Salesforce.com taps SAVO to juice up team
April 24, 2006
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
red-hot San Francisco sales-force automation software provider,
is reaching out to an up-and-coming Chicago company for tools
to energize its own selling team.
Group, a Chicago tech and marketing services startup, is expected
to announce a deal today with Salesforce.com that makes SAVO's
Sales Asset Manager application the on-demand sales enablement
platform for its internal sales force.
selected SAVO after a very thorough evaluation of the marketplace,"
says Brett Queener, SVP for business operations for Salesforce.com.
Queener expects his sales organization to use SAM to proactively
identify the best sales materials to leverage in a given selling
sales team will spend less time generating materials, and their
effectiveness will improve significantly," Queener adds.
SAVO is the
brainchild of co-founders John Aiello, 37, and Drew Larsen, 38,
who met as undergraduates at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Aiello and Larsen founded SAVO in Chicago in 1999 with the aim
of using technology to improve sales-force execution through more
consistent delivery of the right messages and by making the best-selling
materials accessible in real time.
tools let customer-facing professionals quickly access the most
current, consistent and customer-relevant selling materials,"
Aiello says. "Our platform, our messaging and our content
development services are making us a leader."
mum on whether SAVO is an acquisition target for Salesforce.com
CEO Marc Benioff. "We truly have never had an exit strategy,"
Aiello says. "If we continue to do what we're doing, there
will be lots of options."
list is a Who's Who of top organizations that sell a far-flung
and complex set of products and services. Clients include ADP,
Allstate, Amerisource, Axiom, Citicorp Diners Club, FedEx, LaSalle
Bank, Morgan Stanley, Northern Trust, SPSS and William Blair.
$10 million last September from Sterling Venture Partners based
in Northbrook. SAVO employs 60 based in Chicago.
is a tremendous story for Chicago," says David Weinstein,
president of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. "They
are building a world class company in the white-hot space of sales
and the thoughts of Kellogg MBAs turn to technology and jobs.
The mood was
upbeat at last week's 12th annual Kellogg Technology Conference
at Northwestern. The student-run event attracted an all-star cast
of tech leaders.
Padmasree Warrior definitely turned heads with her ideas.
is an eye-opener at the vanguard of seamless mobility," says
second-year MBA student and conference GM Satyajit Mujumdar. Mujumdar
was wowed by Warrior's perspective on the future of mobile technology.
He's hoping for a position at Motorola, Google or Yahoo.
to see what sorts of innovations eBay brings to the table, and
how they're planning to compete," says second-year MBA candidate
Mina Arsala. Arsala is a veteran of the tech startup boom aiming
for a tech marketing strategy role in Chicago after graduation.
anchored the organizing committee. He recruited keynote speakers
including Warrior, Adobe COO Shantanu Narayen and eBay North America
President Bill Cobb.
How did he
line up the all-star cast? "A little bit of luck and a lot
of effort," Madapaty says. For post graduation, Madapaty
already has landed a product manager role at Microsoft.
for talent returns
global leader of executive search giant Spencer Stuart's CIO practice
says, "The war for talent is back."
Chicago's top CIOs at the Society for Information at Spiaggia,
"The market is really hot right now. There's not been a time
like this since 1999 or 2000."
Brennen has tips for aspiring job seekers: "Anybody who can
get themselves into some sort of technically based program --
whether it is IT, engineering or the hard sciences -- the demand
is going to be extraordinary."
Krauss is a Chicago area tech writer and consultant.