Highspot $248M Series F

Sales Enablement Platform vendor Highspot closed on a $248 million Series F that valued the firm at $3.5 billion, up from its February valuation of $2.3 billion.  The firm, founded in 2012, has raised $648 million to date.  The round was led by B Capital Group and D1 Capital Partners, with Iconiq Growth, Madrona Venture Group, Salesforce Ventures, Sapphire, and Tiger Global Management also participating.

“Technologies that unlock human potential are foundational to our economic future,” said Rashmi Gopinath, General Partner, B Capital.  “Highspot’s undeniable performance, coupled with the enthusiasm of their customer base, is a testament to how transformative their technology is for companies across industries and geographies.  We believe Highspot’s platform is an imperative for businesses aiming to drive sustainable growth.”

Highspot will deploy the funds to hire additional staff and open offices in the EMEA and APAC regions.  The firm, which doubled in size over the past two years to 800 employees, plans to add 500 staff over the next twelve months.  Highspot is based in Seattle, with offices in London, Munich, and Paris.

The pandemic accelerated demand for digital platforms such as Highspot as “road warriors have become home warriors,” said Wahbe.  In addition, the shift from traditional selling to digital required new tools and skills.  “Salespeople have to be better than ever in holding the attention of the customer.”

“Even before the onset of the pandemic, buyers were trending toward self-reliance with a plethora of resources at their fingertips, researching vendors on their own time and relying on salespeople as mere transaction facilitators,” Wahbe told VentureBeat via email. The sudden shift to a remote business landscape caused by COVID-19 accelerated this trend, and now modern buyers prefer — and expect — fully virtual sales … A handful of sales tech companies anticipated the trend toward digital selling and strategically designed their products to help turn salespeople from transaction helpers into heroes. Highspot is one such company.”

Highspot CEO Robert Wahbe, “Highspot raises $248M to bolster sales enablement using AI,” VentureBeat (January 13, 2022)

The firm, which has over 170 open positions, is broadly hiring across engineering, product, design, marketing, and sales.

“We see an incredible opportunity in front of us,” said CEO Robert Wahbe. “We need to continue to invest very significantly and invest in our go-to-market team, invest in our product, and [invest in] the capabilities of our product.”

Last month, Highspot announced a quartet of executive hires:

  • Arvind Prakash, Product Management VP: Prakash is a global product and technology leader with over twenty years of experience at Compass, Expedia Group, and Microsoft.
  • John Zhang, Engineering VP: Zhang held Engineering roles at Microsoft, Twitter and Weibo.
  • Julie Valenti, Account Management VP: Valenti has over twenty years of experience running customer-facing teams at DocuSign, Oracle, Responsys, and Yesmail.
  • Kelly Lewis, Revenue Enablement VP: Lewis joins with over 15 years of experience in revenue leadership and technology sales.  Lewis is a former Highspot customer joining from Amwell.

Highspot supports content recommendations, content engagement analytics, sales training, and sales coaching

The recently launched Highspot Marketplace is a partner exchange for marketing, sales, enablement, and customer success partners.  Companies can import packages of content, tools, and training from two dozen partners, including Sandler, Challenger, and Winning by Design.

Highspot Sales Training Dashboard

Highspot has grown revenue 935% over the last three years and posted an Annual Recurring Revenue net retention rate of 130% over the past year. 

Last year, platform usage increased 150%, with Highspot providing training to eight million salespeople, channel partners, service reps, and customers in digital sales experiences.  Highspot counts DocuSign, General Motors, Nestle, Siemens, and Verizon Media among its 700+ customers.

Wahbe envisions the firm going public but did not set an IPO timeframe. “Our focus continues to be on building a significant company in the enablement space,” said Wahbe. “We’re focused on growing the company, which of course then enables us to go public.”

Vista Equity Takes Majority Stake in Salesloft

Salesloft has been building out its deal intelligence alongside conversations and cadences.

Vista Equity announced that it took a majority stake in Sales Engagement vendor Salesloft.  CEO Kyle Porter indicated that the round values Salesloft above $2.3 billion.  Salesloft is on a roll, hitting $100 million in annual recurring revenue this summer and growing annual revenue 50% this year.

Salesloft rebranded this fall with new positioning around the “Modern Revenue Workspace.”  Its Winter 2021 release included sentiment analysis for inbound emails and an AI Chrome extension tool for optimizing emails.  Salesloft also recently opened a German data center, helping it comply with GDPR and European data hosting requirements.

According to Vista Equity, Salesloft is the most capital-efficient business in its space, meaning that they are enjoying smart growth.

“This means customers can trust that we will continue to deliver the best products and service in our industry,” stated VP of Product Management Frank Dale.

At the beginning of the year, Salesloft closed on a $100 million round that valued the firm at $1.1 billion.  The January investors, led by Owl Rock Capital, have retained their stakes in the firm.

Porter told the Wall Street Journal that he foresees an IPO but did not provide details on timing.

