.. a comprehensive feature-set minus the fluff for B2B market
It is important to nail the lie at the outset that more information makes for better decision making or, by definition a better management of your sales and marketing operations. Information is of no use, unless it is current and easily actionable. Your ability to take action on information or insight is not trivial. If as a Small or even Medium sized enterprise, you do not have the resources (people, money, collaterals..) to pursue opportunities that are surfaced from customer data, then what good is that data to you?
I set out to define the marketing to sales continuum for small to medium companies and this is what I came up with.
Sales cycle mapped to communication strategy and media
Notice the megaphone mnemonics; one at the top left hand corner and the other at the top of the box called “existing installed base”. The one on top left corner signifies broad “outreach” campaigns, mostly limited to mass media like advertising (on web as well as paper), tradeshows and social media initiatives. The aim at this stage is to get the uninterested folks interested enough to permit one to one engagement. The megaphone at the top of the “existing installed base” signifies the enormous power of using loyal customer testimony to get the dis-interested or the fence-sitters make up their minds in our favour.
The SME segment of the B2B market will need a system that not only logs each stage of the sales cycle and its “participants” (the “contacts” working in various capacities for customer “accounts”) but, also makes possible the delivery of many of the communication activities and reporting and analytics from the same integrated platform. Such systems exist; primarily delivered over SAAS. But, while not as expensive or complex as many of the traditional desktop versions deployed within large enterprises; these still end up costing a lot more than what most SMEs are expecting to pay.
Simplicity of use (minus the large workflows that are designed into many available systems today), affordability (certainly much less than Salesforce.com), comprehensive feature set and ease of configuration are what SMEs are looking to get. Salesgenie CRM++