Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sendside: Sales Automation and Acceleration as a Service – SaaaaS!

Let’s start with some disclosures. Before I became Director of Research at Focus, I consulted with Sendside, and am a big fan of the company and its management team. So it’s with at least a small dash of personal pride that I write about the company here – but you can and should still take my opinions at least semi-seriously.

That said, observers and pundits, including Gartner, are increasingly saying that if and as the economy begins to improve, one of the first things areas in which companies are going to re-start spending is in sales. Specifically, companies seem likely to invest in solutions that will help them make more sales more quickly and more inexpensively.

Hard to argue with logic like that. No better way to accelerate economic recovery than to shorten sales cycles and increase sales numbers. But how best to do so?

I would argue that anything that helps to engage, inform, persuade and invite prospects to take further action – like, for example, to give your offering a try – is a likely winner here. And I believe Sendside has developed a platform and an architecture that can help almost any company do all of these things, in ways that are automated, repeatable, scalable, economical and effective.

With Sendside, you can combine traditional e-mail with all kinds of other communications, in a variety of formats. What’s really cool, however, is that you can combine these into packages that are as easy to send, receive, open and share as a typical e-mail. No more convoluted combining of documents, spreadsheets, marketing collateral and what-have-you. No more bulky, slow-to-send-and-download giant e-mails. And no more concerns about whether or not your recipient has all of the software necessary to read/see what you’ve sent the way you meant for it to be read/seen. Your electronic outreach is faster, easier, less intrusive and confusing and more likely to be more readily consumed and more effective.

What’s more, Sendside can tell you who’s received what, who’s opened what, and when they did so. This makes following up – what sales and marketing people sometimes refer to as “lead nurturing” – easier, more consistent, and more effective. It can also greatly accelerate sales cycles and prospect conversion.

You can learn a lot more by visiting and downloading one or both of the white papers I wrote for them before joining Focus. One takes an IT-centric view, while the other is more business-focused. Then, check out the Sendside solution itself. Ask the Sendside team to send you a Sendside package, then maybe get yourself a personal Sendside account so you can send some packages to your colleagues. Then, let the Sendside team and me know what you think.

(By the way, if you haven’t read them yet, I also have some thoughts on Microsoft’s new Office Web Applications and their implications for Web-based collaboration. They’re over at my DortchOnCollaboration blog. You might find those interesting as well.)