The business loans and cash advance industry has been exploding over the last few years, thanks in part to the economy and the creative marketing strategies employed by those in the business cash advance and merchant services sales industry.
But an interesting fact is that a universally applicable CRM strategy does not seem to exist. Rather it appears that each company has its own unique, sometimes rudimentary strategy, from hodgepodge proprietary software to the many off the shelf solutions.
Some companies have a grab the bull by the horns mentality and thus have tried to develop their own solution. This is the classic, bold and extremely naive road that countless companies have tried. All too frequently resulting in blown budgets (overruns at times in the millions) and catastrophic failures that are so common in the software development industry, that it’s hardly newsworthy.
One rather well known firm in NYC spent close to 2 million dollars and over 2 years on development of proprietary software, which they now begrudgingly use despite its many shortcomings. While they may have an in-depth knowledge of the Bank Card, Unsecured Business Loans & Cash Advance and credit card processing industries, they lacked the same knowledge when it came to software development. They embarked on a quest for cash advance management software with very little knowledge on how to assemble a software development team. Predictably, they assembled a weak team with an unrealistic schedule. It was only a matter of time before things went down hill. Today they have a product that is grossly over budget and has a tendency, almost a preference, to crash like a mad hillbilly at a demolition derby. There is nothing that screams morale booster like a morning boot-up that reveals all your data has been deleted.
Their vision was to have a streamlined system. But what is now apparent is that they have an overpriced and unreliable system. Ironically, it may well be the very same type A personalities that made them so successful in the sales industry that led them into their software dev quagmire. This company did not know when to cut their losses nor did they explore other avenues. They figured they were already “pot committed” and just chugged along, pouring money into a flawed system that by now has added legacy issues to its many other unflattering characteristics.
The number one factor they did not take into account was that they are in the “business cash advance / merchant services” industry, not the “software development” industry.
After 2 years and 2 million dollars, the company is about to ditch their SL software and go with a solution that was designed by software designers and consulted by business cash advance experts.
Coming up in Part 2: Cash Advance Management the Old School way with paper and spreadsheets. And mainstream sales force type of solutions as a viable business cash advance management platform.
Arieanne Quianna Santos is a full time writer and a teacher based in London and Los Angeles.