Salesforce.com launches Sales Reach for real-time selling and marketing

Salespeople can track prospects closer than ever before

Salesforce.com is combining its Pardot marketing software, sales automation application and social communities platform into a new product called Sales Reach, which it says can help salespeople nurture leads and make deals in real time.

Today's buyers don't follow a linear, predictable process, said Mark Woollen, senior vice president of product marketing, Salesforce.com Sales Cloud. Sales Reach gives salespeople the ability to closely track a prospect's buying mood and then "strike while the iron is hot," all from their mobile devices, Woollen said.

To this end, Sales Reach provides real-time activity notifications that get pushed to a salesperson's device. For example, a salesperson might get a notification that a prospect just downloaded a case study from the company's product website and looked at pricing information, said Salesforce.com product evangelist Mathew Sweezey.

"This is the right time to call him," Sweezey said. In the past, a salesperson would set up a task in their CRM (customer-relationship-management) system to remind themselves to call the prospect within a certain time frame, which is a roll of the dice compared to Sales Reach's capabilities, according to Sweezey.

Sales Reach's purpose doesn't end there, however. The salesperson may reach the prospect on the phone only to learn they didn't have time to have a serious phone conversation. The salesperson could then kick off a 30-day lead-nurturing campaign that sends out follow-up emails.

One of the emails could include an invitation to join an online community, also run on Salesforce.com's systems, where the prospect could interact with peers considering the purchase of the same products and services.

Sales Reach would send a notification if and when the prospect joined the community. It also logs all of the posts they make back into the original customer record. With this in hand, the salesperson can better judge when to call the prospect again, and what to talk about when they connect, Sweezey said.

The new product will be released in the first half of next year, with pricing to be announced at that time.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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