SalesLoft Acquires NoteNinja

NoteNinja transcribes calls, tags them, and supports quick topic searching for insight discovery.
NoteNinja transcribes calls, tags them, and supports quick topic searching for insight discovery.

Sales Engagement vendor SalesLoft acquired B2B SaaS Collaboration tool Noteninja. Durham-based NoteNinja provides meeting intelligence which transcribes, tags, and annotates meeting recordings. The service is managed by an AI bot which recognizes upcoming meetings on the rep’s calendar and attends the meeting.

“I realized our category of software was missing something important,” said SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter. “Neither us nor other engagement solutions were solving an additional problem. Customers told me they need more insights on what’s actually happening during sales meetings. They realize (and Gartner reports) ‘three out of four customers report spending more with a company because of a positive buying experience’. Modern revenue organizations need meeting intelligence software to solve painful problems.”

SalesLoft listed a set of sales challenges that are addressed by meeting intelligence platforms:

Meeting Challenges. Source: SalesLoft Blog.
Meeting Challenges. Source: SalesLoft Blog.

Tagging assists with meeting review, helping users search for key moments such as pricing discussions or prospect objections. According to Noteninja, “No longer do you have to click around a meeting aimlessly looking for the right spot. Save time and quickly hone [sic] in on the moments that matter for you and your team.”

Comments can be shared with co-workers or management, providing “game-film for meetings.” These excerpts can also be used for new hire training, objection handling, and learning from top reps.

“I’m incredibly proud for what this means to our customers and the advanced opportunity they will now have to deliver a better selling experience to their customers.  With the acquisition of Noteninja, SalesLoft is providing our customers with the first full suite Sales Engagement Platform that combines sales cadences with sales intelligence, serving AEs, SDRs, CSMs, managers, and execs to generate the most revenue.”

  • SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter

Noteninja supports major web conferencing services including GoToMeeting, Zoom, JoinMe, and WebEx. Google Calendar, Exchange, and Office 365 productivity applications are also supported. While a SalesLoft connector already exists, the firm is working on a native integration of NoteNinja capabilities which will be offered as a premium feature set within their product line.  SalesLoft is targeting August for native availability.

SalesLoft complies with state privacy laws.  “We deploy call recording governance for our current dialer and will be incorporating our technology across the platform as we integrate,” said VP of Product Strategy Sean Kester.  “We also work alongside the governance and compliance assets deployed by screen sharing technologies.”

NoteNinja does not automatically join meetings with generic (consumer) emails nor does it join meetings with only internal staff. However, this rule can be overridden by including the Noteninja assistant in the attendees list.

Acquisition terms were not disclosed.

SalesLoft has grown to 277 employees with offices in Atlanta, Durham, and San Francisco. SalesLoft supports over 2,000 companies including Square, MuleSoft, Alteryx and Dell.

SalesLoft is ahead of plan in 2018.  Q1 was above a “very aggressive” revenue plan to once again double revenue in 2018.  Q2 is tracking 120% of plan.

Approximately one-third of NoteNinja customers are joint licensors of the SalesLoft solution.

Eliciting Objections

Quote

In a blog, Sales Consultant Tanja Parsley recommends eliciting objections from your prospects. Parsley argues that “objections are not barriers or obstacles – they are clues to understanding client needs.”

While this seems counterintuitive, it makes a lot of sense. Your customers and prospects have concerns. Pretending that they don’t is simply wishful thinking.

Parsley recommends the following phrasing for eliciting objections:

“If there was one thing that might get in the way of moving forward with us what might that be?”

Her wording is positive and contains the assumption that you will be closing the deal (“moving forward with us”). Furthermore, it asks for the primary objection, not a list of minor nits. This phrasing allows you to focus on their top concern instead of giving them a reason to dump on your product or service.

So what are the benefits of eliciting objections?

  • It provides you with an opportunity to address their main concern. It may be that the concern is an area you’ve failed to address during your previous meetings. In that case, you can work to ameliorate their concerns.
  • It highlights a potential pain that your firm may be in a position to address. Perhaps they need strong SLA wording or additional support services. Maybe they are concerned about a gap in your product features that will be resolved in the coming months. Unless you know about their concerns, you can’t address them.
  • The concern may be a landmine left by one of your competitors. Based on the wording, it could give you a clue about an unknown competitor or provide you with the opportunity to leave behind a few of your own traps. Keep in mind that you can only defuse the landmines that you spot.
  • You come across as forthright and willing to solicit uncomfortable questions. This puts you in a stronger position for addressing the concern as you are not caught off guard at an inopportune moment.
  • It provides you with a more realistic assessment of the probability of closing or potential delays in the decision making process. Your pipeline forecasts will be more accurate and you won’t be caught with egg on your face when your 80% probability of closing opportunity is won by your competition. It also provides an early warning of potential signing delays.

So, given all of these benefits, why wouldn’t you ask about objections? I think it comes down to simple human nature. Asking about objections makes us vulnerable. But it is through honest discussions that we gain the most.