Thursday, December 17, 2009

 

The secret to SaaS success? Know your limits

Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be.

World-class CRM tools such as Salesforce.com allow for an incredible level of customization, analytics, segmentation and long sales-cycle deal management.  It’s a highly complex program that can do amazing things.  Unfortunately, many users over-use it.  They add too much customization, use too many features, and make it difficult, cumbersome, time-consuming and expensive to use and get value from.

Similar story with Jigsaw, one of the industry’s best lead nurturing and marketing automation software packages.  It can allow an incredible amount of segmentation and customization for following up with countless different types of pre-sales leads.  But you can over-think lead nurturing too.  Do too much, and it’ll take way too much work to maintain and execute, especially if your organization isn’t big enough or you’re not staffed to support that work.

For CRM systems, marketing automation programs and many other SaaS products, I have two recommendations:

Start Simple:  Do the basics.  Forget segmentation at first.  Start with the simplest implementation and grow from there.  If you boil the ocean from day one, you’ll create confusion and frustrate your users. 

Don’t Overdo It:  As you expand usage and complexity, know where the point of diminishing returns is – for your investment, for how your teams are able to use it, and for the revenue & sales return you get out of the time/money investment.  If you go too far, don’t be afraid to pull back to what’s more comfortable and delivering the best return.

 


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