For many years, influencers/analysts have heard the a clarion cry from small CRM companies:
- You guys only cover the big companies and never give us coverage
- You guys don't respond to us
- You never review us
- We have no idea how to go about getting involved and could you guys give us some advice on how to get the visibility?
Along comes CRM Idol and here's the opportunity of a lifetime for those small companies (among them, several I won't name that I have in mind) to:
- Get in front of the influencers and even develop relationships with them that will last beyond the competition (witness CRM Idol 2011)
- Get reviewed publicly by those same key influencers
- Get continuing PR
- Get mentored by influencers free of charge
- Win huge prizes including free software that would make their businesses more effective and even a pitch meeting in front of a Tier 1 VC firm, among many others.
I mean, how good is that?
This is an ideal venue for those small, emerging, innovative CRM(ish) technology companies to take a shot at actually making the breakthrough they've felt they never had the opportunity to make.
Hell, three of the companies in the competition last year were acquired by salesforce.com (Assistly), Marketo (Crowd Factory), and LinkedIn (Connected HQ).
So, I figured, given that we have a well-established track record, we'd have such a high volume of applicants, that it would be almost impossible to choose the contestants for the Americas, EMEA and Asia/Australia.
I'm can't say I'm overwhelmed. However, I'm definitely pleased with the steady flow of applicants we do have as we hit the roughly halfway point (we are just shy of it).
We have had a very steady flow of applicants (those who requested the submission form) and we are reaching what we need to have to make some seriously good choices for the Americas. We are still short in EMEA and Asia/Australia though both have picked up the last few days.
This stea0diness is heartwarming, but it also tells me that there are an awful lot o companies out there who haven't made a single move to sign up.
That puzzles me. Why wouldn't you sign up?
Here's what I think you need to do. Take it or leave it.
- I think that if you've already registered to get the contest application form, you need to start getting the applications in. Time is growing shorter every day, to cite a truism.
- I think that if you are a small emerging CRM(ish) technology vendor who meets the criteria, and you haven't registered yet, you should get your butt over to the CRM Idol website, read the rules and if you qualify, not only register to request the contest application form, but fill it out right away and get it back in.
I'll put it this way. If you don't take your shot, don't you EVER complain about your lack of exposure to influencers and the public again.
At least not to me.
If you do take your shot, then if you don't win or even make the cut, we'll all know that you were serious. And lets say, will be more likely to cast a kindly eye your way - beyond the competition.
Look, speaking (without permission) for most of the influencers associated with CRM Idol, we all really like emerging CRM companies. But each of us gets hit with 30-50 requests a week to take a demo or talk to the CEO or whatever and we can't possibly meet the requests given the volume. So we need to separate the wheat from the chaff. Show us you aren't just trolling and we'll start listening.
That's simply the way it works.
CRM Idol 2012 is for your benefit. Take advantage of it while you can. You have until May 25, 2012 at 6pm Pacific Standard Time to submit the contest application, not just the registration form.
Go for it.