Market Flash: Artesian Solutions and DueDil Merge

This morning, Artesian Solutions and DueDil announced the merger of their two firms.  Both vendors serve the B2B FinTech/RegTech/SalesTech spaces with products that assist their 700 customers in onboarding clients, performing KYC/AML checks, prospecting, and monitoring customers.

The merger took place six weeks ago and was described as a partnership at the time. However, they held off on the formal announcement until “everything was aligned.”

Artesian/DueDil is currently working on a combined brand identity that reflects the offerings of both companies. For this blog, I am, therefore, referring to them as “the merged company.”

Over eighty percent of their revenue comes from the financial services sector (Banking and Insurance), with products covering the UK, Ireland, US, and Canada.  While Artesian and DueDil serve the same market, they have only eight joint customers, providing significant upsell and cross-sell opportunities for their primary offerings:

  • Engage – Artesian’s Sales Intelligence offering supports prospecting, customer research, financials, Companies House images, industry research, and high precision news tagging and alerting.  Other tools include the Ready mobile app (meeting prep and meeting chat) and CRM connectors for Salesforce and MS Dynamics.
  • Connect – Artesian’s compliance and onboarding platform supports company screening, customer due diligence, and a configurable decision engine that ingests third-party data.  As a compliance and decisioning platform, Connect displays early warning indicators, supports KYC and AML checks, and delivers adverse media alerts.

    Artesian Connect includes a bespoke rules-processing engine that captures client know-how, including business rules, sales preferences, prospecting criteria, and onboarding checks.  Connect supports Artesian’s Premium Data feeds, the B.I.G., and customer-licensed third-party data integrations.
  • B.I.G. – DueDil’s Business Information Graph spans 270 million relationships, including companies, directors, shareholders, and subsidiaries.  Roughly thirty percent of the relationships are curated.  The graph is updated three or four times a day.
  • DueDil APIs – DueDil’s premium API also provides the capability to access B.I.G. data and plug it into existing systems “quickly and seamlessly” to power automated KYC / KYB and onboarding journeys.
Artesian supports sales intelligence (Engage) and FSI onboarding and compliance (Connect).

The companies have complementary capabilities.  Artesian Solutions offers mobile tools, CRM connectors, business events, a rules engine, and web applications.  Conversely, DueDil has focused on a set of APIs and relationship data.

“Our new company will be able to make strategic investments for sustainable and profitable growth, remaining agile to new opportunities whilst keeping focused on leveraging our newly combined strength to drive greater value for our customers.”

Artesian+DueDil CEO Andrew Yates

“If you can imagine the Big Information Graph, the APIs with their published endpoints that make them really quick and effective to integrate, a rules engine, and then a host of really powerful frontline applications, and middle-office applications, that’s what we mean by end-to-end,” explained Yates to GZ Consulting.  “There’s a market in the FinTech space, which is ‘just give me the data as it is’ as a service prepackaged with rules to do things like digital onboarding, straight-through processing, and automated underwriting. And then at the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got people-centric relationship management.  People not only want to get access to the insight and the data, but they need the applications that link all of that together and link that back to the customer.”

“We’ve been very effective at helping our customers find the right customers, and more laterally, using things like screening technology and forensic analysis with the rules engine,” continued Yates.  “DueDil has been focused on the onboarding journey and the remediation journey, so onboard them faster and keep them for life.”

There are two ways that Artesian adds value to commodity data, said the merged company’s COO Justin Fitzpatrick, who formerly led DueDil.  The first is by creating “proprietary, derived data” such as relationship connections.  The second is to embed “business logic around those data points” to answer “business-critical questions.”

“We can provide data that helps them check that they can onboard the customer. But at the end of the day, ideally, our clients want to be able to shortcut that process and know whether they can safely onboard that customer,” continued Fitzpatrick.  “And so that’s where we started developing things like our integrated KYB endpoint, which pulls together the different bits of data, runs logic and rules over it, and spits out a sort of Pass/Fail/More type answer so that people can kind of have direct responses to the business questions that they’re asking.  Being able to layer Artesian Connect’s programmable rules engine on the API was a really attractive proposition for us.”

The firms have competed against each other for around a decade but saw less of each other over the past three or four years as they focused on meeting complementary market requirements.  While DueDil focused on its API strategy and B.I.G., Artesian focused on event triggers, Artesian Connect’s rules engine, and workflow tools.

