Essay on Sales and Tom Ingram

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High Impact Projects
A Newsletter About Solutions and Creating Exceptional Value

Software Company Narrows Focus from
1 Million Prospects to 40 – Closes 30 Sales in First Year!
After 3 Years of Revenues Less than $2 Million, Sales Soar to
$75 Million in 4 Years!
Systems Produce Paybacks for Clients of more than 10-to-1
Stopped Trying to Sell to Information Technology Department – Found
Line Executives With An Urgent Need to Buy
CEO Found a Way to Reduce Risk and Capture Financial Upside
A Repeatable Pattern Emerges
Compiled by Tom Ingram, PMPi

Before Jeff Miller took over as CEO,
Documentum had suffered three years of flat revenues, never exceeding $2 million per year.
After Miller took
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By focusing on the area which your customer has

the greatest payback, they have the most to gain economically from purchasing from you quickly. Assuming you can consistently deliver this payback, it is much easier to get
Niche 2, Niche 3 and Niche 4 going after you have a strong set of happy customers behind you. Subsequent
Documentum’s initial success in the regulatory affairs department, they spread to other niches in every department within pharmaceutical companies. Then they spread to other businesses with similar regulatory problems
(regulated chemicals, oil refineries, etc.) This included a big win in the document management area for oil and gas exploration and production companies, where Documentum helped them manage the property/lease/royalty paperwork. This approach is often called the bowling pin model, because you set up the initial niche as a “headpin”, knock it down and that makes it substantially easier to “knock down the following pins”.
This approach also helps you keep a controlled risk (or cash burn rate) by requiring the software company to demonstrate that it can find and close customers with an urgent need to buy, one niche at a time.
Changes to Software Product Offered:
Note that Documentum had the discipline to stay focused on the needs of very tightly defined sets of customers.
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