“From day one, Salesloft’s vision has been to help sellers more successfully engage with and serve their buyers.  This investment is a huge milestone in Salesloft’s journey to becoming the most loved brand in sales technology.  It gives us the resources we need to continue serving our amazing customers, while innovating solutions to solve the complex challenges faced by sellers.”

Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter

The additional funds will be deployed towards product development and market expansion, focusing on the Asia Pacific region, and “tripling down” in EMEA.  Salesloft is enjoying triple-digit growth in EMEA after opening its London EMEA HQ in April 2019.

“This deal is about GROWTH for our CUSTOMERS,” posted Porter on LinkedIn.  “We’re growing >50% annually as the most efficient player in our category, which is critical to long-term sustainability and success.  We will be fueling significant innovation and customer services as a result of this deal.”

“This partnership with Vista is about the future we’re building for our customers,” commented CRO Steve Goldberg.  “It’s about making the lives and jobs of sellers easier.  It’s about quickly delivering the solutions and experience they need to win.”

“Vista is proud to be a preferred partner for founders of fast-growing, high-performing, high-potential companies, and we are excited to work with Kyle and the Salesloft team,” said Monti Saroya, co-head of the Flagship Fund and senior managing director at Vista.  “Salesloft has built an incredible enterprise software platform that provides tangible ROI by empowering sales teams and managers to increase productivity, and we are excited to bring our decades of enterprise software experience to help Salesloft further fuel its growth trajectory and global expansion.”

Vista wrote a long blog welcoming Salesloft, but the piece did not focus on Salesloft’s current positioning or value proposition.  Instead, Vista discussed its long history working with Porter (it was a Series A investor), Porter’s focus on recruiting talent and helping build the Atlanta tech ecosystem, and his willingness to mothball the Prospector product so the company could focus on building out its Cadence service.

I would add a few other notes about Kyle, whom I’ve known for just as long.  He is a natural-born storyteller who exudes enthusiasm, just as every sales rep should.  He also emphasizes authenticity in sales, the need to balance automation with personalization (a variation on authenticity), and the importance of building a strong company culture.

David Cummings, who has served on Salesloft’s Board since its early days, lauded Kyle Porter and his willingness to pivot the company for growth and recruit top talent.

“Salesloft is mostly the story of the will, determination, and grit of the entrepreneur Kyle Porter.  From a full reboot of the business in the early days, to multiple pivots, and recently navigating the pandemic, Kyle has endured the high highs and low lows of entrepreneurship many times over.  And one of his superpowers is recruiting an amazing team starting with Rob Foreman.  Rob was introduced to Kyle through a chance encounter at a local event.  From there, the two hit it off and developed one of the strongest yin/yang partnerships I’ve ever seen.  The team grew to include incredible leaders across all the functions including Ellie, Sydney, Scott, Chad, Steve, and many others.”

“Kyle was the visionary all along,” continued Cummings.  “Through a strong focus on organization health, never-ending love for the customer (#saleslove), bold acquisitions of several companies, and masterful fundraising, Kyle operated in one of the most aggressive, yet thoughtful, ways imaginable.”

The RevTech space has some excellent CEOs who match product vision and intelligent growth with passion and a stakeholder perspective.  Besides Porter, the industry is lucky to have Henry Schuck (ZoomInfo CEO), Manny Medina (Outreach CEO), Jon Miller (Founder of Engagio and Marketo and currently the Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Demandbase), Sangram Vajre (co-founder of Terminus, author, and leader of the Flip My Funnel movement), and others.

Salesloft supports 4,000 customers, including IBM, Google, Cisco, Shopify, and LinkedIn.

As part of the transaction, Vista will be joining Salesloft’s Board, and Cummings will be exiting it.

Global Database Adds Sales Engagement

London-based Sales and Credit Intelligence vendor Global Database added Sales Engagement features to its service.  Sales reps can automate their outbound campaigns with sequences of emails, phone calls, and other tasks.  Other features include A/B testing and analytics.

CEO Nicolae Buldumac demoed the new service to GZ Consulting, which is generally available but undergoing a soft launch with a formal release in early Q1.

“We want our customers to succeed in their outreach campaigns,” explained Buldumac.  However, “having access to data is not enough.  You need to have the necessary tools that will save you time and make your campaigns more effective.”

The Sales Engagement Platform adds an activation platform for sales reps, allowing them to reach out to prospects in a structured manner.

“We already see a lot of positive responses from our existing customers that have started using the platform, and many new features will be released in the coming weeks.”  Among the pending features are a phone dialer, Chrome extension, and Global Academy, “a series with educational material, where we will communicate the best practices to set up your campaigns, with specific examples that are working for us.”

The new Sales Engagement Platform is included as a new module at no extra charge.  The platform supports email templates, sequences, and analytics, but a dialer will not be available until Q1.

Sales reps can select one or multiple contacts from the Prospector module and assign them to a sequence.  Global Database may be licensed regionally or globally, with pricing based on the selected region and number of users.

Sales Engagement Platform provides Send to CRM support for Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, with HubSpot planned; however, the service does not yet sync activities between the engagement service and CRMs.

