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”

 

“Tried it. Spent 48K on a person. He 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.”

 

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

 

Does this resonate with you?

 

Most of the TechCEOs with an annual run rate of $2M-4M end up paying anywhere from $3500 to $4000 for a marketing executive. After investing $48,000 it is sad to see these marketing folks leave the company and jump 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.

 

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 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.

 

Good marketing is all about finding new buyers unaware of your solution and then motivating them to learn more about you — your company, your solution, your people. When TechCEOs fail to achieve the desired results they blame it on their team or just choose to ignore it. If only they can accept that it was a “poor idea, poorly executed” in the first place.

 

Whether you are selling a Software product, IT services or reselling a OEM product like Qlik, Tableau or AWS bundled with your services, you have to enable your marketing process to attract potential prospects and tell them how you can solve their problems.

 

Based on our work with TechCEOs in the region, the flaw is almost always NOT in the intent; instead it is in making poor choices in strategy and in execution. Namely, the inability of the organization (TechCEO) to deploy a marketing framework like TechCelerate, install a demand generation process, align it with sales and drive the necessary behaviour change within the team.

 

Moreover, stitching together a marketing plan and integrating it into your sales process and execute methodically needs a team of experts.

 

 

 

 

If you want to snapback and get your demand generation initiatives back on track, here is a brief primer on what to start doing tomorrow:

  • Hold 1 person accountable for results. This is not a responsibility to be spread like fruit jam over the organization. Indeed, there are many hands helping; but only one head in the noose. This could be your marketing director or an agency like us. In fact, work with TechCEOs to establish a marketing infrastructure and run it for them.

 

  • Pay them well for success. Nailing a marketing plan and driving demand should be a career achievement. A pat on the beck is not enough. When your leader (and team) is successful, pay them well. And extra. Set your incentive system well.

 

  • Make it their full job, not their second job. This is the biggest temptation our TechCEO clients face…just take an ‘A’ player in the company and load them up wit a second set of full time duties on top of their current ones. And then expect both to be carried out well. This is asking for the impossible. So don’t ask for it. Make the change initiative their full time job, for atleast a 12 month period.

 

  • Hire some expertise in installing best practices and driving change. Installing world class marketing systems and approach is key. When you back this with teh right talent, success is inevitable. Also change management and organisational behaviour is a specific field that requires expertise not in great supply. Hire out for it. The risk is worth the reward.

 

  • Implement for Leading and Behaviour Metrics.  Having measurable KPI is key. There will be problems and the need for mid-course corrections. To get ahead of the curve you need to look down the road. That is why leading and behavioural metrics are crucial. They give TechCEOs the necessary over-the-horizon radar so that obstacles can be avoided and chokepoints resolved early on.

 

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.

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?

 

You obviously wanted to seize the opportunity that fast changing tech landscape has provided, but passion is going to be an integral part of maintaining your drive to succeed. Once you start asking yourself, “Why am I even doing this?” you’ve already lost the battle.

 

Your mission and core values are going to serve as the backdrop to any product development, sales or marketing initiative you will undertake. While tech landscape around you changes fast, you need to be focussed on why you matter to your client and why do you exist.

 

Communicating your value as a tech firms means being able to build one thing above all else with clients: trust.

 

If you can empathise with your prospects and show that you have good and true intentions in terms of helping them with their cases, signing them on as a client will be that much easier.

 

Draw up a mission statement that clearly states, in 100 words or less, why your tech firm exists. Consider what your goals are, what you want any associates or other team members to achieve, and what your clients’ motivations should be when they come to work with you.

Challenge #2 – Lack of clarity in scaling your business

It does not matter if you are a 20 person or 200 person tech shop. Having a clear strategy backed by an execution plan and focussing your activities in the right direction will yield results. This is even more important if you are in a market expansion mode.

 

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.

 

Challenge #3 – Lack of systems and processes that allow you to scale

Most of the small and mid sized tech companies are relatively disorganised and chaotic. Sales initiatives are adhoc, there are no regular cadence, processes lack KPIs, meetings run long with no discernible purpose and no clear action steps.

