Sales Engagement vendor Outreach is teasing a new predictive analytics capability called Amplify which leverages the history of a firm’s sequences and workflows. The firm will not be employing a black-box AI strategy but providing recommendations with explanations.
CEO Manny Medina faults deep learning strategies which lack “the ability to make inferences, such as the ability to figure out why things work” and require users to trust the recommendations without providing a basis for the suggestions.
“We believe we need to tackle this problem following general scientific principles. Hypotheses need to be testable, data should be very carefully examined to verify the quality of the data.”
Yifei Huang, Machine Learning Lead, Outreach
“When we built Amplify, we built it with the core belief in mind that, the human needs to understand why things work so that machine can understand why things work so that the machine can get better at helping the human,” said Medina.
For example, Amplify deploys natural language processing (NLP) around email responses to help identify whether responses are unsubscribes, objections, or positive. Outreach claims that their NLP classification is 92% accurate, only three points behind manual classification.
NLP will also be used to assess objection handling to identify reps who handle objections well and which ones need improvement. This feedback is then available to managers to assist with coaching.
Amplify addresses two key managerial questions: “Is my team adopting the new technology? Is the new technology delivering a measurable lift?”
Amplify will be unveiled at their May Unleash conference.
Sales and marketing intelligence vendor DiscoverOrg announced a “refreshed” connector with sales engagement platform Outreach. The update provides improved “synchronicity” between the two services, making it “faster and easier for reps to sequence DiscoverOrg contacts,” said Russell Van Leuven, DiscoverOrg Senior Director of Sales.
According to Van Leuven, the updated “solution will remove barriers and help people sell more by addressing three mission critical sales problems: (1) a disjointed sales tech stack, (2) inconsistent or untrustworthy data, and (3) maintaining governance practices to preserve data quality.”
“The value of great data lies in what our customers DO with it. The integration of Outreach with DiscoverOrg means sales teams can get the best data and insights on their target accounts, engage them with the right message at the right time, and never worry about that data going stale again.”
DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Schuck
The solution addresses both the dearth of quality data for small teams that perform open-web Google research and “tech overload” at enterprises that are balancing email, CRM, and “a huge stack of tech tools to find, cross-reference, and confirm the information they need,” said Van Leuven.
Van Leuven highlighted the difficulties of maintaining data quality in CRMs:
It’s hard to trust the murky origins of the data in your CRM. It’s usually old (Did you know: data decays at a rate of 30% per year). A lot of distrust comes from the fact that most people have had a traumatizing experience with bad data or bad data providers that’s landed them in spam filters, blacklists, or worse. And when your sales team doesn’t feel like they can trust the data, they stop trying to keep records updated. Bad data perpetuates a burdensome cycle of bad data.
The connector feeds editorially researched prospect data into Outreach and Salesforce. Both individual records and bulk prospects are pushed to Outreach and assigned to Outreach sequences. There is “no downloading, uploading, copying or pasting required,” said Van Leuven.
Prospect lists can be assembled in DiscoverOrg and assigned to specific Outreach sequences and tagged by the owner. Company and contact information can also be passed to Outreach via DiscoverOrg’s Chrome extension. Thus, a sales rep can identify a prospect on LinkedIn or a company website, match and enrich the record against the DiscoverOrg reference file spanning 130,000 companies and three million companies, and then upload the enriched record to Outreach.
“Great sales results require an in-depth understanding of who you are targeting, and then reaching those individuals with a message that moves them to take action,” said Outreach CEO Manny Medina. “The partnership between Outreach and DiscoverOrg makes that simple.”
The joint service also offers automated DiscoverOrg enrichment of new leads within Outreach. The nightly scan appends DiscoverOrg contact information, firmographics, and technographics to Outreach for both new records and records updated within the DiscoverOrg reference library. The nightly scan also identifies bounced emails and departed employees.
The connector supports field-level configuration allowing admins to set custom field mappings. Admins are also provided with a weekly summary report which lists all account and contact updates.
