Go to Market

How to keep Go To Market Strategy simple?

I have been observing and working with company companies on how they take their product or service to market. While most have it right to a certain extent a lot can be done to make GTM slick, precise, high yielding and cost-effective.

This one diagram says it all.

Now assuming that you are not a startup and you have a product or solution that has been commercialized and is available to the public, your company can amplify one of these two areas: Sales and Marketing.
When I am working with a $20M revenue company, I still see CEOs make a mistake in not use the right GTM strategy to drive revenue. For example, hiring a high-touch, expensive sales force to sell a low-priced product can be disastrous. After this misstep, an otherwise high-potential company may fail to grow fast enough to compete or reach profitability.
Here is another chart to show more attributes that can decide your GTM strategy.

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.

8 Tech Firm Marketing Activities To Do Every Day

Technology firms marketing is now an umbrella term that encompasses a whole bunch of actions. It’s important to note that the “run-of-the-mill” marketing activities that work for any old business aren’t necessarily going to be the best fit for technology firms, however. What’s more, some technology firm marketing activities are going to be more worthwhile than others depending on your immediate goals.

Before You Get Started: Assess Your Tech Firm’s Objectives

Technology firm marketing should be executed based on what you’re trying to get the prospective client to do next.

Do they need to know simply that your business exists, or why you’re the best tech business in your domain area for them? You could even be at the point where you need the client to officially agree to working together. Here are quick summaries of common tech firm marketing objectives that technopreneurs face all the time:

  • Building Authority: Make sure prospects know you are different from other tech firms next door by presenting your point of view on both your domain area and common client issues.
  • Establishing Trust: Allow prospective clients to get to know your personal tech brand by making an introduction and revealing your personality and values.
  • Demonstrating Capabilities: Help clients realize your specialty tech areas and reassure them that you truly solve problems for your clients, in their business.
  • Asking for Referrals: Keep the business coming by asking your established, ideal clients to introduce you to other people just like them.

Depending on the maturity of your tech firm marketing strategy, you may be in a position where you need to work on all of these things at once, or just focus on a couple of areas in particular. For each of these objectives, there are some ideal marketing activities (that you can do every day, of course) that will strengthen your overall chances of success.

 

Tech Firm Marketing Activities for Meeting Your Business Objectives

Building Authority

authority-law-firm-marketing.jpg

Publish Regularly

If you want to prospective clients to identify you as the tech “expert of choice,” you’ll need to show off a little. Write down your point of view on hot technology and domain issues of the day and transfer that to a digital medium. It’s a great idea to get a blog started on your tech firm’s website, but even if you don’t have one, using LinkedIn Publishing tools is a great way to broadcast your tech business knowledge.

If writing for tech firm marketing isn’t your strong suit, try finding your voice by reading tech journals and blogs. You will get an idea.

Give prospective clients that have agreed to communications links that go directly to your resources. That way, you have more control over whether you’re reaching the right people instead of hoping that they’ll stumble across you. Just be sure to keep your contacts organized by the practice areas and topics that are most applicable to their needs.

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3 Metrics

Three Metrics Technopreneurs Must Track for Success

Most Technopreneurs don’t define success. They define what success is not.

Instead of focusing on the things they can control to build the tech business they want and make the money they want, they view success as eliminating sources of stress and aggravation.

In other words, “Success is when I don’t have to do A, B and C anymore.”

Most of the Technopreneurs I talk to are in the lifestyle business. I say that without any of the negative connotations of the idea. It’s not that they want to check out, or work occasionally. They want to do meaningful work and have a comfortable life without working 100 hours per week.

This attitude or approach will not help you scale your business from $1M to $5M.

Of course, there are a few who have visions of building an empire.

In either case, you need to define what success means for you and your business before you can think about how to achieve it and measure it.

The number one metric used by Technopreneurs to measure success is, “Did I survive today?”

Not very scientific. And not very useful.

There are three core metrics that every law firm – regardless of goals, regardless of size – should be paying attention to every month.

Metric 1: Lead Flow

You could be the best Tech company in your territory (or the world), but if nobody is knocking on your door, it won’t matter. Because you won’t get paid.

