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Landslide Looks to Take CRM to a New Level

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Posted August 1, 2008 By Richard Adhikari     Feedback

By incorporating Web 2.0, better ease of use and sales aids, Landslide says its latest version functions more in line with the way salespeople think.

Landslide Technologies has launched an update to its product for salespeople that it said goes beyond standard customer relationship management (CRM) software.

Landslide Summer 2008, released earlier this week, incorporates Web 2.0 capabilities customizable portals, a redesigned graphical user interface (GUI) for easier navigation, mash-ups for background information on customers and a customizable set of best practices. The new release also includes a set of optional VIP phone support services at extra cost.

"We focus on process management for the sales force," Saman Haqqi, Landslide's vice president of marketing, told InternetNews.com. "Not only do we tell users the phases of the sales cycle, but we also tell them how to complete the sale effectively."

Landslide Summer 2008 lets salespeople set up private portals with each of their prospects. Once they upload documents related to a sale into that portal, it automatically e-mails the prospective client a password.

On the other hand, when a prospect opens a document or provides a comment, the system automatically sends the salesperson an e-mail alert. "That lets the salesperson follow up in a timely manner when clients show interest," Haqqi said.

The update also includes a mash-up using SalesView, an on-demand business search and intelligence application from InsideView. This combines data from LinkedIn and Jigsaw, traditional business database sources such as Dun & Bradstreet (NYSE: DNB) and Hoovers, and the result of Web searches, to give salespeople background on prospective customers when they log those customers' companies into the system.

BlackBerry support in the works

Currently, Landslide is available only through a Web browser. Haqqi said the company will port it to the BlackBerry hand-held device soon.

Reactions to the announcement were mixed. "It's nice to see traditional CRM merge with what we call sales knowledge management," Jim Dickie, managing partner at sales and marketing analyst firm CSO Insights told InternetNews.com.

"A lot of products take sales training and embed it into CRM systems, but for the most part these only tell a sales rep what to do -- get to the CIO, understand customer needs and so on," Dickie said. And the sales rep goes 'How do I do that?'" Landslide embeds process into the product, so when a salesperson makes a call it gives him the script, for example."

Dickie dismissed any concern Landslide is not available yet on the BlackBerry, which is a widely-used salesperson's tool. "I don't have all my sales collateral on the BlackBerry, I still carry around my laptop with the data sheets and price sheets," he said. "It's not a good format for doing intense data sharing."

However, Illuminata analyst Jonathan Eunice was not so impressed. "It's CRM. No more, no less," he told InternetNews.com.

"Some CRM functions are more full-function than others," Eunice said. "This one obviously has a lot of Web 2.0 gorp and social networking goo ladled on. But helping sales people, linking with external data sources such as LinkedIn, is what a CRM is supposed to do."

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