Demonstrate our value
Imagine you’re out and happen to meet a power player looking to build software. You need a quick way to summarize who we are, what we do, and why we’re different. You need that elevator pitch—a super-fast way to talk about Devbridge and the value we can provide. This section provides the general structure for an elevator pitch that you can then tailor according to industry vertical.
There will be times when you strike up a conversation with a potential buyer at a conference and have very limited time to explain what we do. An elevator pitch is a very short story that explains what we do, how we’re different, and provides social proof. Before you jump into pitching Devbridge services, however, consider if this is an appropriate time and place. C-level executives don’t like to be pitched to, so a slightly different approach could be beneficial.
A successful technique I’ve used is to ask the individual about their role and responsibilities, sometimes following up a “What do you do at your company?” with an additional question specific to their expertise area. This opens up the dialogue and allows you to contribute something valuable instead of just pitching. Once the individual responds, provide a factoid of information from our own experience that aligns with the industry or solution space. This requires you to have a foundational understanding of the industry vertical you operate in, the most common challenges, as well as the case studies from our work in that field. If you’re a successful and entertaining conversationalist, the individual may ask you about your role and Devbridge—a perfect opportunity to run with a short elevator pitch. Here are the building blocks of a strong story:
- Explain what we do and drop a couple of names relevant to the industry. We’re a custom software development company (or product development company) that provides services to Fortune 1000 companies like Wells Fargo, CIBC, and Capital Group.
- State why clients buy from us and what key value we provide. Our focus is on speed. How do we accelerate bespoke applications to market to create a competitive advantage? We do this by standing up scalable, dedicated agile cross-functional teams.
- Provide proof. We took CIBC’s Caribbean mobile banking apps to market in under six months—winning awards and exceptional rankings in the digital store along the way. We have now been a partner for over four years.
In terms of proof, you should develop a short cheat sheet that you can practice and use for the elevator pitch. This should allow you to quickly explain the value we’ve delivered across multiple engagements in a given vertical.
Always tailor the pitch to the industry vertical of the prospect you’re talking to.
For example, we helped a leading bank ship their mobile banking experience to market in six months, as compared to a previous attempt that took $5 million and two and a half years.
I always say “fall back on our values” as something that makes us stand out from the pack. Ultimately, the reason why clients work with us and stay with us is that we deliver results. No matter how difficult the challenge, we persevere and get the product to market. If a client ever questions us on what makes our company different, I tell them that we’ve been in business for over a decade and have retained the majority of our clients year over year. This wouldn’t happen without consistent delivery. Here are our differentiators:
- Speed. Lean Requirements, prototyping, and an Agile framework allow us to take products to market four times faster than traditional delivery methods.
- Industry expertise. We build a team with industry knowledge in two weeks, blending deep experience in product management, product design, and software engineering into cross-functional teams that can take a product to market in as little as four months.
- Transparency. We are completely transparent in how we run the product. We track our time down to fifteen-minute increments and then provide product metrics to clients through our PowerUp application. No one else in the industry is doing this. We ship working code every two weeks and include the client in acceptance.
- Scalability. With our large team and global footprint, we can successfully handle the validation of a small prototype just as well as we can deliver massive ERP platform implementations coordinated across multiple teams.
I can’t stress how impressive our PowerUp application is to our clients. You can learn more about the product on our website, but it essentially provides advanced product delivery metrics to the client on a daily basis—logged time, burn down, burn up, velocity, and many other data points. There are a few reasons why PowerUp and delivery metrics matter to us and the client:
- It fosters transparency, trust, and ownership. Logging our time in such short increments creates trust and accountability. We log successes and failures and are completely transparent about the delivery process.
- It raises awareness of product health. A team that consistently uses the data and health reports to manage the product’s delivery is more successful at delivering on time and on budget. Discrepancies in health reports accelerate discussions with the client around the challenges the team is experiencing. The sooner we detect an issue, the sooner we pivot.
- It advances healthy processes. Teams that use PowerUp inevitably have discussions around the mechanics that are important for a successful product team. They can leverage learnings to replicate what works and understand (and possibly kill) what doesn’t.
It is important to note that any analysis is only as good as the data input. If you’re part of delivery, be descriptive and accurate in your time entries. Log time on a daily basis instead of once a week. This helps transparency and improves the accuracy of your comments. We also expect product managers and managing directors to review the time entries and discuss how they could be improved and to identify any unacceptable patterns. Collecting, aggregating, and sharing this data gives everyone insight into who’s doing what and how much time they’re spending on each activity.