InfusionSoft – Think twice before sinking your money in this CRM tool

Champion Assistants Technology TeamI’ve seen a number of clients invest in CRM tools that are far more powerful than their businesses require – and more expensive than they can currently afford – because their business advisers have told them that they should invest in technologies now that will support their future business plans.  These business advisers instill the fear  in their clients that their company won’t be prepared in the future when their prospects and clients outweigh the capability for the company to manage them.  I have never witnessed a case where this was the reality.  In reality, the sudden onslaught of clients never comes, and even if it were to, most CRM systems are built so that all current data can be easily migrated with a learning curve for using the technology.

The biggest example I have seen in unfortunate CRM purchases is InfusionSoft.  I have seen InfusionSoft touted by so-called industry experts and gurus (think Dan Kennedy, Bill Glazer, Ali Brown) who advise info-marketers to invest in this CRM solution now in preparation for future business.  InfusionSoft has a number of drawbacks like not being able to paste text in various modules and difficulties pasting links to name a couple quick irritants.  The biggest thing about InfusionSoft is that it is NOT for info-marketers.  InfusionSoft is for businesses with actual sales teams.  To use InfusionSoft effectively the business needs to be sales-oriented, equipped with a multi-person sales force, have a database with hundreds of thousands of contacts AND have the budget to effectively implement this technology.  The time to migrate data, implement the tool and train a salesforce how to use it – and continue to update it – is extremely time intensive.  This is not the responsibility of a business owner either.  This is the responsiblity of an IT Leader.  While Champion Assistants provides the service of IT Team Lead, we are very careful to only work with clients who have a business that is both financially and mentally prepared for a company-wide CRM rollout.

Sadly, I have seen a number of solo-preneurs buy InfusionSoft on the recommendation of their marketing or sales advisor and start implementing the software only to find that it’s extremely cumbersome to use and their business only requires a fraction of the power of the tool.  InfusionSoft is not for contact management.  It is in fact a full-scale CRM tool.  Also, I have seen that the people referring this software get a handsome referral bonus, and I know there are ulterior motives at play as well.  For instance the Dan Kennedy – Bill Glazer Inner Circle has made huge amounts of money through their referrals to InfusionSoft.  They make so much money they actually hold presentations on buying InfusionSoft at their SuperConference and InfoSummit conferences!  It’s great business for them, but not necessarily the right decision for all of those people trying to follow the Dan Kennedy – Bill Glazer methods.

I advise against purchasing any technologies that require your business to grow into.  It’s difficult to predict if the tool will be outdated by the time you need it or if there would have been a better solution based on what your business actually needs at the time. Save yourself time and aggravation and focus on strategic growth instead.

Best,

Heather

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3 Responses

  1. Hi, Heather.

    Thank you for your thoughts on our software, service and clients. I certainly agree with your first part that companies (as a whole) need to seriously consider their software solution before making a large financial decision. I also concur that the industry frequently inflates the fear of a ‘swarm’ of prospects and customers. However, I will disagree on a few claims about our company.

    In our earlier years, information marketing was the bread and butter of our business and it still is. Our core is well rooted with industry leaders such as Dan Kennedy, Michael Gerber, John Jantsch, Perry Marshall and more. Our software helped those industry leaders achieve the level of success they have. Moreover, we ‘get’ info-marketers and they ‘get’ us. Only our clients drive the product’s roadmap. That is, startup business owners, independent consultants, entrepreneurs, mortgage brokers, real estate agents and more.

    Our software supports the needs of small companies with less than 75 employees. Sales force automation does not necessarily mean “no sales team,” rather, a highly optimized process that empowers sales consultants to sell more. The implication that every business needs a sales force is not quite right; we have these features based on our customers’ demands. We’re sorry if we didn’t make clear. We’re making substantial improvements regarding the self-service setup process.

    Additionally, we designed our software for the business owner in mind. We have a substantially short implementation cycle for those who invest the effort, the time and the care into their business. On the other hand, we intend to attract serious entrepreneurs who already have a business model and need a way to scale and automate it for rapid growth. Before a sale is made, our sales team goes through a series of consultative questions to determine a prospect’s needs and interests.

    Finally, I suggest to new small businesses to try a variety of point solutions to nail down their business needs. Once they figure out what works (and what doesn’t), they would be in a better position to consider Infusionsoft for their automated follow-up marketing. Again, we really appreciate this feedback. It will help us improve our alignment with info-marketer and small business owner needs.

    Best Regards,
    Joseph Manna

  2. I wanted to provide an update in response to your feedback, Heather —

    Infusionsoft has recently offered version a lower cost to better align ourselves with the needs of small business owners. We substantially reduced the setup and activation fee, and divided our marketing automation software into five editions.

    You and your readers can check out the different editions at http://www.infusionsoft.com/product/products and compare the features, benefits and more. Additionally, we have professional versions of our software for Mortgage and Dental industries, too.

    Also, we’ve expanded our confidence in the form a ‘Double Your Sales Guarantee’ to all new Infusionsoft clients. Basically, if a new entrepreneur or small business owner fails to double their sales, we will happily return their setup and activation fees, provided that they employ the features found within Infusionsoft. Mor information on that is available at http://www.infusionsoft.com/guarantee/

    Thanks again for your feedback and interest in Infusionsoft. Please let me know if you have any questions… you can email me at joseph.manna [at] infusionsoft.com. 🙂

    –Joe

  3. Thank you for the update. That is quite the guarantee, although it’s unfortunate that wasn’t offered to all the businesses who set up the standard Infusionsoft product. One of my clients paid for the software (and ongoing monthly fees), paid an Infusionsoft consultant to set it up and never got it running properly. The consultant wasn’t even able to match contacts to specific broadcasts for him – which is about as basic a request as there could be. Sadly it seems that Infusionsoft consultants are under-qualified because my client is more than reasonable and patient.
    Additionally, although I think it’s great that so many example broadcasts are set up in Infusionsoft, I think that it’s totally unprofessional that a whole series of them is dedicated to toilet seats. Seriously, potty humor? Your development team may have amused themselves, but Infusionsoft comes off as unprofessional.

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