Obsolescence of Outside Software Sales Teams has Resulted from a Combination of Factors
A combination of factors, which include a new role for computing software as a mere commodity requirement for enterprise businesses, and a marketplace that is now characterized by much leaner enterprise businesses, have combined to hasten the obsolescence of the traditional outside sales model. Enterprise IT ISVs, whether consciously, or not, have not only adjusted to these realities, but have, actually, contributed substantially to their emergence. In fact, as we have argued in a post to this blog, Enterprise IT ISVs are Driving Market Interest in Cloud Computing Options, cloud computing makes lots of sense for businesses manufacturing software commodities (ISVs) who are looking for the lowest possible cost for producing software, distributing it to customers, and then supporting customers over product life cycles.
With software delivered one time for many (which is essentially how we see the structure of cloud computing offers), little, if any, need to deliver hard products to customers, and, finally, no longer a need to deal with anymore than the range of web browser options when architects plan for likely clients for applications, there is little need for outside sales personnel.
From a marketplace perspective, enterprise businesses have become much leaner (the chronic high unemployment rate in the United States is symptomatic of enterprise businesses with far fewer personnel, who, in turn, work under a much larger workload and have, generally, much less time for the in-person engagement that was formerly the norm for outside sales teams), with little time for lunches with outside sales staff. Further, the market can now avail of a very rich resource of information about products, solutions, customer experiences, etc — the Internet. With the wealth of information available online, we do not see where prospects require the type of in person presentation that was the case as recently as 10 years ago.
Rather, customers are thoroughly researching requirements independent of vendors. As several leading businesses in the sales lead development space have made clear (these firms include Alinean and Marketo, both of which we have written about in past posts to this blog), the moment of engagement when prospects reach out to sales is, in fact, much later, which, in turn translates into a much longer sales cycle, but one that appears to “close itself”. Therefore, we think that enterprise IT ISVs can certainly work on an assumption that outside sales personnel are not the essential component to a winning market effort that was the case in the past.
If you would like to renovate your internal sales architecture to better address present day market opportunities, please consider IMB Enterprises, Inc. We have direct first hand experience delivering successful results in 2012. Please either telephone us at +1 631-673-2929 or complete the contact us form on our web site. We will be happy to reach out to you to learn more about your needs.
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