This past weekend I made the questionable life decision to pay a sum of money to punish myself over the course of 13.1 miles at the Indianapolis Mini Marathon. If you have ever run a mini marathon or an even further distance, you understand that it is quite literally a marathon and not a sprint. Most rational runners will have a goal pace in mind and complete mile one through mile 13 at a roughly consistent pace. Races of this length are a process. They are a journey.
Most of our readers probably know what a CRM is, and I am willing to wager that a good percentage use a CRM or have even been involved in the purchasing decision for one. Let’s take a look at the “Mini Marathon of a CRM Purchase: A CLM Perspective.”
There is a budget for a CRM for the first time at your company! As a Director, you are on a team tasked with finding the best solution. Everyone is excited and full of energy at the first team meeting to scope out the process.
After completing your highly scientific research including Googling “top CRM software,” your team has settled on a top 10 list that is specific to your industry and functions. Morale is high as you compile the best options.
Each team member is responsible for poking around the websites of your top 10 list. Opinions start to form based upon important characteristics such as the blogs, brand colors, company mascot, and website layout.
A bit of the initial adrenaline has now worn off of you and your team. You are starting to fully realize the scope of this project and the impact of your decision not only on your short-term happiness, but potentially your long-term job security.
Through meetings that last roughly 3x longer than they should, your team has narrowed the list down to your top three choices. At this point, team members are asked to begin researching pricing, features, and customer service in detail. A few of your staff may begin to doubt their previous experience at this point.
Things are starting to get serious. You have downloaded the last 2-3 whitepapers and E-books from several of the finalists and have conducted first stage discovery chats with sales representatives from your top three choices. Perhaps you follow these companies on social media now. One of your coworkers has seemingly broken from the pack and sprinted to hasty judgment by picking an early favorite. Don’t worry, you will see him/her bent over on the side of the course around mile 12.
You are now in the full clutches of the respective sales and marketing teams of your 2-3 finalists. You are receiving automated email messages every couple days detailing features, value propositions, and key differentiators. The account executives can smell blood in the water and are convinced that they can “push you past the finish line.”
You have selected a favorite but should probably tell that overanxious sales representative that you haven’t quite made up your mind and you need his “best price” prior to finalizing any decision. You know you can finish at this point, it’s just a matter of how.
You sign the contract for your brand new, shiny CRM. You are incredibly proud of the work and time put in by your team, but there is a hint of buyer’s remorse that has you sore and quite possibly nauseous. Go chug some chocolate milk and prepare for implementation 😉
One Year Later
The Indy Mini rolls around 365 days later. Did you enjoy the previous race enough? Or are you going to shop around for a different race that may suit your fancy a little better?
- You went through multiple different sales and marketing campaigns prior to making your decision but only ONE customer journey but it’s not over yet!
- Customer Lifecycle Marketing is as much about running the Indy Mini the second year as it is running it the first time
- For more on CLM, check our our newest eBook: http://bit.ly/23dvr9C