Bigtincan Acquires SalesDirector.AI

Australian RevTech vendor Bigtincan acquired SalesDirector.AI, a Revenue Intelligence and Data Capture company based in Irvine, California.  SalesDirector offers automated activity capture from emails, calls, SMS, and meetings.  It also offers pipeline analytics and sales coaching.

“The acquisition extends Bigtincan’s lead in AI-driven revenue intelligence by improving B2B sales organization’s ability to scale by delivering insights and recommendations directly to sales reps for better decision-making to increase revenue,” the firm told investors.  “The SalesDirector.ai technology links people, activity, and engagement across the buyer’s journey to derive insights, including opportunity risk and relationship strength, and then makes intelligent recommendations.  By capturing all sales, marketing, and customer success activity the technology drives actionable revenue insights required to make the right business decisions.”

Bigtincan stated that SalesDirector’s technology would improve its AI-powered insights capabilities and forecasting accuracy.

SalesDirector ingests data from GSuite/Gmail, Slack, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Exchange and feeds contact data (e.g., Title, Department, Level, Phone) to Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.  SalesDirector also captures Engagement Signals and writes them back to CRMs as custom fields:

  • Executive Engaged on Opportunity / Account
  • Single or Multi-Threaded Opportunity Relationship
  • Last QBR Complete / Next QBR Scheduled
  • Partner / Sales Engineer Engaged on Opportunity
  • Next Step / Meeting Scheduled

AI tools include stakeholder identification, individuals who are supporters or detractors, disengaged stakeholders, account risk scoring, sentiment analysis, and deal health.

SalesDirector.AI Account Insights and Next Best Actions.

“Every organization has to be more productive,” said Bigtincan CEO David Keane.  “With the Sales Enablement market shifting towards a more holistic approach encompassing Revenue Enablement, we can deliver more value to our customers by providing full-cycle sellers with AI-driven recommendations on the next best actions based on intelligent sales analytics from SalesDirector.ai.”

SalesDirector pricing begins at $29 per user per month for activity capture.  Revenue Insights pricing is not published.

AI-assisted stakeholder mapping.

Bigtincan will incorporate SalesDirector’s functionality into its product suite and phase out the SalesDirector brand.

“Traditionally, when we do small tech-focused acquisitions, they become part of the Bigtincan product suite, so that capability gets added to the existing platform we have,” said Keane.  “We don’t tend to run these things as separate businesses, mostly because we miss out on some of the benefits for our shareholders of taking it all together and taking that technology and really getting in the platform.  This is no different than our existing strategy – embed, connect it all together and make it something that our customers can choose to add.  We do believe that it is all about choice, and we want people to be able to buy these technologies from us as additional value-added options.  I think that’s going to be the case here as well.”

Bigtincan paid $1.2 million in cash and equity for SalesDirector. 

The entire SalesDirector team is joining Bigtincan.

Bigtincan, listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, has acquired a series of RevTech companies, including ClearSlide, Brainshark, and VoiceVibes.

Winn.AI Launched

The Winn.AI Zoom app supports real-time playbooks and intelligence capture.

Conversational data capture has been a popular theme this month with announcements from People.AI and NektarWinn.AI, a Tel Aviv-based AI Assistant and playbook vendor, came out of stealth mode this month to offer AI-based playbook coaching during digital sales calls.  Winn.AI also captures real-time conversations and syncs account intelligence with Salesforce and HubSpot.

“Winn.AI relieves salespeople of…administrative busywork so that they can focus on their customers — not their keyboards.  Its magic lies in its unique ability to monitor, interpret, and document sales calls,” said CEO Eldad Postan-Koren.

Winn.AI also supports playbooks and tracks key topics during calls, helping salespeople stay focused on their prospects.  Winn.AI captures all relevant data during sales calls, such as pain points, timelines, competitors, and team size.  Product, competitive, and technical information are also displayed during calls, reducing the frequency of “I’ll get back to you” responses and presenting competitive parries.

