How do I sell my online software (SaaS) to local businesses?

17 replies
I am new here and read the rules but I might still miss something so please go easy on me.

So I created a subscription software for local businesses. The better term would be SaaS.

What does it do?

It helps local businesses get more reviews in Google and Yelp.

It has email and sms marketing built in which funnels the customers to review sites.

The thing is I dived into this niche without any experience. I have built the solution almost completely and solo. I don't want to give up yet. I know local businesses want reviews and my software helps them.

I really don't know what i should be doing. If anyone can help me, provide some insights, i would be grateful.

[Not posting the link because I don't think it's allowed?]
#businesses #local #online #saas #sell #software
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  • Profile picture of the author jmosticc22
    Have you done any marketing so far? Do you have any active clients? Have you approached any local businesses to see if they would use it?
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    People think the internet is an entirely different animal from the real world of brick and mortar businesses. It isn't. It still takes marketing.

    If there was no internet, how would you get local businesses to use a product you created that would help them (for argument's sake, we'll say it is a security system). You would visit those businesses one by one and let them know about it.

    While you could definitely do that (and perhaps, should), the internet version of that is contacting them by email to let them know about it. Phone calls work, too. You are going to have to compile a list of all the local businesses, get their contact information and sell your product.

    The internet isn't going to magically do that for you. I doubt there are very many local businesses searching daily for "get more Yelp reviews in Scranton PA" (or wherever).

    After you get a handful of businesses to use the product, get their feedback and definitely collect any positive testimonials you can. You might have to give the first few out for free or at a severely discounted price but after getting those testimonials and feedback that might help you improve the product, you should be well on your way to making money with it. Then, you'll need to either create a new product, or expand to another local market to continue increasing sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Originally Posted by wayoverthecloud View Post

    I am new here and read the rules but I might still miss something so please go easy on me.

    So I created a subscription software for local businesses. The better term would be SaaS.

    What does it do?

    It helps local businesses get more reviews in Google and Yelp.

    It has email and sms marketing built in which funnels the customers to review sites.

    The thing is I dived into this niche without any experience. I have built the solution almost completely and solo. I don't want to give up yet. I know local businesses want reviews and my software helps them.

    I really don't know what i should be doing. If anyone can help me, provide some insights, i would be grateful.

    [Not posting the link because I don't think it's allowed?]
    Ask your question in the Offline section as well because there are experienced B2B people in there.

    Every business needs three systems:
    • a Lead Generation system
    • a Qualification system
    • a Closing system.

    As of this moment guess how many of these you have?

    Right, none.

    WHO is your target market? Who can best be helped and is most receptive to your message?

    You probably don't know yet, which means you'd better start testing.

    Make your best guess (industry, size, role: eg. restaurants, 50-100 seats, general manager OR carpet suppliers & installers, 12-20 staff, marketing manager) about the target market and then go and meet those people.

    Your Lead Generation system can run with any number of methods. Cold calling, direct mail, online marketing...somehow you have to reach the right person and get them to respond. Even if it's to tell you, "No, we're not interested." That's feedback.

    Once someone is willing to talk to you, then you Qualify them. This is a filtering system: your intention is to separate those who are Not a Fit from those who are a Fit.

    Fit = they admit to having a problem you can solve; their problem is large enough to warrant your involvement; and they have a personality you can work with. All three questions must be answered with "Yes." Strike One, They're Out.

    Once you've found someone who is a fit, then you make your offer. You will solve their problem for $X. This is Closing. Many people think the sale happens here, but this is incorrect. It happened (or didn't) earlier in the conversation. My Close is frequently, "So, what do you want to do next?"

    Do this over and over.

    Hundreds of times. Five responses is NOT enough to say, "Well, this target market is no good for me."

    Systemize it.

    Automate as much as you can.

    When you have a system that you can put your foot on the gas pedal of, and it reliably increases the number of leads that come in...and you know for every so many leads you get a sale, THEN you have something.

    Until that moment you have a hobby.
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    • Profile picture of the author mikigun
      [QUOTE=Jason Kanigan;11513847]Ask your question in the Offline section as well because there are experienced B2B people in there.

      Every business needs three systems:
      • a Lead Generation system
      • a Qualification system
      • a Closing system.
      If the product listed on capterra, google play or similar platforms could we say that at least 2 of 3 systems already in place?
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        [quote=mikigun;11536577]
        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

        Ask your question in the Offline section as well because there are experienced B2B people in there.

