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Using Relationship Intelligence to Accelerate Sales Cycles and Close More Deals

Published
  • March 01 2005, 1:00am EST
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REVIEWER: Jeannine Solanto, founder and CEO of Foundation Systems.

BACKGROUND: Foundation Systems, Inc., founded in 1999, provides strategic human capital solutions for technology teams. We are organized around three practice areas: creation, selling and implementation of technology. From recruiting world-class engineering teams for Fortune 500 companies to crafting sales organizations for venture-backed technology firms, Foundation's core competency is translating business requirements into human capital assets.

PLATFORMS: Because Leverage Software Relationship Intelligence is a hosted solution, we don't need to concern ourselves with implementation hardware. We use IBM and Dell laptops running Windows XP and use Outlook as our e-mail client. Relationship Intelligence includes an Outlook plug-in.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Relationship Intelligence allows us to perform both of our primary functions more efficiently and effectively. First, we can sell our staffing solutions in a shorter period of time, and we win more deals when in a competitive environment. Relationship Intelligence also allows us to find qualified candidates faster. The ongoing challenge that we face is spending time where we can derive the most value for our clients and ourselves. Relationship Intelligence helps overcome this challenge.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Our primary use of Relationship Intelligence allows us to discover, analyze and leverage relationships across our entire company in a private and secure manner. We take advantage of the privacy settings that each individual user controls. These privacy controls allow us to share relationships across the company in a way in which we are comfortable. This approach has had a positive impact on user adoption. We also save leads found through Relationship Intelligence directly into our salesforce.com CRM application. The benefits that we have realized include accelerated sales cycles through access and influence that we gain, increased productivity resulting from the ability to export leads directly into our CRM solution, and the ability to identify and place high-quality candidates faster.

STRENGTHS: Strengths include the privacy control over one's contacts, the ability to find and analyze influential relationships, the ability to find relationship-based leads for new staffing projects and candidates, the collaboration features within the solution and the visualization of the contextual data that is provided for each relationship including titles, industry, company location, strength of relationship, company size and revenue.

WEAKNESSES: As a staffing solutions company, it is critical that we have updated and accurate information about individuals in the system. I would like to see historical data about an individual including employment history. Leverage Software has been receptive to our feedback and developed new functionality and partnerships that provide deep contextual and historical information about the contacts and companies within our private Relationship Network.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We evaluated other vendors and found that Relationship Intelligence is easier to use and provides the ability to find relationship-based leads, which is critical to our business and not supported by other vendors.

DELIVERABLES: The output of Relationship Intelligence is well-qualified leads that I export to salesforce.com. I can also use Relationship Intelligence directly from within my salesforce.com solution. When I am working on a particular prospect within salesforce.com, I simply right click to find out whether we have any relationships that can provide access and influence into that account.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Leverage Software was very hands-on, working closely with me and other stakeholders to understand our needs. They actually worked with us to upload and share relationships, and find relationships that could benefit us immediately. They are very responsive and care a great deal about having satisfied, referenceable customers that are achieving a high return on investment.

DOCUMENTATION: The product was easy to implement and use. Leverage has developed Flash-based user scenarios that educated us in a very short period of time. In combination with the documentation that is provided via the Web, we were up and running quickly and easily.

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