I was riding on the train this morning and was talking to a friend about one of my fund’s portfolio companies. She mentioned that the management team had done a great job during a recent sales presentation because instead of going for the "rip and replace" strategy, they went with the "co-exist" philosophy. Too often, entrepreneurs can get too enamored with their own technology and forget that the customer may not need every feature that you are offering today. In fact, while revolutionary technology and vision is great, what the customer may want is an evolutionary approach to implementation. What I am talking about here is reducing the friction in your sales process (See an earlier post on frictionless sales). Convincing a customer that your technology or product can coexist with an existing investment is a much lower barrier to sales than convincing them to "rip and replace" or "forklift upgrade" a significant prior investment. The sales prospect will have a hard enough time buying a product/service from an unproven startup, let alone ripping out an existing investment from a safe choice, a much larger public vendor. Once you land the customer, you will always have the chance to expand your footprint. That is why I continue to be enamored with SAAS and downloadable software because I believe that it is inherently a more efficient and cost effective way of selling and delivering a product or service. Granted, most of the initial target market opportunities will be the small/medium business market but I still firmly believe that this market is untapped and offers great upside.
Published by Ed Sim
founder boldstart ventures, over 20 years experience seeding and leading first rounds in enterprise startups, @boldstartvc, googlization of IT, SaaS 3.0, security, smart data; cherish family time + enjoy lacrosse + hockeyView all posts by Ed Sim →