10WaystoEngage

10 Ways TechCEOs Can Engage With Market Now

Last week we shared how TechCEOs can respond to the Covid-19 event and take control of your business. This week we will cover how you can find ways to stay active and in touch with your clients and community at large.

 

In an effort to help out TechCEOs, we’ve compiled some creative strategies for keeping your clients engaged and connected during this time. As you start thinking about how you can best use these, it’s important to remember that while your business stability may be front of mind for you, many people are facing physical, emotional, and financial strain at this time. Communicate with care, consider how you can help your audience feel valued, and be intentional in your approach.

 

Strategies

1. Be more than a business. 

Brands can generate loyalty through their value and meaning and connect with clients beyond transactions. Many brands have adapated to Covid-19 crisis by pooling their resources to support communities they serve. In terms of brand positioning, this can propel a company’s profile and brand values to resonate with existing and future customers. If you can contribute to your community – you are the best.

 

2. Listen. 

Listen. Now more than ever, it’s important to know what customers feel and do, and why. Set voice of the customer (VoC) programs to listen for references to COVID-19 or other shifts. If it’s your existing customer call them and talk to them. Send in a short survey if your patch is broad based.

 

3. Use social listening tools to listen even more. 

Use social listening tools to monitor customer discussions about health concerns or information needs relevant to your brand. Ask sales and account management teams what they hear from the front lines. Monitor customer care emails, phone calls and service chats for changes in concerns or sentiment. You can also use tools like Hootsuite to do the same. 

 

4. Engage with empathy. 

TechCEOs must support customers and protect customer relationships while staying honest about what the firm can and cannot deliver at this time. Be careful about taking actions that provide short-term stability (or gain) for the firm at the expense of customer trust.

 

5. Manage your commitments. 

Set realistic expectations about service levels, product launch dates, product availability, and so on. Review your market segment and Ideal customer profile. If you are selling into travel industry it is time to pull back and bit and re-direct energy to sell into other industry segments. Consider pulling campaigns for products you can’t be sure you can produce and deliver. Evaluate current policies and consider rational changes — for example, allowing cancellations or extending payment terms. 

 

6. Ramp up digital delivery of everything. 

Promote apps and other mobile tools and services. Ramp up capacity for remote delivery of services, online transactions and digital interactions. Innovate ways to deliver your product or aspects of it online. Yet, even as you enable digital options, understand that some people will always need to hear an empathetic human voice, especially now, and be prepared to offer it.

 

7. Optimise marketing spend. 

The next three to six months will bring many societal changes that trickle down to the marketing plan. Use the best-, worst- and moderate-case scenarios to anticipate possible and likely changes and take alternative actions. Don’t stop marketing. Change strategy and approach marketing differently. If you are out of sight you will miss the bus when the market bounces back.

 

8. Increase your social media presence. 

Your customers are already on social media, but these days, they are likely checking in much more frequently to get the latest updates on the virus. Whether you’re posting about the virus specifically or trying to offer light, positive content to help take people’s minds off the panic, it can be helpful to increase your posting frequency to ensure you are showing up in their news feeds.

 

9. Deliver great content. 

More people will be spending more time at home over the coming months. Brands can provide lighthearted and uplifting or informative and encouraging content to people looking for support. You can provide them content that helps them think more, adjust their business models & response, think through new products & services, alternative market segments and tips on how to house keep in these times.

 

10. Help them engage differently. 

Offer them new ideas that can help them engage differently with their customers. Provide solutions that will address a need in this market. Your clients will greatly appreciate your offer and thinking prowess to help them engage with clients during tough times.

 

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.
  • 10 Steps TechCEOs Can Take Now to Bounce Back Click here.
  • Should Tech firms consider Re-Branding to Drive New DemandClick here
  • Do TechCEOs Get ROI from Marketing 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.
10 Steps TechCEOs Should Take To Bounce Back

10 Steps TechCEOs Should Take To Bounce Back

If a disease can teach wisdom beyond our understanding of how precarious and precious life is, the coronavirus has offered multiple lessons to the business world as well.

