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How to Sell Software Solutions: Transactional vs. Relationship Marketing

Relationship and transactional marketing are two distinct strategies for marketing your products and services. It is important to know the difference between the two, as they are opposites in every way.

You can use either or both strategies in most businesses, depending on the business model, with varying degrees of success. Let’s talk about how to sell software solutions using these methodologies.

Transactional Marketing

Transactional marketing is best for high-volume sales where the product or service does not need to be personalized, and there’s no requirement to build a relationship with the customer.

It’s normally employed where the transaction is a one-shot deal with no intended repeat business or up-sell.

If you’re just learning how to sell software solutions for the first time, transactional marketing is a perfectly acceptable strategy for competing on price in a product-centric environment. Little brand building is required, and most of the communication flows in one direction only. That makes this type of strategy a lot less labor- and resource-intensive than relationship marketing.

Relationship Marketing

On the other hand, relationship marketing is all about building an ongoing relationship with your audience. This IT sales strategy provides you with the potential to generate repeat business and customer loyalty for your brand.

With relationship marketing, communication has to be two-way. You’ll try to reach your audience as early as possible in their buying cycle and build up a community around your product or service.

Applying the Right Strategy to Any Given Situation

If the software solution you are trying to sell is an app, then you will likely be competing on price and you’ll want to sell high volumes of the product. In this case, transactional marketing is the way to go.

If, however, you are selling IT solutions to the local business community with the aim of becoming their virtual CIO, then relationship marketing is a more appropriate strategy for selling software solutions.

Depending on the nature of your business and the diversity of your income streams, you may need to employ both strategies within your business.

Have you employed either of these strategies when selling software solutions? If so, why not share your experiences in the comments section?

And to follow through on the tips introduced in this short article, especially if you're selling SaaS or IaaS, be sure to enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.

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