DiscoverOrg has a 95% data quality SLA based upon their 90-day editorial review cycle and monthly bounce testing.
Along with Outreach, DiscoverOrg supports sales engagement vendors SalesLoft and Tellwise. DiscoverOrg plans on enhancing those connectors along with adding additional sales engagement vendors.
Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) vendor Outreach, rolled out its latest capability, Sales Intelligence Tiles, which displays account intelligence from Owler, Twitter, and MapBox alongside account information from Salesforce and Outreach.
Three tile formats are supported
Engagement insights: a combination of insightful information including company news, local time and historical interactions with prospect/account to ensure the communication is effective
Prospect overview: everything from historical Outreach & Salesforce activity to custom fields
Account overview: displays account firmographics and prospect information
Users can customize the layouts to better meet their informational needs. Tiles may be moved and resized. Additional enhancements will roll out in the next few months including “partner integrations, new tiles, design updates, and new suggested layouts.” Layouts may be shared with co-workers. Other partners include DiscoverOrg, Datanyze, DocSend, and Sendgrid.
Outreach’s internal research found that reps saved five hours a week by leveraging tile insights.
Outreach recently began a beta program for their Chrome Extension which they call Window Mode. “This new experience is unlike any other chrome extension,” said Product Marketing Manager Rachel Siegel. “It removes the extension from on top of your window and creates a separate window that snaps perfectly to the side of your browser. The experience is lightning fast and immediately responsive to what you’re doing in the moment. Many of you likely switch through a number of different browser tabs as your job. Window Mode keeps up with your pace. You’ll find that it’s faster and immediately responsive to what you’re doing in the moment.”
Selling is hard – we know it’s more difficult than ever to connect with prospects and keep them engaged throughout the sales cycle. Sales technology has failed to deliver for reps, largely because it focuses on logging data and reporting on pipeline rather than helping reps to execute more of the right selling activities. Ultimately sales reps spend hours laboring on menial tasks. This has to stop. We’re on a mission to empower sales teams to more efficiently and effectively engage with prospects so they can predictability achieve revenue goals.
Outreach CEO Manny Medina
Outreach received a $30 million Round C a few weeks ago and continues to invest in tools for sales reps that assist them across the customer lifecycle. This vision goes beyond outbound communication unification and includes sales intelligence, recommendations, and workflow simplification.
“Outreach continues to tirelessly deliver the capabilities that solve business challenges,” blogged Siegel yesterday. “No longer are we solely investing in making SDRs and hunters efficient, we’re turning our eyes deeper into the customer lifecycle. At Outreach we see a future where every sales organization has a platform that helps their reps build a pipeline and closes that pipeline faster and more efficiently than ever before. The future is a platform that acts like a sales assistant, suggesting meeting times, entering data, creating action items, suggesting which personas to engage at what points in the deal cycle, and more.”
Outreach is unveiling its roadmap at their Unleash conference in Sonoma, CA this week.
Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) vendor Outreach announced a $30 million Series C round led by DJF. With the capital injection, Outreach raised its total funding to $60 million. The valuation was not disclosed. Other round participants included Four Rivers Group and existing investors Mayfield, MHS Capital, Microsoft Ventures and Trinity Ventures. Funds will be deployed towards additional product development, staffing, and marketing.
“The future of selling will be machines helping sales reps by removing the barriers of what bogs them down and empowering them to do their best work,” blogged Outreach CEO Manny Medina. “This round gives us the ability to make the required investments in machine learning and natural language processing. We’re doubling down in an area many in the market are talking about, but have yet to make a reality. With this investment, Outreach will continue to innovate to improve the day-to-day life of sales reps and their impact on the companies and communities they serve.”
Outreach helps automate, track, and analyze sales rep tasks across multiple communication channels including email, phone, and LinkedIn. Activities are tracked and synchronized with Salesforce, Gmail, and Exchange. Outreach supports over 1,200 sales teams including sales organizations at Adobe, Pandora, eBay, Marketo, and Zillow. The firm supports the efforts of over 15,000 sales reps.
