SocialPandas Raises $1.5 Million For CRM Tools To Aid The Forgotten Sales Person

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SocialPandas has raised $1.5 Million in a seed round from True Ventures to develop its social tools for sales people — the ones left behind at the front lines of the business world.

The oversubscribed round also includes angel investments from
former Salesforce.com, VMware, and Apple executives as well as the Alchemist Accelerator. The company will use the funds to develop the service for a launch in 2013.

Sales people are the forgotten ones, says Co-Founder Mark Trang, formerly of Salesforce.com where he helped land Force.com and the company’s App Exchange Marketplace.

Plenty of companies are fighting for the social CRM market. Marketers have tools such as Radian6 or HootSuite. But Trang says sales people still primarily use tools from the pre-social age.

CRM systems like Salesforce.com have code bases that predate the first days of Facebook. They are still for the most part designed to track leads and the sales process.

Until recently, we’ve seen social media confined to isolated departments. But social tools are starting to spread across organizations and to the sales force. That’s the opportunity Trang sees for SocialPandas.

Marketing automation services such as Marketo, Eloqua and Hubspot help sales people better manage email and inbound marketing. But a social focus is lacking.

SocialPandas will find smart ways to use social tools to help penetrate existing accounts. The service will tap into social data and that from public resources.

“We make it easy to qualify and decide when to engage that prospect,” Trang said.

Trang said in some cases data will be presented as a “social baseball card,” with the name and picture on the front. But the real goal is to provide relevent social information that helps the sales person cut down on the time and energy they now spend on tracking down information and leads.

Trang views the market as a green field. But here’s the thing. ┬áStartups and bigger, more established companies will be pursuing this market as well. Those companies will pose the biggest challenge for the SocialPandas service.