Every Technopreneurs needs to meet with a certain number of qualified prospects in order to acquire a certain smaller number of clients. Without sufficient lead flow, you can’t build the business you want.

Whether you want to be a lifestyle Technopreneurs or an empire builder, you need enough lead flow to produce the right clients that help you make more money (and work less, because you can charge more with more leads coming in).

That’s why marketing is so important. Without marketing, there aren’t enough leads. Never forget that your leads today are your income tomorrow.

Your Action Plan:

1. Make lead flow a priority.

2. Find out where the good leads are coming from and develop a plan for finding more leads. (Need help? Our Tech Business Growth team can point you in the right direction:)

3. Every month, make sure you know how many leads are coming in. This should be on your score board.

Metric 2: Cash Flow

Cash is king. You can’t exist, much less grow your business unless you have cash flow.

If you’re always in a cash crunch, always running up the “down” escalator, you’ll just get exhausted and burn out.

You need to watch your cash flow. Know your expenses. Know how much you have to pay and when. Fix your collections issues by right-sizing your retainers, and not taking on clients who’ll stiff you later.

Create a plan for increasing cash on hand to minimize or eliminate outstanding invoices. You can have a multimillion dollar firm and go bankrupt if you don’t have a handle on cash flow. Fix it.

Your Action Plan:

1. Understand exactly what you’re spending each month

2. Create a forecast for when you’ll get paid, what. Update it monthly and look for trends

3. Use this to adjust your strategy for pricing and collecting retainers

4. Set a target for cash on hand, and use these levers to get there within a year

Metric 3: Average deal size

One of the most underused strategies for creating a tech business, whether you want to increase profits or free time, is the deal size lever. Maintaining the right average deal size (and margins) is critical to making money by working less.

Most Technopreneurs don’t charge more or push for high value/margin deals because of fear … fear of losing business because they increase their rates. They end up playing the commodity game.

They seldom understand the difference between market expansion and market share game. Let alone market position.

This is the result of an imaginary competition among tech businesses. In reality, increasing your charge rate is much easier than you think. The reality is much different. If you’re afraid of increasing your fees, it means that you’re fishing in the wrong pond.

By raising them you’ll immediately start getting rid of bad-fit clients, and signaling to premium-paying clients that you aren’t a commodity.

I’ve written on this extensively elsewhere, but the bottom line is this: the biggest barrier to increasing fees is YOU, not the clients.

Your Action Plan:

1. Make a decision not to compete on price. Now promise yourself. Write it down. It sounds trivial, but it’s not. Until you truly decide and take action on it, it’ll be a vague idea. Or, you’ll back off at the first sign of resistance from a cheap prospect (when the right answer is, “next please”).

2. Commit to finding premium-paying clients (markets). Create a marketing plan to find them (again, our Business Growth team can help you with this if you’re unsure where to start).

3. Set targets for you average fee in 90 days, 180 days, and next year

4. Track your average deal size (and margins) every month. Are you on target?

All Three Metrics Work Together

If your lead flow is strong, you’ll have the confidence to ask for money upfront.

If you have more money up front, you have better cash flow, and you’ll have the confidence to increase your charge rate (and tweak pricing).

Even if you have very few leads, terrible cash flow and a low average fee, you can still achieve your goals. Start paying attention to all three metrics – and commit to improving all three metrics – and you’ll step onto the up escalator.

 

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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 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 and grow. Best Wishes.

How I Teach Technoprenuers to Act Like Fortune 500 Tech Shop?

Teaching Technopreneurs running a $3M tech shop to act like Fortune 500 Silicon Valley enterprise is less of a business switch and more of a mental adjustment.

 

It’s the same story almost every time I talk to a Technopreneur who runs a small/ mid-tier Cloud, a Big Data or CyberSecurity company.

 

They are struggling to grow, they are taking every meeting with any potential client they can get, they end up with awful clients, and although they have confidence in their abilities and service, they don’t have a clear direction of where to go next.

 

The first thing I tell them to do is to stop chasing business. The second thing I tell them to do is to treat their firm like what it is: a business selling a service to another B2B business or a consumer who buys a thousand things a year.

