Software Sales Business Growth Strategies… Focus on the Basics

May 25, 2010

Before I joined OpenView Partners, a Boston venture capital firm, I spent 27 years building my skills as an operationally focused executive in the software industry. I owe a lot of my success to getting management teams to continually focus on the basics or fundamentals of the business. In fact as an operationally focused venture capital partner, I continue to do the same today only with expansion stage software companies in which we have invested growth capital.

Each year as we set out to develop our business growth strategies and operational support models, I would reinforce the need for each management team within sales, lead generation services, business development services, presales support, operational finance etc., to keep their teams focused on execution around the basics for their respective operational areas.

So when I was reading May 2010 McKinsey quarterly paper from their Marketing & Sales Practices group, I realized it would be worthwhile to share it with founders, CEO’s and management teams of early and expansion stage software companies as part of my blog.

The title of the paper “The Basics of business-to-business sales success” is what caught my eye but the content is what resonated with me. In their research they identified the behaviors by sales reps that customers identified as the “most destructive“.

The top 2 (These accounted for 55% of the “most destructive” behaviors) where;

  • Lack of knowledge about either their products or those of their competitors 
  • Too much contact (In person, by phone or via email) 

What is amazing to me is both these behaviors are relatively easy to fix and in the paper they talk about methods and approaches to do so.

Check out the article… it may help you improve the performance of your sales teams.

All the best!


Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.