How InsideView turbo-charges a sales team


I was chatting with Ian Goldsmid about what information sales people need about their networks, and he pointed me towards InsideView. They take the cornucopia of information available online about people and companies, and distill it into a very focused set of tools to help you sell, a little like Gist without the email connection. Imagine seeing that the sales lead you're contacting used to work at Cisco, so you can talk about their successful use of your product. You can also look at which of your existing customers know a prospect, maybe their testimonial would help make that sale.

Looking through their blog and other material (like this interview with their CEO Umberto Milletti) I was struck by a few things. First, there's obviously a big market demand from sales folks for better tools. Their Salesforce integration gets a 4.8/5.0 rating from customers, with 73 reviews containing comments like "Awesome tool!" and "Great for prospecting". With over 200 organizations using it in-house, with a cost starting at $1200 annually per seat, they're obviously delivering a lot of value!

Second, Umberto reports a lot of success with Salesforce's AppExchange as a distribution channel. I find that very interesting, because I'm convinced that most startups live or die on their distribution model. It doesn't matter how good your product is if there's no efficient way to get it to people who will benefit from it. I will be poking into the details of the Salesforce platform, but so far it seems very promising. The sales world is a domain I don't know much about, but it is obviously a natural market for tools like Mailana that offer rich ways of exploring social networks.

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