“Over the past decade, DueDil and Artesian have delivered some of the most innovative and successful technology solutions, tackling the financial service market’s biggest client lifecycle challenges.  We will continue to draw on this experience together to push the boundaries even further.”

Artesian+DueDil COO Justin Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick argued that official registries such as the UK’s Companies House “do a great job” as “electronic filing cabinets to make sure that people file their accounts on time.” Still, they were never designed to connect the dots between “company information, director  information, and shareholders.” 

Fitzpatrick argues that registry data is, therefore, a commodity, with the company adding value through disambiguating the filings, matching data, identifying relationships, facilitating onboarding, client monitoring, and delivering client and prospect intelligence via an API.  For example, they disambiguate about two million director profiles in the UK, ensuring that all John Smith listings are correctly matched, and that name variants are properly managed.

The merged company will continue to focus on Directors and relationships but will not become a contacts database with emails and phone numbers akin to ZoomInfo or Cognism. 

“We absolutely will cover that from a regulatory standpoint,” said Yates.  “Directors, officers, non-exec directors, how those people link together, entities linked together.  These are absolutely critical questions that regulated industries that are trying to engage with customers need answers to.”

CEO Andrew Yates will head the merged company with Justin Fitzpatrick assuming the role of COO.  The broader leadership team contains individuals from both companies.  The new firm has between seventy and eighty employees, “and that number will be growing.”  The combined turnover is in “double-digit millions” of pounds.

The strategy is to focus on the “multiple 1000s” of FinTech, financial services, insurance, and insurance broking institutions” that require “access to our combined capabilities.”  Not only are there significant upsell and cross-sell opportunities, but “the actual number of institutions relative to the total addressable market…is still very large,” said Yates.

“When you bring the data smarts in at the next level, you start to be able to really give people a laser-guided focus in not only who the right company is, but exactly how they should engage,” expanded Yates.  “If we can forensically analyze the data and combine it with rules, we can provide an engagement signal, which is essentially a next best action or recommendation as to what the individual should do – it goes way beyond giving them a piece of killer insight or a set of financials or some short animation around the structure and the way they’re organized and the ultimate beneficiary.”

Customers will also benefit from the “much more integrated experience” that unites the frontline teams and back office with a shared set of data, insights, and APIs.  The goal is to “find the right customers, onboard them faster, and keep them for life.”

Marketing graphic from the Better-Business-Faster website.

Yates is promising that Artesian Customers will have access to the B.I.G. and DueDil’s APIs “in a matter of weeks.”

“What’s emerging is a new company that allows more functionality, more value, and more freedom for our clients,” stated Yates.  Artesian Customers will “have one of the most extensive and accurate views of every UK and Irish company at their fingertips, in real-time, and available instantly.”

Venture Capital investors Notion Capital and Octopus Ventures backed the merger, stating that “the UK is one of the leading financial centres in the world, supported by a technology ecosystem built around trust, security, and innovation.  The combination of Artesian and DueDil creates an exciting growth company chasing an enormous opportunity in the FinTech market.  We are thrilled to play our part in supporting them on that journey.”

Artesian is coming off of a “strong” H1 marked by profitable, double-digit growth.  It added three significant customers, including two banks.  Its gross retention rate was 94%, and its net retention was over 100%.  Artesian has a track record of efficient revenue operations.  Its LTV/CAC ratio (Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost) was 9X last year, indicating an efficient sales engine with low churn.


I interviewed Andrew Yates back in 2018. He discussed technological disruption, AI, and data insights.

Revenue Grid Series A

Revenue Grid Pipeline Analytics displayed within Salesforce

Revenue Grid which rebranded last year from Invisible.io following its pivot into revenue intelligence, closed on a $20 million Series A to expand its AI-based revenue insights and guided selling recommendations.  The round was led by W3 Capital, with participation from ICU Ventures and existing investors.

Funds will be dedicated to scaling company growth with investments in sales, marketing, and R&D.  The firm plans to continue innovating around guided selling, revenue intelligence, and best practices research.

“Revenue Grid is ahead of the market in intelligent, guided selling, and sales automation,” said Steve Wadsworth, Partner at W3 Capital. “What has impressed us the most about Revenue Grid is their level of technology and product advancement and their innate understanding of the Sales and Revenue functions within organizations. Revenue Grid has already developed the solutions that the market is just now starting to look for.”