“One of our core competencies is that we’re training our AI in real-life sales meetings.  This greatly helps us make it more accurate versus standard training resources,” said Postan-Koren. “Furthermore, the more a customer uses the product in their own sales meetings, our AI capabilities will improve to match their exact needs.”

To speed up playbook definition, Winn.AI includes a set of templates based on common sales methodologies.

Winn.AI joins conversational platforms, beginning with Zoom.  Teams, Google Meet, and additional conversational platforms (meetings and dialers) are on the roadmap for Q4.

Other features include time warnings, attendee lists, and post-call meeting summaries.  Editable summaries are displayed as soon as the call ends, adding them to the standard call workflow but removing most data entry.  Salespeople can also send a personalized recap email to call participants.  This review and notification process is generally completed within four minutes of call conclusion.

The Winn-AI post-call meeting summary pops up on call completion and supports editing and matching against CRM records.

Winn.AI does not create new records at this point but updates and enriches current Account, Contact, Lead, and Opportunity records.  Winn.AI does not yet support inbound calls or SDR outbound prospecting performed on dialers.

Playbook coaching reduces onboarding time and gives reps confidence that they have proper messaging, competitive knowledge, and technical details at the ready.

Like most SalesTech companies in 2022, Winn.AI positions itself around productivity and effectiveness during lean times.

“The funding round timing made perfect sense.  During turbulent times, when salespeople’s productivity and effectiveness are more critical than ever, a tool like Winn.AI provides the additional edge sales leaders and individuals are seeking,” Postan-Koren said.  “The Winn.AI real-time assistant acts as an extra pair of hands during meetings, giving salespeople the freedom to focus their attention entirely on the customer.”

Winn.AI is backed by $17.25 million seed funding from Insight Partners and S-Capital.  The firm has 25 employees and plans to double its headcount by the end of 2023.  The funds will be invested in “improving our deep technology” and building a sales and marketing organization.  All employees are in Israel, but they will be hiring in the US over the next two quarters.

Near-term roadmap goals are expanding the set of supported conference platforms and dialers, broadening the set of supported customer-facing roles (e.g., customer success, support, SDRs), adding playbook measurement and optimization tools, and implementing multiple, dynamic playbook branching (e.g., competitive handling, verticalized playbooks, technical discussions).

Postan-Koren offered GZ Consulting a compelling vision of “automated knowledge and personalization” feedback loops with the sales enablement team.  Closing the loop helps the enablement team maintain playbook recommendations.  Winn.AI will collect common responses and discussion tracks and feedback this intelligence to sales enablement for review and adjustments.  This human-in-the-loop approach facilitates playbook and coaching refinement and filling in coaching gaps.  It also identifies potential training needs as markets evolve.

“Winn.AI’s innovative and intuitive technology has identified a solution that addresses the pain points of Busy work.  By allowing salespeople to focus on making the sale, Winn.AI enables organizations to Improve performance and increase the quota,” said Hagi Schwartz, Managing Director at Insight Partners.

Postan-Koren explained that Winn.AI employs NLU (Natural Language Understanding), which goes beyond NLP (Natural Language Processing).

“Understanding is not processing because I can ask you, ‘Michael, how many employees are you?’ And your answer will be 20 employees.  But I can also ask you, ‘Mike, do you have 20 employees?’ And your answer will be yes.  Or I can ask you ‘how many employees?’ and your answer will be 20.  So here are three different ways to ask the same question to get the same answer, and the computer won’t understand it.  Understanding context is the secret sauce here.”

What also differentiates Winn.AI is the combination of playbooks with real-time call coaching, data capture, and CRM syncing, allowing reps to be more present during calls.  These elements are supported across many products, but I have not seen a company combine them into a single offering.

“The system is a personal assistant for the salespeople and relieves the burdensome administrative work of taking notes, having a list of answers, and entering information into the CRM,” stated Postan-Koren.  “ It does so all at a level of detail that does not exist in other tools on the market, so much so that in real-time, it can exactly match a specific topic of conversation to the relevant field in the CRM.  Also, the system knows how to follow the topics of the conversation in real-time, check the full coverage of the conversation’s agenda, and give instructions that will help improve performance.  This is a new category in the SalesTech world, and Winn.AI aims to lead this category.”