Email templates support dynamic variables, signature blocks, and rich text.  Templates are shareable, so marketing or sales ops can create email messages and share them with the sales team.

Email reports track emails sent, replies received, tasks completed, and deliverability, helping reps and sales operations “make informed decisions on future campaigns.”  Email analytics include top engagement by title, industry, country, and employment levels.

Global Database Email Engagement Analytics

Other email features include out-of-office detection, unsubscribe support, and manual send.

Separately, Global Database announced a data request feature that lets sales reps request similar contacts.

“Once such a request has been received, our system will automatically search in multiple sources,” explained CEO Nicolae Buldumac.  “If there are limited results, this request will be passed to our in-house data enrichment team for manual review.”

Global Database supports Similar Contact prospecting. Global Database editors will research additional prospects if the returned set is small.

Global Database maintains a global collection of company, contact, credit, tenders, and filings data spanning:

  • 120 million companies
  • 118 million contacts
  • 6 million emails
  • 1.2 million direct dials
  • 20 million general numbers

Global Database contacts are GDPR compliant and employ a Legitimate Interest basis for data collection.  Global Database is registered with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office.

“The lawful basis that we rely on for processing personal information in our public records register is that the processing is necessary for our legitimate interests which are not outweighed by the rights and freedoms of the individual (Article 6(1)(f) of the UK GDPR),” explained Buldumac.  “Our legitimate interests include the fulfillment of our mission as set out above; namely, to increase and promote transparency of the corporate and business world, including the existence, ownership, activities, entities, and people connected with them, by maintaining our public register.”

Most Sales Engagement vendors do not own a database (the major exception is VanillaSoft which acquired AutoKlose), but several database vendors have added sales engagement capabilities to their platforms, including ZoomInfo, Cognism, and Data Axle Genie.  Adding sales engagement features is a logical market extension for B2B database companies as it provides workflow and activation tools for their data, increasing the value of the underlying database.

Global Database is profitable, and revenues are growing, but Buldumac chose not to disclose the firm’s growth rate.

Outreach Deal Intelligence (Part II)

Continuation from yesterday’s blog on Outreach Deal Intelligence.


The Outreach platform manages and monitors deal health beginning with Sales Development Reps warming up accounts via sequenced outreach.  Once a prospect is ready to speak with an account executive, the meeting is calendared, and relevant stakeholders are notified.  During meetings, Outreach Kaia records, analyzes, and summarizes calls while providing real-time transcription, bookmarking, and insights.

Outreach Kaia also triggers the creation of an opportunity and “recommends a pre-built blueprint for a mutual action plan, known as Success Plans, between buyer and seller.”

Outreach Success Plans align buyers and sellers to improve action and predictability.  They act as a buying hub that allows buyers and sellers to agree on shared success criteria, objectives, and timelines.  Success Plans also support shared access to project resources, allowing new demand unit members to quickly access project documents.  Only invited individuals can participate in the Success Plans.

Outreach claims that two-thirds of buyers have “stopped working with a company mid-deal, simply because the competitor provided a better buying experience.”  Thus, streamlining the document sharing process, framing the timeline, and agreeing on success criteria facilitates the process and improves deal visibility and the likelihood of winning each deal.

“The Success Plan in Outreach is the only integrated mutual action plan that already has all the activity data to date associated with the deal, including the meeting notes and email exchanges.  Combined with the power of AI-captured job titles and sentiment, Success Plans include all the people engaged in the deal on the buying team, along with the milestones, purchasing steps, and resources needed to collaborate on the deal going forward.  Every new meeting booked, stakeholder introduced, and resource shared is automatically synced into the Success Plan.  This takes the administrative tax off the seller and gives them more time to actively sell while ensuring accurate and timely data capture of granular buyer engagement.  Each phase in the Success Plan is pre-configured and linked to a stage in the sales process under the hood. Gone are the days of sales leaders hounding reps for status updates – they are now updated and monitored automatically.”

Outreach CMO Melton Littlepage

As the deal progresses, Outreach captures engagement and sentiment across meetings, emails, and the Success Plan, feeding AI-based deal health insights and recommendations to sales reps and management.  In addition, deal health is aggregated at the team level in Outreach Commit, with projections around which deals are likely to close during the quarter.

Outreach AI Guided Deal Intelligence

Outreach is positioning the new functionality as a “single source of truth for deals, pipeline, and forecasting” that drives “faster deal cycles and more predictable revenue.”  Its platform offers a single solution for sales engagement, conversation intelligence, digital salesrooms, and revenue intelligence.

“Outreach has already demonstrated that by creating operational excellence with a system of action for prospecting, you can optimize your sales processes and qualify more deals, faster,” said Outreach CEO Manny Medina.  “Outreach’s new AI-Guided Deal Intelligence demonstrates this again with the closing process – by centralizing the activity around a deal behind a single pane of glass, capturing accurate data and transforming it into deal health insights that drive actions, account executives are more equipped than ever to close more deals, faster, and sales managers, leaders and CROs can sleep soundly knowing they finally have a source of truth for deal health.”

