Offshore software development companies often face challenges when it comes to selling their services to clients, particularly in Europe. Many of these companies are run or owned by developers themselves, who may not have the necessary marketing and sales skills to effectively promote their offerings. In this article, we will discuss the importance of implementing a sales methodology, such as Target Account Selling (TAS), and the steps involved in building the necessary sales skills to successfully sell offshore software development services.
Selling offshore software development services can be a daunting task, especially in a highly competitive market. Many companies face difficulties in acquiring new clients and securing larger contracts. Despite their technical expertise, developers often lack the sales and marketing skills needed to effectively promote their services. In this article, we will explore the challenges faced by software companies in the sales process and provide tips on how to develop the necessary sales skills to sell offshore software development services effectively.
Understanding the Challenge
The biggest challenge faced by software companies in selling their services is the disconnect between their technical skills and their sales and marketing abilities. Often, these companies are owned or run by developers who may not have the necessary training or experience in sales. Additionally, there is a lack of emphasis on education, training, and preparation when it comes to marketing and sales in the software industry. This disconnect is a widespread issue observed in companies globally.
Importance of a Sales Methodology
Similar to how software development methodologies (e.g., Agile, Waterfall, Scrum) guide the development process, a structured sales methodology is crucial for effective selling. However, many developers do not take sales seriously enough and lack a defined sales methodology. This lack of structure and strategy hinders their sales efforts and leads to subpar results. To bridge this gap, the implementation of a sales methodology, such as TAS (Target Account Selling), is essential.
Understanding Target Account Selling (TAS)
TAS is a strategic methodology used by professional companies to build and manage their sales pipeline effectively. It provides a comprehensive framework for identifying target accounts, nurturing leads, and successfully closing deals. A well-implemented TAS methodology involves a scientific approach rather than relying on trial and error. By understanding and implementing TAS, software companies can gain a competitive edge in the market.
The Competitive Landscape
It is crucial to recognize that software companies are not alone in their endeavor to sell offshore software development services. There are millions of companies globally competing for the same clients. Attempting to reach out to clients unprepared and without a solid understanding of the competitive landscape is a common mistake. Simply bombarding potential clients with emails and LinkedIn messages is not an effective approach. It is important to understand the highly competitive nature of the market and find more respectful ways to engage with potential clients.
Building Trust and Differentiating Yourself
Spamming potential clients with generic templates for emails and calls is not an effective strategy. It is essential to differentiate yourself from the competition and build trust with potential clients. This can be achieved by showing a genuine interest in their company and understanding their specific problems and needs. Conducting thorough research before connecting with a client is crucial to demonstrate your commitment and knowledge.
The Qualification Process
Qualifying clients and prospects is a critical step in the sales process. This involves asking the right questions and gathering relevant information to understand the client’s needs and determine if your services are a good fit. The qualification process helps build a foundation for effective communication and establishes a strong relationship with the client. It is important to invest time and effort into properly qualifying clients before proceeding further in the sales process.
Focusing on the Client’s Problems
To gain the client’s trust and demonstrate your value, it is crucial to focus on their problems and show genuine interest in solving them. Your initial interactions should revolve around understanding their specific challenges and proposing ways to address them. This approach sets you apart from competitors who solely focus on promoting their own company and capabilities. By prioritizing the client’s needs, you can build a foundation for a successful business relationship.
Establishing a Full Sales Pipeline
To ensure a continuous flow of leads and prospects, it is important to maintain a full sales pipeline at all times. This involves regularly bringing in new leads while simultaneously moving existing prospects through the sales process. Building a strong sales pipeline requires consistent effort and constant communication with potential clients. It is important to strike a balance between advancing the sales process with existing prospects and continuously adding new leads to the pipeline.
Selling offshore software development services can be challenging, especially in a highly competitive market. However, by implementing a structured sales methodology like TAS, focusing on the client’s needs, conducting thorough research, and building trust, software companies can increase their chances of success. It is important to invest in training and education to develop the necessary sales skills and differentiate oneself from the competition. By effectively implementing these strategies, software companies can maximize their sales potential and secure larger contracts.