Challenge selling disuptive technology?


Ok so our software is typically sold to a large company who can force their vendors to deliver information to them electronically. On the other hand our same software can cater to a company who needs to send documents to their customers electronically.

Ideal scenario would be to sell to an SME rather that have to sell to a large corp a) because sales cycle much shorter: B) Less political

Challenge is SME have no power to force their customers of vendors to work electronically with them to deliver information plus they often lack and sophistication.

Any ideas how we can sell to smaller companies?


asked Apr 27 '10 at 05:29
484 points
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1 Answer


The problem you have is that your product is going to cost the vendor's money in order to comply with its requirements for your customers. They aren't going to do that unless there is a large negative incentive to not complying. Small company's generally cannot force this to happen.

Whenever you have a product whose sale requires a third party with no vested interest in the direct ROI of your product, that product is going to be a tough sale.

For example, a company I started a while back made radio modules for the automated meter reading market. Our customer's were the OEM's that made the equipment to sell to the Utilities. Although we offered a better price and better performance than the other options, the utilities pushed back because of the implications of laying off route drivers. And since utility companies are bigger than any OEM we would work with, we lost. Of course, now there is a big push for this kind of technology, and the political capital gained from being "green" is pushing the utilities to products based on technology like what we made.

So, in the end, I think you are going to have a challenge unless you can change the rules of the game. Does your product offer ROI to the vendors? If so, start selling it to them via articles, white papers, presentations, etc.. Start a SIG related to your product field and get key decision makers at the Vendors to join in. Try to build political will with the vendors, and they will tell your customers to buy from you.

This is the approach that they Zigbee radio technology group took and they have done very well in a busy we struggled in, even though we had better tech at a better price.

Hope this helps.

answered Apr 27 '10 at 07:11
Steve Montgomery
179 points

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