Deal Intelligence will be available for an open beta in early 2022.

Apollo.IO $32M Series B

Sales Intelligence and Engagement vendor Apollo.io closed a $32 million Series B led by Tribe Capital, with participation from NewView Capital and existing investor Nexus Venture Partners. In addition, Sri Pangulur, a partner at Tribe Capital, joined Apollo.io’s board.  Total funding sits at $41.3 million.

Apollo is deploying the funds towards building out its product and engineering teams.  It will also expand its sales, marketing, and operational resources, including additional leadership hires.

In a blog announcing the transaction, CEO Tim Zheng admitted that the Apollo brand is not well known and that Apollo will be using the funds to address brand weakness.  “Our next steps include increasing awareness of Apollo, increasing our user base outside of small teams, and building out an intelligence layer in Apollo to make individual sales reps and teams more successful.”

Apollo is growing rapidly, with its customer base increasing 200% over the past year despite awareness issues.  It has been profitable for the past eighteen months and has more than one million users and 9,000 paid customers.

Recent enhancements include an international dialer, contact and company data improvements, and prospecting and Chrome extension upgrades.

“Apollo is challenging the status quo in B2B lead intelligence and sales engagement by making contact data and prospecting tools in this space more accessible,” said Pangulur. “Seeing the company’s incredible growth over the past year, enhanced product offerings, and new client acquisitions, we are confident in Apollo’s ability to disrupt the SalesTech market for B2B companies, offering a more intelligent, more cost-effective, and simpler solution.”

Apollo falls into a category that I’ve labeled Hybrid Engagement that combines sales engagement tools with sales intelligence and B2B DaaS.  Other vendors with Hybrid Engagement capabilities include ZoomInfo, Cognism, Data Axle Genie, and VanillaSoft.

“Sales professionals at B2B companies are burdened by a go-to-market process that’s manual, tedious, and complex. It’s stifled by convoluted workflows, very little guidance, lengthy onboarding, and high price tags for name-brand solutions,” said CEO Tim Zheng. “This funding will help us further accelerate our product-led growth model, which has seen tremendous success in the contact data space. 

“Apollo’s vision is to give its customers the most powerful and intelligent GTM platform in the industry, so they can reach their full market potential,” continued Zheng. “We want to make access to B2B data even easier, while enhancing the data with sales intelligence and automated workflows.”

Apollo Job Change Alerts

Apollo has assembled a database of 200 million contacts across ten million companies.  Data include direct-dial phones, emails, funding intelligence, technographics, and job changes.  Apollo’s dataset supports direct research, lead prospecting, and LinkedIn matching via a Chrome Extension. In addition, Apollo Refresh performs real-time updates in Salesforce.

Sales Engagement features include sequences (cadences), automated emails, A/B testing, a click-to-call dialer, and a rules engine.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, buyers want an Amazon-like experience where companies are anticipating their needs. You need user data to better drive the sales experience, and as it evolves more personalized capabilities as well,” said Zheng.  “Apollo has some unique positioning in that they are doing product-led growth, but also covering the data stack as well.”

Apollo employs a freemium model with ten free exports per month, the Chrome extension, a Gmail extension, and limited sequences. 

Basic, at $49 per user per month ($39 billed annually), provides 250 export credits per month, unlimited sequences, email integrations, and a broader set of reports and Dashboards. 

The Professional edition adds the dialer, call recordings, customizable reports, and 1,000 exports per month.  Professional is priced at $99 per user per month when billed monthly and $79 per user per month when billed annually.

There are additional fees for full Salesforce synchronization, API access, Apollo Refresh, and exporting up to 10,000 records at a time. In addition, advanced dialer features (e.g., international dialing, call transcription, local presence, and CRM logging) are only available as part of custom packages.

Apollo employs a freemium model with 9,000 paid customers.

Flash: Groove Series B and Product Enhancements

Sales Engagement Platform Groove closed on a $45 million Series B led by Viking Global Investors.  Previous investors Capital One Ventures, Level Equity, Quest Venture Partners, and Uncork Capital also participated.  The funds will be deployed for international expansion and continued growth in the enterprise segment.

The round brings total funding to $61 million.  Groove did not disclose its market valuation following Round B.

“We’re experiencing explosive growth in the enterprise segment of the market,” Groove VP of Marketing Kristin Hersant told GZ Consulting.  “This latest round of funding will enable us to invest more heavily in R&D while expanding our operations in EMEA and doubling down on the sales and marketing engine that’s fueling this growth.”

Enterprise ARR is up 114% over the past years.  New enterprise clients include Activision, iHeartMedia, LexisNexis, New Relic, TIBCO, Veeva, and Wintrust.

Although Salesforce’s first cloud was the Sales Cloud, digital selling remains an issue for many Salesforce customers.  An August 2021 Forrester report on the “State of CRM” found that 57% of respondents struggled to offer solid customer experiences due to poor integration and accessibility.

