What kind of software could be sold to a large company in one week?


In my experience, it takes around a year to sell software to a large company. I have seen it getting done in three months, but it is very seldom. Therefore, my question is whether you know of any software, which you believe could get sold to a whole department within one week. My reason for asking is that I am interested in creating or acquiring such software and use it to gain a first presence in the company. From there, I could sell other software so much easier by calling them upgrades, plug-ins etc.

EDIT: I am talking about software, which runs locally in the enterprise, and not a cloud solution.

Marketing Strategy Selling Tactics

asked May 23 '11 at 04:50
1,567 points
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4 Answers


Probably something that an individual would buy and that is better if their colleagues use it (network effects). I'm thinking of things like Xobni or Evernote but I can't come up with too many examples because I use very little desktop software. Can you break one one small feature of the product and sell it on its own?

Does it really need to happen in one week though? Instead of one week of active selling, what if you provided a stream of information (such as a blog) that would deliver value and eventually (over 3-9 months) convert visitors into buying an introductory product or the main product you want to sell?

answered May 23 '11 at 06:34
474 points
  • That is a really nice idea! The problem with converting over such a long time is that I will get very slow feedback on whether conversion will happen at all. – David 13 years ago
  • If you only try one thing it will take a long time to see if it works - if you try several different approaches you can compare them earlier since some people won't take as long. There's nothing certain in sales :) – Richardg 13 years ago


The only time I can imagine a scenario in which an Enterprise would purchase software within a a one week period would be a solution to a critical bleeding pain: A security breach, a pending SEC violations, a BI solution which can confirm/deny internal nefarious activities, operational software for managing during a flood/whiteout/radiation leak.

You get the idea.

Enterprises companies purchasing takes a long time because -- well, there are lots of reasons and that wasn't really the question -- but let's just say there are lots of them. Some are entirely reasonable and understood. Others, well not so much. No matter what the reasons, they are there and very difficult to "end run."

Absent a "bleeding pain" solution -- I believe the up-sell from a personal solution to an enterprise level solution as mentioned by @richardg and @elie is your best bet in this innovative and creative marketing/sales strategy.

Creating an individual version of the critical function of your application and make it usable within a corporate firewall -- ideally so the user will not even need to secure permission from the IT gatekeepers. Become essential-- and let them be your advocates for the sale of an enterprise version.

answered May 23 '11 at 13:52
Joseph Barisonzi
12,141 points
  • I totally agree on the bleeding pain point. Also - considering who you need to get involved in a deal to have software purchased (mainly IT - who can stop a deal dead) - I'd say the type of software would need to be hosted (Cloud/SaaS) - take that objection right out of their hands. – Mateo Ferreira 13 years ago


You are always going to run into spending authority limitations. If you want to sell quickly, you have to sell to someone who has the budget and can make the decision alone. You also have to be able to get to this person. So my quick answer is get your price in line with this reality and you will have the best shot at selling quickly.

answered May 24 '11 at 02:49
Kenneth Vogt
2,917 points


At one company where I worked, a bunch of the developers went and bought copies of Beyond Compare for doing source code comparisons. Eventually, the company bought a commercial license, but until the process ran its route, single people in the company were already paying for it out of pocket because it worked.

Not a fast approach, but as richardg said, it can get you into a company, perhaps already making money, and pave the route for the full version of the software.

answered May 23 '11 at 10:24
4,692 points

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