Winn.AI is currently in beta with plans to formally launch in early 2023.  The firm is not targeting specific verticals as it believes it has a compelling cross-industry solution that supports digital sales, customer success, and service departments.

Winn.AI is SOC II, Type 2 compliant.

Pricing has not been disclosed.

People.AI Enhancements: Engagement Dashboards Account Planning & People.AI for Oracle Sales Cloud

Revenue Intelligence vendor People.AI announced a trio of product enhancements to its Platform: Engagement Dashboards, Account Planning, and People.ai for Oracle Sales Cloud.  The enhancements are intended to “help sales and ops teams drive greater efficiency, deeper relationships, and clearer visibility.”

According to Seth Marrs of Forrester, 82% of sales activities are digital and available for capture and analysis.  Furthermore, these analytics go beyond historical engagement data such as email opens and downloads and include insights concerning the nature of the interaction, buyer sentiment, open questions, and next steps.

Marrs sees the biggest RevTech trends as “the availability of interaction data and what that can do to really drive visibility into where you want to go, visibility into how you can better interact with customers, visibility into what you need to do to win more.  It’s unprecedented.  Now the big thing is how you pull that all together into an insight engine that can really help sales leaders and sellers.  And on the other side of it, how do you get sales leaders and sellers to adopt this.”

One issue is the fragmentation of channels, with few vendors supporting cross-channel insight gathering and analytics.

“The real nuggets and the real value are in your ability to go out and find insights in that data that are actually new or that you couldn’t see before that you can use to help the seller win more deals, that you can use to identify more deals,” expanded Marrs.

Marrs called Revenue Intelligence insights “force multipliers” that aren’t geared towards doing things faster but improving sales efficacy.  While automated activity capture offers efficiency gains by removing sales rep data entry, its true value is in standardizing the data capture and offering insights.

“The industry today has turned selling into an obstacle course, where reps need to navigate so many hurdles in order to actually do their job.  We’re clearing the pathway so teams can focus on what matters: building revenue,” said Oleg Rogynskyy, CEO of People.ai. “Our newest product offerings aim to transform the B2B sales process by providing our customers with more data and greater insight to accelerate business decisions that will grow pipeline, increase deal sizes, shorten sales cycles and boost win rates.”

Custom Engagement Dashboards can be quickly built via a drag-and-drop UI.

Engagement Dashboards improve the visibility of buyer and sales engagement and identify at-risk accounts and opportunities.  Engagement Dashboards offer personalized tables with custom metrics for any CRM or People.AI field, providing an improved understanding of opportunity and pipeline health.  Dashboards are self-service and can be created by either users or admins.

Reps can find out which high-value accounts have low engagement or are missing key stakeholders, which accounts have pipeline potential, and which accounts are vendors properly engaged at the department and persona level.

Engagement Dashboards also assist with rep coaching with a My Performance page that compares current performance against past performance and peers.

The People.AI Account Planning application operationalizes a company’s account planning methodology within Salesforce.  Account Planning helps visualize each “buyer’s business, goals, and obstacles” for enhanced opportunity discovery.

ClosePlan, a 2021 acquisition, has been integrated with People.AI.  ClosePlan offers scorecards and playbooks designed around sales methodologies such as MEDDIC, MEDDPIC, Miller Heiman, BANT, and Value Selling.  Reps can quickly qualify opportunities and identify blind spots.  Deal Scorecard dashboards display opportunity health to align deal conversations better and take corrective actions.  New features include the ability to attach opportunities and account maps to account plans.

Engagement data is integrated into account maps, identifying which departments are engaged and which ones present deal risk.  Maps also identify positive and negative relationships across accounts.

People.AI Stakeholder Overview

New stakeholder insights cards (see image on the right) detail engagement trends, upcoming activities, sales team connections, and the opportunities with which the stakeholder is affiliated.

PeopleGlass, which offers a single pane of glass for viewing and updating opportunities across accounts, added field-level commenting and sharing across the account team. 

