As the web gets more ‘social’, the power of reviews is going to grow, with people (generally) liking to buy on the basis of what others have recommended.

For some time now we’ve been getting feedback from people who have been using a product called Lead Forensics, as a trial or fully paid.  More on our views on that further down.

Looking at the top 10

At the time of writing, the top 10 Google results for the phrase ‘Lead Forensics Reviews’ could be categorised as follows:

  • 2 websites that had a single review
  • 1 website that had multiple views (top of Google)
  • 1 of their parent company’s pages about the product
  • 1 sales pitch from a reseller
  • 1 valuation of the business worth
  • 1 directory listing
  • 1 general review about the company itself
  • 1 job vacancy for the company
  • 1 irrelevant search result

What was refreshing about the top 10 results was that there wasn’t the mass of hard sales pitches from various resellers (often seen with various software products).  However, of actual reviews, there were only 3 websites that could be considered impartial and the one that had the most interaction (http://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=247390 – goes on for a few pages) has quite a range of viewpoints about the product (and alternatives).

Even then though, the first page of Google at least (and how many people go much further!) doesn’t give a lot of detail about the actual system and whether it’s good, bad, or otherwise.  In short, a mixed bag of search results for the chosen search phrase.

Our view

Obviously, we’re biased because one part of our own website visitors analysis software offers similar functionality to that offered by the Lead Forensics products.  Many people think we’re competitors but we believe that the offerings are quite different in how they’re intended.  In fact, we’ve written about this before.

We are though on the receiving end of various views of the Lead Forensics offering.  We get enquiries from people who fit within the following categories …

  1. Existing users of Lead Forensics, reviewing alternatives.
  2. People who have trialled Lead Forensics and are seeing what else is around.
  3. People unhappy with Lead Forensics.

We actually get the views of those people, talking openly about the system they’ve been using.  Those views come back as being as mixed a bag as the top 10 results of Google, and comments are best grouped as follows:

  1. Lots of bells and whistles and useful for companies that have dedicated sales and marketing people who are hungry to do something with the information about companies who visited their website.
  2. Sales staff that are sometimes too pushy when wishing to convert trials to a sale. The word ‘arrogant’ has been used several times in conversations.
  3. Quite costly for smaller businesses.
  4. Dissatisfaction at contract lock-in periods.

Hmmm, that doesn’t appear to be a very balanced view (even though it’s what people tell us and yes, they do also sometimes refer to the more positive aspects of their experiences so it’s not all one way) so in the spirit of fairness (after all, it is Christmas!) we want to reiterate that the Lead Forensics product is very much the perfect solution for some types of buyers, as already referred to in the link further up.  Just because we offer something quite different, doesn’t mean that Lead Forensics isn’t ‘right’ for many types of buyers.

Our views though are based purely on people who have already gone down the Lead Forensics path, and have been open in their comments to us, prior to, and during, taking the free 30 day A1WebStats trial.   We actually enjoy helping them to gradually shift their focus from purely looking at companies who have visited a website, and into the mindset of doing something about the website weaknesses that stop those companies making contact in the first place.  We very often say “would you prefer to be able to identify 100 companies who visited your website, but didn’t make contact … or would you prefer for more of those 100 companies to find enough reason to make contact with you in the first place?”

All this talk about reviews though does highlight something that appears to be lacking … a decent number/quality of reviews about website analytics or lead generation products.  Could we yet see a day when people type a (website analytics or lead generation) product name along with the word ‘reviews’ and they get a good selection of search results giving varied reviews that help them make the right decision?   Hopefully, in time.  For now though, it appears that people wanting to see reviews of such products are stuck with having to try them out and then judge from there.