Yesware has gone to market with a new cloud-based email productivity application that is based on the simplest of concepts: Salespeople hate to waste time inputting data into their CRM systems. However, companies need that data salespeople hate to bother with. Ergo, a system that automatically inputs the data from work that salespeople are already doing — that is, sending emails — would save a lot of time and frustration.
It was with this premise in mind that Matthew Bellows, CEO and founder of the company, approached Google Ventures, Foundry Group and several angel investors for funding. The end result is that Yesware is now out of beta and available for Gmail and smartphones — and any CRM system that supports Bcc in an email system.
“One of the features of the application is a button ‘Save to CRM,'” Bellows told CRM Buyer. “It is a toggle switch that, if it is turned on, automatically enters any Bcc address in an email into a CRM system, along with the emails. It is really a very easy way for sales people to enter more data into the company’s CRM system with little trouble.”
Who Likes Paperwork? No One
There are other elements to Yesware, but this compliance issue is a main feature, Bellows said — and a main selling point as well.
“I have been a sales person my entire career, and I can tell you the process of working with a team and having them update a CRM system is a very frustrating one. The sales manager and rep have to be hit over the head to update contacts, deal information and so on — and yet this is the very data that companies are basing their forecasting on.”
That is why so many forecasts are basically garbage in, garbage out, he said.
There are other features as well. There are several templates that allow reps to crank out proposals and offers, for example.
Yesware also has a tracking feature that lets a rep see how a proposal is faring.
“You can see what time a document was opened, on which device and where they were,” Bellows said. “I could send an email to a prospect and see he opened it on his Sony Vaio on Friday in New Jersey on his way home, and then again at home on an iPad, and then on Monday I could see that someone in the company headquarters in San Francisco opened the email that had been forwarded to him. I know my messaging is getting around.”
Shades of Big Brother?
There are definitely shades of big brother in the application, as the above example illustrates. Primarily, it was designed to follow and incorporate sales reps’ work into a CRM system. It also provides functions that gives managers a better idea on which reports their sales reps are spending time, which messages are resonating with prospects, and so on.
Such reports are also aggregated across a team, Bellows added.
Sales reps don’t mind the lack of privacy with what are, after all, work products, he said. “On the contrary, they don’t want to be bothered with the administrative details. They are working to make sales — make money. They don’t care if the system is following what they do if it saves them time on tasks that are not productive, from their point of view.”
Integrating With CRM
The system integrates data into the CRM database via emails that are sent using the Bcc field. It is filed according to the CRM app’s methodology — by lead, or prospect, or however that particular application organizes the data.
Yesware works Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle CRM, Highrise and Zoho, along with several others.