Mimosas and Implosions

SalesLoft Mimosas and Implosions

Sales Acceleration vendor SalesLoft has a unique business development promotion opportunity next Monday morning in Atlanta.  They are offering a Mimosas and Implosions promo for folks who want to watch the Georgia Dome implosion from their 22nd floor outdoor patio.

They are opening their office to customers, prospects, job candidates, and partners.  So if you are in the Atlanta area and have a relationship with SalesLoft, it sounds like a great way to get to know them better.

Doors open at 7 AM and the Dome drops at 7:30. [Registration]

DocSend Partners with SalesLoft & Outreach

DocSend Analytics are now available to Outreach and SalesLoft users.
DocSend Analytics are now available to Outreach and SalesLoft users.

Both Outreach and SalesLoft rolled out integrations with sales asset manager DocSend in the past few weeks.  DocSend provides sales reps with a managed content library from which reps send trackable collateral links instead of e-mailing large files to customers and prospects.  DocSend then tracks the links and provides read alerts and viewing analytics.  Conceptually, it is similar to the PointDrive service integrated into LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

“By partnering with two leaders in the space, we’re enabling sales reps to see how accounts and individual contacts engage with the content in their email outreach throughout the sales cycle,” blogged DocSend Senior Product Marketing Manager Sonja Jacob.  “Using DocSend Campaign Links, sellers can create a unique link to share content in their email cadences, without ever leaving workflows in either tool.”

The combined services allow reps to directly insert links into Outreach templates and snippets while providing sales managers with sales rep analytics.  The Outreach partnership helps sales reps “find, share, track, and present the documents that close deals,” said Jordan Greene, Director of Product Marketing at Outreach.  “Even better, you’ll have deeper insights into what content works throughout your sales cycle.”

Inserting a custom DocSend campaign link within an Outreach email template.
Inserting a custom DocSend campaign link within an Outreach email template.

DocSend helps reps find the right sales content and create a “fully trackable campaign link without ever having leaving your workflow,” said Greene.  Campaign links are customized for each sales rep and can be added “in just a few seconds.”

DocSend analytics track where, when, and how prospects and customers engage with sales collateral.  DocSend supports document forward tracking, password setting, and flagging collateral as non-downloadable.  Campaign links are available both within templates and as standard email links.

Both Outreach and SalesLoft users must have DocSend licenses and the DocSend Chrome extension installed.  DocSend Team is priced at $30 per user per month and supports a white label document viewer, instant notifications, team reporting, and mail merge links.

SalesLoft has a freemium DocSend integration in the works.

SalesLoft offers campaign links that dynamically update within templates allowing admins to build Team Templates with a dynamic campaign link tracked to individual reps.  “This means admins can create a SalesLoft Team Template with a dynamic Campaign Link and the content will be tracked separately for each SalesLoft user specific to the recipient, said SalesLoft VP of Product Strategy Sean Kester.

As a former Product Manager, I can understand how frustrating it is when you have a great new capability and a top competitor launches it at the same time.  You think you have a differentiator and all of a sudden you find out it is a checkbox item.  This scenario is more likely to happen with non-exclusive, API-based partnerships as implementation costs and windows are reduced.

One of the vendors was emphasizing that they were first to market, but whether this was by days or weeks is moot if there is little differentiating the new feature between the competitors.  In the end, customers and prospects are interested in value provided with the current offering, not who beat who to the market by a few days.  When vendors are competing to identify and integrate new partner content and features into their offerings, it is the end users that win.  Over the past 18 months, both SalesLoft and Outreach have rapidly expanded their ecosystems providing significant value to their sales acceleration (ABSD) offerings.

SalesLoft: New Partners, Connectors, and Features

The new Call Studio service provides continuous monitoring of sales calls via a new dashboard. Managers and trainers can listen to calls, whisper advice in the a rep's ear, or join the call.
The new Call Studio service provides continuous monitoring of sales calls via a new dashboard. Managers and trainers can listen to calls, whisper advice in the a rep’s ear, or join the call.

Prior to SalesLoft’s Rainmaker user conference, their VP of Product Marketing Sean Kester provided me with a demo and overview of the enhancements to their Account Based Sales Engagement Platform.  The key product announcement is their new Live Call Studio which allows managers to monitor outbound calls.  The firm will also be demonstrating enhanced Salesforce and Gmail connectors which support sales engagement intelligence and the Twilio dialer.

Amongst their new partners are Zoominfo, TalkIQ, and Vidyard which will provide company and contact details, call transcription, and video messaging services.

The other new feature is a “Draft on Behalf” service that allows reps to create emails to be sent from executive inboxes.

SalesLoft closed on a $15M Round B last month.  The firm said that the funds would be used towards product, marketing, and opening an office in San Francisco.  The 2017 product focus includes improved orchestration between sales, marketing, and supporting executives; enhanced insights and reports; expanded governance tools; role based workflow assignments; greater connectivity; and enhanced analytics.

