Talisma Pushes Proactive Selling With New CIM Release

Talisma has introduced a new version of CIM 8.0, its self-service suite. While this release includes numerous enhancements to the existing product lineup, it also offers something completely new for the suite: a proactive sales feature set that leverages reactive service capabilities introduced in earlier versions.

“We saw how well companies were using our software for support purposes and realized there was an opportunity to assist them in a sales capacity — so we decided to offer proactive selling,” Brad Birnbaum, Talisma’s new CTO, told CRM Buyer.

Specifically, Talisma introduced two new products in CIM 8.0 — Talisma VoIP and Talisma Campaign — both of which offer users proactive sales capabilities.

“What Talisma has done by adding cross-sell and upsell capabilities is that they have put best-of-breed functionality in this space onto one general platform for CRM,” John Ragsdale, vice president of research for the Service and Support Professionals Association (SSPA), told CRM Buyer.

The Sales Model

The campaign module is a multichannel application that allows users to create, manage, track and service campaigns. It is supported by a real-time offer engine that develops tailored offers — either online or via a customer service agent — that reflect a customer’s profile, historical data and current activity.

The application can also be applied to incoming e-mails and calls to alert customers of product updates, billing notices and other news.

Talisma VoIP lets companies offer their Web site visitors access to a live agent through Voice over Internet Protocol technology via a one-click button on the site. This particular feature is rare in the e-service space, according to Ragsdale, although a few CRM vendors, such as RightNow Technologies, have introduced it.

Web Collaboration

The addition of enhanced Web collaboration features in the CIM 8.0 release also impressed Ragsdale.

“Increasingly, Web collaboration is becoming more important among e-service providers,” he explained. “We are seeing a significant uptick in the number of Web collaboration purchases, so this was a great feature for the company to beef up in the suite.”

Talisma CIM 8.0’s new or enhanced Web collaboration and co-browsing capabilities include assisted form-filling for agents with field level security, and visitor/agent page synchronization. Essentially, these functions allow an agent to guide a customer through completion of a form, or to provide additional information about a particular product in a collaborative one-to-one session.

Other Enhancements

Other changes in the new version of Talisma:

  • Improved e-mail management available through Talisma Answer — a complementary product to Talisma Email that uses natural language technology to help agents provide more relevant personalized responses to customer inquiries;
  • An improved agent desktop with a new user interface that allows supervisors to match agent workspaces with business processes;
  • A Real-Time Dashboard and Historical Report Builder featuring new analytical capabilities that enable the tracking of sales values, as well as the comparison of proactive versus reactive chat and voice interactions.

Next Up

“With this release, we’ve successfully demonstrated how the world of customer service, sales and support can mirror the always-connected global communication culture that we live in today,” said Dan Vetras, president and CEO of Talisma.

“As people find more ways to communicate, Talisma strongly believes that it is our responsibility to make sure any customer can interact with a business in the same manner they would with a friend or family member,” he added.

In 8.1, which is currently on track for release in Q1 2008, Talisma will continue on this path, Birnbaum said. “We will add more enterprise-specific and SMB-specific features to broaden our play in both spaces. We are also looking to expand our international outreach.”

Future versions will include enhanced search capabilities that leverage the Autonomy feature set, he added. “There is nothing of Autonomy in 8.0.”

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