Sales Engagement Platform vendor SalesLoft became the latest SalesTech unicorn, following a $100 million equity investment led by Owl Rock Capital. Insight Partners, HarbourVest, and Emergence also joined the round. The Series E funding raised SalesLoft’s valuation to $1.1 billion, nearly doubling its April 2019 Series D valuation of $600 million.
The funds will be dedicated towards “transforming the sales industry and helping the world’s companies sell more successfully.” SalesLoft will invest in “new vertical markets, AI / ML-driven insights and product innovation, and further international expansion.”
SalesLoft had a successful 2020, setting up the firm for the valuation raise. While they were doing well before the pandemic, it provided a “tailwind” that accelerated the need for Sales Engagement solutions.
“The effects of Covid have been a tailwind due to the effects of digital selling,” Porter told TechCrunch. “All sellers immediately became remote. But now the genie is out of the bottle and not going back in. It’s meant that inside sales are now all sales. Whether the opportunities are mid-funnel or upgrades or renewals, we are establishing ourselves as the engagement platform of record because it’s all becoming digital and all sellers are finding more success.”
SalesLoft, which had focused on the mid-market, is enjoying significant success selling to enterprise clients, including Google, LinkedIn (also a strategic partner), Cisco, Dell and IBM. Other clients include Cargill, 3M, and Standard & Poor’s.
Last year, SalesLoft doubled recurring revenue and expanded the breadth of its offering. When SalesLoft went fully work from home last year, it forced them to rely more fully on their platform. “It was an opportunity to immerse ourselves in our own best practices,” blogged Porter. “And since then, our sales cycles have shortened by 40% and we’ve exceeded our growth plans. Many of our customers are experiencing similar results.”
SalesLoft was also named a leader in Sales Engagement in “The Forrester Wave™: Sales Engagement, Q3 2020.”
“Our goal is and always will be to help our customers win. This year has accelerated the need for revenue teams across all industries to transform through a digital selling strategy. SalesLoft is a crucial technology for sales teams to perform at their highest potential.”SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter
SalesLoft claims to be the only SEP supporting “the three most critical products in digital selling – Cadence for managing customer communications, Conversations for recording calls and meetings, and Deals for managing opportunities.” SalesLoft helps customers build pipeline, manage active deals, and engage customers across the buyers’ journey.
In 2020, SalesLoft released 140 new features, including 25 additional reports and dashboards. In December, they added “Coach to Close” functionality and integrated support for Microsoft Dynamics 365.
SalesLoft gave a sneak peek at their 2021 roadmap in December, unveiling two new features: Deal Engagement Scores and Pre-Built Cadence Frameworks.
Deal Engagements Scores employ machine learning to calculate “deal health based on 30+ factors including activity and deal progression data.” They will assist with prioritizing deals in need of attention and improve forecast accuracy “by identifying mismatches between forecast category and deal score.
Pre-built Cadence Frameworks will improve SalesLoft’s time to value by providing a set of templates and cadences across the full lifecycle and various roles (e.g., SDR, AE, CSM). Inbound frameworks are also supported. Cadences include a preview with a visual display of the cadence, description, objective, function, and implementation complexity level. Pre-built cadences offer best practices from SalesLoft and SalesLoft’s partners.
SalesLoft’s product vision is focused on performance across both efficiency and effectiveness and looks to answer three questions:
- What is our performance versus plan? Forecasting for revenue execs
- Why are we above or below plan? Outcome-driven reporting for frontline managers
- How can we improve and take action? Coaching, Workflow, and an AI/ML Recommendation Engine for sellers and frontline managers.
“We know which sales activities lead to the best revenue outcomes,” stated Porter. “Our data science team is bringing insights and best practices into the platform to tee up next best actions and benefit our customers.”
Forecasting and outcome-driven reporting are part of the SalesLoft vision. Coaching and the Recommendation Engine are areas of continuing development. SalesLoft is already delivering an “integrated, efficient workflow.”
SalesLoft is moving to quarterly releases. The next release pack is scheduled for March 15, 2021.