There are many small and mid-sized IT outsourcing companies that are trying to survive against top players. While big companies might be more flexible with marketing budgets, exhibitions etc. – the smaller ones just take small steps to generate a way to gain access to potential clients.
About 90% of such companies say that 70% of new business is coming from repeat clients and recommendations
But there are other ways that don’t actually require so much effort – let us prove that by sharing a strategy we used to get more contacts and leads. To make things easy we will provide the approx. budget for every step.
#1 – Find your focus.
When you are trying to find new clients, you usually suggest or apply for specific technologies. While this strategy makes sense, at the end you don’t have anything to really showcase your business expertise. To enter a new market and acquire new clients faster it’s very important to define who are your clients and in what niche or business domain your company has had successful projects and business expertise.
Such business solutions might be very useful for industry, and you may define why you guys do even more than coding – such as R&D for consumers.
You may tell clients specific things that they aren’t aware of – this is more important than technology.
If you show your team as business experts /problem solvers – then this is how you can use any technology you work with to deliver what they want.
How do you do that? -Very easily – you just list all your projects /clients and highlight a specific area they are working on. Then identify projects with common industries and show what problems you solved for them. In many cases you can show existing proposals – sometimes you can send links/samples – of maybe 5-6 similar projects you completed – so this is another way to identify your industry.
This would automatically help with questions – how to find your clients. So for example if you did 10 sites with a hotel reservation system – that’s probably an area you have gained a lot of expertise in. So, you can combine all of your knowledge and then create proposals for other hotels.
You can clearly showcase the benefits and then offer this to hotel owners.
#2 – Business development is a key
Once you achieve that step, there is another potential step –doing business development. This is one of the most complex aspects to success – to handle it you would probably need a highly-skilled person with previous expertise in that niche.
He/she might already do something else for that niche – but if you correctly showcase your service – it’s likely that person will develop it quickly, having a lot of previous contacts they would be able to improve your expertise faster than ever.
For example – if you offer a hotel reservation system and you are trying to target a specific hotel size. It makes sense to find a person who originally focuses on the hotel industry – for example hotel redesign/ renovation. They would their own contact base and might provide previous clients for your solution.
#3 – Re-think your value.
Technology- focused IT companies always looking for a one business goal – develop applications faster, and within budget. That’s really a business goal of your own IT company. But while we are working with clients, we have to re-focus to their individual goals, and try to solve their problems.
For example – if it’s a hotel reservation system – we have to focus on how many reservations it can produce for our clients – i.e. we have to try to solve not the automation problem – but the core problem.
So while you develop such a system, it make sense to think about further promotion strategy – how to get more reservations coming in.
If you generate 100 reservations a week, even with a basic excel file – the client would be happy to continue using your service.
In such cases the potential customer acquisition will be done in a different way from before. Unlike showcasing your system from inside – you would showcase your client success stories as that works much better.
For example, instead of using a message, “we have an amazing reservation system with options: A, B, C” you can say – “There are many reservation systems out there, but only ours generated 100,000 reservations last year for more than 20 hotels in 13 travel destinations by using our expertise and unique technics such as A, B, C.”
#4 – Let’s keep in touch
How many of you actually keep in touch with your customers? Actually, very few do.
Your previous clients and everyone who enquires about your service are the best advocates of your business; this is best marketing tool, so use it.
And, it’s very easy to stay in touch – to get there you just have to allocate about 5-6 hours per week of your time to remind them about your service or company. This can be done easily with an email marketing solution.
Try to create a monthly newsletter: brand your newsletter stylishly, add some industry news that you think is relevant to the niche and some extra points about what your company is doing. If you get a new client – tell them about your plans If you just finished something for a different brand- showcase what you’ve done.
If someone made an enquiry three years ago about your service – there is no way they will remember your company – so a subtle reminder is the best way to keep in touch.
#5 – Content is King. Conversion is Key
It’s much easier to get new clients when as well as offering a great product, you showcase your own expertise – that is a strategic method.
You can offer some presentations, maybe webinars related to your subject.
For example, if you are working with hotel reservations you can add further subjects on how to organize email marketing for hotel owners – and then showcase the email marketing component of your own app.
May be you can talk about recent trends such a mobile apps – this might be very useful content. Then you can start pay per client or a banner campaign with Google Display Network – this way you can get more potential business owner clients.
Also campaigning on Linkedin within that industry sector is a good way to get relevant business contacts.
#6 – Search engine optimization
You have to invest into search engine optimization – this is the cheapest way to generate relevant traffic for those that are looking for a problem solver via specific keywords.
That will be a very long term strategy –in combination with your content marketing strategy (webinars, presentations, articles) but will be very successful way of achieving more traffic.
Promodohandles search engine optimization within very competitive niches and always generates traffic by optimizing your marketing strategy according to the best Google guidelines and SEOmoz practices. As Google certified experts we really care about building your website into becoming the best quality and successful site possible.
#7 – Partner marketing
Remember that the only limit to achieve is time. There are no other limits. Your marketing team needs to be proactive in various ways as there are many strategies, connections and networking methods on how to get the right contacts.
Sometime it may take 3-6 months just to get in touch with the top manager of a company – but the result might compensate for all your efforts spent over that period.
Remember that you may find other companies that focus on the same business niche – you could find common interests – exchange information, ask about doing a partnership, exchange with email marketing campaigns, do cross-blogging.
Do something together – this way you will increase the number of clients that have heard of you.
Any actions you take – you would benefit from in the end. It may not bring immediate results – but doing something is the only strategy to follow.
For example Promodo partner with different outsourcing teams that focus on the retail industry and we’ve got some clients just from doing that.
#8 – Prove your expertise worldwide.
The best way to share expertise is to become a speaker at events. Of course it is not easy to stand in front of 300 business owners, but there is nothing else that will offer such an effective way to promote your brand. Once you get 5-10 conferences under your belt, that’s the best way to become an industry leader.
Remember that there are many conferences that relate to what you do – but the best conferences will be summits where your potential clients will attend. And usually organizers are pretty flexible if you share a useful content, success or failure stories -unlike generic topics.
So let’s now calculate the expenses that are required to do these key steps for new lead generation.
Find your focus– free of charge
Business development – do on your own or get person that going to do that.
Re-think of your value – free of charge
Let’s keep in touch – newsletter design / preparation – $200/per month, mailchimp solution to send emails –free in case you have less than 2,000 subscribers otherwise package start from $30.00
Content is a key – articles – 4-6 articles per month – $60/per article – $240.00. Webinar content + presentation – $100.00/month – gotowebinar platform plan – $100.00/month
Search engine optimization – from $1,000/month + $300 for link building
Partner marketing – free or charge
Conferences – it depends
You can start simple with as little as $2,000 investment
SEO – $1000.00+$300 = $1300.00
Newsletter – $200 + $30.00 = $230.00
Articles = $240.00
Webinar – $100+$200.00 = $300.00