USI versus Salesforce: A Strategic Marketing Lesson
I worked with the sales teams of both USI and Salesforce in their early days.
One flopped and one skyrocketed.
The difference is that USI tried to broadly sell software as a service to everyone. They did not focus on a single application. They did not focus on a specific market.
Salesforce did what Geoffrey Moore recommended.
They sold CRM systems to sales teams.
They didn’t try to expand their market until they had a core following and clear place in the market.
As salespeople who had used Salesforce moved to different companies, their reputation grew.
The lesson to learn is that honing in on the specific needs of a target market will always trump an attempt to serve everyone.
Start-ups are a bit like a nuclear reaction. Your market needs to be small enough, and you need to focus enough energy on it, to set off a chain reaction. In the case of a startup that chain reaction is word of mouth.
If you need help kicking off that chain reaction, please contact me at (703) 966-0192 to discuss how to focus your sales team.