RightNow & SalesNet - Saasy!

By admin, June 27, 2006 1:46 am

Last month RightNow acquired SalesNet an SaaS based CRM vendor, as Dan Farber puts it "RightNow, which is known more for its call center solution than its sales force automation offering, acquired Salesnet to better position itself against the market leader and NetSuite."

Salesnet Extended Edition navigates a narrow channel of expertise (effectively SFA only), it does a respectable job. The strength of Salesnet is in its capability of setting up and directing the workflow of sales agents. Its Process Builder offers a very usable, Web-based interface for constructing flow control to drive sales efforts through the pipeline.

The deal looks good for RightNow, and not only because of the keen price. Salesnet's founders Jonathan Tang and Rich Perkett must also be pleased to have found a good home for their venture. RightNow looks after its staff and has taken on both the co-founders and their team.

Salesnet's key strength was its integration of workflow technology into salesforce automation (SFA). Whereas most people think of on-demand SFA as little more than a browser-based contact manager, the addition of workflow adds extra structure to the way users interact with their sales contacts. As RightNow's CEO Greg Gianforte (pictured above) explained on Monday afternoon, "Where Salesnet differentiates itself is in the more complex B2B environment where there is a definitive process of selling. That enables you to standardize best practices across a sales organization." Or as Salesnet's marketing pitch puts it, make all hundred of your sales reps as successful as your top twenty. - Phil Wainewright

"Salesnet excels in providing users with the sophisticated tools needed to handle more complex selling environments," Denis Pombriant, managing principal at beagle Research Group, said. "When customers need to move beyond simple contact management to standardize practices for sales forces across geographies and divisions, they look to Salesnet. The combination of RightNow and Salesnet will create a powerful solution set for small and large organizations that see value in leveraging a patented knowledge foundation with a sophisticated work-flow engine in the sales channel to deliver superior customer experiences."

RightNow will support Salesnet's existing customers and provide a seamless upgrade path to much broader customer experience management solutions. Initial integrations between the Salesnet application and RightNow applications will be completed this summer with all major features expected to be included by summer of 2007. Rich Perkett, chief technology officer and co-founder of Salesnet, will join RightNow as a director of product development, responsible for the integration and expansion of Salesnet's technology into RightNow's solution.

Prashanth Rai

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