Boston – August 7, 2008 – OutStart, a global provider of software for learning and social software, has received Force.com AppExchange certification from salesforce.com for its OutStart SellingEdge.com product. The Force.com AppExchange certification includes extensive testing of the application by salesforce.com as well as the submission of endorsements from customers. The certification gives users access to SellingEdge.com through a tightly integrated connection in Salesforce CRM, the industry-leading customer relationship management solution.
SellingEdge.com complements Salesforce CRM by providing a direct line to the kind of expertise that is generally stored in one place: people’s minds.
Studies from CSO Insight show that 80 percent of the knowledge a sales force possesses is never captured. CSO Insight calls this know-how Dynamic Sales Knowledge (DSK), and suggests that DSK can improve sales by helping employers:
- boost by 23 percent the number of sales reps making quota,
- improve win rates of forecast deals by 13 percent, and
- cut sales rep turnover by 32 percent.
"Top sales people have great networks of peers and experts who they can call on for answers,” said Massood Zarrabian, CEO for OutStart. “But the majority of sales teams are warriors who struggle to: find answers to questions; find the right expert; get quick responses to address their prospects’ issues; and differentiate their company from the rest of the pack. Often the few experts who so many sales pros call on can’t make everyone’s question a priority, or these experts get frustrated responding to similar queries again and again.”
Many times, sales people a notch or two below the top-flight ones waste time and energy trying to find the answers they need to move along a deal. According to Zarrabian, these sales people lose to a competitor because the prospect doesn’t feel they are responsive, or competent.
“Even when experts are responsive and able to share their expertise, there is no mechanism for capturing the know-how and sharing that knowledge with others,” said Zarrabian. ”It is one reason experts often grouse about answering the same questions repeatedly.”
To meet this challenge, sales pros can now look to the integration of SellingEdge.com and Salesforce CRM for answers. To use SellingEdge.com, salesforce.com customers merely click on the SellingEdge.com portal within Salesforce CRM. Once there, sales execs can ask questions of the system. And SellingEdge.com provides relevant knowledge just as an expert would.
If the sales exec requires additional information, SellingEdge.com automatically identifies the relevant experts and requests a response. Experts receive and can respond to the request via email, and the sales execs receive answers via email as well as within SellingEdge.com. OutStart’s solution also automatically tags and stores all answers for future use.
“SellingEdge.com’s power is in connecting sales people to all the knowledge they need. Using social software, integrated with collaboration and communication technologies, SellingEdge.com helps sales pros find and capture expertise, or quickly find an expert who can respond to a query for help,” remarked Zarrabian. “Unlike other software on the market, SellingEdge.com offers much more than simply amalgamating and customizing standard presentations for delivery to customers.”
Wikis, blogs and online communities offer excellent channels for accessing information. But these Web 2.0 tools create silos of know-how unless they are tied together. SellingEdge.com provides just such a link.
“The SaaS and PaaS ecosystem continues to expand as great partners add new apps to the Force.com AppExchange,” said Clarence So, chief marketing officer, salesforce.com. “Outstart’s SellingEdge.com on the Force.com AppExchange gives customers a way to not only find quality answers faster but also make a one-time contribution of expertise that can be reused hundreds, or thousands, of times.”
About the Force.com AppExchange
Force.com (http://www.force.com/) reinvents the traditional development, deployment and distribution of any business application with platform-as-a-service. Developers, customers and partners can use Force.com to easily create a new generation of on-demand applications and deploy them worldwide as a service. Force.com allows applications to be easily shared, exchanged and installed with a few simple clicks via salesforce.com's Force.com AppExchange marketplace, enabling all the innovation that Force.com unleashes to be easily distributed to the entire on-demand community.
The AppExchange economy continues to expand, with thousands of customers installing applications via the Force.com AppExchange. Customers of all sizes can quickly and easily extend Salesforce with additional on-demand business applications available on the Force.com AppExchange, found at http://www.salesforce.com/appexchange/
OutStart software powers formal and on-demand learning, knowledge sharing and community/expert collaboration solutions that enable knowledge workers – employees, partners, and customers – to perform their roles far more efficiently and effectively. AgustaWestland, Autodesk, British Telecom, CVS Caremark, the U.S. Navy, Verizon Wireless and others rely on OutStart to increase individual and organizational performance, improve knowledge transfer and lower operating costs. Located in Boston, Mass., OutStart has offices throughout Europe and North America and can be found on the web at www.outstart.com