Call Studio

Call Studio provides live coaching and feedback to help managers shape a consistent message.  Call Studio assists with new hire training as well as upsell and cross-sell training for more experienced sales staff.  The Studio displays a set of conversational tiles which track all current calls along with duration and participants.  A manager can listen in on any call and provide feedback afterwards, whisper advice into the rep’s ear during the call, or join the conversation.  Managers and trainers do not need to be at the same location as the Sales Development Reps (SDRs).  Conversely, reps can digitally raise their hand if they need assistance and will feel more confident as they ramp up.

Kester noted that “Front line sales is one of the most difficult positions in a business. Live Call Studio reduces on-boarding time, coaching time, and increases rep effectiveness with the ability to coach from anywhere. Live coaching can quickly identify learning and advancement opportunities so that reps can stay motivated and be more productive.”

Call Studio will officially be launched at their Rainmaker conference during the first week of March and is currently live at ten accounts.

Draft on Behalf

SalesLoft will also be unveiling an as yet unnamed “Draft on behalf ” service which allows sales reps to write an email to be sent from company execs.  The note includes subject, message, and recipients.  The rep also provides an explanation of the request.

Once written, the CxO is sent an email with an overview of the request and a button to open the message.  Executives can also view pending messages stored in a “Requests” tab queue.

A "Draft on behalf" Requests tab provides a queue of pending CSR-written emails for review and transmission.
A “Draft on behalf” Requests tab provides a queue of pending CSR-written emails for review and transmission.

The “Draft on behalf” feature will initially be available in Gmail with plans to extend the service to Outlook down the road.

SalesLoft Connect

Recently enhanced connectors include SalesLoft Connect in Gmail and Salesforce.  The Gmail Connect tool displays SalesLoft in a new right-handed sidebar.  SDRs can click-to-dial from within Gmail and view the live feed for the prospect.  Other SalesLoft Connect for Gmail features include contact search, launching emails, and adding the message to SFDC.  The contact profile includes a set of functions including

  • Add or remove from a cadence (templated SDR multi-channel messaging workflows)
  • View recent notes and activity
  • Flag as Do Not Contact
  • Link to social profiles
  • Open and edit SalesLoft profiles
  • View additional contact information

Connect in Salesforce is both Classic and Lightning-ready providing access to SalesLoft Cadences within SFDC.  Features include the contact profile, SalesLoft Dialer, Cadence view, prospect activity view, and bi-directional synching between SalesLoft and Salesforce.

New Partners

Finally, SalesLoft will be showing off three new ecosystem partners at Rainmaker.  SalesLoft looks for partners that will offer a freemium strategy within their service, so that even SMBs can obtain benefits from SalesLoft partnerships.

Vidyard supports quick custom videos which help “humanize” SDR emails along with video playlists.  Thus, an SDR could attach two short demos and a personalized introductory message.  According to Kester, “adding a highly engaging video thumbnail to your email cadence in SalesLoft will help your emails stand out, boost click through rates, and send response rates soaring.”

Vidyard functionality and workflows for SDRs.
Vidyard functionality and workflows for SDRs.

Vidyard tracks which videos were watched and notifies sales reps.

Free Vidyard allows users access to all their features with limitations on the total number of videos hosted in their libraries along with some sharing limitations. The paid version offers a more robust library, organization, and hosting feature set.

TalkIQ provides integrated call transcription.  Features include a summary tab, cross-call searching, audio clips, and coaching commentary.  Premium features include analytics and admin-defined algorithms that automatically pull calls based on specific criteria. These calls will be displayed in a premium dashboard.

From within Chrome, users will have access to Zoominfo’s ReachOut connector which provides in-context account and contact information to SalesLoft.  For example, an SDR could identify the perfect contact in LinkedIn, use the ReachOut extension to obtain contact information, and send company and contact details to SalesLoft to begin a cadence.

Note: SalesLoft is one of the four Account Based Sales Development services covered in my new 2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors.  Zoominfo is also profiled.

 

SalesLoft $15M Round B

The SalesLoft Dialer supports one-click dialing from Salesforce and Inboxes. Calls are managed as part of multi-channel cadences and automatically logged.
The SalesLoft Dialer supports one-click dialing from Salesforce and Inboxes. Calls are managed as part of multi-channel cadences and automatically logged.

Last month, Account Based Sales Engagement vendor SalesLoft closed on a $15M Round B twenty-two months after closing on a $10.15M Series A.  The new round, which valued the firm at $100 million, was led by David Cummings, the founder of Pardot, and his Atlanta Ventures.  SalesLoft chose to work with its existing Atlanta-based investor team.  Cummings chipped in $10 million with Spinnaker Investments and Emergence Capital contributing their pro-rata shares.

