How to Sell Software in 2023?
You might be familiar with the stories of a mediocre product being sold to a good customer base, whereas a better version of a similar product is totally unheard of. This is a common sales problem in the business market worldwide, and the software industry is no different from this struggle to find the right customers.
With growing competition in the market, it has been difficult to sustain a buy-and-sell pattern in businesses. This does not mean there is no room for changes or improvements. No matter how advanced technology gets or looks in terms of more business engagement, there is always something that hasn't been done before.
Experimenting with methods you haven't applied can generate multiple mixed reactions. The more you experiment, the more response you receive, which helps you in maximum comparison to figure out what would work best to sell your product and sustain your business in the long term.
However, planning everything before a product launch is possibly the best option.
A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a plan that specifies the ability of an organization to engage with its target audience to sell them products while gaining a competitive advantage.
Sales and marketing strategies are crucial to every kind of product, whether a startup-based newcomer or a completely revolutionary idea. A product without a GTM plan is like launching a rocket into space without the fuel gauge – a total abyss. So, a GTM plan is very important before launching any product.
What is a GTM Pipeline Strategy?
Normally, a startup does not have a GTM distribution pipeline with hundreds or thousands of personnel in varied departments. It has only a few specializations combined in fewer roles.
A member of a startup is usually an individual with a lot of responsibilities to focus on a lot of tasks. Hiring software engineers with top technical talents in a large economy is hard, real hard.
As you build a product, the process flows from inception to production. Focusing on sales and marketing at the very inception is quite risky.
In a logical way, if any outsider to the product can sell the product, then the product is actually solving a pain point in real-world scenarios. The early adopters of your product are your most important users who also happen to have not bought your complete product yet.
Your software product will not be the same between your first year of release and its third year of updates. You are going to pivot. You are going to change it. It inevitably ends up happening in the adjustment process of the product, even if you never thought of doing so.
Change is inevitable in a software product when it reaches to market for it to survive the transition. Simply put, if you don't push changes to your product to balance the market fit, the product may fade out sooner or later.
The only true proof that a software product has a product-market fit comes from a very simple question: "Is someone willing to pay for your product over and over again?" The next complementary question is, "Are there enough people like them out there?"
Recurring, Not Revenue
With a software product that lives on Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) and Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), the important 'R' is recurring, not revenue. The customer's renewal is important. Without any recurring revenue model, the product is not going to have a Life Time Value.
If you sell a software product to users for $100k this year, but the users don't renew it next year, then the value of that software ends right there. However, if you sell for $100k this year and the users renew it for 10 years, it's a million dollars in lifetime value. You just increased the value of the software by at least a million dollars right there.
A new trend of product-led growth is now overtaking the software industry. Here, the plan is not to sell huge $500 prices of software products in the market. Instead, sell small $10 monthly prices of purchases in various forms like in-app purchases, coins, virtual currency, redeem points and other attractions. People sign up with their credit card details and subscribe to your software.
Some existing examples of this product-led model are Slack and Zoom. The top-earning software products are trying to attract users to the product's value proposition, allowing them to spend anywhere from $1 to $100. With easygoing payment methods, they create a continuous revenue flow. These are the drastic changes to the GTM strategy of the software industry right now.
Selling your software once is not enough; it never is. If you want to make a business out of this field, you must strategize accordingly. However, forming customer relations, strategic partnerships, and being updated with the latest trends are ways to introduce and contemporize your product in any business category. Holding a stable business is a never-ending cycle, but you can do your research every now and then to stay updated. Scan new features and apply what fits your business best with the timeline you're currently in.
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