There was further recognition of the growing importance of CRM last week as developer Costello secured $1 million in investment in a funding round led by Dundee Venture Capital, with participation from a number of other investors. Costello’s platform has been breaking new ground by focusing on how sales reps keep track of their conversations with prospective clients.
“Before Costello, reps were forced to use ad-hoc tools like post it notes and Google docs to guide sales conversations,” says Frank Dale, founder of Costello. “Costello gives every sales rep a co-pilot for sales conversations, an analyst to improve performance, and an assistant to reduce the admin burden.”
As technology has continued to evolve, so consumers are becoming more savvy and that results in higher expectations of sales people. Taking just the sale of software, Costello says that nearly all buyers research software solutions on their own before ever contacting a company. According to Adweek, 81% of buyers conduct online research before their first point of contact.
Reps are now being asked to do more at every stage of the sales process. They make more phone calls and send more emails and that means they end up managing more deals.
They are also asked to increase both activity volume and manage more tasks, which makes their job more difficult.
Deal management platforms like Costello’s are generating interest from investors because they support sales teams with a new way of working – its platform aligns sales reps, managers and vice presidents to help teams work together more closely.
Integrating with Salesforce and Gmail, Costello allows its customers to access CRM data and their calendar while managing each deal. It guides reps through structured call flow, helping them to ask the right questions and follow a consistent agenda. After each call, sales reps can take immediate follow-up actions, access relevant marketing collateral and sync notes directly back to their CRM.
• As buyers change their decision-making processes, sales teams have aggressively adopted digital tools to keep up.
• Sales teams invest $12 billion annually in sales acceleration tech, primarily in tools designed to increase activity volume.
• Costello’s appeal lies, in part, in the insights it delivers to sales managers, including visibility into critical deal details, for example seeing how reps execute across the entire sales process, and identifying patterns and gaps that can lead to personnel.