People.AI also refreshed the PeopleGlass UX to simplify onboarding, personalization, navigation, and integration with Salesforce templates.  Users can also @ share with colleagues specific fields, share the full PeopleGlass view, and quickly create new opportunities in Salesforce.

People.AI for Oracle Sales Cloud helps generate revenue by “increasing sales productivity, which will drive more and bigger deals faster and increase buyer satisfaction.”  People.AI supports automated data capture with matching, filtering, and contact enrichment, freeing “sellers from tedious data-entry tasks,” allowing them to focus on selling.  The service also offers “prescriptive and contextual seller actions” that assist with account targeting and activity prioritization.

“We’re collaborating with People.ai because we’re equally laser-focused on transforming the sales process into a modern revenue engine,” said Katrina Gosek, Product Management VP, Oracle Customer Experience.  “Together, we will be able to provide our mutual customers with the actionable revenue insights needed to drive significant revenue transformation and growth.

People.AI already supports Salesforce, with over 250 implementations.

In its November release, People.AI will be supporting summary visualization for addressing questions such as with which personas and departments we should be engaging, which high-value accounts have low engagement, and how much pipeline is at risk.

Summary Visualizations will be available in the November release.

People.AI will also begin managing data gathering and reporting across multiple CRM instances, providing an overview of account activity across different divisions or regions.  Multi-CRM unification provides “visibility into who’s talking to which accounts, identify cross-sell opportunities, and gain buyer group intel across business units and acquisitions.”


I am covering CRM data capture and enrichment vendors this week in my blog. Yesterday, I covered Nektar.AI, and on Thursday, I will cover Winn.AI.

Nektar.AI Exits Stealth Mode

Nektar.AI supports automated activity capture and CRM sync across the full customer lifecycle.

After two years in stealth mode, Revenue Operations solution provider Nektar.AI was unveiled earlier this month.  Nektar looks to solve the “CRM data leakage” problem whereby critical lead, contact, and opportunity data is omitted or decays.  For example, Nektar recognizes meeting attendees missing from the CRM and automatically creates contact records that include email, direct dial phone, title, and buying committee role.  Out-of-date or missing data negatively impacts both the sales process and operational functions such as analytics, automated recommendations, and pipeline forecasting.

Nektar offers a no-code platform that applies natural-language processing against email, calendar, chat, and social touchpoints, capturing revenue activity data across the full customer lifecycle and syncing it with the CRM.  Automated activity capture improves rep productivity, allowing sales professionals to focus on selling instead of data entry and updating.

“Sales teams depend on their CRM data to gain insights into team productivity, pipeline insights, and revenue forecasting.  Despite a CRM being an important system of record for modern go-to-market teams, it still grapples with the problem of poor user adoption and missing data.  As per estimates, 40-50% of sales activity data remains missing from a CRM, while 27% of the data that’s available in a CRM decays every month.  This leads to major data and productivity leakage,” stated the firm.

Furthermore, deals are becoming increasingly complex, with larger buying committees and sales teams communicating across an expanding array of sales channels.  While most of these conversations are now digital, they take place across disparate platforms and channels, resulting in data fragmentation.  Nektar’s mission is to collect this fragmented intelligence and feed it into the CRM, making it available to the revenue team without requiring sales resources to key this intelligence.

“There are a lot of reporting and analytics solutions out there.  Other solutions have been investing primarily in the downstream problem with respect to visibility and analytics, an important problem to solve.  But the core problem actually starts upstream, which is where activities are taking place and where data is being generated.  A lot of that data doesn’t make its way into CRM, which actually results in downstream problems.  If there’s poor data in, you will have poor insights available,” explained CEO Abhijeet Vijayvergiya to GZ Consulting.

“We found our product-market fit when we found that more than 50% of critical revenue activity data is not going into CRM,” continued Vijayvergiya.  “This data leak results in productivity leaks, and that results in revenue leaks.”

Furthermore, as firms make staffing cuts, “they’re trying to do more with less” and losing implicit knowledge that never made its way into the CRM.  Nektar allows companies to recover much of this lost activity and contact intelligence, boosting a firm’s ability to manage revenue operations during a recession.

