Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

June 16, 2009

David Taber

Who Needs Leads?

There isn’t a software sales team on the planet who’ll say they have enough leads. But what if “more leads” is the wrong answer... to the wrong question?

By David Taber, Taber Consulting

In high-tech marketing, most of the attention is paid to lead generation and piling more prospects into the pipeline. If you remember the movie “Glengarry, Glen Ross,” Alec Baldwin held the pile of Glengarry leads like they were sacred.

Problem is, most leads just aren’t worth that much. The vast majority of them will never go anywhere, and too many marketing programs are a waste. Worse, sales reps - the best-paid individual contributors in the company - waste time and effort on duds. In the Enterprise sales model, the true cost of acquiring a new customer can easily exceed $40,000. While follow-on business makes for cash-flow, the initial cost of growing your customer base makes for a serious cash burn.

Of course small companies need to start somewhere: customers don’t come out of thin air. But with a failure rate of 95% or more, you have to ask yourself “who needs leads?”


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Evangelos SimoudisEvangelos Simoudis takes a closer look at cloud-based business intelligence solutions in this post to the Blog on cloud computing.

Publish Your Perspective! wants your opinions. Send your thoughts on the enterprise software industry to editor, Maryann Jones Thompson ( and have your opinions published on our site.

Where IT Infrastructure and Business Strategy Meet

CIOs and CTOs should take the lead in explaining how IT infrastructure creates business value - especially in challenging times. Read more in this article from The McKinsey Quarterly.

News Update: Budgetary Woes

CIOs deal with recessionary ramifications; plus, Oracle's controlling machinations, Amazon's lightning strike and McAfee's malware workshop. Read these stories and more software news of the week in the latest Software News Summary.

Poll: Are Leads Obsolete?

How important are leads in the enterprise software sales process today?
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Last week, readers speculated as to whether ISVs are ignoring the second ‘S’ in ‘SaaS.’
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

More at

Adobe launches competitor to Google Docs.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

Mimosa Systems received $3 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

Mobile enterprise application platform Antenna Software bought Dexterra.
Size up last week’s software M&A deals >>

SmartZip named Tom Glassanos president and CEO.
See who’s made it to the top in our list of recent software executive appointments.

Send us your feedback on this newsletter and the site.

Parting Thought

“The country is full of good coaches. What it takes to win is a bunch of interested players.”
— Don Coryell

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group



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