How to make business apps… and sell them

by Stefano Dughiero on 05/05/2016

When the time comes to market an app, it’s crucial that the marketing and sales departments will be able to pitch a product with features that make it simultaneously useful, advantageous, and enjoyable for the end user.
In fact, this is the key to ensuring that in addition to being sellable, an app will also continue to be used (and will therefore provide the opportunity to earn additional revenue through updates and maintenance).
Easy to say, but harder to do. However, we can still nail down a few guidelines.

A good idea
It all starts here, with the idea. The app must be innovative (because otherwise possible buyers probably already use an app that solves their problems and they won’t be likely to change), it must deliver clearly quantifiable and demonstrable benefits, and it must be easy to explain for the people trying to sell it. But most importantly, it must meet an actual need. Otherwise it will become one of those 95% of apps that are abandoned by their users.

The two factors for success
One of the two main aspects to keep in mind in creating and selling an app is adapting the user experience to users’ needs.
Where is the app used, and by whom? For example, for the people who use it, is vocal input the most convenient? Can they use the keyboard? Or is a button interface better because users work in challenging conditions (like a construction site, perhaps). The choice between one option and another must always focus on the same concept: the user’s actual needs and adapting the user experience in response to those needs. If we come to market with a prototype that doesn’t meet the need, we won’t be able to sell it.

The same is true for the value proposition, which has to be clear and correlated to the actual need. Too many useless features make it difficult for salespeople get possible buyers to focus on how the product on offer is suited to their needs and how it will solve their problems in ways the tools they currently use cannot. The app must deliver value, and this value must be evident. Explaining clearly to the possible buyer which people in their company will benefit from the app, and precisely and plainly quantifying the return on this investment is always instrumental to success on the path to a sale.

Working with the right tools
Successfully focusing on these two contributors to success is crucial. Synergies among the people who conceive the idea for the product, the people who develop it, and the people who sell it must always be considered of the utmost importance.
That is one of the reasons why in the Instant Developer Cloud Editions we’ve introduced advanced telecollaboration features that eliminate all the hurdles that often stymie communications among departments and hinder ongoing feedback. This makes it the right tool not only for developers, but also for bringing together your product’s developers and salesmen.
Collaboration among the design, development, marketing, and sales departments is essential not only to creating the product, but especially for achieving the most important goal: successfully and profitably selling it.

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