Autotask Adds Opportunity And Sales Tool For Solution Providers

Autotask added a new tool to its IT management software platform that is specifically targeted to helping solution providers grow their sales opportunities and successes, the company said Thursday.

The Autotask Opportunity Assessment/Sales Process tool gives businesses visibility into the breadth of the sales pipeline, from when a sales prospect is first identified through the final deal completion. What makes the tool different, Autotask Vice President of Strategic Account Sales Jake Carroll said, is that in addition to visibility, the tool gives analytics on the customers and sales people to give businesses the resources they need to close deals.

"The solution providers in particular have extraordinarily well-developed technical backgrounds and in many cases very good business backgrounds, and marketing and sales kind of come in after the fact... What this allows them to do is take a platform that is very purpose-built for IT service managers and add on that sales functionality."

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The news comes a few months after East Greenbush, N.Y.-based Autotask announced a complete redesign of its user interface with a new visual design, features and tools.

The tool, Carroll said, can help standardize the sales process among the internal sales organization. That becomes important given the different backgrounds, nomenclature and expectations the people on a sales team may have. Instead of relying just on the sales person's word, the tool helps calculate a percentage of how far along the deal is towards closing.

"That's really the thing with the Opportunity and Assessment tool -- it removes any of the mystery behind a specific sales opportunity, [incorporating] the fact-based decision-making on criteria that successful, existing customers demonstrated during this process previously," Carroll said. "Fundamentally, what the Opportunity and Assessment tool allows you to do in a data-driven way is [determine] in your own organization what triggers you've seen with successful customer acquisition and successful implementation."

The new tool will be part of the Autotask Ultimate Bundle or can be a separate add-on for other customers.

For solution providers, Carroll said the tool helps free up sales managers and executives from micro-managing sales people, adds sales oversight and re-focus themselves on adding business value.

"Like all of our tools, the more you can work on your business than in your business, it frees you up to do things that grow the business," Carroll said.

Kim Weinberger, director of operations at Autotask user Computer Troubleshooters, said that on a quick review of the announcement it seems like a great addition by Autotask to their suite of tools.

"There is no doubt that one of the largest challenges with technology service providers is building a solid sales and marketing program that will be truly effective for the business. The addition of the Opportunity Assessment and Sales Process tool to Autotask is a great addition to this already powerful business management tool," Weinberger said.

The challenge for the Autotask will come in getting the "typical office" to adopt the tool. She said she expects it will be adopted by the sales staff in larger offices, but smaller offices lacking in the same staffing resources may have a tougher time.