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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The Truth About Software Startups via Rajesh(www.emergic.org)

It’s not the size of the budget but how it is used that determines success or failure of the enterprise. The authors closely examined the common characteristics of the 61 “successful” and 39 “unsuccessful” companies that met their criteria and interviewed industry executives as well as academics to provide a real-world context for their findings. A key finding is that sales-force productivity is an excellent predictor of long-term success. “Sales-force productivity is the critical differentiator,” says Crisan. “In successful firms, sales forces are 80% to 120% more productive than in unsuccessful ones.”

Moreover, the authors found that, on average, total sales and marketing expense had no relationship to long-term company success. Successful companies spent about the same on sales and marketing as companies that failed. In fact, operational research conducted with Jim Maikranz, former senior vice president of sales at SAP AG, and Michael Krupka and Jeffrey Schwartz, both managing directors at Bain, has led the authors to conclude that sales success is not about how much a company spends. “It’s about developing a finely honed, repeatable sales message that will resonate with customers,” Crisan points out. “Only after this has been achieved can a software firm effectively grow both its sales and its sales organization.”
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