Effective marketing of software solutions requires an understanding of buyer persona and needs. This needs to be incorporated as the basis for developing a business development strategy to effectively position the solution and focus the sales effort on the right segment of sales prospects.
The leads generation process needs to be conducted in a way that it reaches out to the right audience and intrigues the prospect, the right way. The leads qualification needs to be adequately informed of the product usage and be able trigger sales engagement on real prospects. As an underlying capability to all business development and marketing efforts, it is very important to clearly articulate what the software solution does for the customer rather than relying on feature/functionality benefits.
This subtle and often-overlooked distinction is difficult to put into practice since internal marketing programs and strategy tend to promote the product instead of reflecting on product usage. Organizations struggle to get this messaging and program strategy aligned with the customer needs due to the following reasons:
Feature functionality and not customer focused: product management strategy tends to focus heavily on a feature functionality approach without taking the effort to approach this from a customer needs perspective. This results in product collateral that rarely interests a customer to invest in the software
Expensive: Most small and medium software enterprises find it expensive to maintain dedicated resources for Product Management, Product Marketing and Marketing Communications. Internal resources end up playing multiple roles which results in poor quality of collateral in terms of ability to relate to the potential user
Scattered Solution Expertise: In many cases, expertise around actual product usage may lie, not within the product management and marketing teams, but with resources from other teams like development or support. The inputs across these teams are usually not captured and integrated into the overall marketing strategy
Disconnect between Sales and Marketing: The Sales and Marketing teams end up creating their own solution positioning collateral which may often miss the point on how the software needs to be sold to a prospect.
Software companies stand to gain significant benefits by outsourcing their product marketing, leads generation and leads qualification activities. Outsourced product marketing services ensures that organizations obtain significant benefits across two categories:
1. Cost savings
2. Increased quality and accuracy of sales enablement activities
Furthermore, organizations can continue to scale on their marketing activities without increasing their headcount on a permanent basis. Companies can focus on targeted Marketing Communications activities and completely outsource all their Product and Solution Marketing collateral to external providers.
The author is a Partner at vPosition, a leading on-demand product marketing company, that provides outsourced marketing services to software companies. For further information on marketing activities that can be outsourced and details on vPosition services and how it can help you accelerate your marketing strategy, please visit [http://www.vposition.com]