Lead Generation Reversed: Software Advice
Software Advice (www.softwareadvice.com), based in Austin, Texas, helps buyers from virtually any industry and company size with the daunting task of finding the right software for their business. Team members from Software Advice regularly publish product profiles, comparisons, best practices guides and other research to their website, and they are also available by phone to provide consultations for software buyers, at no charge. Software Advice’s revenue comes from software vendors; when a good match is made between a software buyer and a software vendor, the software vendor pays.
Don Fornes founded the company in 2005 after a 10-year career in the software industry, most recently after working at Epiphany, a CRM software company that is now a part of Infor. He developed the idea for Software Advice while researching software companies on the internet and finding that there wasn’t a resource that made it easy to understand and navigate through different options on the market. Don saw an opportunity to build an information-rich website to help software buyers with their research, and Software Advice was born.
Software Advice’s first clients–both software vendors and buyers–were from the construction software market. A few large, notable buyers that they helped early on include the Department of Homeland Security, the Denver International Airport and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. With the exception of a few enterprise software vendors such as Sage, the majority of companies they worked with initially were small or mid-size software vendors. Today, vendors include SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle and Exact.
As expected, software buyers come from a wide range of industries. Interestingly, the company receives many requests from U.S. physicians looking for electronic health records (EHR) software. This is due in large part to the incentives introduced in the HITECH Act (which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009). They also work with a large number of construction contractors and retail store owners every year.
According to Houston Neal, Director of Marketing for Software Advice, “buyer ‘angst’ doesn’t vary by type. We hear the same concerns from buyers evaluating supply chain management software as those evaluating retail point of sale software. In the end, it’s about getting organized, running a disciplined search and realizing that software is not a magic fix; it requires disciplined adoption, training and business processes.”
Software vendors who wish to have their products included with Software Advice can contact the company to discuss their product features and functionality, service and support, unique selling proposition and target market. If Software Advice believes that a vendor’s products are a good fit, their products can be included on the website that same day. Software Advice works with vendors on a lead-to-lead basis, and vendors may cancel at any time. Currently, Software Advice works with 600 different software companies across 17 markets.
SaaS/Cloud and mobile based solutions are in high demand
Roughly 8 out of 10 buyers that utilize Software Advice ask directly about web-based software, or are open to evaluating systems. Questions about mobile applications, on the other hand, are still minimal and they also vary by market. “We hear from a lot of physicians that want to run their EHR software on an iPad. We also hear from contractors that want to access project information from mobile devices on the job site,” says Neal. Meanwhile, inquiries about mobile support for enterprise applications (e.g. human resources, supply chain management, etc), aren’t as common.
Video rich content
In the coming months, Software Advice will be launching two new websites:
These websites will feature video content produced either in house or by software vendors and will include software demos, analyst interviews, product comparisons and customer reviews. A majority of the content will be free, but they will also be offering premium content for members. Says Neal, “It’s kind of like Hulu, but for enterprise software.”
Research and interview: Michele Rempel, Mediavine Marketing