Marketing may feel like unnatural territory for a company that is focused on technology, but it‘s essential for the long-term growth or survival of your business. Without customers, there is no business. To keep winning and retaining customers, you must understand what they need and expect from you. If you don‘t, your competitors will.
The good news about one very important market – development for Microsoft Dynamics NAV – is that sales continue to grow and customers are asking for that solution over other brands. In 2013, the number of customers worldwide increased by over 8,000 to 102,000, more than double the number of customers for the next highest system.
That‘s a strong growth market, so how can you increase your share?
Understand the prospect‘s buying cycle
It‘s important to understand where your prospects are in the buying cycle. These are three typical scenarios:
• They could be existing users of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, looking for upgrades, enhancements or customization.
• They could be new to Microsoft Dynamics NAV and unfamiliar with its features and benefits.
• They could be existing users, but not satisfied with their current development company.
In each scenario, the prospect is looking for different types of information:
• Existing users are looking for expertise to help them take Microsoft Dynamics NAV further.
• Newcomers need to understand what Microsoft Dynamics NAV can do for their business.
• Customers of your competitors want to know why your company can offer a better service.
Build your profile
These days customers and prospects frequently pre-select their candidates without those companies being aware. Using the Internet and social media, prospects look for suppliers with the credentials, experience and reputation to meet their needs. Before the first meeting, prospects have already done their homework.
How do you make sure you are on a buyer‘s list of candidates? Your website is the first point of contact. It gives prospects the opportunity to review your profile and credentials. They look for examples of innovation and experience in the market, and they will evaluate the depth and quality of your partnership ecosystem.
Writing blogs and articles about Microsoft Dynamics NAV development can help build your profile by demonstrating your expertise and leadership in the field. By joining in conversations on forums or social media, you can show that you are a key member of the industry.
Activities like this help to create a brand for your business, and a strong brand builds confidence in prospects. Faced with a decision between an unknown company and a company with a strong brand that says quality, reliability and innovation, a buyer has a relatively easy choice.
Communicate business benefits
Customers don‘t buy software because they want technology. They are looking for solutions to their business problems. For example, customers choose Microsoft Dynamics NAV to help them run their business more efficiently.
Because flexibility is a real strength of this product, you have the opportunity to configure or customize it to meet unique business requirements. Show that, by working with your company as a development partner, businesses don‘t have to put up with standard products that only provide a partial solution. You can provide a solution that meets their exact needs.
Collaborate with customers
One of the best ways to understand customers’ business needs and build strong relationships is to collaborate on projects. By involving different members of your customers‘ decision-making teams in defining the brief, reviewing iterative stages and providing feedback, you can create a strong sense of teamwork. Customers feel a greater sense of ownership of the project and this can be hard for competitors to counter.
Collaboration and regular contact help you understand and recognize customers‘ changing needs, so that you are in strong position to recommend new solutions. This can help you increase customer loyalty and build long-term revenue through high levels of repeat business.
Nurture new prospects
Developing business with existing customers is a great way to increase long-term sales, but it‘s just as important to find and win new customers. If you are approaching a prospect that hasn‘t used a solution like Microsoft Dynamics NAV before, you may have to educate them on the potential benefits of the products, as well as convincing them of your development capabilities.
Offering new prospects a workshop can help them understand the value of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and your development service. It also demonstrates that you are a potential partner, not just a supplier.
Make a strong proposal
While building relationships is important, it takes a strong proposal to secure the project. In a written proposal or a presentation, you have to make a strong case for your solution for Microsoft Dynamics NAV and your company. You need to be aware of the interests and concerns of the prospect‘s decision-making team so you meet all their needs.
Technical decision makers will be evaluating the relevance and quality of your proposal. You may want to bring in partners to show that you can offer a holistic solution for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
Business decision makers want to know how your solution will help them overcome business problems. They also want to be confident that your company has the skills, resources and financial stability to provide them with a reliable service.
Deal with objections about buying Dynamics NAV development services
Despite a strong proposal, you may find prospects raising objections to your claims. Typically, they fall into four categories:
Cost objections may be about the price you are quoting, which could be higher than a competitor‘s offering. Focus on the total cost of ownership (TCO). Your solution for Microsoft Dynamics NAV may be easier to deploy or maintain. It may offer higher value than your competitor‘s solution.
If complexity is an issue, explain how your company can offer support through training and provision of a helpdesk.
Prospects may be concerned about your ability to deliver against a tight schedule. Explain how you work with partners and outsource companies when necessary to meet schedules. Present case studies showing how you overcame scheduling issues.
If prospects are uncertain about your ability to deliver the benefits and performance you claim, offer a guarantee, backed up by references from satisfied customers.
Take responsibility for marketing
Marketing is vital to the long-term success of your Microsoft Dynamics NAV business. But, it can be easy to ignore when your company is busy with current projects. To ensure that you do not miss future opportunities, appoint one person to take responsibility for marketing and hold regular progress meetings to maintain momentum.
Simplanova is here to help if you need partners to create a holistic solution for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
Simplanova is a helping hand in Dynamics NAV development for Microsoft Dynamics Partners. Not only do Simplanova’s Partners meet their long-term development demand, but are also able to cover short-term demand increases and daily development operations improvements by the automated development tools.
By Vilija Buteniene, Simplanova Marketing Manager
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