Nasscom and other organizations have repeatedly stressed the extensive scope for Indian software products in the global arena, which is currently dominated by the western world and a few Asian players. However, our march to conquer the globe is nowhere near the desired pace. One of the key challenges that make global expansion a distant dream for many Indian players even today is lack of a holistic marketing strategy and minimal visibility for Indian software products beyond the shores.
Whether a product owner or business leader promoting technology products, your focus is usually on driving technological innovations and architecting your product to suit your target market. Your immediate battle is to clear hurdles and rush your deliveries to meet targets, taking your product to market almost in parallel to understanding your competitor and market dynamics. With the more pressing demands of the market place and sales-related approaches grabbing most of your attention, even within your comfort zone, going global is probably way down in your list of priorities, given the complexities of planning and implementing strategies on a much larger scale for global expansion.
What if your entire marketing and sales approaches were digitally enabled? With every aspect of human functionality from entertainment to aviation going digital, the immense potential of digitally enabling the entire business process has gained importance over the last five years. But being a staunch follower of marketing and sales stories of any organization, I focus on the empowering advantages of a digitally enabled sales process in this article.
What are the immediate visualizations of a digitally enabled sales process?
· A streamlined lead generation and lead conversion process
· A boundary-less online marketplace
· Innovative options to customize and personalize prospect interactions
· Loads of analytic reports providing you predictive trends, patterns, and reports of innumerable measures
· Optimization of your army of marketing & sales staff
· Unique,scalable, and far-reaching online solutions that level the entire market landscape
One of the most significant shifts resulting from a digitally enabled sales approach is the rising relevance of digital content. Marketing of software products too has moved away from traditional advertisements, press releases, trade shows,brochures, and foot soldiers. The current trend of establishing a tactical digital presence and utilizing strategic content marketing, especially during early period of start-up or growth, helps you leverage the best of both worlds- human and digital resources - to achieve extensive online reach.
Content is the new kingmaker and the trump card in any marketing and sales initiative. With a million channels available to connect with your target audience, content in various forms helps you sail through from creating awareness to converting target audience into dedicated followers. The right balance of content type, channels, format, and frequency will make your journey quite smooth. As easy as the content approach sounds, working out the ideal proportion of content elements can be quite challenging, but the many digital content success stories around us makes the challenges worth confronting.
What are the some of the content approaches that you can experiment with in your digitally enabled sales and marketing journey?
Pull content: Your target audience holds the key to your success. The days when you could directly walk into your audience's zone of attention and push your sales pitches are long gone. Your prospective buyers can now access information at the click of a button. Hence, pull content strategy is the best way to connect with your audience. Your website is not always the most authentic trust-building source. Reach out to your target audience with awareness-generating and interesting content about your product. Ensure that your product/brand engages with your audience. Execute pull content strategies to ensure product/brand discoverability. This will go a long way in building trust with the audience, often the first step to a long partnership with your prospective buyer.
Selling tech products with no tech talk: Sales strategy of the past focused on technology and complex process descriptions, but today's sales focus is on simplified content -selling technology without using any tech jargons. This approach helps build trust with the prospective buyer who is looking for information on results from using the product rather than technological jargon behind the product.
Layering of content:Bombarding the prospective buyer with content from all direction is disastrous. Hence, content communication is best layered and presented in stages to aid the prospective buyer in taking the decision to move to the next stage in the sales cycle. It is certainly a complex process! However, If you have a team that focuses on content strategy and persona-based content marketing, you will succeed in channelizing content effectively at various stage of the sales conversion funnel.
Mission control: Along with the effective use of content type, channels, and format, product marketers need to have full control of the content strategy execution, measure effectiveness of their content approach, and reconfirm that they are all set to move on to the next stage of their campaign. The world of digital content includes 100+ types of content formats and 40+channels of distribution - the key is to choose the right combination strategically and interpret measures of response to content campaigns to ensure that you are in the right direction. Your content strategy team must thus function like an air traffic control room, monitoring and routing the right content through the right channel.
The digital marketing world, social media environment, and business landscapes, to name a few ecosystems, are constantly evolving. The current tide is definitely in favor of digitally enabled sales and content marketing. It's up to product owners to embrace the wave and invest in online content wisely right from the early stages of product release by enabling mission-controlled digital sales.
Co- Founder at www.addkraft.com