Deciding When to Move Beyond a Software Product Targeted to Enterprise IT for an Alternative with More Promise

Once one’s primary revenue source is adequately safeguarded and methods to collect data from direct engagement with market participants and online visits are in place, then a “ready, fire, aim” strategy of rapid market sampling can be undertaken, profitably, by an enterprise IT ISV. When captured data is analyzed and unexpected and unwanted market sentiments are revealed, we think management must seriously consider either terminating product efforts, or at a minimum, renovating features, branding, etc. to better address opportunities.

Often, products will fail to deliver on revenue assumptions where data supports the kind of conclusions to which we have just alluded. In these cases, sales teams and their activities, and marketing efforts, are often carefully reviewed to ensure that poor product performance is not the result of human ineptitude in one of these areas. Of course, the need to undertake this kind of scrutiny makes complete sense. After all, it would be entirely wasteful to cease product development where, in fact, poor performance can be attributed to sales mistakes, or a lack of good leads as the result of ineffective marketing communications. But where these conclusions cannot be safely drawn, we do think it makes sense to change product plans.

We have worked with quite a number of entrepeneurs over the 11 year history of our company. Whenever the need arises to make radical changes in product marketing plans, we are often taken by the fact that different types of personalities handle the need to terminate product development and change direction in different ways. While we do not plan on including much detail about psychology in this post, we still do need to note that the personality of the business owner, or the product champion (where a team has contributed to a decision to proceed in a direction with regard to a specific product), will have a direct bearing on whether or not a business will successfully navigate through this type of experience.

Of course, the steps we have outlined in the preceding three posts to this blog can be used, effectively, to empower even the most stubborn business owner to decide to change course. For these types of owner it should, and likely will, make sense to change direction when adequate information has been received from a marketplace that, for one reason or another, a product effort is not adequate.

In our experience, this type of data has, often, also included important indications of the type of product that would be, truly, valuable and worth an investment. Successful businesses act upon this information, renovating product plans as required for success.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved

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