Dear Abby: I have a problem. I've only been a blogger for a couple of weeks and I CAN'T STOP USING ANALOGIES. Even worse, I can't stop using analogies related to Apple products - iTunes, iPhones, iMac, etc. How lame is that? Here's an example: in a previous post, I called DemandBase the "iTunes for buying leads" - okay, I stole that analogy from DemandBase's website, but I propogated it. In another post, I compared sf.com to the iPhone. I have a serious problem. Can you help? Signed: Banal in Blog-land.
Dear Banal: To solve your problem, take baby steps. Move away from Apple-specific analogies, but stay close to what's comfortable. There is more to life than beautifully designed, useful things that just work.
Okay, let me give it a try. Recently, I came across ReachForce Insight... turns out that the CEO, Suaad Sait, and I go back to my Dell days in Austin (shameless name dropping). So, if DemandBase is like iTunes, ReachForce Insight is like the Pandora of lead discovery - it discovers what type of customers are actually good customers, and then lets you run campaigns against customers with similar profiles. Insight reaches into your Salesforce.com data, and does funnel analytics like: which type of prospects close faster? which type of prospects have higher deal sizes? which ones take up a bunch of selling time, but don't close? which industries yield more business? etc. Then, it recommends campaign audiences, based on that data (other ReachForce offerings are available to then run campaigns against that audience). I haven't personally been able to try it out yet, so I can't vouch for how well it actually works - my guess is, it's as good as the data in your sf.com instance. But it looks like a promising solution for taking real marketing actions based on granular sales performance data.