The President of a company has the responsibility for the vision of the company.The President or CEO must make decisions that will shape the future of the company and bring success.The success of the company depends on the quality of the execution to achieve that vision.”The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision.” -Theodore Hesburgh, President of the University of Notre Dame.
I want to explain why First Direct sells Zoho products from the perspective of my vision.
First Direct has operated for nearly 30 years.In the beginning, I chose to focus on CRM software, which at that time was called Contact Management Software, because it was my vision that eventually such technology would be essential and ubiquitous in organizations. I saw a long runway of opportunity – a clear need in the market place.
As a CRM provider and consultant, the choice of the companies we align with is critically important. I chose to sell GoldMine software because I believed in the product and equally as important to me, I believed in the company. While that decision paid off, and I continue to sell and support GoldMine, I’m sad to say that the star I hitched my wagon to has grown a bit dim over the years as SaS applications such as Zoho have gained market share. All of us at First Direct recognized the need to adopt a true web-based CRM product line. (Personally, while we sell and use both CRM products in-house, I still prefer to use GoldMine.)
Over the last 5+ years, we considered many alternative CRM applications. Ultimately, we selected Zoho. I have written much about the product features and benefits, so I will not be addressing the reasons for choosing Zoho technology. In this blog post, I want to say a bit about why I chose the company – Zoho.
Zoho’s leadership philosophy is evident in many respects. It is captured in their slogan:
“Your Life’s Work, Powered By Our Life’s Work”
Zoho’s claim is that they offer a “unique and powerful suite of software to run your entire business, brought to you by a company with the long term vision to transform the way you work.” Software is Zoho’s craft and passion. Zoho prides itself on “creating beautiful software to solve business problems.” Software is the product of the mind and the hands. But as much as Zoho loves building beautiful software, they clearly state that “we think our people and company culture are our most important assets.”
As Zoho explicitly and repeatedly states, they are “committed to the continuous refinement and to improving your experience.” Zoho’s devotion to customer satisfaction is relentless.
Zoho put their money where their mouth is. Zoho invests more in product development than they do in sales. By investing this way the product is the best salesperson. This keeps the cost of attracting customers low and prices affordable. It also results in the lowest customer churn (lost customers) in the CRM technology space with growth that regularly outstrips its competitors. Zoho’s customer loyalty speaks volumes.
As a Solutions Partner, with a more personal relationship to the customer than the manufacturers we represent, I believe the philosophy of the companies that I sell directly impacts my business’s ability to achieve the mission I have to “help organizations market, sell and service better.” I am confident First Direct has hitched to a bright star with Zoho. With respect to the original vision of First Direct, now more than ever, CRM and related technology are essential to organizations.