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Salesnet Takes Hosted CRM Into Vertical Industries

It debuted customized CRM apps for commercial lending, advertising sales, and telecommunications.
Salesnet Inc. beat its competition to the punch Monday when it launched its first set of customer-relationship management apps that target specific markets.

While CRM apps that pinpoint vertical markets have been available from niche vendors that sell to particular industries, Salesnet says it's the first general-purpose CRM vendor to release these kinds of products. Category leader Siebel Systems Inc. earlier this month said it would introduce eight hosted CRM products for vertical industries, but those won't appear until later on this summer.

Salesnet's new apps target customers in the commercial lending, ad sales, and telecom sectors. They cost $5 per user extra a month, on top of Salesnet's standard $99 monthly per-user charge. One standout feature, says chief marketing officer Dan Starr, is inclusion of starting-point "templates" that users can configure to meet their needs. Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone says even though efficient sales processes can be elusive for many companies, the ability to customize the templates is critical for many customers. Kingstone says she has just completed a survey of 500 sales and marketing execs that shows CRM software is great at reducing administrative costs, but that methodologies can directly help reps bag more sales.

Salesnet's Starr says the company has five more vertical products in development, which should be available during the third quarter.

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