Sales Strategy · Software sales

What's a good way to approach and propose a major software solution to a major corporation as a startup?

Anonymous

December 3rd, 2019

We have an end to end solution developed and tested. One big company has already approached us and are impressed with our ingenuity.

I want to reach out and pitch the software solution to a list of target clients who are all major corporations.

What I want to propose to these companies is that we can configure our system to fit their need which could help increase revenue for them.

whats the best way to approach these million dollar companies based in Aus, Uk, Middle east, usa as a startup based in Sri Lanka?


Paul Garcia marketing exec & business coach

December 4th, 2019

The "problem" here, if you want to call it that, is you are focusing on tactics and not strategy. That approach is going to cause you distress for two reasons, you won't learn much, and you're likely to be rejected more often than you should be.


It's good that you're eager, but charging ahead without spending the time to develop a marketing strategy, validating your approach, and composing the best and most appropriate content for your audience, is a costly mistake. You may only get one opportunity to knock on the door of your potential customer and it would be unfortunate if you did it unprepared.


Developing a marketing strategy should come before your product, but since you already have a product, it's time to go back and do all the work you missed. It may change your product significantly when you do the proper research for your audience, test your assumptions, validate your strategy, and learn why customers would be interested in what you do.


I can't teach you all you need to know about strategy here, but there are plenty of resources you can use to learn the steps involved in developing, testing, and implementing a go-to-market strategy. Doing so will greatly increase your likelihood of success when meeting corporate clients. The bigger the company you want to help, the more polished they will expect you to be when you approach them.


You listed 9 tactics you are considering, but you know nothing about what works or your customers' preferences. Do your research. Don't guess. Going through the validation steps for marketing strategy will answer these questions before you waste money and burn leads.


Good luck.

Augustine Nyemah @IoTAgeIsHere Skyline Technologies - Digital Innovation Hub

December 3rd, 2019

Validate and testing the product is the only way, you can then approach, meet, present and implement your software solution to major corporates in the right way for longer term.

Anonymous

December 3rd, 2019

product is validated and tested. now we want to get a major client on board. What are the best ways to get in front of them.

  1. should we text message ceo's via linkedin
  2. email them an executive summary
  3. send them one pagers
  4. send them 5 page pdf outlining the project
  5. who should we get in touch with
  6. should we send them a customized prototype
  7. should we send them a link to a sandbox environment
  8. cold call and try to get a meeting

those are few ideas we are trying to figure out..

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

Last updated on December 4th, 2019

@Paul, as usual, is spot on - you are way ahead of yourself. You need a clear strategy before you decide the tactics.


You need to get a reference customer onboard, work out the issues you will inevitably find, and make sure they are happy. Enterprise is a very small market - meaning if you do not do a great job in proving value for them, others will hear about it.


Read "Crossing the Chasm" and everything else Moore has written. Key in his message is, for enterprise (small or large) you need to identify the three buyers a) technical, b) functional, and c) financial - if they are not all onboard, the CEO will never know about you. It is why they get paid.


Your list:

1) should we text message ceo's via linkedin - The CEO does not make this decision in any enterprise. You will not get a response and using LI as your communication is unimaginative and ineffective.


2) email them an executive summary - This will have the same effect as sending them a LI message.


3) send them one pagers - Same as above


4) send them 5 page pdf outlining the project - Worse


5) who should we get in touch with - See above - this is on you and your marketing team to know who is the right person(s)


6) should we send them a customized prototype - see above - unless you get interest from the functional buyer, you will not get a response


7) should we send them a link to a sandbox environment - If the functional buyer is interested.


8) cold call and try to get a meeting - Of all your tactics, this may be useful provided you identify the functional buyer.


Sheeba Pathak Solopreneur

December 9th, 2019

While all prior bring some hard truths to the table, I would say you still can go ahead with it.

First up, you have an existing client: deliver & at the same time test everything else you wish to with their buy-in on their channel.

You could ask for referrals.

Next is well, new markets-you need to tap into a local expert to understand the business, landscape and of course customer volume base & see what's the government affiliations with your home country & the ones you're targeting.

Now, enlist those firms that could best use your service (& why must they); hustle to connect with them-Trade fairs, exhibitions or any other place you could find their affiliates. You need to know their business & how your app would aid it.

Well while you're getting into this targetted market, you also need to cold call. (It doesn't work immediately but your existence needs to be in the ecosystem for a brand recall later & maybe a few practice lessons on your sales pitches)

Another way would be to co-brand with another startup or the firm in question itself. Some firms lack vision and expertise of tech, and would rather acquire a startup than build all this from scratch. Be open to that idea as well.

Anonymous

December 7th, 2019

Great insights thank you. Our current flagship product has happy customers and its running smoothly. This project is a separate extension.

We see an opportunity and want to propose a custom solution using our existing technology for list of companies overseas.

We have narrowed down a potential customer list. And what we want to do is to pitch to them.

The primary question here is to learn how to initiate the sales process and tactics to present our proposed solution to them.

Appreciate if you can share some advice on this, thank you.

Anne Keller Midstream gas business, NGL logistics expert

December 9th, 2019

You say you already have a product with satisfied customers and that this is an extension. Seems like the easiest start point would be the customers you already have. I can tell you by experience that sending out blind emails and/or product pitches to people who aren't using your service is not going to work in the US at least. A referral by an existing customer is the best way to get a meeting. If you have satisfied clients this should be easy to do.