Paper Sword works with a lot of tech services companies – consultants, managed services and SaaS organizations that rely on the Microsoft Data Platform. Our favorite story to tell is the power behind the largest and most complex data projects in the world. It’s amazing.
The world of technical services has changed profoundly over the last decade. Consulting companies marketing themselves the same way they always have (often through training and MVP content generators) are struggling in an ever-changing market. But no matter how fast things change, your clients’ pain points remain the same. The first step to evolving your marketing is to truly understand those most likely to buy your services.
Work hard to understand your market
Taking the time to map out the buyer’s journey is a critical step to align sales with marketing. In technical services, you’re often working with two to three different groups of people client-side, and the motivations of those groups can be quite different. Getting to the heart of the stickiest pain points of your clients, no matter who they are, is the ultimate key to an effective marketing strategy. As a technical service provider, you’re most likely working with executives, line of business managers, and technical teams.
CTOs and the C-Suite
When working with organizations large or small, you’re likely to encounter a member of an executive team. These execs are always budget holders, and their top motivation is often an overall cost reduction and a quantifiable ROI for the services you’re providing. But internally, the CTO is specifically concerned with delivering value and efficiencies to internal customers. The CTO’s biggest pain points reflect staffing and the rapid change within the industry, so understandably many technical executives state a concern for technologies and tools becoming outdated before they’re properly adopted. Technical debt is no friend to these folks.
When marketing to executives, focus on the business benefits like up-time, availability, security, and performance. Demonstrate the capabilities of your service with specific case studies where you’ve provided solutions highlighting the above benefits. Executives want to know they can trust you with their teams. You need to tell stories designed to build that trust.
Team managers work hard to match the make-up of their team’s technical skills with the needs of the business. These purchasers feel internal pressures placed on IT teams most heavily. They often find themselves acting as resource managers and gatekeepers to technical assets.
IT and tech consulting companies need the Enterprise Managers on-side to win, so focus on understanding the team’s gaps and pain points. Demonstrate how your services can take on tasks and projects that fall outside their team’s core function, while servicing the business. De-cluttering non-urgent tasks from the team’s pipeline is an excellent starting point. Be wary about talking outsourcing and staff augmentation right out of the gate. This can alienate an often protective manager. But as always, conduct exploratory conversations first to find out the specific pain points before proposing projects and solutions.
You’ll find technicians at the beginning and end of the both ends of the sales process. They will research consulting companies and present options to their managers, and then they will further vet the team’s capabilities once you’ve been short-listed. They’re the best at what they do, and you run real risk of alienating technicians by offering outsourcing options or by using marketing terms to explain complex technical projects.
When you’re marketing to technical people, you need deeply technical content. Tailor content for results-focused information, rather than the code or process of developing the solution.
Many service companies focus on their platform and solutions instead of creating a relationship with their prospects. Nurture that relationship by demonstrating a deep understanding of their business problems and pain points. Illustrate that understanding by providing additional resources and collateral to guide them along the buyer’s journey.
For more information about your marketing, no matter the size of your business, contact Paper Sword today.