ReachForce, an on-demand provider of marketing databases, is making the jump into a related software niche.
Last month, it made available on a limited basis Fountainhead, an on-demand marketing predictive campaign engine customized for the Salesforce.com portfolio of products. Next month, according to CEO Suaad Sait, the firm will make this version generally available at the Salesforce.com user group conference.
In September, the company will provide Fountainhead on a standalone basis, allowing users to implement it with any CRM system, Sait told CRM Buyer. Essentially, customers will be able to upload data out of their own CRM systems, export that data to a flat file and subsequently import into Fountainhead.
By the end of the year, Sait also said, the company expects to have developed and delivered at least one other application directly integrated with a CRM vendor. He would not tell CRM Buyer which vendor, although he narrowed the field to Oracle’s Siebel CRM, Microsoft Dynamics, PeopleSoft CRM and NetSuite.
“These are the applications for which we get the most requests,” he said.
Filling a Gap
Fountainhead fills a gap that has existed, surprisingly, in most CRM operations ever since the space was first conceived — the gap between sales execution and marketing campaigns.
Fountainhead pulls data from the CRM application — in this case, now Salesforce.com — and analyzes activity in the sales pipeline. It shows where a company is winning deals and provides predictions based on historical data regarding what kinds of deals move the fastest through the sales pipeline.
“Fountainhead looks at where the company is winning the most deals, or where the deal velocity is, and then focuses the marketing campaigns based on the characteristics of those companies,” Sait explained.
Building on the Beginnings
ReachForce is only two years old — formed in October 2005 — but the company has been developing marketing databases since its inception. The jump to predictive marketing campaign software, Sait said, has been planned since the beginning.
“We began by building highly targeted databases for marketing customers,” he explained.”The problem we wanted to solve was the lack of access of marketers to high quality data for their campaigns.”
ReachForce’s approach to this part of its business was to provide marketers with lists populated specifically with corporate positions or roles that a company wanted to target. For instance, a marketer might approach ReachForce for a list of people responsible for testing firewalls,” he said.
The release of Fountainhead takes this process one step deeper into the marketing cycle, he added. “Previously we expected our customers to tell us which companies they wanted to go after and we would then provide the relevant lists. With Fountainhead we can do both.”