Flash: Groove Series B and Product Enhancements

Sales Engagement Platform Groove closed on a $45 million Series B led by Viking Global Investors.  Previous investors Capital One Ventures, Level Equity, Quest Venture Partners, and Uncork Capital also participated.  The funds will be deployed for international expansion and continued growth in the enterprise segment.

The round brings total funding to $61 million.  Groove did not disclose its market valuation following Round B.

“We’re experiencing explosive growth in the enterprise segment of the market,” Groove VP of Marketing Kristin Hersant told GZ Consulting.  “This latest round of funding will enable us to invest more heavily in R&D while expanding our operations in EMEA and doubling down on the sales and marketing engine that’s fueling this growth.”

Enterprise ARR is up 114% over the past years.  New enterprise clients include Activision, iHeartMedia, LexisNexis, New Relic, TIBCO, Veeva, and Wintrust.

Although Salesforce’s first cloud was the Sales Cloud, digital selling remains an issue for many Salesforce customers.  An August 2021 Forrester report on the “State of CRM” found that 57% of respondents struggled to offer solid customer experiences due to poor integration and accessibility.

Groove, a native Salesforce Sales Engagement application, “solves this accessibility problem by meeting sellers where they already work, increasing rep productivity while ensuring over 90% Salesforce adoption,” wrote Groove.

“This notion of the sales engagement platform as a cockpit for sellers is likely to continue to drive further integrations between other sales tech categories and these platforms as the advantages of bringing everything to the seller where they sell (the original vision for CRM technology) become more widely recognized,” said Anthony McPartlin, Principal Analyst for Forrester Research in a recent blog post.

“Our enterprise customers want to enable the modern seller while ensuring the highest levels of enterprise security and compliance.  We’re capturing a significant amount of enterprise market share from our competition because our platform was built for the needs of large, complex organizations that rely on Salesforce as their system of record.  We bring automation to the seller instead of requiring that they work out of a separate system. This flexibility ensures extremely high user adoption rates, even with technology averse sellers in non-tech industries.”

Groove CEO Chris Rothstein

Groove also announced a pair of product enhancements that meet “the unique needs of complex organizations.”  The first new feature is automatic logging to custom objects.  The second new capability, OmniActions, “enables reps to complete any sales action without leaving their workflows.”

Groove Custom Objects for Salesforce.

“By seamlessly integrating valuable CRM data into specialized workflows for different roles, teams, and industries, Groove drives CRM adoption and enables revenue teams to get a more complete picture of all sales activities.  The addition of automatic logging to custom objects and OmniActions provides customers even more flexibility for executing, capturing, and properly associating activities with both standard and custom Salesforce objects.  With these new features, Groove strengthens its position as the only sales engagement platform that can easily fit into an organization’s complex and dynamic sales workflows.”

“One of the great things about Groove is its ability to flex to any organization’s sales process, regardless of how much they have customized Salesforce.  Today, we’ve made it even easier for reps to complete, assign, and track their activities without having to leave their workflows.  That means more time for reps to sell, more complete data for managers to manage their teams, and more flexibility for admins to maintain established and successful processes.”

Groove VP of Product Sonia Sarao

Groove’s Advanced Activity Capture now automatically logs activity to custom objects, “minimizing the manual work required by sellers while ensuring complete visibility into account health and opportunities.”

Activity Capture may be configured by profile, allowing for customization at the functional or team level.

OmniActions lets reps manage or execute any activity outside of their regular Flows with automated real-time activity logging.  OmniActions is fully integrated with the Groove Omnibar, supporting actions in Google Workspace, Microsoft Outlook, Salesforce, or the Groove app.

Groove OmniActions

“This combination gives sellers a 360-degree view of their prospects’ and customers’ lifecycle from details and activity to actions – all in their workflow,” wrote the firm.  “OmniActions enables revenue organizations to associate all activities with open opportunities, whether they are part of a single action or multi-step Flow.  By accurately associating all types of activities, revenue teams can take advantage of more accurate reporting and insights into the sales process.”

