Umberto Milletti, InsideView CEO, recently shared InsideView’s vision for a Sales 2.0 world with writer Geoffrey James, a leading authority and reporter on all-things-sales-related, in the most recent addition of SellingPower.com.  We talk a lot on this blog about the need for more relevant data and collaboration across the social Web, but we thought you might want to hear from the InsideView ‘head honcho’ himself about the role of socialprise, technology, and InsideView in the sales profession, so we’ve included the full transcript of the interview below.

Selling Power: You’re credited with coining the term “socialprise.” What does it mean?
Umberto Milletti: Socialprise means bringing the benefits of social media (like blogs, forums, social network sites, etc.) to the enterprise in general, and to the sales organization in particular. Sales professionals realize that there is a great deal of information on the Web about various people and organizations, but they are often at a loss about how to find what they need to know. Our product, SalesView, leverages and aggregates that ever-growing information in a way that doesn’t place an undue burden on sales professionals’ time and energy.

SP: Can you give us an example?
UM: Certainly. A sales professional can ask the application questions, like, “Who are some people with the title of vice president who live in Ohio and are interested in employee performance?” SalesView aggregates the information from blogs, LinkedIn entries, press releases, SEC filings, news articles, etc., to provide a list of individuals who fit that profile. A sales professional could, of course, do much of that research through multiple searches, but that would take a large amount of time that otherwise could have been spent in more productive selling activities.

SP:
Is the technology useful for more than just lead generation?
UM: Absolutely. It’s frequently used for further qualifying leads that have been generated using other methods. For example, if your Web site logs inquiries from a hundred prospects, it can use information on the Internet to categorize and prioritize those leads so that you call the ones that are most likely to buy, or which are most likely to have the money to buy. SalesView is also a good tool for account development and cross-selling because it provides an alternative and detailed view of the people inside a current customer organization.

SP: Many sales reps already feel overwhelmed by having to learn so much technology to get their job done. How are you keeping this from being yet another burden on their time?
UM: Actually, that’s the “prise” piece to “socialprise.” We simply inject it into their existing CRM application. You don’t have to be trained, really…just show up to work one day and see the new information. Also, we’ve been working with over 150 companies to ensure that this product is extremely easy to use. In most cases, it’s presented as a button or field right inside the CRM application. For example, if you list your current opportunities, you’ll also be presented with links to relevant information about the customer, such as a new blog entry or an update to the customer’s Facebook entry. You can then click on the links and learn the details. In other words, it provides a deeper perspective into your customers and contacts. You can also have regular email sent to you on a daily or weekly basis summarizing what SalesView thinks is important.

SP:
How has the product been received?
UM:
At the CRM application level, this year we established partnerships with the likes of salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle CRM On Demand, SugarCRM, and Landslide Technologies. At the user level, we’ve experienced a rapid growth rate with an accelerating adoption rate inside the companies that already have it. We originally saw companies consuming it for just a subset of their sales team, maybe 10 or 20 users. Now we’re seeing many more cases where it’s just being rolled out to the entire sales staff. It becomes immediately popular because it piggybacks atop the CRM system and just suddenly appears, with all its functionality, on the Monday morning that you turn the functionality on.

SP: What’s in the future for InsideView?
UM: In the short term, we’re focusing on the changing economy of the sales profession. Longer term, we see InsideView as an essential element of the entire Sales 2.0 movement, which applies technology in new ways to help sales professionals sell. We plan to continue to make our product more integrated and more relevant so that our customers can be more productive.

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