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.
Sales Engagement Platform Salesloft formally opened an AsiaPac headquarters based in Singapore. The firm began internationalizing a few years ago when it opened its London EMEA office. Salesloft is looking to replicate its EMEA success across the APAC region. It trebled its EMEA revenue over the past two years, with European revenue growing 140% last year.
The new office provides sales and support for its “thousands of users” in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the broader Asian market.
Salesloft “recognizes that making a human connection is important to building relationships in the Asia Pacific market,” wrote the firm. “Core to Salesloft’s mission is a hyper-focus on customer success and helping customers become more efficient and productive to achieve better sales outcomes.”
Newly appointed Asia-Pacific Vice President Vincent Ooi will manage the regional HQ. Ooi previously managed Southeast Asian and Korean Sales for Tableau Software and was the Asia-Pacific VP for DataRobot. Ooi will be responsible for “building and scaling” the Salesloft team in the APAC market and “lead the company’s revenue and customer growth strategy in the region,” announced Salesloft.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Salesloft team at such a pivotal moment in the company’s growth,” said Ooi. “The company and the category are growing exceptionally fast. I look forward to building a team that consistently delivers significant business results quarter over quarter. More importantly, I’m excited to help bring the power of sales engagement to more customers around the world to help them exceed their sales goals.”
Salesloft’s top regional verticals include software, professional services, and education.
“We are committed to making the lives of sellers easier, not just in the U.S. but around the globe,” said Nate Remmes, Executive Vice President, Commercial Business Unit at Salesloft. “At Salesloft, we put our customers at the center of our business. Our continued growth has allowed us to expand into the Asia-Pacific market and offer in-region support to our customers.”
Salesloft also announced that it would soon be offering native integrations with HubSpot CRM and Microsoft Dynamics. Both vendors have large installed bases in the APAC and European markets. Like its long-standing integration with Salesforce, the partnerships will support the syncing of Account, Contact, Lead, and Activity records. The CRMs will act as systems of record, while Salesloft will be the system of engagement.
The HubSpot and Dynamics integrations are currently in beta, with GA later this year. “General availability of these integrations will ensure customers around the world will have maximum flexibility and benefit using Salesloft regardless of their CRM,” wrote Salesloft.
Salesloft continues to extend its value proposition beyond sales engagement and conversational intelligence into deal forecasting and revenue intelligence. Its new Forecast capability, bundled with the Enterprise edition, is available as part of Salesloft’s Spring ’22 Release. Other spring enhancements include Multi-language Support for Conversations, Out-of-Office Detection, and mobile updates.
Salesloft noted that forecasting remains a “disjointed and manual process” often conducted with spreadsheets. Sales professionals must collect information from disconnected systems and often deliver inaccurate numbers that waste “valuable selling time.” What’s more, manual processes provide few insights for improving sales results and aren’t actionable. Thus, significant resources are expended coming to a forecast number, but by the time the CSO or CRO rolls it up to the CEO, the forecast is a black box number based on quickly aging data with few actionable insights.
“Forecasting is a critical process for every revenue organization,” said Salesloft CPO Ellie Fields. “But when sellers use spreadsheets, there’s a high risk of user error and acting on old data. Spreadsheets aren’t scalable, are incredibly manual, ungoverned, and only serve as a snapshot in time. There’s no context to help sellers look ahead.”
In a presentation to GZ Consulting, SVP of Product Management Frank Dale emphasized that Salesloft is looking to stay in the “revenue lane” focusing on “what happens between the buyer and the seller.” Forecasting falls within the revenue lane as it “leverages the data generated from interactions between buyers and sellers.” Furthermore, forecasting should not be separate from revenue generation. It isn’t simply calling a number but “taking action to make that number.”
The revenue lane “covers all core selling jobs” and tasks, including driving demand, generating pipeline, managing deals, and engaging customers.
“Revenue teams don’t want a forecast. They want a real-time, adaptive week-by-week action plan to beat their number. That’s not what forecasting is today. Forecasting, as it is done today, sucks. For most revenue teams, it is something they have to do, not something they want to do. That’s because the tools they have available make just getting to a forecast number difficult and time-consuming. What’s worse is that they don’t often trust the number they arrive at. That’s a big problem. It’s hard to know where to spend your time when you’re not sure if what you’re looking at is accurate.”
