Let’s talk about - Selling Software is Tougher than Selling Anything Else

Let me start with the disclaimer that I am not going to state any statistics in this article. These are purely my personal convictions, just my two cents. I am here to talk about my experience with enterprise software sales. I have had my share of physical product sales, from a one week sales job at Toyota. I know — impressive! Since a full-week job at the dealership and my classes clashed, I had to abandon the quick incentives and the thrilling closeness to the automobile industry. But, not before I could make a deal to sell in that week. Of course, with an established brand, I didn’t have to prove much other than my mettle. After that, when coming to the digital marketing and promotions world, I found it much much harder to impress buyers.

I firmly believe that a physical product would sell better in a consumerist world with intense demand, rather than a software product that has a niche of buyers. After getting bashed in Reddit and doing my share of experimental promotions there, I felt a need to put it out there. Selling software technology is so so much tougher than selling anything else. And, when your line of product is fresh or innovative, the speculations are darting from all directions.

My first point is thus that the demand for physical goods are higher compared to computer software goods. Plainly due to the fact that a small minority around the world are tech savvy. If you have noticed the ads on Facebook, a couple flashy product pictures and discount offers instantly attract a lot of users. I keep wondering why there is so little mistrust down the lines of comments for them.

Skepticism is in human nature, at least after a prior experience. It is in abundance for people to doubt everything, and very few of us impulsively take the leap of faith. People then start to believe in vibes, and auras when it comes to choosing: because there is no magic way to say if something is genuine.

Given, that many around us are willingly conning people. Yet, I believe that no solid system of verification exist, except the patience it requires to do that verification. To add to that, to doubt is easier and is perceived a better strategy, the better move, and the more intellectual path than to take the dive to slip and fall. ‘It is simply less humiliating’.

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. — Jim Rohn

There must be about a hundred quotes of well-known people, asking you to take the risk. Maybe, no, certainly they have had to try and sell whatever it is that they are famous for. These difficulties are not foreign to other aspects of life, from relationships, personal affairs to spirituality and beyond.

I was reading Phil Knight’s Nike story — ‘Shoe Dog’ in the past month. In those times (the 1970s) Phil had to do all the direct, manual marketing and never really believed in advertisements. Nike had to ensure quality and integrity in what it sold. It would be years later when digital marketing came and when consumerism boomed the choices of products became abundant. I mean to say that, maybe that is why only quality products succeeded in those days. Today, with virtual buying in place, anyone can get away with a few sales through social media promotions, fake product reviews and misleading PR.

These high-selling points and under deliveries make it harder for those doing genuine business and has something good to offer. We are just one in a million proposals, and enterprise businesses have a long way to go before the world starts noticing. Holding up to the criticisms, and maneuvering through growth strategies, one day we will reach there. I would like to sign off with this one more quote, as an encouragement to those others who are struggling to promote their brand and product.

I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. — Audre Lorde

…And this meme some of us can relate to:

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