By extending Round B amongst current investors, SalesLoft was able to “keep our board the same, move fast to close, and get back to the work of serving our customers immediately,” said CEO Kyle Porter.

Heading into the new year, our growth left us with enough cash in the bank and a modest enough burn rate to keep running for the next few years.  But we’re on a mission to transform the sales industry and be the clear No. 1 in our category. Achieving that mission requires additional investment in the platform, innovation, and our community so we deliver significant value to our customers. For that reason, we decided it was time to double down on our market and put more capital to work.

  • CEO Kyle Porter

The round and funding strategy were proposed by Cummings.  “David [Cummings] is a close friend, mentor, investor, board member, and advisor who has been on the journey with SalesLoft since the very beginning,” said Porter.  “David’s career journey had imprinted on him the value in being a market leader and he recognized the magnitude of the sales engagement opportunity.”

While the firm’s burn rate was low enough to hold off on another round for a few years, “we’re on a mission to transform the sales industry and be the clear #1 in our category,” blogged Porter.  “Achieving that mission requires additional investment in the platform, innovation, and our community so we deliver significant value to our customers. For that reason, we decided it was time to double down on our market and put more capital to work.”

SalesLoft maintains a level of transparency that exceeds most companies with detailed discussions around funding, corporate culture, and product strategy.  While most companies provide pro-forma press releases around funding announcements, SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter wrote detailed blogs around both rounds and presented a case study on his decision to abandon SalesLoft’s successful Prospector service while Cadence was still in its formative stage.

The funding will be used towards product, marketing, and opening an office in San Francisco.  The 2017 product focus includes improved orchestration between sales, marketing, and supporting executives; enhanced insights and reports; expanded governance tools; role based workflow assignments; and enhanced analytics.  Furthermore, “SalesLoft will be at your fingertips at all times, delivering core applications to wherever your reps live in everyday, like Gmail, Outlook, Dynamics, and Salesforce.”

SalesLoft plans to continued expansion of its ecosystem which already includes a broad set of partners:

  • Company/Contacts: InsideView, RingLead, Prospectify
  • Technology: Datanyze, DiscoverOrg, HG Data
  • News: Owler
  • Coaching: ExecVision, TalkIQ, Crystal, People.ai, Gong.io
  • Workflow: Sigstr, Chili Piper
  • Social: ProLeads

Additional partners will be announced at their upcoming Rainmaker Sales Engagement conference.

Although they did not detail their 2017 partner list, the firm named Vidyard and DocSend as 2017 connectors when I was profiling their service for my book.  Vidyard provides video integration into emails with the customer service rep option to record a quick intro.  DocSend provides intra-document tracking tools and analytics which display information on what sections were viewed and for how long.

In 2016, SalesLoft trebled its Annualized Run Rate (ARR) while phasing out its $4 million Prospector Service and expanding the Cadence account based sales offering.  Over this time, the Cadence product increased its ARR by 5,000 percent (from less than $200, 000).  Cadence now has over 1,000 customers.

SalesLoft has grown from 5 employees in early 2014 to 125 with plans to add 85 headcount in the coming months.

The firm is focused on “serving the customer,”  said Porter.  “It was our intention to build a company based entirely on a set of core values and to this date, it’s been the best decision we’ve ever made.”

Porter lists the firms core values as

  • Put Customers First
  • Focus on Results
  • Glass Half Full
  • Bias Toward Action
  • Team over Self

Focusing on values allows us to be intentional about our behavior on a daily basis.  This sets the foundation for healthy teams to establish trust, inspire growth, and achieve something special together.

  • CEO Kyle Porter

While many companies view culture as corporate window dressing around perks and office space, SalesLoft COO Rob Forman defines culture as “our values, consistently applied.”

Owler Insights Displayed within SalesLoft

Owler news is visible to SDRs while they are customizing emails or planning for their next call.
Owler news is visible to SDRs while they are customizing emails or planning for their next call.

ABSD vendor Owler officially announced their SalesLoft connector which feeds Owler News and Alerts into the SalesLoft Sales Engagement platform.  Owler is one of several content partners that participate in SalesLoft’s partner ecosystem.  Owler intelligence is delivered via a combination of mined content (news, blogs, press releases), editorial work (funding and M&A announcements), and crowdsourced intelligence concerning competitors, company size, CEO approval, and future expectations.

SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter posed the problem of engaging prospects as one of quickly understanding them.

How do you portray that feeling?  How do you portray that understanding that you know what they’re up to?  That you know who they are?  That you think you can help and you’ve got hypotheses about their needs?  And I think the answer to that is sales intelligence and so for the last few year of my career I’ve been looking for amazing products that help our customers learn more about the prospects they are reaching out to whether it’s the account or whether it’s the individual themselves.