Groove, a native Salesforce Sales Engagement application, “solves this accessibility problem by meeting sellers where they already work, increasing rep productivity while ensuring over 90% Salesforce adoption,” wrote Groove.

“This notion of the sales engagement platform as a cockpit for sellers is likely to continue to drive further integrations between other sales tech categories and these platforms as the advantages of bringing everything to the seller where they sell (the original vision for CRM technology) become more widely recognized,” said Anthony McPartlin, Principal Analyst for Forrester Research in a recent blog post.

“Our enterprise customers want to enable the modern seller while ensuring the highest levels of enterprise security and compliance.  We’re capturing a significant amount of enterprise market share from our competition because our platform was built for the needs of large, complex organizations that rely on Salesforce as their system of record.  We bring automation to the seller instead of requiring that they work out of a separate system. This flexibility ensures extremely high user adoption rates, even with technology averse sellers in non-tech industries.”

Groove CEO Chris Rothstein

Groove also announced a pair of product enhancements that meet “the unique needs of complex organizations.”  The first new feature is automatic logging to custom objects.  The second new capability, OmniActions, “enables reps to complete any sales action without leaving their workflows.”

Groove Custom Objects for Salesforce.

“By seamlessly integrating valuable CRM data into specialized workflows for different roles, teams, and industries, Groove drives CRM adoption and enables revenue teams to get a more complete picture of all sales activities.  The addition of automatic logging to custom objects and OmniActions provides customers even more flexibility for executing, capturing, and properly associating activities with both standard and custom Salesforce objects.  With these new features, Groove strengthens its position as the only sales engagement platform that can easily fit into an organization’s complex and dynamic sales workflows.”

“One of the great things about Groove is its ability to flex to any organization’s sales process, regardless of how much they have customized Salesforce.  Today, we’ve made it even easier for reps to complete, assign, and track their activities without having to leave their workflows.  That means more time for reps to sell, more complete data for managers to manage their teams, and more flexibility for admins to maintain established and successful processes.”

Groove VP of Product Sonia Sarao

Groove’s Advanced Activity Capture now automatically logs activity to custom objects, “minimizing the manual work required by sellers while ensuring complete visibility into account health and opportunities.”

Activity Capture may be configured by profile, allowing for customization at the functional or team level.

OmniActions lets reps manage or execute any activity outside of their regular Flows with automated real-time activity logging.  OmniActions is fully integrated with the Groove Omnibar, supporting actions in Google Workspace, Microsoft Outlook, Salesforce, or the Groove app.

Groove OmniActions

“This combination gives sellers a 360-degree view of their prospects’ and customers’ lifecycle from details and activity to actions – all in their workflow,” wrote the firm.  “OmniActions enables revenue organizations to associate all activities with open opportunities, whether they are part of a single action or multi-step Flow.  By accurately associating all types of activities, revenue teams can take advantage of more accurate reporting and insights into the sales process.”

Groove continues its rapid growth, making the Inc. 5000 for the past three years.  It has over 70,000 users.

Market Flash: Outreach Acquires Canopy and Launches Outreach Commit (Part II)

Continuing from yesterday’s post that discussed revenue innovation and the Sales Execution Gap. Today I am discussing their new Outreach Commit and Outreach Success Plans.


Outreach Commit, based on their Canopy acquisition, offers sales analytics and forecasting capabilities that augment Outreach’s AI-based buyer sentiment and Success Plans, providing Outreach customers with “true visibility across the entire revenue cycle.”

“The use of deep learning and big data has the potential to transform B2B forecasting in the same way it has transformed B2C forecasting. Such changes are shifting the emphasis on forecasting from predicting the number to beating the number…Reliable activity data allows sales leaders, for example, to drive more rigorous pipeline reviews and estimate forecasts with greater confidence.  It allows companies to discover and capture data about prospects and customers that previously lived in the realm of the ‘shadow pipeline’ — that murky world of secret selling that organizations have traditionally been blind to.”

Forrester Research Principal Analyst Anthony McPartlin, “Enabling B2B Interaction Visibility In A Converging Sales Tech Landscape” (June 2021)

Commit provides a flexible forecasting model with multi-level views, allowing managers to view a probabilistic model of outcomes for multiple periods and teams based upon prior win-loss histories, current pipeline, and adjustable assumptions.  Revenue forecasts are broken into Booked, Weighted Pipeline, and Intra-period high-velocity deals (i.e., projected new opportunities that are not in the pipeline but will close before the end of the period).  In addition, models can be adjusted to account for events external to the model (e.g., new product launches, tradeshow held earlier or late in the quarter, economic shocks).  The underlying KPIs that drive the models are selectable when setting them up, with the model updating every fifteen minutes.

Outreach Commit supports dynamic forecasting with bear, bull, and most likely outcomes.

Commit provides individualized rep scorecards based on company KPIs.  Managers can set targets, coach to outcomes, and level up their team.  Managerial note-taking helps them track 1:1’s, assign tasks, and track completion.

