How Category Leaders Help Customers Redefine Success

Historically, most software application vendors shied away from helping their customers define metrics for success. The traditional behind-the-firewall software vendors of the 1980s and 1990s were focused on selling customers on the vision, but had little involvement in helping to implement the vision. Software vendors collected upfront payments from perpetual license fees then moved on to the next account. Achieving…

How Category Leaders Disrupt the Org Chart

Traditionally, software companies have made relatively little investment in their user communities. Most will offer training programs, but the primary motivation for these offerings is to reduce the number of calls coming into the technical support phone line and website. But category leaders do training because they want to. They view it as strategic. It supports their mission and vision.…

Four Common Flaws in Channel Sales Strategies

In a recent post, I shared that in my experience nine out of ten channel partnerships in the area of complex B2B solutions fail. The struggles are often blamed on poor execution in the field or poor alignment of compensation. However, channel partnership failures are not always the result of sales leadership or sales operations mistakes. Many channel partnerships are…

Nine Out of Ten Channel Partnerships Fail

In the world of B2B software everyone wants to get someone else to sell their products. If you can find another company that already has relationships with your target buyers, then you can not only lower customer acquisition costs, but also accelerate growth. While many software CEOs share this dream of leveraging external sales channels to expand distribution, very few…

Specialization of the Modern Software Sales Team

In my last few posts I discussed the transformation of software sales organizations over the past decade. Ten years ago, the sales rep was the single point of contact, managing every aspect of a deal cycle.  Today, in the modern sales organization the sales rep acts more like a  quarterback coordinating a team of specialized resources. Teams such as lead…

Organizational Design of the Modern Software Sales Team

In my last post, I outlined how the organizational design of the modern software sales organization offloads almost every important aspect of a deal cycle from the rep to specialized functions. Account development teams generate the leads. Solution Consultants deliver the demos. Value Engineers calculate ROI. Bid Management responds to proposals. The Deal Desk negotiates pricing. And Customer Success renews…

Software Sales Reps Don’t Do Anything

With each passing year, software sales representatives are doing less and less of the work required to close a deal. It was not long ago when software sales reps played a critical role in all aspects of a deal. The sales rep generated the leads, demonstrated the product, explained the value proposition, developed the formal proposal, negotiated the pricing and…