Software Marketing Strategy for a Services-Oriented World

The Software Business Advisor is a free monthly newsletter aimed at helping business software vendors make sense of the changing software industry. It provides tips, techniques and tools to assist in software business planning, software sales, and software marketing.

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Volume #3, March 2009

Included in this issue:

  1. Poll: How is the Economic Recession Affecting Marketing Plans for 2009?
  2. Four Key Tips for Success in a Slow Software Market
  3. The Software Sales Proposal: Easy Templates for Winning Proposals

Economic recessions are times that prove the staying power of companies, both old and new, large and small. Now is the time to ensure every dollar in your sales and marketing budget is going toward driving immediate business results in as impactful a way as possible. Does your sales compensation plan reward the optimal behavior from your sales team or channel to drive maximum sales? Do your software proposals provide you a winning competitive advantage? How is the economic recession affecting your marketing plans for 2009? Hopefully the articles in this issue will help you optimize your marketing efforts to survive and grow in 2009, not become a victim of the recession.


1. Poll: How is the Economic Recession Affecting Marketing Plans for 2009?

Please vote in our poll: how is the recession affecting your software marketing plans for 2009?

A survey of 150 marketing executives found that an aggressive increase in proactive marketing during the last recession allowed them to achieve superior business performance: iPod, MTV, Intel Inside, Wal-Mart are all good examples of that. This is what the authors of a 2005 Penn State study found.

Take part in our poll to see how software marketers are approaching our current economic slowdown.

Click here to vote and see how best to market in a recession.


2. Four Key Tips for Success in a Slow Software Market

How can a software provider continue to increase sales and/or grow market share in a slow software market?

Bottom line: if your product is about reducing risk or reducing costs and the return is clear and short, then there could be real opportunity.

That's something every software provider should take to heart: in the current times, folks need to look at their messaging and how they're selling, and keep laser-focused on developing a value statement showing customers how they address immediate financial painpoints... if possible.

Now is the time to focus keenly on sharpening your sales and marketing:

  • Develop a crystal clear, detailed profile of your target customer. Make sure every marketing message and sales effort is focused on only customers that fit that profile.
  • Refine your customer value proposition. If your product supports it, develop a clear short-term ROI story for your customer base and use it in your sales efforts.
  • Keep your sales focused on leads that fit your target customer profile. Follow these top tips for strong software sales to the letter.
  • Update your marketing strategy and plan to reflect the current economic times and market conditions. If you developed your plan when economic conditions were rosier, it may no longer be as relevant as you need for your business to stay strong.

For more tips, check out this article on our advice for keeping your software business strong in a slow economy.


3. The Software Sales Proposal: Easy Templates for Winning Proposals

Software vendors are notoriously bad at writing good sales proposals that speak to compelling customer benefits. This is especially critical during a recession when customers are focused on short term value and immediate ROI. Don't make those same mistakes!

Check out our five key points for writing winning software proposals in this must-read article. Without explicitly focusing on these five areas it is easy to waste your time putting together proposals that don't get read. Always stand in your customer's shoes, and lead them through the proposal thought process from beginning (their needs/pain, and value proposition) to end (tangible ROI and results).

Using a software sales proposal template can really save a lot of time in the proposal writing process. I've personally used templates from Go-to-Market Strategies and I've found their products excellent, economical and easy to use. They have a really good proposal template that I highly recommend: Click here for the Go-to-Market Strategies software proposal template.

We also offer a fixed price consulting service to review your sales proposal and provide written input and recommendations on how to make it more crisp, persuasive, and ultimately get you better results.

Newsletter subscribers get 33% off! Feel free to email us (just reply to this newsletter or send an email to joanna@software-marketing-advisor.com) to find out more.





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