PointDrive: Because email attachments make crummy sales pitches

Credit: frender via iStock

E-mail attachments are useful, functional, and entirely taken for granted -- but they're not exactly designed for making a strong sales pitch. Sending a sales prospect a collection of Powerpoint presentations, PDFs, and pictures doesn't make for a compellingly memorable experience.

Enter PointDrive, which enables customers to take their own content and publish it in a stylish, attractive report that makes an impression and provides the sales team with much-needed metrics on customer engagement. PointDrive launched at last October's DEMO conference, and today, it's making the leap into monetization with the introduction of a PointDrive Pro paid plan and the rejection of the freemium model. 

PointDrive's pitch is for salespeople who want a better, cleaner way of presenting information, says CEO and Founder Bill Burnett, whose background is in sales. You sent a prospect a mountain of sales collateral, and it's easy for them to get lost. There's no context, and no control over which parts get opened in which order. But import your information into the PointDrive tool, and it generates a slick report that grants context and generally makes a better, more engaging show of it. This has the added benefit of giving the salesperson insight into which parts of the presentation get opened more often, and which parts are skimmed over. PointDrive demoed its app for CITEworld last October (video here).

"It really helps them to close business," Burnett says. 

With today's announcement, PointDrive is also announcing the sunsetting of its open beta period. The last several months since launch have been crucial for gathering feedback, Burnett says, but as a small startup, it's hard to maintain support for a free tier and a paid tier. Instead, users get a 30-day unlimited trial of the product that turns off completely at the conclusion of that period. Freemium is great for businesses that are trying to cast a wide net, Burnett says, but PointDrive's customers look at the product and immediately know that it's for them. The Pro product costs $15 per user per month, or $150 per user per year. A version for teams is coming as well.

Customers who stick with the product will be able to take advantage of a bevy of expanded capabilities: In addition to a performance boost and better clarity across the board, today's PointDrive update adds more granular analytics and integration with Dropbox and Google Contacts. Burnett promises it's the tip of the iceberg, with deeper Salesforce integration coming later this year.

Up Next: DEMO Enterprise, April 3, 2014, in San Francisco. Apply to launch or register to attend. Learn more at www.demo.com

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