 

The first is that in a globalised business world our lives are so intertwined that the idea of viewing our businesses as islands – whether as business leaders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, share holders, individuals, communities, or some kind of uniquely privileged species – should be understood as evidence of false consciousness.

 

And now, as we start to enter periods of quarantine and self-isolation – a simple piece of protein has shown us that we are as vulnerable and less important as isolated beings just taking care of our individual needs. It has taken this virus to show us that only together as a global community are we at our strongest, most alive, most resilient and most human.

 

Same principles applies to the business world. Only when we are connected with stake holders in our businesses and care for each other’s success we are at our strongest, most alive and most human. Else we run the risk of becoming a platform run by some AI logic that purely exists for profits! More vulnerable to threats just like this pandemic hitting us unexpectedly.

 

Further more, this pandemic encourages us to pause and reflect because we are cut off from the bombardment of distractions and placed in environments (social distancing) where we depend on ourselves, customers who believe in us, employees, friends and family.

 

As we sit on this global social distancing movement, here are 10 things you could consider as a TechCEO to bounce back from this sobering moment in time:

 

  1. Gratitude – If you are reading this and have a running business, let’s be grateful to live in a country with skilled health-care workers we can trust to do the right thing in these situations. And for governments that are doing their best to provide for the needs of the most vulnerable. We are fortunate compared to many other countries. But for many others, the anxiety and suffering remains. Let’s pray for them and continue to show our sense of gratitude to our creator, our community, nation in protecting us during this time of the hour.
  2. Respond and do not react: Many of the uncertainties that people feel today in reacting to a pandemic are the same as they were centuries ago. You don’t have to react like people who are in a spree of panic buying, emptying supermarket shelves of toilet paper and other essentials. Lead from the front and from circle of control. Not circle of concern. The world is not going to end. We will all bounce back.
  3. Reflect on your purpose, vision and why you exist? Is your your business shaken just like the airlines who have nowhere else to go in a cut-throat world where they need to compete with rivals, to drive them out of business and make as much money as they can for shareholders? Or in these times you and your customers can help each other to hang in there, help each other out to move along?
  4. Don’t act like as if you know it all – Most of our client TechCEOs are confounded by these questions. Should I freeze, go slow or make careful moves? What should I do in the short term? Will the situation change in next 2-3 months? Or it’s going to be 8-10 months uphill? It’s natural to have these thoughts. If you are one of those leaders who believes that you must continuously show up as the one in control, be stoic and be perfect – you could be wrong! When you’re in a place of feeling like you have to be perfect, the last thing you think you can do is ask for help. This is the time to ask people for help. You need to be open to different kinds of help. This includes your customers, employees, partners, well wishers, families and friends.
  5. Add more value to your clients and deepen relationships – It’s more important to respect your relationships with and support for customers in an unprecedented time like now. Next few weeks (and months) your customers are going be confounded by same fears, uncertainty and turbulence in their businesses. Find out how you can help them regain confidence, believe in putting together hedges & plans and stay with them to support in executing it. Offer them value added services and communicate more than usual. How you treat your clients that are hit the hardest by this will directly impact the lifetime value you realise from that client. Build deeper relationships and enhance your social capital.
  6. Review your solution and product portfolio – We have one global common trigger event. A pandemic. For next few months, key driver for both public and business consumption will be basic essentials – food, shelter, healthcare, communication and few more needs that keep lights on. Ensure that your solution or product is geared to address those needs. Do not go to market with solutions that promise colonisation in mars or hyperloop travel. Message the market accordingly and reach out to customers to support their immediate needs. Positioning ‘work from solutions’, ‘remote sales team’, ‘mobile healthcare’ and many other solutions that facilitate distributed work modes and support social distancing will be well received. Not all industries and businesses have equipped themselves to handle such a sudden black swan event.
  7. Go to market in a meaningful manner – Some of the market segments that you serve may have been hit harder than others. You need to establish the right motions and approach to each of those segments. The ones that were hit harder may be the ones where you have to invest in helping them and lean in as an organization. At the same time, focus on segments (Eg: healthcare, security, communication, mortgage refinance, food) who are meaningfully supporting communities, businesses and individuals to hang in there. These segments will gorw and your services to them might be vastly needed.
  8. Stay agile – Set out a clear set of priorities and implement them with a high degree of autonomy and empowerment. In a dynamic situation, overly centralising decision making impedes your organization’s ability to respond quickly and effectively. Effective leadership is to empower employees to make the best decisions they can, bearing in mind a clear set of priorities, such as keeping everyone safe and behaving ethically toward customers. Responding quickly and meaningfully to clients, partners and important stake holders is more important that imposing command and hierarchical control.
  9. Take action – This is not the time to retreat. If you operate at this level you are taking actions in reverse. Businesses that retreat are probably trying to avoid the negative experience they imagine will come from the results of taking action and possibly risking everything. Some of our client TechCEOs are taking multiple actions roll out campaigns that support remote working (eg: AWS Workspace, Citrix, VMware Workspace One), enhance their go to market kits (customer case studies, EDMs, presentations, landing pages) and reviewing their market positioning and re-brand initiatives. This is a perfect time to focus on important initiatives that you have put in back burner and did not have the time to prioritise. This is the time to get those thing done in a hurry. Prioritise incremental organisational value addition projects when the market is in a lean mode.
  10. Show up everyday – Understand that this too will pass. Nothing lasts forever. Those who don’t quit but instead dig in and get through them will come out the other side with a better work ethic, an increased customer base, and a bigger piece of the market. Remember, any problem you face now is an opportunity in disguise. The question is, will you be better or worse when this event goes away?

