September 25th, 2012
Thus enterprise software went from being about sales (one-to-one) to being about marketing (one-to-many). Marketing requires crafting a compelling message, figuring out the right channels and then optimizing. But the most effective marketing is a compelling product that can be easily tried.
But I don’t see it as a shift. Large organizations still make decisions the same way that they used to, it just just that there are far more small businesses today than anytime in history. Thus, there is more business to be had using a friendly marketing message and easy-to-use and trialable software.
Even the examples given, like Github, have enterprise-level efforts. They have sales people. And while they may paint a pretty picture about their efforts being largely about building a great product… they recognize that the buying power, in these larger organizations, still does not lay with the developers.
PJ Hyett, Co-Founder of Github:
“The remaining 1% of customers is where sales comes into play. Much in the same way support guides folks through technical questions, we needed people to guide customers through business questions. Not only that, developers within larger organizations sometimes need help convincing the people with the purchasing authority to buy the products they really, really want to use.”
So rather than calling it a shift, I’d call it the growth of small business that we’re seeing. Companies with flatter organizational structures and smaller teams than previously needed, aided by technology of course, so that SaaS companies can land a significant amount of business outside of the enterprise.
It is a boon, right now, for software developers. At every level. Product-driven software efforts and sales-driven software efforts are both here to stay. All you need to do is choose which level you want to play at and play by that game’s rules.
/via Rob Sandie.