Ray Lane offers key stepping stones across today's no man's land of selling software

Ray Lane offers key stepping stones across today's no man's land of selling software

Summary: So why not begin innovating on how you reach out freely and with objective quality to your prospects?

TOPICS: Tech Industry

Excellent insights and advice from Kleiner Perkin's Ray Lane on the ramifications of the business model turmoil in the software business. Whether you are buying, selling, investing in, or developing software, this article is absolutely required reading.

One of the things (among many) that jumped out at me was the need for all software and/or service suppliers -- biggest to smallest -- to appreciate and execute post haste on the move from PUSHING the product/service to being PULLED as a product/service.

If the licensed on-premises software model is history, as I believe, than low-cost, viral, wide-reach evangelistic marketing needs to focus on creating PULL from the potential global audience.

RSS, blogging, and B2B informational podcasting are leading new innovations for spurring PULL, and you don't need a direct sales force or mega marketing budget to see large adoption and lead generation benefits, which in turn beget broader deployment benefits. Get the conversation started in your niche before your competitor does.

Of course, it helps a lot if you have good open source code, a user-value-oriented Web site, and an authoritative and prolific blog. Make knowledge value, give it away with your products, and then talk about it some more. That leads to adoption in the solution markets you now will serve. Marketers are beginning to get it.

As Ray explains, innovating for the start-up and small to medium software firms is essential, so why not begin innovating on how you reach out freely and with objective and high-quality messaging to your prospects? It’s certainly an area near and dear to me.

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Ray on some of these subjects during a Gillmor Gang podcast. Have a listen, it was one of the better shows of Q4 2005.

Topic: Tech Industry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


1 comment
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Believe it.

    Quoting from the article linked:

    I always ask enterprise vendors, "How many deals do you lose to open source?" The answer is invariably, "None." They don't even know about the customers who are choosing open source products every day because these rarely get into their pipeline. The fact is that most suppliers don't have a broad enough picture of their market opportunity. This narrow view prevents them from capitalizing on market growth.

    If you can't see it, that doesn't mean it's not happening. Trust me.

    Of course, that also means the buyers were not interested enough in the vendor's product even to ask about it and do a comparison.

    Should a business plan be based on competing where other companies already have an inside track? And should the vendor abandon any current customer which wants to continue the current situation?

    Following this open source path requires a great deal of faith, and in an approach which is known not to produce a large number of highly successful companies.
    Anton Philidor