Initiatives are loosely organised, following processes that are made up as they go.

Everybody’s winging it. Nothing wrong but this is just not scalable and repeatable.

This presents a tremendous opportunity for someone who understands the power of frameworks.

Framework are able to bring clarity to situations. Good frameworks focus everyone’s thinking, allowing the team to drown out the noise and hone in on the questions that really matter. Frameworks can clear logjams and facilitate faster solutions. There are rarely perfect answers in business, and the ability to make faster decisions can often mean the difference between success and failure.

For example, when you use TechCelerate, Our Revenue Acceleration Framework you exactly know what you have to measure, what process you have to run, who should run it and what can you expect.

Are you currently using a framework to accelerate revenue growth?

Challenge #4 – Lack of team support

 

It is common to see TechCEOs of firms not making full use of their teams.

The right way is to delegate. The wrong way is to abdicate.

 

If you’ve got chronic pop-ins, and fear about the quality of work done by your staff stresses you out, it’s because you’ve abdicated. That means you assigned a task to someone, but you didn’t make the success criteria, timeline and process crystal clear.

 

For example, you didn’t set ground rules for when to involve you and how to involve you. You didn’t eliminate the need to ask the same question twice. But most TechCEOs make the mistake of confusing “I have to get the sale work done” with “I have to do all of the work.”

 

That’s a fundamental mistake.

 

The most important thing is that the work gets done right, not that the work gets done by you. In fact, it’s best if the work isn’t done by your because it gives you more time to serve more clients.

 

As part of TechCelerate we teach our clients a framework called “Delegation Liberation” It has four steps:

  1. Decide what’s exactly you are delegating.
  2. Determine what successful initiative or project look like.
  3. Enumerate success criteria.
  4. Implement and iterate.

This whole process will be painful at first because you have to document everything. (Of course, we at Agility nexus have a few tricks up our sleeve for solving that problem. But I can’t give away all our secrets, can I?)

 

Challenge #5 – Making continuous investments

Sales & Marketing for tech firms. Business growthExpansion of your organization. We’re talking about building up or out, here, people.

 

The idea of growth in almost every case requires an investment of some sort. You water a plant before it’s able to bear fruit. In order to get your work done and please your clients, you need to have access to the necessary resources.

 

In the case of your tech business, you can contribute to its growth by reinforcing weak areas in the organisational structure. Here are some suggestions to get started:

  • Are you the single decision taker at your firm? Try segmenting and delegating decision making process so you at least have the option to delegate during busy periods.

 

  • Do you have team members, but there are bottlenecks to their productivity? Enable them with the right software, or with new procedural guidelines.

 

  • Has the influx of prospects slowed down recently? Dedicate blocks of time to develop messaging, ask for referrals, reach out via social, or otherwise market your tech firm.

 

By establishing and regularly revisiting these pillars, you’re able to maintain the integrity of whatever marketing plan you choose to follow.

 

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.

 

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.

 

A business development professional can only properly advise a client based on what they know. Remember, a Tech firms brand equity is heavily influenced by its sales force. If the prospect to client close ratio for a Tech firm is 20%, four out of five companies that encounter the Tech firm will likely only experience what the sales professional conveys.

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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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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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10reasonsGrowth

10 Reasons Why Technoprenuers Don’t Grow Revenues?

Most of you got into tech business because of the “promise”.  

Promise to earn an income. You want to create money freedom for yourself and your families. The second promise is to create an impact. You want to grow, create impact for your clients and make a bigger difference in the world. The third promise is independence. Freedom to innovate without restrictions.

Yet, despite your best efforts, majority of technoprenuers I run into aren’t achieving all three of these goals. In fact, many of them are struggling to grow, tired or both. 

So, why is this the case for so many technoprenuers like you? 

 



1. Lack of clarity – technoprenuers are good in creating technical value. Not all are good in monetising and growing business to next level. This includes creating a revenue strategy that defines clear goals, markets, sales, marketing and talent. 