Revenue Grid offers a set of revenue opportunity, engagement, and risk signals that spur sales reps to take action.  It also automates sales routines, supports playbooks, fosters best practices, recommends modifications to the sales process, and measures the impact of recommended changes.

Core Revenue Grid capabilities include CRM data auto-capture, pipeline inspection, health checks, deal guidance, and revenue signals.

Revenue Grid ingested over one billion “communications items” to train its AI, including emails, meetings, and calls.  Communications are indexed by industry and sales process types and correlated against success rates.  Other features include sentiment analysis, sales opportunity summarization, and detecting demand unit members that have not been associated with an opportunity or added to the CRM.

“Revenue Grid can track objections and suggest the right mitigation on different levels of the sales funnel — from lead outreach to late opportunity stages. [It can] understand a communication type like ’email ping pong,’ ‘on hold,’ ‘no authority or power,’ and commitments tracking like whether email needs replying or whether a specific date for follow up or commitment was mentioned.”

CEO Vlad Voskresensky

“It is our mission to give companies an unbeatable competitive advantage by completely digitizing their sales processes, and right now we are in the perfect position to expand globally and help companies transform their sales process,” said Voskresensky.  “We are bringing smarter AI to sales, but it goes beyond just that.  It is quite literally shifting the sales tech stack from the ‘view mode’ to the ‘do mode.’”

While the round is a Series A, Revenue Grid is well established with 1,200 customers, including Hilton, Western Union, Moody’s, Trip Advisor, Red Cross, and Robert Half.  Over 800,000 sales professionals rely on Revenue Grid.  Through OEM deals, it supports an additional 20,000 companies.

The firm claims that its platform generates 21% faster revenue per account for its clients and offers a 250% ROI.

Revenue Grid is growing “seventy to eighty percent year-to-year,” said Voskresensky.  The firm has a 96% retention rate and net retention over 100%.

Revenue Grid has a team of 150 and plans to add another 50 headcount by 2022.

“[This] whole round is an equity investment. It’s actually our first round, prior to which we were bootstrapped and profitable,” Voskresensky said.  “Honestly, when the pandemic hit, we didn’t know what it would mean to our business, but it was actually a period of growth.  Our products became invaluable for sales reps as they all moved to working remotely, and it helped them stay focused, organized, and efficient.”

Revenue Grid also announced that highly regarded industry veteran Bob Stutz joined their board.  Stutz is the President of Customer Experience at SAP and previously served as CEO of Marketing Cloud, Chief Analytics Officer at Salesforce, and Corporate Vice President for Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM.   Stutz will assist with the product roadmap, revenue growth, and market expansion.

“Revenue Grid is a very interesting company as they look at optimizing sales processes in a very innovative way, and I am very excited to join their board to support them in growing their business on a global scale,” commented Stutz.

Revenue Grid did not announce its current valuation.

Revenue Grid Guided Selling Recommendations displayed in Salesforce.

Drift the Latest RevTech Unicorn

Drift Founders Elias Torres and David Cancel.

Drift became the latest RevTech unicorn following a strategic equity investment by Vista Equity Partners.  The firm did not disclose the size of the investment nor its valuation, only that the valuation exceeded $1 billion.  Vista will hold a majority stake in Drift when the transaction closes in Q4.

“In partnership with Vista, Drift will continue to invest in its customers’ success while expanding its product leadership, scaling globally and bringing Conversational Commerce to more B2B businesses,” announced the firm.

Vista exclusively invests in enterprise software, data, and technology-enabled businesses.

Cancel told TechCrunch that Drift’s goal wasn’t to create a unicorn but that he and founder Elias Torres are proud to be examples for other Latino entrepreneurs:

“Drift is now part of the less than 1% of #latinx founded companies to ever achieve that milestone [$1B+ valuation].

Elias Torres ⚡️ and I believe we have a responsibility to pay it forward, to inspire other people, who are often marginalized and don’t believe they can break the glass ceiling to know that they too can do it. So today we want our #latinx community to know that together we have taken another step forward in our fight for an equitable future.”

Drift CEO David Cancel

Drift, which offers “conversational commerce for B2B,” has over 50,000 sales and marketing customer teams on its Conversational Sales platform.  Drift integrates chat, email, video, and artificial intelligence to power conversations on the website and with sales reps.

75% of its customers were described as mid-market enterprise clients by Cancel.  Customers include ServiceNow, Okta, Grubhub, Mindbody, Adobe, Ellie May, and Snowflake.

