A blog for the enterprise open source community
Selling open sourceJay Lyman, March 24, 2010 @ 1:26 am ET
We’ve just published our latest CAOS special report, ‘Closing the deal with community,’ which covers how software sales and marketing can be very different, but can also be very advantageous when the product is open source software.
Among our findings:
Sales and marketing for open source can be less expensive, but is nearly as often a case of spending differently.
The Web is an integral part of successful sales and marketing, lead response, community building and conversion with open source software.
Non-open source software vendors are leveraging SaaS, cloud computing and their own communities to emulate and imitate some open source advantages.
Open source software vendors still maintain differentiation and reputation among commercial users that appreciate its benefits.
While open source vendors generally consider sales and marketing to be an equal or greater challenge compared to traditional software, they also consistently consider open source an advantage when it comes to sales and marketing.
Given many of the sales and marketing professionals at open source vendors have roots at traditional software vendors, they take many of the traditional sales and marketing tools and software to open source sales and marketing.
Key sales and marketing challenges for open source-focused vendors are: differentiation from community versions, registering and tracking users and choosing the most qualified leads among thousands or millions of downloads and users.
We also found that rather than focusing on conversion of unpaid community users to paid users, most open source vendors are more focused on simply growing their ecosystems and pools of users, particularly when the vendor is younger. As they mature, open source vendors then focus more on refining their sales and marketing approach and conversion.
We will be presenting a webinar on the report soon. Stay tuned to 451 CAOS Theory for details.
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