2 systems that Web development company owners/Freelancer MUST create before their start-up fail
This is specifically for those who have already served 5+ clients/projects and are looking for more. Not for newbie.
Does any of this sounds like you-
“I am not marketing guy, I don’t know how to get clients”
“sometime ago I bid on some projects on Upwork but nobody replied”
“I love what I do which is building stuff, but because I hate selling and I ended up working with/for some middle man”
“Why the hell I ended up getting all the bad and demanding clients? Where are all quality clients who would appreciate what I do?”
Well this guide is for you if you are the one who are facing these problems.
This guide is written with the assumption that your long term goal is to build the company that grows itself in terms of revenue, projects and profits.
So let’s get started.
If you observed/study top performers or even top sports team/individual personality, you will observe that they do few things very differently and those few things are common in almost all the top performers.
I have always been fascinated by what do these top performers do to succeed, how they are different?
Let’s say Navy Seals, which are deadliest people on the planet. How do they get trained? How do they accomplish tasks that seem almost impossible?
Here is one amazing article I recently read about this:
Brandon Webb was not about to break. "Fuck you, Instructor Buchanan - fuck you. The only way you're getting me out of…observer.com
Most importantly, what can we learn from them to apply in our start-up environment?
Well, today we are going to discuss one such common factor among top performers and even start-ups that succeed and make big money: Setting up Systems.
Specifically 2 of them:
1) Sales Funnel
2) Tested Customer Segment
Instead of running around some random tactics or top 10 tips on blog from top Google search result, we are going to build the system. Systems that last long even though there is recession or some god known reasons because of which developers couldn’t find the clients or rather quality clients.
First in the list is sales funnel.
1) Sales Funnel
What is the ‘Sales Funnel’?
It’s the system that is used to organize your overall sales and marketing activities of a company.
When we say that our long term goal is to build the company that grows itself in terms of no of employees, more projects and profits, it’s crucial to start building the systems and processes in our start-ups right from the beginning. Now it doesn’t mean that we have to build very sophisticated sales funnel like large companies, but start-up should start from basics and as they learn more about their target market the changes has to be made in the sales funnel.
Sales funnels are like dividing your entire marketing and sales into few measurable steps that we can control/measure /analyze and improve so that you can more effectively run your marketing activities.
For ex. when we build a software or piece of software, we divide entire functions/tasks into small sub-tasks (like class in Java or functions in C)
That’s how sales funnels are very important to set up and work according to.
Benefits of sales funnel:
Let’s say you wake on the day you don’t have any more projects to do and you started looking for prospectus to contact.
And let’s say you come up with list of people who might need development service.
Then you sent out 43 emails or cold called 26 prospects and nobody replied, what next…?
What just happened…?
How do you know that what aspects in that marketing campaign worked and what didn’t work..?
And most importantly how to proceed for further marketing campaign so that you won’t stuck in this problem- ‘I don’t have any customers to serve’.
This is where sales funnel comes into the picture.
Let me tell you how..?
Sending emails or cold calling prospects is part of ‘lead generation’ process in sales funnel. And when nobody replies to your emails or nobody positively respond to cold calls and you are there sitting in your office/room, little bit frustrated without knowing what went wrong.
But with the sales funnel you can come to this very logical conclusion:
When this cold calling and emails failed, it’s because one or more of following reasons:
1) Customer/prospect you are trying to target don’t have the problem you are trying to solve at that point of time.
2) Most of the customers or almost all of the customers in the customer segment you are trying to target don’t have problem that you are trying to solve. Or that customer segment doesn’t have ability and/or willingness to pay to get their problem solved.
3) There is problem in content of your emails or the way you are speaking on cold calls.
Now you can work on these issues one by one. (Comment Below if you find this interesting and let me know your specific problems.)
Sales funnel for YOUR web Development Company
Sales funnel can be as simple as 3 steps or it can be as complicated as more than14 steps. These steps totally depend upon what service we are providing and who our customers are. To start with, we will keep the sales funnel of your company very simple. And once you start getting customers, more profits and most importantly more learning about target market, we will improve the sales funnel.
How to build sales funnel:
Now frankly, building and improving the sales funnel is continuous process. Its not that we build it once in a while and we will start generating a profits.
I don’t want to give you any delusional solutions on anything. So that’s the truth. But besides that how to improve sales funnel is very interesting part. As we proceed further with more and more learning about the target market I will show you how to make changes in this sales funnel
But for now above shown sales funnel is perfect for this stage of your company.
For now note that we will refer this sales funnel many times down the line, while we work on marketing campaign.
2) Customer Segment Testing
Why its important:
If you observe in sales funnel part, I mentioned that if your lead generation efforts failed, one of the reasons could be:
Most of the customers or almost all of the customers in the customer segment you are trying to target don’t have problem that you are trying to solve. OR that customer segment doesn’t have ability and/or willingness to pay to get their problem solved.
Now this is very critical.
I can’t emphasize this enough.
This is the reason most of start-ups fails. This is the reason most of marketing people talk about Facebook likes and SEO, blogs, Twitter, traffic instead of talking and serving clients in terms of real profits.
You will see ton of marketing so called genius, articles, blogs talk about all these tactics from online marketing to get the clients. But these more Facebook likes, higher traffic, page views in technical terms called vanity metrics. You can search on net more about vanity metrics if you want. But I don’t recommend it because it’s entire new field (called business model) to learn/discuss about.
Business model is one more system start-ups needs to be working on. But for current stage of your company where all you need is more customers so that you can pay the bills and keep things going. So you don’t want more and more systems, instead let’s focus on systems that are critical for NOW.]
So instead of all these vanity metrics we will focus on real metrics also known as ‘actionable metrics’. I basically include them in sales funnel itself so you don’t have to worry about it separately.
Now, the important question is why it is important to have tested customer segment?
Well, the answer lies in software development itself ;)
As I mentioned on our call, you never hand over buggy piece of code to clients or one can never deploy buggy upgraded version of code on large real time systems in Multinational Corporation.
Simple, it will turn out to be a huge loss in terms of money and time.
Similarly its absolutely waste of time and money (Which are two very crucial factors in start-ups) to keep trying to do marketing and target untested customers segment.
Now the question is how do we test customer segment..?
How do you virtually guarantee before sending 100 emails, that it will turn out to be at least 3 paying customers 3 or 6 months from now…?
(Note: It takes time to come up tested customer segment. How much time will it takes has no ideal answers. Frankly I don’t want to give you any delusional hope. I will show you the exact process of how to do this testing, so part of the answer is how fast you execute that process. And of course I am always here to solve any problem as you proceed with it.)
But yes, at the end of ->you come up with tested customer segment, it will be like magic.
It will be like, you invest money/more employees and you will be virtually sure that it will generate more customers and hence profits.
That’s the power of tested customer segment.
So we will discuss in detail about how to do this.
And of-course once you learn this you can use it again and again to test more and more customer segment or you can even hire employees to do it for you. That’s where building a company with getting investment comes into the picture. But before that you have to invest time and efforts in coming up with tested customer segment.
So this was it.
The 2 most important systems you must implement.
Now it’s your turn to not simply close this window in your browser and move on to next shiny article or blog but rather actually take action in setting up and working on systems we discussed here.
You can search on Internet for more details Or
You can comment below or fill up the form here to let me personally have a look at your specific problems.