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.

Abstrakt Salesloft Connector

Abstrakt’s playbooks and real-time coaching are available within Salesloft

Abstrakt announced an integration with Sales Engagement Platform Salesloft to deliver its real-time call coaching and automated playbooks for calls initiated on Salesloft.  Abstrakt also offers real-time call transcription and passes call details to the contact record after each call.

Playbooks guide sales reps with the “correct questions, relevant customer stories, or high-level demo points for every possible scenario.”  Playbook questions are highlighted during a call, and responses are immediately tagged.  Playbooks can be configured by team, rep role, persona, and stage. 

“Our partnership with Abstrakt shows commitment to our customers by bringing a first-of-its-kind, real-time call coaching software to our platform,” said Devin Schiffman, VP of Alliances at Salesloft. “Real-time is a critical element of sales coaching, and this strategic partnership will continue to drive more opportunities for our customers.”

Abstrakt real-time coaching and playbooks help sales reps focus on prospects “without missing qualifying questions.”  It also provides recommendations for managing objections within 0.2 seconds.

Call recordings and transcripts are available within a few seconds of call completion.  The service also provides talk tracks, talk ratio metrics, topic tagging, and playbook completion percent.

Next Step Items are on the Abstrakt roadmap.

Abstrakt is available as both a standalone and Salesloft integrated solution.  Salesloft is Abstrakt’s first integration partner.  Outreach and HubSpot connectors are coming soon.

“When we looked into the market, we knew we wanted to do two things: work with the leader in the sales engagement space (Salesloft) and make sure Abstrakt filled a void in their current offering (which we do),” said Abstrakt CEO Greg Reffner.  “I am very excited about the opportunity to provide a great experience for all Salesloft & Abstrakt customers.”

Abstrakt supports sales, recruitment, and insurance agent use cases.

Abstrakt is priced at $100 per user per month, with a ten percent discount for annual payment.  Volume discounts are available.  There is no surcharge for the Salesloft connector.

Abstrakt will have five employees by the end of the month with a distributed workforce.  It has managed its initial product development with Beeso Studio, a startup studio in Omaha Nebraska. Abstrakt launched in April 2021 and operated as a paid beta until early this year.  Crunchbase lists them as receiving $730,000 in pre-seed funding.

ZoomInfo Acquires Dogpatch Advisors

On its earnings call last week, ZoomInfo announced a pair of acquisitions that closed on April 1: Comparably (discussed yesterday) and Dogpatch Advisors.

Dogpatch Advisors is a “modern sales advisory consultancy that helps enterprises scale revenue operations, build sales playbooks, use data and insights to create and refine sales, and build outbound operations functions.”  In addition, Dogpatch will “enable ZoomInfo to further drive Enterprise and Strategic revenue through expanded customer playbooks that utilize more data and product categories.” 

Dogpatch was immediately rebranded as ZoomInfo Labs, providing a “new go-to-market thought leadership team” that “drives go-to-market data analysis, product enhancements, and strategy for our enterprise customers.”

Dogpatch CEO Ben Salzman will be heading up ZoomInfo Labs.

“This will immediately expand our capabilities for enterprises and drive enhancements across our suite of products,” stated Schuck.  “Over time, we expect ZoomInfo Labs to put the modern go-to-market playbook within reach of every company.”

“Dogpatch Advisors is professional services and consultancy firm that helps enterprises build out their go-to-market efforts using data and insights and software to make those go-to-market efforts incredibly effective and efficient.  And when we talk with our customers and our prospects…they want a world where their go-to-market motions are driven by data, where our software is interconnected seamlessly, where they have the ability to run innovative sales playbooks, but they don’t have a pathway to get there.

What we’re hoping to do with ZoomInfo Labs is to provide a mechanism to help our customers see a future that’s innovative, that’s data-driven, where systems are integrated and talk to each other, where our data cloud sits at the foundation of that, and our application layer drives the interconnectivity of that motion… [ZoomInfo Labs] is designed to help our customers not only see that vision but then also achieve that.”