Owler provides integrated news, press releases, funding histories, videos (YouTube and Vimeo), and corporate blogs from within SalesLoft company and contact records.  The partnerships allows sales reps to plan their account messaging without toggling to another platform.  Users can even filter headlines by content type and copy links directly into emails.

SalesLoft noted a “dramatic increase” in reply rates and meaningful conversations due to Owler insights.  The integration has helped “increase the level and efficiency of personalization that the modern sales rep can add when they’re communicating with their buyers,” said SalesLoft VP of Product Strategy Sean Kester.  “So they can better connect, quality, and convert their target accounts into customer accounts.”

SalesLoft trains SDRs on a 10-80-10 strategy for creating “sincerity at scale.”  SalesLoft suggests that the first ten percent of the email should have a custom hook from LinkedIn, Twitter, or Owler.  The goal is to “find something relevant and connect with them on that level,” said SalesLoft SDR Brad Ansley.  The 80% message core should focus on how your product relates to their pains.  It should not be a feature dump, but must “give them a reason to respond.”   The final ten percent is a “PS line” to connect on a more personal level (e.g. Congrats on the Pats).

Other SalesLoft content partners include InsideView, Datanyze, HG Data, DiscoverOrg, RingLead, and Prospectify.  SalesLoft also provides messaging assistance and coaching tools such as Crystal prospect personality analysis, Sigstr email signature management, Chili Piper calendaring, and call transcription and analytics from TalkIQ, ExecVision, and Gong.io.

2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Now Available

I am proud to announce that I released the second edition of my book, 2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors yesterday.  It has been a long process of updating and expanding the original eleven profiles, adding three new profiles for the UK (Bureau van Dijk, Artesian Solutions, and DueDil), and adding four profiles for Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) vendors with ecosystems (KiteDesk, Outreach, Quota Factory, SalesLoft).

I have written blog articles on almost all of the seventeen profiled vendors in the past year.  So if you’ve found my blog useful, the book will be invaluable for procurement decisions or staying abreast of the key vendors in the SI space.

As sales teams and procurement departments may have gone through vendor demos or trials back in 2015 or early 2016, I have added sections which detail product changes over the past year.  These include new product launches, vendor changes, enhancements, and pricing changes.

I have also added or expanded discussions on Account Based Marketing (ABM), Account Based Sales Development (ABSD), Marketing Automation connectors, and the UK market.

You will even find a new Glossary.

Feel free to contact me at 978-692-0170 or MLevy@GZConsulting.org.  I am offering a 20% licensing discount during the month of January.

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Sales Messaging & Analytics Tools

"Chili Piper helps your team book more meeting and impress your prospects. Schedule meetings directly within the SalesLoft platform, use meeting templates, and automatically record your meetings in Salesforce."
“Chili Piper helps your team book more meeting and impress your prospects. Schedule meetings directly within the SalesLoft platform, use meeting templates, and automatically record your meetings in Salesforce.”

Yesterday, I wrote about plans to integrate PointDrive into LinkedIn Sales Navigator.  This integration is part of a growing trend in SalesTech to tie together sales acceleration tools with information services and CRM/MAP platforms.  I have touched upon a few of these examples over the past few months so I thought I’d provide a quick recap:

Salesforce acquired RelationshipIQ in 2014 and now offers its messaging workflow tools to sales reps as SaleforceIQ and Salesforce Inbox.  These offerings reduce toggling between services and delivers insights to sales reps from social networks and the sales cloud.   SalesforceIQ recommends new accounts and contacts, offers pre-written email templates, and assists with calendaring meetings.  Other features include one-click email logging to Salesforce, cloud storage connectivity, and mobile apps.

Salesforce recently acquired the Quip messaging service and is rolling it into its service.  Quip re-envisions email and associated document creation tools as a single workflow for team document creation and commentary.

Salesforce Engage provides marketing approved emails and nurturing tracks to sales reps.  The Engage service is provided as part of their Pardot B2B marketing automation platform.

Sales Acceleration firm SalesLoft is building out its ecosystem with workflow partnerships to assist with prospecting, messaging, analytics, and workflows.  The SalesLoft ecosystem includes

  • Content partners such as InsideView, Datanyze, DiscoverOrg, and Owler
  • Workflow tools such as Sigstr (signature management) and Chili Piper (meeting scheduling)
  • Sales coaching vendors ExecVision (call transcription and analytics) and Crystal (executive psychographics

SalesLoft has additional partnerships in the works for 2017 including additional content, messaging,  and attachment analytics.

Likewise, sales acceleration vendor Outreach is also rolling out expanded analytics and partnerships.

Other sales acceleration vendors with partner ecosystems include Quota Factory and KiteDesk.

Finally, a few information services have build some sales acceleration tools into their services.  Salesgenie offers a phone dialer and integrated email support while RainKing has added a dialer service.