SugarCRM, the popular open source customer relationship management system, launched Hint, the first in a Relationship Intelligence product line, on 27 June.
The premise behind Hint is simple; enter some basic information about a contact such as their name, e-mail address and company, and Hint does all the work of searching online from a wide range of social sources to automatically populate your CRM database with rich information.
The product is available now for $US15/user/month for Sugar 7.8 or later.
The analysts note that many vendors and ecosystem partners have invested in giving sales people access to social network, Web and other data on prospects. However, Sugar's approach allows data to be quickly pulled into the particular opportunity the salesperson is working on.
The value, therefore, they state is salespeople can spend less time on the administrative work of searching the Web for contact details, sorting through relevant information, check it for accuracy and data entering it. By removing this burden, the time to prepare for a call or meeting is shortened.
Hint users "have a more complete customer profile", Nucleus Research states.
To determine a specific dollar value, Nucleus Research surveyed salespeople and reviewed CRM case studies of sales force automation users from the past two years.
Time spent preparing for calls varied based on the salesperson's role, familiarity with the account, the complexity of the sale and many other factors, but on average Nucleus found a salesperson spends 17 minutes researching a lead to prepare for a call, without capabilities such as Hint, using their own online searching and capabilities.
The shortest time reported was five minutes, and the longest was 30 minutes.
Nucleus suggests the average cost of a salesperson is US$80,000, and thus every 17 minutes spent on research costs the business US$10.90 – time which could otherwise be spent making the next call, or other profitable work.
Consequently, Nucleus Research concludes if, by using Hint, a salesperson can eliminate or substantially reduce most of their preparation time on just two calls they have already covered the cost of the product.