“There are tools like Gong and Clari and some other forecasting solutions which provide good insights,” expanded Vijayvergiya on Nektar’s value proposition.  But these systems are not resolving the data leakage problem. 

Nektar claims 95% accuracy in its data capture and syncing processes.  The service can go live in ninety minutes and begins providing time to value in three days as it gathers both historical data missing from the CRM and populates it with ongoing activity capture. 

Nektar operates in the background, collecting and syncing data.  Thus, there are no training sessions or additional UIs to learn.  Sales reps do not need to toggle to other platforms, and their data entry work is significantly reduced.

“Nektar plugs the CRM data leakage without a user lifting their finger.  We basically eliminate the need for user adoption and give all the time back to salespeople to go and sell while relieving their administrative burden,” said Vijayvergiya.

While there have been third-party solutions to populate and enrich account and contact data records for over a decade (e.g., Dun & Bradstreet, ZoomInfo), these vendors were blind to the demand unit unless a sales rep entered all members.  Nektar is complementary to third-party DaaS providers, Revenue Intelligence vendors (e.g., Clari, Revenue Grid), Conversational Sales (e.g., Gong, Chorus), and business intelligence vendors (e.g., Tableau).

“We are aware that some of these solutions have their own activity capture system, but most of their activity capture solutions work in silos for certain sets of users who adopt their solution,” continued Vijayvergiya.  “Users are not adopting the solution, or data loss happens anyway.   A solution which we replace, more often than not, is Salesforce Einstein Activity Capture.”

Nektar supports email and domain exclusion lists to prevent mining confidential information (e.g., legal, investor relations, partner development).

Nektar is generally available as a native Salesforce solution, with HubSpot and Microsoft Dynamics on the roadmap.  In addition, all of its system integrations are native, providing higher quality and performance.

Nektar.AI closed a $6 million seed round last summer, raising its total funding to $8.1 million.  The round was led by B Capital Group, with Nexus Venture Partners, 3One4 Capital, and angel investors also joining.

Nektar has not disclosed pricing, but it is per user per month with SaaS-based pricing billed quarterly or annually.

Nektar is a fully remote company with 32 employees across seven countries with plans to hit fifty employees by the end of this year.  Although emerging from stealth, it already supports over 1,500 users. 

Nektar’s goal through year-end is to focus on its go-to-market strategy and North American hiring.

Nektar activity tracking at the account level

Data capture as an AI tool is becoming increasingly important. It probably isn’t a standalone offering but an underlying capability for populating the CRM with harvested digital intelligence, monitoring buyer engagement, and building out the buying committee. As such, it is core to both CRM data enrichment and revenue intelligence.

I have seen a series of data capture announcements from vendors of all sizes: big (Microsoft Viva Sales), medium (People.AI, Introhive), and small (e.g., Nektar, Winn.AI). I also covered People.AI and Winn.AI this week.

Microsoft Viva Sales

Microsoft announced Viva Sales, “a new seller experience application that brings together any customer relationship management technology (CRM), Microsoft 365, and Teams to provide a more streamlined and AI-powered selling experience.”  The new solution is designed for the hybrid work environment where reps leverage video conferences, chats, emails, and documents to close deals.  Viva Sales will also support Salesforce at launch.

Viva Sales “represents a new way of working by breaking down silos of data and breaking down silos of experience,” explained Microsoft Corporate VP for Business Applications Emily He.  Sales reps “really want a more simplified experience.  So, Viva Sales enables a seller to use the tools they already love and use every day, including your email system like Outlook, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, as well as Teams,” she said.

Unfortunately, reps manage these disparate communications channels and their CRM to organize administrative tasks, collaborate on sales, and attend virtual sales meetings.  “Yet, all sellers really want is to spend more time with their customers,” stated Microsoft Chief Commercial Officer Judson Althoff.

Continued Althoff, “What if everything a salesperson needed to do their job was brought together in one place – where they already spend most of their day – in calls, meetings, and chats?  What if their customer records, data, and tasks were intelligently organized and accessible in the tools they use every day?  What if the collaboration environment sellers use to talk to customers automatically provides the next best action and sentiment analysis?”