 

 

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.

Do TechCEOs Get ROI from Marketing Click here.

Should Tech firms consider Re-Branding to Drive New Demand – 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.

Different Content

What’s The Difference Between Sales & Marketing Content?

As we continue to help Tech firms drive demand and accelerate revenue growth, we’ve have come across many TechCEOs with different levels of Go to Market readiness. 

 

When these TechCEOs kick off a campaign for a product or service with immediate sales focus, I encourage them to take a breath and look at their revenue strategy and goals. One such key element in putting together a plan for driving top of the funnel, content marketing become very important.

 

The reality is there’s no silver bullet in content marketing. Content marketing is all about playing both long and short game accordingly. It’s about creating content that starts a conversation, which will transition into sales down the road. It’s not selling out of the gate.

 

If you’re marketing through content, you can’t achieve authority position with your content and tell your sales stories at the same time. Why? Because you run the risk of diluting your message.

 

You have to choose one or the other: You either market your stories or you sell your products.

 

So, What Is Marketing Content?

One word: Compelling story telling. Marketing content is about telling a compelling story or narratiev about your product or services alongside its benefits to the client. In fact, good marketing content will charm people to the point where convincing them to buy is easy.

 

Marketing content is about attracting people to whatever you’re selling and the kind of company you’re building. The content people love to share (and that journalists love to write about) is not the content that says how great you are. Rather, it’s the content that speaks to your customer’s pain point and speaks to your “why” or your values.

 

People want to work with people that they know, like and trust. But it’s hard to establish trust or affinity with someone when you’re also trying to sell them something. That’s why your marketing content needs to make the best impression – not be an immediate turnoff.

 

OK, Then What Is Sales Content?

One word: persuade. Sales content is about persuading buyers that you understand their problem and your products and services solve that problem, how will you do it and why your people are a good fit for what they’re keen to solve or build.

 

This is your chance to highlight your customer case studies, testimonials, such as your customer list, awards, credentials, etc. That’s the sales content that will sway people enough to want to work with you.

 

Now How Do You Balance The Two?

As a brand, if your marketing content is strong and does a good job of telling a compelling story to prospects, your sales content doesn’t need to be forceful or pompous. It should always bring quantitative facts, align to customer context, relevant and to the point.

 

In short, marketing content is about selling people on you, your brand, your vision, your perspective, your story. It should show who you are and showcase your uniqueness without your having to come out and say it. Sales content is about selling buyers your products or services. It should include an articulation of why people should ultimately give you, not your competitors, their business. It should help people make their purchasing decisions more easily.