Groove continues its rapid growth, making the Inc. 5000 for the past three years.  It has over 70,000 users.

Market Flash: Outreach Acquires Canopy and Launches Outreach Commit (Part II)

Continuing from yesterday’s post that discussed revenue innovation and the Sales Execution Gap. Today I am discussing their new Outreach Commit and Outreach Success Plans.


Outreach Commit, based on their Canopy acquisition, offers sales analytics and forecasting capabilities that augment Outreach’s AI-based buyer sentiment and Success Plans, providing Outreach customers with “true visibility across the entire revenue cycle.”

“The use of deep learning and big data has the potential to transform B2B forecasting in the same way it has transformed B2C forecasting. Such changes are shifting the emphasis on forecasting from predicting the number to beating the number…Reliable activity data allows sales leaders, for example, to drive more rigorous pipeline reviews and estimate forecasts with greater confidence.  It allows companies to discover and capture data about prospects and customers that previously lived in the realm of the ‘shadow pipeline’ — that murky world of secret selling that organizations have traditionally been blind to.”

Forrester Research Principal Analyst Anthony McPartlin, “Enabling B2B Interaction Visibility In A Converging Sales Tech Landscape” (June 2021)

Commit provides a flexible forecasting model with multi-level views, allowing managers to view a probabilistic model of outcomes for multiple periods and teams based upon prior win-loss histories, current pipeline, and adjustable assumptions.  Revenue forecasts are broken into Booked, Weighted Pipeline, and Intra-period high-velocity deals (i.e., projected new opportunities that are not in the pipeline but will close before the end of the period).  In addition, models can be adjusted to account for events external to the model (e.g., new product launches, tradeshow held earlier or late in the quarter, economic shocks).  The underlying KPIs that drive the models are selectable when setting them up, with the model updating every fifteen minutes.

Outreach Commit supports dynamic forecasting with bear, bull, and most likely outcomes.

Commit provides individualized rep scorecards based on company KPIs.  Managers can set targets, coach to outcomes, and level up their team.  Managerial note-taking helps them track 1:1’s, assign tasks, and track completion.

Commit supports active deal monitoring that flags deal risks and delivers insights.  “Signals notify leaders of the things they need to know today.  From opportunity risk identification to shifts in top of funnel metrics, Signals act as your eyes and ears–ensuring your frontline leaders are focused on what matters most to your business.”  Deal risk is significantly reduced when issues are flagged early to reps, and managers can provide on-demand coaching to address nascent problems.

Commit also supports Custom Signals.  Revenue Operations sets custom thresholds and unique parameters.

At a recent analyst briefing, Outreach management emphasized that they offer a tripartite value proposition: Engage (Sales Engagement), Guide (Kaia Conversation Intelligence), and Commit (Outreach Commit).

“To achieve predictable, efficient growth, every organization needs to engage with their buyers, guide their sellers through strong sales cycles, and then commit the number with confidence.”

Canopy deal terms were not disclosed.  All nine employees have joined Outreach. The startup, founded in 2019, had raised $2.1 million.

Outreach also provided updates on Outreach Kaia and Success Plans at its Unleash event.  Kaia, its Conversation Intelligence platform that was developed in-house, is adding real-time talk analytics, Comprehensive Search, Saved Search, and Outreach Voice Import.  The new capabilities will be available by the end of the month.

Call analytics provide real-time talk-time visibility, letting reps self-correct if they are speaking too much.

Comprehensive Search provides managers with access to notes, content cards, action items, and transcripts across the sales organization.  Additionally, both meeting platform intelligence and Outreach Voice cold calls are included.  Thus, “leaders can identify trends and risks across teams and at various stages of the sales cycle.”

Saved Search Alerts provide scheduled intelligence on key topics, allowing managers to track competitors, pricing, functional requests, etc.

