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February 25, 2011


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Hi Dennis,

You are correct - the idea that open source vendors (even specialists like Red Hat) have no sales teams is complete nonsense.

The 451 Group last year published an in-depth report assessing the impact of an open source strategy on sales and marketing techniques. The main finding was that sales and marketing for OSS specialists can be less expensive but is equally likely to be a case of spending differently.

We found that while open source reduces the need for some traditional resources, such as direct salespeople, customer visits, sales offices and market research, it pushes more of the work and investment to the Web and in-bound marketing activities.

Red Hat and others have developed sophisticated lead analysis strategies to ensure that they are not wasting time and energy attempting to sell to community users. Just because you have 1,000 downloads, does not mean you have 1,000 potential customers banging down your door.

More details here: http://blogs.the451group.com/opensource/2010/03/24/selling-open-source/

Dennis Byron

Thanks for the comment Matt

Sounds like interesting research. Just hope you're wrong about market research :) or you and I will have to find new jobs.


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