spent 100K on a team. They left after 8 months to a bigger firm leaving us high and dry.”

 

“I am spending a lot of money in both inbound and outbound but struggling to get meaningful ROI. I don’t know if it really works.”

 

“My Software OEM is pushing us to market and do demand generation. We try to ride on their marketing and sales engine.”

 

Does this resonate with you?

 

Most of the TechCEOs with an annual run rate of $2M-10M end up paying anywhere from $2500 to $15,000 per month in marketing (events, sponsorships and team salaries). After investing $15,000/month it is sad to see marketing initiatives bomb or the team leaves the company and jumps ship. Even worse, there has been no tangible ROI that they have gotten for that spend.

 

So the TechCEOs hire direct sales people and believe less in marketing. Not that they don’t want to but they don’t see value in it, don’t know how to make it work or have not tasted success before.

 

Well here is a little secret.

 

If you don’t understand marketing and do not have a clear plan to create awareness, drive demand and generate leads – you are stumped from day one!

 

The golden goose of growing your business is ‘getting the right leads and driving demand‘.

 

This is usually work of a well oiled marketing engine. Also here is is some good news. If you have a solid marketing plan, deploy a marketing system that is well structured and inject automation into play – you can be less reliant on marketing talent and be more in control of demand generation.

 

Meanwhile marketing landscape in selling Technology and IT services is always changing. If you haven’t brushed up on it recently, you may be in for a lot of surprises. If you’re looking to start taking your marketing seriously, here are 5 surprising marketing statistics and what they mean for your business.

  • Over 80% of prospective clients research tech firms online prior to engagement.
  • Over 45% of tech buyers source buyers using social media, third party analysts and OEM partner channel.
  • Mid sized tech firms get stuck in demand generation after some time as they run out of leads!
  • 67% of tech firms don’t position themselves as though leaders in their own industry and get price shopped!
  • According to a recent Gartner study, 47% of TechCEOs reported that hiring/investment in marketing staff was one of the top decisions that resulted in developing new business.
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Singapore TechCEOs

5 Steps Singapore TechCEOs Should Take to Scale Business

Given it’s strategic advantage of location, Gov support, eco-systems and access to technology – why do TechCEOs in Singapore struggle to expand their business?

 

Here is a clue. It has nothing to do with what you are doing right now.

 

We find a lot of Singapore TechCEOs get stuck at $3-$4 million revenue mark. They linger there for a very long time. It has everything do with NOT having a clear revenue strategy and framework to process information and take decisions.

 

We have come across many Singapore mid sized tech firms who demonstrate excellent delivery, have an impressive customer retention rate, and has been in business for over 4 to 7 years. At the same time, when it comes to growing revenues consistently, TechCEOs struggle and always at logger head with marketing and sales teams causing discord and missed revenue goals.

 

Every tech firm needs a foundation to build on, figurative “pillars” that hold up the rest of the business and help you grow. By remembering your roots, though, it’s always easier to cut through those shiny distractions and keep your growth goals in mind.

 

Here we’ve listed the five pillars that every TechCEO should have in place in order to facilitate growth in your tech firm:

Challenge #1 – Understanding who you are and why you matter?

What are the reasons you started your tech business?

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Rebranding

Should Tech Firms Consider Re-Branding to Drive New Demand?

When we work with TechCEO of established mid-sized businesses on demand generation issues, we have come across another key area that has often been neglected – rebranding your business to sound relevant to your customers.

For example, we are working with a large payroll outsourcing company that has been stuck in a transactional position far too long. In a crowded and competitive payroll outsourcing space, which is a tired category, clarifying your message and value proposition to customers become stale.

 

The HCM category itself is morphing itself to other areas such as smart automation, payroll intelligence, workplace culture, integration and collaboration and the rise of AI and data oriented decision making.

Now how can a TechCEO reposition his business in fast changing tech business, shift narrative, sound relevant, focus your message and drive new demand?

