One of my tasks is to help clients assess potential new vendors in the ESP space, often in a replacement scenario. There are so many vendors out there, and rest assured there is a perfect fit for every client.
A salesperson’s job is to sell you the biggest contract they can. That is how they earn their living, and how they meet their quotas. We all know this. In almost every presentation I’ve attended, ESPs storm the castle with every cool thing their company can do – all the partnerships, integrations, new technologies, and case studies that may or may not pertain to your business.
While scalability over time is a critical requirement and must be considered due to the investments involved (budgetary and internal man-power, existing legacy programs), many companies end up choosing an ESP and PAYING FOR all those “bells and whistles” they’re not going to use in the first, or even the second, year.
I aver it is the sales person’s job to start by assessing and resolving YOUR immediate needs. How can they help start turning your issues and challenges into opportunities? How do their functionalities and services meet your “wish list” for future scalability? Some salespeople do this brilliantly. Others fail miserably (mostly because they just don’t listen at the outset). And any good salesperson will have a basic handle on marketing and marketers’ challenges, and carefully craft a “vision” of where you two can live now, and where you can go in the future.
Don’t be sold on the “bells and whistles” just because they’re there, and are “cool.” Think about what you need NOW, and what you may want in the FUTURE. And scale your decision, budget, headcount, expectation outlay, marketing calendar and eventual solution, and pay accordingly to that plan.