DoubleDutch Launches Hive, a Mobile CRM App That Gives Context to Contacts

Today San Francisco-based DoubleDutch, a company that offers a suite of enterprise engagement apps, announced the launch of Hive, its mobile CRM app for iOS and Android. The app aims to take the CRM systems a sales team already uses and make the process faster by adding a layer of information about their location, calendar and behavior. The company, which launched in January 2011 and has raised over $3 million in funding, including $2 million in April 2012, counts Cisco, Lowe’s, and 3M among their existing clients.

DoubleDutch CEO Lawrence Coburn calls Hive a “contextual CRM” application, and said it aims to combine a user’s location, calendar and behavior to drive CRM adoption. The app connects with a user’s existing Salesforce account, and will eventually connect with other CRM solutions including Netsuite and Microsoft Dynamics. “We try to learn from these contextual triggers, things like location and time and behavior, so we can serve up the right screen at the right time,” he said. “We’re going to make your Salesforce deployment better because we’re going to increase the flow of data into that system.”

Salesforce already has a mobile app, but Hive adds social features, activity feeds, as well as two-way Salesforce integration. The app gives salespeople the ability to update their records and opportunities in real-time, and Coburn said the goal is to get people updating their records multiple times a day. The app focuses on serving up opportunities based on a user’s location, for example sorting all the active accounts in their area if they’re selling to local businesses. They’re also serving up opportunities based on calendar integration, and adding what Coburn calls “chrono-fencing” to calendar events, pushing a notification prior to a sales meeting with the past client engagement and details, and sending a request after the meeting asking for updates to the record. The app also tries to recognize a user’s behavior, surfacing opportunities that have been worked on the most, or the ones that have been neglected, and presenting information based on the stage of each deal.

Hive also has several social features, showing a feed of activity for sales teams, allowing team members to comment on deals, and showing a leaderboard of the top performers (companies can customize how employees get to the top of the leaderboard – for example percent of quota or dollars booked). “People will update this multiple times a day, as opposed to once per week, and our closed beta has proven this out,” he said.

Companies can use the app for free up to three seats, with premium accounts available at $20 per seat per month for up to 25 seats, and $40 per seat per month for unlimited seats. With Salesforce’s most popular enterprise plans costing $125 per user per month, paying for another service that essentially does the same thing (albeit in a different way) might be a hard sell. “$20 after [buying a Salesforce enterprise account] is an afterthought, and the value is that suddenly your forecasts that are generated by Salesforce, instead of being a week out of date, they’re suddenly fresh,” Coburn said. “I can sell this thing, whether or not we can get the word out to reach enough people remains to be seen.”

There are no shortage of CRM platforms, both enterprise-level tools like Salesforce and Zoho, and newer CRM startups including Reachable. Coburn said that when it comes to mobile CRM solutions, he doesn’t believe anyone else is capitalizing on location and contextual triggers. “The old school guys are all coming at this from the approach of how do we take our desktop CRM with its 400 features and cram it into a mobile phone,” he said. “Then there’s a bunch of new guys out there that are doing some interesting things…I’m not aware of another app that’s taking this approach, which is take a process that a sales guy has to do anyway, and make it faster.”

The company is presenting at Salesforce’s upcoming Dreamforce conference next week, and says they’re already working on adding support for CRM systems Netsuite and Microsoft Dynamics. Double Dutch’s existing suite of apps includes white label enterprise event app Flock, which is being used by over 140 enterprise-level customers, and free mobile collaboration app Pride. The company already has a solid base of enterprise clients for its existing apps, so as long as they can tap into that client base and prove that it’s a worthwhile addition to a sales team’s mobile toolkit, they should be able to keep the momentum going.

 


 


Erin Bury

Erin Bury

Erin has covered startups and technology for over three years in publications including Sprouter Weekly, The Globe and Mail, Business Insider, Mashable, and VentureBeat. She also writes a regular startup column for the Financial Post, and is a technology expert on CTV News Channel. Before BetaKit Erin worked as Director of Content & Communications at Sprouter from its launch in 2009 until its acquisition by Postmedia Network Inc. She was recently named one of Marketing Magazine's 30 Under 30 in 2012.

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