Matt has a great post on the sources of deals & leads for Alfresco, which could be useful to a broader set OSS vendors.

What is surprising, but not unintuitive, is the low percentage of Hosted Trials that turn into deals. Namely, Hosted Trials represent 30% of leads, but about 5% of deals.

The conversion rate between Enterprise Trials leads (15% of all leads) and deals (10% of all deals) is much higher.

If you’ve tried the SugarCRM Hosted Trial “just to see what all the fuss is about”, then this data shouldn’t be a surprise. If I had to download, install and configure SugarCRM just to form a few general opinions on the product, I would have found something else to do with my time. Only (more) serious users would go through the hassle of downloading, installing and configuring the product.

So, don’t use this data to prioritize a Hosted Trial (SaaS) lower on your list of to-dos. Even if you don’t get deals via Hosted Trials, you’ll expose your product to a lot more people (especially of the kind that write checks vs. those that write code) than requiring that they install the product to try it out.