Commit supports active deal monitoring that flags deal risks and delivers insights.  “Signals notify leaders of the things they need to know today.  From opportunity risk identification to shifts in top of funnel metrics, Signals act as your eyes and ears–ensuring your frontline leaders are focused on what matters most to your business.”  Deal risk is significantly reduced when issues are flagged early to reps, and managers can provide on-demand coaching to address nascent problems.

Commit also supports Custom Signals.  Revenue Operations sets custom thresholds and unique parameters.

At a recent analyst briefing, Outreach management emphasized that they offer a tripartite value proposition: Engage (Sales Engagement), Guide (Kaia Conversation Intelligence), and Commit (Outreach Commit).

“To achieve predictable, efficient growth, every organization needs to engage with their buyers, guide their sellers through strong sales cycles, and then commit the number with confidence.”

Canopy deal terms were not disclosed.  All nine employees have joined Outreach. The startup, founded in 2019, had raised $2.1 million.

Outreach also provided updates on Outreach Kaia and Success Plans at its Unleash event.  Kaia, its Conversation Intelligence platform that was developed in-house, is adding real-time talk analytics, Comprehensive Search, Saved Search, and Outreach Voice Import.  The new capabilities will be available by the end of the month.

Call analytics provide real-time talk-time visibility, letting reps self-correct if they are speaking too much.

Comprehensive Search provides managers with access to notes, content cards, action items, and transcripts across the sales organization.  Additionally, both meeting platform intelligence and Outreach Voice cold calls are included.  Thus, “leaders can identify trends and risks across teams and at various stages of the sales cycle.”

Saved Search Alerts provide scheduled intelligence on key topics, allowing managers to track competitors, pricing, functional requests, etc.

Outreach Voice Import supports post-call analysis of Outreach Voice and Microsoft Teams.  Fully integrated support for Teams is scheduled for 2022.

Outreach warns RevOps not to trust the algorithm blindly. Instead, revenue teams should understand “the math behind every forecast to see what’s actually driving the number.”  Accordingly, Outreach maintains the fidelity of data signals such as engagement and sentiment through transparency that displays “every opportunity and signals where sellers should take action.”

“Canopy’s Augmented Revenue Analysis engine combines advanced statistical modeling with machine learning and artificial intelligence,” states the Canopy website.  “Simply put, we show our math.  Instead of black box predictions, we show you every trend and variable driving our predictions, ensuring you have access to every data point necessary to confidently call your business.”

Users can also review “where you started and where you finished,” providing a post-mortem period review that “pinpoints slippage, forecasting variance, and conversion rates across any data point from any time window.”  They can also generate “what if” scenarios with multiple assumptions.

Outreach Success Plans provide a shared portal for buyers and sellers to exchange timelines, success criteria, resources, and people.

Outreach Success Plans, which were announced back in May, will be generally available on October 27.  Success Plans align buyers and sellers to improve action and predictability in a shared deal room.  They act as a buying hub that allows buyers and sellers to agree on shared success criteria, objectives, and timelines.  Success Plans also support shared access to project resources, allowing new demand unit members to quickly access project documents.  Only invited individuals can participate in the Success Plans.

Success Plans provide an additional set of engagement intelligence for tracking deal risks and momentum.  The Opportunity View includes Success Plan views, comments, resource downloads, and shares, providing engagement insights specific to deal planning and document sharing.

Outreach Success Plans deliver “unparalleled visibility into pipeline opportunities and risks,” blogged VP of Product Marketing Victoria Grady.

Outreach claims that two-thirds of buyers have “stopped working with a company mid-deal, simply because the competitor provided a better buying experience.”  Thus, streamlining the document sharing process, framing the timeline, and agreeing on success criteria not only facilitates the process and improves deal visibility but improves the likelihood of winning each deal. Outreach supports 5,000 customers, including 19 of the 25 fastest-growing public companies and more than 60% of the Cloud 100.

Market Flash: Outreach Acquires Canopy and Launches Outreach Commit

Outreach Commit supports forecasting, scenario planning, and deal risk analysis.

Sales Engagement Platform Outreach expanded its value proposition with the acquisition of Revenue Intelligence service Canopy.  Outreach immediately began integrating the service into its platform, with GA expected in H1 2022.  The new Outreach Commit service “significantly expands” Outreach’s revenue intelligence capabilities, “giving revenue leaders the sales analytics and forecasting capabilities they need in today’s sales environment.”

“In the past 18 unpredictable and transformative months, we have seen the rise of a new cohort of leaders we are calling Revenue Innovators who have thrived by embracing the digital disruption of sales,” said Outreach CEO Manny Medina.  “These are leaders who had to adapt and evolve their mindset to embrace automation and machine learning as the keys to driving predictable, efficient growth – consistently and despite the uncertainty in the market.  They need tools that combine engagement with intelligence and marry together the art and the science of sales. The evolution of the Outreach platform does exactly that.” 

Outreach provides revenue innovators with “predictable, efficient growth” based upon AI guidance for more effective engagement, improved forecasting, and next best actions.  The objective is to reduce the “Sales Execution Gap” between revenue potential and actual performance based on instinct and limited data; instead, data and AI will narrow the gap.