“Over the next decade messaging will continue to eat the world and that in order to survive and compete, enterprise businesses will need to flip the traditional model, remove friction, and put customers first. The businesses that win will be the ones that make it simpler for customers to buy from them…

Our bet is that conversations will transform the entire B2B revenue function, and with a partner like Vista, who has helped to transform and grow companies like Marketo and Wrike in recent years, we are excited for what’s next.”

Drift CEO David Cancel

Drift continues on its hypergrowth path, growing ARR 70% in 2020 with a similar growth trajectory this year. However, the company is not yet profitable as it is focused on growth. 

“Our purpose as a company remains simple and consistent: Build a platform that makes it simpler for customers to buy from you. We have an opportunity to bring learnings from the B2C buyer experience to the enterprise and introduce Conversational Commerce as a new B2B category,” said Drift CEO David Cancel.  “Given its extensive experience investing in next-generation SaaS companies, we believe Vista is the best partner to help Drift – and our customers – further these efforts.  I am excited to work with Vista’s team of investors, operators, and technologists who will help us fulfill our ambitious vision and lead the Conversational Commerce category for decades to come.”

Cancel has his eye on taking the company public, with Vista providing a “clear path” to an IPO.

“As a next-generation SaaS company with a strong leadership team, differentiated platform, and passionate customer base, Drift is uniquely qualified and well-positioned to define and lead this new market of Conversational Commerce,” said Monti Saroya, co-head of the Flagship Fund and senior managing director at Vista. “It is a privilege to partner with talented founders like David and Elias, and we look forward to supporting them and the entire Drift team to help advance their vision to remove the friction from business buying, and in turn, create tremendous value for customers as Drift’s hypergrowth continues to accelerate.”

Boston-based Drift slowed its employment growth rate with the advent of the pandemic but accelerated its hiring in 2021, with an increase of 151 employees since December. In addition, the sales team has grown 33% over the past six months to 136. 

Drift accelerated its headcount growth in 2021 after slowing it at the advent of the pandemic (Source: LinkedIn)

The company appears to have started a consulting organization, growing from 2 to 18 consultants over the past year.  In August, the firm hired Ryan Slinkard as their VP of Professional Services.

RevTech is a field with several minority immigrant founders of unicorns. I have recently also covered Manny Medina (Outreach CEO; Ecuador; $4.4 billion Valuation) and Tope Awotona (Calendly; Nigeria; $3B+ Valuation). Awotona was recently named a board member of SalesLoft, another RevTech unicorn.

Vainu Workflow Triggers

European Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor Vainu released Workflow Triggers for target account monitoring.  Workflows leverage recent enhancements to the company’s firmographics, user interface, and CRM integrations.

Workflows are available for Salesforce, Dynamics 365 Online, HubSpot, and PipeDrive and support Account, Contact, Lead, Opportunity, and Task records.

Workflows setup requires four steps:

  1. Select the target group for tracking
  2. Define the filter options such as signal events (e.g., funding, new hires, M&A), data changes (e.g., revenue, employees, address), or new companies in the target group.  Over 70 triggers events are available.  Data changes may be triggered by any licensed data field.
  3. Choose the destination (CRM, Slack, email, or webhook).
  4. Set context including the number and frequency of triggers, additional information, and notes.  “For example, if you’re monitoring accounts to launch account-based marketing campaigns, you can update a data field in your CRM object with custom text saying ‘ABM campaign Q3/2021’,” wrote Head of Marketing Aamer Hasu.

Sales Operations can map data fields with custom text, providing context to data updates and workflows.

Workflow Triggers identify “any significant changes in real-time and use them to trigger workflows across your business systems,” said Hasu. “They’re perfect for nudging prospects over the line and discovering sales opportunities you never knew existed.”

Vainu data covers Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, France (beta), and the United Kingdom (beta).  Users may license one or multiple countries.

One gap in the offering is the lack of support for Sales Engagement Platforms (SEP) such as SalesLoft and Outreach.  SEP functionality is a logical extension to Workflow Triggers. While SEPs are less established in Europe than in North America, both companies have opened EMEA sales and support offices in London.

Vainu is offering fourteen-day free trials to the service.  Email as a trigger destination is available for all users, but CRM integrations are sold separately.

SalesLoft Hits $100M ARR (Part III)

Continued from [Part I] [Part II]


CEO Kyle Porter launched SalesLoft nearly ten years ago and the SEP Cadence product (its flagship) in late 2014.  To recharge and reflect, he took a sabbatical earlier this summer to his family’s tangerine grove.

