I was catching up on my feed reader this morning and noticed my friend Jeff Nolan’s post (also see Brad Feld) on Newsgator and FeedDemon RSS clients now being free. I know that Jeff joined Newsgator because of his belief in the enterprise, and I applaud the company’s new strategy. As I have written before, enterprise sales is incredibly hard. If I were going to do anything on the enterprise side, I would look at how to make my sales as frictionless as possible. Leverage SAAS and downloads and reduce the barriers to usage. What you have in a free Newsgator and FeedDemon RSS client is the opportunity for the pull-push method of enterprise selling vs. the push-pull method. Rather than only rely on expensive enterprise sales guys trying to push products into corporations, Newsgator, as Jeff says in his blog post, has the opportunity to expand its client base from 1mm users to 10mm users and have them potentially pull Newsgator into new enterprise sales opportunities. This is certainly a new way of thinking and considering that the company has an excellent client, this should be a winning strategy. From Jeff’s post:
So if we are generating zero dollars of revenue from the client applications that we used to sell, well what is our business? Today we generate the bulk of our revenue from enterprise software, which is predominately server products but also includes these client applications (we call them “endpoints”). The fact remains that we actually generate a significant number of enterprise leads from people who are using our client apps and then realize they would benefit from enterprise management products. By that logic, more client applications in use is more enterprise goodness for us.