Salesnet Broadens CRM Reach

Salesnet, an on-demand vendor known for its distinctive sales methodologies, is broadening its application’s reach to include marketing and service. In doing so, it is taking aim at Salesforce.com, arguably the market leader in the CRM on-demand space.

The new product, which the company is calling its 25th Anniversary Edition, offers 250 new features including lead management, campaign management and HTML e-mail capability.

“With this application, we are aggressively extending our footprint within the CRM space,” Salesnet.com President Jonathan Tang told CRM Buyer.

Marketing is the focus of this current release, Tang said. Service automation will follow during the second half of the year. “Meanwhile, we will continue to deepen our functionality in sales and marketing.”

Taking On Salesforce.com

Salesnet decided to go head to head with Salesforce.com last year, Tang said, based on anecdotal evidence that Salesforce customers were growing dissatisfied with the application.

Salesnet began to develop more robust sales features and made the decision to broaden into the marketing and service areas.

Salesnet is not the only company trying to grab market share from Salesforce.com. It will not be easy to dislodge the market leader from its perch, but it is doable with the right strategy, said Denis Pombriant, principal of Beagle Research.

“There are a lot of vendors out there trying to be cheaper than Salesforce.com or trying to offer more or different features,” he told CRM Buyer. “That is not the best way to compete against a market leader, though. Instead, you have to be offering something that is truly special.”

Salesnet, he said, has launched a campaign that is moving in that direction.

Concurrent with the release of its new application, Salesnet also announced one new customer win: GreenPages. The IT vendor selected it over Salesforce.com based on the new functionality in the latest release, Salesnet said.

Salesforce.com was unable to comment in time for publication.

Married to Marketing

Salesnet’s new application will appeal to companies that recognize the need to include marketing in their sales processes, Pombriant continued. “They have taken a more structured approach to the process of identifying an opportunity or lead, and then integrating that into the marketing process.”

Some of this functionality had been on Salesnet’s product road map for two years, Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone noted. Expanding the functionality to incorporate marketing — and later, service — is a necessity if the company wants to grow.

“The lines are blurring between sales and marketing at many firms,” Kingstone told CRM Buyer. “Most companies want at least some basic marketing functionality.”

New Features

Among the new features in this edition:

  • A lead dashboard that allows users to track leads as well as build customizable reports;
  • A campaigns module that allows users to track and measure the effectiveness of specific marketing campaigns through a dashboard; and
  • An e-mail system that gives designated individuals the ability to create HTML e-mails using a WYSIWYG editor.

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