These days we are working a bunch of TechCEOs who have built stable businesses in a particular category, say payroll outsourcing, industrial automation or application development.

 

Most of these firms were founded by practitioners, so they usually follow a familiar formula of offering similar services to similar audiences. Buyers have a hard time telling them apart. Meanwhile, conventional demand drive initiatives don’t yield much result.

Do you know why? Let’s dig a little deep.

 

When the company is preparing for expanded growth, particularly international markets, it might struggle to position itself against competition and sound impactful to new audiences. Same old messaging that worked in home turf won’t work.

 

Second, TechCEOs soon realize that competitors are looking and sounding just like them. In such cases, it is possible that the company is losing relevance in consumer’s minds. TechCEOs can feel this trend. Your brand no longer reflects who you are. It’s time to re-position your firm (against competition) to grab mindshare from your customer.

 

If implemented properly, a change to the position and brand of a company has major consequences for the organization. Everything is adapted in line with the organization’s new strategy and promise, its products or services, HR policy, customer contact, corporate identity, and so on. Rebranding makes this change visible for all stakeholders.

 

Third, when a company enters into a new line of business, want to compete at a higher level or enter a new market – existing brand identity might not resonate with new buyers. A rebranding might be in order.

Finally, when a company wants to appeal to a new audience representing new category of solutions, say ML/AI led problem solving to a particular market segment, a rebranding might be necessary.

Now, all of these weaknesses can be turned into strength when you launch a re-branding activity to position your business for new wave of demand. It’s time to organise your thoughts, establish clarity, focus and engage the right people who know how to do it.

That’s exactly what we have done in putting together TechCelerate, Revenue Acceleration program for TechCEOs to re-position, re-brand and drive demand generation for your business.

 

 

You see, the only way to grow your tech business in fast changing technology market, be it product oriented, an IT services business, is by following proven revenue growth frameworks. Without a proven framework, you are operating from guess work and guesslogy. You will be transactional and engage clients as if you are still in 2010.

Being clear about your strategy, key goals, getting your messaging right, aligning go to market and deploying sales and marketing framework are very critical to achieve results. That’s the only way to expand your tech business 5X in the next 12-24 months.

 

So here is a crucial question for you?

 

In 2019, does your brand identity clearly:

  • Clarify your brand’s message and ethos?
  • Identify your audience and clientele?
  • Make the services you offer clear?
  • Reach and engage your audience?

 

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business :

1.   Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.

4 Ways to Position Your Tech Business to Attract More Clients Click here.

3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.

2.   Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.

We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.

3.    Join our Techcelerate Implementation Program and be a Case Study

I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at Techcelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

Life is short. Take action now and grow. Best Wishes.

 

Driving Demand in the US Market

Driving Demand in The US Market Doesn’t Have To Be A Pain

Well, here are some quotes from TechCEOs who sell into the US market.

 

“Our sales qualified leads from the US market are abysmally low”

 

“We used to get deals from our joint venture partner in the US. Now it has stopped”

 

“I hired direct sales team in the US. Burnt almost 300K for a year. Nothing came out of it.”

 

“Well How do I replicate the success I’ve had in South East Asia in the US market?”

 

Here is another.

“I have both marketing and inside sales team back here in Bangalore. Spending close to $10K a month on salaries. Yet no sign of revenue from the US market”.

 

Does this resonate with you?

 

We are working with a number of TechCEOs who have built stable businesses in the domestic market but are struggling to open up or grow in the US market. Some of them have invested in teams but are stuck for a long time.

 

Yes, it’s really true. The US IT & service market is projected to grow to 1.4 trillion by 2020 and growing at a clip of 6%.

 

The US enterprise and mid market businesses have invested tons of money into infrastructure, applications and platforms, business leaders are exploring multiple ways to leverage advances in cloud computing, analytics, AI/ML, edge, 5G and other technologies to build competitive advantage. Another big buyer of tech is Digital natives, Software houses and Startup sector that are in the fast innovation cycle. Overall, there are plenty of opportunities for TechCEOs to cherry pick segment and grow their business in the US.

