LinkedIn wants to be the definitive place for B2B social selling to take place. At least that’s what Mike Derezin, vice president of LinkedIn's Sales Solutions, told CMSWire earlier this month.
And to help LinkedIn customers gain an edge, the Mountain View, Calif.-based social professional network provider announced today that it has acquired Chicago-based PointDrive. PointDrive, according to David Thacker, vice president of product at LinkedIn, helps "sales professionals engage with prospects and customers through the sharing of rich content."
The intention is to provide sales professionals using LinkedIn's Sales Navigator platform an easy way to package, personalize and deliver polished and engaging sales content to their prospects and customers.
PointDrive allows you to "create a unique space for each customer, pre-packed with the files and other content to help pitch them,” Alan Lepofsky, an analyst at Constellation Research told CMSWire. He highlighted that PointDrive was created for what he calls "purposeful collaboration," which differ from other kinds of social technologies that seem to be for "just sharing" without a particular end result in mind.
When co-founders David Pessis and Bill Burnett launched PointDrive in 2011, it was described as a sales-oriented application "just as fast as sending an email, but it streamlines the information in a sophisticated, easy-to-absorb format." CTO Plessis and CEO Burnett began building the product in their previous startup, Fippex, a client enablement platform provider.
While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, it was announced that PointDrive's product and development team will relocate to LinkedIn's San Francisco office.
Fitting in With Microsoft
We have yet to see exactly how LinkedIn will fit within Microsoft, once the deal closes, but in a letter to LinkedIn employees announcing the Microsoft takeover, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner revealed that he and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had already discussed how Sales Navigator and Microsoft's CRM might complement each other.
When it comes to pure office productivity, Lepofsky doesn't see much overlap between PointDrive and Office365 functionality.
"PointDrive is more of an external/community-focused offering, something that could in the long run actually help Yammer and/or Office365 Groups,” he told CMSWire.