Each software module a company like ours develops is like a child. You conceive, develop, test and release it – hoping it will grow and have a useful life of its own.
Occasionally there is an underachiever in the family – a module not taken on by the user base.
We have one of those. It’s our marketing module. This software allows our users to trawl their customer and sales databases looking for marketing opportunities based on sales made to their clients. The result is marketing lists which can be used for calls or merged to create personalised letters. It’s smart and flexible.
We expected this to be hot software which our small business clients embraced. While sales have been good they have not set the world on fire.
So we called around and asked some people why not. It seems that they like the software but get so caught up in the day to day running of their businesses that they forget this business building opportunity is there. That was the only objection. Not price. Not the software itself. It was more about them.
We plan to turn this underachieving software into something of significant value for our user base. We’ll do that by eliminating the need for them to run the software. Instead, we’ll take the approach of more or less knocking on their door and saying hey why not write to these 20 people with an offer to lure them back. We’ll automate the trawling and look for up sell and cross sell opportunities like Amazon does so successfully through its website today.
By eliminating the need for our users to engage we might be able to make the underachieving child more of an achiever and put more money in our client’s pockets.
This is what the relationship between small business software company and its client base is all about – tangible business outcomes.