Although there are plenty of applications that ask salespeople for details about a given prospect, account or potential deal, none of them manages sharing tips and tricks for closing deals.
Involve Technology Inc.s StreetSmarts does just that. The hosted service, which was updated to Version 3.0 last month and costs $10 to $67 per user per month, provides discussions and some document management tools for sharing best practices and information about customers and prospects to improve sales.
StreetSmarts features worked well in eWEEK Labs tests, and we found the service ably helped organize selling expertise. However, the tool set would be more effective as part of a larger sales-force automation application in which advice accompanies prospect data in a single view. StreetSmarts can connect to CRM (customer relationship management) applications via an XML API to facilitate this integration.
StreetSmarts organizes discussions into topic categories including products, contacts, competition, industries and tactics. We could browse information by contents or by subject-matter experts.
Getting salespeople to invest time in the service is managed through an incentive system that generates points toward awards. The more content a salesperson reads, posts and provides feedback on, the more points he or she will accumulate.
From a content viewpoint, data stored in StreetSmarts can bridge gaps in sales training, reinforce best practices in the sales cycle, provide a forum for questions and answers, and help manage references. The question-and-answer feature is perhaps the best part of the StreetSmarts service. The feedback mechanisms worked particularly well in testing and, when united with the incentive system, should encourage salespeople to share data. StreetSmarts supports any kind of e-mail, so users can set the system to send them answers to questions rather than having to check constantly for system updates.
StreetSmarts has good tools for managing best practices and data around reference accounts and case studies, but it might not be the best place to store that kind of information. Tools such as The Savo Groups Sales Asset Manager and Pragmatech Software Inc.s Proposal Automation Suite can be configured to reinforce best practices, as well as to embed relevant content directly into proposals.
More information can be found at www.involvetechnology.com.