Attention Closes on $3.1M Round

Attention, an AI-powered sales assistant, exited stealth mode and closed a $3.1 million seed round led by Eniac Ventures.  Other participants include Frst, Liquid2 Ventures, Maschmeyer Group Ventures, Ride Ventures, and the founders of Ramp, Level AI, Truework, CBInsights, and Zoi.  The new funds will be deployed towards advanced AI capabilities and market growth for the New York City-based startup.

Attention helps sales teams “overcome inefficiencies at every stage of the sales cycle,” including CRM hygiene, sales acceleration, and revenue growth.  Attention accelerates sales rep ramp-up, drafts follow-up emails based on customer statements, improves forecasting, and automatically enriches Salesforce and HubSpot with post-call deal intelligence. 

Attention maps discussions to custom CRM fields specific to standard sales methodologies such as MEDDIC and BANT.

Attention Battlecards

Attention also provides real-time suggestions and question responses, “resulting in all sales representatives having higher rates of success and closed business.”  Recommendations include product responses to technical questions and objections handling.  The Attention AI determines common unsupported questions and builds battlecards based on sales responses.  Battlecards can also be developed or edited by the sales enablement team.

One novel feature is the ability to query the meeting transcript with a question, allowing reps to summarize or revisit the discussion around key topics quickly.

Sales reps can share call snippets with managers or SMEs via Slack, allowing them to forward open questions in the voice of the customer.

“Attention is a game-changer.  We’ve rarely seen any product like this in terms of efficiency gains and ramp-up acceleration.  We’re also blown away by how fast they’ve been releasing new capabilities.” said Peter Santis, head of sales at RocketChat.  Santis both licensed the service for RocketChat and participated in the seed round.

Founders Anis Bennaceur and Matthias Wickenburg founded competing AI software startups before joining forces in September 2021 to build Attention.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Anis and Matthias as they leverage the latest developments in AI generation and natural language understanding to superpower sales organizations,” remarked Hadley Harris from Eniac Ventures.  “We love working with repeat founders and couldn’t be happier with the strong pull they’re already getting from the market.”

Attention supports communications platforms, including Gmail, Outlook, Slack, Teams, Meets, Zoom, and Zapier.

Attention’s initial customers are in the technology sales space, most commonly with 50 to 100 licensed sales reps.

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.

Clari Acquires DealPoint

DealPoint Collaboration Flow

Revenue Intelligence platform Clari announced the acquisition of DealPoint.  DealPoint supports deal management and collaboration by enabling “new visibility for sales teams into the connections and agreements between buyers and sellers.” In addition, DealPoint supports deal rooms and Mutual Action Plans (MAPs), helping reduce friction between buyers and sellers and fostering deal alignment.

“With mutual action plans, sales teams can improve alignment with buyers, drive scalable process and rigor, and improve win rates,” said Clari CEO Andy Byrne. “Our acquisition of DealPoint gives Clari customers a new insight they have never had — a view into what buyers are thinking. Combined with our new execution insights, managers and reps will have comprehensive visibility and new inspection capabilities in one unified workspace.”

At the front end of the collaboration, workflow is deal qualification, including defining the pains, processes, and priorities. Next, the teams develop a joint interactive timeline, team maps, and shared team resources (e.g., case studies, requirements, proposals).  Finally, engagement metrics help reps quickly determine “which buyers are engaged, and who’s just kicking the tires.”

DealPoint monitors milestone completion and warns reps when milestones have been missed, helping keep deals on schedule.

“With a MAP, sellers get instant validation on value prop, buyer team, and timeline. Because both sides are operating from an actual plan, frontline managers can see not only what has been done on a deal, but also what hasn’t been done.

In other words, we know which buyers are serious, which deals are going to stall, and what needs to happen to keep everything running smoothly.

Incorporating those buyer signals gives Clari new insight into deal health that will revolutionize deal inspections, resource allocation, and forecast accuracy for frontline managers.”

Tom Williams, Head of DealPoint

Having a joint plan assists with buy-in, providing a psychological edge for the sales team.  “By providing a clear plan to value, you guide the customer journey and keep the conversation focused on fixing their problem with your product,” states DealPoint.  “Buyers adopt your plan as their own, edging out competitors and reducing surprises.”

Sales Managers also benefit from instituting a repeatable process.  According to DealPoint, 50% of reps quickly abandon new methodologies.  Thus, streamlining the methodology helps ensure buy-in and compliance.

Once integrated with Clari, managers will have even more confidence in forecasts based upon milestone tracking.  Additionally, managers can ask reps what needs to be done to bring the deal back on plan, and sales reps can ask similar questions to buyers, helping foster shared accountability.

Customer Success teams benefit from smooth handoffs and pre-defined expectations.

DealPoint argues that taking a set of small steps helps foster trust that reduces perceived buyer risk as milestones are met.  Likewise, collaborating on a joint plan helps build relationships between the revenue team and the buying committee.

DealPoint comes with the MEDDIC methodology out of the box, but users can implement others.

DealPoint is priced at $59 per rep per month on an annual contract.  Seats include an unlimited number of customers and Mutual Action Plans. In addition, DealPoint is integrated with Salesforce and HubSpot.

Deal Rooms are a logical extension of Revenue Intelligence as they facilitate communications between sales reps, customer success, and buyers.  Collaboration also aligns buyers and sellers, fosters collaboration, reduces the probability of surprises, improves forecast confidence, and gooses close rates.

The integrated Deal Room GA is scheduled for Q4.  Acquisition terms were not announced.