Software is developed at a rapid pace. But development in how we sell software seems to be at a standstill since the 1980’s. Why is it that all the power of innovation went towards the product development instead of putting some effort in to developing the business model as well?
I started coding back in the late 1970’s on a 3Mhz Zilog Z80 based computer, having only16Kb RAM and a tape drive. Back then there where two ways to get and run software; you either wrote it yourself or bought code from someone you met at a computer forum.
Later in the exploding era of the 1980’s, software companies were popping up everywhere, but you still had to find out about them through a computer magazine or by word of mouth. There was no way to download and evaluate, except if you hacked in BBS forums, but usually most software was cracked. You would call the company and physically order the software you wanted or walk into a physical computer store. What a great pain it was, compared todays online access.
But the situation is not perfect yet. Vendors are still foolishly old fashion and don’t understand that we are living in 2016. Here’s how online vendors could improve:
Give me the information I want
I can browse a website for a good while without finding technical details, best practices, pricing and such. All I am left with is a contact form where I am encouraged to leave my details in order to receive information. In return I get a nice email with no information, and shortly thereafter a call from a sales rep. And I get it, of course vendors need to sell and catch inbounds, but I truly believe that not being open and transparent can affect sales negatively.
Let me try it on for size
Here we go again. I just want to download the software but what do I get? A form. A form to fill out my details and when I submit it there’s no guaranteed access to the actual file, I may just get a call from…you guessed it, a sales rep. This ridiculous approach doesn’t engage nor make it interesting for the evaluating possible client.
Time to get updated
Software companies must adapt. It doesn’t matter if the customer is asking for docker containers, “old-fashion” on-prem or SaaS and cloud services, just provide it for them! It’s all about adapting to emerging markets and being agile to deliver the best customer experience. So if you aren’t being open, transparent and fully truthful in what you do, how you do it, and provide accessibility to evaluating software, then your are stuck in the 80’s.