Outreach Voice Import supports post-call analysis of Outreach Voice and Microsoft Teams.  Fully integrated support for Teams is scheduled for 2022.

Outreach warns RevOps not to trust the algorithm blindly. Instead, revenue teams should understand “the math behind every forecast to see what’s actually driving the number.”  Accordingly, Outreach maintains the fidelity of data signals such as engagement and sentiment through transparency that displays “every opportunity and signals where sellers should take action.”

“Canopy’s Augmented Revenue Analysis engine combines advanced statistical modeling with machine learning and artificial intelligence,” states the Canopy website.  “Simply put, we show our math.  Instead of black box predictions, we show you every trend and variable driving our predictions, ensuring you have access to every data point necessary to confidently call your business.”

Users can also review “where you started and where you finished,” providing a post-mortem period review that “pinpoints slippage, forecasting variance, and conversion rates across any data point from any time window.”  They can also generate “what if” scenarios with multiple assumptions.

Outreach Success Plans provide a shared portal for buyers and sellers to exchange timelines, success criteria, resources, and people.

Outreach Success Plans, which were announced back in May, will be generally available on October 27.  Success Plans align buyers and sellers to improve action and predictability in a shared deal room.  They act as a buying hub that allows buyers and sellers to agree on shared success criteria, objectives, and timelines.  Success Plans also support shared access to project resources, allowing new demand unit members to quickly access project documents.  Only invited individuals can participate in the Success Plans.

Success Plans provide an additional set of engagement intelligence for tracking deal risks and momentum.  The Opportunity View includes Success Plan views, comments, resource downloads, and shares, providing engagement insights specific to deal planning and document sharing.

Outreach Success Plans deliver “unparalleled visibility into pipeline opportunities and risks,” blogged VP of Product Marketing Victoria Grady.

Outreach claims that two-thirds of buyers have “stopped working with a company mid-deal, simply because the competitor provided a better buying experience.”  Thus, streamlining the document sharing process, framing the timeline, and agreeing on success criteria not only facilitates the process and improves deal visibility but improves the likelihood of winning each deal. Outreach supports 5,000 customers, including 19 of the 25 fastest-growing public companies and more than 60% of the Cloud 100.

Market Flash: Outreach Acquires Canopy and Launches Outreach Commit

Outreach Commit supports forecasting, scenario planning, and deal risk analysis.

Sales Engagement Platform Outreach expanded its value proposition with the acquisition of Revenue Intelligence service Canopy.  Outreach immediately began integrating the service into its platform, with GA expected in H1 2022.  The new Outreach Commit service “significantly expands” Outreach’s revenue intelligence capabilities, “giving revenue leaders the sales analytics and forecasting capabilities they need in today’s sales environment.”

“In the past 18 unpredictable and transformative months, we have seen the rise of a new cohort of leaders we are calling Revenue Innovators who have thrived by embracing the digital disruption of sales,” said Outreach CEO Manny Medina.  “These are leaders who had to adapt and evolve their mindset to embrace automation and machine learning as the keys to driving predictable, efficient growth – consistently and despite the uncertainty in the market.  They need tools that combine engagement with intelligence and marry together the art and the science of sales. The evolution of the Outreach platform does exactly that.” 

Outreach provides revenue innovators with “predictable, efficient growth” based upon AI guidance for more effective engagement, improved forecasting, and next best actions.  The objective is to reduce the “Sales Execution Gap” between revenue potential and actual performance based on instinct and limited data; instead, data and AI will narrow the gap.

“The Sales Execution Gap manifests itself in several ways across the business — decisions based on gut instincts, slow rep ramp times, competing priorities, random achievement, missed opportunities with little understanding as to why,” explained Medina.  “And yes, lost revenue, but also a growing disconnect between what high-performing reps want and what employers can deliver.”

“Once a seller has experienced the power of an Engagement and Intelligence platform, they won’t want to go back to inefficient, broken workflows — and they’re making career decisions because of it.”

