Monday, September 12, 2011

Why Buy vs. Build Your Own Value-Based Sales / Marketing Tools?

We sometimes encounter companies who have developed their own ROI / TCO Tools software.

These companies usually start with spreadsheet models, and then realize that to implement the tools effectively and make them more usable and accessible, they really need to convert the spreadsheet into on-line tool.

Some of the spreadsheets are converted into on-line marketing assessments, or ROI / TCO calculators using Flash, SIlverlight or another web interface development tool. Often these tools are visually attractive, but more often than not:


  • Fail to provide research defaults, support and third-party validation / sources to enhance credibility and overcome vendor skepticism,
  • Lack analysis report output capabilities / delivery for customers (only providing on-line results),
  • Lack a database or integration to sales & marketing automation solutions to easily capture the rich data customers provided, and the analysis results,
  • Lack the ability for users to save and return to their analysis at later date,
  • Requires software programming and developers to make changes, enhancements and evolve the tool,
  • Don’t support much reuse when the team is developing multiple marketing tools,
  • Don’t run on ever more popular tablets.

To build a software platform to support sales enablement is more difficult, as sales teams usually require more advanced and complex business case models, the ability to customize models, multi-analysis roll-up, an analysis management database, richer reports and reporting options, identity and access control, administration and usage analysis, and more.

We have found companies who have endeavored to produce their own custom platform, spending much more time and several hundred thousand or even millions, only to realize how difficult it is to produce a platform that will truly support sales’ requirements, evolve the models and content, and support the field in the tools / model use. Once the team migrates, they are free to focus more resources on training, adoption and deal support, leading to a superior allocation of resources and greater impact on deal flow.

Typically for less than the cost to custom develop your own tool, Alinean analysts can work with your team to enrich, enhance develop and deliver a single or multiple tools to meet your demand-gen / sales enablement needs.

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