Getting feedback – Dos and Don’ts

By Subraya Mallya

As product companies we build products to meet a need out there. Along the way, we follow the standard practice of reaching out to existing customers, prospects, experts in the field to get validation of the problem, our proposed solution, market, pricing etc. But having met someone (physically or online) and requested feedback, accepting the feedback is a skill that […]

Continue Reading

Comments (0)

Should Customer Success Managers carry Quota ?

By Subraya Mallya

As companies continue to figure out the true role of a Customer Success Manager(CSM), various aspects of the job keeping coming up for debate. As such the Customer Success Manager job is an overarching role that touches various functions such as sales, on-boarding, implementation, training, support, product while continuing to be the single point of […]

Continue Reading

Comments (2)

Early Adopters and the value they bring to your product

By Subraya Mallya

All products need validation before they are built to ascertain the real problem they solve. They need early supporters/evangelists, after they are built, to prove the worth in the marketplace and to cross the proverbial chasm. Getting people to try your product is tough but let us assume you were lucky and found some early […]

Continue Reading

Comments (4)

Mastering the fine art of open-ended questions

By Subraya Mallya

A day-in-a-life of a Product Manager involves a variety of interactions. sometimes it is customers sometime it is the marketing team and in large parts  it could be the engineering team. As a product manager one is required to seek out information from one channel, synthesize it and feed other channels. It could be understanding […]

Continue Reading

Comments (1)

Have you mapped your Customer Success Journey yet?

By Subraya Mallya

We have all heard and know about Buyer’s Journey. The process they go through from the time a technology need arises, all the way through the decision process, involving inputs from all the stakeholders, till they make  a purchase. While that journey has been analyzed and optimized and then some,  I don’t think SaaS companies […]

Continue Reading

Comments (2)

Conducting an effective sales discovery call

By Subraya Mallya

Sales discovery call is an important event in the sales process. Assessing and gaining an in-depth understanding of the prospect’s real challenges, mapping that to our offering to demonstrate positive outcomes, all will have a big bearing on how (if at all) you close the deal. While everybody involved in the sales process knows the […]

Continue Reading

Comments (2)

Value Proposition – Should it be Problem focused or Result focused?

By Subraya Mallya

Bringing a product to the market is difficult. Convincing others to buy the product or use the product is even more. It is critical that the positioning of the product and messaging the value it delivers is done right. The Value Proposition of a product or service has a major impact on the success of […]

Continue Reading

Comments (0)

Anatomy of an early-stage startup demo

By Subraya Mallya

Product Demos start much before the product has come into being. Startups would do well to follow Steve Blank’s customer development, in arriving at the definition of what the product would be. While most of the demos with prospective customers would be around the problem, the degree of pain, day-in-a-life of the end-user and the benefits of your […]

Continue Reading

Comments (0)

Evaluating a SaaS Subscription Billing Service

By Subraya Mallya

Selling Software-as-a-Service has created new challenges for companies around subscription billing, pricing and managing customer accounts. This has created a new category of software offerings called Subscription Billing. This post will outline the characteristics of a good subscription billing software.

Continue Reading

Comments (0)

Prioritizing Product Requirements using T

By Subraya Mallya

Product Management teams have always had to deal with competing priorities when it came to defining the roadmap and what goes into it. A product roadmap is fluid and evolves as the customer base expands or based on larger market demands. It is easy to get into a product features’ arm race with the competition in […]

Continue Reading

Comments (1)

Securing and Maintaining Customer References

By Subraya Mallya

Customer References are the best way to get credibility for your product. While the eventual decision by the prospect might be more dependent on your value proposition and how painful of a problem the prospect has, references could push the deal past the goal post. Providing references that can vouch for the product has become […]

Continue Reading

Comments (1)

Are you selling an Oven or a Cake?

By Subraya Mallya

An oven, no matter how good it is can just be a shiny object. Its value is realized only based on the cake that comes out of that oven. The cake in turn is dependent on the recipe, the ingredients you use and how you cook the cake. A cake bought from a bakery, on […]

Continue Reading

Comments (1)

Customer Success in SaaS

By Subraya Mallya

Customer Success has become the mantra for software companies in the SaaS space to create a profitable company. I recently did a presentation to group of leaders from the technology space around how Customer Success is changing the very fabric of a software company. Customer Success is not a new term used for the erstwhile […]

Continue Reading

Comments (3)

You never let me finish my point!!

By Subraya Mallya

This is a complaint I have heard a few times from the sales guy in one of the companies I am involved with. But this time I thought I will do some digging into it. Here is some context.  We routinely do role playing in the company before a sales meeting with a new prospect. […]

Continue Reading

Comments (1)

Can I have a trial please…

By Subraya Mallya

This question was originally posted on Quora and I had responded. I am expanding on that answer in this post. As companies push firmly into a SaaS delivery model, providing ability to do a trial/evaluation has become table stakes. In the new world order of technology procurement, buyers are more educated and prefer to touch-and-feel […]

Continue Reading

Comments (0)

Partnerships – shortcut to success or mirage?