“The Sales Execution Gap manifests itself in several ways across the business — decisions based on gut instincts, slow rep ramp times, competing priorities, random achievement, missed opportunities with little understanding as to why,” explained Medina.  “And yes, lost revenue, but also a growing disconnect between what high-performing reps want and what employers can deliver.”

“Once a seller has experienced the power of an Engagement and Intelligence platform, they won’t want to go back to inefficient, broken workflows — and they’re making career decisions because of it.”

Outreach CEO Manny Medina

Unfortunately, CRMs were “not designed for sellers.”  They are systems of record that store information but lack engagement and insights.  Firms that want reps to “live in the CRM” will drive away their best sales reps and candidates who “demand AI-driven insights and workflow automation to guide their actions in real-time.”  As more sellers become “digital natives,” this performance gap will widen.

Top-performing reps and managers that have enjoyed modern SalesTech tools will be reluctant to work without digital tools.  They expect their sales toolbox to include AI-generated intelligence, including email sentiment, live meeting guidance, real-time call analysis, and automated deal review and scoring.  They are also looking for sales engagement with templated sequences (cadences), multi-channel outreach, task prioritization, and recommended actions.  Finally, they are looking for improved forecasting, risk alerts, engagement data, and deal facilitation.

With Commit, Outreach has added forecasting and expanded risk analytics to its toolkit.

Outreach sees a bifurcation between traditional sales organizations and revenue innovators that have adopted digital communications and AI for outreach, prioritization, coaching, forecasting, and analytics.

“Revenue innovators are embracing automation and AI in real-time to provide guidance to reps mid-cycle, guide more effective engagement with customers, and entirely rethink how they forecast because they have the signals that can proactively identify risk in their pipeline and deals,” stated the firm.


Continue to Part II which discusses Outreach Commit and product enhancements announced at the Outreach Unleash virtual meeting.

Salesloft and the Modern Revenue Workspace (Part II)

Continued from Part I


Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter suggested that the answer to overwhelmed sales reps is not more technology and data but better-designed tools and workflows that address the “Revenue Performance Gap.”  Salesloft’s Modern Revenue Workspace offers

  • “Proper insights at the right time
  • The ability to take action
  • The ability to communicate
  • The coachable moment”

Instead of a series of tools, Salesloft is positioning itself as one of Gartner’s “alpha platforms” that broadly ties together sales workflows and channels.  Gartner noted a set of attributes of these platforms:

– “Alpha Platforms are hyper-aggressive vendors who are broadening capabilities at a breakneck speed. 

– It’s not just M&A, some companies will evolve into alpha platforms by building capabilities. This is totally doable, they just have to be able to work fast.

– Alpha platforms aren’t necessarily buying competitors in the same category – they are buying into adjacent categories.”

Gartner Analysts Craig Rosenberg and Dan Gottlieb, “Sales Tech Mayhem: 39 Observations From a Scorching Hot Tech Market,” Garter Blog (July 28, 2021)

“It’s a time to tell a new story about sales and provide you with a complete, digital go-to-market solutions your sellers and sales teams need,” said Porter.

The Salesloft Platform supports Deals, Conversations, Cadences, a partner ecosystem, administration, and governance

According to Salesloft Chief Product Officer Ellie Fields, this advanced sales platform is “built for sellers.”  It reduces workflow friction, allowing reps to “take faster action” and prioritize their time.  The platform also serves as a centralized engagement hub with the “most critical tools for digital selling,” including email, phone, SMS, meetings, social, etc.

The Modern Revenue Workspace deploys data and AI within the workflow, delivering insights such as the most engaged prospects, deals at risk, and “trends that improve outcomes.”

The Salesloft platform acts as a hub for digital selling, driving alignment across the revenue team.  Along with Deals, Conversations, and Cadences, the platform synchronizes data with a system of record (Salesforce, MS Dynamics, or HubSpot) and supports sales intelligence and workflows with over 115 ecosystem partners.

The new release is based on a set of advanced objectives:

  • Take Action Anywhere – Communications channels are available throughout the platform.  For example, reps can call, email, book a meeting, or send an SMS message within the Deals view.  Digital communications are then captured and analyzed, helping identify “the most engaged prospects, stalled but winnable deals, and trends that help revenue teams adjust course to improve performance.”
  • Know What Changed in Your Deal – Reports identify which opportunities were updated, how long the deal is in the current stage, and whether the close date or amount changed.  For example, progression indicators are now displayed in Pipeline Review and Deals reports.
  • Enterprise Ready Conversations – Salesloft continues to enhance its communications channels with support for Microsoft Teams, native Zoom and WebEx support, improved transcription, and governance enhancements.  The native Zoom support is more reliable than the previous bot tool.  Salesloft also added Consent to Record for MS Teams and will be adding it for other platforms and its dialer.  They also added English language recording announcements with additional language announcements in development.

