For Salesmen, Cirrus Insight and UberConference go together like peanut butter and jelly

By Michael Carney , written on November 15, 2013

From The News Desk

As much as we wish it weren’t the case, sales still requires spending the bulk of your day in either an inbox, a CRM, or on the phone. Technology has touched each of these productivity channels independently, but has barely made any progress in linking them and making work together more efficiently. That’s exactly the goal behind a newly-formed partnership between Cirrus Insight and UberConference, which promises to add one click visual conferencing to the Gmail and Google Apps inbox.

Cirrus insight already integrates Salesforce into Gmail and Google Apps, making it a favorite productivity hack among sales pros. The idea behind the product is that email communications can be logged into your CRM automatically, making a more comprehensive communication record available company-wide for every prospect and client. This is a big deal, because salesmen are notoriously bad at documenting client interactions, and extracting this information has become the bane of many sales manager’s existence.

The partnership with UberConference only extends this fix by adding a modern conference calling solution, and offering the similar CRM documentation. UberConference is a visual conference calling platform – calls can be made from your phone or PC – that eliminates the whole dial in, enter a pin code, and say your name to introduce yourself dance that regular conference callers know and loathe.

The company does this by displaying the name, photo, and social or CRM information for call participants much like a Rapportive (the gmail plugin acquired by LinkedIn) for your conference calls. Doing so solves the problem of knowing who’s on the call, what they look like, and what their position or background is, allowing participants to focus instead on the business at hand – which, let’s be honest, is probably wrapping up this call and getting to happy hour.

Users of both Cirrus and UberConference can now initiate a call from within Gmail, easily inviting all the participants of an ongoing email chain. Calls can be recorded, or documented in a notes field, and all this information will be uploaded to the respective CRM entries for each call participant.

UberConference was founded by former Google Voice engineers and is backed by an undisclosed amount of funding from Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. (Disclosure: Three Andreessen Horowitz partners are investors in PandoDaily.) Cirrus Insights has raised $550,000 in seed funding from undisclosed investors. The company is currently in the market looking to raise another $2 million.

The partnership between these two companies is purely about offering a better experience to their shared customers. To that end, there's no financial component. including a revenue sharing or a commission agreement. Users pay separately for each service and connect them if they if they so choose.

Let’s not pretend that either company is curing cancer. What they are doing, though, is shaving a few minutes of administrative time from each sales interaction and making otherwise tedious and impersonal communications into something a bit more personal and casual. Overall this is a good thing and certainly necessary.

We’d all like to live in a world where email inboxes and conference calls are a distant memory. But until that telepathy startup comes around, these are the tools we’re stuck with. Cirrus Insight and UberConference make the email, CRM, and conference call routine a simpler and more productive one. Salesmen will surely thank them – presumably, by buying them shots.