Every sales person uses some kind of presentation when pitching their ideas to potential customers. But how do you know if that customer is really interested, and what parts of the presentation they focused on most? This is a challenge which SalesCrunch believes it has resolved with its newest service, CrunchConnect. Read on to learn what it is.

The Problem with Sales Today

I had the opportunity to see and demo SalesConnect's new service CrunchConnect this week. It's an interesting service that could do a lot for sales people. But to understand the solution, you need to first understand the challenges with selling today. Sean Black, CEO of SalesCrunch listed these issues:

  • Successful selling isn't repeatable.
  • Management, marketing and product are disconnected from the customer.
  • Cold calling has been replaced by social calling.

He said the solution is to take the fuzzy art of sales and turn it into a repeatable process. So how does he think you do that?

Managing the Sales Experience

CrunchConnect is a new online presentation service. But it's not your typically WebEx. It has some interesting features I haven't seen in today's web conferencing tools that are good for sales people (and others).

Let's start with the Waiting Room you hit before you even enter the meeting. Everyone can gather together, chat, fill out their social profiles. You can log in with your LinkedIn account info to allow the service to pull some of your social profile information automatically.

There's a Call Me button at the top of the screen so the service will call you if you can't/don't want to call in directly. The conference line is a dedicated one.

When the presenter is ready, he/she can bring everyone into the meeting room. The list of attendees shows up in your left hand navigation, as does chat. Nothing really new there, except if you look at an attendee, you can get social information like LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as weather, time and news information. You have to supply the connections to those social network accounts currently.

CrunchConnect_PersonalMeetingRoom.jpg

This service requires no software download, so you are up and running very quickly. It's easy to add your presentation and it offers a nice vanity URL to send out to others to join (ie. crunchconnect.com/seanblack).

From there, the presentation happens as usual. It's what is happening on the host side that makes things really interesting.

CrunchConnect_HostPanel.jpg

CrunchConnect - Host Panel

There's also this interesting feature: Every attendee on the meeting has a green border around their picture in the navigation. But if someone gets bored or flips over to another browser tab or checks their email, a red border appears around their picture letting the presenter know that they may have lost attention. Luckily for me, I didn't do any jumping, because that would have been embarrassing.

Mix Social, Presentations and Analytics

The backend offers a number of capabilities, but some of them are still in beta. Right now you can record the audio of the presentation, but soon you will also be able to record the screen as well. These taped presentations are stored with the service in your account so you can view them at any time.

All your presentations are also stored with the service. Each slide is actually stored as an image file so they aren't modifiable (Black says they aren't trying to replace PowerPoint). But you can add and delete slides from a presentation. And you can re-use them for new meetings.

When the meeting is over, emails are generated with a link to view the presentation later. Each link is unique to each attendee. You can then track analytics on how those presentation are used after the meeting by attendees. Analytics include what slides were viewed, how long they were on a slide, often they viewed it and more.

CrunchConnect_PresentationTracking.jpg

CrunchConnect - Presentation Tracking

A single account allows you to store and manage multiple presentations. You can tell who is using what decks, ensuring that only the most up to date presentations are used.

Meetings can also be replayed at any time, so you can listen to how it went, what attendees asked and learn what worked and didn't work for next time.

Supporting the Selling Process

CrunchConnect is a new service, and there are some nice features still in the works. It is an innovative approach to selling, that combines the social aspects we all like to see and the analytics we need to know.

The Service is based on the Fremium model. But you will page based on number of conference calls and storage for decks and meetings if they increase past a certain point.

It's currently invite only and you get 5 invites in your account when you sign up.

I asked Black who the primary market is for CrunchConnect. He indicated that while this service can be used by anyone, they are targeting the revenue side of the organization to start. It's a service that perfect for SMBs and a lot of startups currently use it. Black said they want to follow a similar path to that of Salesforce.com and eventually expand out to other parts of the organization and larger ones.

It's not the only service SalesCrunch is working on. CrunchTrainer will enable you to train the organization around conversations and engagement based on what happens in these meetings that you hold. Another interesting service to check out when it becomes available.

For now, head over to CrunchConnect and request your invitation.