As a startup software developer, you have a lot on your plate. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if you are currently juggling the roles of a coder, manager, marketing, sales, and HR. With so much going on, finding the time to generate leads and nurture them can be difficult, and yet it’s imperative that you do so. Honestly, even established companies with dedicated sales and marketing teams and big budgets have trouble with leads. Fortunately, there are some actions you can take that have a low cost (or none at all), require little time, and produce some results.
DevPro Journal recently spoke with Nick D’Alessio, a Sr. Business Development Manager with Brother Mobile Solutions. D’Alessio has years of experience in creating sales and marketing programs that deliver results, and he shared some actionable advice to help you cultivate some leads.
1. Lean on your hardware partners
“Partnering with manufacturers and doing joint marketing activities such as website landing pages or contributing web content is a great way for ISVs to drive leads,” he says. “Manufacturers often have larger marketing budgets and other resources that can help expand an ISV’s reach in their respective industry segment. Manufacturers are eager to work with ISVs in this way because it is mutually beneficial. In many cases, this is at little to no cost to ISVs other than time coordinating and planning.”
2. Create case studies
“ISVs control the solution and have customers that are successfully deploying a given solution,” says D’Alessio. “Working with end-user customers and hardware manufacturers to create and evangelize the success story case study carries more weight than ANY other lead generation vehicle. Hardware manufacturers will usually contribute to costs associated with creating assets, whether it is a case study, brochures, or video testimonials.”
3. Let your partners do the nurturing
“One strategy that has worked very successfully for us is compensating the individual ISV directly for doing nothing more than emailing referrals directly to our outside sales reps,” he says. “Many ISVs do not want or cannot spend time dealing with the hardware complexities. They just want to sell their software. However, one easy technique is merely emailing hardware referrals to hardware partner companies and let them take it from there. Getting compensated for doing nothing more than sending an email is simple to do and takes very little time.”
4. Leverage social media relationships
“Actively participating in social media to make others aware of successful business solutions, and hardware partnerships is a great way to drive awareness and create leads,” he says. “Best of all it’s free. Keep it genuine and brief. Hardware manufacturers who may have a large following on social media are happy to re-tweet, like or repost such posts, enlarging the reach.”
5. Exhibit at trade shows on the cheap
“ISVs should seek to participate in the right trade shows for their respective industry,” he says. “Most trade shows are hardware vendor heavy, and light on ISVs, so many manufacturers will welcome ISVs participating in their booth, bringing a real solution alive. This draws customer prospects and provides great visibility of both hardware and software.”