The “Gist” of a New Sales Tool

gistI love finding good sales tools. Few things get me as excited as finding good tool to help me achieve my goals. One of the biggest areas for improvement is access to information. Sales runs on information; access to it and use of it. The best sales people are those who learn how to access information others can’t and know how to use it.

Finding information has usually meant research. Companies like Hoovers would compile all the info and we would go tearing through it looking for the tidbit to give us an edge. The problem was Hoovers controlled the info. If they couldn’t find it or chose not to add it, you didn’t get it. Google Alerts has upped the game a bit, but if you’re like me, you get a little tired of managing the tons of emails that come in everyday. I just couldn’t keep up with all the different alerts. This is why I’m excited about Gist.

Gist has the potential to be the next killer sales app. Gist is a new site that allows you to link your contact list to the web. After you sign up, you are prompted to upload your address book. Gist supports, Oulook, Vcard, Gmail, as well as LinkedIn and Facebook. Once your accounts have been set up, (you can set up more than one) Gist begins to pull all the information from the web it can and puts it into a clean dashboard by person, by company. What I like about how Gist works is I can see a client or companies entire web presence in a single click. Gist does a Google search and throws up all the relevant info on the people and companies in my contacts. It tracks the tweets, and blog posts, as well as any new web mentions. Getting information on clients has always been difficult. Gist is changing this and has taken a tremendous step into bringing sales people closer to their clients and what their clients are saying. Gist also provides the same rich information for the companies in your contacts, as it does for your contact list.

There are a few features I really enjoy. One is the ability to dial up or down the importance of a contact or company. The more important a contact, the higher on the dashboard you can make them show up. This gives you control on who gets more attention your watch list. Gist also syncs with your email account for better organization of all your account information. Gist gives you the ability to share contacts with other Gist users and merge contacts into a single view. (ex: multiple contacts at a single company.)

I have been using it for a few weeks and have just scratched the surface. I uploaded my entire contact list, not sure I’d do that again. There are too many people I just don’t care to watch. Gist does integrate with Which was a good move. I haven’t played with that feature yet. I am curious on how it’ll work.

Gist is headed in the right direction. As more and more people come online, via Twitter, Blogs, LinkedIn etc, Gist will provide you immediate information that can be used in the sales process, relationship building and a myriad of other business needs.

Gist is easy to use and easy to set up. I don’t see any barrier to adoption. Go sign up and tell me what you think. Playing with it is the only true way to find out how something works. Come back and give us your two cents.