“One of my biggest conclusions was that I’m given this thing another ten years. So I’m committed to running this business and outlasting and out-executing and out-innovating others in the market.

Another one of those conclusions was [that] we don’t really compare ourselves to the competition. We focus entirely on our customers’ needs, and delivering them the best digital sales combination and workspaces that ever existed…I see all of these companies as different than SalesLoft. We’re very unique. We’re unique in the way that we show care for our customers and each other. We’re unique in the way we innovate and bring new ideas to market and trailblaze the path for digital sales. We’re unique in how we combine these multiple different new, impactful digital solutions into one workspace for our customers.”

SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter (GZ Consulting Interview 8/20/21)

Porter is “exploring multiple options” to remain an independent business and continue growing SalesLoft’s market presence.  Doing so entails getting “better and better over time at serving our customers [and] at innovating in the marketplace.”

SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter

The firm is also preparing for a future IPO.  “We’re going down the road to build a public business prior to being a public business,” commented Porter.  “And so we’re putting that governance in place [and] those financial controls in place.  You see the independent board member being added. We’ve got an opportunity to continue that with an audit committee chair and another independent board member.”

“I’d love this to be a public business,” continued Porter.  “And if that’s what’s right for the company, that’s what will happen.”

Porter is also proud of his ownership structure, saying that SalesLoft has the “cleanest cap table” and fewest investors amongst companies in the space that have reached scale.  The presence of Jason Green of Emergence Capital and Jeff Horing of Insight Capital also gives him confidence.  Porter views them as “invest and hold” partners.  Both serve on SalesLoft’s Board.

Porter has a great deal of respect for ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck, whom he met at Dreamforce in 2013.  “It’s amazing to see what they’ve done. He’s an inspiration and role model for us, definitely a different business with data at the core.  We no longer do data.  And they’ve moved into the application space. But this is a giant market, and [in] some of the areas they play, we’ve got more experience and capabilities and history and lessons learned and edge case analysis that we’ve been through. And in some of the areas, primarily the data side, he’s got more experience and capabilities. So, we’re excited to see what they’re doing. I love reading his quarterly reports and learning what’s on his mind.  He and I stay in touch regularly. It’s a joy to be in the category with people you love and respect.”

Porter would like to return to live conferences but expects to initially host “smaller, more intimate settings” such as a fifty-person CRM summit or a sales operations leader event.  Later on, Porter looks forward to hosting large events again, such as their 2,000-person Atlanta Rainmaker conference held in 2019.

Last month’s InStereo acquisition is going “incredibly well.”  The acquisition of one of its service partners brought SalesLoft “capabilities to serve our most critical enterprise customers.”  The purchase was prompted by feedback from their joint customers who told Porter “how amazing” the InStereo team was in delivering “critical experiences to help them push the boundaries of modern revenue.” 

Furthermore, “there were just such good relationships” between the companies that it allowed everybody to “hit the ground running once the transaction closed. SalesLoft employment has grown 50% since the beginning of the pandemic and now stands at 615 headcount.

RelPro – IBISWorld Partnership

Sales Intelligence vendor RelPro announced a partnership with well-regarded industry research vendor IBISWorld to deliver an integrated solution for commercial banks.  The joint offering, delivered via the RelPro platform, assists with meeting preparation, due diligence, and industry research.  Ten commercial banks have already deployed the integrated solution, including three of the top five.

RelPro serves business development and relationship management professionals in Financial Services (banking, insurance, wealth management, private equity) and Professional Services (legal, and advisory).  RelPro users are often industry generalists who serve SMBs across many industries.  IBISWorld provides broad industry research across sectors along with economic and environmental changes.

RelPro is a traditional sales intelligence service with company and executive content sourced from seventeen partners.  Data partners include ZoomInfo, Dun & Bradstreet, BoardEx, GuideStar, Crunchbase, and HG Insights.  RelPro users build prospecting lists, perform account planning, identify additional contacts at key accounts, and, with the IBISWorld partnership, research industries based upon each company’s industry codes.

IBISWorld industry intelligence is linked by industry codes to company profiles in RelPro.

