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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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%.

Read More
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.

Branding your tech

Why You Should Brand Your Tech Business?

Most technopreneurs generally start out by focusing on what they’re good at and what they can sell. This is good and a must. Without an MVP you are not going anywhere.

But once your business gets to a $500K or even better $1M per annum mark, you will need a good brand strategy.

If you don’t have a brand, then you just have a service or product without a real vision or identity. It is often commoditised in a noisy marketplace. Unless you are an AirBnB or an Uber!

You’re pretty much just selling stuff. (And you feel like your services are more than just stuff, right?) Without creating a brand strategy, your business has nothing to guide it on a path towards long-term impact and success.

So what exactly is a brand strategy?

A brand strategy encompasses the characteristics, attributes, personality, and core essence of a business. It’s what helps your business make an impact and build a culture and following beyond your services.

You might be asking, do I need a brand for a $1M business?

Not everyone thinks of starting with a brand strategy when they first launch into business, but having the right strategy in place will make building your business, attracting clients, and positioning your services so much easier.

A brand strategy consists of a number of elements such as your voice, style, promise, message, story, values, vision, identity, and target audience.

Most technopreneurs tend to skip over everything and jump straight to their identity and target audience. However, the other, sometimes-less-tangible elements of your brand play a large part in shaping how your target audience perceives you, connects with you, and feels about becoming your potential client. As all of these emotions are crucial when it comes to building a brand, don’t overlook these other important branding elements.

An effective brand strategy is essentially your guide to influencing your target audience’s opinion of who you are, what you’re about, why they should care, and how you can help them.

Read More
Growth Technoprenuer

Grow Your Tech Business With One Simple Mindset Shift

Recently, I notice a lot of technopreneurs who glamorize the many roles they play in a company. It’s something that evokes feelings of pride and honor in them.

“I have so many roles.”

“I’m responsible for the sales, marketing, accounting, and the client work.”

“I’m executing it all.”

If your main goal is the “freedom to create big impact, value and succeed”, is this the most efficient way to be handling your tech business?

The ability to possess a more lucrative high-value tech business AND more personal time.

If this resonates with you, then I’ll affirm that taking on more roles is not the way to go.

As a matter of fact, the #1 operating principle in my business is to fire myself.

The fewer roles I play, the more I can act as the owner of the business instead of playing the role of the employee.

The majority of technopreneurs have not really processed this. They become attached to their business and tend to believe that the business and themselves are synonymous.

In reality, playing the role of the owner is the main ingredient in creating real asset value in their business.

For the sake of practicality, you’re probably playing a myriad of roles today. You might be playing the roles that handle selling, marketing, financing, billing, client work etc. 

To fire yourself efficiently, it is necessary to find opportunities for other people to fulfill the roles you have been playing.

Not long ago, I held a Tech Business Seminar where I organize a chart displaying what a tech business looks like. Every responsibility of the firm is listed alongside the name of the person responsible for it – similar to roles in a company such as a CEO, COO, VP of Marketing, VP of sales, etc.

This is applicable to every tech business.

Regardless if you’re a solopreneur with limited to no staff or a tech firm with over a hundred people, the organizational structure is tantamount. However, a technopreneur in a smaller firm might face the challenge of playing more roles in their business compared to one in a larger firm.

Let’s say your name is listed next to all the responsibilities. You play the role of the owner, CEO, VP of finance, and VP of Sales and Marketing. It’s all displayed in front of you. Seeing it visually represented helps you see which tasks you can get others to take on, thereby reducing the number of roles you play.

Here’s what I’d like you to do: List out all the tasks you are responsible for in your business at this moment and question, “ Can I fire myself from that task?”.

Seeing it visually represented allows you to have a clearer picture of who has what responsibility in your business. Thereby allowing you to delegate many of your roles to other people.

In our coaching program, we utilize a process called Delegation Liberation. It helps technopreneurs figure out the most efficient way to delegate tasks so that the result is done to highest quality standards. It gives you the freedom to relieve yourself from the responsibilities associated with the operations sector of your business.

I highly recommend technopreneurs to think along these lines.

How can you play the role of the owner instead of an employee?

 

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.

Authority

Why Build Authority Positioning in Your Niche?

Ok, you have built a kickass cloud management, optimization platform. Or you have just built an AI widget with APIs that can connect with gazillion apps.

Now, who knows you in the cloud or AI industry?

Have you established your presence at least in your target market?