Outreach CEO Manny Medina

Unfortunately, CRMs were “not designed for sellers.”  They are systems of record that store information but lack engagement and insights.  Firms that want reps to “live in the CRM” will drive away their best sales reps and candidates who “demand AI-driven insights and workflow automation to guide their actions in real-time.”  As more sellers become “digital natives,” this performance gap will widen.

Top-performing reps and managers that have enjoyed modern SalesTech tools will be reluctant to work without digital tools.  They expect their sales toolbox to include AI-generated intelligence, including email sentiment, live meeting guidance, real-time call analysis, and automated deal review and scoring.  They are also looking for sales engagement with templated sequences (cadences), multi-channel outreach, task prioritization, and recommended actions.  Finally, they are looking for improved forecasting, risk alerts, engagement data, and deal facilitation.

With Commit, Outreach has added forecasting and expanded risk analytics to its toolkit.

Outreach sees a bifurcation between traditional sales organizations and revenue innovators that have adopted digital communications and AI for outreach, prioritization, coaching, forecasting, and analytics.

“Revenue innovators are embracing automation and AI in real-time to provide guidance to reps mid-cycle, guide more effective engagement with customers, and entirely rethink how they forecast because they have the signals that can proactively identify risk in their pipeline and deals,” stated the firm.


Continue to Part II which discusses Outreach Commit and product enhancements announced at the Outreach Unleash virtual meeting.

Alyce for Salesloft

Keeping on the gifting theme, Boston-based Alyce announced a partnership with Salesloft to support “smart gifting” on the Salesloft Sales Engagement Platform.  The partnership lets sales and marketing teams natively send gifts through Salesloft. 

Alyce appears within the Salesloft People page side panel, where reps can select a gift and personalize the message.  Gifting options include physical gifts, gift cards, subscriptions, branded swag, on-demand services (e.g., in-home massage, portrait session), experiences (e.g., walking tours, helicopter rides), and donations.  Alyce’s AI suggests three gift choices, but reps can select other choices from the marketplace.

“Actionable insights, seamlessly integrated together can help your sales team say the right thing, to the right person, at the right time with the right gift to drive action that’ll ensure your team hits your targets month after month,” wrote Alyce.

A gifting history provides details on which gifts have been received and how the prospect engaged with the gift, helping revenue teams “optimize follow-up to drive greater impact.”

Alyce employs AI to assist with gift selection from its curated global marketplace.  Alyce recipients are sent a physical or digital notification of a gift, which they can choose to accept, exchange, donate, or decline.

“Our partnership with Salesloft is such a natural match. We are both committed to enabling revenue teams to build strong relationships and improve business results with the help of smart technology.  At Alyce, we are thrilled that our integration with Salesloft is giving marketing and sales teams new gifting superpowers right in their workflow that will allow them to deliver meaningful moments, increase revenue, and create greater impact.”

Alyce CEO Greg Segall

In a case study, Salesloft enjoyed a 50% increase in alignment between BDRs and strategic marketing with Alyce and drove a 9% increase in meeting attendance.  Furthermore, twenty percent of gifts sent resulted in new opportunities.

“Through the platform, we have uncovered an increase in the sales team’s ability to sell to our target personas,” stated Nabiha Balala, Senior Manager of Enterprise Marketing at Salesloft. “Alyce has been such a game-changer. It’s organically become part of our everyday sales process.”

Alyce’s physical gifting is currently limited to the US and Canada. However, gift cards may be sent to the US, Canada, Britain, and Ireland.

Alyce raised a $30 million Series B in April.


I’ve been running a series on Offline Marketing Automation (E-Gifting and Event Marketing) this week: My other posts:

Salesloft and the Modern Revenue Workspace (Part II)

Continued from Part I


Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter suggested that the answer to overwhelmed sales reps is not more technology and data but better-designed tools and workflows that address the “Revenue Performance Gap.”  Salesloft’s Modern Revenue Workspace offers

  • “Proper insights at the right time
  • The ability to take action
  • The ability to communicate
  • The coachable moment”

Instead of a series of tools, Salesloft is positioning itself as one of Gartner’s “alpha platforms” that broadly ties together sales workflows and channels.  Gartner noted a set of attributes of these platforms:

– “Alpha Platforms are hyper-aggressive vendors who are broadening capabilities at a breakneck speed. 

