We had a very very interesting discussion around 4 months ago. It was around how Indian Software as a Service (SaaS) companies can improve on their Inbound Marketing activities. There were lots of insights from that UnCafe.
The one place I (Exotel) felt left out in that discussion was that we were the only pure play SaaS company planning not to hire anyone for sales in our company (that is how SaaS and software is sold in India – Feet on Street) , and that we planned to only sell to the Indian Market via online mechanisms. Some of the learning from Paras, Girish helped maybe Krrish and others get more traction because their audience was outside India where buying online is much more simpler and common).
But to me, I felt I had to start from scratch and so I/we did.
Since I promised at the end of the Uncafe hangout to share lessons from our experience, here it is. We have tried a lot of other things, but we know this has worked.
There are more SaaS products in India today than ever. One report that helped me get a great idea was this report by Intuit on “Understanding and overcoming the barriers to Technology adoption amongst SME & MSME’s in India” , and it suggested that the best way to gain trust of an Indian business owner, is to show him a real life example of someone similar to him. When I started thinking about that, it came to me, the ways I can make this owner feel that someone “like” him is using our product already, it had to be either vertical based (industry focused) or via geography (city, state wise) and I chose the latter because its gives better standardization.
From February Exotel’s online registrations have seen a 1400% growth (and I am not making these numbers up), and 25% of this success goes to the case studies that we have created. We tracked this very well using Google Analytics and Kissmetrics, and so must you, figure a way to track everything. We have seen companies coming back and wanting to implement similar solutions for their own business once a case study in a particular vertical was released and these are the 3 things that we saw work well:
- It built trust that the product is being “really” used.
- It gave them an idea of how their industry companies use our product.
- And it provided a face and a story to their problems with a solution.
Spend time in creating case studies of successes of customers enjoying using your product, getting value, and happily sharing their delight. It’s well worth it.
The 3 things we keep in mind while doing all this?
- Show a real face and have a conversation with your customer over phone if not face face.
- Highlight pain point and how your product solved the problem.
- Talk about the customers company and profile them as well.
About the Author: Vijay Sharma is a co-founder at cloud telephony company Exotel.
[Edit Notes: UnCafe by NextBigWhat is a meetup of technology practitioners and startup guys to accelerate learning. The online & offline meetup facilitates learning from each other on a topic at hand. Stay tuned for the next UnCafe for an opportunity to learn from your peers. ]