Getting Sales and Marketing to "Play Nice"

SFA specialist SAVO debuts Web-based platform for managing marketing materials

SFA specialist SAVO debuts Web-based platform for managing marketing materials

Chicago — June 22, 2004 — The SAVO Group, a provider of sales force automation solutions, has launched a Web-based platform designed to automate the management of customized marketing and sales assets as a way of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing and sales teams.

Delivered as a hosted service, SAVO's Sales Asset Manager (SAM) automates the access, dynamic generation, delivery and management of such marketing and sales assets as presentations, proposals, documents, brochures, e-mail, competitive intelligence and more.

Through SAM's interface, marketing departments can centralize control over the content, design and analytics of the materials and information that support the selling process, SAVO said. Meanwhile, sales teams can gain access to the right materials at the right time, and then tailor the materials to more tightly align with customer needs or sales cycle stage.

According to SAVO, SAM was designed for enterprise-level organizations with a centralized marketing function supporting a distributed sales force, including non-proprietary channels. "In providing critical functionality for both groups, SAM empowers marketing and sales to work together to increase the revenue opportunity of each customer engagement," the solution provider said.

John Aiello, managing director at SAVO, said that SAM was designed to be a platform for bringing marketing and sales together. "It's a familiar challenge: sales ignores marketing's work by creating 'rogue' materials; marketing is pulled in countless directions handling 'one-offs', policing compliance and preaching brand consistency," Aiello said. "Until now, even technologies have reflected the divide: separate tools help sales track contacts and marketing manage agencies and budgets. SAM addresses that deep disconnect that persists between marketing and sales in many organizations."

Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of technology consultancy Nucleus Research, noted that sales and marketing teams often have very different views of the world, and of their company's sales and marketing collateral, leading to frustration, lack of consistency and productivity drains on both sides. "SAM gives sales and marketing an easy way to 'play nice,'" she said.

In addition, by freeing resources from non-value-driving activities and establishing a single platform through which to collaborate, SAVO says SAM helps sales and marketing grow business more quickly and effectively as a team by allowing them to focus on more strategic activities like building relationships and closing deals.

Features in SAM include reporting tools for tracking analytics about sales asset use, revealing market demand, customer activity, segment needs and product/service correlations, among other metrics. A feedback submission feature allows sales to share experiences and best practices using specific materials with customers, and lets marketing publish appropriate notes to asset metadata.

The solution also provides for required and suggested inclusion/exclusion rules for specific sales assets to encourage cross-selling and enforce legal and regulatory compliance requirements. And SAM offers the ability to import customer-specific data from data marts or other sources into sales assets, automating the customization that can be valuable to relationship management activities such as account reviews.

Finally, a search engine makes it possible for sales to find the materials that best address a specific customer situation, stage in the relationship development process or keyword.

SAM is a modular, hosted service, available today. Pricing varies and includes an initial set up and ongoing hosting fees. SAM also can be licensed for in-house deployment.