“You’re not as different as you think you are.”

Technopreneurs I talk to almost universally treat their firms as some entity that is separate from the world of business. I get it, I have been in this industry for ages, and the amount of tradition, rules, education path, and history behind the tech industry makes it seem like it’s less of an industry and more of a collection of like-minded professionals.

 

But the truth is, tech firms operate in the exact same environment as every other business. Just ask the clients.

 

One of the first hard conversations I have to have with a Technopreneur who wants to improve their business metrics, is that their clients are used to interacting with services and businesses in a very specific manner.

 

People are being bombarded with the latest marketing mix from massive corporations, to local businesses in all aspects of their personal and professional lives. Although the methods may change with the ebb and flow of technology and research, people have become accustomed to personalized and immediate access to brands and information.

 

The hard-hitting revelation to Technopreneurs is that although their services are specialized, pricy, and important… they are just that: services for other businesses who buy a thousand things a year. The same methods of growing a tech firm in 1998 just aren’t going to cut it for today’s short attention span consumers.

Blissful ignorance isn’t the norm.

I’m not saying people are less likely to pay attention to information than they were 30-40 years ago when handshakes sold tech services, in fact I’m saying quite the opposite. The short attention spans, and the marketing that caters to those spans, exist because buyers are ravenous about information.

 

Services are no longer assumed useful just because there’s another tech firm with a few extra years of experience standing behind brand. In fact, we’ve moved far beyond the ‘trust but verify’ stage of marketing into the realm of distrust until proven otherwise. People do their own research today for everything they consume, and the firms that still don’t have a modern online presence boggle my mind.

 

I was talking to a tech firm just the other week that had a potentially multi-million dollar revenue client referred to them by another firm and they lost that client because their website looked like a mouse rolled across a keyboard when their developer stepped away from their laptop.

 

A poor website broke the holy grail of new clients – a referral. If evidence of a poor web presence breaking the cornerstone of tech everywhere isn’t enough evidence to show that firms need to catch up with modern marketing, then it looks like the firms that do get it are going to have their pick of the litter.

 

How firms can borrow from the Fortune 500

We’ve established that the business who need tech products or services are the same consumers who buy from hundreds of other companies and that they will have the same general process for acquiring services and products. Naturally, Technopreneur who want to appeal to today’s buyers need to borrow some of the strategies from successful multi-billion dollar tech enterprises.

 

Here’s what I tell tech firms who need to grow:

  1. Know exactly who you want to walk through your door. A mid-size firm should know the demographics and the case types of their best clients. One of the first things I tell a firm to do is to stop chasing potential clients they don’t actually want and focus on discovering potential clients that will set the firm up for success. Creating fictional buyer personas, or ideal client personas, is a great way to know who to look for.
  2. Don’t sink your time into marketing. Technopreneurs think that they have to split their time between attracting new clients and working with current clients. I say that they didn’t spend years in the tech industry to become marketers, and marketing is changing at light speed (way faster than the tech you MUST stay on top of). Find a way to have an expert run a successful marketing strategy for you, and then focus on representing your clients and providing quality service.
  3. Interact personally with your potential clients and don’t wait until they are in your office. Consumers are used to getting the service they need from the comfort of their favorite chair at home. This only raises the barrier to getting a potential client into your office. Interact with your ideal client groups before they ever set foot in your office. Run webinars, post frequently on social media, and give your potential clients a library of videos so that they can feel like they are getting to know you. After all, you can find a video on just about any company outside of the tech industry.
  4. Set goals and measure everything. Running a tech firm is a business, and it wouldn’t make sense for a business to be throwing money at initiatives without any idea if they will work. Tech firms should measure every marketing activity and Technopreneurs should have a solid grasp of what their marketing strategy is doing, what their KPIs are, and how their marketing mix is currently performing. On any given day, Technopreneurs should be able to look up their current return on their marketing spend and at the same time, understand the trend of the strategy as a whole.

 

That’s they way Technopreneurs should shift their thinking and start acting like Fortune 500 Tech shop.

 

Are you ready?

 

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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 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 and grow. Best Wishes.