Selling TYPO3—What Salespeople Told Us

Categories: Community , Marketing Created by heather mcnamee
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Photo: Samuel-Elias Nadler / Unsplash.com (CC-0)
Here’s what sixteen salespeople told us about selling TYPO3, and what we’re doing to make their jobs easier so TYPO3 stays competitive. The results of this survey validate work already underway to improve the editor experience and communications.

Thank you to the respondents and thank you to my colleague, Liz Robau from Open Strategy Partners for helping to prepare the survey analysis. I’ll provide a summary of the results, and also show you what the community is already doing to address some of these concerns. 

About the survey

The idea for this survey was hatched in the Marketing Sprint in May, our first-ever online sprint. We designed and pilot tested the survey in June. Then the survey ran from July to September. We promoted it directly via invitation and through the TYPO3 Association Newsletter. (Which, if you’re not getting it, sign up for your TYPO3 Association membership!)

This was a long-form qualitative survey, with many open-ended questions with a small, focused sample of people currently selling TYPO3. In the next iteration, we’ll design a shorter quantitative survey. This will mean we’ll select the highest impact questions and turn open-ended questions into multiple-choice questions based on the patterns we saw here. We’ll launch that survey with the outcomes from the next marketing sprint where we’ll be focusing on sales assets. 

Sign up for the next online Marketing Sprint, 1–2 Dec 2020. 

Who Responded to the Survey?

We were looking for salespeople who work in digital agencies, so this sample is close to what we were looking for with the bulk, 87.5%, of respondents working for a digital agency. What was surprising is that over half also fulfil project management roles too, and many were highly experienced. 

  • Many respondents have multiple roles. Over half (56.3%) were also project managers.
  • Respondents were experienced. 50% have been in their current role for 10+ years.
  • They pitch to companies of all sizes. The most common being small companies (11-50 people).

The nice thing is that most of the respondents have a positive impression of TYPO3. 

  • Most respondents (87.5%) would recommend TYPO3 to a friend.

When we run this survey again on a larger sample, we’d expect to see some changes to this make-up. 

What is it Like to Sell TYPO3?

We asked respondents to tell us what features were strong points, how they opened their conversations with decision-makers. 

  • About 40% of respondents focus on TYPO3’s flexibility, extensibility, or scalability. For example: “It's applicable to any kind of project size and can really easily be extended and personalized.”
  • A separate 25% said they reference the word “enterprise” or “professional” -- probably to highlight its business value. For example, they tell decision-makers “Why TYPO3 is a content management system to build professional websites
  • About 20% used the word “Long Term Support” - referring to TYPO3 GmbH’s ELTS product. “Long Time Support, you can have your website over many updates.”

This helps us see what salespeople emphasise and in turn, what focus we should have in our recommendations.

Product Recommendations

Salespeople see product opportunities based on the kinds of questions they get asked by decision-makers. Often they are competing in an open field against other solutions, so they can see the market gaps against other CMSs. The recommendations were specific and detailed. 

Based on this, we recommend that the community prioritize these top “wish list” items to improve sales and marketing. 

  • Better content editing tools (i.e. grid system, nesting for content elements)
  • Theme editing & out of the box themes
  • Tools for marketers. 
  • Fill backend feature-gaps: 2FA, Backend API, Decoupled/Headless TYPO3. 

Over half of all respondents wanted improvements to content editing tools. 33% of respondents listed ‘editor user experience’ as a weakness. They mentioned:

  • Editor user experience and The grid system
  • Front end editing
  • Workspaces “(make it right or leave it)” and “More editors-oriented improvements, fewer developer-oriented improvements.”

The good news is, the community is already mobilised to make improvements in these exact areas. Far from highlighting unknown issues, this survey validates the direction the community is moving in.  

If you’d like to jump in, check out the latest updates from these initiatives. Hop in Slack and ask a question or share a suggestion. 

This is heartening and encouraging. We are able to connect the results from this survey and map to initiatives that are now gaining steam. Now is the time to get involved! Each one of those initiatives could use the insights of sales people and project managers who have direct contact with customers. 

Recommendations for Communications

Salespeople often create their own materials for selling TYPO3, but they also need authoritative resources to reference and point to. We asked about which materials they currently use, which resources they were aware of, and what they would like to see. 

This seems to be an area where we can make a big impact by translating technical features and developments into language that decision-makers and end-user will find helpful. Especially with a new release cycle on the horizon. One respondent said TYPO3 “marketing is felt to be more from the developer's point of view and less from the user's, especially when TYPO3 Versions are explained.” 

Based on the results from the survey, these are the recommendations and what we’re doing to address the ideas next. 

If you’d like to see the full TYPO3 Sales Survey findings, please join the Marketing Team’s next sprint, or ping us in the #marketing slack channel

What’s Next?

Join us for the next online marketing sprint. 

TYPO3 Online Marketing Sprint Q4/2020 
Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd December 2020. 
Each day 13:00–17:00 CET

We’re going to focus on preparing sales resources with head-to-head comparisons about TYPO3 versus other open-source CMSs.

Additional contributors for this article
  • Reviewer : lizrobau
  • Content Publisher : Mathias Bolt Lesniak