There’s no doubt that cloud business intelligence (BI) software presents a lot of benefits to businesses and organizations. It helps companies respond to market changes and improve their business strategies because it gives them access to real-time data. Most of all, it comes with fewer capital expenses helping businesses save more.
Despite all the benefits cloud BI and analytics solutions offer, most tech experts agree that selling or marketing these solutions to corporate executives and other end users is still a great challenge. Although some companies are already adopting cloud business and analytics, there is still a significant percentage who either do not want it or have doubts about it.
The primary reasons for such hesitation are security and privacy. Then, there’s also the issue around the loss of control.
How do you get past these challenges and convince organizations that the benefits outweigh the risks? How would you approach software lead generation for your cloud BI and analytics solutions?
Business Intelligence Is a ‘Family Affair’
In an interview about cloud BI trends, Howard Dresner, Founder, President and Chief Research Officer at Dresner Advisory Services, said that the most reluctant people about cloud BI adoption are the IT guys.
Their concerns are not unfounded since they are the ones who take care of large, enterprise-scale projects in the company. When someone suddenly finds themselves not managing the system, concerns around privacy, security, and loss of control get bigger.
As a BI seller, the most logical thing to do is convince the CTO or CIO of an organization; however, that is not the best approach. Doing so will not bring you to the next level of the sales funnel. Instead, you need to engage and involve the key people in each key business area of the company throughout the process. That’s because BI is a ‘family affair.’
Your best bet is engaging an executive — ideally the CMO or CFO — who sees the bigger picture of the company’s goals and strategy. Someone who also has the expertise to translate and focus the company’s mission into KPIs.
The following visual guide demonstrates the 3 C’s of selling to the C-Suite, you might want to check it out.
If you want to succeed in selling cloud BI solutions (or software lead generation in general), you need to involve every key person and their business areas in the process. By doing so, you will be able to touch the different kinds of BI users in the company as well as create a customized solution for each of them. By determining who the users are and the type of information needed, you can guide them into a buying decision.
Software Lead Generation needs Outbound
It’s common for cloud software companies to rely heavily on inbound channels for their software lead generation efforts. In an ideal setting, the potential customer signs up for a trial, sees the value in the product, and then proceeds to upgrade to a paid tier. However, for complex SaaS solutions such as cloud BI and analytics, this sales model doesn’t work most of the time.
We’ve heard the phrase “consult, don’t sell” and this is true in every sense. Consultation plays a big role in software selling which means sales meetings drive software sales. And when we say sales meetings, one thing comes into mind – outbound appointment setting.
In a previous topic, my colleague, Rebecca went over 4 steps in appointment setting to boost sales meetings with prospects.
Outbound channels such as personalized email send-outs, phone sales calls, and SMM will allow cloud BI solutions to reach wider audiences, engage the right software buyers, and shorten the already lengthy tech buying process. In short, leveraging targeted outbound software lead generation strategies can fill the gaps of inbound.
Combining inbound and outbound marketing requires resources like data, tech stack, expertise, and budget – which most companies lack. This brings us to…
Partner with a Software Lead Generation Agency
Employing the services of a lead generation services company (in USA) is common across B2B firms, especially with IT and software companies. With the demands and complexities of modern B2B marketing, it makes more business sense to outsource marketing or at the least, the top of the funnel lead gen activities to an agency.
Software lead generation requires planning and a more granular approach. In fact, 60% percent of the process is spent on preparation rather than the actual execution. Software companies might be able to replicate the infrastructure of a lead gen services company if they choose to go the DIY route, but the pros of outsourcing outweigh the cons that surface when keeping it in-house.
How to Make Change Less Painful
Change is painful and uncomfortable. That is why a lot of companies, especially SMBs, are still ambivalent about cloud business intelligence. You, as a BI seller, need to accept this including the fact that implementing something new is not easy. It requires a lot of work, especially on the software lead generation end. An essential part of BI implementation is the assessment of the current situation. Analyze what the existing software stack of the company is. Here are some points to look out for:
- The organizational structures and the processes around it or lack of it
- What’s working — it’s not practical to remove an effective and efficient process.
- How do you integrate these processes into the new strategy?
- What are the current data sources of the company?
- How are they stored?
Putting those points into consideration will give you an insight into how your BI solution can seamlessly fit into the company’s business strategy.
Value is Still on Top of the List
Consumers always consider cost in contrast with value, functionality, and deployment timing. Any product or service that offers value to the consumer and leads them to a better ROI will always win against its competition.
After value comes convenience and simplicity. If your solution can make a company’s business process much more manageable, that’s another selling point for you. Alan Fang, COO of ERP Logic Inc., an enterprise resource planning reseller said that the way of the future is “the simplicity of accessing a large chunk of data without spending a lot of time synchronizing the data.”