Since launching its smart CRM and sales optimization platform in January, Close.io has seen double digit weekly growth in both users and revenue. Today the company is launching a new feature to bring the power of big data analytics technically to un-savvy salesmen.
SmartSearch, which Close.io compares to Facebook’s recently launched Graph Search feature, allows users to conduct natural language searches through company-wide CRM and sales data. Previously, these searches would require a trip to the IT department to request the relevant database queries, with results likely to be available days or even weeks later.
For a salesperson, the answer to a simple database query can make monumental impact on performance. For example, a user may want to know, “All leads that I have called more than two times, with the average duration of the calls being over five minutes, and where the last action was that I emailed them, they opened the email, but haven’t replied yet.” Another question may be, “Show me all leads in California with a 70 percent or greater chance of closing, whom I haven’t called or emailed in the last week.” Prior to SmartSearch, this data was so inaccessible that the questions were rarely ever asked.
“Salespeople traditionally assume that there’s no answer to these questions,” says Close.io parent Elastic co-founder and CEO Steli Efti. “But they come come up with noticeably more interesting questions after getting access to Smart Search.”
Now, regular queries can be automated and referenced daily or weekly, while new or one time queries can be compiled in minutes.
Close.io is not the first company to offer big data analytics for the laymen. EdgeSpring and others have made similar claims. What sets the company apart from these and other traditional CRM competitors is the quality of its data. This is because Close.io automates the collection of sales interaction data, such as call and email communication history, duration, and content. The company also succeeds by virtue of its close collaboration with its parent Elastic, making Close.io “build by salespeople, for salespeople.”
Within a traditional CRM system, it’s incumbent upon the salesperson to enter this data manually, meaning that it is often incomplete or unusable. As evidence of this fact, according to its CEO, a significant percentage of Close.io’s thousands of customers migrate their legacy CRM data over to the platform during the onboarding process, only to later determine it to be worthless alongside the more comprehensive data that comes out of Close.io
SmartSearch is not a premium feature, but rather is available as a standard feature within Close.io. Even prior to offering this big data search capability, Close.io has been able to increase its clients’ sales by more than 30 percent in many cases. The addition of this feature is likely to make the platform as a whole far more attractive and effective.
Close.io is a subsidiary of sales consulting firm Elastic. Neither company has raised outside funding. Elastic has long been profitable, and Efti projects that Close.io will soon be itself. The company receives regular inbound interest from VCs, according to its CEO, but has no interest in raising capital at the moment. Efti is keeping his options open, however, saying, “never say never.”
Sales is often described as an art rather than a science. But arming a company’s revenue drivers with additional data on the needs and behavior of existing and prospective customers, allows them to be more effective in the more relationship driven aspects of their work. As companies increasingly realize the value that is locked within their mountains of data, expect demand for products like SmartSearch to increase significantly.
We are moving toward a future when using big data will no longer make a company cutting edge, but rather not doing so will place it at a major disadvantage. Close.io, with its SmartSearch feature, has the potential to make the transition for its sales organizations clients painless and a no brainer.