Predictive sales acceleration solution provider Datahug has launched Sales Closer, a virtual sales assistant tool designed to leverage predictive analytics and integrations with CRM systems to give sales teams next-step recommendations and other key insight for closing deals. According to Datahug CEO Ray Smith, the solution goes beyond traditional business intelligence tools by looking at communication data to generate more accurate, real-time analysis.
"There's a lot of business intelligence technology out there that runs various [analyses] postmortem to analyze if there's any insight on what patterns sales teams should follow or lock into. This is like looking in the rearview mirror to understand where you're going. It's just not the right way to get the insight you need," Smith says.
Datahug Sales Closer relies on machine-learning technology that identifies patterns based on a number of different data points, including not only historic CRM data, but also data from sales teams' communications with prospective clients as well as other sales activity happening in real time. "CRM systems are important, and salespeople spend a tremendous amount of time updating them, but that data is unreliable and incomplete. Reps put only a mere fraction of the data into the CRM system, and it also goes very stale quickly," Smith explains.
Its machine learning capabilities enable Datahug Sales Closer to provide sales executives with real-time deal scores and recommendations for the best next step, be that a meeting or a follow-up phone call. Because of deep integrations with CRM systems such as Salesforce CRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the recommendations can be set to be appear directly within the CRM interface. With recommendations from Datahug, sales "win rates" can grow by an average of 21 percent, Smith says.
Datahug's primary competitors include companies such as Clari, Introhive, Implisit, and C9, but Smith maintains that each of these companies' solutions is missing something that Datahug offers. For example, while Clari offers prescriptive sales guidance, predictive sales forecasts, and CRM integration, the company doesn't analyze communications data or facilitate automatic CRM updates. Neither does C9, Smith claims. Introhive and Implisit, on the other hand, are both missing prescriptive sales guidance and predictive sales forecasts capabilities, he adds.
For sales teams, Smith says Datahug Sales Closer will be a major time saver that will ultimately make them more efficient. "From a representative's point of view, this tool is going to help me juggle and spin all of the plates that I have to spin. And I don't have to waste time on data entry, so I can spend that valuable time engaging with new recommended opportunities," Smith says.
Though Datahug's solution is currently available as a standalone solution, CRM vendors are becoming increasingly interested in acquiring or integrating the technology from vendors such as Datahug into their offerings. Salesforce.com, for example, snatched up Datahug competitor RelateIQ in July 2014 and continues to invest in Datahug as well.