For example, lacking clarity in choosing the right market, kind of customers you have to pursue, right offering, deal size, go to market and resources to needed to get there can accelerate or derails your growth plans. When you lack certainty of direction in your business it causes you to be hesitant to take action on big decisions that will give you big results.

 

Self reflecting question: Do you have a well defined revenue strategy for your company? Does it fit into one page?

 

2. Poor execution – Translating strategy to execution needs both a process and discipline. Technoprenuers are usually impatient, try too many things and slip up on execution. Many companies have deployed brilliant strategies and still missed their number. This is due to poor execution. Companies who fall into this category will likely survive, but will find growth difficult. The execution of well defined strategy is where the magic happens.

 

Self reflecting question:Do you have an execution plan with clear actions, roles and responsibilities and target dates?

 

3. Passive marketing –  If prospects don’t know you exist, they can’t give you business. Most technoprenuers aren’t savvy in marketing themselves or their company. At best, your marketing is too passive or patchy. We have found that most technoprenuers have no clear marketing strategy at all, or at least none that they could articulate. They reported that while they might enjoy the occasional success, essentially they’re relying on luck more than anything else.

A feeble attempt to hire someone to “do social media” for the company is not a marketing strategy. Putting some content on website or in Linkedin is the easy part, getting anyone to read that content is what takes skill. When your content doesn’t do anything to attract readers, get their attention and drive traffic – you do not have a marketing strategy at all.

 

Self reflecting question: Do you have a well thought out marketing strategy?



4. Unreliable sales process – Technoprenuers rely too much on partners, joint ventures and other quick routes to get sales. They don’t realise that having organic sales capability increases your company valuation. Lack of a predictable demand generation and sales process results in prospects stalling or dropping out. Most of them don’t realise that their sales process is dead or does not exist.

The best tech companies today don’t use a sales process to sell.  They use a buying process to understand and match themselves to the customer. Understanding this helps them deploy specific actions and activities.  These help pull the customer through their buying process.  They help strengthen compelling events. And help prioritise the customer’s problem and use your solution exclusively to solve it.

 

Self reflecting question: Is your sales processes aligned to your customer’s buying needs? 



5. Unscalable model –  Technoprenuers get stuck with the same business model that worked for them in the past years. They haven’t revisited or changed revenue model to suit current times. For example, SAP shops are selling time & material hours or projects. Legacy shops managed services. Product companies selling on prem slapped with services.

What you don’t realise as a technopreneur is that if your business is primarily dependent upon you and your efforts, by definition, your business can’t scale. Also if your business model has a linear relationship between revenue and cost, it’s hard to scale because scaling requires a lower cost per unit of acquisition.

One of the mistakes a lot of tech business owners make on this subject is that they think in absolutes—in other words, they use binary thinking—either you’re scalable or you’re not. Irrespective of the size of your business, do know that it is possible to take your current business model and make it more scalable.

 

Self reflecting question: How scalable is your current business? Is there a linear relationship between revenue and cost?


6. Stale Talent – Technoprenuers are stuck with wrong set of people who might not be the right fit for the role. In early stages, you need misfits and in the growth stage you need builders and scalers. Some argue that talent is 50% of the business success equation. The other 50%, of course, is performance conditions. No matter the ratio, your people are key to hitting your number.

There are 3 errors technoprenuers make in hiring.

  • Hire someone with wrong competencies.
  • Hiring people but not communicating and tracking accountability.
  • Compensation is not in alignment to what you want to achieve.

Making a mistake here sets you back by years. Many technoprenuers have burnt a lot of cash, time and have also fallen prey to cynicism.

 

Self reflecting question: Do you know who to hire, how to make them accountable and how to set compensation?

  

7. Lack of measurement – What does not get measured does not get managed. Usually, technoprenuers run their business with this formula. Acquire new customers, retain your customers and grow your customers. Sounds easy. Yet it is so difficult to unpack without proper measures. Most technoprenuers are not even on top of their sales pipeline!

If you do not have a way of measuring your lead flows, deals, sales cycle length, deal size, conversion rates, new vs repeat business – you are already in red flag area. You will be overwhelmed and will not know what and how to control in your selling function.

