Following are the characteristics of a successful 21st century software business:
Infrastructure software like ESB's (Mulesource) and CRM (Salesforce, SugarCRM) that used to be extremely high touch and expensive is now sold self-service at much lower pricepoints. Companies like Tealeaf that are solving extremely complicated problems such as replaying a customer's browser when they call a helpdesk can sell direct at a very high pricepoint.
A startup needs to figure out whether it is selling direct at a high pricepoint or self-service at a low pricepoint and follow that playbook. Selling direct at a low pricepoint is a nonstarter, even if one day you expect to be able to raise the pricepoint. VC's are not interested in that business model and your competitors will be selling a similar solution self-service and will therefore have a more scalable business model.
In summary: keep it simple. Make software that is sexy with major features are easy to use, get people to come and check it out, and then tweak it to the point where people want to pay for it. Software today is decidedly product focused rather than sales focused. This is great, since building excellent product quickly is the competitive advantage of a startup. As a wise board member I served with said, "IBM already has a sales force, don't compete with it."