ProsperWorks is a San Francisco-based vendor of CRM software. As such it competes with another company you might have heard of, one that is also based in San Francisco, Salesforce. But ProsperWorks has a point of differentiation, it is deeply embedded into Google’s G Suite office productivity suite, so much so that Google itself has anointed ProsperWorks as its CRM of choice.

Or at least it did. You see ProsperWorks is no longer, perhaps their best buddies at Google gave them some SEO advice but, whatever the reason, the company and its product are now known as Copper. Actually, just in case you wanted to know, Copper front-footed comments about its new name by informing me that the name was chosen for its timeless quality, clarity, and simplicity, as well as its relationship to energy and currency. Ok, whatever.

Anyway, since Copper is an important Google partner, and this week sees Google holding NEXT, its conference dedicated to all things cloud, Copper has an announcement aligned with the show. The company is rolling out a native integration with Google’s Cloud Platform Data Studio. Data Studio is a visualization offering that allows users to create charts and reports based on various types of data. In this case, the integration will allow Copper users to see:

  • Relationship statistics: Copper’s Data Studio dashboards help relationship makers tell great data stories and make better business decisions.
  • Visual analytics: Copper and Data Studio give teams and businesses the ability to create meaningful, shareable charts and graphs that bring data to life. With easy-to-use data visualization, customers can split trends across different categories or run an in-depth cohort analysis.
  • Business analysis: Customers can leverage Copper CRM metadata to view sales indicators, identify trends, and gain insights. They can also export critical relationship data to run trend analyses.

The integration will mean that it easier for customers to visualize data such as sales summaries, lead conversion rates, win rates, average sale prices and others. The pitch goes that, by eliminating the manual data entry that is often required to achieve these visualizations, Copper’s integration will drive efficiencies and added customer value.

Reinventing CRM

Copper’s schtick is that it’s reinventing CRM for a new, more digitally-native customer. According to the company, existing CRM offerings (and it obviously takes aim at Salesforce with its comments) are outdated and fail to respond to the newer more collaborative and dynamic ways that people work.

In a comment that will no doubt have Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff fired up (Benioff is, after all, generally accepted as one of the most evangelical cloud CEOs around), Copper opines that customers are not satisfied with the rate at which CRM technology is evolving to align with fast-growing technology advancements and user demands. It points to an (admittedly self-commissioned) recent survey that found nearly half of respondents think the innovation of CRM should be quicker.

Further ramming home this theme of legacy CRMs not being up to the play, Coppers CMO, Morgan Normal said that:

The narrative in the CRM industry hasn’t changed in over 20 years, but the demands of customers have changed rapidly. Rather than the traditional CRM industry language about managing customers, our name change is about transparency, the people, the places they work, and helping enterprise software work for them. We are continually inspired and pushed by our customers and we’re excited to introduce the new Copper and continue transforming the way people work. We’re at the forefront of this shift in the industry and really pushing the envelope of the CRM space to focus more on building relationships.

Customers no longer “owned” by sales

Copper also points to some broader trends in the customer space, with sales teams no longer having sole purview over the customer relationship. 63 percent of survey respondents said three or more teammates are involved in fostering customer relationships. Multiple stakeholders, from sellers to developers, have a direct influence on the customer relationship, showing it’s a more collaborative effort than ever before.

The Google tie-up

Copper (well, ProsperWorks, launched back in 2014 and has been a Google partner since day one. Indeed, Google is one of Copper’s own customers. Since the 2014 launch, Copper has deepened ties into the various Google offerings – first came a Chrome extension and subsequently integrations into Gmail, Hangouts, Data Studio and others. Over the same time, Copper has grown its target market and evolved from the original SMB solution into one that can meet the needs of larger organizations – according to the company, over 900 global media agencies use the platform for their own needs.

MyPOV

I can take or leave the Data Studio integration – visualization within a CRM are cool, and all, but not exactly mind-blowing. What is more interesting is the momentum that Copper has enjoyed by partnering with Google. It is in a highly competitive space, but Copper, despite having far less exposure than its competitors, seems to be scaling well. It will be interesting to hear views on Copper from within the Google conference and to see what Google’s own strategy is longer term with the Copper partnership.

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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