Channelinsight, a cloud-based channel sales management solution provider, has announced the release of its new Lead To Ship solution, which is designed to track channel sales shipments via Salesforce.com.
“We’ve tried to solve this guessing problem that channel managers have while using traditional tools, where they don’t know how the partners performed,” Mark Geene, CEO of Channelinsight, told Channel Marketer Report. “They create opportunities in their CRM system that may be fulfilled through a partner, but once they create that opportunity, the sales rep doesn’t know what happened to it. They register deals in their PRM system and they don’t know what happened to those deals, or they create special quotes in their quoting system with a big deal and they don’t know what happened to those.”
To address these issues, the new solution is expected to increase channel sales productivity by managing and report the complete opportunity process. Rather than fishing for shipment information, reps can receive in-depth reports and dashboards through Salesforce.com, and observe when a client moves from “unshipped,” to “partial,” to “complete.” Users also can receive status updates via mobile with a Chatter configuration.
“With Lead To Ship, we’re connecting back, and closing the (channel) loop, so channel managers can take an opportunity that comes in, load in Salesforce.com, and now automatically track the shipment, the parties involved and what actually happened to it,” Geene explained. “So now, the rep can focus on selling to the opportunity rather than worrying about tracking the opportunity and where it went.”
Currently available via Channelinsight for Salesforce.com, Lead To Ship Opportunity Management for the Channel is designed to organize and create a comprehensive view of all leads that become opportunities. Moreover, the solution was developed to aid in fully tracking shipment information. By linking with POS, companies can observe when open and incomplete opportunities receive their shipments.
The solution’s Chatter deployment allows users to send real-time feeds to desktop or mobile device to ensure that sales reps receive immediate alerts of status changes and new opportunities. With real-time updates and consistent reporting, sales personnel can focus on new opportunities, rather than sifting through shipment information. “Chatter is a revolutionary way for organization to communicate in a proactive manner,” he noted. “It’s leveraging the capabilities of social media in a BtoB world. What happens now is you can set up Chatter to track the shipments against an opportunity. We enable the interested parties to see everything that has gone on in the channel via mobile or laptop.”
This new feature encourages instant communication and access to information, which in turn, will increase trust and loyalty within the channel, according to Geene. “We’re really trying to create proactive communication and enabling it with sales data to create this environment that the channel is a good thing versus a bad thing. Particularly for the direct sales reps that have to get their opportunities fulfilled throughout the channel.”
Marketing departments also are expected to have a positive reaction to the Channelinsight solution, which was developed to employ reporting that includes closure and ROI results in rebates and channel marketing programs to improve dirty data. “The foundation of our product is the Channelinsight partner, where we collect data from thousands of distributors, retailers and resellers worldwide,” Geene said. “We aggregate the data via the cloud and we solve identification problems of dirty data. We determine the product that was sold, the reseller that bought it and the customer that bought the product…we’ve got visibility now all the way down to the customer.”
Companies can preview the solution at this year’s Dreamforce, from August 30, 2011 to September 2 at the The Moscone Center in San Francisco, California