Today we have a guest writer Cristian Dorobantescu, that has been involved working both with software development and software marketing. Here he shares some interesting insights in this sometimes bipolar landscape.
Read on to find out what Cristian has to say…
Back in 2002 I joined a software start-up to work on their sales. You know the regular geek company, 7 or 8 programmers in an apartment, coding all day and doing innovative products. I bet that most (small) software companies start like that, with some technical guys developing some products, placing the products on the site then waiting for the sales to happen.
Then, the same technical guys try to make some sales things, which might not be the most efficient approach in terms of sale results (but probably better than some sale guys trying to code 🙂
If you are in this situation (technical guy trying to work on sales), then you should handle at least the following aspects in selling and marketing your software.
Chicken and egg problem in software development
Now, most technical people are very feature oriented and while working on their baby are more interested in technical challenges and innovation than in making features requested by the market. So, should you develop a product to showcase your expertise or should you implement “useless” features that are requested by the customers?
You can’t have sales without features and at some point, you can’t have features if you don’t have sales. So before you think about starting a product, define your goal; making money or features?
From the same “toward features” orientation, the product descriptions and presentations are a …list of features. On a more advanced level we could probably have a list of benefits.
But really you want to get to Needs. Start by thinking what needs/pains your product can or should solve. Then make sure the market hears the right message: what needs you solve and how.
Market your products through look & feel and ease of use
No matter how hard your work on marketing and selling your products, there is no better tool than the look & feel and ease of use of the product itself. From my experience I know most technical people don’t think this way, so I should make some sort of explanation. So here it is: would you buy a car that is full of gadgets but with a terrible bad handling and a nightmare look, or a nice looking one, easy to drive and with some gadgets?
Listen to your customers
If you decided that you want to actually have a successful selling product and not just features, you need to start listening to your customers. Because they are the one that pay your work, have a pain than need solved and really matter at the end.
The best way to market your product is to start from the customer. Hear his pains and translate them into features. Make them nice and easy to use. Then half of your marketing is done. What do you think?
Care for some more articles on marketing and selling your products? We have some more advices on how to sell software online and offline (http://www.avangate.com/articles/software-business )
Cristian Dorobantescu has been involved in international software sales since 2002, with a special interest for online sales. Currently the Avangate Affiliate Network Coordinator, he has previously worked on distribution channel development and online sales for international software companies.