How We Handle Marketing and Sales at Mobindustry – Part 2
What are the most cost-effective ways to generate leads through marketing and make them loyal clients through sales? Learn from our experience at Mobindustry
If you haven’t read the first part of this guide, you can do this here:
How we get customers: sales channels
In the previous article, I described the overall sales process. As you remember, filling a sales funnel with potential customers is the first step. But where do you find them?
There are four main sales channels:
- Outbound — a sales strategy where we proactively outreach to potential customers through cold mailing, social media messaging, phone calls, and personal meetings.
- Inbound — a strategy where customers find our business on their own: they already have a demand for a certain product or service, and find content about our company that we strategically placed on certain resources like listings, our blog, etc.
- Referrals — clients who recommend our company to their colleagues, partners, and acquaintances often in exchange for a referral bonus.
- Upselling — an activity where we offer extended or new services to recent or past clients.
Here is what my experience has been with each of these channels.
Upselling is the easiest sales channel, as your existing clients are already loyal and familiar with your business. But don’t let this trick you! Upselling still requires time, effort, and constant attention, and it’s important to get it right.
Here are a few tips on how to do upselling based on my experience:
- Keep in touch — you should always be aware of your customer’s business, its current goals, needs, and challenges. Connect with all your existing and previous clients, ask how things are going, and nurture your relationships.
- Practice the governance model — CEOs, CMOs, and other top managers in your company should be the ones who keep the contact with your existing and previous clients and take an active part in their business development. I make sure to contact my clients at least once per quarter to find out how our solution helps them in their business.
- Expand your services — always look for new ways to offer new or extended services to your current clients. For example, I expanded my software development services with ASO, SEO, marketing, PPC, maintenance and support, and IT consulting.
- Prepare the sales materials — list all the services you or your partners provide, and build an offer template, so once the client is interested, you can send them a full description of the service along with its price and terms.
- Partner with other companies — if your company doesn’t provide certain services, partner with other companies to which you can direct your customers.
- Keep everyone on the same page — all the members of your team, from sales specialists to delivery managers should know what services you provide and strive to expand the collaboration with your existing clients.
For many companies, referrals are the main source of new clients. This was true for my company as well, until I realized that putting all the eggs into one basket isn’t the best idea.
Referrals seem easy to get — you just need to provide great service, right? Not exactly. While a client may enjoy working with you, they may just forget that they actually can recommend you. This is your job to plant that idea into their mind.
Referrals may seem simple to get, but don’t think that good service is enough! You need to make conscious effort to let your clients know that they can and should recommend you to their business partners and acquaintances.
Ask your customers questions like “How likely are you to recommend our company to your friends, colleagues, or business partners?”. Use the words “recommend” and “recommendation” as often as possible in your communication. Now your client now subconsciously knows that they can recommend you (and probably should!).
Inbound marketing resembles fishing. To succeed, you need to know what kind of fish you’re looking for, where it swims and what attracts its attention.
The website is your main hub, which contains all information about your services, experience, and previous projects. Your goal is to bring as many people to your website as possible. Where do you find the right audience.
You should publish case studies on your website or on third-party resources like Medium. A case study tells a story about a client, their requests, business needs, and expectations.
This should be an exciting and relatable story about how your company resolved the client’s issues, overcame challenges, and delivered outstanding service that positively influenced the client’s business. The results of your client’s business are the most important part of a good case study.
Here’s the case study structure we use at Mobindustry:
- Project background — who our client is and how they found out about us
- Client’s idea and request — the business case of our client and their primary needs
- Project goals — what issues the software address and help users to solve
- Challenges — hardships our team faced during the development process
- Solutions — the ways our team solved the issues to successfully deliver the solution
- Development process and results — the sequence of tasks we completed to deliver software, and how it helped our client achieve their business goals
- Main features and highlights — the core functionality we were most proud of
- Team size — all the team members that participated in the project
- Technologies used — our tech scope for the project that includes programming languages, frameworks, libraries, and tools
- Testimonial — feedback from our client on our collaboration and the impact on their business
You should be present on third-party platforms that people go to when they’re choosing the company to work with. For my business, these platforms are:
- Clutch.co and Goodfirms — for trusted reviews from previous clients
- Upwork — for quick development projects. Even if you aren’t active on Upwork, you should still have a presence there
- Behance and Dribble — for visual portfolios that include branding, UI/UX designs, and web design concepts
- GitHub — for technical solutions that demonstrate your expertise
Content creation is the most important part of the inbound marketing strategy. It includes blog posts, long reads, newsletters, case studies I mentioned above, videos, podcasts, and more.
