I have already blogged on the pitfalls of enterprise software, but for our 100th post, I thought I would return to the subject. Last week, we attended the AMERICANA tradeshow and conference where we met prospective clients. Many showed interest. Now the question becomes, how do we efficiently convert those interested people into paying clients? They realize we offer a solution, we know they have a problem, but how much time should we devote to speaking with each potential client?
The more time we spend time selling, the higher our operating costs, the higher our costs, the higher our price. We want to keep our costs low and invest in the product, not salesmen. An exellent description of this problem was recently given by Paul Graham,
Joel Spolsky recently spoke at Y Combinator about selling software to corporate customers. He said that in most companies software costing up to about $1000 could be bought by individual managers without any additional approvals. Above that threshold, software purchases generally had to be approved by a committee. But babysitting this process was so expensive for software vendors that it didn’t make sense to charge less than $50,000. Which means if you’re making something you might otherwise have charged $5000 for, you have to sell it for $50,000 instead.
The purpose of the committee is presumably to ensure that the company doesn’t waste money. And yet the result is that the company pays 10 times as much.
Checks on purchases will always be expensive, because the harder it is to sell something to you, the more it has to cost.
So, what is a small company to do? Please help us offer you the best service at the best price by avoiding comittees and long sales cycles. Try us out for a few months, no obligations. If it works, scale Nimonik across all your facilities, if not, just say goodbye. We think you’ll stay.