When I covered the acquisition of social media analysis vendor LoopFuse by Marketing Automation vendor Salesfusion, I suggested that the deal would see Salesfusion roll out a combined product that would enable it to deliver a broad marketing automation offering to small and mid sized businesses who can’t afford similar products from the likes of Salesforce and Oracle. It seems that was the strategy and the company, only a few weeks later, is announcing its marketing automation platform now includes integrated predictive lead scoring. The complex sounding concept is actually quite simple, Salesfusion wants to help salespeople prioritize their time. Rather than looking at a list of opportunities and having to intuit which ones to chase, users will now be able to tell the system to “show me more leads like this” or “show me fewer leads like that” in order to focus on the most valuable and probable-to-convert leads.

At the time of the LoopFuse announcement I suggested that Salesfusion’s strategy was to offer deep functionality t users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and that Microsoft was a likely party to acquire the plucky startup. That prediction still holds but got a little more interesting since Microsoft announced some changes to Dynamics. The next release of Dynamics will include Dynamics Marketing, itself a product built off the back of technology from Marketing Pilot, a company Microsoft acquired in October 2012. The new offering will include a visual designer that is aimed at making it easier for marketers to set up campaigns. One of the more minor parts of the product however is, you guess it, an overhauled lead scoring capability that will be integrated back into Dynamics CRM.

It seems Salesfusion’s natural exit just got a little more complicated. This is, of course, all part of the natural process for technology startups and we can be sure that while eyeing their intended exit, the company is still focusing on building a viable business in its own rights. Indeed alongside this new product offering Salesfusion is announcing a couple of key hires – Eran Gil to EVP Sales and Business Development and Lynn Perry to VP Business Development. Both Gil and Perry come from Cloud Sherpas, the service provider that has grown massively by offering help to organizations wishing to migrate to Salesforce, ServiceNow and Google Apps.

Interestingly (and here goes that intended exit again) Perry is going to be focused on building relationships in the Microsoft channel – already the company reports accelerated growth and a prediction of a tripling of sales, revenue and customers by year’s end. It will be interesting to see the uptake Microsoft has with its new look CRM and how that feeds into a potential acquisition of Salesfusion by the Redmond monster.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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