Yesterday, Brad Holmes blogged about 2010 being the year where sales enablement moves from concept to reality. Yep, it's tempting to think that tech firms and their marketers have all been madly working to enable the sales organizations with fabulous sales-enabling digital media like video customer testimonials, blogs, tweets, Facebook pages, and, of course, the company Web site. But once in a while, you get reminded that some companies have a long way to go just to cover the basics, never mind get to what Brad called a "breakthrough."
Last month, I was writing my Hot Banking And Insurance Tech Vendors In 2010 report series. These reports are where I identify emerging vendors who are doing interesting business technology stuff to help banks and insurers tackle business problems, like helping claims adjusters value a homeowner's personal goods lost in some natural disaster or improving and measuring teller cross-selling performance. I was writing the blurb about one such interesting company, and needed to verify a couple of points from my interview with content on the firm's Web site. Hmmm . . . That's odd; this Web site is a just static landing page with just their name and address. Maybe I entered it wrong, let me try that again . . . funny, I'm back to that static page again. I'll Google it — maybe this company has multiple domains. Nope, it doesn't . . . I better check with their PR/AR firm, I've gotta be doing something really wrong. You guessed it. This company, which was going to be included in a report that was one of my top reads in 2009 didn't have a real Web site. According to their PR firm, their client has just been too busy selling to bother, instead relying solely on word of mouth . . . in 2009. Show these people a calendar! When prospects (and analysts) hear about a company and want to learn more, the first thing they do is to go to the Web, either through a search engine or directly to the vendor's Web site. Even when they talk to a vendor sales rep, buyers and prospects cross-check what they heard with what's on the Web to test for accuracy — message and content synched, confidence built; out of synch, confidence (and sale) blown. This firm's logo slide featured work that they'd done for some pretty enviable clients in the UK and New Zealand; imagine the possibilities if this firm had even just a few meaty content bits on a Web site. They went from hot to frosty, and despite pleas and promises from the PR firm that they'd have a Web site up before the end of 2009, their Web content has not progressed beyond that static landing page. So, shame on this firm's founders, marketing team, and their PR firm for failing to execute on the most basic sales enabler — the Web site.