Salesloft SVP of Product Management Frank Dale
The Salesloft Modern Revenue Workspace is built on three pillars: Connecting with buyers, improving interactions with customers and prospects based on the data that is generated from interactions, and aligning the team around best practices. Forecasting falls into the alignment pillar but is designed to support connection and feedback.
“There is a huge gap. The gap is not necessarily about calling the number, but it is more about the action plan on that number,” explained Senior Director of Product Management Anshu Chowdhery to GZ Consulting. Salesloft set two goals for its Forecast launch: A shared workflow for gathering deal intelligence and turning it into a forecast; and the ability to achieve that number.
Salesloft Forecast capabilities include
Forecasts are rolled up across the organization.
Users can drill down to opportunities and track changes in the pipeline. They can also take action from within Forecast.
An AI-driven forecast model employs “sales engagement data and historical performance to dial in on what’s likely to land, and what you can influence.”
Forecasts are based on AI models and engagement data gathered by Salesloft.
“What we’re building is an integrated, whole system,” remarked Dale. “We’re integrating all of the activity capture from Cadence, all of the conversation data and capture from our conversation intelligence product, the CRM data from our deals product, and then the ability to turn around and take action again through our cadence product once you’ve made the call.”
“This forecasting product is built on top of [our] Deals product,” expanded Chowdhery. “Deals bi-directionally syncs with Salesforce. So, everything that lives on Salesforce is in Deals, and that’s the significant advantage of [our] forecasting solution. We are able to sync everything and pull all information, not only from Salesforce but across our platform – every engagement that’s happening on the cadence side or conversation side. The sales leader has the ability to view that timeline and identify…[whether] no conversations happened in the last thirty days; this deal is at risk; what should I do in order to win that deal?”
A Weekly Opportunity Changes view lists all of the changes to amounts, close dates, and stages over the past week and how those changes impact the forecast, providing a dynamic view of weekly activity.
Dale stated that Forecast provides value across the revenue team. Frontline sales management has greater visibility into the pipeline, and Forecast provides sales reps “a true read on what they need to do to land and hit their number.” In addition, both reps and managers benefit from reduced busy work in managing pipeline updates.
Dale contends that daily administrative work for reps is reduced by an hour by streamlining the forecasting and updating process.
While Forecast focuses on new business forecasting, future enhancements will support renewal forecasting and run-rate forecasting (i.e., intra-period deals). Also, Salesloft will continue to build out its analytics and plans to release Vulnerable Opportunities Notifications for flagging at-risk opportunities.
Forecast provides a common workflow that rolls up deal intelligence across the organization. Users can drill down into specific deals and take actions, greatly improving insights and actionability. “This is a seamless workflow for the reps and honestly, across the entire revenue organization to submit their forecasts and submit their number,” said Chowdhery.
A modern forecasting system must be part of your sales execution system,” blogged Fields. “The information about your deals in flight – who’s contacting the customer, what meetings were had and what was said, how the customer responds — is the foundational information that your forecast rests on. If you’re using a sales engagement platform, all of that activity is already being tracked automatically, without your sellers needing to spend time logging their activities. Meetings and calls are recorded and searchable so you can review that pivotal moment with the buyer.”
“Forecasting under-delivers when the end result is just a number,” continued Fields. “The end result should be a set of actions you can take to deliver better results. To do that, you need to not only see a number, but you need to see areas of softness and strength, important deal gaps, and opportunities. You need to recognize that the East team will need your support this quarter, but that the West will probably overachieve. You need to know where to spend your team’s time most productively to get over the line.”
Dale emphasized the importance of cross-product workflows aligned with “things people actually want to do.” Unfortunately, vendors often build technology that “chases a problem” or is designed to answer checklist questions about functionality. Salesloft “starts with problems people have and then builds solutions to match that. So anytime you see us build something like forecasting, we’re building it based on what people are actually trying to do.” Forecasting was built because it was a regular customer request.
Salesloft claims that its new Forecast module transforms forecasting “from a burdensome task into a strategic action plan to close more revenue.” Revenue estimates and deal close dates are derived from real-time data and employ “multiple forecasting techniques to make it easy to see where the team’s performance is trending.” AI helps identify missed opportunities and deals at risk, letting reps mitigate deal risk and factor it into pipeline estimates. As Forecast is native to Salesloft’s Modern Revenue Workspace, managers can assign follow-ups or add deal notes within the Salesloft workflow.