Viva Sales is a “new modern way of selling” that operates as a “smart CRM companion” that simplifies the seller’s workflows and enriches the CRM.  Viva Sales captures AI-driven insights from Outlook, Teams, and Microsoft Office and feeds this information to the CRM.

“Viva Sales empowers sellers to be more connected with their customers, resulting in more personalized customer engagements and closed deals faster,” stated Althoff.  “This happens through a simple customer tagging feature, which automates the data capture, saves the seller time, and provides their organization with a more complete picture of deal and customer status.  With AI embedded throughout, Viva Sales is like a sales coach to move deals along with recommendations and reminders.  This intelligence layer provides sellers the information they need to help them be more productive.”

Viva was launched last year as an employee portal, but Sales is the first functionally-specific edition of the service.  Viva Sales will be in public preview in July and generally available this fall.  Microsoft Dynamics Sales is inclusive of Viva Sales and “addresses both sellers’ and sales leaders’ needs by automatically enriching Dynamics 365 Sales with customer engagement data captured in Office 365 and Teams.”

Once an email is tagged to an account, Viva Sales presents a sidebar with CRM intelligence. Customer interactions are then logged to the CRM.

Sales reps tag customers or prospects in a Microsoft application.  This “tag to capture” functionality alerts Viva to begin capturing account intelligence and offering insights to the sales rep.  Viva Sales employs Microsoft’s recently announced Context IQ for capturing relevant content across Microsoft apps and services.  This data can then be synced with any CRM.

“What we are focused on is removing the drudgery of manually entering the data into a CRM and then providing the AI capabilities for the sellers,” explained Product Marketing Senior Director Neha Bajwa.  “There’s a virtual personal assistant that is sitting and helping them out doing all the busywork that we would normally have to do.”

The objective is to solve the problem of manual data entry without destroying the CRM.  Viva runs alongside the CRM, capturing intelligence from other enterprise sales apps commonly deployed across sales teams.  The data capture and CRM syncing improve rep productivity while the AI suggestions improve sales effectiveness through better recommendations, reminders, and Next Best actions.

“As you work with a customer, you can not only see your own interactions, [but] you can also see across your company and find all the people that are interacting with your client as well,” said Microsoft VP for Modern Work Jared Spataro.  “We’re trying to apply AI not only to remove the boring stuff, but also to provide real value add so that you can cope with the volume and the expectations associated with you doing your job.”

The service recommends next steps, displays complete interaction histories, and pushes reminders to reps.  It is also connected to LinkedIn, providing the names of colleagues with strong connections to a contact or account, allowing sales reps to conduct research before a Teams chat.

Viva Sales recommends colleagues with pre-existing relationships for pre-meeting briefings via Teams Chat.

During a Teams call, reps can view the relevant customer information in a sidebar and access meeting prep notes.  After the call is recorded and transcribed, Viva Sales summarizes the call and captures action items.  Conversation KPIs and talk tracks are also generated.

Another feature is the generation of customer lists with recent activity, sentiment graphs, and engagement within Excel.

Customer lists within Excel are enriched by Viva Sales. A sidebar provides contact-specific insights, including colleague connections and meeting summaries.

“The future of selling isn’t a new system.  It’s bringing the information sellers need at the right time, the right context, into the tools they know, so their work experience can be streamlined,” said Althoff.  “Empowering sellers to spend more time with their customers has been our goal — and we’ve done that by reimagining the selling experience with Viva Sales.”

One of the core issues at the heart of CRM implementations is the reliance on manual data entry, argued Paul Greenberg, Managing Principal at The 56 Group.  What is necessary is ongoing automation to remove this busy work.

“Sellers rely on digital collaboration and productivity tools to connect with customers and close deals, but a lot of the insights they uncover with these tools don’t make it into the CRM,” Greenberg.  “Microsoft is taking on this challenge by offering a solution that complements the CRM.  Viva Sales automates the busy work, captures critical information about the customer, and helps sellers get the job done.”