Since yesterday I discussed SalesLoft’s funding round, I would be remiss to note that Predictive Analytics vendor InsideSales closed on a $50 million funding round which included Microsoft and the Irish government. In total, the company has raised over $250 million. The latest round, led by Polaris Capital, included Questmark Partners and the Irish Strategic Investment Fund. Also participating were existing investors Microsoft, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Hummer Winblad, U.S. Venture Partners, Epic Ventures and Zetta Venture. The latest round was flat or nominally up, allowing the firm to retain its Unicorn status.
InsideSales’ predictive Accelerate service combines predictive analytics with a phone dialer, sales gamification, and email and web interaction tracking within SFDC. Accelerate lists at $295 per user per month. An Essentials service, designed for SMBs, is priced at $25 per seat per month. The firm also offers products at several price points in between.
The company stores, anonymous, aggregated data. “We have over 120 million unique buying personas,” said CEO David Elkington. “More interestingly, I have almost a hundred billion sales interactions with those 120 million people. A sales interaction’s a conversation, an email, a response, a visit, a purchase. We’re adding roughly five billion of those a month. The reason is because it’s aggregate, it’s crowdsourced.”
Elkington emphasizes the value of data over algorithms. “We’re basically looking at the way categories of people behave within various different situations. The mistake people are making is thinking the value is in building the best algorithm. The key is in the data.”
Elkington observed a “generational transition” in sales leadership with millennials “becoming predominant quota carrying reps, taking more sales leadership roles.”
In 2015, InsideSales set out to study the “buying and selling patterns of the next generation of employees.” The firm found that over the past few years, the presence of millennials amongst buyers and sellers has nearly doubled “and their behavior is very different.”
“The way a millennial runs their day is fundamentally different than the way other generations run their day,” noted Elkington. “Millennials don’t want to sit down in their CRM. They live all over the web and move around quite a bit.”
Based on these observations, InsideSales recently released Playbooks, a browser plugin which helps sales reps “prospect, prioritize and connect without juggling multiple tools.” The Playbooks service also supports CRM synchronization and integrated telephony and emails.
InsideSales research found that the typical millennial has seventy to eighty tabs open at a time. Thus, Playbooks allows the user to leverage the intelligence in each of those tabs and immediately act on the information.
InsideSales is finding strong usage for Playbooks amongst millennials. “Reps adopt it much faster with much less training, and satisfaction seems to be higher,” said Elkington.
InsideSales has over 2,000 customers including ADP, Groupon, and Microsoft. The firm currently employs a staff of 500 located in the “Silicon Slopes” of Utah with an outpost in San Mateo.
“Our mission is to leverage big data and cloud capabilities to unlock human potential through predictive analytics and machine learning,” said Elkington. “We are building an Amazon-style recommendation engine for business — a system capable of intelligently analyzing billions of data points in real-time and recommending the optimal next steps for almost any application or business process. This lays the groundwork for a future where predictive technology can be applied, not just to sales organizations but also to government, healthcare, retail and beyond.”