• June 28, 2007
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Maximum Sales Research

Maximizer Software today announced that it has entered into a new strategic alliance with sales-effectiveness and education research firm ES Research Group (ESR). The Canadian CRM vendor and the U.S. research firm will share customer bases for mutual cross- and upselling purposes. More important, they will share research and best practices with joint customers in educational events such as Webcasts, and participate in marketing programs aimed at raising awareness of the two companies' offerings.

ESR is a research and advisory firm that helps companies evaluate, implement, and measure their sales-performance programs, and provides analysis of sales training and the vendors that provide these programs. Recently, the firm launched its Certified Measurement Program (ESR/CMP), billed as the nation's first independent evaluation and approval rating system for measuring the performance of sales-training programs.

According to Peter Callaghan, chief sales officer for Maximizer, the partnership is a logical extension of programs Maximizer has had in place for some time. "This is not a one-off scenario--four years ago, we committed to a strategy for customer success, not just with our software, but with best practices and the people we work with," Callaghan says. "ESR is the first analyst firm of its type to focus on selling methodologies, and this is a great way to position ourselves as thought leaders on the topic."

"Good sales training and performance measurement is necessary for sales executives to run an effective sales force, and the most sophisticated teams enlist leading sales technologies to improve their processes and the results they deliver," said Dave Stein, ESR's chief executive officer, in a written statement. "By joining forces with Maximizer, ESR is completing the picture for sales leaders--offering expertise in the areas most critical to the implementation of sound training and proven technology."

It's important to note that while this is intended to be a close working relationship for the two companies, it is not an exclusive arrangement. "It's certainly a good opportunity for lead generation for Maximizer, and as Maximizer can be customized to support one or multiple sales methodologies, customers can use Maximizer to implement and support the sales methodology ESR recommends," says Rebecca Wettemann, vice president at Nucleus Research. "Of course, the big challenge for SFA--effective user adoption--will still have to be addressed through training and ongoing management focus."

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