ZoomInfo CFO Cameron Hyzer

Both acquisitions closed on April 1 but were announced on May 2.  Individual deal terms were not disclosed, but the two firms were acquired for “approximately $145 million, inclusive of the purchase of a convertible promissory note and cash, net of cash acquired, subject to adjustments for working capital, transaction-related equity awards, and other customary adjustments.”

ZoomInfo also agreed to pay up to $28 million in equity awards “subject to continued employment and/or attainment of certain financial metrics.”

“We expect these acquisitions to contribute revenue in the low teens millions of dollars in 2022 and create a modest drag on margins of one to two points for the remaining quarters this year,” said Hyzer.

CEO Cameron Hyzer said that Dogpatch was more than an acquihire deal.  While it has a small employee base, Dogpatch has “relationships and a history of really delivering great go-to-market consulting engagements for large clients.”

“It’s a handful of people, but I think that they very much box outside of [its weight] class in terms of the value they’re able to deliver,” continued Hyzer.  “And we think that by bringing that on and being able to deliver those engagements that we’ll be able to further accelerate the solutions that we’re offering as well.”

SalesHood Coaching Command Center

SalesHood Launches Coaching Command Center for Front-Line Managers to Scale Virtual Sales Coaching

Sales Enablement vendor SalesHood released Coaching Command Center, a set of templates, reports, and prompts to assist front-line managers in elevating the performance and win rates of their teams.  

“We’re excited to release more innovation for virtual sales coaching,” said SalesHood CEO Elay Cohen.  “We’re committed to helping front-line managers be better at developing their remote teams and boosting their win rates.”

In a call with GZ Consulting, Cohen emphasized that SalesHood focuses on productivity and outcomes for both sales reps and front-line managers, looking to raise the bar for all managers.  The new Command Center is a coaching dashboard that analyzes performance and what sales reps are doing.  It fosters managerial actions through celebrations, risk identification, and recommending Next Best Actions.  A meetings-in-a-box feature supports coaching huddles and hands-on training, with recorded calls as input, and coaching to-dos.

According to Cohen, “curated coaching can be prescriptive” and should be performance and data-driven.  It should also be scalable and repeatable, making it easy to schedule classes, coaching, and call reviews.  Templates facilitate discussion and coaching.  Open questions and training sessions are noted, and sales reps are notified if task assignments have not been addressed before the next one-on-one.

Along with templates, SalesHood provides a library of sales training tools, including battle cards, product playbooks, and win stories.  Video recording guidance helps non-training professionals (e.g., product managers, competitive analysts, sales operations) chunk content into modules and cover key topics.

New Command Center tools include programs and coaching activities, team leaderboards, curated team videos, prioritized coaching activities, and coaching templates.

The graphical program tracker displays a data-driven timeline with drill-down tasks, helping front-line managers view programs and coaching activities.  The program tracker assists with one-on-one coaching through automated activities, notifications, tips, and scorecards.  A notification flag appears in the right corner of the top banner, letting managers immediately access pending coaching activities.  For example, if there is a recorded pitch for review, the manager can review the video and offer feedback.

Team Leaderboards summarize team performance across engagement, completion, and performance metrics.

Team videos are submitted and reviewed by managers for comments and celebration.  Videos include pitches, demonstrations, presentation dry-runs, deal wins, and stories.

Prioritized coaching activities are delivered to front-line managers on desktop and mobile devices (iOS and Android native apps) with automated coaching activities for pitch practice, role-playing, quizzing, assessments, and story submissions by their team.

SalesHood is packaged with a set of customizable templates for deal reviews, one-on-ones, and even quarterly business reviews.  Templates are customizable to reflect the industry, markets, and sales strategies of firms.

“Right out of the box, SalesHood provides solutions for more structured, more efficient, and more lucrative sales team management,” claims the firm.

“Sales coaching creates space for collaborative skill and deal development conversations.  Effective sales coaches give sales professionals the responsibility of ownership and accountability for their deal strategies from planning to preparation to close…

No longer will you be in the dark on how your reps are pitching to customers or handling common objections. You’ll be in the know as to how and if they are onboarding effectively.  Are they retaining product knowledge?  Do they understand the crucial competitive plays?  Is their messaging creating interest?  Is it aligned with the corporate message?”