 

Self reflecting question: Do you know what to and how to measure, in sales, to take control of your revenue growth?

 

8. Lack of patience – Passion and patience go hand in hand. Living in line with your passion will probably require that you go slower than you might want to. It will definitely mean that you say no more than you say yes. Being patient and yet methodical will go a long way in taking you forward.

Technoprenuers often try too many things, when something does not work, and end up spreading it too thin. They don’t give enough time to work on one thing to reach a goal before getting onto another. This attitude often derail any progress made.

 

Self reflecting question: Have your tried sticking to one thing and giving it time and energy to succeed? How often are you distracted from your path?

 

9. Hit refresh – After tasting a bit of success in the first few years, technoprenuers struggle to change their ways and be more in sync with the current environment and business situation. They struggle with this question. w“Is change possible?” and “How can I be effective in creating change?”.

They fail to realise that the key to creating change is to acknowledge that every behaviour has a ‘frame of mind’, constructed of values, beliefs, identity and intention, and unless this is addressed your mind will act like a gyroscope bringing your behaviours back to this frame. The cost of this ‘stuck’ behaviour is not just in dollars but confusion in your company, amongst employees, who are paralysed by lack of communication and cohesion at the top.

 

Self reflecting question: Are you stuck in a fixed mindset patterns influenced by old beliefs, past failure and misplaced intentions?

 

10. Lack of Self Leadership quotient – Let’s first define Self Leadership. Self-leadership is about taking responsibility, get as much information and use your autonomy to make decisions to take purposeful action. Self-leadership empowers people to adapt to the current circumstances whilst maintaining a strategic focus towards the larger goal. 

Often times I find technoprenuers who have stopped growing have succumbed to the environment (board, investors, employees and market situation) and sub-consciously stopped taking responsibility for their current situation. Without this you lose the ability to influence your communication, emotions and behaviour and
get in your own way of reaching your goals and aspirations.

Self reflecting question: How do you perceive, feel and understand your current situation in business? 

 

 

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.

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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Setting Sales Goals

Setting Sales Goals, Ideals, And The Power Of Make-Believe

Success begins with setting goals. Without goals, your team lacks the key elements it needs to win — a direction to follow and the encouragement to stay motivated in Sales.

When it comes to goal setting in selling, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.

Setting goals that are actually achievable and measurable is vital, not only to our success but to our confidence. And it all starts with what we base our goals on.

Moreover, goals lend clarity and purpose to your organization. They enable your team to track collective and individual performance. Goals also help assess the efficiency of tools and methods, and formulate strategies for improvement or growth.

Ideals guide us but aren’t achievable.

For many technoprenuers, coming up with big ideas is our bread and butter. In our imaginations, the sky’s the limit, and we can envision a future that might seem impossible in the present.

Having big dreams is part of what’s made you as successful as you are. While others might dismiss big dreams as “make-believe,” for you, it’s what keeps you fascinated and motivated and always growing. Having ideals helps you to envision your bigger future. But when you’re goal setting, it’s important to be able to distinguish make-believe from reality.

Our ideals are crucial. They help us look ahead and keep us inspired. Goal setting, however, requires that we extract achievable, measurable goals out of the abstract ideal. Ideals themselves are not achievable. But concrete goals are.

Measurement vs. make-believe.

The goals we set, based on our ideal vision of the breakthrough we want to achieve, must be measurable. They must be based on a specific number or specific event. An example of a measurable goal is “multiplying my revenue by 10x over the next five years” or “winning 15 new accounts by Q2.”

If your goal is too abstract (“improve my business,” “increase revenue”), it exists only in the realm of the ideal and will remain forever out of reach. When setting goals, remember—if it’s not measurable, it’s make-believe. Setting a non-specific goal means that you’ll never know for sure whether you’ve achieved it. If it’s too general, you’ll have no way of determining if you’re there yet or how far you have left to go.

Setting specific goals and executing detailed strategies for achieving them resulted to an average academic performance improvement of 30%.

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