“RelPro has always been a client-driven solution, focused on the needs of business development and relationship management professionals in financial services and professional services, so when our clients asked us to integrate with a new intelligence source we listened!” said RelPro CEO Martin Wise, “The value of industry insights has been so evident as our users have pivoted and navigated through the shifting economic landscape, preparing for meetings with prospects and clients.  We are thrilled to be partnering with IBISWorld and delivering our combined capabilities to mutual clients.”

RelPro said that the partnered solution is consistent with its mission “to deliver valuable insights and time-saving efficiencies to business development and relationship management professionals” across banking and professional services.

The partnership began a year ago when a top five commercial bank requested an integrated solution.  The firms polished the integration over the past year, with the announcement synced to the April launch of My IBISWorld for Banking.

My IBISWorld for Banking includes tailored industry tools, data, and analysis to support banking professionals throughout the entire credit process.  Expanded content includes enhanced financial ratios, localized statistics “to understand concentration and major market data,” role-based views, risk snapshots that highlight industry risks and trends, and targeted meeting prep questions.

“Recently, we’ve seen a shift towards banking professionals working more closely with other functions, creating cross-department synergies in this newly-remote world.  We’ve also seen a great need for hyper-local data so banks can better serve small businesses during these unprecedented times. My IBISWorld for Banking fosters this cross-departmental work and helps banks support their customers.”

Carmen McKinney, Chief Operations Officer and Head of Customer Success at IBISWorld

“Being a part of our clients’ workflows has been a continuous goal for us at IBISWorld,” said Jason Falkowitz, SVP, IBISWorld Industry Research Division.  “From the launch of our My IBISWorld for Banking platform and our robust API offering to our new partnership with RelPro, we are committed to offering world-class industry information in client-led formats. Combining IBISWorld’s industry intelligence with RelPro’s focus on targeting companies and decision-makers, mutual clients will be best positioned to win and retain commercial relationships.”

IBISWorld content is delivered within the RelPro solution, with single sign-on supported.  The partners initially focused on their set of joint customers with contracts written on separate paper.  There is no surcharge for the cross-product authorization and functionality.

RelPro company profile screen showing links to IBISWorld Research on primary NAICS / SIC Codes.

Last year, RelPro released a similar solution with Vertical IQ.  Both Vertical IQ and IBISWorld provide industry profiles and economic data, with Vertical IQs content written in plain English for cross-industry generalists, while IBISWorld offers a more formal format.

“RelPro now integrates with the two leading independent sources of industry research,” Wise told GZ Consulting.  “It is for clients to decide which of these two solutions best meets their needs, and RelPro can deliver an integrated and time-saving user experience to either / both sources. This new partnership announcement is consistent with RelPro’s mission to deliver valuable insights and time-saving efficiencies to business development and relationship management professionals in banking and other financial and professional services sectors.” RelPro revenues (bookings) grew 40% in 2020, and the company expects that growth in 2021 will be at least that much

SalesLoft Hits $100M ARR (Part II)

(Continued from Part I) SalesLoft also announced that Calendly’s founder and CEO Tope Awotona joined SalesLoft’s Board of Directors.  Both RevTech firms are based in Atlanta.  Porter and Awotona met seven years ago at Atlanta Tech Village.

“It was clear from day one [that] he was an incredible leader who had a clear vision harnessed around delivering delightful customer experiences,” posted Porter on LinkedIn.  “Most of us know the success of Calendly and have learned of Tope‘s fascinating story.  We’re stoked to partner together and grow from his strategic wisdom, leadership learnings, and product-focused excellence.  Our ultimate goal together is helping our current and future customers deliver revenue excellence at scale.”

Salesloft Calendaring Functionality

Porter and Awotona discussed potential conflicts of interest, but those concerns were laid aside.  While SalesLoft has calendaring features similar to Calendly, SalesLoft maintains an open architecture and partner ecosystem with Calendly as a partner.

Porter echoed a recent Gartner observation that SalesTech is in a period of “mayhem” where customers are looking to consolidate their revenue platforms to simplify workflows and operations.  Porter sees SalesLoft as being at the vanguard of this preference for broad, open platforms.

“There’s been massive trends towards digital selling that have taken place,” said Porter.  “And then there’s another trend that we’ve seen emerge, which is companies have been using so many different revenue tools, but they really want to consolidate on a very few that they love, and that’s where SalesLoft comes in.”


Continue to Part III which discusses Porter’s long-term plans for SalesLoft.