Like many industries, technology is transforming sales from an art to a science. Sales is no longer about following up on inbound leads and hunting for a few big deals. It is about sales excellence – predictably executing the right selling activities at the right time.
Outreach CEO Manny Medina
The firm, founded in 2014, doubled its employment over the past year to 170. Outreach is looking to grow its product and engineering group from thirty to fifty staff before the end of 2017. Outreach is based in Seattle with offices in San Francisco and State College, PA. They recently opened an office in Tampa, Florida which has hired some of the talent from recently shuttered competitor KiteDesk.
While I have not heard the specific rationale behind the KiteDesk shutdown, a former CxO at the firm suggested that they lacked the capital to compete against well-funded competitors such as Outreach and SalesLoft.
Along with the funding round, Outreach announced that DFJ Growth Partner Sam Fort has been added to Outreach’s Board. “The opportunity for a platform that simplifies and automates the sales process is massive and we are thrilled to have Outreach join our portfolio,” said Fort.
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.”
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.
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.
Sales Acceleration vendor Outreach is promoting its Outbound Analytics module which is currently in beta. Outreach describes itself as a complementary platform to CRMs which “triples the volume of meetings and increases qualified pipeline for front-line sales representatives.” The Account Based Sales Development vendor supports sales reps through personalized outbound programs which are logged back to the CRM. Other Outreach tools include workflow management, email templates, phone dialer, response detection, and a partner ecosystem. The system also supports integrations with Gmail, Salesforce, and Exchange.
“For far too long, sales teams have been severely underserved when it comes to their technology toolkit, with insufficient tools that act more like obstacles than accelerators,” said CEO Manny Medina. “Outreach takes a completely fresh approach to the old ‘sales as usual’ mentality, freeing up sales reps and giving them back valuable time to focus on selling. Building on the success of our core platform, we’re excited to announce Outbound Analytics that move customers a giant step forward in solving the active selling problem, giving sales reps actionable intelligence on where to spend their time and how best to engage with prospects. Combined with our automated workflows, sales reps become unstoppable.”
The new analytics module, which will be released in early 2017, supports Coaching Analytics, Prospect Intelligence and Engagement Insights.
Coaching Analytics identifies team members that are in need of mentoring as well as high performers who would make good coaches. “This eliminates the black box of sales communication by revealing insights on top performing sales techniques and providing detailed team performance measurement metrics,” said the firm.
Prospect Intelligence is gathered from Twitter, Owler, Compile, Datanyze, DiscoverOrg, and additional data vendors. The sales intelligence helps sales reps “monitor engagement and key buying signals at both the individual prospect and account levels.”
Engagement Insights are a set of recommendations which helps reps “pinpoint the most intelligent first move of engagement” whether that be phone, email or social along with the optimal time of day and content.
“The truth is out there and the question is how do you discover that and how do you put that into action,” said Chief Product Officer Andrew Kinzer. “When we look at analytics, what we’re really seeing is answers waiting to be discovered.”
“The best salespeople are people who are able to get into the customer’s head, empathize with the customer, and really solve a problem,” said Medina. “Our first goal in Outreach is to give them time back, so they can do more of it. Now what we are doing is we are actually taking some of the learnings that we got from being in the workflow and applying it to be more intelligent so their actions are more deliberate and more efficient.”
Medina argues that sales is becoming more outbound with reps now knowing much more about buyers that they did previously. Outreach is consolidating this online intelligence to reduce the time spent gathering information across “five to ten different websites” before returning to your “system of action to take an action.”
Outreach’s goals over the next few quarters is to build out their analytics module and have it “permeate every aspect of the product,” said Kinzer.
Outreach clients include Cloudera, CenturyLink, Pandora, Adobe and Zillow.
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.
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.
Account Based Sales Development vendor Outreach has been named a Forbes 100 Cloud Rising Star. CEO Manuel Medina said that his firm offers a “platform that transforms how sales teams communicate and engage with prospects. We believe there is a massive opportunity to bring a higher level of sophistication to the sales process so teams can focus on what they do best – close deals.”