 

At the same time, the US is one of the markets where buying cycle and journeys vary from segment to segment. The way FSI sector buys in tri-state area is way different from how ISV and tech shops buy in the Bay Area.

 

Nevertheless, there is enough space for TechCEOs based in India or Asia to come in and participate in the new era of digital growth. But there are a few challenges. I have come across TechCEOs who are struggling without a clear plan.

 

1. They might have ambitious goals in place. But I do not see a clear execution plan.

 

2. Sometimes they think they have a plan but are grossly misinformed by wrong talent.

 

3. Most importantly, there is no sales & marketing framework or system in place. Usually TechCEOs hire sales, marketing and business development talent available in the market and let them loose to hit targets. Often times, this results in failure leading to resentment and more cynicism.

 

4. Moreover, I have seen very shallow marketing and sales attempts where sellers write flimsy emails that have no context, understanding or selling arguments. It simply does not work folks.

 

5. Finally, when both time and money are lost, the TechCEOs jump in and try to do everything themselves. This is the last straw that breaks the cartwheel.

 

So how can TechCEOs overcome these challenges and still penetrate the US market?. You can do it in four ways.

 

1. Clarity and Focus – You should know your market segment, initial list of prospects, your go to market strategy and how you intend to sell and get your business upto $3M to $4M mark. Without this plan in place, you are as good as dead even before you start.

 

2. Revenue enablement – You have to shift your mindset from primitive and brutal ‘I will call and send email to death’ selling mindset to revenue planning and execution. This comprises of understanding your customer buying journey, personas, aligning go to market, leading with authority marketing, influencing CXOs and focussing on customer success.

 

3. Selling framework – It is also prudent to have a selling framework that comprises of lead generation, opportunity management or account management to break into customers with whom you already have a relationship elsewhere.

 

4. The How – Finally, the devil is in execution. Do have a quarterly plan that is backed by resources with clear roles & responsibilities and goals. We all know what cannot be measured cannot be managed.

 

Now, all of these weaknesses can be turned into strengths when you organise your thoughts, establish clarity, focus and engage the right people who know how to do it.

 

That’s exactly what we have done in putting together TechCelerate, a Revenue Acceleration program that helps TechCEOs to penetrate and grow their domestic business.

 

You see, the only way to grow your tech business in the US market, be it product or service oriented, is by following proven revenue growth frameworks. Without a proven framework, you are operating from guess work and guesslogy. You will be transactional and engage clients as if you are still in 2010.

 

Being clear about your strategy, key goals and deploying sales and marketing framework that are in alignment with what you want to achieve is very critical to achieve results. That’s the only way to scale your tech business from 3M to 5M in 18-24 months.

 

Over the past 2 years, we have used TechCelerate Revenue Acceleration framework with many mid sized tech companies who want to penetrate the US market and drive demand.

 

In TechCelerate, we understand your business, goals, develop a strategy, execution plan and install our proven AICP framework to align go to market, drive demand, accelerate sales and propagate your business. In doing this, we stay with you for a period of time, provide value added services and help bridge the revenue gap.

 

Using our frameworks, know-how and coaching, we work with your team to attract prospects, get them interested in your products and services, convert them into accounts and also make your customers sell for you. We work with you to elevate your brand, tweak go to market plan, overlay our framework to your customer buying journey, install selling capabilities to drive demand and conversions.

 

Have you stitched your strategy to a well thought execution plan that is backed by a proven sales and marketing framework?

 

 

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business :

1.   Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.

4 Ways to Position Your Tech Business to Attract More Clients Click here.

3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.

2.   Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.

We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.

3.    Join our Techcelerate Implementation Program and be a Case Study

I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at Techcelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

Life is short. Take action now and grow. Best Wishes.

Communicate a message

Sales, Scale And Your Company Valuation

Sales and scale are important factors in determining a tech firm’s valuation. 

