The objective of this post is to talk about a new strategy for filling the top of the sales funnel with valuable opportunities. The harsh reality is that only a fraction of the mid-market and enterprise scale companies in today’s market will purchase and implement a major new software solution. As Gartner has noted, buyers are completing 70% of their buying journey before contacting a sales rep. Research shows the odds of winning the sale are 74% when you reach decision makers at the right time and help set their buying vision. This post talks about the types of triggers that lead to customers starting a process to identify and evaluate new solutions.
Acquiring customers is the biggest challenge any B2B software company has. Unless you are lucky enough to have an award winning solution that sells itself like the mythical product led growth companies (Slack, Dropbox, and Expensify), you have to grind it out like everyone else. Display advertising, landing pages, sales development reps, content marketing, marketing automation, sales automation, and CRM systems are the basic table stakes in today’s B2B software sales game. This post explores the reality of demand generation and makes a surprising recommendation to significantly improve sales funnel conversion rates and closed sales.
White Hat competitive intelligence is a skill every product manager should have in their toolbox. There is no excuse for not leveraging competitive intelligence that is freely available on the Internet. Building a baseline competitive intelligence profile takes less than 30 minutes. Facts like these can help separate the myth from reality of a competitor’s true capabilities.
Prioritizing Agile epics, user stories, and backlogs is something contemporary product managers have to do on a regular basis. In researching another topic I came across a great piece for Agile Product Owners by Daniel Zacarias entitled 20 Product Prioritization Techniques: A Map and Guided Tour. The blog goes into great detail about 20 different techniques Product Owners can use to prioritize their backlogs. It is a long read, but definitely worth it.
As a product manager, it is helpful to understand the relative size and success of your competitors. Public software companies are required to report their detailed finances on a quarterly and annual basis to the SEC. When it comes to private technology companies it is a little harder to determine annual revenues. There are fee-based subscription services like Pitchbook, Hoovers from D&B, and Privco. While these services are great, they are a bit pricey for the typical product manager. There are a number of free resources that offer revenue information for private tech companies. Two excellent free resources include Owler and Crunchbase.
20 years ago I learned a technique for analyzing product line sales transactions known as the moneywheel. This approach helps product managers understand the dynamics of sales transaction types for their product lines. It can also be used to estimate demand generation requirements for each stage of the sales cycle. This supports the development of effective and focused sales development campaigns.
The polite answer to this question is “no”. In some circumstances the answer should be “yes”. In this post I will discuss two situations in my career where we ended up “firing” thousands of customers but managed to increase revenues and profits at the same time.
This post focuses on leveraging Pareto Analysis in product management. We will discuss how to use Pareto Analysis to understand product line revenue trends as well as customer support activity. The results will help product managers to narrowly focus their resources to have the maximum impact on revenues, profitability, and customer satisfaction. The Pareto principle […]
Most organizations have started planning marketing budgets for 2019 by now. The focus of this post is to review five items that you should consider in next year’s plan. I have been involved in enterprise software marketing for over 20 years and am amazed at how things have changed. To begin, I would like to share two stories that illustrate how software marketing and sales have changed in 2018.
This posts focuses on when is the best time of the year to release new versions of your products/services. A technique I have used over the years involves analyzing the number of customers and amounts of revenue that renew each month. This can apply to traditional software maintenance renewals or annual subscriptions for SaaS solutions.