Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jesubi Doubles Sales Prospecting Efficiency

Summary: Jesubi is designed to make sales prospecting as efficient as possible. It shows how specialized software can be much better at one function than general purpose systems. You may not want to replace your CRM system with Jesubi, but dedicated prospecting teams should take a close look.

The latest stop on my little tour of not-really-demand-generation systems is Jesubi. The flash show when you enter the company’s Web site could easily be mistaken for a demand generation product – it lists campaign workflow, list segmentation, email templates, Salesforce.com integration and dynamic reporting. Only a couple of other items hint that this is really a product for sales departments: manage calling queues, track appointment quality and record call history.

Once the flash has run its mercifully-brief course, a more concrete promise appears in delightfully large type: “DOUBLE YOUR SALESFORCE DON”T DOUBLE YOUR COSTS”. Except, um, this message still doesn’t quite clarify what they’re selling. I would have guessed recruiting services or maybe offshore outsourcing. But the succeeding text finally ends any confusion:

“Jesubi is for companies that:

  • Have a sales team
  • Need to increase prospecting activities per hour
  • Need real-time visibility by rep, campaign, industry
  • Want to proactively reach their market place
  • Want to generate and qualify more leads
  • Need to measure response rates of messages”
That’s a lot of words, but you had me at “increase prospecting activities per hour”.

Indeed, what impressed me about Jesubi was its very tight focus on prospecting productivity. The system was originally developed for its own use by outsourced appointment generation vendor LeadJen. As Jesubi president Bill Johnson tells the story, LeadJen originally worked directly with its clients’ CRM systems but found they were poorly suited for systematic prospecting. Jesubi was the result, and more than doubled LeadJen’s touches per hour when it was introduced in 2007.

Another way to look at it: Johnson showed me that it took 12 clicks to log an email in Salesforce.com, compared with about three clicks in Jesubi. Multiply that savings by hundreds of contacts per day and you’re talking real value.

Everything else about Jesubi needs to be understood in this context of inside sales productivity. Yes, it does list segmentation, emails and multi-step campaigns, but these are not the outbound email blasts or unattended lead nurturing campaigns of a conventional demand generation system. Rather, the emails exist largely to support telephone calls, either in advance or as follow-up, and the campaign steps are largely tasks for sales people.

The real attention has gone into scheduling and recording one-on-one interactions. For example, Jesubi makes it easy to capture referrals and link them back to the original contact, so the system can accurately report on the value generated by each name. Building these links is difficult in most CRM software and virtually impossible in marketing automation systems.

System reports are similarly tailored to tracking prospecting results. Jesubi provides detailed statistics on the outcomes of each contact within a campaign, as well as highlighting results for each sales person. The goal is to help managers understand which activities and which workers are most productive, so they can quickly correct problems and improve results.

Jesubi does provide standard contact management functions, such as call notes, opportunity tracking, and Microsoft Outlook integration. Johnson said about 40% of Jesubi clients use it as their primary CRM system, while the balance integrate it with Salesforce.com or another CRM tool. Automated synchronization is available for Salesforce.com using their standard APIs.

Jesubi is offered as a service, with pricing starting at $100 per user per month. Implementation adds $1,500 to $5,000 depending on complexity. Much of the effort is dedicated to setting up custom categories for campaign activities and outcomes so the system runs as smoothly as possible. Jesubi was made commercially available early this year and currently has about 35 clients averaging about ten users each.

Although I’ve described Jesubi as a sales system, Johnson points out that this type of prospecting is sometimes the responsibility of marketing. This makes Jesubi yet another example of the much-discussed blurring between the boundaries of marketing and sales. It’s also an great example of the true meaning of usability – a product that is very well suited for a particular purpose, even though its capabilities for other tasks are limited. Just thought I’d point that out.

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