SaaS

Talk Like Your Customers – Get More Customers!

| Computers | No Comments

In the age of cut-throat competition, all the business to business sales follow a generic pattern of sermonizing their brand. They have a product that can simplify the tasks at their customers’ end, but do they have to go overboard in pushing the message. The solution to this perennial problem lies in understanding the customer requirement and breaking the clutter to make a mark in an already overcrowded space.

The world of SaaS has become more competitive with many players vying for their share of the customer’s wallet. The challenge here is to pick on the right positioning and be consistent in your messaging. When it comes to CRM, Email Marketing or Marketing Automation software, the competition becomes a close-knitted fare with everyone unleashing their bundle of features to keep themselves abreast with the market dynamics. If you quickly turn to the Google Adwords platform to buy keywords such as ‘marketing automation software’, they can cost you close to $25 per click. So, the quest is on to find other alternatives.

A quick chat with your customers can get you do the right things. If your target group is small and medium businesses, utmost care has to put on gathering user voice. Most of them may not be happy with the behemoths in that space and could be looking for lightweight CRM and Marketing Automation tools that offer value for their money. Also they may not use all the features bundled with an automation tool. It’s time to stay away from your typical tagline for a B2B company and come closer to your customer.

Keep the tagline simple and more customer-friendly. This honest approach will get you more trial sign-ups than those of overblown ones offering instant results. Something like ‘Understanding the needs of small businesses’, ‘Built with love for small business’ will instantly click with your prospective buyers.

Don’t worry about your team size and marketing efforts you’re putting in to increase your revenue. Even in the competitive space of SaaS, you can make the cut to emerge as a David pitted against Goliaths of CRM and Marketing Automation. That’s not all. You can scale up greater heights without any outside funding. Bootstrapping can be a key to your success.

A small change in your approach by striking honest and informal conversations with your customers will help you take a big leap in the SaaS market.

Here are few tips for the small B2B players that aid them to sail through any competitive waters. Don’t worry David is bound to take over Goliath.

Concision is the key, but play this card wisely

If you’re designing the homepage of your website or landing pages for your software, the norm is to keep the message concise with only the relevant information. This gets you more signups from the busy bees who are looking at crisp content that straightly hits the core. Something like Bitly does with its simplistic message “Shorten.Share.Measure”. The note sharing app, Evernote, also takes the same route to “Remember Everything”.

But don’t the lost in the stream of ‘short sells like hot cakes’. If your message needs more words, go for it. Sometimes, you have to think beyond conventional wisdom to help your leads understand how you are different from others, and it may take few paragraphs to put across your value proposition.

Don’t forget to run A/B testing to test whether long-form product pages work for your product or not. Optimize your website with easy to use testing tools such as Optimizely and VWO. Give your content writers a free hand to explain the product in detail and see how this version performs the test. More often, if a prospect is really interested to buy your product, the long or short of messaging won’t kill the intent.

Know what your customer has to say about you

When in doubt embrace tools such as Google Forms and SurveyMonkey to collect feedback and information related to survey.

A quick question to start-off the process can be “What was so interesting / surprising about using our product?”

This seemingly simple question will get your marketing activity rolling.

At times, you tend to overlook promoting couple of features, but your customers feel them to be surprising offerings. This activity helps you to note down all of them and follow-up with enhancements as a mark of listening to your customers that translates into effective customer engagement. Next time, you will ensure to add this feature in your collaterals – white papers, case studies, brochures and others.

A common practice is to compile the product testimonials from all the channels and host them on your website. It doesn’t stop there. A little tweak to their written feedback can transcend into a hard-hitting blog headline.

Stick to your core areas

Don’t make any false claims to your customers. This will tarnish your brand image in the long run. If you are in the business of CRM and Marketing Automation, float your message around the key features of your product, but not on all the possible areas it can venture in the future. Being innovative and futuristic in your approach is a good approach, but, in this process, don’t make far-fetched statements that may put your in a fix. Tell your customers about any hidden costs and ensure that transparency is maintained across all the stages of the customer life cycle. The message is clear. Surface your core competence and stick to it.

With your market, ponder the drawbacks that make clients come to your from your competitors for a plausible solution. Speak to them and get to know their likes and dislikes about their situation and how effectively you can offer them better solutions. Now, if you are unsure about your USP, then it’s time to think beyond the ordinary and ganer few more insights.

Getting your message straight can be hard at times. Businesses have to step into the customer’s shoes for better engagement. Show them how you are different and how can you make a change in their lives with your quality offerings. After a thorough analysis of what they like to read and how they want the communication to be, align your content strategy accordingly. A happy customer can keep the magical word-of-mouth flowing around. And nothing can beat this best marketing activity that works wonder for you SaaS product.

Importance of Children Party For Any Kid

I Use Virtual Server Hosting… I’m In The Cloud, Right?

| Web Development, Web Hosting | No Comments

So often — too often — the terms “VPS” and “cloud hosting” get used synonymously. A cloud host can offer virtual private servers (VPS), but owning a VPS does not mean the company gets cloud hosting. Confused? The difference is important for business and is as follows.