If you are not systematically and methodically establishing yourself as an authority, at least in your target market, you are ignoring the true power behind the marketplace. This is the axiom behind authority marketing.

As a technopreneur, if your firm is not able to sharply differentiate itself from others around you, you are just another company in the mix.

But if you do, then you are on your way to becoming an authority in your niche or chosen field.

An authority has all the knowledge stored away. An authority who disperses his or her knowledge in a way that people rely on and seek is a celebrity.

Authority positioning affords your business to leverage its experience to gain an elevated expert status within the specialized confines of their industry. You become an educator and advocate for the success of those who rely on you;

then, your audience can find (and trust) you.

 

Fast-Tracking Your Authority

Strategies used to optimize your position as an expert celebrity include highlighting local (or regional) press, writing books and other authoritative and informative materials, and distributing your writing so that it becomes widely available.

You must provide your target audience with so much content and proof, showing that you understand and empathize with their needs, so that you are the only choice in their minds. This could be done by being interviewed on podcasts your target audience listens to, or even starting your own podcast so you can open huge doors of opportunity for your business by interviewing influencers in your industry.

For example, one of my clients, for whom I’ve helped position a youtube strategy, has told me that their youtube is now syndicated on different platforms, increasing its exposure. My client also uses the platform to approach prospects with the ask to interview them, opening the door for future conversations about my client’s expert services.

 

Think about this: If you were looking for a Digital firm to help your business get closer to cosmetics users who are predominantly teenage girls, how would you make your decision?

With the first Digital company, you meet them at your local tech group and think they pretty friendly, at least from what you can see in early morning networking meetings!

With the second Digital firm, you notice they were recently featured in your local chamber of commerce retail summit, wrote a popular ebook on how to structure user experience (UX) for omnichannel retail consumers and has a weekly podcast you listen to about recent developments in retail technology.

Who would you choose?

Both may do a fabulous job, but we are all so busy that we tend to make decisions based on who seems to be the most qualified, and this is tied to visibility. In fact, the accountant who has established himself as an authority has vastly improved his “perceived value” in the marketplace.

 

Placement And Positioning

In the real world of business, I have found that respect comes not from media savviness but from the ability to make your knowledge into something useful for others. The primary way business owners can generate widespread respect for their authority is through understanding the technology and methods they work with and generating solutions from them.

Being able to generate and distribute applications for what you know will garner substantial unassailable value.

Authoritative entrepreneurs must display not only a tolerance but a thirst for change. When others are unsure of their response to change, the authoritative business owner must maintain a consistent viewpoint that portrays a protocol in place to allow change to be integrated into the business.

Look for ways to document your knowledge. It may be recording your thoughts with your phone about a specific problem you recently solved for a client. Guess what you can do with that?

Transcribe the recording and repurpose it into a blog post, your next email update to your clients, a social media post — the list goes on! See how easy this can be? But the first step is getting started and deciding to keep it up, even if it’s only once a month!

Remember: Building your authority should be your No. 1 priority.

Marketing Automation

Why You Need Marketing Automation To Grow Your Tech Business?

It makes perfect sense to use “human” or “manual” marketing with – your top 20-30 accounts. In theory, this frees you up from the time vampires who are sucking your time away with marketing that probably won’t have a good return on investment.

But, what about the rest of your clients and prospects from various other sources? How do you nurture your relationships with them? This is where we turn to the other method of marketing. We’ll use automation to market to the rest of our list.

We start by thinking about the people on our list as our “flock”. We need to move beyond seeing clients simply as contacts and start seeing them as relationships that need nurturing. These are relationships that we are responsible for.

Why? Because these are the relationships that will bring us the most business. These people will help us, by us helping them.

When some technopreneurs market to their contacts, they can “burn the list”. This is basically sending out a bunch of useless garbage to your contacts, causing them to not want to hear from you. To leave the list.

We want to get away from this model by creating a consistently valuable experience for your flock so that they can be guided by you when they face a problem that you can help them with.

Think: when you send your flock some marketing, are you helping educate them? Are you building relationships by sharing in personal things about you? If neither of those are true, then reassess the marketing campaign.

You’re helping to shepherd them to a good solution whenever a solution that you offer is there. If you’re not the right solution, that means helping them find the right solution.

Twenty years ago you could get by without automated marketing simply because nobody had it. Today, with all of the things people can give their attention to (let’s call those distractions), it’s impossible to be effective at marketing without using both people and automation.

Why do you need both manual and automated marketing? Let’s take a look at what each one looks like if used on its own.

Read More