Small ISV takes on the enterprise……

…….and loses (more often than not).

Why is it so hard for small companies to sell to enterprise customers?  Ed French has an interesting insight in relation to vendor financial stability, and the high failure rate of enterprise implementations generally, pointing out that:

“A vendor that’s still around for a project that failed is perhaps no more useful than having a successful implementation where the vendor has gone out of business!”

However, financial risk is only one of many buying criteria and, whilst this is largely outside the control of the vendor, other criteria are more addressable.

Decision making in the enterprise is so much more complex than for individuals or SMBs.  Small ISVs need to understand that and make the buying decision easier for the customer.  This can relate to pricing to match budget mandates, breaking down projects into smaller pieces, running a cheap pilot (hey guys its really tough for small companies to do free pilots!), providing case studies and reference site(s) and working hard to understand the enterprise’s mode of action and priorities (growth/maturity/defence/cost cutting etc).  Finally small ISVs have to pay even more attention to building personal relationships that lead to trust.

If you are interested in tech investing, run a small tech company with growth ambitions, deal with VC backed companies, or just interested in tech trends, check out Ed’s blog at  Ed is one of very few UK VCs who blog and for the purposes of disclosure, one of his funds is an investor in Blue Prism.  That’s not the only reason I subscribe to his blog though!

One Response to “Small ISV takes on the enterprise……”

  1. Ed French Says:


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