“SalesHood Sales Coaching Demonstration” video

Aragon Research predicted that by the end of 2021, 55% of enterprises will have deployed digital sales coaching and learning.

“High-performing sales organizations are now making sales coaching and learning a daily habit,” says CEO of Aragon Research, Jim Lundy. “Top salespeople are constantly practicing, and the best managers conduct regular coaching.”  Despite the known correlation between coaching and performance, managers and their teams have been unable to embed this practice into their daily workflows.

Aragon Research placed SalesHood in its Leader quadrant for Sales Coaching and Learning (July 2020), scoring the highest on strategy, but below the other leaders on performance.  Aragon listed a broad set of SalesHood strengths, including sales coaching and learning, sales content management, and front-line manager enablement.  However, the firm noted that SalesHood lacks market awareness.

RingDNA Releases Guided Selling

Sales Enablement vendor RingDNA released Guided Selling, a set of Next Best Actions (NBA) for sales reps.  Guided Selling advises sales reps on what to do, when to do it, whom to contact, and what messaging to employ.  Sales managers can create and deploy preferred playbooks to their salesforce, even without face-to-face training.  Both inbound and outbound selling plays are supported, helping “implement proven playbooks at scale.”

“When you know what winning deals look and sound like, you know exactly where to focus to improve outcomes,” said RingDNA CEO Howard Brown.  “Guided selling uses artificial intelligence to provide revenue teams with tools, insights, and next best actions necessary to win deals, grow accounts, maximize revenue.”

“It’s a fool’s errand to expect a 22-year-old sales development rep (SDR) fresh out of university to develop a consistent, scalable, repeatable prioritization, execution, and qualification process.  Be prescriptive in your expectations and methodical in the tools you arm your teams with…for the overwhelming majority of your team—who have never held full-time, quota-carrying roles and aren’t able to think strategically yet—you must be prescriptive.  You need to show them how to think strategically and tactically as they approach their daily work.”

TOPO analyst Phoebe Conybeare

Guided Selling is embedded into the Salesforce Sales Cloud and delivers prioritized actions for opportunities, contacts, and leads, helping reduce sales rep planning time.  The AI-powered task list recommends the tasks that will put sales reps on “the shortest path to revenue.”  The task list is dynamic, updating based upon prospect behavior.  Thus, priorities are reassessed based on prospect interaction with e-mails, web forms, multi-media, and social media.

Guided Selling includes a set of best-practices templates based upon billions of sales interactions monitored by RingDNA since its 2012 launch. Salesforce Dashboards help managers optimize cadences and messaging, allowing them to test and refine rep workflows.  Cadence activities across e-mail, phone, text, and social are synchronized with Salesforce.

Gartner stated that 51% of sales organizations have deployed or plan to deploy algorithmic-guided selling over the next five years.

“Intended to augment more traditional sales tools, such as sales playbooks, algorithmic-guided selling uses sales data to boost the seller’s ability to engage with prospects…Algorithmic-guided selling leverages artificial intelligence technology and existing sales data to guide sellers through deals, automating manual sales actions while reducing the need for individual seller judgment in the sales process.”

Tad Travis, Gartner VP of Research, “Algorithmic-Guided Selling to Have Significant Impact on Sales Productivity”

“In this new remote paradigm, companies are having to do more with less,” said Brown.  “Guided Selling is a total game-changer for sales teams, as it uses AI to focus reps on next best actions while empowering them to build stronger relationships and better solve customer problems.”

Guided Selling is Generally Available.

Zoominfo Acquires Komiko

Zoominfo (FKA DiscoverOrg), Acquisition History

Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor Zoominfo acquired Redmond, WA startup Komiko.  The deal extends Zoominfo’s sales AI capabilities with CRM automation, playbooks, lead scores, and predictive analytics.  

Komiko’s analytical and recommendation tools support sales, account executives, and customer success teams.

Komiko’s AI tools are being rebranded as ZoomInfo InboxAI.

