Glassdoor Case Study – 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…

Gainsight Case Study – 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.…

Five Secrets to Gaining Great Competitive Intelligence

For B2B Tech Companies As I discussed in my last post, competitive intelligence is not something that can simply be summoned on demand through a few hours of Internet research. Good intelligence is amassed over a period of months or years by collecting snippets from various disparate conversations.  Here are five of the ways that I have seen good intelligence…

Competitive Intelligence – Where Not to Look

“We need more competitive intelligence about <insert competitor name>. They are kicking our a$& in the market.” I suspect that this statement has been made by every single sales leader on the planet at one point in the past 12 months. The sales leader usually starts this rant in a meeting with CEO, but the conversation quickly travels down the…

Category Leaders Redefine How their Customers View Success

Category leaders disrupt their target industries by redefining the metrics and KPIs used to benchmark success. The process starts by investing heavily in projects that make early adopters successful. Once the desired outcome has been achieved, category leaders get their early adopter customers to become evangelists for their vision. They invest to get the customers on the public stage to…

Category Leaders Re-Invent the Technology Platform in their Markets

Most new software vendors have a vision for how they can make better use of technology to solve a customer’s problem.  But category leaders are more ambitious than most. They don’t just want their customers to buy a specific, point product (e.g. electronic invoicing). Instead they want their customers to buy an entire application suite (e.g. procure-to-pay).  Category leaders don’t…

Category Leaders Force Customers to Re-imagine their Business Processes

Every B2B software company defines a value proposition for its products. But most software companies limit their thinking to incremental improvements on the status quo. Some focus on cost savings through incremental process efficiencies in the operations, supply chain, and service delivery functions.  Others target top-line revenue growth through incremental productivity gains in marketing and sales.  And others seek to…

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…