Virtual Private Servers

I Use Virtual Server Hosting… I’m In The Cloud, Right?VPS emulates a dedicated server instead of hosting on one physical server. The VPS is sandboxed from other VPS customers on the same physical machine. But unlike shared hosting, VPS offers a way for businesses to control the way its server functions. For instance, web services typically need customized settings on the server. With shared hosting, the host rarely changes configurations for one customer, especially if it might affect any other sites hosted on the same server. All sites share the same resources, so web hosts keep shared servers standard across the board.

VPS eliminates the problem of one site affecting another, so the business is given complete control over the server interface. If the business crashes its VPS, it does not affect any other customers’ VPS services.

VPS has several additional advantages over shared hosting, even if it’s not true cloud hosting. First, VPS gives the webmaster better control over server functionality, configurations and added software. If the business has licenses for software such as SQL Server, the webmaster can install the software without going through the cloud host provider. If the webmaster needs to add some Windows server functionality, log in to the console and change the settings. The webmaster can even reboot the machine at-will and won’t affect other customers.

Cloud Hosting

Although cloud hosting has some similarities to basic shared hosting, it’s more powerful and gives businesses a way to serve millions of web requests without ever harming performance. Cloud hosting also offers the power of data centers and content delivery networks. Combined, these resources have a more powerful backend for enterprise businesses with big data and software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps.

Cloud hosting also offers infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). IaaS is a service for businesses that need more server resources, storage devices, hardware or networking components. This cloud service is generally used when the business needs more resources but doesn’t have the real estate or IT personnel to handle massive additions to the network.

VPS Versus Cloud Hosting

VPS is a more expensive route than shared hosting, but it offers a dedicated server environment without the dedicated server costs. Small businesses and individual site owners get the most benefits from VPS. VPS is more personalized, and the webmaster can host several sites on the same virtual interface. Bloggers with high traffic spikes, small ecommerce stores or businesses with several websites can take advantage of VPS.

Cloud hosting is beneficial when the business needs more power. The business only pays for the resources used, but it’s generally more expensive because of the large data centers and web farms available. Load balancers control traffic to the business’ website, so the website never falters. Cloud hosting offers 100% uptime, so businesses that rely on website revenue at all hours of the day benefit from cloud hosting.

IaaS and SaaS are also cloud-hosted benefits. Small web services can run on VPS, but VPS is still one server, so it cannot handle the massive amounts of traffic that cloud hosting can manage. VPS is a solution for small businesses or personal websites, but when the business depends on performance, cloud hosting is a solution that has endless scalable resources.

This is a guest post by Jennifer Marsh. Jennifer is a software developer, programmer and technology writer and occasionally blogs for open cloud company Rackspace Hosting.

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Cloud Computing Models

| DataBase, News, Software | No Comments

There’s a lot of discussion about all sorts of issues related to cloud computing. In a nutshell, cloud computing as a whole encompasses any subscription-based service that offers computing in the cloud, or on the Web, if you prefer that nomenclature. This can include anything from a software application, computing platform or infrastructure solution. There are three major cloud-computing models: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

This new technology seems to be picking up where Web 2.0 left off, and taking it to the next level. The cloud computing space is picking up steam for a few reasons. It costs less to develop and deploy cloud-based solutions. The cloud offers a new level of unprecedented computing accessibility and, as budgets shrink on both personal and business levels, data management is proving to be most efficiently and cost-effectively handled in the cloud.

This will affect Web users and the world of computing in profound ways in the coming years. Namely, computing solutions will become more accessible, and as a result, the Web will become a more powerful and integrative tool for everyday life. The key to understanding this major shift is first understanding the basics of cloud computing. Let’s take a look at the three most popular service models in more detail.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

SaaS providers make up one of the largest group of cloud service providers in the industry, mainly because SaaS services are among the easiest to deploy. In a nutshell, as opposed to simply downloading a heavy-duty application to a physical storage device, SaaS providers offer users access to applications on a hosted server. This means either using the application inside a Web browser, or within a lightweight, downloaded application. This can include anything from a customer relationship management (CRM) application to cloud-based music software. In the future, SaaS applications will become more integrated with mobile devices.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

The IaaS model is perhaps the most complex of the cloud computing models. As medium and large enterprise-level organizations used to use dedicated data centers, many are turning to IaaS providers to cut infrastructure-related costs. IaaS is the basis by which all other cloud computing models operate. There are various platforms—including vCloud Director and OpenStack–used to control cloud instances, growing servers and bridging cloud services, IaaS providers offer a pool of resources relating to infrastructural needs – physical servers, virtual servers, load balancers, etc., — from an offsite data center. The customer then downloads all the necessary operating systems, and applications necessary for operation.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

PaaS solutions are more geared towards developers. A PaaS provider will furnish the customer with a computing platform that includes an operating system, execution environment and a database and Web server. This is to ensure quick and easy application deployment within the cloud. This also provides a cost-effective way for Web developers to deploy their software solutions without buying or purchasing heavyweight hardware and software solutions usually associated with application deployment.