Part 2 – Why do we believe SalesLogix is the best solution?
In 1998 I helped develop software requirements for a comprehensive computer based selling solution for a major US retailer. I then guided them through an intense request for proposal (RFP) and selection process designed to produce an apples-to-apples product comparison of the (then) top 25 sales software offerings in the “Sales Force Automation” (SFA) market. We used the apples-to-apples product comparison to rank, select and negotiate the eventual 3500 seat SFA software license. I saw the down payment check for $3,000,000. Quite a deal!
At the time, some of the top SFA contenders included:
- GoldMine Software (now FrontRange Solutions)
- Market Force (out of business)
- Oracle (now owner of Siebel Systems)
- Pivotal (now part of CDC)
- Scopus (acquired by Siebel Systems during our RFP process)
- SalesLogix (acquired by Sage Software)
- Siebel Systems (now part of Oracle)
… and a host of names I can no longer find.
After running the vendors through a 130+ page RFP that included a review of their business viability, software features, functions, architecture, core languages, logical and physical data models (and then some), I saw two very clear distinctions between superior products and the “also rans”:
- The first distinction was data architecture. Superior products had one; the others didn’t.
- The second distinction was whether or not the developing company used their SFA offering internally or not.
A “yes” answer to the questions, “Was your SFA solution architected?”, and “Do your use the tool yourself?” immediately cut the list down to five players.
Honestly, each of the top five could have done the job. The difference was in how, using what development tools and at what cost. Among the remaining contenders, there were huge price differences and surprisingly few important differences in what the software could do.
During the negotiation phase of the project, the top five list was whittled to three contenders. One firm was acquired by another; another declined to bid.
Cost per seat of the eventual winner was easily twice as much as all the others. Their sales team spent a fortune convincing the executive team that their solution would help everyone keep their jobs. So what if it cost the most? The tool was elegant and sophisticated, the IT guys loved it because it was “state of the art” and the winning firm spent an awful lot of money closing the deal. The eventual winner was not the best solution in my humble opinion.
The best solution was SalesLogix, and SalesLogix declined to bid.
Why? The story continues in Part 3.