Hootsuite buys Sales Prodigy to bolster social selling tools

Hootsuite plans to Sales Prodigy's technology into its platform to make it easier for business users to engage with prospective customers in real time on social media.

Social media management platform Hootsuite on Tuesday said it plans to acquire Sales Prodigy, a mobile app that offers social selling tools for businesses. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Hootsuite plans to integrate Sales Prodigy's technology into its platform to make it easier for business users to engage with prospective customers in real time on social media.

The concept of social selling falls back into this newish idea of contextual commerce, which is sort of a fancy umbrella term for tools that encourage shoppers to make in-the-moment purchases on the Internet.

Interest in contextual commerce has grown over the last two years, with merchants, technology providers and social media companies eager to experiment with how they can use the technology to increase digital sales.

"Many organizations have invested in social marketing and social support, but there's a big gap in the market for social selling solutions, and we want to address it." says Matt Switzer, VP of corporate development at Hootsuite. "With the addition of Sales Prodigy, we're bolstering our platform to better align with our customers needs for social selling."

Beyond its efforts surrounding social commerce technology, Hootsuite has been positioning its platform for more enterprise appeal. In November, Hootsuite tightened its ties to Microsoft with a series of platform integrations.

Hootsuite first linked up with Microsoft's chat product Yammer in 2012, making it the first enterprise social network provider to integrate into the HootSuite platform. The partnership was expanded to include native integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Office 365, and SharePoint, along with more capabilities tied into Yammer.

Last summer the company partnered with IBM in a commitment to move its App Directory, a marketplace of social applications, to IBM's SoftLayer cloud infrastructure. Previously, Hootsuite integrated IBM's Silverpop software into its App Directory, while IBM began using Hootsuite to promote its series of hackathons.

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