Growing up in Ann Arbor Michigan during the 60's exposed me to many different viewpoints, lifestyles, etc. One of the more enduring memories I have of this period were the many enjoyable relationships with people who thought differently than me. Relationships and conversations where you could learn about the other guy, and while disagreeing, still be civilized, friendly and open-minded (my ninth grade civics project was interviewing John Sinclair, head of the White Panther Party, AND, Washtenaw County Sheriff Doug Harvey who weekly beat the crap out of John and his followers during their Friday night South "U" window-breaking anti-war demonstrations (ok, so it wasn't always civil)).
Which brings me to Paul Greenberg (yankee fanatic), arguably the most respected CRM guru out there today. I am a loyal reader of Paul's blog even though I don't agree with most of which he writes (the death of the 4P's and the 6C's most recently). But, from time to time Paul has some unique insights and notions that I quite agree with and employ in our campaigns. Loyal readers of this blog know of my heartburn with most aspects of the CRM industry and our intentions to migrate portions of vSente's Armory over to Salesforce.com's AppExchange. So, as I was doing some research preparing to announce a change in our AppExchange strategy, I came across a curious forecast in Paul's blog.
The forecast, which was ultimately attributed to Forrester Research seemed wrong - like maybe approaching an order of magnitude wrong. So I asked Paul for his source and being the gentleman and scholar that he is - he got back me to directly, and I was able to confirm that indeed the number was suspect. You can read all about it on Paul's blog - he's a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and a much better writer than I am (he really is - that's not a snark).
I can't tell you what the numbers are because Forrester has advised me both in writing and over the phone that I am not a client and therefore cannot quote from their reports. The problem remains parked at Forrester's doorstep who as of this writing have yet to step forward and clarify the two forecasts. In that people spend alot of money at Forrester for their "expertise" and, people make some pretty serious decisions in part, based upon Forrester's "expertise", you'd think they'd want to get this shit right. Right? I mean if it happened with this piece of research - where else in the Forrester archives lurk little time bombs like this?
So enough with the numbers. See I'm a sales puke. For almost 30 years as an entrepreneur, consultant, manager and executive I've been the guy responsible for generating revenue. Since I started my career BEFORE the internet, PC's, Fedex, etc., I have had a ringside seat and an e-ride ticket to the introduction and application of technology to sales and marketing. I have had a very up-close and personal relationship with CRM and more specifically SFA - and unfortunately - most of the relationship has been bad. So I'm rooting for Paul and other CRM folks to come up with more tools and techniques that work and help me wage and win battles for market share. So Paul, screw the numbers, get back to work, get back on the planes, write another book (I enjoyed CRM At The Speed of Light) and get me more stuff that works - preferably with sharper elbows.
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