Salesforce.com aligns with Eloqua

Salesforce.com Inc. and lead generation vendor Eloqua Corp. will unveil a partnership this week designed to deliver tightly integrated CRM and digital marketing analytic applications to allow companies to boost sales via effective communication with prospects.

The two companies have tightly integrated their technology platforms to provide alesforce.com users with a hosted offering for real-time, one-click access via Web services to the advanced lead generation, qualification, and prospect monitoring capabilities of Eloqua's e-mail lead generation module. Without leaving the Salesforce.com application, enterprise users can monitor specific content that prospects are viewing on a company Web site, assess predictive behaviors in real time and evaluate an individual's intent to purchase to respond more precisely to the needs of these potential buyers, according to Eloqua officials.

"[Enterprises] are trying to put together a 360-degree view of the customer across the enterprise," said Steven Woods, CTO of San Francisco-based Eloqua. "You've got the contact information maintained in the CRM system. Eloqua is focused on creating and monitoring all the digital touch points in the sales prospects. As people come to the Web site, you tie that CRM record with that Web site record. Then you put the relevant sales information back into the CRM system automatically."

Enterprise CRM buyers are intensifying their emphasis on return on investment, which is driving the popularity of the ASP model with its low-cost, no-software approach, said Denis Pombriant, an analyst at Aberdeen Group Inc., in Boston. Both of these trends are positive for San Mateo, Calif.-based Salesforce.com and Eloqua as they come to market with a unique sales effectiveness solution that promises relatively low costs and fast implementation to boost ROI, he added.

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