In a climate that arguably demands more time be spent closing deals, sales professionals' productivity has instead fallen, according to research from Accenture, with sales professionals averaging just 37 percent of their time actually selling. The reason? Accenture points to sales force automation (SFA) tools that are insufficiently streamlined when it comes to reducing data-entry time, and unable to institutionalize proper responses to recurring situations. Looking to bring productivity back to the sales pros, Indianapolis-based Jesubi has unveiled its flagship product, a Web-based SFA solution that claims to require one-12th as many clicks as a standard SFA solution from a mainstay such as Salesforce.com.
Bill Johnson, Jesubi's president and chief executive officer, says the SFA solutions that have been deployed over the past two decades collect just two things -- intellectual property of sales contacts and forecast management -- neither of which, he says, actually helps with selling. The value proposition for SFA, he says, is -- and should be -- simplicity. "Basically, as a sales professional, you either reach a prospect or you don't," he says. "If you didn't, it's one click in our system. If you did, it's a few clicks to categorize the conversation quickly."
Jesubi's solution seeks "to remove the ambiguity behind ad hoc selling," Johnson continues, primarily through enabling reps to automatically record inbound responses, access voicemail, log emails, see activity history, and view status in one common view. Furthermore, line-of-business users can customize categories and establish a definable "professional persistency," Johnson says, another leg up for sales pros eager to get back to selling. In fact, Jesubi's marketing materials promise that users will "do more work in less time when prospecting," and that "the average sales representative is two times more productive when using Jesubi than [when using] other SFA tools for prospecting."
Additional features include:
- programmatic prospecting, enabling users to apply methodical call schedules and create email- and marketing-campaign templates;
- standard contact management functions, including call notes, opportunity tracking, and Microsoft Outlook integration; and
- Prospecting Velocity reporting, detailing and analyzing the number of attempts to contact a prospect, the number of conversations that occur, and the time interval between calls.
Denis Pombriant, founder and principal analyst of CRM consultancy Beagle Research Group, believes Jesubi's solution is well tailored to telesales, particularly for this first iteration of the product. "Over time, we're going to see a greater reliance on teleselling," Pombriant says. "We may be on the cusp of an age when transportation costs and energy prices go back up significantly and make travel more expensive…so products that enable companies to do a better job of inside selling are going to be in demand."
The company claims to have more than 30 customers, 60 percent of whom use Jesubi's software as a total CRM solution. The remaining customers integrate Jesubi with CRM offerings such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, NetSuite, and Salesforce.com. Automated synchronization is available for Salesforce.com, using Salesforce.com's standard application programming interface.
Pombriant says he believes Jesubi has great potential, but may be a tad early to market. "There will be early adopters who have a need for a product like this, but if the economy unfolds the way I believe it will, the marketplace for Jesubi will be bigger," he says. "It's a matter of waiting and seeing, but Jesubi has a lot to get started with."
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