Do It Yourself (DIY) is great for hobbyists and people lucky enough to have skills related to things like home repairs and renovations, auto repairs, and landscape installations. They can do what they love without having to hire a professional, and they usually save money.
DIY is not an effective approach for software companies looking to take their business to the next level. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of dedicated pre-sales resources and how to evaluate partners to ensure your success. I’ll use the example of an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) who chooses to integrate payments into their software as a growth driver for their business.
Hope is not a strategy
ISVs appeal to businesses by offering an amazing software platform with features that meet the needs of a particular vertical market, such as retail, food service, home services, veterinary practices, or personal and professional services . Most ISVs I know pride themselves on their ability to get into the weeds and shop-talk with business owners in their niche vertical.
Many of the most successful ISVs were started by business owners and operators in a specific industry who were frustrated with generic software and said, “There has to be a better way!” They took the lead, raised funds, and developed software platforms with segment-specific features to help their clients run their businesses better.
Once the core software is developed and a customer base is established, ISVs often look to growth strategies that involve integration with complementary business solutions, such as payment acceptance, that promise to help win new business, deepen customer relationships, generate additional revenue and increase lifetime value. .
For example, creating a merchant account requires specialized knowledge. This involves time and overhead related to sales, setup and support, applications and disclosures, complex pricing schemes, required sales documentation, and installation and training of the device. ‘equipment. Additionally, ongoing payments expertise is required to keep up with evolving technology trends, card brand rules, and security and compliance mandates.
Without a data-driven conversion strategy and a committed payment partner, many ISVs end up with vendor logos on websites and brochures. Expected revenue never materializes.
A winning formula for pre-sales support
The truth is, integrating value-added solutions like payments is no dream. You can’t just “build and they will come”. Many ISVs don’t have enough time, money, and resources to sell specific add-on features like payments, and prefer to rely on integrated partner services.
Here are five areas of pre-sales support to consider when evaluating partners to ensure they have an end-to-end support experience that helps you maximize results:
Development tools and support: Partners should offer tools and resources that allow you to quickly integrate their solutions into your core software. The best partners have a team of real people eager to help you create the best experience for your customers.
Marketing assistance: A good partner understands that your success fuels theirs. Partners should help you build brand awareness and build a sales funnel with assets such as co-branded marketing campaigns, emails, blog content, sales materials, and social media programs.
Sales support: Your goal is to convert more leads into customers. Find a partner who offers services such as software demos, analysis of competitor claims, and help with price negotiations. You’ll win more business if a partner is willing to bring their subject matter experts on the closing calls.
Why stop at pre-sales?
Your partnership should not be limited to generating sales all the way. Make sure you find a partner who is there to support you and your customers after the sale. Here are two important areas to help build customer loyalty:
Integration support: Activating customers on new services improves revenue days for you. For specialized services like accepting payments, you’ll want to work with a partner who helps your customers gather the information they need to get their business started quickly.
Customer service and technical support: The key to long-term success is keeping customers happy and creating lifetime value. Make sure your partner is ready to provide your customers with direct support from real people, not just text and chat, for any help needed.
Do your homework
Choose a partner who invests in your success and supports you and your customers throughout the customer journey. A partner who provides you with a dedicated single point of contact will help you achieve your goals.
- Hand off the heavy lifting of add-ons, like payments, to a partner invested in your success. You’ll improve adoption rates and revenue sharing.
- Work with a partner who offers partner-supported marketing programs to help you win new business and increase adoption rates with existing customers.
- Choose a partner that has an outstanding reputation as an ethical supplier with award-winning support to build trust with current and future customers.