Selling software is not an easy task for start-ups today. The market is big, solutions abound, and there are very large and distinguished corporations in the market.
Okay, let's start with what does not work: have you ever heard someone offer "integral solutions", "applications in any language", "software maintenance", "project development"? No matter how sophisticated and efficient it sounds, it does not say anything specific; besides, let's be honest, even though you can dedicate yourself to everything, it is not optimal for a start-up because intellectual resources can abound, but humans can not, and if you want to maintain a good standard of quality, you have to specialize.
After the specialization, you will have to put a competitive price to your effort and your products, lower the price should not be an option, because the idea is to make quality software, and being competitive is definitely not cheap, but useful.
Many experienced marketers say that selecting a good niche is more important than the product itself, because even if you have the best product, if the target audience is not interested in your product, you will not sell there.
The customer that comes out of the niche must be an essential part of the work team, from which we will receive the feedback and will help us throughout the development process: the gradual delivery of small, fully functional "modules" that will form the precise solution, allowing the client to test part of their application, observe the progress that is being made and make changes and improvements to its operation throughout the development process.
The company should design attractive offers together with the product and learn to sell them in that niche, and if possible, have someone in the team with talent for sales who has to be the first contact with each client, in other words, a relationship developer. This Sales Terminator, must identify the "economic driver" of each client, know how to link software features and services directly with benefits and maintain a continuous contact with the client.
But there are two factors that will be key for sales to be fruitful for the company:
- Supporting and facilitating internal processes.
The benefits of a salesperson who supports the processes and the people behind their work are countless. While facilitating and recognizing the effort of all the areas involved in generating the product of its sale, they achieve a better internal service that translates into more openness, better response times, greater quality, commitment and sensitivity with its customers. Their results must be assumed as a team effort and, in the event of success or mistakes, they always mention joint responsibility. That is, without seeking guilty or adjudging merits.
- Showing flexibility and attitude to solve the negotiation for the benefit of the client and the company.
Inevitably, the seller is a mediator between the client and the company. Therefore, the greatest number of possible alternatives must be provided both for the client and for his organization. Explore and achieve in the negotiations: delivery times, added values, discounts, changes and adaptations to the product in order to close the sale. They understand how difficult it is to attract a client; they seek to captivate and retain him, always taking care of the present and future profitability of his business.
Proposals that cannot be rejected
In negotiations, all the variables that can be used must be prepared to increase the chances of a good agreement for the company and the client expectation beforehand, which will allow diverting attention from the price. Each variable must be assigned the minimum or maximum possible, that is, to know how far it is willing to give or deliver in pursuit of a good final agreement for the company.
Among these variables are:
- After-Sales Service: If the company delivers a 3-month maintenance service at no cost to the customer, offering a 6-month expansion can be beneficial if the price is commensurable.
- Guarantees: If the company guarantees quality for 1 year, expand it by another year for an X amount of additional or free money, depending on whether you want loyalty or an immediate monetary purpose.
- Delivery Frequency: If the agreement is to deliver functional software once a month, analyze the possibility of shortening deadlines or magnify presentations. This can allow you to maintain or increase the price in exchange for reducing the project’s time schedules.
- Payment Methods: Analyze within the possibilities of the company the delivery of greater credits. This often tends to maintain the price sacrificing the liquidity of the company.
- Loyalty programs: Everything that makes the customer feel special or adds value to the company's products.
Price is not the best Negotiation Strategy. Price is not the only negotiable variable.
The important thing is that, according to the characteristics and benefits of the company's products or services, the negotiable aspects are defined so that during the negotiation the Commercial Representative has various elements to negotiate and thus achieving the maximum benefit for the company. Negotiation can be considered a failure if the only thing yielded was the price, so the company must look for the elements and variables that increase the value to customers.
The job of the seller in the negotiations is to find out if the reasons for which the customer wants to lower the price of the product or service are reasonable or not, asking detailed and controlled questions, paying attention to see if the answer is convincing and well thought or sophisticated and changing, in order to find out their true motivations. Always keeping in mind that the seller, if he does not have precise information in advance with which to negotiate, should not negotiate.
To conclude, I would like to emphasize the selection of the market niche, and the knowledge about the client, which will give enough tact to know how, when and in what way to present the product or service. And because human resources and time do not abound, it is essential to maximize results with precise training that can create a real expansion in the enterprise and in each person that is part of it.