Value delivery and sales : A qualitative case study on how IT-startups can improve their sales process

University essay from Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi; Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi

Abstract: Many entrepreneurs pursue the IT-industry, which is characterized by opportunities and international growth. However, due to failures in sales, marketing and operations, many IT-startups never reach profitability and sustainable performance.  On behalf of the IT-startup Realbridge, the authors have been asked to investigate how their sales process can be made more efficient. By identifying elements in the sales process, the authors can provide suggestions supported by theories and qualitative data on how Realbridge and similar companies can redesign and improve their sales process. The study further investigates the role of sales in the business model and how a changed sales process impact value delivery and innovate the business model. Consequently, the thesis aims to answer the following research questions: How does a firm’s sales process impact value delivery in the business model? How can small IT-companies similar to Realbridge and their product improve their sales process efficiency? This degree project has several purposes. Firstly, it aims to further investigate the role of sales in value delivery in the business model. This will extend knowledge and research on value delivery and sales, and will further investigate the relationship between components of the business model. Secondly, it will serve as a guide for managers in IT-firms on how they can improve the sales process. Thirdly, it will create an understanding of how IT-firms similar to Realbridge can develop or innovate their business model in terms of changed value delivery, key activities and sales process. As the aim of this study is to extend knowledge in the business model and sales literature, as well as analyze Realbridge’s sales process and culminate in recommendations on how IT-startups can increase their sales efficiency, this degree project takes form as a qualitative case study. Interviews have been conducted with interviewees in four different organizations with three different perspectives: Realbridge’s perspective, customer in the car dealership industry’s perspective and non-customer in the car dealership industry’s perspective. The data has been processed in accordance to thematic analysis. The analysis has led the authors to the conclusion that a changed sales process impact value delivery and consequently innovate the business model. It is also found that the sales process impact value creation and capture. Moreover, in order to effectively design a sales process, Realbridge and similar companies must effectively segment the market, focus on fewer segments initially and target them according to their expected financial contribution. They should state and communicate a specific value proposition related to the approached segment’s main needs. Furthermore, customer preferences have to be accounted for in terms of sales channels and type of relationships, and it can be seen as a financial risk to maximize value creation and value delivery for all customers.

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