Karan Mehandru, General Partner at Trinity Ventures, describes Outreach as a “system of action for sales people.” Calling sales “the lifeblood of the organization,” Mehandru continued that “salespeople are creating the same level of sophistication as their marketing counterparts” which creates an opportunity for a “massive company” to deliver on the promise of CRM.
Noting that almost sixty percent of sales rep time is dedicated to non-sales activity, Medina said, “Our main goal is to provide them with both more analytics about what he’s doing and more insight into what he could be doing to do it better.”
Seattle-based Outreach has grown to 92 employees and has sixteen open positions across Product, Sales, Engineering, Marketing, and Customer Success. Back in June, they stated plans to double their company to 160 employees over the next year with a trebling of their engineering team to forty headcount.
The firm supports over one thousand sales teams at firms of all sizes. Customers include AdRoll, Adobe, Glassdoor, Cloudera, Zillow, and Docusign.
The firm provides a cadence tool for email and phone, analytics, mobile apps, and connectors with Salesforce, Gmail, Exchange, DiscoverOrg, and Datanyze.
Over the next year, the company is looking to add additional intelligence and insights into the sales workflow. The firm lists many insight and workflow capabilities as coming soon:
Plays and Playbooks – “Create a master plan to engage your accounts with Plays and Playbooks designed to optimize your approach.”
Play-by-Play – “Engage multiple personas within an account simultaneously with Plays designed to accomplish a specific goal at every step.”
Insights Tiles – “Learn more about the person you’re communicating with for the most personalized conversation possible.”
Colleague Replies – “Determine how connecting with one prospect in an account affects the engagement of other colleagues in the playbook.”
Persona Optimized – “Outreach gives you analytics to determine when the best times are to call, all by persona.”
Voicemail Drop – “When reaching your recipient’s voicemail, let Outreach leave a pre-recorded message, so you can move on to the next activity.”
VM Drop A/B Testing – “Let Outreach test which voicemails produce higher call-back rates by A/B testing the drop of a selection of recordings.”
Calling within Playbooks – “Call each role persona in succession for an opportunity to communicate your value.”
Conversation Transcription – “Read transcripts of conversations, broken down by who said what, for coaching opportunities.”
Transcription Search – “Search conversation histories for specific mentions of objections, competitors, and more.”
Whisper – “Managers can speak to their reps on a call without the end recipient hearing them.”
Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) vendor Outreach closed on a $17.5 million Series B VC round led by Trinity Ventures. Also participating were Microsoft Ventures and previous investors. The round raised the total funding for Outreach to $29 million. Trinity General Partner Karan Mehandru was named to the Outreach Board.
“Outreach has developed a platform that actually helps salespeople close deals, not just add another reporting layer for management. It is a platform of action, an operating system for sales, that prompts sales professionals to be the best version of themselves by automating their entire workflow across channels,” said Mehandru. “There is nothing else like it. Outreach is truly pioneering the transformation of the sales tech stack and making heroes out of sales professionals.”
CEO Manuel Medina noted that many sales reps manage over fifty customers and prospects. “What happens is that all this conversation with different people falls into the cracks,” he said. “Outreach creates a workflow where salespeople know what to do next and automates follow-up.”
The funds will be dedicated towards an expansion of their engineering and marketing teams. Outreach is looking to build out its automation and workflow tools for sales reps and add new analytics capabilities. The firm’s current headcount of eighty will likely double over the next year. Engineering will grow from twelve to twenty by the end of the year and then double again next year.
“The environment is very competitive, but this positions us well with a big cash war chest and the ability to bring in more engineers and double down in the parts where we’re strong, which is product and engineering,” said Medina.
Outreach currently supports Salesforce.com and has a Microsoft Dynamics connector in development. The platform is shifting to Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services for its cloud service.
Outreach, like several other ABSD vendors, recently launched a partner ecosystem to support prospecting and messaging. Other partners include Datanyze and SendGrid.
Clients include Adobe, CenturyLink, Adroll, AppDynamics, and Zillow.