A good reliable product is the foundation for commercial success in the B2B software market, but leaders do marketing really well. They create awareness and develop mind share with buyers. Buyers like to buy successful products as its viewed as safer. In the 80’s the saying was “no one gets fired for buying IBM”. In the late 90’s, Siebel became the dominant CRM, even though the product was difficult to use and expensive to manage. Siebel was known for being a company that was difficult to deal with. But they did marketing really well and became the safe choice for large firms. Today, Microsoft and Salesforce both have strong CRM solutions. But Salesforce is the market leader based on stronger marketing and sales.
The lesson for software product companies is to not under estimate the importance of a strong marketing program, to generate awareness, demand and support your sales force. Successful sales people are attracted to companies with strong marketing, as it helps them achieve their financial goals. And successful sales people will help to drive more sales.