Browsing Forbes website, I noticed #23 for 2015 on Forbes list for "America's Most Promising Companies" is Yodle.
It is truly amazing how a company like Yodle can do $187 million in revenue and continue growing. Almost $16 MILLION a month in revenue is not an insignificant number.
Reader discretion advised:
This article might include a little bit of bashing, but that is okay. The truth needs to be exposed sometimes.
Yodle does not do a single thing for business owners, except integrate some simple features into an all-in-one dashboard and charge $3,600 per year for it. Sometimes they try to squeeze in a $497 setup fee if they can suck it out of you.
I actually went through their demo with a sales rep and checked out their platform, which the client interface is lame and their entire UX is dated.
At the end of the presentation, I asked the Sales Rep, so basically your platform connects a few components into a singular place and there isn't any actual work on your end (all efforts are done by the customer, not Yodle)?
And the shocker came, he told me "Yes."
That is when it got awkward.
He knew I caught on to their scheme, the rep didn't push the sale any further and we hung up. After speaking with dozens of business owners, they told me that Yodle was relentless about following up with them and pressuring them into a sales agreement for 12 months. The funny thing is he NEVER followed up with me. It has been eight months and I am still waiting for that follow-up call.
After the sales presentation, I was puzzled. I started questioning myself. How can a company that offers something so little in value have over 50,000 customers and counting?
You would think a company that charges thousands of dollars a year and a setup fee would help with at least one of the following:
Well, I figured out their strategy...
1. They're damn good at selling over the phone to naive small business owners.
2. It is all about presentation. Their marketing collateral is on point. They have beautiful brochures, ebooks, success stories, white papers, etc.
3. Once they promise you the world, you're tied into a contract. That is recurring revenue every month.
I guess the key to success and being that big marketing name on Forbes list comes down to presentation and persistence.
They're named one of America's Most Promising Companies because of their appearance. It is all about presentation and how a company is perceived from the outside, rather than their inner layers, such as the ROI they provide for customers.
Bottom line... Yodle is great at three things:
Cold calling, presentation and selling the dream.