Genius.com comes out with a program for SalesGenius that aims at meshing the departments of marketing and sales; one analyst sees the value for companies with long sales cycles.
Posted Mar 5, 2007
Genius.com, the provider of on-demand sales and marketing solutions, today released the Genius Accelerator Program, which the company says will blur the line between sales and marketing. The Accelerator Program will work with SalesGenius, Genius.com's flagship product that was released in May 2006. The service will help sales representatives to better reach out through direct efforts, such as email, without having to rely on marketing to assist them with this process, thereby facilitating a smoother relationship between the two departments.
Felicity Wohltman, vice president of marketing for Genius.com, says that the company developed the Accelerator Program based off of needs of the company's current users. She explains that when sales reps of Genius.com's customer clients attempt to email prospects, qualify prospects, and establish relationships using SalesGenius, they sometimes run into problems. "They may not have received a lot of training in terms of how to communicate in writing, how to structure an mail that hits the main points early on, and how to structure interaction through the Web," Wohltman says. The Genius Accelerator Program helps to lead salespeople over this hurdle.
The Program comes in three levels: DaVinci, Darwin, and Mozart. DaVinci helps sales reps to find out what works for their email campaigns and to repeat best practices. Darwin facilitates lead qualification. Mozart allows email results and prospecting to be analyzed. Leslie Ament, independent analyst covering front office applications, says, "I see this being really proactive because it will help to reduce the sales cycle time in situations where you have a long sales cycle." Ament explains that although this service can make a difference in turn around time, its value is highest for companies' with higher value products and longer sales cycles, most likely B2Bs.
Wohltman says that the Genius Accelerator Program will further Genius.com's vision "to blur the line between sales and marketing." As email marketing has traditionally been a function of the marketing department, this service will help to put it more directly into the hands of sales to help make leads fresher and more relevant. Wohltman sees marketing developing into a role as a "consultant to sales," freeing up sales to reach out to prospects more quickly and to analyze their worth in real time.
Ament says that shifting the focus of sales and marketing could be useful, but also problematic. "It's disruptive because marketing still controls the marketing budget. It still controls the inbound and outbound. If an organization can cut through the disruptive factor and not fall into organizational dysfunction it could be a very good thing."
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