What To Ask When… Marketing A New Software Solution

What To Ask When… Marketing A New Software Solution


Former CEO of Kelly Group and Avis Southern Africa Grenville Wilson, founder and chairperson of People Resource Planning, has taken a new cloud-based tool to market with great success, landing big-ticket clients like Telkom, MTN, Vodacom, Bidvest, Absa, and SAB Miller.

He advises asking some tough questions before you take a new product to market. Here they are:

1. How is your software solution unique?

Wilson’s experience in the employment services industry gave him in-depth insight into what was available and where the shortcomings lie.

“It’s surprising how many people management solutions are still manual and admin intensive. In addition, so much information regarding employees exists in legacy systems. We identified a real need for a real-time people management system that integrates security, attendance and productivity information,” he says.

2. What value does it offer for customers?

Focusing on value is critical. “Our product enables managers to make informed, relevant decisions, and it makes all the required information available through cloud-based reporting. That means it’s accessible on any device, whether it’s a desktop PC, a tablet or a smartphone. That is a key requirement in today’s increasingly mobile world.

“We have also proved savings of between 10% and 30% in unplanned overtime costs, 5% and 15% on payroll costs, and improved productivity by up to 15% simply by eliminating inefficiencies. Instant ROI is tangible.”

3. How hard are you prepared to work?

Wilson says that no matter how big the gap in the market may be, there really are no free lunches.

“It takes an enormous amount of work to get a new business up and running. In the software business, you have to have the money to fund the development of the solution and the losses you incur as you go along.”

4. Are you aware of the challenges of launching a new solution?

To market a completely new solution requires change management.

“In our case, the reality is that well-established companies are comfortable using manually intensive HR solutions, and many resist change.

“We have had to focus on seeking out and speaking to the right people within each organisation that we have identified as a potential client. We are fortunate that people at executive level are all too aware of the pain when it comes to payroll.“

5.  How easy will you make it for clients to migrate?

Integration is the watchword when it comes to rolling out new solutions.

“You have to be flexible to offer solutions that interface with a client’s existing hardware and software systems. We are able to take all the HR information our clients have, no matter where it resides, and make it available to them real-time, without requiring them to make a capital outlay. Couple that with an increase in performance and productivity, and you have a compelling offering.”

Ask yourself

Have you sat down and critically evaluated each of these questions with regards to your own business? If not, it’s time to take on the challenge.

 Vital Stats

  • Company: PRP Solutions
  • founder: Grenville Wilson
  • Est: 2007
  • Growth:  R24 million, with 62% growth since 2011
  • Visit: prpsolutions.co.za


Monique Verduyn
Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.