– It’s not just M&A, some companies will evolve into alpha platforms by building capabilities. This is totally doable, they just have to be able to work fast.

– Alpha platforms aren’t necessarily buying competitors in the same category – they are buying into adjacent categories.”

Gartner Analysts Craig Rosenberg and Dan Gottlieb, “Sales Tech Mayhem: 39 Observations From a Scorching Hot Tech Market,” Garter Blog (July 28, 2021)

“It’s a time to tell a new story about sales and provide you with a complete, digital go-to-market solutions your sellers and sales teams need,” said Porter.

The Salesloft Platform supports Deals, Conversations, Cadences, a partner ecosystem, administration, and governance

According to Salesloft Chief Product Officer Ellie Fields, this advanced sales platform is “built for sellers.”  It reduces workflow friction, allowing reps to “take faster action” and prioritize their time.  The platform also serves as a centralized engagement hub with the “most critical tools for digital selling,” including email, phone, SMS, meetings, social, etc.

The Modern Revenue Workspace deploys data and AI within the workflow, delivering insights such as the most engaged prospects, deals at risk, and “trends that improve outcomes.”

The Salesloft platform acts as a hub for digital selling, driving alignment across the revenue team.  Along with Deals, Conversations, and Cadences, the platform synchronizes data with a system of record (Salesforce, MS Dynamics, or HubSpot) and supports sales intelligence and workflows with over 115 ecosystem partners.

The new release is based on a set of advanced objectives:

  • Take Action Anywhere – Communications channels are available throughout the platform.  For example, reps can call, email, book a meeting, or send an SMS message within the Deals view.  Digital communications are then captured and analyzed, helping identify “the most engaged prospects, stalled but winnable deals, and trends that help revenue teams adjust course to improve performance.”
  • Know What Changed in Your Deal – Reports identify which opportunities were updated, how long the deal is in the current stage, and whether the close date or amount changed.  For example, progression indicators are now displayed in Pipeline Review and Deals reports.
  • Enterprise Ready Conversations – Salesloft continues to enhance its communications channels with support for Microsoft Teams, native Zoom and WebEx support, improved transcription, and governance enhancements.  The native Zoom support is more reliable than the previous bot tool.  Salesloft also added Consent to Record for MS Teams and will be adding it for other platforms and its dialer.  They also added English language recording announcements with additional language announcements in development.

    The enhanced Conversations transcription engine offers “improved accuracy, searchability, and filtering” that helps managers and sellers “easily identify buyer and market trends and coaching opportunities to set more meetings, build more pipeline, speed deal cycles, and improve the chances of winning more deals.” 

    A new Conversations Summary is delivered to inboxes.
  • Unify Communications across Channels – Conversations in Activity Feed provide updates on important meetings.
  • Understand Outcomes across the Platform – Outcomes in Step Analytics identify which steps are working, helping improve Cadences.
  • Insights Anywhere – A Meetings panel on the home page summarizes pending meetings to assist with call prep.
  • Automate No-Show Workflows – New cadence workflows help reps reschedule missed meetings.  A “partial show” workflow also provides the call hyperlink and summary to those who missed a meeting.

At a high level, the goal is to remove friction in the sales process by reducing the need to jump from app to app.  Instead, reps can engage with shareholders and obtain insights from anywhere in Salesloft.

Future items include SHAKEN/STIRRED registration, native Google Meeting support, and Salesforce Event field logging.

The Salesloft Opportunity Dashboard supports custom coloring for Deal Gaps to highlight deals most at risk.

