Take a LookAhead

By Heather Baldwin

When Jerry Cort sat down to write LookAhead’s DataNet Sales Software, he sought to solve two problems. First, he found that the CRM systems either were great for sales managers and put a burden on sales reps, or they were great for the reps but cumbersome for managers. Cort wanted to write an application that would be effective and useful for both. Second, he found that because several applications were page oriented, users couldn’t keep up with entering information while prospects were talking to them because they had to keep switching pages to put all the information in the right places. Thus, Cort found, “salespeople would carry their day timers around, write everything down, and then sit down at the end of the day to put everything in,” says the founder of LookAhead Software, Inc. “The result is that you dilute your salesperson’s time.”

Cort is convinced he has succeeded in solving both problems with DataNet Sales Software, a browser-free system that links every person in the sales organization through a proprietary two-way synching technology. The application is built around three modules that address communication, sales force and management needs: the LookAhead DataNet, Contact Management Module and Sales Analysis Engine.

The Contact Management Module offers a single-point-of-entry window that gives quick access to record activity, sets appointments, triggers callbacks and updates prospect information. Linked windows provide an instant view of all contact information and history without clicking through numerous screens. And LookAhead helps increase sales reps’ efficiency by giving them an immediate view of their individual sales pipeline as well as a personal sales forecast that allows them to focus their attention on the right prospects at the right time.

The Sales Analysis Engine gives sales managers instant real-time access to comprehensive data from the entire sales team. It also learns the sales cycle performance characteristics of each salesperson. Together, these features give managers the ability to look ahead to forecast future sales. “Our system learns what each individual sales rep has in terms of yield at each step of the sales process,” says Cort. “That gives sales managers incredibly accurate projection capabilities.”

LookAhead Software incorporated in March 2002 and announced its DataNet Sales Software in November. The cost is $750 per seat for the license, 12% of the per-seat cost annually for support and $15 per seat, per month for hosting. For more information, visit www.lookahead.net.