FUD. Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.
Fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) is a common tactic used in sales, marketing, public relations, and politics, among others. More specifically, it’s generally a strategic attempt to influence opinions and perception by disseminating negative and sometimes dubious or false information. An individual firm, for example, might use FUD to invite unfavorable opinions and speculation about a competitor’s product or to increase the general estimation of switching costs among current customers.
In our lifetime, one of the more obvious examples of FUD was a tactic used by IBM in the 70’s. “No one ever got fired for buying IBM” was a classic line heard during that time, and IBM fostered that belief to help them sell more computers than anyone else. While there may have even been some truth to the line, the fact is that some people should have been fired for buying IBM.
Fast forward some 40 years, and here we are again living in a world of FUD. There are definitely some instances where Salesforce.com is likely the right solution for an organization’s CRM software choice. However, there are likely even more instances where the decision to purchase Salesforce is based on FUD, rather than objective criteria. Today, it’s “No one ever got fired for buying Salesforce.com”.
Why is that? Why are executives, boards of directors, and other company leaders signing off on these purchases with an assumption that if it’s salesforce, it’s got to be the right decision? It’s FUD, and nothing more.
When you have a solution like SugarCRM which has more deployment options, greater customizability, and dramatically lower costs, you would think more organizations would at least be open to the possibility. I completely get it when companies are hesitant to throw their resources behind a brand new, untested, undocumented solution. We’re the same way in our company about solutions like that. When you have a solution that is in that category, it’s incredibly risky and potentially expensive in time, money, and resources to go down that road. The payoff better be huge if you make a decision like that.
However, Sugar has been around since 2004, has a virtual who’s who of successful industry veterans and leaders on their leadership team, has hundreds of partners around the globe, thousands of third party add-ons through the Sugar Exchange, and has thousands of users and installs to its credit. It’s not a newcomer, nor is it untested or unsupported. Quite the contrary. From what I can tell, its biggest fault in the market is that it’s not Salesforce.com. Short of that, it compares favorably in virtually every way to Salesforce.com. This is not to say that there might not be specific organizations that could benefit from Salesforce or a specific vertical market overlay that works on top of Salesforce. However, in those environments which do not fit that narrow criteria, Sugar should be strongly considered. And, it should not be discarded for NOT being Salesforce.com. It should not be discarded because of FUD.
I think Sugar needs to change their tagline to:
SugarCRM. Not Salesforce.com and Damn Happy about It. You Should Be Too.