 

Though it’s difficult to get this right, it should definitely be on top of your agenda to increase valuation. Organic revenue growth can act as an indication of a well-conceived value proposition and effective go-to-market strategy. Scale, on the other hand, provides the tech firm with an increased ability to achieve a higher profit to revenue ratio.

 

The combination of sales and scale will equate to a higher EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue.

 

From a buyer’s perspective, a successful organic sales track-record creates a level of confidence that organic revenue growth will continue to increase. Scale provides the buyer with a platform which will allow them to realise synergies and efficiency. Combined, sales and scale play an integral part in driving the multiples a buyer is willing to pay. Moreover, sales and scale will help increase the base EBITDA to which the multiples are to be applied.

 

Sales

When forming a strategy on the most effective way to increase sales, buyers usually start reviewing the Tech firm’s value proposition. Aside from the value proposition, there are four key components to increasing sales within a Tech firm model; sales talent, go-to-market strategy, compensation and ongoing service.

 

1. Sales Talent

The first to check is right business development talent. The second step is continued development of sales talent. Business is in a constant state of flux. As such, the sales arm of a Tech firm should remain abreast to new developments that could impact the Tech firm and the industries in which they serve. Development of the sales team shouldn’t solely be the responsibility of the Tech firm.

 

You should get them trained and coached on a regular basis by experts who can inculcate both capabilities and skills. Sales enablement should be part of your development agenda.

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100 Ideas in 10 Mins

100 Growth Ideas In 10 Minutes

Last week, I with a bunch of technoprenuers from Malaysia, India, Singapore and Philipines. They were all hungry and eager to grow their business.

 

I moderated a 45 minutes session on various growth strategies, tactics and ideas that are relevant in current times. So I decided to do something different and not just talk to “at them” the entire time.

 

What I did was warm them up with some ‘possibility thinking’ then I showed them the business model to scale their tech business while working less than half the time. They liked that a lot.

 

I shared some of the things we implemented at few of our clients and they all liked it a lot. The next bit blew me away.

 

They were already on round tables, so I made time to do an exercise. At most sessions the participant note taking is not great and a lot is forgotten soon after the speech is over. Well, I wanted to do something about that.

 

With 10 minutes to go, I got each table (15 in total) to nominate a note taker and then I gave them 10 minutes to brainstorm ideas to get their firms to brain storm ideas to accelerate revenue and improve margins within next 12 months.

 

The energy in the room was amazing. Once the time was up, I had all the note takers take a snap and load the pic into the conference WhatsApp group.

 

What you’re about to read is the culled and consolidated list of everyone’s efforts. 100 strategies (or tactics) generated in 10 minutes flat.

 

I am sure you have implemented some of them and I am sure there are many more you could implement. We are mid way through the year. Some of these might be the ideas list you need to take your firm to the next level.

 

Below is the consolidated list from your peers. I particularly like no. 94. Enjoy!