“Organizations are realizing that how they manage and leverage data is a strategic function that can accelerate or inhibit lead, pipeline, and revenue generation. While our offering is a SaaS platform for GTM, we feel ZoomInfo is in the business of helping marketing and salespeople hit their numbers. So, when we see an opportunity to build or buy additional capabilities essential to strengthen that edge — as we did with Komiko — it’s an easy decision.”

Zoominfo CEO Henry Schuck

Komiko employs machine learning and data science “to better automate CRM processes.”  InboxAI gathers contact and activity data from email inboxes and calendars and populates the CRM.  The mined intelligence also triggers alerts and generates “analytics essential to supporting renewals, managing new business pipelines, and more.”

Komiko offers a “data-driven platform” which helps reps understand the likelihood of each opportunity closing.  The platform also captures all customer-facing interactions and contacts.  Komiko claims to “make it easy to see who is interacting with the customer and what activities are taking place.”

Komiko data includes the strength of connection with each account (k-score), the relationship of contacts at accounts, the last communication with the account (outbound or inbound), and key contacts at existing accounts.

Komiko integrates sales playbooks into the CRM and recommends when to deploy them.

Current customers will continue to receive the Komiko service with no changes in support or service.

InboxAI is already deployed at Zoominfo.  The firm discovered 60,000 records that had not been logged into Salesforce.  “We found a number of accounts where we were only talking to one buyer – when we know that we need four buyers engaged to get across the finish line. InboxAI not only completes our CRM, [but] it gives us the visibility we need to push the right opportunities at the right time,” said Zoominfo CRO Chris Hays.

Komiko functionality will be integrated into the recently launched Zoominfo powered by DiscoverOrg platform.

Komiko is GDPR compliant and qualifies as a data processor.  It supports the right to be forgotten through a blacklist of blocked emails.  The system also deletes any historical emails related to blacklisted emails.

Komiko does not monitor internal emails and includes an external blacklist for blocked processing.  Thus, HR, Payroll, Board, and Legal department communications will not be ingested.  Komiko does not add Salesforce accounts but employs Salesforce accounts as a whitelist.

Komiko also positions itself as a “dynamic coaching” service which goes beyond informal or “formal, random” processes:

Dynamic coaching is not just a buzz word. It has been proven that taking this approach makes a big impact on win rates. Since taking the dynamic path means defining a formal process combined with your CRM to monitor, evaluate and support your coaching processes…Komiko builds playbooks based on your definition of success, the accounts segments you identify and the input from email capture and CRM. Your playbooks will outline actions that drove success in the past. Each recommended action will include recommended target and its weight (significance) to the overall success. Komiko will enhance your team’s efficiency by triggering call-to-actions based on the customer profile and playbook in real-time.

Komiko website

Komiko claims that clients can “get up and running” within 24 hours after only 30 minutes of work.  They support “customers of all sizes” across software, healthcare, distribution, professional services, and insurance.  Clients include Adecco, Tata Communications, Pemco Insurance, and Chorus.ai.

Terms of the deal were not released.  

How Komiko works

Komiko was founded in 2015 by former Microsoft engineers Hal Howard and Ami Heitner.  Owler lists Komiko’s revenue at $3 million.  However, marketing activity (blogs, LinkedIn) seems to have slowed around three months ago, indicating a firm that was reserving cash for a managed exit.

Komiko has 60 customers and expects to double the count by the end of the year.

According to Komiko CEO Howard, “We want our product to be seen by millions of people.  Our choices were we could take an additional round of venture funding and build our market, or partner with ZoomInfo and use an already-existing go-to-market.  This was the fastest path to that market and to millions of customers.”

“Combining Komiko’s machine learning chops with ZoomInfo’s data pipeline creates a much stronger value proposition than either company could have offered independently, so the combination makes a ton of sense for both,” said Chris DeVore, managing partner at Founders’ Co-op, Komiko’s Seed Round lead investor.

“Everybody dreams of the unicorn exit. And those are all well and good, but the goal of every technology innovator is to get your technology in the hands of as many people as possible,” Howard told GeekWire.

Zoominfo has over 1,100 employees and more than $300 million in revenues.