Corel draws closer to enterprise sales teams with the acquisition of ClearSlide

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Corel may be sketching out a new corporate direction in the sales enablement space with the acquisition of San Francisco-based ClearSlide Inc. on Tuesday.

Ottawa-based Corel did not disclose how much it paid for ClearSlide, which was founded in 2009 and has offices across the U.S. In a public statement, Corel said its investment would go towards developing ClearSlide’s cloud-based tools and expand its presence into international markets through its network of partners. A spokeswoman for Corel referred requests for comment from B2B News Network to ClearSlide, which did not respond at press time.

ClearSlide makes software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools that help sales teams easily find and share content that can be used in the process of pitching a customer or prospect. In September, the company launched Orion, for example, which uses CRM data to fuel a sort of recommendation engine to filter and easily access collateral and training materials. More recently, ClearSlide released Vega, a tool to help sales teams personalize content and a dashboard to track the performance of content through the sales process.

In a webinar on sales forecasting that was broadcast just a few hours before Corel announced the acquisition, ClearSlide vice-president of marketing and sales Michael Schultz said there was a growing need to help sales teams move away from more manual processes and towards decisions based on fact rather than gut feel.

“We don’t do enough up front with reps in telling them how to make their numbers. If you don’t spend the time to really chart out how to be effective, that can be pretty problematic,” he said. “It’s about bringing data in that allows the right questions to be asked and gives you the additional data you need to take a lot of the emotion out.”

Corel, of course, is best known as the maker of CorelDraw and more general-purpose productivity tools such as WordPerfect. More recently, however, the company has been positioning itself to serve a wider array of customers, including B2B firms.

“Our mission is simple: to help people achieve new levels of creativity, productivity, and success,” the firm’s current boilerplate reads. This was echoed in a blog post announcing the acquisition from ClearSlide, in which its chief strategy officer and co-founder Jim Benton said his firm is laser-focused in the same area.

“The goal was to make it easy for sales and marketing teams to find the best content, effectively communicate across virtually any touchpoint, and get insights into exactly how customers engage,” he wrote.

The sales enablement software space is becoming just as crowded as some areas of martech. Some of ClearSlide’s competitors include Fileboard, DocSend and SalesHandy.

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Shane Schick
Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.