This week our teams had the privilege to ask our alumni, Fred Dixon, questions about selling. Fred, after all, is the brains behind our sales module (knowledge and skills honed after years of blood, sweat, tears and progress!). He is also one of our esteemed menschen. So it’s no surprise he was on the call.
That said, some rather interesting (and dare we say surprising) points came of our discussion. Specifically:
- Depending on where you are in your product and company lifecycle, you may not choose to publish your pricing. For example, in the case of BlindSideNetworks (Fred’s company that provides services for the BigBlueButton project), they’ve made a deliberate choice to not publish the pricing. This allows them to pursue leads that have a genuine interest in the product (enough to research the pricing), and provides direct contact with potential customers that elicits lots of product and feature input.
- Being open source can serve as a lead generation advantage. The fact that BigBlueButton is already available to developers has diminished - if not eliminated - the cold calling that Fred used to do for other organizations. Instead, it’s a known quantity and prospects have specific issues rather than the initial “adoption” purchase they’d need to make with proprietary solutions. To quote Fred, “it gives you a big funnel.”
- That said, reaping the benefits of adopting an open source strategy often takes time. The BlindSide team has spent a few years investing in its BigBlueButton community and is now seeing growth (currently at 7 employees after 4 years). Similarly, the initial Drupal developers poured lots of labor into Drupal before going on to found Acquia, the commercial entity based on Drupal that went on to raise private capital and be voted one fo Forbes 100 Promising Companies in 2011.
We encourage you to check out Fred’s module, where he provides invaluable lessons and principles for generating sales. Like most worthwhile endeavors, the work can be hard, but the fruit is there!
We love Fred just as much as we love revenues!