I searched Google last night on the term "SAS reporting tool". The first "sponsored link" was for a company that I was not aware of, PivotLink. I clicked on it hoping to learn more about the company and its offerings (read: potential customer). Here is what I saw.
Allow me to summarize what I was presented with: generalities, not information nor answers.
If you were to look at this company's competitors you'd see the same promises and language. I was hoping to move beyond that, to look at the product, to see a demo maybe. And yes, I could see that information... only if I give my personal information (name, email, phone, etc.). Or if I clicked on the logo in the upper left corner, but that's clearly not something they are promoting, now is it?
Let's compare this experience to someone whom simply types in the company's address in their browser:
Hmmm.... products, solutions, demos, the whole enchilada. This is what I was hoping to see in the first place.
Making an interested party give personal information prior to granting access to desired information may be a good way to create a leads database (internal focus) but it is a poor way to create a customer experience (external focus) with the exact people you want to attract.
While this in indeed enterprise software and not a household product, I ask you, dear reader, to imagine how you'd feel if you were to be asked for this type of information if you were to want to browse shoes or books at a site you'd never been to but indicated that it had what you wanted (via search results). You'd do exactly what I did: you'd immediately bail and go to a less intrusive site. And you'd be likely to never consider the company again, knowing you have other options.