Some of the key companies of the 16 exhibiting on the Enterprise Ireland stand also included:
Accuris Networks, Wi-Fi Offload and Roaming Inter-Working solutions not just for data offload but voice and messaging also.
Brite;bill, provides latest generation EBPP (electronic bill presentment) capabilities to Telecommunications companies to achieve the three goals of reducing cost to serve, improved upsell and cross sell and reducing churn.
Feedhenrycloud-based Mobile Application Platform solutions that enable the development, deployment, integration and management of mobile apps.
Socowave is launching its UMTS-based active antenna with horizontal /vertical beamforming system at this year’s MWC.
A number of Enterprise clients will also be exhibiting on their own stands including Ezetop, Adaptive Mobile and Openet.
This is a guest post from Niamh of MarketSprint.com (LinkedIn) Niamh (Twitter @ TechResourcesUS) is CEO of MarketSprint, that works with Irish companies to get a foothold in the US Market. Given the amount of Irish activity in the US this month, she wanted to share the best way of engaging American clients.
How do I talk to potential customers?
Believe me, early sales are pure relationship sales. You’re the visionary, they’re the early adopter and if you have what it takes to sustain this dynamic the sale will happen.
A genuine and persistent curiosity about your customers’ work is a great starting point but the magic happens when you’ve figured out how to translate your solution into a solid prescription for their pain.
It takes time and experience to perfect customer conversations but hopefully the below is a useful guide for those of you just starting out.
Sell your vision – The vision is always more important than the nitty gritty of the product so make sure you’ve connected with your customer on the vision first, the rest will follow.
Establish your street cred – You don’t have to be an industry veteran or even an industry insider to have credibility with a new customer. Early on, tell them about yourself; where you’ve worked recently, big name clients or innovative projects you’ve worked on, investors you’re working with and anything else that will help establish you as successful and capable in their minds.
Come armed with value – Before each potential customer meeting, research the person and their company. Then sit quietly for a moment and ask yourself – what can I say or do to bring value to this person immediately? What insights can I deliver to them, what resources can I share with them? How can I help them right now?
Ask a little, listen a lot and then pitch – Establish your customer’s key pain points or motivations for the discussion first. Then customize your pitch using examples that are compatible with their worldview and experience.
Show don’t tell – It’s important to steer clear of formal, lecture like presentations. Instead, look for opportunities to use a visual aid like a demo, an infographic, a photo or a pie chart, or even a couple of customer logos to emphasize a point of importance.
Be confident – You might not be an expert but that doesn’t mean you don’t have something of value to discuss. Be well prepared, respect your customer’s time, ask the “stupid” questions you want to ask and enjoy the smart exchange of ideas.
Ignore initial objections at your peril - If not, they’ll come back to haunt you in a never-ending sales process death spiral! If yours is a hosted solution and your potential customer says, “We generally like to keep applications behind the firewall” do yourself a favor and find a new potential early adopter customer. There’ll be time (and resources) enough to tackle this particular opportunity again later.
Understand your customer’s buying process early – Develop a clear and realistic view of the hurdles involved in selling to this organization as soon as you can. Try asking about other solutions they’ve purchased, young companies they are working with, the steps they would follow if they were interested in engaging with your company. Active listening will help you immensely here, not only to get a sense of the sales cycle but also the potential of the person to bring the deal over the line for you.
Talk money without fixing a price – The topic of money brings lots of focus to a conversation. Its helpful to get some sense of the value you’re offering even if you’re still figuring out your price or pricing model so talk estimates, ranges, and potential payment structures, then pay close attention to the verbal and non verbal reaction.
Always be open to learning something new - Take the time to explore outside the realm of your solution to get a deeper insight into your customer. Ask them about other solutions they are buying or would love to buy right now if they had the budget. Be genuine in your desire to understand their work.
Act human – Use humor, anecdotes and personal insights where appropriate to allow the relationship connection to be made quickly and solidly.
At every moment be professional - A high level of professionalism and consistency in your communications will give your customer the confidence that you can deliver a winning solution regardless of how many road bumps you both hit on the way to the finish line.
This is a guest post from Conor Cahill who uses Drupal to make people friendly and search engine friendly websites.
What do the White House, Oxfam International and Bob Dylan have in common?
