Face it, last year, we did it by the seat of its pants, improvising as we went, changing the rules - well, tweaking them when they needed to be tweaked. For example, realizing that we need a semi-finalist round which wasn't in the original plan or the original announcement. But we are WAY past that stage now. We have a great strategy, the program is solid, the participation on the judges' side is up from 45 to 75 this year with more and more influencers joining the effort.
So what's different? The submission process has dramatically altered. We realized last year with the overwhelming response we got that we had as many people on the waiting list as we had participating. We thought it probably wasn't exactly fair, though it was necessary, that about 60 companies didn't get a chance even though they were able to submit in a timely way but not the fastest.
So this year, we've eliminated "first come first serve." The submission period starts today and closes at 6pm Pacific Time on May 25. There are no exceptions after that date. Rather than first come first serve, the Brain Trust - the original primary judges will select the contestants - 40 from the Americas; 20 from EMEA, and new to CRM Idol 2012, 20 from Asia/Australia.
The trick is that this year an email declaration won't do. There is a submission form that you can get and must get at the CRM Idol website. You'll note not only are the same stuff as last year there but also a few new items. EVERY single thing, including financial information, must be disclosed. The financials will be kept confidential; we are not asking for documentation, we just need a true number from you so we can assess eligibility. If you're reluctant to do that, please don't apply. See below for the application procedure. I don't want to bore you with more details here.
This is exciting and there is some actual measurable benefit for you, if you are an emerging technology company less than 7 years old and with under $12 million in revenue (requirements are up at the CRM Idol website). For example, on the most dramatic side, 3 CRM Idol contestants were acquired. In the case of one, we were explicitly told that their position in CRM Idol was a part of the valuation. We have been told by countless other contestants that their experience with CRM Idol, which puts them in front of the most experienced and influential people in the CRM and related industries changed the nature of how they do business today. Heady stuff for us at least. And valuable for you.
Don't forget we have the mentoring program that comes along with it. The extended judges are assigned a contestant company and work with them to prepare the briefing/demo (changes there too. See the site) that they need to impress us primary judges as to why you are the without a doubt the worlds greatest company.
Plus the prizes -ranging from free consulting, to free lead gen webinars to free software/services to pitches to VC firms, with more added every day, - are worth it by themselves, even if you don't interact much with the species.
So suit up, companies. Here's what you gotta do.
- Go to the CRM Idol website starting right now.
- Read over the rules on the site.
- Register on the site.
- Follow the instructions that are provided after you register
- You will be sent the candidacy form.
- Fill it out COMPLETELY. Refusal to answer any question are immediate disqualification. If we see something left out, we'll ask you to fill it out.
- When you have completed the form, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org ONLY. If you send me or any judge the form or to any other CRM Idol address, it will be discarded. Seriously. If you have any technical difficulties accessing the address (e.g. bounced email) you can contact me and let me know of the problem at email@example.com. Don't send me your submission. Just let me that you're having a problem.
- May 25, 2012 at 6:00pm Pacific Time U.S. is the final deadline for submission. No late submissions will be accepted.
- Watch the site and the twitter hashtag #crmidol, Twitter ID @crmidol and the Facebook page for updates.
- On June 1, here and in the other media venues and of course on the site, we'll announce the contestants.
This is going to be a blast! Okay, so we're not Steven Tyler, Randi Jackson and of course, the inimitable J.Lo. So what? We are who we are.
And we are ready for you.
Are you ready for CRM Idol 2012?