There's a productivity dead zone somewhere between the time a salesperson last checks Salesforce and the moment she first shakes hands with a potential client. In some cases, this disconnect between CRM tools, other applications and real world unpredictability can result in wasted time, missed meetings, or worse, lost sales opportunities.
Selligy, a Bay Area startup, is using mobile technology to bridge that gap with an iPhone app that helps sales professionals pick up where Salesforce and traditional appointment software leave off.
According to CEO and co-founder Nilay Patel, his team "focused on the sales person's activity" for the Selligy app, which is available today on the Apple iTunes store. The result is an app that focuses on managing sales meetings and the stretches of time between them.
"Think about what a salesperson does," says Patel, "the whole profession is about face-to-face communication." Selligy smooths the process of getting to and navigating in-person sales meetings by not only integrating with Salesforce, but also leveraging many of the social, messaging and location-based services that have come to define mobile experience.
First, Selligy offers users "a central location for all of their sales meetings" says Patel. While it may seem a limiting move to focus on this one activity, Patel reports that for many of its early users, the experience has been freeing when compared to full-featured CRM apps and bouncing between apps.
Selligy pulls contact information from Salesforce and provides maps and directions to guide sales executives to their appointments. The app goes further by taking into account real-time traffic and drive times to deliver departure time estimates to keep itineraries on schedule -- a boon for salespeople in unfamiliar territory. Selligy issues friendly, human language alerts, prodding users to move things along to get to the next appointment on time.
Still running late? With a single tap, Selligy can send a text message with an estimated time of arrival to fellow meeting participants. Selligy also helps avoid awkward introductions by pulling participants' portraits from LinkedIn prior to meetings.
Another quality of life feature is the ability to dial into conference calls with a single poke at the iPhone's screen -- no more "followed by the pound sign" finger gymnastics.
Patel, who poured his own experiences in B2B sales into crafting Selligy, says that so far the app has being well received by sales professionals. "They've been begging their companies for tools like this," he says, adding that until now sales people "were piecing together their own solutions" comprised of mapping, reminders and calendaring apps.
Eyeing Enterprise CRM
The convenience factor aside, Selligy's knack for making sales meetings easier to manage has had an unintended consequence that spells good news for the company's future.
With Selligy, Patel has noticed that users "have more incentive to put information in CRM" to keep data current and maximize the app's effectiveness. Considering that data is the lifeblood of CRM platforms, it's a behavioral quirk that's getting some attention and putting the startup on a course toward the lucrative enterprise software market.
"It opens up the opportunity for us to create a much bigger company than we expected," says Patel.
Selligy is available now on the Apple iTunes App Store. It is currently in beta and free to use. Patel hints that support for other mobile platforms and paid premium plans with expanded functionality are in the works.