Salesloft and the Modern Revenue Workspace

Salesloft’s new website sports a Hunter Green palette, new logo, and “Different Story about Sales” from Prince EA.

At this month’s Salesloft Virtual Customer Summit, CEO Kyle Porter and CMO Sydney Sloan unveiled the “Modern Revenue Workspace” to their customers and prospects.  Porter described the Modern Revenue Workspace as “a system where sellers and sales teams come together to collaborate, execute, and serve their customers more than ever before.”

Echoing Gartner’s recent discussion of SalesTech Mayhem, Porter noted that “Sellers and sales teams are moving from lots of tools they HAVE to use to one workspace they LOVE to use.”

“We continue to see a world where sellers are loved by the buyers they serve.  And we’re here to equip these sellers to maximize revenue while delivering their customers with an incredible experience.  This is the mission and vision of Salesloft, and they have not changed one bit, but what has changed is sales is that sales is now digital first, team oriented and about solving problems.  Sales excellence has shifted from being well connected to being well informed and enabled.”

Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter

Salesloft also updated its marketing with new colors (Hunter green, lime, and white), logos, and a simplification of the name from SalesLoft to Salesloft without the capital L.  The company has also begun using a chartreuse period at the end of the logo to emphasize that “All you need is Salesloft.  Period.”

“Our new look shares a story bigger than a sales transaction, and our new wordmark tells that story in a single word. No matter who you serve or what you sell, Salesloft empowers you with everything you need to succeed — full stop,” explains the new site.  “The new fully custom wordmark is a technically sound serif at its core with flashes of humanity in the way the letters connect. Within its forms, each of our brand attributes is exemplified: best-in-class, energetic, and sincere.”

“Helping sellers and sales teams is at the heart of everything we do,” said Sloan. “We have a new look, and we’re telling a new story about sales.  We know to reach their highest potential, sellers need a partner that cares about their aspirations and helps them achieve something greater.  That is Salesloft.”

The new color palette and logos are reflected in a refreshed UX the firm has dubbed the “Modern Revenue Workspace.”  The workspace includes a simplified search bar and icons and greater integration of core functionality across reports and views. In addition, the Activity Feed “has been optimized with advanced filtering, quick actions, pinned notes, and review content directly from your Person and Account pages.”

The Modern Revenue Workspace combines Conversations, Deals, and Cadences into a unified UX that supports reports, recommendations, deal histories, meetings, and actions.

With more than ninety percent of selling activities now digital, sellers are overwhelmed with too many tools and disconnected platforms, channels, and data sets.  There are now over ten thousand SalesTech and MarTech offerings, yet sales reps continue to struggle to meet quotas and manage all of the demand on their time. As a result, they spend the typical day struggling with the basics:

Kyle Porter’s Day in the Life slide for sales reps.

With all of this platform and channel switching, reps are hard-pressed to be value-added professionals, finding it difficult to properly research prospects, dig into buyer pains, research the industry, eat, and spend time with family. 

“The speed and complexity of digital sales is creating chaos,” commented Salesloft VP of Product Management Frank Dale.  Companies have two options for addressing digital chaos: more of the same or adopting a unified Modern Revenue Workspace such as Salesloft.

Dale argued that more of the same is not sustainable. Instead, it requires ever more disconnected tools and additional hours.

“We’re seeing a new class of sales leaders who are choosing to rise up and beat back the chaos and simplify their sellers’ lives – one where they stop just providing more tools to use and focus on giving them the right ones. They know their teams will do more, win more, and ultimately serve their customers better if they give their sellers the tools and experience to thrive.

These sales leaders realize that winning isn’t enough. They know the way you win matters. Success isn’t just hitting your number. It means having a fulfilled life. It means not living in chaos. The selling experience matters – not just to sales people, but also to their buyers.”

Salesloft Product Marketing VP Chris Mills

Continue to Part II with an additional discussion of Gartner’s “SalesTech Mayhem” and Salesloft’s new release.

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.

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.