December 27, 2000, 1:25 PM — A MISSION OF any company with a sales force is to provide the members of that sales force with good and current information before they contact a potential customer. Statistics have shown that the more information a salesperson has in hand about the prospective customer's wants and needs, the higher the rate of closing a sale. Conjoin claims it has a handle on the software required to link this all-important information to any sales force.
InfoWorld Executive Producer/New Media Katherine Bull sat down with Conjoin CEO Nick d'Arbeloff to discuss the company's mobile software strategy and its competition with the likes of Siebel and Clarify.
InfoWorld: What's going on today in the mobile marketplace as it relates to salespeople and mobile access?
d'Arbeloff: I think that one of the big issues that is going to be addressed by many companies in the coming years is how a sales force accesses and leverages all of the knowledge resources available to them. This has traditionally been an area of pretty serious dysfunction within many corporations. We have a sales group who will often say that they can never find anything they need when they need it and that what marketing sends them is usually too little, too late. [Meanwhile] the marketing side is saying that they are constantly sending stuff out to people in the field but they never read it. And the issue moving forward as the Internet comes into play and as mobile handheld devices come into play is how can you best deliver this ammunition into the hands of the field sales force in the most efficient fashion -- actually, in a way in which the field likes what they're being given and actually uses it and deploys it on a daily basis?
InfoWorld: How does your offering differ from some of the other sales force automation applications currently out there?
d'Arbeloff: I think that the first distinction is that most of the products with which we're all familiar -- Siebel, Clarify, SalesLogix, etc. -- are all customer database products. And we are really a marketing-content database product. When a salesperson sells, they really need major pieces of information to get the job done. What's happening within this account? What happened during previous sales calls? Who's who at the prospect? Is there an installed product? If so, what's the service history? Etc. All of that information is going to be very efficiently attained from the customer database product. But the other side of the equation is, how am I going to create demand in the mind of this customer? What am I going to present to them? What feature comparison is most important? What competitive information is most important?
InfoWorld: So the products offered by companies that you mentioned do not include this type of information?