Mid-market customers still fear the complexity and expense of business intelligence and have to be hand-held through the sale by resellers.
That is the experience of those on the front line pitching BI tools having to convince customers that the solutions they are offering are not just striped down enterprise products.
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"The people I talk to don't have loads of time and you have to try to convince them that there's a long term benefit and they are pretty cynical, particularly those who have brought these sorts of products before that didn't work," said James Bureau, senior sales manager at Inca Software.
He added that using some of the traditional words around a business intelligence pitch back fired with mid-market customers: "the words 'Data warehousing' strike fear and despair."
"We are all still struggling to do the education process," he added that a portion of mid-market customers remained in the dark about BI.
Caroline Taylor, vice president of marketing at IBM general business Northeast Europe, said that technology that enabled customers to get an insight into their operations and arm them with the right information to make decisions about strategy was "ever more critical in a time of recession".
She added that the buying behaviour of the mid-market often resembled consumers with a need for a level of personal understanding about a product and resellers could provide the independent assurances that something would work.