        Every business needs three systems:
        • a Lead Generation system
        • a Qualification system
        • a Closing system.
        If the product listed on capterra, google play or similar platforms could we say that at least 2 of 3 systems already in place?
        "Listed on"? Absolutely not. All those are...are TRAFFIC SOURCES.

        How many leads do you get from them?

        How many of them are qualified?

        Probably none. Just because you have a potential lead source doesn't mean it's any good. You have to work with it and learn how to drive traffic from it. And that's just for starters.

        A leadgen source is NOT a system.
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    • Profile picture of the author abstraction
      The automation part intrigues me. From lead generation to closing sales, what are the parts that can be automated?
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  • Profile picture of the author Geezmo
    Great points on this thread. Thanks for the information!
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  • Profile picture of the author Andre Crypto
    In this case, I have made a strong profile to selling Saas Products, and I have a different type of industrial niche products like fleet management system, hospital, school management with the implemented cloud server system, Field force management (For Pharmaceutical, FMCG's and Other Courier Companies), Municipal Management System and more. This article may help you with that.
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  • Profile picture of the author DURABLEOILCOM
    Advertise to business owners on LinkedIn Ads.
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  • Profile picture of the author detelina
    Now there is a lot of similar software
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by wayoverthecloud View Post

    I am new here and read the rules but I might still miss something so please go easy on me.

    So I created a subscription software for local businesses. The better term would be SaaS.

    What does it do?

    It helps local businesses get more reviews in Google and Yelp.

    It has email and sms marketing built in which funnels the customers to review sites.

    The thing is I dived into this niche without any experience. I have built the solution almost completely and solo. I don't want to give up yet. I know local businesses want reviews and my software helps them.

    I really don't know what i should be doing. If anyone can help me, provide some insights, i would be grateful.

    [Not posting the link because I don't think it's allowed?]
    The obvious ways for me is to reach out to these businesses and talk to them about your product.
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  • Hi ,
    Work on your website to rank for your top keywords, add a blog and create regular content related to your service, build your social media presence in Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter, depending on budget run some paid for ads in Capterra for example.

    Good Luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author JennyBright
    Amazing points in this thread, actually
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  • Profile picture of the author daveshrein
    Lots of great points already -- I'll add one more that I didn't see covered...

    Hit the pavement -- if you have local businesses you know and who know you, come up with a sales pitch and get them to use your system. There is no substitute for face to face interaction and your goal should be to generate income...

    So do whatever it takes to make income to start paying for your dev and eventually hire people to handle the marketing.

    But get out there and start talking with local businesses you already have a relationship with and then come up with an offer they can't refuse so they can start using your service and you can get endorsements.

    Hope that helps in addition to all that others have already shared.

    Cheers and best of luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author luciesmazanska
    you need to build a lead generation system. Compile a database of local businesses that you think will need your software. Engage them in conversations and find out their needs, expectations and readiness to use your products. From then on, close in on your marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author WF- Enzo
    Administrator
    You can start creating a sponsored post on social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter). These platforms are a good start for startups like yours.

    Originally Posted by wayoverthecloud View Post

    I am new here and read the rules but I might still miss something so please go easy on me.

    So I created a subscription software for local businesses. The better term would be SaaS.

    What does it do?

    It helps local businesses get more reviews in Google and Yelp.

    It has email and sms marketing built in which funnels the customers to review sites.

    The thing is I dived into this niche without any experience. I have built the solution almost completely and solo. I don't want to give up yet. I know local businesses want reviews and my software helps them.

    I really don't know what i should be doing. If anyone can help me, provide some insights, i would be grateful.

    [Not posting the link because I don't think it's allowed?]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11539046].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Merkar
    Hello,
    If you are going to sell your software to 'institutions/businesses' you are going to need a business development expert to scale up. If you don't have money allocated for sales, then start on a commission basis - like at least 20% commission since it is difficult to sell software from newly established companies. Not to mention, he/she will work on a flexible basis e.g from home while doing another job. You need very good sales and marketing strategy. Just thinking about e.g subscription/non-subscription model is not going to cut it. Without knowing your business in detail, we cannot help much. Would be a good addition to read this blog https://clockwise.software/blog/how-...s-application/
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