Tellwise, a two-and-a-half year old startup, has introduced a new collaboration platform for sales reps to target prospects. Called “Smart Messages,” the multichannel platform comes equipped with such tools as intelligent notifications, behavioral analytics and mobile functionality.
Smart Messages is the culmination of the vision of Tellwise’s cofounders, all of whom are former Microsoft engineers, said Conrad Bayer, cofounder and CEO.
“We were very interested in the issue of cross-company collaboration and why it was so difficult — even with the tools on the market. We wanted to make it an easier and a more modern and efficient process,” he told CRM Buyer.
The company did a venture round of funding last July, “and we have been sprinting ever since,” Bayer said.
Although it is tightly integrated with email, Smart Messages services many channels, he noted, in addition to offering a number of collaborative tools to share and discuss content.
Essentially, it seeks to augment the role email traditionally plays, which can be limited when multiple decision-makers participate in the process, or when the back and forth goes on for a while.
Personalized, Private and Immersive
Smart Messages is also very customizable, which is a significant competitive differentiator.
“We wanted to create an immersive experience for the buyer — and the way to do that, of course, is to have the content and communications tailored specifically for him or her,” said Bayer.
Finally, it is a private communication, with the appropriate security measures in place.
A typical use case would be a seller targeting a select number of prospects. The seller would tailor each communication for the leads with rich content that could range from PDFs of white papers to power point presentations.
The communication options range from chat to mobile outreach, with each tool geared to a specific task, Bayer said. “That is a trend that hasn’t hit the business world yet — creating a communication that is task-specific depending on the tools.”
What the seller has done is use Smart Messages to create a real-time collaborative environment for the prospect. Then the seller waits for the recipient to respond.
Let’s say the prospect does respond. It could be a request for more information, a desire to start a conversation around striking a deal, or even a request to be left alone. The platform can accommodate all of those requests with more content, communication options, or a discontinue communication update.
For example, if the conversation escalates to the point when a sale could be imminent, the sales rep can add a field rep or service technician to the conversation to help close the deal.
Smart Notifications, Analytics
The platform is wired with smart notifications so that the seller doesn’t keep the lead waiting following a response. There is an iPhone app, which does push notifications as well, Bayer noted.
The system also will send a reminder to the seller if the lead has not made any response at all. The seller can opt to send out another message or notice, or do nothing.
The analytics in the platform give the selling company an idea of what works and what doesn’t in terms of campaigns, content and pitches.
The look of the platform should be familiar to people who have used Facebook and Pinterest.
The flow of the conversation is very much akin to a Facebook feed, Bayer said. The application is also very image-oriented — like Pinterest.
“It is a dedicated private communication channel between a seller and prospective buyer,” Bayer concluded, “with tools to handle just about any need.”