Next week at LSA 19 in beautiful Dana Point, CA (which will be a nice respite for a polar vortex victim like me), I’ll be running a workshop called “Demystifying the All in One Solution”, that will unpack why all in ones are such a thing and offer some strategies for local media sellers to sell them effectively.

The LSA’s Tech Adoption Index small business survey has consistently demonstrated through three waves of data that small business operators are looking for a single solution that does all or most of what they need to do to run their businesses, from marketing through payroll. As the chart below shows, 65% of small business decision makers would welcome one login and one bill for all their cloud software requirements. this as the highest reading among the three waves of Tech Adoption Index surveys.

Yet today very few SMBs actually take full advantage of all in one software, even when it’s offered by a solutions provider they already use. One case in point is Zoho, which calls itself the “Business Operating System.” When Zoho’s president Raj Sabhlok spoke at LSA 18 he acknowledged that the average Zoho One customer used four apps, when the entire suite includes more than 40 available apps. This utilization rate is fairly typical.

One theory regarding the all-in-one solution is that to really succeed, there needs to be a vertical component. On a recent Above the Cloud podcast, SurePath Capital founder Mark MacLeod argued that restaurants may be the first category where a single player will dominate the restaurant vertical with a comprehensive business operations solution.

Also on Above the Cloud, small business tech guru Gene Marks argued that the reason verticals make sense for all in one software is that each category has just enough specialization that a generic solution isn’t adequate.

“Most small businesses are the same — or 80% of what they do is the same across all businesses,” Gene said. “But there is that 20% that is unique about your business. And there has been no software business that has been able to handle that 20% without a lot of customization.”

During the session next week at LSA 19 (Tuesday at 3 pm in the Dana Ballroom), we’ll kick around all the strategic and tactical issues surrounding going to market with full stack SMB software solutions.

I’ll be joined by Eran Feldman from Camilyo, one of the companies out there pitching all in one solutions, and Francisco Sánchez Fernández, the CMO of Seccion Amarilla, the Mexican local search giant that is out there selling the full stack. After setting the stage for why the full stack is a thing and why it’s hard to sell, we’ll grill Eran and Fernando on how they get around these challenges.

I wrote about this topic last year in the Camilyo-commissioned report, The All-in-One Sales Challenge, which I encourage you to download and read.Also, in January we conducted a webinar on the subject. You can catch the replay here.

 

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