By Pat Hinds
I am going to start doing product reviews of sales tools that will help sales organizations grow market share in targeted verticals. When I review a product I am going to be looking for features that will help companies structure a vertical selling campaign as well as how the product integrates with sales automation tools and improves the solution selling and marketing process.
The first product that I will review is SalesView (as an add-on for Salesforce.com); SalesView discovers business intelligence across both social media and traditional editorial sources and delivers this intelligence natively within CRMapplications and mobile devices for optimum usability. SalesView claims to help with list building, prospecting, lead qualification, CRM adoption, account management, sales cycle and CRM management.
I have integrated SalesView into SalesForce.com and I am using it to help one of my customers grow market share in the energy sector. My review is based on my experience in the first week of operation:
Sales View & Business Intelligence
When building a vertical campaign the objective is to identify market opportunity, addressable market and market share. SalesView provides customers with the following information that can assist in building a vertical campaign.
Company Name– A company name is required to be loaded in SalesForce; SalesView does a good job of searching and providing the legal company name. If multiple companies are retrieved it allows you to select the company.
Employees– SalesView provides the total number of employees, however there are discrepancies in the number they provide and the number I had already loaded into SalesForce.
Industry – Provides Industry description.
Revenue – Provides updated company revenue.
Company Contact – Provides company address, phone, fax and website.
Description – Provides a company description that includes some information on lines of business and geography.
Sales Automation Integration
The goal of sales automation is to make your sales team more productive in account management, opportunity management and contact management process.
Account Management– Sales view does a good job in providing basic business intelligence and links to sources of data that can help sales reps do a deep dive into companies lines of business. However at present, it has no intelligence to help filter the data beyond the fields provided by SalesForce.
Opportunity Management– SalesView is integrated into lead management by providing the same business intelligence found in the account section. SalesView does not integrate into opportunity management within SalesForce. The custom agent feature in the account management section could help identify information as it relates to opportunities, but is quite labour intensive at this stage.
Contact Management– SalesView is headed in the right direction, but the product needs to mature in this area. The contact list within SalesView only covers senior management and relies on relationships with Jigsaw and LinkedIn to provide in-depth info on the account.
Solution Selling and Marketing
The goal of solution selling and marketing is to align your sales efforts to grow market share in specific verticals with the sales team’s ability to create the perception that they are aligned with a company’s objectives and marketing’s brand alignment within the target vertical.
Solution Selling– SalesView can provide a salesperson with business intelligence on the account and contacts within the account, but the lack of integration with opportunity management limits its impact for solution selling.
Vertical Marketing– SalesView can help marketing teams with collecting business intelligence.
SalesView is a glimpse into the future of selling; the web 2.0 integration is innovative and helpful. The challenge is the data provided is flat and might help administrators automate population of data into SalesForce more than it will help a sales rep manage relationships and opportunities. The agent feature has a lot of promise in making the information more dynamic, but at this point the feature is too complicated for your average sales person to manage. The value of the product compared to the price is 2.5/5, but the vision of the product is 5/5. Time will tell whether Salesview is worthy of its monthly price-tag!