Being skilled at analytics, product development and inspiring people I am not that good at sales. I have a great software developers team, proven track record and passion to do what we love. It's a small focused team and we can't afford a full-time sales person in US. Odesk and Elance are more about extremely low-cost and short-term projects - we bring real value and have higer rates than Indian devs. How can I find a long-term commitment?
My company does a lot of consulting with offshore firms who are looking for a way to generate new business, so I hear this question a lot.
My first reaction is that you need to totally reverse your mindset when you talk about your own company. You mentioned that you have:
a great software developers team, proven track record, passion, real value
But, everyone says that. There a 10,000 companies that have those things, so a customer isn't going to notice it. You need to figure out what your company is best at (doesn't have to be technical) and present it as a solution to a specific problem that clients have.
Maybe a speciality, or really good project management, really good communications, a special expertise or experience, a personality, experience with a certain type of client.. really anything.. But, there must be some thing that makes your company 'special' otherwise you will be lost in the mix.
Don't worry about things like rates, or the fact that you have 'great' developers. Those are generic. Think about why a client would really choose you, and try to build on that! After you understand your company identity, it gets much easier to identify and engage marketing channels because you understand your target.
I've worked through Odesk and Elance for almost 3 years, for last 9 months I'm working as full time freelancer. A few weeks ago, I found a client who
I consulted to Halcyon Mobile, a great team in Romania who wanted to attack the UK market.
For them we discussed how to get onto sub-contracting lists for marketing agencies. These guys regularly give out work. It's a tough slog but the job broadly consists of
1 - getting known. How to get yourself in front of the audience. We recommend research interviews to deliver a publicity-friendly report on a key aspect of the industry that demonstrates your expertise
2 - build out your database by promoting the report, preferably giving away copies to people who share their contact details with you
3 - have an awesome telephone follow up service who is a native English speaker to stay in touch with the decision makers.
4 - continue to build your profile on your own website and Linked In. Be active on the industry trade newspapers (buy a subscription and comment on articles), join professional groups e.g. the British Interactive Media Association http://www.bima.co.uk/
5 - innovate - be the conduit that brings new information, tools and techniques to these audiences so they get to know you as experts not also-rans.
There you go - a template for a new business development process for your business. Get in touch if you'd like detail developed that sets you apart from the masses.
Build a strong lead generation and sales.
● Outbound marketing like b2b inquiries to potential clients via LinkedIn (active sales) is your key tool to start a conversation.
● Inbound marketing has a supporting function: write articles, give free advices and participate in conferences as speaker. Could be also free or paid trainings to attract attention.
● Sell your expertise, not the hours. Promote key employees (service providers in your company) via video, posts and photos on your website.
Thinks about your unique trade proposal. What differs you from the other thousands of similar companies?
As an example: I noticed that outsourcing companies are very slow in quotes and feedbacks so we made a key focus on fast replies for one of my clients, so it was a successful strategy.
Read more about sales strategy in my blog here: https://medium.com/@ganja_agency/key-factors-of-successful-b2b-sales-for-a-small-it-company-8fc9bcbb690b#.b2m2ydbfk