“With Forecast, customers have the visibility, intelligence, and workflow to close deals more consistently and act upon unrealized opportunities,” stated the firm.
“Forecast by Salesloft is an intelligent solution with strong data governance, so there’s less room for errors,” stated Fields. “Sellers can forecast and take action on those deals from the same platform. When sales managers have real-time visibility and the ability to drill down, coaching sellers and taking action happens naturally, leading to better deal outcomes.”
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.
Keeping on the gifting theme, Boston-based Alyce announced a partnership with Salesloft to support “smart gifting” on the Salesloft Sales Engagement Platform. The partnership lets sales and marketing teams natively send gifts through Salesloft.
Alyce appears within the Salesloft People page side panel, where reps can select a gift and personalize the message. Gifting options include physical gifts, gift cards, subscriptions, branded swag, on-demand services (e.g., in-home massage, portrait session), experiences (e.g., walking tours, helicopter rides), and donations. Alyce’s AI suggests three gift choices, but reps can select other choices from the marketplace.
“Actionable insights, seamlessly integrated together can help your sales team say the right thing, to the right person, at the right time with the right gift to drive action that’ll ensure your team hits your targets month after month,” wrote Alyce.
A gifting history provides details on which gifts have been received and how the prospect engaged with the gift, helping revenue teams “optimize follow-up to drive greater impact.”
Alyce employs AI to assist with gift selection from its curated global marketplace. Alyce recipients are sent a physical or digital notification of a gift, which they can choose to accept, exchange, donate, or decline.
“Our partnership with Salesloft is such a natural match. We are both committed to enabling revenue teams to build strong relationships and improve business results with the help of smart technology. At Alyce, we are thrilled that our integration with Salesloft is giving marketing and sales teams new gifting superpowers right in their workflow that will allow them to deliver meaningful moments, increase revenue, and create greater impact.”
Alyce CEO Greg Segall
In a case study, Salesloft enjoyed a 50% increase in alignment between BDRs and strategic marketing with Alyce and drove a 9% increase in meeting attendance. Furthermore, twenty percent of gifts sent resulted in new opportunities.
“Through the platform, we have uncovered an increase in the sales team’s ability to sell to our target personas,” stated Nabiha Balala, Senior Manager of Enterprise Marketing at Salesloft. “Alyce has been such a game-changer. It’s organically become part of our everyday sales process.”
Alyce’s physical gifting is currently limited to the US and Canada. However, gift cards may be sent to the US, Canada, Britain, and Ireland.
Alyce raised a $30 million Series B in April.
I’ve been running a series on Offline Marketing Automation (E-Gifting and Event Marketing) this week: My other posts:
The Postal market supports 600 vendors, providing them with a corporate sales channel without spending on corporate channel marketing. Their vendor network is growing organically through word of mouth. Last month they added 149 vendors.
“Vendors can add their products to the Postal Marketplace and get direct access to B2B buyers as their preferred corporate sending partner,“ Product Marketing Director Allyssa Eclarin explained to GZ Consulting. Items can be purchased off-the-shelf or customized. For example, companies can send cookies with corporate logos or baby gifts with the child’s name or curated boxes for special occasions.
“People don’t necessarily want another Starbucks gift card. They want to hear that you heard them, that you value them, and that you understand their interests. Maybe you send them a mug of their favorite sports team or where they went to college, or a new baby bundle. Personalization matters. And that’s what we’re finding is people are getting more personalized than ever. People are automating this channel, and it’s working.”
Postal Director Product Marketing Director Allyssa Eclarin
Furthermore, now that we are entering people’s homes via Zoom, there is a greater level of intimacy for personalizing gifts.
Postal also supports automated direct mail, incentive marketing, brand advocacy, internal and external events, and branded company swag. CRM and MAP partner platforms include Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot, and Eloqua.
For Salesloft and Outreach, Postal may be added as a sequence/cadence step, streamlining the gifting process. Gifts may be sent via email, social, direct message, or direct mail, with Postal tracking gifts and supporting analytics such as the cost per touch. Postal also offers a “Magic Link,” a unique URL that can be inserted into an email or social channel. For example, reps can send gifts through a DM and avoid the “what’s your email?” discussion with a magic link. The link is then tracked for shipping, attribution, budgeting, and analytics. Magic links can also be used for “send on behalf of” situations (e.g., an SDR building a relationship for the AE).
