This post is revised and republished from Carl’s blog at Crain’s Detroit Business.
How should you build your next innovative product or service? One major consideration is whether to do the work inside your company or outsource it. I’ve identified some key dimensions of this problem to help you think through your choice. I’m assuming you have a project large enough to need at least a small team of people, that the stakes are high for you and your company, that time-to-market matters, but is not the overriding factor and that your company is large enough to have employees to consider using. Read more on To In-source or to Out-source? 9 Questions to Ask Potential Teams…
Let’s look at a hypothetical situation. You have a medical issue requiring surgery. While there are many surgeons that could get the job done, each one has their own level of ability and skill. Through their choices, the surgeon will affect overall “quality” of the operation — which procedure is used, cosmetic results, general odds of success, and how any unforeseen complications will be dealt with. The surgeon won’t have a complete picture of the situation until the operation is underway, and even then surprises are possible, so overall skill is essential.
If faced with this choice, how do you determine which surgeon to hire? It’s not easy when risks are (potentially) high and your technical understanding of the field is low. Your choice could have a potentially dramatic effect on the outcome, and there’s no going back.
I imagine that this is very similar to how it feels to be tasked with selecting a firm to develop custom software for your business.
Buying custom software design and development services, especially for the first time, can be scary. There is clearly a knowledge imbalance between you and your service provider. They (hopefully) understand the effort required to successfully build your product, and you don’t. This puts you at risk of being taken advantage of.
When I first started helping with sales, lots of the language, acronyms, and documents associated with enterprise sales opportunities were a big mystery to me. Being observant and listening closely helped me quickly build my enterprise lexicon, but it was not until I had personally worked the full sales cycle all the way from new opportunity to completed product that I fully understood the reasoning behind all the extra enterprise stuff.
The goal of this post is to help demystify the terminology, documents, and process associated with an enterprise sale. I will cover the major components and documents. Please note, this is only a common case. Sometimes things happen in a slightly different order, and sometimes there are more mysteries to solve. Read more on Demystifying the Enterprise Sales Process…