Conversational Marketing Platform Qualified closed on a $51 million Series B round. Salesforce Ventures led the round, with existing partners Redpoint Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners also joining. Qualified has received $68 million in total funding. It is “the only conversational sales and marketing platform purpose-built for Salesforce Sales Cloud,” stated the firm.
Qualified’s Salesforce roots “go deep.” Along with the Salesforce Ventures funding, Salesforce CMO Sarah Franklin joined Qualified as a board observer, and former Salesforce SVP Dan Darcy joined as their Chief Customer Officer. Multiple execs are former Salesforce employees including CEO Kraig Swensrud who worked on the development of Chatter and served as the firm’s CMO.
“Qualified represents an entirely new way for B2B companies to engage buyers,” said Bill Patterson, Salesforce EVP of CRM Applications. “When marketing and inbound sales teams use this solution with Sales Cloud…they see a notable impact on pipeline. We are thrilled about our growing partnership with Qualified and their success within the Salesforce ecosystem.”
Qualified will deploy the funds to “fuel product innovation;” build out key functions including engineering, sales, marketing, and customer success; and more than double its headcount before the end of the year.
“Conversational sales and marketing is no longer a ‘nice to have.’ It’s mission critical for fast-growing businesses, and table stakes for modern buyers. The world’s top CMOs and demand gen leaders are turning to Qualified as a new way to meet with their most important buyers the moment they arrive on the website. There’s no better partner than Salesforce Ventures to help us accelerate Qualified’s growth and bring this solution to Salesforce customers around the world.”Qualified CEO Kraig Swensrud
Qualified addresses a “multi-billion problem for enterprise marketing and sales teams,” their inability to identify qualified buyers and message to them while they are on the website. Thus, the $6 billion spent driving buyers to company websites is poorly converted into sales pipelines.
“In enterprise sales, speed matters: Waiting even five minutes after a lead leaves a website decreases the chances of making contact by 10x,” wrote the firm. “However, it takes salespeople 38 hours on average to respond to qualified leads. Studies show that 78% of B2B customers buy from the company that responds to them first.”
Qualified offers real-time visitor intelligence and routing based upon Salesforce. Visitors may interact with chatbots or talk to reps via chat, voice, and screen sharing. The service promises 99.9% uptime, GDPR compliance, SOC2 compliance, and Salesforce ISV certification.
“The conversational model is simply a better way to connect with new customers. Buyers love the real-time engagement, sellers love the instant connections, and marketers have the confidence that every dollar spent on demand generation is maximized,” said Board Member Scott Beechuk. “The multi-billion-dollar market for Salesforce automation software is going to adopt this new model, and Qualified is perfectly positioned to capture that demand. If your company uses Salesforce, Qualified will be a multiplier on your sales and marketing investment.”
Qualified saves conversations to Salesforce, including a complete visual recording of the timeline, chat transcript, and screen recording.
Last year, Qualified grew revenue by 800% and posted a 175% customer revenue retention rate. New customers include Adobe, Matterport, Poly, Sodexo, SurveyMonkey, Talend, Tech Data, and VMware.
According to LinkedIn, Qualified grew its headcount by 92% last year.
Conversational Marketing is hot, but the market is shifting from standalone chat to chat as a front-end to ABX Platforms. ZoomInfo acquired Insent last week and rebranded it ZoomInfo Chat, Drift expanded its product vision into Revenue Acceleration with additional channels, and Terminus acquired Ramble and integrated it into its ABX Platform.