All have noteworthy websites built with Drupal – an open source content management platform which powers millions of websites and applications. It’s built, used, and supported by an active and diverse community of people around the world.
DrupalCamp Derry is geared to both beginners and those experienced in using and developing Drupal – with a view to learning about and sharing knowledge of Drupal.
Experienced developers will enjoy lightning talks on topics including responsive design and development best practice, as well as practical problem solving discussions. Beginners will enjoy a 3 hour training session in getting started with Drupal.
More details of Vodafone’s initiative to get people developing more iPhone /Android apps will be available at this workshop (info and registration on EventBrite). And did I mention that this feeds into and App Developer competition with a prize fund of €200,000?
The largest trade fair in the world for mobile technology takes place next week in Barcelona. There are up to 70 Enterprise Ireland client companies involved, around 25 exhibiting and 45 visiting the Congress. This reflects the strong Irish mobile technology industry, which is young, innovative and punches well above its weight compared to the size of the country.
This year’s GSMA Mobile World Congress takes place as the mobile ecosystem enters the midst of an unprecedented wave of transformation, as business models adapt, new verticals and players emerge. The GSMA Mobile World Congress which will host 50,000 senior mobile leaders from 200 countries. With technology evolving and perceptions shifting, the mobile Internet is as influential as the fixed Internet one decade ago.
Companies on the Enterprise Ireland stand are showcasing a wide range of new mobile technologies. GOS Networks is helping operators to deliver and charge for video and other data intensive content to smartphones. Network congestion is a big problem as smartphones become more popular.
Zapa Technologies, an NFC (Near Field Communications) company, is closing the gap in the very new and hot area of social commerce with their mobile couponing technology enabling retailers to redeem virtual coupons as a physical transaction. The Tralee company Altobridge, is short listed for a Global Mobile Award in the category “Best Mobile Technology for Emerging Markets”. Altobridge brings connectivity to rural areas and has had particular success in the booming African market.
Solaris Mobile Ltd, the Dublin based operator of hybrid satellite and terrestrial wireless networks will be showing how their service enables the provision of mobile broadband and broadcast services allowing access to rich media content. This allows media hungry consumers to access interactive services such as video on demand and audio content, when and where they want, directly to their smart phone and other mobile devices.
Among the Enterprise clients exhibiting on their own stands are Ezetop, Feedhenry, Newbay and Openet. The visiting Irish companies are all positioning themselves to launch innovative products and services in this exciting new mobile ecosystem which brings global opportunities to even small Irish companies.
Full details on the Enterprise Ireland stand are available on our website. The EI team at the event will also be tweeting at @ei_madrid, check them out for updates and introductions.
Musings of VC in NYC is a very good source of information and tips for entrepreneurs, investors, developers etc. in the software industry especially web services especially social, gaming and mobile. It can cover stuff from “What does a CEO do anyway” to “Retooling Stale Businesses” using web services technology to the ideal First term sheet and liquidation preferences. Themes or companies that pop up cover open source, cloud based platforms, mobile gaming etc. The VC has an interesting portfolio of companies too.
In terms of the Irish software industry what strikes me is the incredible power that a dedicated and skilled developer team has to create a compelling web service and this a compelling business with international scope. This is due to the power, accessibility and low costof open source, Internet and languages like Ruby on Rails etc. etc. This is the modern software industry and it is open to people with thise skills who can marry it to a business vision – i.e. do something that people are actually willing to pay for or solves a real problem. We defintely need more programmers with the right skills in PHP or Ruby on Rails etc. It is simply much cheaper to create a software business than it was before, if you do it right of course
Are you targeting the US Telco market? Could you do with step-by-step advice and pointers to the next steps you should be taking? We’re running a workshop here at Enterprise Ireland workshop next week “Targeting Telco’s in the US – some practical advice”. This event is free but with limited places, so if you’re interested in coming along, please see the details of how to register below.
When: Monday May 10th 2010
Location: Enterprise Ireland Offices, East Point, Dublin
Time: Registration @ 9.45am, workshop ends at 1pm (See full agenda after the jump )
Focus: 45 minute one-to-one sessions from 2-5pm
Who: Workshop will be delivered by David Dunne and his two US colleagues from the Client Success Group www.clientsuccessgroup.com (Full Bio’s below)