1. Add higher number of type A clients
2. Productise services and sell IP
3. Increase billable hours somehow

4. Eliminate the BS in your business!
5. Price high – value based pricing
6. Elevate conversations with clients
7. System / Procedures documented
8. Document client goals
9. Product development system
10. Own (and know) the numbers
11. Make the hard decisions
12. Take risks
13. Health, not hygiene
14. Minimum client # more revenue per client
15. Business clients only
16. Don’t apply discounts
17. Headcount mix needed – hard look at resourcing
18. Put all clients on customer success survey routine
19. Higher billing rate & higher utilisation
20. Purchase a firm (easy to grow inorganic)
21. Services – Amplify value proposition
22. Add additional products to clients service packages
23. Get rid of poor performing (unreasonable) clients
24. Increase pricing by 25% plus
26. Niche market & specialise
27. Create an association
28. Write a book – become a thought leader
29. Maximise Technology for efficiencies
30. Everything in cloud
31. Delegate everything partner does
32. Distributed Team (Don’t pay rent)
33. Client events / webinars
34. Accept that people are going to say no
35. Right people in the team
36. Learn how to value our IP
37. Don’t be shy
38. Separate the sales role and the process role
39. The right sales and marketing tools
40. Don’t assume you cannot get more revenue from clients
41. Review overhead costs
42. Branding
43. Right Incentives = KPIs
44. Elevate and Delegate
45. Compulsory Minimum Service Offers for clients
46. KPI number of client meetings
47. CEOs don’t do the actual work
48. $2-$3 m per founder in clients
49. Systemise + delegate
50. Free management time (Less client work)
51. Review product offering
52. Deal with people you like
53. Deliver on service offerings
54. Downgrade office & reduce costs
55. Hire slow + fire quick
56. More efficient processes
57. More staff generate new business
58. Levels of engagement
59. Service Leverage
60. Focus on goals
61. Measurable Outcomes
62. Back yourself more
63. Less distraction
64. All Founder/Directors aligned
65. Improve social networking/markets
66. Leads – Lead Generation Marketing + Appointment setting
67. Free up time for more sales and client engagement
68. Tweak Organisational structure
69. Leverage wages/time with people
70. Social media presence
71. Team Buy In
72. A Team Players only – get rid of the rest
73. Industry Specific – get a niche
74. Increase billing rate dramatically (add more value)
75. Responsive website to drive demand
76. Fixed Fees for everything
77. Strategic Partnerships
78. Professional Development program – all team
79. Expand our market region
80. Sack bottom 10%
81. Visit clients, every quarter
92. Reviewing Systems
93. Develop Marketing Strategy & Measure it
94. Hire Mag Rajasekaran
95. Relevant people doing relevant tasks
96. Believe it’s achievable
97. Embrace change/price
98. Encourage Innovative Culture
99. Fixed Contracts for all clients/pricing upfront
100. Cut expenses everywhere

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business :

1.   Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.

4 Ways to Position Your Tech Business to Attract More Clients Click here.

3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.

2.   Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.

We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.

3.    Join our Techcelerate Implementation Program and be a Case Study

I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at Techcelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

Life is short. Take action now and grow.

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Market of One

Selling To Market of One

In any tech market these days, there’s really first place, second place, maybe third and then the rest.​

Who wants to be rest?

When you think about markets such as fast food, consumer, tech or business, what are the first names that come to your mind? McDonald, Uber, Apple, Microsoft? 

The seconds, thirds and the rest simply don’t exist.​​


​If you are the rest, it is so darn difficult to get attention, attract prospects and get them interested in what you do.​​​​​

Ideally, you want to create your own kingdom and own it. Don’t you?

The point is there are only one or two names that will leap to mind in any category.
They own the category.​​​

They are the category.

And that’s where you want to be with your business. But how can you get to be first?

The answer to being first is not to simply “become visible”. You want to be visible in a way that is trusted, sought after, highly paid, in demand and authoritative.

Your aim is to be visible with authority. So visibility isn’t enough.

But you have another, even bigger problem. The bitter truth is that most markets are really crowded. The leader in any category has often been established for years, if not decades and will be difficult to replace.

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Having Clarity

Why Having Clarity Helps Drive Revenue Growth?

Anthony’s (not the real name) Company is a provider of Consulting, Advisory and Managed Cloud (AWS and Azure) Services to large enterprises.

 

Windsor Tech (not real name) serves as a consultant, an implementor and service provider for enterprises client and how those customers migrate work load from on-prem infrastructure to AWS and Azure cloud. Anthony is uniquely qualified to demonstrate how to clients can transform their IT by creating clarity throughout the entire company by getting everyone laser focused on the real drivers of revenue growth.

 

Yet, Anthony is struggling to grow his tech business revenue beyond $3.7M. Though Anthony is early in the cloud life cycle he has to compete with big boys such as IBM, DXC, Accenture and many other mid tier players to win business.

 

Anthony is selling into South East Asia and is also dabbling into Middle East and US markets.

 

When we met Anthony, the first question we asked him was the following.

What is your revenue growth strategy? Is it market expansion, market exposure or gain marketshare?

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