Occasionally, the editors at SellingPower find CRM products that seem to be particularly innovative and thus deserving of wider notice. Here are three such items.
Innovation #1: The Webex Sales Center
Rather than traveling to make sales calls, you can use the Internet to prospect, connect, inform, negotiate and close sales. With Sales Center, you can set up Webinars that are a combination teleconference and Webcast with additional interactive features, such as the ability to conduct instant online polls. You also can create online events to develop suspects into prospects, provide online demonstrations and presentations, meet with customer stakeholders worldwide, work jointly on proposals, negotiate terms and conditions, close business and position your company for future opportunities. Because Sales Center integrates with existing CRM systems, it can help you track accounts and opportunities. Why we think this is interesting: The Webinar concept is a natural match for sales engagements where frequent in-person visits simply aren’t possible. This technology will become increasingly important as business becomes more global. For more information visit http://www.webex.com/services/sales-center.html
Innovation #2: InsideScoop Customer Connection
This product provides seamless migration of your existing account information from your CRM and account management systems to your new CRM solution on an ongoing basis. This data migration service can merge fields from different sources and cleanse and remove duplicate records so you can launch and maintain clean data within your CRM application. Especially interesting is the Customer Cleanse feature that checks the information in your database with the D&B global master database so you receive the most accurate data in your CRM application. In short, Customer Connection enables sales and marketing users to directly view and save the latest data relevant to their accounts, contacts and industries right in their CRM application. Why we think this is interesting: The big downside of using computers is that data integrity is difficult to maintain, especially if there are many different people, with different skill levels, involved in updating the database. As CRM becomes a more integral part of the sales environment, companies must find ways to maintain control of their data integrity, and this may be an option worth pursuing. For more information visit http://www.insidescoop.com/products.html#connection
Innovation #3: BackWeb’s Offline Web
This product allows existing Web applications to run efficiently whether or not your notebook computer is connected to the corporate network, without reengineering, recreating or rewriting any of your firm’s Web-based applications. Wherever you have access to a broadband connection – at home, in a wi-fi hotspot or a dial-up connection in a hotel – you can use BackWeb’s software to synchronize the applications running on your notebook computer with data on the home office computer. Then you can access that information on the road without actually being connected to the main computer. While the notebook is technically offline, to you it feels as if the notebook is constantly connected. Why we think this is interesting: There’s no reason why sales reps should learn two different versions of a sales or enterprise application just because wireless connectivity isn’t ubiquitous. This product reduces training time so sales reps can focus on selling rather than hassling with different versions of the same program. For more information visit http://www.backweb.com