I recently installed SideKick at the recommendations of one of the sales reps that is also an excellent prospector. While it is catered towards prospectors, sales engineers can use this as well. Let's start of with the product itself. SideKick's vision is to facilitate the business development by turning this:
and they do this in a number of ways. See this blog. If I was a prospector, sign me up. Up to 200 notifications/mo is free and the first month is all you can consume.
For sales engineers, there are a few uses:
This works for GMail (preferred), and Apple Mail and Outlook. It looks like Outlook Webmail and Outlook.com are also supported, but for professional purposes, your client of choice should be covered. Install the Chrome plug-in (this has to be installed, unfortunately) and then the follow the instructions for either client. It's simple. Then send a test e-mail and make sure "Track E-mail" is checked off.
So how does this work? There is a blank/hidden image inserted into the e-mail. When this image loads, Sidekick knows someone has opened it. Each link is also wrapped just like any URL shortener (or in this case, an extender). When someone clicks on the URL, Sidekick knows someone has clicked on the link.
The implementation is quite smart, but there are some caveats:
And the thing I think is cool and not mentioned -- Sidekick tracks geographically where the e-mail was opened! This is meant to facilitate with multiple e-mail identification, but you can now know who is on the road and where they are.