Show Me the Money
October 8, 2009 12:29 AM   Subscribe

SellingSoftwareFilter: How do we make money from software that a colleague has developed from scratch (in Australia)?

A friend has developed a great piece of software that would be very useful to most mid-large businesses to assist in document management. There is only one other player in this specific field (a big player).

But, he is stumped as what to do next.

My question is how do we go about taking this great piece of software and making money out of it? Any suggestions would be appreciated and we are based in Australia so ideas specific to our market would be great.

Thanks in advance!
posted by micklaw to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Set up a vendor booth at trade shows and hand out free swag. Network with buyers. There are IT publications that you could advertise in, but are there trade publications that focus on document management in IT? Australian business and software groups might be a good place to develop contacts. Etc.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:02 AM on October 8, 2009

IDM is an appropriate trade magazine.
posted by cwhitfcd at 3:05 AM on October 8, 2009

As someone who did lead-generation and inside sales in a past life for a b2b software company that dealt with product information management and database publishing (similar to document management stuff in terms of target audience), you have a long, expensive road ahead of you.

First off, get a quality website designed that isn't just a digital brochure. Speak to the specific pain points of the business people you are targeting. In the course of your market research you may learn that it isn't in fact IT folks you are targeting, but perhaps designers, marketers, etc.

Next, do some research on pricing so you can price competitively.

Finally, get ready to do a lot of cold/warm calling. If you have a good website, or you have some content created to market, you can buy software sales leads (here's another company for that too but they use a different method) and you can also drive traffic to your own site with paid search advertising.

You will get a lot more bang for your buck using measurable digital programs like that, particularly with the lead purchasing programs since you know exactly how much you will be paying for a qualified lead, and in my experience the costs of those programs per qualified lead are MUCH less than paid search, which could end up costing you $150-$200 per lead (and it probably won't even be qualified). With those programs (particularly the Qualified B2B Leads one) you will be paying closer to $70 for a highly qualified lead, but you need some decent content (like a whitepaper) to run with them, although if you don't have writing skills they can handle all that for you.

Start joining trade organizations and try to get speaking gigs. Roll out a PR campaign and put out a press release.

These are all things you SHOULD do, but the reality is there is some startup capital needed. So try to figure out your funding situation. You may be better off trying to sell the rights to the product to another company.
posted by Elminster24 at 9:26 AM on October 8, 2009

Chances are good that most of the companies who might need your software aren't shopping for software, they are shopping for companies who can provide them with solutions. That means they deal with system integrators and value added resellers who can help with software selection, deployment, configuration, and migration from existing systems & processes. That is who you probably need to target first. Those are your "channel partners."

What you really need to do next is learn more about the market. What differentiates this new offfering from what the established competitor offers? Does the established player have competitors outside the niche that your software serves? Does your offering compliment their offering in a way that would help them better compete with your direct competitor? If so, they are potential partners or acquireres.
posted by Good Brain at 10:25 AM on October 8, 2009

Response by poster: Wow, thanks for the broad range of ideas - lots to consider and obviously a long road ahead.
posted by micklaw at 3:20 PM on October 8, 2009

If you are thinking short term profits... I would position your product so that you are a tempting acquisition of said big player.

Long term, it can be difficult to compete with big time players and companies that have invested a lot of time and money and infrastructure to implement their technology. The sales guys from those vendors probably have relationships with people in the companies that use their products, the staff are trained etc. If I could think of a way to do it, I'd be rich by now!
posted by Admira at 3:44 PM on October 8, 2009

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