Domain expertise for software revenue acceleration
Some years ago, a client of ours was, not surprisingly, debating how to accelerate software revenue. Their product and target market segment both set up nicely for a classic reseller channel - yet their efforts over several years had met with very limited success.
Our client's conclusion was equally unsurprising: the resellers simply lacked the necessary product knowledge, and their ability to grasp the finer points of the software was lacking. Sounds familiar?
It is a relatively common complaint at many software companies: the customers/resellers/partners/salespeople (circle the appropriate group(s), please) just aren't smart enough/skilled enough for our software to sell effectively. And very often it is noted that the group of people in question just don't have "domain expertise in our software."
That observation is almost always correct when seen from the development department of the software vendor: the supporters know less than the developers, the salespeople less than the supporters, the channel partners less again, and finally we find the hapless customer who is near zero in domain expertise in the vendor's product.
But if we flip around the point of departure, what the customer does have is domain expertise in the problem or process the vendor's software is intended to help solve. And the vendor's channel partner will have a relatively good grasp of the customer's process, but still less than the customer's own personnel. Backtracking all the way back to the software vendor's development department, it is there we find the least amount of domain expertise in the customer's situation.
So it's almost a law of nature that these most/least combinations fall along a relatively orderly spectrum. As one domain expertise falls, the other one rises. They work nicely together to make sure that the most important items at each locale get addressed properly.
It is the task of a software vendor to make sure that each link in the chain from its own development all the way to the end user gets just the right dose of software domain expertise. Then, assuming that the software product indeed solves the target market segment's problem, software revenue acceleration will follow.