Liid activity tracks salespeople. Cue creepy stalker comments

Activity tracking is awesome for athletes wanting to track their training. But applied to sales professionals, it takes on a creepy kind of look.

Spying with binoculars
Credit: Thinkstock

Liid is a startup based in Helsinki, Finland. The location of the company itself is reason enough to take a look at what they do, but add to that fact the company's focus on activity tracking salespeople, and you have something interesting. The Liid team has just launched their product after two years in development. The team behind the product has a history at Rovio, Nokia, and Meltwater.

Liid's aim is to make an activity tracker for salespeople. The company believes that, while there are multiple applications and wearable products for consumers to track their own activity, no one is looking at activity tracking as it applies to professionals. Liid wants to take the same working-in-the-background approach from consumer activity trackers but apply it to the world of sales professionals.

The rationale that Liid gives for its existence makes sense at first blush:

"We heard from many salespeople how difficult it is to find time to update CRM data. Furthermore, in a hurry, some leads, contacts, and activities may be be forgotten. The feedback gave us the idea to build a mobile application which tracks 100% of sales activities, including calls, emails, and events, and automatically updates them to the CRM. The idea is that everything runs in the background,” says Juha Herranen, CEO of Liid.

Liid is a mobile application that is available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play for salespeople who are already using Salesforce. Liid intends to support Microsoft Dynamics CRM shortly and extend to other players in the near future. Liid is both a tracker (updating CRM information in the background depending on a salesperson's location) and an information conduit - when salespeople are on the go, they get real-time access to all their leads, contacts, and accounts in Salesforce.

"Salespeople can also effortlessly manage their personal tasks and create follow-ups. Our users love a feature where they can record their meeting notes and have the app save it all as written text in their CRM system," says Herranen.

MyPOV

So...I totally get the problem that Liid is trying to solve here - the fact is that salespeople are loathe to spend even a second doing anything that isn't related to a sales opportunity, CRM uptake at the sales coalface is historically low because of this, and the associated reluctance of salespeople to share information.

So at first hand, Liid makes sense. But... it's just creepy. I can just imagine the response from frontline salespeople being told by their higher-ups that they have to use a new system that tracks where they are all the time. All of those "client lunches" and "important prospect meetings" will be seen for what they (often) are - unproductive expense account fleecing.

A solution like Liid is, in my view, far too early. Tracking is still nascent, especially in a business sense, and hence the backlash to a solution like Liid will not be insignificant. Give it a few years, however, and that situation might change significantly.

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