 

Use marketing content when people are still in the marketing stages of the journey. This is when your audience is looking for answers to their questions or needs advice about problems they’re looking to solve but aren’t sure who to turn to. Marketing content helps you nurture your relationship with them at this point.

 

Use sales content when your audience is in the sales stages of the journey and is close to making a purchase. Sales content here is meant to paraphrase problem, articulate contextual value, your promise and convert audience members into customers.

 

What happens if you use sales content within your marketing content? In some cases, it’ll turn customers away, which will hurt your sales. The most important thing to remember is that the relationship between marketing and sales content hinges on getting the sequencing right. Market when they’re in the marketing stages of their journey, and sell when they’re ready to be sold to.

 

Build A Solid Buyer’s Journey

The goal is always to create a delightful buying experience, not one where people are being force-sold products and services. Content is a great tool to help you do this.

 

You can use your marketing to showcase who you are, what you stand for, and to attract potential customers who have an interest in working with you. Then, sales can become a natural, organic progression of that interest.

 

Capture them with marketing content, convert with sales. (Know, though, that this won’t work if you aren’t taking the time to truly connect with your audience in the early marketing stages. You have to convince them to support you.)

 

Can sales content ever be used in marketing content? Maybe. But I wouldn’t recommend using this approach too often unless you’re willing to chalk your efforts up to experimenting with some new approaches.

 

Before people are customers, market to them. Once they become customers, you have more freedom to send sales and marketing content in tandem their way. With that said, I do think there are opportunities to use sales content in your marketing efforts to existing customers.

 

I say that because if they’re already customers, you’ve already gone through the effort of charming and convincing them, so you’re not starting at square one. With existing customers, you can cut to the chase a bit, but I would caution against constantly hitting them up to buy more.

 

Instead, focus on creating marketing content that reminds them why they were drawn to you in the first place.

 

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.

Do TechCEOs Get ROI from Marketing Click here.

Should Tech firms consider Re-Branding to Drive New Demand – 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.

 

 

 

GTM

10 Reasons why you should not rely on OEM partner channel?

“Mag’ let’s leech on and use our OEM sales channel to scale our business from $20M to $50M.”

Many TechCEOs have this wish of building their business on top of their OEM channel and relationship. It could be on top of AWS, Microsoft, Oracle, VMware or Google channel. Nothing wrong with that idea. Just that you have not built a solid revenue acceleration capability within your organisation.

 

Here are top 10 reasons why you should consider building demand generation capability within your organisation?

  1. OEM channel relationship built with people working there is not permanent. People (sellers) change jobs and you will have to start all over again.
  2. Your alliance/channel manager can also change jobs.
  3. OEM sellers target big deals (usually long sales cycle) in named accounts. Onus is on the partner to work hard and make it happen. If the deal does not convert you are at a loss.
  4. Relying on OEM channel works well in growth markets. When more partners hop in it becomes that much difficult to rely on OEMs for leads. You have to perform.
  5. In a crowded market, customers usually want to work with a partner who has a differentiated offering and has a compelling value proposition. You can create this only when you initiate conversations and engage differently from day one.
  6. Selling ‘beach head‘ quick win offering can help you execute ‘Land & Expand’ strategy to enter named accounts. Your OEM sellers might not be interested in that.
  7. If you comply to OEM sales behaviour you might have to compromise on your service margins. You might end up re-selling licenses with 7%-8% margins and not grow your service business and margins.
  8. Having your own selling engine will help you control your (revenue) destiny. You control client engagement, positioning your solution, pricing and customer success follow through.
  9. You can smartly structure a hybrid strategy that includes inbound leads from OEM channel and integrate it with your own selling engine. This way you qualify deals better, control your revenue forecast and have slack to fill holes in your revenue budget.
  10. Finally, having a solid selling engine will increase your valuation multiples. It can get you 30% more when you exit the business. Don’t you want that?

 

We work with TechCEOs to structure a GTM that helps them hit targets and increase their valuation too. In 2020, let’s work smart to accelerate revenues and build selling capability within our organisation.

 

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.
  • Do TechCEOs Get ROI from Marketing Click here.
  • Should Tech firms consider Re-Branding to Drive New Demand – 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.