In 2012, a firm called Tactile was founded by Chuck Ganapathi, a former executive from the ranks of Salesforce and Siebel. Its aim was to tackle some of the barriers that Ganapathi felt were obstructing CRM technology.
Freshly renamed Tact, his company is seeking to revolutionize the way salespeople interact with CRM systems that have been primarily designed for desktop use.
The problem is a common one: Systems developers are looking at how they can remove the human wall that exists in CRM, which still sees sales executives having to carry out many manual tasks related to entering and managing data. The problem nags at most large and established CRM systems whose developers are seeking solutions – for example via automation.
Tact is attacking the dilemma from the mobile entry point, anticipating that in the future, most sales and marketing personnel will focus more on mobile devices than desktop computers. It seeks to integrate a wide range of applications, beyond the CRM itself, incorporating email, diary, maps and voice communications into a single package. An AI layer has been introduced to help with task automation.
According to Ganapathi, an AI assistant is a frictionless way to work with apps, and an intelligent workspace is a frictionless way to work with people.
Rollout of the technology has been via app for both Android and iOS, and it has introduced voice activation that leverages Cortana and Alexa, plus other chatbots from other vendors. This could become one of the critical components of the technology as it will enable salespeople to update databases immediately after a call without the need to open up and type into a CRM.
Using AI and voice activation means a short conversation will take care of what might otherwise by a more lengthy updating exercise.
Tact still needs to be flexible enough to work with a wide range of other applications such as CRMs like Zendesk in order to enjoy broad appeal. It has been designed specifically for business use and will not be available as a consumer facing app. Its Team Collaboration feature has been designed with corporate sales teams in mind, helping to increase coordination where it is most needed.
Tact is generating considerable interest from the wider CRM industry and also attracting investment from the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Salesforce. It is also picking up some big-name clients, among them Cisco Systems, Panasonic and GE.
• Tact has now raised over $57 million from investors, completing its latest funding round last month.
• Its technology tackles the conundrum many firms face: A large proportion of sales reps travel constantly and don’t have time to sit at their computers.
• It is now possible for reps to update client records without having to turn to their laptops, and potentially to make more meetings.
• Users are already reporting higher win rates, faster deal cycles and greater sales productivity. The technology has the potential to improve revenue growth along with the sales and customer experience.
• Tact says that some of its clients have seen a 35% improvement in sales cycles.Tact juices faster sales cycles with AI and voice recognition