Consumers Buy Products, Enterprises Buy Platforms

The buying behavior of consumers versus enterprises can be characterized by the difference between products and platforms. A product is a specific solution to a problem or problem area whereas platforms are frameworks for implementing present and future workflows. This explains why, as businesses grow larger they start to buy from Oracle, Workday, etc. they’ve outgrown what a single product can do.

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See also:

  • What Does Customer Success Do at a Startup?

    At an early-stage B2B SaaS startup, customer success has one responsibility: make sure customers don’t churn. The causes of churn are bad onboarding (users fail to find value quickly enough) and not making contact frequently. Both should be addressed by customer success.

  • Tools Are Bought, Transformations Are Sold

    Tools are something that a business finds familiar. There is a category and a known list of things it should do. There are good tools and bad tools to buy and it’s usually obvious which ones are the good ones.

  • Passion for One’s Tools Is Part of What Makes Product-Led Growth Successful

    Driving word of mouth needed for product-led growth comes from a passion for one’s tools. This can be hard to attain for categories of products that aren’t all that interesting. Someone might brag about how one email client is better than another, but what about an ERP?

  • A Hundred Things to Organize

    Whenever there are a hundred things or more in a process someone is doing, there is a recognition that “there must be a better way”. A hundred items are the upper bound of what one can reasonably track manually. A hundred items indicate that the process is more complicated than one thought.

  • Improving Tail Latency Improves Reliability, UX, and Sales

    Focusing on continuously improving p99.9 latency (long tail latency) not only improves overall latency, it necessitates more reliable systems, better user experience, and enables more enterprise sales who tend to want contractual obligations around p50 latency.

  • Sell Solutions Not Software

    When you sell software, the buyer considers whether or not they need more software. When you sell solutions, the buyer considers whether or not this solves their burning problem. It’s more effective to sell a solution (even if it’s packaged as software) so the buyer can see exactly how it addresses their pain and how it compares to their current way of solving the problem.