We are a software development company with only 8 employees but all of us are seniors in different fields. We have developed 2 products from scratch for a big international company with over 35k employee (6-12 months developments). One of them is an app which is mandatory to use for all of the 35k employees. We passed all request from integration with Active Directory, SAP, GDPR, Russian legislation, Penetration tests and a lot of paperwork which are highly demanded if you are working with an international company.
Great question! This is a similar issue all enterprise-focused companies face, which I've experienced many times.
I'd recommend creating content that leverages your experience:
1. Create detailed case studies about each of your large projects, featuring the customers branding clearly. Seek permission before doing this,
2. Create white papers for each of your key learnings from the project. For example, I'd love to know how Russian law impacted your project - "Developing software that complies with Russian data protection law in 2019'
3. Create short blogs which summarise the white paper, ideally with a video. Offer the whitepaper as a download in exchange for an email.
4. Promote the blog posts on LinkedIn with paid advertising, aimed at your ideal customers.
Happy to jump on a call and discuss how I've successfully used to approach to win customers.
Below are my suggested methods. There are many more but I don't want this answer to be too long.
1. Ask your existing client/s for referrals. If they were happy with the work that you did, they should be happy to do so. If you feel the need, offer them a 10%/$X discount on the next project for every client they refer. This is 'win-win-win' situation because you get more clients, they get a discount, and they use your services again.
2. Ask your existing clients for a written recommendation which you can publish on your website + permission to use their logo on your website.
3. Publish as much content as possible on your website - about the projects you've done, potential projects, your fields of expertise (obviously you need to have a professional and trustworthy looking website). each article/post should be about 1.5 pages (Microsoft Word). Make sure the content is focused to your customers (so probably not too technical).
4. create a free 'get a quote tool' - many customers check online to get an estimate of how much the project will cost. If you have an automatic online tool, this can attract a lot of customers. I have personally used such a tool and I was very impressed with the company's website and free tool.
5. Partner with organizations/companies that work with your target clients - for example: I work with lots of entrepreneurs and many of them ask me for referrals to various types of service providers, including programming companies. These companies give me a small percentage of the profits they make from my referrals (of course I only refer to companies which I know and trust as my reputation is worth more than the referral fee).
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs and will be happy to help you.
Great question. I'll get right down to it, and share my advice on how to do it better with B2B sales.
First of all, I'll let you know a little bit about me, so that you know from which standpoint my advices are coming from. I'm the co-founder of a product development and wholesaler company in Norway, and a lot of our revenue comes from "big business sales", institutions and retail. We also work closely with some of the biggest paper manufacturers in Europe, and have been their trusted partner in Norway for a long period of time. In other words, I work with B2B sales and marketing on a daily basis, and my job is to attract these kind of customers to our business.
Because of my experience, I will not give you advice on the specific question on how to sell software development, but my advices are universal, and can be used in almost any industry.
Hire commission based sales people with great interest in software/technology.
In order for this to work in the best possible way, you need to make sure these people really love your business and the work you do. You would like sales people who smile every time they pick up the phone or "knock that door". This is a great way of attracting new clients, because you always receive return on investment (without sales, no expenses).
The potential downside of this is the time that goes into training, following up on the sales people and answering everyday questions from a bigger staff etc.
If you want to move on with this, you have to figure out how big part of the sales process you want your sales people to do. You might want to have highly competent people doing everything form contact to closing a new client. Or you might want to consider younger, hard working and ambitious people "knocking down the doors" and doing the initial phase of the sale, leaving the main conversation and closing to more experienced staff.
If you would like a more detailed conversation on how you can do this in a best possible way, please let me know, and I will be available for a call.
That's great news about your success so far. I've done enterprise business development for enterprise technology, workflow reengineering, and strategy projects. I've also been on the buying side (part of a $110 million IT budget for a name brand Wall Street firm.)
Given that you have 8 people, I will assume you have to be very focused with your business development time and money. My quick reaction (unencumbered with too much information) is that you should focus on getting warm introductions, direct conversations, and face-to-face meetings. This will take some strategic networking. Sources of network include your team's own relationships, referrals from your happy clients, and any meetings of similar client companies. One piece of marketing collateral worth producing is a one-page case study, highlighting your project, preferably using your client's name. (If you can't get permission, just describe them in general terms.) You can use the piece to focus your story and share with prospects.
That's all I can think of without more context. Set up a call, and I can help you think through business development strategies from the sell side and the buy side.