Emissary, a novel concept around account-specific sales coaching from former employees of key accounts, was formally launched this month. The new service, which recently received $10 million in Series A funding, pairs up former enterprise executives, or “emissaries,” with sales reps to provide account guidance. The initial set of emissaries focuses on two verticals: Enterprise Software and Marketing & Advertising.
According to the firm, “By directly connecting clients to former executives who have accumulated invaluable knowledge throughout their careers, Emissary takes over where Google searches, social networks and sales automation software leave off. Over 5,000 experienced business leaders on Emissary provide personalized insights about the organizations they have previously worked – such as what the company culture is, who the key decision makers are and how the company makes buying decisions.”
Emissaries are vetted by the firm to ensure they have the requisite knowledge and experience to guide enterprise sales reps. The firm’s Salesforce synch connector matches sales organizations that “demand their insight” with emissaries holding “tacit knowledge” of organizations. The platform then facilitates communications, much of which is e-mail.
Emissary views itself as a sales acceleration platform, but one that focuses on closing deals instead of generating more leads. Thus, emissaries assist with much of the account intelligence which doesn’t reside online, helping reps understand organizational culture, procurement processes, and key decision makers. This tacit knowledge is often lacking online. Hammer, a former Google Product Executive, noted that even heavily data-driven organizations such as Google often make mistakes because “Often times, we didn’t have access to a piece of knowledge that sat in someone else’s head, and we didn’t know who that person was. I created Emissary because I believed if we faced that problem at Google, that organizations of all sizes must be facing that challenge.”
“At Google I came to realize that we all have valuable, tacit knowledge that was not available online,” said CEO and Founder David Hammer. “With Emissary, we’re using technology to gain access to relationship-driven knowledge from trusted sources that can often make the difference between whether or not you close a deal.”
The Emissary service requires a significant upfront commitment “in the tens of thousands of dollars, with the price depending on each client’s specific needs.” Contracts run six to twelve months and include a set of Emissary engagements.
Emissary recently closed on a $10 million Series A led by Canaan Partners and G20 Ventures. The Manhattan-based firm previously received a $2 million seed round from The New York Times, Google Ventures and Nextview Ventures.