In my company, we create blog posts and send weekly newsletters with our articles and a tech news digest that looks like this:
The content is then distributed to social media: both from our company’s profiles, and on specialized forums and communities.
I call PPC “paid traffic”, and honestly I didn’t find success with it. We created a strategy with our vendor, defined our target audience and a sales funnel, and tried paid ads on LinkedIn, Google, and Twitter.
In my opinion, PPC is more suitable for product businesses rather than service companies, and PPC requires larger budgets and volumes than my company had at the time.
This is technically a type of PPC, but I’ll talk about it separately because we found it so much more effective than regular paid ads.
Remarketing is a tool that shows targeted ads to people who are most interested in our company. We use this type of PPC for the people who visit our portfolio, case studies, company services, and the “About us” page. Re-engaging visitors through remarketing is highly cost-effective and boasts high conversion rates.
These are the main components of inbound marketing. Here are some recommendations on how to do it right.
Start as early as possible. You won’t get lots of leads overnight, so it’s better to start early. I began to work on my website in 2017, and only after 1.5 years of investing in the content did I see results. Now the website is the leading source of traffic and new clients for my company.
Set up analytics and track metrics. It’s vital to see how your inbound marketing performs. You need to track the sources of your traffic, user behavior, and conversions.
Here are the website metrics we track at Mobindustry:
- Number of monthly visitors
- Number of submitted conversion forms on the website
- Qualified SQLs per month
- Annual ROI
- Micro conversions — number of users who visited our portfolio and “about us” website pages
I started my inbound marketing journey 5 years ago, with only a website, a part-time marketing specialist, and a copywriter who knew all the ins and outs of my business. Now our inbound marketing team includes:
- SEO specialists
- Native-speaking content editor
This is hunting, not fishing. Here we’re outreaching our potential clients ourselves. The right audience is key to success — and is also the biggest challenge.
After years of experimenting, here are my top three sources of outbound leads: Upwork, LinkedIn, and roadshows.
Upwork is the largest platform for freelancers, where individuals and businesses are looking for developers and other software development specialists. It’s perfect for getting small contracts and providing work to developers on bench. I must say, however, that it’s also possible to get large contracts from Upwork — I have such experience.
Through LinkedIn, we outreach potential clients from our target regions and domains. For this, my sales team uses multiple LinkedIn accounts and the outbound technical task. Here’s an example of such a task for our healthcare campaign:
- Find 1st connections related to the healthcare/medical industry
- Plan and distribute (20-25 messages per day) already created content (up to 5 follow-ups) to these people
- Find new leads: using Sales Navigator, find such TA (Chief Medical Officer, Chief of Staff (Head of HR), CTO, IT Head, CIO, Strategic planning department, Chief Experience Officer
- Companies’ size: 11-50, 51-200, 201-500
- Location: GCC countries, USA, UK, SAR, Israel, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Indonesia, Canada
Roadshows and conferences
These two are all about networking, personal communication, and meetings. This practice has really taken a toll because of COVID-19, but I plan to renew it, as it showed to be really effective.
Just like any other marketing activities, roadshows and conferences require several months of preparation, and they’re mainly spent on scheduling meetings. Usually, I go on a trip for 5-7 business days and have approximately 5 meetings per day with business owners and executive managers of various organizations who may be interested in my services.
This is what my roadshow sales funnel looks like:
These are the outbound activities I personally can recommend. In my opinion, outbound marketing is the least efficient and the most resource-demanding. Here are my recommendations for increasing its effectiveness.
- Prepare great marketing materials like presentations, offers, videos, demos, and so on.
- Pay extra attention to defining your target audience.
- Form a concise and clear message for outreaching businesses, so they know what you offer from just a few words.
- Don’t overdo your outreaching activities and don’t be pushy — outbound can damage your reputation if you’re too intrusive.
Brand awareness is a bonus marketing strategy. Its main goal is to promote a brand rather than a solution. In my domain, it works best for recruitment and HR — your brand can attract top talent locally by doing public speaking at conferences.
In my opinion, using brand awareness to get new clients is more suitable for somewhat mature product companies that have sufficient budgets and resources to promote their brands.
In the next part of this material, you’ll learn about defining your target audience and personalizing your offers for the best conversion.