Lone-wolf mind­set leaves tech com­pa­nies be­hind

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS -

Kiwi tech ex­porters are a long way be­hind their US coun­ter­parts in some key ar­eas of mar­ket­ing and sell­ing their prod­ucts, par­tic­u­larly us­ing ‘cloud’ or in­ter­net-based tech­nol­ogy, finds the lat­est Mar­ket Mea­sures survey.

Con­ducted by mar­ket­ing ad­vi­sory firms Con­cen­trate and Swaytech, the an­nual survey drew data from more than 300 New Zealand-based tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies on their ap­proach to mar­ket­ing and sell­ing their prod­ucts.

“At an av­er­age an­nual turnover growth rate of 38 per cent our tech firms con­tinue to do well,” says Owen Scott, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Con­cen­trate.

“But we re­main a na­tion with a few large tech stars such as Orion Health or Tait Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and thou­sands of very clever, but small ex­porters.”

Thirty per cent of firms in the survey were more than 10 years old, but over 70 per cent of them record an­nual turnover less than $ 5 mil­lion.

The study found a ‘lone-wolf’ mind set dom­i­nates their ap­proach to sell­ing tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts.

“They rely on a tal­ented sales per­son or sales team to do ev­ery­thing from find­ing prospects through to se­cur­ing a sale, which re­stricts their abil­ity to ef­fi­ciently grow a company of scale,” says Scott.

The al­ter­na­tive is a more ef­fi­cient, ‘pack’ ap­proach – where a suite of in­di­rect tac­tics are used to find, nur­ture and qual­ify sales leads for the sales team to con­vert to cus­tomers.

“Bench­marks we have sourced from the world’s most suc­cess­ful tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try, the USA, show in­di­rect tac­tics (e.g. di­rect mar­ket­ing, ad­ver­tis­ing, email mar­ket­ing, so­cial me­dia) de­liver 80 per cent of their sales leads, com­pared to 23 per cent for the av­er­age Kiwi tech­nol­ogy company in this study,” says Scott.

“It is a stun­ning con­trast and at the root of why we have such a long tail of very small com­pa­nies, and not enough hit­ting that mag­i­cal $100 mil­lion an­nual rev­enue fig­ure.

“Faster and more sus­tain­able growth comes from fo­cussing on a mar­ket, un­der­tak­ing in­di­rect ac­tiv­i­ties to warm that mar­ket and qual­ify and gen­er­ate sales leads for a sales force then to con­vert.”

Bob Pinchin, di­rec­tor of Swaytech says the ex­cit­ing as­pect of the study is that much of this in­di­rect ac­tiv­ity can be driven re­motely over the in­ter­net.

“In almost any business, part of the buy­ing process is con­ducted on­line, giv­ing our tech com­pa­nies the op­por­tu­nity to reach them cost ef­fec­tively,” he says.

The study found firms need to bet­ter embrace the in­ter­net as a chan­nel to support their sales, pro­duce the right kind of mar­ket­ing con­tent for on­line chan­nels, and use so­cial me­dia much more ag­gres­sively.

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