Giving the people what they need

Not what they think they want

By 

Lindsey K. Harrison

I recently joined the InMotion Software team as the Director of Business Development. My role in this 70+ employee digital research, design and development agency is to build a balanced sales process on the services side, focusing on a variety of sales initiatives and marketing strategies. Up to this point, the company has largely operated on relationship-oriented business ventures. In other words, their good work leads to referrals, which leads to more work, without the company marketing a thing. This model has served InMotion well over the years but the burning question is: is it sustainable? Maybe. Is it growth focused? No – Not really. So, I am going to share my sales strategy coming into InMotion Software, but first, some context.

Why InMotion Software?

It’s rare, in this age of information and digital access, to come across a secret. In this case, a sleeping giant is probably a more apt turn of phrase. InMotion has been incredibly successful with minimal marketing or sales processes in place. This is not the only way this company bucks the trend. Structured around honesty, integrity and always doing the right thing for the client, InMotion is solution-focused in a way that’s ego exempt. This is not to say that the company doesn’t actively pursue business ventures and opportunities. Just this year, the company launched a SaaS workflow management solution called Sluice, and they plan to release more offerings in the coming months. Essentially, what makes InMotion such a unique animal are the savvy, creative and kind (yes, kind) executives. A combination that is noticeably lacking in most tech startups. Couple this with over a decade’s worth of experience, an open-minded relationship to change, and you end up with a very fertile space for new initiatives.

Why me for InMotion?

Any salesperson worth their salt has been taught how to sell products the hard way, convincing an often distracted and difficult audience that you have what they want (ie soul-sucking cold calling). However, a smart salesperson knows to gravitate towards companies whose offerings they believe in. Firstly, it is far easier to sell something you love and can be passionate about. Secondly, instead of convincing people to buy what you have, you learn to sell the right people what they need. InMotion has a unique problem: with their industry experience as one of the early Austin tech start-ups, they house some of the best talent and thought leadership the city has to offer. They should be near the top-of-the-list for any company looking to develop a digital product, and I don’t just mean locally. The challenge for me is to convert the company’s experience in digital research, design, and development into new ventures – through solution selling.

The shotgun solution is dead. Long live the scalpel

Some companies haven’t yet entered the era of precise selling. You still get their emails for lawn services when you live on the 11th floor of a downtown condo, or an invite to sign up for internet service from the same provider you already contract with. There’s a lot of information on us out there, and for the collection of that data, the least we can expect it to have products sold to us that we find useful, helpful and fall into the category of ‘need’, not ‘want’. The same can be said of B2B engagements. We expect a little personalization: “Why this product for us right now?” And in order to deliver that message effectively you need to do a little research, find the right people, plan a personalized engagement, follow-through, follow-up and show them (not convince them) that your product/service will improve their lives/business. 

Teamwork makes the hard work… less

You don’t need to be embedded in a company of 1000s to take advantage of a sales and marketing team. One of the biggest wins of the gig-economy is not just the arrival of ridesharing but the upsurge in contract workers. Websites like Upwork.com have made access to this community simple and efficient, ensuring that even the smallest venture can have access to a marketing, copy, graphic design or any other relevant specialist for the hours and rate they can afford. In fact, there’s less empathy for poorly executed sales engagements, precisely because there is no longer an excuse. If you are looking for a team, don’t skimp. These days a well-designed, well-written, well-researched, well-targeted email can do more for your business than a million-dollar advertising campaign. The only way to pull that off is to surround yourself with a permanent or freelance team that can individually contribute to efforts that at the very least open the door for you to sell. InMotion had zero marketing a few short months ago, but now I feel privileged to now be working alongside an incredibly talented contractor turned Marketing Director, who has armed our company with tools and strategies to help open those doors. We work tirelessly and collaboratively to set InMotion up for a sustainable future. This success would not be made possible without the confidence and support of that steadfast leadership I mentioned earlier. #teamwork

You only have 1 shot, so make it matter

First impressions matter more now than ever. Don’t push your marketing efforts out the door before they are ready, even if you are over deadline. Imagine that each marketing engagement is the only opportunity you will have to approach a particular contact. The point is that you can’t know which piece of collateral they will see first. They may only open your 3rd cold-call email, or, after reading 4 blogs on your website and following the CEO on Twitter, decide to reach out directly – to reiterate, you can’t be sure of the path each contact will take through your marketing efforts to reach back to you. So you have to treat every piece of content as your one opportunity to get the attention of your potential customers. Make everything great.

Adapt or die

There is more noise than ever in the digital space – large enterprise companies are having to spend billions on advertising every year to sustain the growth they have become accustomed to in the last decade. To compete in this modern age requires more than deep coffers, you need to be strategic, and ensure what you are selling meets all the standards you claim it does. This is where InMotion’s honesty has placed them in good stead. They never over-promise and under-deliver to secure a contract – And, you shouldn’t either. One contract is not worth sacrificing a sustainable relationship. We are speaking from experience here, the majority of our current clients extend beyond 3-year engagements. InMotion is perfectly poised to take advantage of solution selling due to the competitive edge provided by our people, their experience/thought leadership and adaptable attitude. 

Why bother with sales when relationships are working just fine?

Stagnation is not just bad for a company’s bottom line, you don’t retain talent without the breadth of experience and opportunity for promotion that growth can offer. After all, an agency is only as good as the talent it houses. This sort of growth takes planning, resources, and creativity. This is the impetus behind InMotion’s new sales initiative, a commitment to growth and the development of our people.

There you have it. This was a sneak peek into our sales strategy and thoughts behind how we work and plan to scale. We are transparent, open and honest. We don’t black-box projects. We don’t throw work over the wall. We communicate actively and deliberately at every stage of development.

Interested in speaking with us? Click here to reach out to me.

 

Lindsey Harrison headshotLindsey Harrison originates from the Midwest, where she attended Baker University, gaining 2 degrees in 4.5 years while performing as a collegiate volleyball athlete. In 2014 she flipped a coin and dived into the tech startup scene in Austin. She has cut her teeth at Momentum Factor, Mutual Mobile, and Handsome before being tempted over to InMotion. Lindsey is a South Austinite, playing local beach volleyball and coaching indoor club. She’s also the proud mom of 4 dogs.

 

MAKE BETTER DIGITAL PRODUCTS WITH US

Get to know us better!

Download a collection of our infographics.

MAKE BETTER DIGITAL PRODUCTS WITH US

Get to know us better!

Download a collection of our infographics.