• May 1, 2006
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Instant Web Analytics: Just Add Genius

Marketing and sales may have just come closer together-or they may be fighting for territory, thanks to a new on-demand analytics product from the humbly named vendor Genius. SalesGenius, the company claims, is the first on-demand Web-analytics tool, delivering real-time data on Web prospects at the individual level. Announced today, it will be available for free trial beginning Wednesday, May 3. Pricing starts at $49 per person, per month. Enterprise pricing is also available, according to Genius. The system ties email marketing, CRM data, and Web analytics together by delivering individualized email messages to prospects and alerting users when prospects click the links provided. Users can track site access as it happens, seeing which pages were visited and for how long, even replaying the prospect's visit. This allows salespeople to prioritize callbacks and target individuals' specific interests. "SalesGenius is a direct feed for sales reps to see which customers are on your site and what they do there," says David Thompson, Genius CEO and cofounder. "Sales professionals immediately understand who's hot and who's not in their pipeline, so they can better serve customers and sell more, faster." "SalesGenius can be a great tool, providing sales, development, and marketing instant feedback on who's interested and looking for more information, instead of waiting for the weekly Web analytics report to deliver information on groups of prospects," says Leslie Ament, director of customer intelligence research for Aberdeen Group. Web-analytics tools and CRM solutions can provide campaign response rates or pages browsed on a per-customer basis, Ament says, but that information isn't available when it's still hot. "Sales tools that provide real-time access to actionable customer intelligence will transform how sales and marketing professionals interact with customers by enabling higher levels of personalization." Genius appears to be unique in the industry for the time being, Ament says. "There are quite a few software companies that have the capacity to do this, but they're not doing it yet." Whether adoption is fast, slow, or stillborn will depend on factors beyond the quality of the tool. "In B2B organizations where salespeople are the champions, and marketing wants to keep control, this could spark battles for territory," Ament says. "And there are also possibilities for misuse" so companies should be prepared to set up policies so sales doesn't drive customers away. "A client of mine at Bell Canada once said, 'A fool with a tool is still a fool.'" Despite (or because of) those limiting factors, Ament believes SalesGenius and tools like it will shake up e-business. "This is a disruptive tool that will change the way sales and marketing work together, for better or worse," she says. "At the end of the day, it will be good for customers. They will get less spam, and have interactions that are more personal and relevant with vendors." Related articles: When a Lead Isn't a Lead and What to Do About It
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