The CRM software sector has gone wild with vendors, obviously struggling to sign up new customers, pulling out all the stops. It started with cookie-cutter emails saying “See us in the 2014 CRM review!” which everyone knows you have to pay to be in, but at least it was professional. What has happened recently is not. Clearly the companies creating these advertisements are consumer driven with price being the only differentiator between their offering and the competition, but I am not sure what they are thinking. Do they really expect companies to sign up blindly based on these silly campaigns? The answer may be yes, or is it just desperation?
Here are few advertisements that popped up while doing an internet search for a variety of CRM products and services. I am not identifying the companies because I don’t think it’s appropriate.
Ad #1: Sounds like a pitch to buy an automobile.
Ad #2: The Spring Sale? Is this for a CRM system or a new mattress?
Ad #3: How about this one. Free forever? Really?
What’s interesting here is that there is no value proposition, no description of what these CRM products do and how they can help your business. It’s all about price. This makes me wonder what’s next. It’s either the Door Buster or the Blue Light Special. Is this what the CRM industry has come to? Of course not. While there are free or low cost commodity products in every business sector there are also very good companies with very good products, so don’t let these crazy offerings dampen the value that a quality CRM solution can provide to your business.
Leading CRM solution providers like Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics and Commence CRM are helping companies streamline the internal business processes that impact sales, marketing and customer service and all three offer a set of applications that are affordable to small and mid-size businesses. They are not free or cheap, but nothing of value ever is.