With face-to-face meetings stopped during the pandemic, e-gifting and personalized gifts are among the few methods for building goodwill and generating positive memories. Offline marketing platforms such as Postal, Sendoso, PFL, and Alyce have seen robust growth over the past eighteen months as sales reps struggle to build relationships.
Traditional gifting has been cumbersome and difficult to track, but offline marketing platforms streamline gift selection, logistics, and tracking, letting reps know when a gift has been received. Gifting serves multiple purposes: establishing a relationship, rewarding webinar attendance, keeping in touch with a champion during an absence (e.g., health, maternity / paternity leave), or maintaining goodwill (e.g., holiday gifts, birthday gifts).
“As marketing becomes increasingly technical and formulaic, businesses are struggling to create moments that break through the noise. The adoption of digital marketing has ironically made it harder than ever to truly connect with consumers. Postal is among the first to personalize marketing automation by creating a bridge between a boutique front-end marketplace and the established systems already embedded in most marketing technology stacks. The friction between offline and online marketing disappears, making it simple for brands to build more meaningful connections with consumers in any industry.”
Eugene Lee, OMERS Ventures (Postal.io investor)
Along with the funding round, Postal announced a set of product enhancements:
Domestic and international warehousing for branded products.
International gifting across seventy countries with wallets and pricing in local currencies.
Postal Events, launched in February, supports hybrid teams. Postal Event enhancements include custom event images on event pages, customized event email templates and messaging, custom form fields on registration pages, and integration of Postal Events with Salesforce Campaigns.
Calendar booking on gift landing pages
Postal.io posted 10X ARR growth year-over-year and added over 250 new customers and 4,000 users. The firm is based in San Luis Obispo.
Postal and its competitors disagree on their category name, with terms such as Tactile Marketing, Sending Platform, and Personal Experience Platform. Postal uses the category name Offline Marketing Automation. The G2 review site has the firms categorized as Account-Based Direct Mail Software.
Postal customers “get it.” They say, “you’re going to automate this channel that I know works. I’m already spending the money, but I have no way to attribute it, track it, push it back, check the ROI, or anything like that without a platform. Now, with Postal, they can, and customers are resonating with the term ‘offline marketing automation’,” explained Eclarin. “We’re seeing the same thing happening to our category as we saw with email marketing automation boom, with the rise of MailChimp and the like. We have given teams an automated, scalable, and repeatable way to manage their offline channels. “
A Postal license runs across the company with no per-seat pricing. Instead, admins set up individual and departmental budgets. Thus, the HR department can leverage Postal to build camaraderie (e.g., events), welcome new employees with swag packages, and express congratulations (e.g., baby, company anniversary). Likewise, managers can send gifts to reward performance.
Building camaraderie during WFH has become increasingly important for Postal. When events launched, roughly 70% were for marketing and 30% for team building. However, as Zoom fatigue settled in and the pandemic slowed the return to offices, companies began looking for fun team-building exercises that avoid Zoom burnout. Thus, corporate event volume has moved closer to parity with marketing events.
This is the third in a series of articles on Offline Marketing Automation (i.e. e-gifting and digital event marketing).
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.”
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:
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.
CEO Kyle Porter launched SalesLoft nearly ten years ago and the SEP Cadence product (its flagship) in late 2014. To recharge and reflect, he took a sabbatical earlier this summer to his family’s tangerine grove.
“One of my biggest conclusions was that I’m given this thing another ten years. So I’m committed to running this business and outlasting and out-executing and out-innovating others in the market.
Another one of those conclusions was [that] we don’t really compare ourselves to the competition. We focus entirely on our customers’ needs, and delivering them the best digital sales combination and workspaces that ever existed…I see all of these companies as different than SalesLoft. We’re very unique. We’re unique in the way that we show care for our customers and each other. We’re unique in the way we innovate and bring new ideas to market and trailblaze the path for digital sales. We’re unique in how we combine these multiple different new, impactful digital solutions into one workspace for our customers.”
SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter (GZ Consulting Interview 8/20/21)
Porter is “exploring multiple options” to remain an independent business and continue growing SalesLoft’s market presence. Doing so entails getting “better and better over time at serving our customers [and] at innovating in the marketplace.”
