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Over the past few years we have been adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach to software development, but it’s all about to change. The typical size company for our core product www.proworkflow.com is 10-20 staff. However we’ve been approached many times by larger companies with 50-1000 staff. Simply put, we missed out on most of these larger sales due to the ‘structure of the app’ – Let me explain, here are the general problems…

Software Considerations for 1-50 user accounts

  • Typically ‘Flat’ structured business at this size
  • Permissions need to be set ‘per user’
  • Single office setup
  • Basic reporting
  • Suits ‘Subscription’ delivery model
  • Quick easy email support
  • Contract: Simple terms and conditions of use
  • Typical sales cycle – 1-4 weeks

Software Considerations for 50-100 user accounts

  • Either ‘Flat or Hierarchal’ structured business at this size
  • Permissions need to be set ‘per user or per role’
  • Single office, multiple teams setup
  • Comprehensive team and role based reporting
  • Suits ‘Subscription or code download’ delivery model
  • Email support, basic user training required
  • Contract: Simple terms and conditions of use / basic support contract
  • Typical sales cycle – 3-6 months

Software Considerations for 100-1000+ user accounts

  • Typically ‘Hierarchal’ structured business at this size
  • Multiple offices, multiple teams or divisions setup
  • Comprehensive team, role, and division based reporting
  • Suits ‘code download or dedicated server’ delivery model
  • Email support, user training required, train the ‘trainers’ at customer end
  • Contract: Simple terms and conditions of use
  • Full support contract
  • Typical sales cycle – 6-12+ months

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So how have we approached these different business structures?
We have a solid solution, but the two main problems here are:

  1. There are 2x different ‘Software’ approaches needed: ‘Flat structure and Hierarchal’
  2. There are 2x different ‘Selling’ approaches needed: ‘Low inertia and High inertia’
    Note: ‘Low inertia’ means little effort to sell, ‘High inertia’ means large effort to sell.

As such, we are working on an ‘Enterprise’ edition of ProWorkflow to effectively target and offer to the larger companies. This will be virtually the same as the current ‘Professional’ version of ProWorkflow but with: Roles, Teams, Divisions & comprehensive reporting (and more). In addition, the delivery will need to change:

  1. More ‘hands on’ sales processes (ie: calls, demos, meetings etc)
  2. Longer trial periods
  3. Offering dedicated servers and source code installations
  4. Support contracts

Important Point…
It is crucial to always remember that it’s not all about ‘Us, the seller’. When selling to any company, always remember that sales process, product design and delivery should be geared towards what’s best for the customer. When selling a ‘solution’ you need to ‘solve problems’, not create them!
Always look at your sales process, product, delivery, websites, terms etc and ask the question:
“How can I REALLY help my customers business?”

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About the author:
Julian Stone, CEO – Project, Task & Time Management specialist for: ProActiveSoftware.com, ProWorkflow.com & Julian101.com

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About The Author:
Julian Stone begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting is the CEO of ProActive Software, developers and creators of the leading web based project management software http://www.proworkflow.com.