Software development sales process

Matt Williamson, Clevyr

 At Clevyr, we get to play all day every day for a living. We develop custom software, and what I love about what we do is we built a team of people who, even when you ask them something really hard, and they say, “It’s not going to happen,” they still make it happen.

We do it on the custom software side, and my VP of Sales and Marketing, Mike Slack, makes it happen on the sales and marketing side as well. What Mike brought to the sales side of our business was processes and tactics. I’m horrible at sales, but he’s great.

Mike has specific tactics he uses for prospecting for clients. Cold calling isn’t really something that works at major enterprises for custom software. Instead, Mike and his team use warm introductions through our referral network of existing customers or past customers.

We’ve defined key moments when people make major technology decisions like choosing their software development partners. One of those moments is when someone in senior leadership of the IT organization changes. And when that person changes, they reevaluate who is working on what, both for staff and vendors.

We’ve let our referral networks know that’s a key trigger moment, so they’ll tell us, “Hey, go talk to that person. They’re new and they’re reevaluating things.”

Another tactic that works well for us is keeping in touch with past customers, even when they change jobs. Often times we’ll work with them at one company, we build up rapport and success with them, then they change companies. At that point, they’re the new person reevaluating who is working on what, and they come back to us for more help.

So we have a pretty proactive process where we ask for referrals. As a result, we get a lot of inbound traffic. A key part of our sales process, probably the most important part, is qualifying or disqualifying prospects early.

The world of custom software development is not inexpensive, so we’ve developed tactics to identify somebody that won’t be a good fit for us pretty quickly. If someone freaks out at the idea of a road map session, a starter engagement that is several thousand dollars, then they’re not going to be a good fit.

If you’re looking to improve sales in your business, identify those key trigger moments, communicate them with your referral network and existing customers, then find out how to disqualify bad fits early on.

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