Situation: A web-based software solution company wants to expand their customer base. They have several large clients, and want to expand their presence both geographically and to additional sectors. How do you position the offering to appeal to a larger audience? How do you expand your customer base?
Advice from the CEOs:
- In customer presentations, talk about out-tasking versus out-sourcing. This is less threatening to the customer’s existing IT and analyst infrastructure. It allows you to focus on your strength and to build a pitch that augments the customer’s current capabilities.
- Is there a trade-off between customer depth and breadth of adoption?
- Test doing both on a limited scale. Go deeper in four accounts, and simultaneously focus on one application that you can rapidly sell to 20 accounts.
- This exercise will help you to find the right balance.
- Look at customers with whom you have had early success. Those customers are proof cases. Look for similar prospects who will respect the experience of the early adopters.
- Take a current client who has had success with your applications. Go to similar state and regional companies who will respect the first company’s experience. This will help you to create a national presence in a sector or industry.
- Build strategic alliance partnerships.
- For example, take a potential customer that wants to be an application service provider.
- Look for other companies serving that customer who could benefit from an alliance with your company. Build an alliance to offer bundled services to the potential customer.
- If you do not have someone in this important business development role, you need it.
- The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals is a great place to start strategic alliances.
- Work more deeply with your current clients. Offer additional applications, subscriptions and offer combinations of services.