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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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.

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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Customer Journey

Customer Buying Journey beats MarTech Anyday!

Between a customer first visiting your website or connecting with you in Linkedin and being closed is a journey filled with opportunities to differentiate a company from the competition.

 

Too often technoprenuers focus their initiatives, including digital marketing, on one thing: lead generation.

 

What they usually forget is that lead generation is usually the effect. An outcome. Whereas the cause is a unique (tailored) process that leads your prospects through a unique buying journey for which they are willing to listen, spend more time and even pay for your services as a customer!

 

“In a crowded and noisy market, if you treat your prospects well, lead them on a journey and give away your wisdom, and at the end you get paid for your commodity.”

One thing technoprenuers should understand and learn is about the value of a process as a means to avoid commoditisation. A unique process that is tailored to be in line with your customer buying journey is also a way to get paid sooner–you can demonstrate value from the very beginning.

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Revenue Strategy

How can technoprenuers connect revenue strategy to execution plan?

With a new year starting the timing is right to shift the focus to executing your revenue strategy with precision and achieving the planned outcomes. We have clearly see that technoprenuers who spend quality time in putting together a focussed revenue strategy and execution plan are far more successful that those that simply wing it.

It does not matter if you are a 20 person or 200 person tech shop. Having a plan and focussing your activities in the right direction will yield results.

Here is a sample revenue strategy and execution we put together for one of the mid sized tech firms that wanted to 2X revenue within next 12 months. We simply chopped off a geography and 2 products from the basket!

 

The tolerance for under performance is diminishing each year as technoprenuers understand that revenue growth (and sales) is a science not an art form and good planning and implementation methodologies do deliver results.

If you cannot plan and see how to make the money at the start of the year
the results are most unlikely to be there at the end of the year.

Technoprenuers spend considerable amount of time and effort in running their business but spend very little time in planning and translating that plan to quarterly action plans.

Often they find it cumbersome and tedious. Sometimes they simply do not know how to put this together and translate it into an execution plan.

For those who are struggling to put together a plan, here are some outline that can help you along the way.

In Agility Nexus revenue planning process, we focus on 4 areas – core strategy (where to focus to achieve our numbers), product/ solution portfolio, sales and marketing.

1) Core Strategy – In developing our core strategy we look at our desired revenue numbers, share holder expectations, how fast we want to achieve it and what resources we have to get there. We also look at markets, competition, product/solution lifecycles, our position and a future paced outlook to achieve our results.

 

2) Revenue Planning – We then move onto a detail plan that goes one step down into mix of segments, product/ solution portfolio, existing customers, new customer acquisition, products, territories and revenue opportunities.

 

3) Breaking down the revenue plan – this leads us to objectives of the revenue plan (includes both marketing and sales) and what are the requirements (and needs) to get them delivered. We use a 4 quarter, 90D sprint planning process to plan and execute the micro detail of what is required to be completed each day, week, month and quarter. The activities with the customers which steers the direction from where the sales revenue will be derived.

 

4) Sales Funnel and Process – We then develop (tweak) the sales process and funnel, by applying AICP framework (Attract, Interest, Convert and Propagate) that incorporates customer buying journey, acquisition channels, attraction and conversion tools that brings in paying customers. This also boils down to detailed weekly execution plan.

 

5) Weekly/Daily Progress Tracking – when you understand the activity requirement for the business, you can then monitor to ensure the activity, and the right activity is occurring. This is the engine behind any revenue results being achieved. We monitor the following key areas with well defined KPIs.

  • Demand Generation activities
  • Sales funnel activities,
  • Client conversations and conversions.

 

6) Monthly Review & Meetings – Technoprenuers should also review progress, on a monthly basis, with individual team members to the plan, realign them where necessary and remove barriers that will stop them achieving. You should keep the team focused on the right activities and allow them to demonstrate how they are managing prospects and customer base.

 

7) Quarterly Business Review – keeping the revenue plan active with a runway of one or two full quarters ahead, at any time of the year is a must. Ensuring the activities are feeding the short and medium term objectives of the company.

 

With the focus on performance, effectiveness and results maintained through quality dashboards, the team will understand how to manage and deliver the planned results. The most important contribution of all is frontline coaching and reinforcement of the activities that deliver success.

If you don’t have one, get started with your strategy and execution plans. It will clearly differentiate you from your competitors and focusses your efforts to achieve maximum results.

 

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.

6 Steps Mid Size Tech Companies Can Take to 2X Revenues Within 12 Months

Over past 3 months, we studied 78 small and mid sized tech companies in South East Asia and and this is what we found out.

 

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.

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.