Our office building in India houses about 100+ companies of which 15 of them are App development companies each with about 15-20 team members.
A Google local search for “Mobile App Development Companies in Madhapur” gives 1,84,000 results of which 80% are app development companies.
Since the app revolution began and Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone, most web development companies started focusing on mobile app development and getting their web developers trained on mobile apps.
I’ve been in sales for app development since the app era started and have experienced this transition.
Winning business for mobile app development during 2008 – 2010 was a piece of cake.
After 2010, hundreds or even thousands of mobile app development companies started springing up. Unsurprisingly, many of these were launched by developers who were working for some XYZ mobile app development company and wanted to cash in on the app frenzy as well.
Since getting business was not as much of a challenge, most of them were able to scale and grow to a decent size team anywhere from 40-200 employees.
By 2015, the app development scenario had altered considerably.
Over 75% of app development companies who were doing really well were suddenly clamoring for new business.
In a bid to beat the competition, outsourcing companies began providing services at dirt cheap prices. The situation was made worse with platforms popping up everywhere offering freelancing services, again, at dirt cheap prices.
However, the biggest reason a lot of these companies fell into a slump is that they failed to create a niche for themselves.
There was also a glaring lack of value proposition in terms of specific industries, verticals or solutions being offered.
A lot of these companies also didn’t look into diversifying their business into other countries.
Over 90% of App development companies still depend on the US market for new business
1) Shorter sales cycles
2) Larger deal size
3) Easy to travel
4) Easy to set up shop in the US
5) Outsourcing is common in the US
However, times have changed.
App developers are now available locally on the corner of almost every street in the US, eliminating the need for a US based company to outsource to India, unless that company is offering great value from a cost and expertise standpoint, coupled with great references.
Over the past year, I’ve consulted with more than 12 App development companies struggling to close even a single good project due to the heavy competition, lack of proper lead qualification and expectation mismatch.
Several of them had built 100+ member teams over a period of 5-7 years through projects from references and their contacts.
Once, business from references slowed down, CEOs felt the pinch of dropping revenues and increasing burn rate.
My goal has been to help these clients find their unique position in order to start generating new business.
Below I’m sharing a few techniques we have used to help app development companies position value and expertise as well as, gain interest from their prospects and eventually close large size projects.
1) Working on Everything under the Sun:
Almost every App development company wants a piece of the pie. From $5K projects going up to $1mil irrespective of the industry, vertical or solution, they want to get a project.
Unfortunately, that’s not the way things work anymore.
Your prospects are way more informed than you think. Know that your prospects are doing with their due diligence.
They’re scouring the web for companies that specialize in their industry and are offering solutions relevant to their industry.
Your level of expertise is also of paramount importance in their decision making. This means they will be expecting you to share valuable content, as well as scrutinizing it closely.
What should you do?
- Work on your strengths: If you’ve worked on a really interesting project for a certain industry or domain, see how you can leverage your expertise for that domain. Secondly, do your due diligence and research on that industry to see that there is scope for App Development and that industry is not affected by socioeconomic factors, etc.. For example Oil and Gas
- Create your internal CoE: Creating your internal Center of Excellence for particular industries helps you position yourself as a thought leader and prospects will start looking at you as someone who can help them solve their challenges. Pick a few industries and solutions you can focus on and ensure your marketing and sales teams are in alignment to start driving campaigns to those industries.
2) Using Traditional Methods of Sales:
If your company is still using outbound calling teams and a scripted approach to lead generation, be ready for a rude shock.
Remember, your competitors are taking away all your business using personalized and consultative approaches to lead generation and sales.
What should you do?
- Hire the right people: You need lead generation and people with the ability to understand the technology and apply it to a particular industry or a client and see how your services or solutions can help solve some of their industry challenges or even ask them the right questions. This will require some training but you will need the right people in the first place. Want great results from your lead generation efforts? Hire rockstars.
- Consultative selling: Your prospects want someone to ask them the right question to extract the right information and then recommend the right solution to them. They do not have the time to document everything and keep it ready for you to start developing. Many development companies that don’t use a consultative approach depend solely on clients to give them a documented requirement without which they cannot start a project or even provide a quote.
- Meet in person: Meeting in person always creates credibility. Many app development companies in India mention a US address that is either a house or a flat. I’ve seen instances where clients have actually gone to that address to find a residence and send a rude email to the company stating that they deceive clients. If you are setting up meetings, then it’s better to have someone local in the US who can quickly travel and meet. You could even hire a desk space in a shared office but don’t give a fake address. It makes you lose credibility and trust.
3) Marketing Does Work:
For companies that think marketing doesn’t work or does not yield results, WAKE UP! Did you know that companies that blog 20 times a month get 5 times more traffic than companies that just blog for the heck of it?
Having a great website that is SEO optimized, has the right mix of great content and intuitive UX will help you stand out.
A website is your organization’s first impression.
If you have a shabby website that does not rank at all in search or worse, causes your prospect to become confused or skeptical, then there is a high chance you may lose on a potential customer.
What should you do?
a) Website: Build a great website with unique content that positions your value and expertise in a great way, coupled with case studies and testimonials.
b) SEO: Your website should be fully optimized for search with a strong on page and off page SEO. This is a continuous activity and you will need to have regular genuine content on your website to rank better apart from other activities such as link building and being active on social media.
c) Content: Content is key to your success, generate content in the form of blogs, eBooks, case studies, white papers, explainer videos, webinars, podcasts, infographics, etc. to position yourself as an authority in your area of expertise or for a particular industry.
When your prospects search for relevant content on the web, your website will have a very high chance of showing up in their results and you could end up getting an inquiry.
d) Marketing Automation: Lot of companies ignore website subscribers and newsletters, this is a great way to engage your prospects and people showing interest in your content.
Remember, if you are able to create a brand recall for your prospects. At any point in time in the future, if they have a requirement you will be the first company they’ll remember.
REMEMBER: EVERYTHING COMES WITH A COST
Hiring the right people, restructuring your sales engine, investing in marketing and revamping your organization’s focus, goals and expert areas require investment, time and effort.
An effort like this doesn’t happen overnight. It could take you 6 months or over a year to stabilize but I can bet you will start seeing results.
Get in touch with us at email@example.com if you’d like us to help shape your sales and marketing strategy.