Smartsheet has already expanded its work management application with cool features like a way to crowdsource tasks. Now it’s adding a customer relationship management (CRM) service on top of that.
The goal of the Smartsheet Sales Pipeline Management app is to give small companies an easier transition from the tool many of them are using to track their sales leads — a spreadsheet. At some point, you’ll want something more sophisticated, but if you switch to a system like Salesforce.com, you’ll have to learn a whole new interface. With Smartsheet, on the other hand, you’re still storing your leads in a spreadsheet (er, a “Smartsheet”), but you can do more with them.
The Bellevue, Wash. company says its CRM tool has three major benefits. First, it’s easy to use — you can import your leads from a Google Spreadsheet with two clicks. The Google integration goes further, with the ability to log in using your Google account, attach Google Docs, import Google Contacts, and export your list back into Google Spreadsheets. Second, you can store everything else you need for the sale in your Smartsheet, such as related documents and emails. Third, you can use crowdsourcing to find new leads, where (using Smartsheet) you pay people small amounts of cash to find and type in other potential customers. This method should be much cheaper than buying a sales contact list.
Smartsheet chairman and co-founder Brent Frei comes from a CRM background, since he was previously co-founder and CEO at CRM company Onyx Software. On his blog, Frei says there are three trends that make his return to the CRM market a good move:
- Simple CRM demand remains high
- The Google Apps ecosystem needs 3rd party small business applications
- Google needs CRM solutions that make Google Apps more sticky
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