Scaling our customers from one to hundreds

Aprao Property Development Software

Building a Repeatable Sales Process for Aprao

Recently, I shared the story of securing Aprao's first customer. That post brought back the excitement of seeing someone value the product that we poured so much time and effort into building.

Fast forward, and our customer base now numbers in the hundreds. This milestone prompted me to reflect on the next stage of our journey: creating a scalable sales process.

Finding Our Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Landing our first customer, alongside positive early conversations, helped refine our ICP. Analysing the 900 email sign-ups collected during development phase began to reveal a key customer profile – a specific type of company that responded positively to our outreach.

I'd categorise this ICP as a small and medium-sized (SME) property developer frustrated with spreadsheets. This could be due to a non-financial background or an awareness of spreadsheet risks when assessing development projects.

Thankfully, with this ICP, we often dealt directly with the main decision-maker, who usually felt the pain of their existing spreadsheets.

To better refine how we approached this ICP, we asked ourselves these key questions:

  • What pain points does our product address for this customer profile?
  • How can we effectively reach them?
  • How can we best solve these pain points?

Armed with the answers, we started building a website and marketing plan specifically targeted at our ICP.

Addressing Pain Points Directly

We wanted our solution to resonate deeply with our ICP, so we decided to speak directly to their pain points.

Here's an example:

  • Instead of "Calculate residual site values," we'd use "Never overpay for a site again."
  • "Confidence in your numbers" replaced "Minimise risk associated with spreadsheets."
  • We used "Instantly see the impact of market changes" instead of "Sensitivity analysis."

This language shift emphasises the positive outcome and benefit of the feature, not just the technical details. We realised that listing features often goes over people's heads. Feature descriptions pale in comparison to clearly communicating how Aprao solves a specific pain point they're experiencing.

Keeping it Lean

Our focus wasn't on enterprise sales, so we avoided building a large outbound sales team. Instead, we prioritised high-quality content to generate inbound leads.

Our strategy, which remains in place today, is:

  1. Create relevant, high-quality content targeted towards our ICP.
  2. Make it easy for people to sign up for a software trial.
  3. Ensure the software is user-friendly and intuitive.

With these goals in mind, we refined the customer journey to make it as smooth as possible for people to discover Aprao, learn about its value, build trust, and ultimately sign up.

A focused ICP allowed us to produce content and a customer journey with direct relevance. The content acts as a filter – if it's not relevant to the reader, they're likely not our ideal customer.

Consistency is Key

This strategy proved so successful that we continue to use it today. While we explored larger outbound sales teams, we realised that if people have the problem we solve and we provide a path for them to find us, they will.

Doing something well consistently yields results. I'm proud to say that to this day, our content-driven inbound strategy remains our top performer, enabling Aprao to scale effectively.

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