    The enhanced Conversations transcription engine offers “improved accuracy, searchability, and filtering” that helps managers and sellers “easily identify buyer and market trends and coaching opportunities to set more meetings, build more pipeline, speed deal cycles, and improve the chances of winning more deals.” 

    A new Conversations Summary is delivered to inboxes.
  • Unify Communications across Channels – Conversations in Activity Feed provide updates on important meetings.
  • Understand Outcomes across the Platform – Outcomes in Step Analytics identify which steps are working, helping improve Cadences.
  • Insights Anywhere – A Meetings panel on the home page summarizes pending meetings to assist with call prep.
  • Automate No-Show Workflows – New cadence workflows help reps reschedule missed meetings.  A “partial show” workflow also provides the call hyperlink and summary to those who missed a meeting.

At a high level, the goal is to remove friction in the sales process by reducing the need to jump from app to app.  Instead, reps can engage with shareholders and obtain insights from anywhere in Salesloft.

Future items include SHAKEN/STIRRED registration, native Google Meeting support, and Salesforce Event field logging.

The Salesloft Opportunity Dashboard supports custom coloring for Deal Gaps to highlight deals most at risk.

Salesloft and the Modern Revenue Workspace

Salesloft’s new website sports a Hunter Green palette, new logo, and “Different Story about Sales” from Prince EA.

At this month’s Salesloft Virtual Customer Summit, CEO Kyle Porter and CMO Sydney Sloan unveiled the “Modern Revenue Workspace” to their customers and prospects.  Porter described the Modern Revenue Workspace as “a system where sellers and sales teams come together to collaborate, execute, and serve their customers more than ever before.”

Echoing Gartner’s recent discussion of SalesTech Mayhem, Porter noted that “Sellers and sales teams are moving from lots of tools they HAVE to use to one workspace they LOVE to use.”

“We continue to see a world where sellers are loved by the buyers they serve.  And we’re here to equip these sellers to maximize revenue while delivering their customers with an incredible experience.  This is the mission and vision of Salesloft, and they have not changed one bit, but what has changed is sales is that sales is now digital first, team oriented and about solving problems.  Sales excellence has shifted from being well connected to being well informed and enabled.”

Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter

Salesloft also updated its marketing with new colors (Hunter green, lime, and white), logos, and a simplification of the name from SalesLoft to Salesloft without the capital L.  The company has also begun using a chartreuse period at the end of the logo to emphasize that “All you need is Salesloft.  Period.”

“Our new look shares a story bigger than a sales transaction, and our new wordmark tells that story in a single word. No matter who you serve or what you sell, Salesloft empowers you with everything you need to succeed — full stop,” explains the new site.  “The new fully custom wordmark is a technically sound serif at its core with flashes of humanity in the way the letters connect. Within its forms, each of our brand attributes is exemplified: best-in-class, energetic, and sincere.”

“Helping sellers and sales teams is at the heart of everything we do,” said Sloan. “We have a new look, and we’re telling a new story about sales.  We know to reach their highest potential, sellers need a partner that cares about their aspirations and helps them achieve something greater.  That is Salesloft.”

The new color palette and logos are reflected in a refreshed UX the firm has dubbed the “Modern Revenue Workspace.”  The workspace includes a simplified search bar and icons and greater integration of core functionality across reports and views. In addition, the Activity Feed “has been optimized with advanced filtering, quick actions, pinned notes, and review content directly from your Person and Account pages.”

The Modern Revenue Workspace combines Conversations, Deals, and Cadences into a unified UX that supports reports, recommendations, deal histories, meetings, and actions.

With more than ninety percent of selling activities now digital, sellers are overwhelmed with too many tools and disconnected platforms, channels, and data sets.  There are now over ten thousand SalesTech and MarTech offerings, yet sales reps continue to struggle to meet quotas and manage all of the demand on their time. As a result, they spend the typical day struggling with the basics:

Kyle Porter’s Day in the Life slide for sales reps.

With all of this platform and channel switching, reps are hard-pressed to be value-added professionals, finding it difficult to properly research prospects, dig into buyer pains, research the industry, eat, and spend time with family. 

“The speed and complexity of digital sales is creating chaos,” commented Salesloft VP of Product Management Frank Dale.  Companies have two options for addressing digital chaos: more of the same or adopting a unified Modern Revenue Workspace such as Salesloft.

Dale argued that more of the same is not sustainable. Instead, it requires ever more disconnected tools and additional hours.

“We’re seeing a new class of sales leaders who are choosing to rise up and beat back the chaos and simplify their sellers’ lives – one where they stop just providing more tools to use and focus on giving them the right ones. They know their teams will do more, win more, and ultimately serve their customers better if they give their sellers the tools and experience to thrive.

These sales leaders realize that winning isn’t enough. They know the way you win matters. Success isn’t just hitting your number. It means having a fulfilled life. It means not living in chaos. The selling experience matters – not just to sales people, but also to their buyers.”

Salesloft Product Marketing VP Chris Mills

Continue to Part II with an additional discussion of Gartner’s “SalesTech Mayhem” and Salesloft’s new release.