Enterprise Software Sales Is Hardball


Enterprise software pushing products clients don't need? I hope your arm feels better after all that twisting, but I can't help glomming onto this building nonsequitur blogo-debate about enterprise software suppliers being out to take advantage of you in licensing and maintenance deals. Sorry -- it's a "Dog Bites Man" story.


Of course, he or she wants to sell you something you don't need. Enterprise software marketing is no different than the rest of life. The marketplace is adversarial. Your enterprise software sales guy does not invite you out to play golf because of your 22 handicap (unless he or she's a 3 and has your team in the Calcutta so that all you have to do is contribute one hole for a big payoff).


Do you need some form of protection from these dastardly predators other than common sense? Joe McKendrick offers good advice on the subject: Organize! Similarly, I have discussed both participation in user groups and standards groups here and here.


But who has the time? And how much of a problem is this really?


From years of interviewing thousands of you one-on-one and in large statistically significant pools, I can certify that you all know the rules of the game. You know enough to invite the guy in the polo shirt and the guy with the gold chains to your office in a time sequence so one sees the other leaving. You drink your coffee from the Oracle cup when the IBM guy is in leaving you your own polo shirt. You know enough to wait until the last week of the quarter to sign on the dotted line.


And the enterprise software market is one of the most choice-filled of any you participate in, from a business perspective or personally. The enterprise software market leader - the guy that governments all over the world chase relentlessly for anti-trust behavior -- has only 20 percent of the market. Compare that to corn flakes or overnight package delivery choices.


And unlike with cornflakes or overnight package delivery, you can write your own software if you want. Spend your time worrying about other things, like getting the tomatoes in if you live in the Northern Hemisphere.