Customer Success – A win win story

In our pursuit to help startup and SMEs in their digital transformation journey, we often come across with very generic sales problems, and most of the problems are due to lack of basic understanding of customer engagement and pitching the solution or product poorly. In this post we have listed some of the points which we practice to overcome these problems –

Understanding the customer –

When you try to help the customer even before tagging them as customers, You should really understand them. That means you need to study the their environment and how they operate in their business ecosystem, their geographical situations and their pain points. We had our success rate increased multifold just by practicing this. To understand this better let’s get into what it means on the ground. One of our client who is an independent career counselor, a typical sales package looks like “A Promotional Website, Mobile Application and a lot of social marketing” at first glance. On a careful consideration it was realised that only doing this will not help them instead might increase operational overhead, hear us out how and why –

A Promotional website need to be targeted to audience and the place this client of our operates from, the audience are still not tech savvy which means their reach to technology is limited to Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram at most and not even to twitter, hence a promotional website is going to be a dead investment for a long time. Same time an app may solve a lot of problem but is costly due to the fee they charge to their customers is very nominal and the profit is not enough to cover the investment. People who know about career counseling will agree that this job is difficult to manage remotely and therefor social marketing through electronic media will attract the leads which will be difficult to convert into sales.

Solving the real problem –

Now once we understood the customer portfolio, it is important to solve the real problem and one should identify it before that. The pain point is, it is not going to be obvious and customer wouldn’t be able to tell you the exact problem. If we rely on customer, almost all the time, all the customers have one single generic problem and that is “Sales not happening or Sales is not increasing as expected” that is it. If you take that problem and try to solve it, you will not succeed because that is never ending pursuit, it is a symptom not a problem. The actual problem may be wrong market segment, non-scalable business model, a generic product or non innovative solution, hence it is important to understand client really have sales not happening is a by product symptom of it.

Keeping the business always in context –

You understood your customers, you identified the problem too, you have a solution just right, however have you consider that make sense for business or not? For example there are all the great equipments and machines to do the farming, you get that to the farmers with subsidised rate all set to work and plow the field, but if the most fertile land and farms have water logging problem all your investment will sink into it and for sure that wouldn’t grow into any kind of corps, what could have been a better solution is to create a sustainable ecosystem of animal husbandry keeping livestock such as cattle, poultry and fish will yield better result and can be utilised in the fertile farms to do farming for double profit and that is what it means to keep the business always in context.

Offering real value –

Work towards the common goals and don’t promise unrealistic non-practical benefits. A website in any forms only has certain goals to achieve, it is not a silver bullet and can not make the business succeed overnight. As we always say “Technology is a business enabler” , it can only enable business to grow and sustain, for example, without proper research on main objective and content of a website,  which is to have engaging content and services to offer. it doesn’t make any sense to throw out a lot of add-ons like SEO, SSL mailbox and other because these doesn’t have any individual value of its own. The point is don’t sell technology in the name of solution. Offer them real solution which adds value to their business and let the technology facilitate and help achieving that.

Train them to utilise it for maximum gain –

Offering technology solution is just not enough. It is important to train the customer to use it. Not always your customers are going to be tech savvy and technology might be only solution in such case it is better to teach them how to use it effectivity. For example which phone would you suggest to a 60 + years of indian customer ? The answer is there is no phone which target this segment specially and this segment have their own challenges i.e touch screen phones doesn’t give them taptic feedback out of the box so they don’t know the action they took happened or not, on the other hand phone which gives taptic feedback i.e the phone with keyboards have really small display and due to their poor eyesight that means by the time they realise who is calling the call would be dropped. In this case the only solution is to teach them enabling taptic feedback present in the touchscreen phone with vibration and key tone and help them to adopt it.

Developer Survey 2018 and forecast for Startups

Developers are the people who live and breath in technology. They are the people who implement the technology you imagine.

Here is the Survey of the developers and their behaviour which leads to a detailed analysis about the latest trends towards growth and demand of technologies.

The stats of last year and forecast for year ahead –

The Developers Survey from Stack Overflow is out for 2018 and here is what it means for Your IT Strategy for 2018. Stack Overflow or SO is the largest Developer community and their Survey is what mostly determines the IT resource management for IT Industry, Tech Startup and SME’s dealing with IT. Though it is mostly statistical analysis and graphical presentation of data, In this post we will translate it for you and give a clear picture of the market situation.

  • “57.9 % among the community are backend developers.”

– This helps us to forecast that depending upon the technology stack the backend developers will be easily available and cost effective. So if you deal mostly with api driven platform, analytics and backend frameworks it is a good news for you. On the other hand, you should be ready to invest more on frontend developers and mobile developers if you deal with complete technology stack.

  • “48.2 % among the community are full stack developers.”

– This helps us to forecast that almost half of the community is full stack developers, and that means, right mix of these guys in your team can significantly reduce the cost and have better ROI, however the caveat is you may reduce the experts on particular area.

  • “56.4% of professional developers contribute to open source.”

– This helps us to forecast that developers now would not be dependent on much training & KT which leads to lower Learning & Development cost, to be within budget. Yes you got it right if you are a Open Source Technology stack consumer and contributor you can safely reduce your L & D budget.

  • “24.8% of developers learned to code within the past five years.”

– This helps us to forecast that the it is easier and less expensive to find developers for slightly newer technologies i.e Ruby,Javascript,Node,Mongo etc. Thus making it useful for the SME’s to use the trendy and handy coding language and experiences with new techs in place. The optimizations needed from future perspective would be much lesser giving best ROI.

  • “48.3% of developers prefer Linux.”

– This means the software cost for the running the operations are going to be less costly usually the linux free flavours are quite popular for the client machines on the other hand the enterprise variant and event the free ubuntu flavours are popular on server side which makes it almost free.

  • “85.4% of developers use Agile development methodology and now moving to DevOps.”

– This helps us to forecast that Businesses implements DevOps only if it’s directly contributing to the company’s increased productivity, effectiveness and, profitability. The way that it’s possible for SMEs is when the IT and Operations teams work in sync and streamlining the provision of tech solutions that solve the business needs.Thus this shift from Agile to DevOps seems faster.

What is the new key from business perspective ??

For the tech startups full stack and backend developers are cheaper, frontend developers will still be costly. Learning and development cost along with the softwares to run the technology operations are going to be less expensive due to open source contributions. Newer technology with the DevOps are going to be right choice for building faster Go to Market strategy. The survey also concludes that a very few percentage of developers are working in the field of Machine Learning only around 3.5%. Among professional developers looking for work, a higher proportion of machine learning specialists and data scientists were looking for jobs compared to other occupation types. That said, only 14.3% and 13.2% respectively are active. But they are also the highest paid professionals in industry. Also a certain portion of ML developers work remotely. But more and more people are are getting attracted to this niche field. ML development is getting easier and widespread with the development of newer and newer libraries and packages in the field.