While it’s true that the software industry provides the potential for developers to go from startup to millionaire almost overnight, getting from code to customer is not exactly a walk in the park.
The Difficulties in Selling Software
Selling intangible products or services is never easy. In the case of software products, the difficulty is manifold:
- The price: The intangible nature and lack of physical form
makesit hard to attribute products with a monetary value.
- The product: From seller to buyer, the transfer of software products is often entirely virtual, via an Internet download or a Cloud hosted services. If there’s no physical product, what are you selling?
- The lingo: While software developers are highly versed in the lingo of all things tech, intended buyers specialise in fields such as business, marketing or finance. The challenge is to translate IT specs into a language that can be understood by those outside of the tech industry.
The Secret to Selling Software: Facilitating Opportunities and Alleviating Pain
While selling software is challenging for even the most skilful amongst the advertising geniuses, the secret to doing it successfully is the same for entrepreneurs in every field: answering the market’s most pressing pain points and most alluring opportunities with your products or services.
“Successful businesses are grown by entrepreneurs who recognised a need and provide a solution that solved a pain point for others,” writes James F. Grebey in The Determined Entrepreneur. Your buyers may not be able to see or touch your products, but they can feel the pain of the challenges, problems and needs that your software intends to solve.
The beauty of pitching your marketing message to relate to specific pain points is that it attracts your ideal customers: buyers who are already online, searching for solutions such as yours.
Selling with the Aim to Delight
The avoidance of pain is one of the great driving forces in consumer behaviour. The other side of the coin is our inherent drive as humans to seek pleasure. While the Vitamins VS Painkillers argument maintains that pain is a stronger driving force than pleasure (“some of us take vitamins, but all of us take pain killers”), the success of the luxury goods industry proves otherwise.
Does your software provide buyers with the tools to attain pleasurable goals such as business opportunities? Make it easy for your buyers to recognise the value of your sales proposition by pitching your software as a means to a gratifying outcome.
Methdology for Selling Software
The secret to selling software boils down to this:
Break away from trying to explain the technical specs of your software to buyers, and pitch your software as a solution to their pain points and an instrument to achieving success.
Inbound Marketing for Software Entrepreneurs
It’s easier said than done. But how do you wow in the marketing arena if your native language is C++, JAVA or PHP?
The inbound marketing methodology covers all the bases to selling your software:
- identifying your ideal buyers, or buyer personas
- understanding your buyer personas’ needs and pain points
- creating content that attracts your ideal buyers
- converting visitors into
leads leadsinto customers, and customers into promotorsof your brand
A strategy for differentiating your software business online
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