I was talking with a marketing friend this week about the benefits of integrated marketing software and why she should or should not be shopping marketing software programs. For her business, there were a lot of great reasons to implement enterprise marketing software. It’s a large business with a complex sales cycle and a massive quantity of contacts that are begging to be nurtured.

There was just one problem.

This company is about a decade old and it has been puttering along for the last three years or so, hoping to get new life breathed into it. The most marketing that has been done is attending the couple of industry “must-go-to” trade shows and putting the leads into a spreadsheet that sat… and sat… and sat.

There hadn’t been a true marketing person on the payroll in a few years and the most communication prospects got after talking to a salesperson one time was a once a quarter newsletter that was sent from a PHP email marketing software.

My friend’s job at this company is to completely revamp their marketing. She is going to get control of the “The Spreadsheet of Leads” and put it into a CRM. She is going to evaluate trade show spend and research other ways to increase lead flow and ultimately drive revenue.

She will probably spend a lot of time on her favorite marketing software blog and considering what types of solutions are a good fit for her business.

What I learned from the conversation is how important it is to listen and learn a company’s full story. On the surface, her company has all the signs of a company that is ready for marketing automation software. But after peeling back the onion, I discovered that she might be a few months down the line. And I’ll be waiting for her when she’s ready.