Should your company assign sales territories by geography or connections? Does someone on your team already know a key contact at a prospective customer? Could someone help close an on-the-brink sales deal?
Those are the sorts of strategic puzzles that cloud software company Reachable is aiming to answer with its social business software (marketed under the same name), which is delivered as a cloud service.
The Reachable application integrates and marrying different social networks that individuals and companies juggle in the course of doing business. It works by consolidating your personal contacts, email address books, and social networks, and offering what you could call connection maps. (Reachable's service actually used to be known as PeopleMaps.) Right now, Reachable supports email contacts from Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Apple Mail and others; along with social network connections from Facebook and LinkedIn. It consolidates them into your own unique network of “people you know."
Reachable CEO Al Campa described his company's application as sort of like "LinkedIn on steroids." Only the focus can be on surfacing relationships that could help the company as well as the individual. The application provides a more realistic view of who knows whom, and can help companies think differently about sales prospecting or recruiting, Campa said. Reachable interfaces directly with customer relationship management tools including Salesforce and Oracle CRM On Demand, helping make better use of those resources.
"What you find is that when you have a relationship map, it changes the way you attack the sales process," he said. "That gives your sales team the best chance for success."
According to Campa, here are four ways that Reachable could get your team thinking differently about sales:
Since I tend to be sort of paranoid (I actually killed my LinkedIn social network account two months ago because I wasn't comfortable with how people were using my connections), I asked Campa about the privacy implications of uploading social and contact information into Reachable. He said while it does require a level of trust within a company to share information, users can take steps to protect their contact data by restricting access. No one can see your connections, except for your.
If you stop using the application, your information is deleted from the database.
An entry-level version of the application that lets you see up to 100 connection paths is free; beyond that, the Reachable professional edition for integration with CRM systems is priced starting at $49 per user, per month.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com