By Subraya Mallya

There are partnerships and there are Partnerships. Software companies routinely explore partnerships to gain edge in the marketplace. It makes sense too in some cases. But in majority of the cases partnerships can prove to be a big distraction and/or misdirection in terms of execution. The earlier stage you are, as a company, the lesser […]

Continue Reading

Comments (2)

Remote Product Sales Demo Techniques

By Subraya Mallya

Sales Demos are challenging no matter what. You get an hour and you need to accomplish a whole lot of things in it. You research about the prospect, the participants in the demo and try to cater the demo to them only to find that come the demo time few new insurgents get in. That […]

Continue Reading

Comments (3)

Channel Strategy for a early stage software company

By Subraya Mallya

Channels have long been a staple of software sales.  To meet the global and industry specific needs, software companies have relied on channels to reach the elusive customers. As luck would have it, I was involved in two instances, last week, where a channel strategy was being adopted as a predominant sales strategy, albeit in […]

Continue Reading

Comments (2)

What to look for while interviewing sales people in a startup

By Subraya Mallya

As a Marketing lead or an executive that is not directly responsible for Sales, you must have been called to interview a sales candidate frequently. I have had my share of those interviews. Sales is one skill that I don’t profess to have any expertise on. The ability to create new relationships, manage them on […]

Continue Reading

Comments (2)

Oracle acquires Taleo – reactionary or strategic acquisition?

By Subraya Mallya

Uncle Larry is at it again!!. First he threw a left hook at SAP by announcing a in-memory offering just when SAP was hoping to bask in the glory of their results and highlighting how, with HANA, they would unseat Oracle in their customer base. If that was not enough now to negate SAP’s acquisition […]

Continue Reading

Comments (11)

How complete is your product? 50%? 60%?

By Subraya Mallya

I was having this interesting chat with a salesperson today as I was trying to help get him hired to a software company. As we went through all the details of the product he posed this interesting question to me. How complete do you think is the product? 50%? 60%? I had heard this question before […]

Continue Reading

Comments (5)

Sales Demo techniques for a unique product

By Subraya Mallya

Sales demos are tricky no matter what. Unless your product is a well-known brand like Band-Aid solving, a clear and distinct problem. Sales demos need a whole lot of strategy to go into it. If yours is a software product, a early version of your product and a unique product that falls in between the […]

Continue Reading

Comments (2)

Offshoring is an art

By Subraya Mallya

By now you would think offshoring has acquired enough notoriety. Lots of water has flown under the offshoring bridge. Best practices have been written, re-visited and rewritten. So it was kind of a surprise when I got this call from a friend of mine who was trying to get this “offshoring” thing started in his new […]

Continue Reading

Comments (1)

Go-To Market strategy for geeks

By Subraya Mallya

An excellent video by Chris Yeh(@ChrisYeh), an angel investor and one of the better speakers in the valley talks about Go-To Market strategy and many other critical things in a startup. Although the goal of the video was around readying the company for raising money, the points made are applicable to all companies. Specifically around […]

Continue Reading

Comments (2)

Company Website – your best brand ambassador

By Subraya Mallya

With marketing moving increasingly online, a company’s website has become, above all, the quintessential brand ambassador for the company. The way the company website speaks to the visitor (a prospect) goes a long way in convincing them in becoming your customer. For a startup in its early stage when it does not have credible references, lot of […]

Continue Reading

Comments (10)

Who inside an organization is the primary buyer for an enterprise social networking tool? And why?

By Subraya Mallya

Social Networking is very broad. As a vendor, you will have to lead with the value proposition that is much more focussed than just saying “It increases collaboration and consequently productivity and innovation”. Pretty much every vendor says that. I would also recommend that you go narrow initially to a small constituency like marketing, bizdev, […]

Continue Reading

Comments (0)

Letting loose monkeys on bloggers is not PR

By Subraya Mallya

I have been meaning to write this post for a while but was holding back so as to not upset anyone in the marketing/PR space. But the the last straw finally broke and I had to publish this post. PR as you guys might well know is an essential part of marketing notwithstanding all the […]

Continue Reading

Comments (12)

Stories Stick, Stats Suck

By Subraya Mallya

Technology Marketing has historically been a chest thumping contest between vendors claiming one-upmanship on the back of a variety of statistics. If it is not the TPC benchmarks demonstrating the might of a database performance under stress, it has been volume of orders processed, that has been centerpiece of marketing campaigns. You cannot escape walking […]

Continue Reading

Comments (5)

Cloud Computing 2011, through my binoculars

By Subraya Mallya

2010 was a blockbuster year for Cloud Computing, no two ways about it. The year started with naysayers pooh-poohing Cloud Computing as YATF (Yet Another Technology Fad) only to come back and endorse cloud with a backhanded compliment albeit calling it Private Cloud. A lot was achieved in terms of bringing down the hurdles that […]

Continue Reading

Comments (4)

Multi-Tenant architecture for Enterprises?

By Subraya Mallya

The world is shrinking and the traditional boundaries between Desktop, Client-Server, Web and Cloud technologies are getting blurred. While some of your business applications should be strictly on-premise, some have to move to the private cloud and some travel to the public cloud. The users community of today’s applications are spread across Product divisions Geographies […]

Continue Reading

Comments (11)

NextGen enterprise – all cloud all the time

By Subraya Mallya

Cloud Computing has created enough of a challenge for companies. On the one hand, they have investments made into traditional on-premise technologies which has developed firm roots in the enterprise, thanks to all the customization, resources etc. On the other hand they see these new Cloud solutions, all of which they wished their existing vendors […]

Continue Reading

Comments (12)

A blockbuster year for jargon creep in Cloud

By Subraya Mallya

As we end the year 2010, a year that can be considered as  a blockbuster year for Cloud Computing, I thought it was time to take a look back. The rhetoric around “True” Cloud and “False” Cloud is still bustling along with gay abandon. The year began with Larry Ellison chiding – “What the hell […]

Continue Reading

Comments (4)

Back to Top