SalesLoft Hits $100M ARR

Sales Engagement Platform SalesLoft announced that it hit the $100 million ARR mark, following 50% growth over the past year.  Since announcing its unicorn valuation in January ($1.1 billion), the firm has grown revenue by nearly 40%.  Last quarter, it “far exceeded its financial plan.”

It took roughly nine quarters to double their ARR.

SalesLoft ranked 1210 on the Inc. 5000 2021 list.  SalesLoft revenue grew 401% over the past three years, a 71% CAGR.

“Everything we’re doing is coming back to, ‘how do we empower our customers to deliver their customers with an amazing sales experience?'”

SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter

SalesLoft, which opened an EMEA office in April 2019, has grown revenue 125% in the European market over the trailing twelve months.  It plans to increase its European staff by 120% over the next year and open a German data center.

Its top markets in EMEA are the UK, Ireland, France, and Germany.

SalesLoft benefited from being the first SEP with a European office.  While the revenue team can create content in any language, the UI remains English only.  Their NLP is English only, but Porter anticipates supporting additional languages for conversational intelligence “in a very short time.”

SalesLoft is also enjoying strong growth in APAC even though it lacks a physical presence in the region.

“While we don’t have physical locations in Asia, we have many customers there and in Australia,” Porter told GZ Consulting.  “We have many customers that are US-based businesses with operations there. So we’re global in our customer base and usage of the application, but we don’t have feet on the street in the Asian or Australian market yet.”

The pandemic has driven demand into new segments as companies are looking to establish new communications channels with the loss of trade shows and face-to-face meetings.  Customer growth has been “across the board.”  SalesLoft has “really expanded to Main Street” as firms realized they needed to adopt a “digital sales motion.”

The pandemic “brought about some, incredible businesses that traditionally took a little bit longer to buy Sales Engagement,” explained Porter.  “We’ve got companies like 3M and Liberty Mutual and McGraw Hill and S&P and carpet manufacturers. It’s moved outside of tech to manufacturers, health care, financial services, [and] a number of different professional services. That’s been one of the great lessons learned post-pandemic.”

“As companies have pivoted to a full digital selling motion, SalesLoft has become a mission-critical partner and platform,” wrote the firm.  “Only SalesLoft combines the three most critical products in digital selling – Cadence for managing multi-channel communications, Conversations for recording and analyzing meetings, and Deals for managing opportunities and pipeline.”


Continue to Part II which discusses the addition of Calendly CEO Tope Antowana to SalesLoft’s board.

Kyle Porter on Leadership as Service

There is no lack of companies and their CEOs that go through the motions of woke capitalism, turning it into performative theater to satisfy customers, partners, and investors. Only over time do you see which firms are sincere in their efforts at stakeholder capitalism and which ones view such positions as a way to goose profits and burnish their image.

BP was a perfect example of greenwashing until they befouled the Gulf of Mexico.

I’ve known Kyle Porter, CEO of Sales Engagement Platform SalesLoft, for about nine years. I was impressed when he mothballed his first product because it wasn’t aligned with his belief in sales authenticity. It was a gutsy move. While he didn’t burn his boats (i.e., immediately remove the product from the market), he stopped selling the service and phased out the product while fulfilling current contracts.

Early on he set out five principals for his company. He has discussed them at user conferences and posts them on SalesLoft’s company page:

So when Kyle announced that SalesLoft was internalizing the cost of its carbon footprint by paying for carbon offsets, I asked him about it. He framed the discussion as part of a broader social mission:

From the beginning, this has been a mission-led business. I didn’t found a company because I wanted to make money in sales, I founded a company because I knew that a business would be the greatest vehicle that I could create to make an impact on the world. And that starts with our customers and changing their lives. It extends to our employees and providing them with a place where they can learn more, grow more, do more, find fulfillment, and serve others. And that extends to our ecosystem and the places that we serve.

If I’ve got influence and capabilities, why not yield those to make the world a better place at the same time…

Einstein said the purpose of life is to serve. I believe that a leader’s role is to serve, and I believe that I’ve been entrusted with a unique story, with capabilities, with resources, with a great business. And it’s my job to be a steward of that and use it to make the world a better place.

So when you look out, you see that we emit 35 billion metric tons of carbon, and SalesLoft is emitting carbon, as well, through our server ecosystem, through our travel, through our office space HVAC. We have an opportunity to take it seriously, and we have an opportunity to have a net-zero impact on the world, then we’re going to take that.

Fortunately, we were able to find a great partner [Green Places] who helps us offset our carbon footprint, and commits us to operating in an energy efficient way.

