“I already have a Web Content Management System” – In the trenches with PaperThin Sales

Mar 19 -

You know the saying, "if I had a nickel every time I heard that, I'd be rich"…… well working in Sales here at PaperThin, it's not uncommon to hear "I already have a web content management system" when reaching out to new prospects. Yeah I know, some of these people are probably just trying to get me off the phone—no worries, it's all good. 

This statement might have been the worst thing I could've heard when I first started selling CMS', but slowly and surely I've come to the realization that these companies have sometimes become my best, most viable targets. 

Quite often, they communicate a high level of dissatisfaction with their current CMS solution. There are many reasons this could be the case—reasons that don't have anything to do with the product itself—but the fact remains that users aren't happy, and getting to the bottom of this is what I most enjoy doing, but first an analogy.

I've spent the majority of my sales career selling and marketing content-production and workflow-oriented technologies, usually to both Marketing and IT groups, and my experience here at PaperThin is similar. While selling those products, workflow was always a big topic of discussion. All vendors had to have their 'workflow story' down.  The problem with the term 'workflow' however, was that while it was easy for lots of vendors and prospects to say they had it, the term was too broad and generic—just like being able to say "we have a web content management system". In reality, some workflows were very basic, some were more robust, and some were custom from the ground up. "I already have marketing workflow" was heard often, but just like web content management, it was common to hear tales of woe about insufficient features or the difficulty in extending these solutions to keep pace with the pressures of a content hungry constituency.

OK, back to the present and to web content management in particular……….just like workflow, the level of functionality included in a web content management solution varies greatly.  I guess having just a Rich Text Editor and maybe some custom plugins or content elements like a Form Builder or Event Calendar qualifies an application to be called a CMS, but I would describe this as limited functionality at best. Technically a CMS yes, but really, is this functionality enough to support the evolution Marketing organizations have had to adjust to over the past several years? New content types and channels utilizing video and mobile have exploded.  Web analytics, social media tools, and the pressure to engage visitors with relevant, personalized content have forced companies to continue to develop this functionality (Read: Spend Money) to address virtually every need—usually a day late and a dollar short—or worse, not address it at all.

One thing I know for sure is that I've never heard anybody say that the plan is to do "less with more"….or support the status quo with their current web content management solution. And just like any other software product I've sold, there is a cost story to be uncovered as well. For some, the status quo works, but for others the dollars say that it might be time to understand what your options are. My favorite part of this job is figuring out the cost story by understanding the challenges, the goals, and the current investment in dollars, time, and resources required to support them.  

So you say that you already have a web content management system. OK fair enough, but there are many questions that need to be asked to really uncover the best course of action as your challenges and opportunities continue to crystallize at breakneck speeds. Are you limited in what you can achieve or accomplish with your current system? Are you spending too much money to add new functionality? Does it take too much time, or are resources scarce to develop these new capabilities? An ability to respond and react to market conditions in a timely manner is crucial to supporting company revenue goals. The time to evaluate the best course of action is yesterday………….there are options to consider and evaluate if the opportunity to increase the bottom line is clear. Let's start that conversation…….I bet your bottom dollar that you'll feel like a million bucks knowing what your best course of action is.


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