We stand for something. We act on it. It’s one of the many things that we want to do as a business.”

SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter (Interview: Michael Levy 8/20/21)

Now, I’m hoping that Green Places keeps Kyle’s feet to the fire on his promise to be carbon neutral. Simply paying for offsets should only be the first step in meeting environmental objectives. The real progress happens when a company works with its employees, vendors, and partners to reduce their carbon emissions. I have no doubt that Kyle is sincere, but even those with the best of intentions need to be advised on next steps and best practices. Just as SalesLoft provides Guided Selling and Next Best Actions to sales professionals, advisory services such as Green Places need to provide Guided Leadership and Next Best Actions to C-level execs.

The SalesTech space is fortunate to have some mensches at the helm (Kyle Porter, Henry Shuck at ZoomInfo, Manny Medina at Outreach, Jeff Weiner at LinkedIn [retired]). Sales has often been a highly competitive, self-serving profession (“coffee is for closers”). Having executives with a stakeholder perspective that preach and implement authenticity, privacy, diversity, collaboration, career development, and environmentalism positions their companies against the stereotypes of the sales profession and helps advance the profession.

ZoomInfo Sales Efficiency and LTV/CAC Ratios

ZoomInfo has been talking about its LTV/CAC (Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost) ratio for a few years and is now boasting about its sales efficiency ratio.  For every dollar the firm invests in Sales and Marketing, it is growing $1.50 to $2.00 in revenue with even better results on the retention business side.  These values are well above the SaaS industry average and indicate that the firm should increase its revenue operations investment.

“On the new business side, we aim for somewhere between one and a half to two X return for every dollar that we spend on a customer. And then on the retention and growth or account management side, we look for a six to eight X return for every dollar that we spend there. It’s a super-efficient go-to-market motion.  Most software businesses, you put a dollar in, you get like 70 cents out in the first year.  We’re putting a dollar in and getting one and a half to two X out.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck

Schuck described their go-to-market efficiency as one of their “big strategic levers” when acquiring firms with less mature go-to-market motions.  ”So when we find companies that don’t have a very sophisticated go-to-market motion, that aren’t truly optimized in the way that they get clients, they’re not doing one and a half to two X efficiency or a 15 X LTV to CAC.  Those are great fits for us.” 

ZoomInfo has a track record of improving sales efficiency, helping unlock value in acquired assets where the go-to-market motions are aligned.  “In our big acquisitions – RainKing, ZoomInfo, and, most recently, Chorus.AI — we really felt like we could leverage the go-to-market motion to accelerate growth within those companies. That’s a key piece.”

When DiscoverOrg acquired RainKing, which had a $40 million ARR, he was convinced that DiscoverOrg could treble their EBITDA to $30 million and accelerate their top-line growth within six months.  Within one year of acquiring RainKing, DiscoverOrg’s market valuation grew from roughly $600 million to $2 billion.

One of the inherent advantages of SalesTech is you don’t have to teach sales reps the value and use cases of your product.  This shortens ZoomInfo’s ramp time for new reps from several quarters to four months.  “it makes it way easier for you to be able to sell to your counterpart on the other end of the line.  It’s a big difference for us,” said Schuck. 

ZoomInfo heavily hires sales reps directly out of college or soon after and trains them as SDRs, responding to inbound leads and performing outbound prospecting.  “In nine months, we start promoting them into the account executive role.  So we got value out of them in that ramp time. Then four months after they’ve gone into the account executive role, they’re fully ramped. Thirteen months from when you’ve never sold something until you’re an account executive at one of the fastest-growing technology companies in the country, that’s a really fun promotion to see.”

And because ZoomInfo is hiring sales reps to sell sales and marketing solutions, Schuck does not consider complicated or technical product categories for acquisition.  Instead, he looks for solutions that broadly meet the needs of his 20,000 customers and which are easy to understand.  Chorus.AI, the Conversation Intelligence vendor that ZoomInfo acquired last month, fits the bill: “We use it, all of our sellers use it. It’s really simple to understand, ‘Hey, we’re going to record and transcribe all your calls, and then you can go do instant coaching on the key moments in those calls’,” remarked Schuck.

The Chorus app for Zoom records, transcribes, indexes, and analyzes calls, providing insights to sales reps and sales managers. As reps no longer need to worry about notetaking, they can focus on the topics at hand and be more present during the meetings.