The firm is also preparing for a future IPO. “We’re going down the road to build a public business prior to being a public business,” commented Porter. “And so we’re putting that governance in place [and] those financial controls in place. You see the independent board member being added. We’ve got an opportunity to continue that with an audit committee chair and another independent board member.”
“I’d love this to be a public business,” continued Porter. “And if that’s what’s right for the company, that’s what will happen.”
Porter is also proud of his ownership structure, saying that SalesLoft has the “cleanest cap table” and fewest investors amongst companies in the space that have reached scale. The presence of Jason Green of Emergence Capital and Jeff Horing of Insight Capital also gives him confidence. Porter views them as “invest and hold” partners. Both serve on SalesLoft’s Board.
Porter has a great deal of respect for ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck, whom he met at Dreamforce in 2013. “It’s amazing to see what they’ve done. He’s an inspiration and role model for us, definitely a different business with data at the core. We no longer do data. And they’ve moved into the application space. But this is a giant market, and [in] some of the areas they play, we’ve got more experience and capabilities and history and lessons learned and edge case analysis that we’ve been through. And in some of the areas, primarily the data side, he’s got more experience and capabilities. So, we’re excited to see what they’re doing. I love reading his quarterly reports and learning what’s on his mind. He and I stay in touch regularly. It’s a joy to be in the category with people you love and respect.”
Porter would like to return to live conferences but expects to initially host “smaller, more intimate settings” such as a fifty-person CRM summit or a sales operations leader event. Later on, Porter looks forward to hosting large events again, such as their 2,000-person Atlanta Rainmaker conference held in 2019.
Last month’s InStereo acquisition is going “incredibly well.” The acquisition of one of its service partners brought SalesLoft “capabilities to serve our most critical enterprise customers.” The purchase was prompted by feedback from their joint customers who told Porter “how amazing” the InStereo team was in delivering “critical experiences to help them push the boundaries of modern revenue.”
Furthermore, “there were just such good relationships” between the companies that it allowed everybody to “hit the ground running once the transaction closed. SalesLoft employment has grown 50% since the beginning of the pandemic and now stands at 615 headcount.
(Continued from Part I)SalesLoft also announced that Calendly’s founder and CEO Tope Awotona joined SalesLoft’s Board of Directors. Both RevTech firms are based in Atlanta. Porter and Awotona met seven years ago at Atlanta Tech Village.
“It was clear from day one [that] he was an incredible leader who had a clear vision harnessed around delivering delightful customer experiences,” posted Porter on LinkedIn. “Most of us know the success of Calendly and have learned of Tope‘s fascinating story. We’re stoked to partner together and grow from his strategic wisdom, leadership learnings, and product-focused excellence. Our ultimate goal together is helping our current and future customers deliver revenue excellence at scale.”
Porter and Awotona discussed potential conflicts of interest, but those concerns were laid aside. While SalesLoft has calendaring features similar to Calendly, SalesLoft maintains an open architecture and partner ecosystem with Calendly as a partner.
Porter echoed a recent Gartner observation that SalesTech is in a period of “mayhem” where customers are looking to consolidate their revenue platforms to simplify workflows and operations. Porter sees SalesLoft as being at the vanguard of this preference for broad, open platforms.
“There’s been massive trends towards digital selling that have taken place,” said Porter. “And then there’s another trend that we’ve seen emerge, which is companies have been using so many different revenue tools, but they really want to consolidate on a very few that they love, and that’s where SalesLoft comes in.”
Continue to Part III which discusses Porter’s long-term plans for SalesLoft.
Sales Engagement Platform SalesLoft announced that it hit the $100 million ARR mark, following 50% growth over the past year. Since announcing its unicorn valuation in January ($1.1 billion), the firm has grown revenue by nearly 40%. Last quarter, it “far exceeded its financial plan.”
It took roughly nine quarters to double their ARR.
SalesLoft ranked 1210 on the Inc. 5000 2021 list. SalesLoft revenue grew 401% over the past three years, a 71% CAGR.
“Everything we’re doing is coming back to, ‘how do we empower our customers to deliver their customers with an amazing sales experience?'”
SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter
SalesLoft, which opened an EMEA office in April 2019, has grown revenue 125% in the European market over the trailing twelve months. It plans to increase its European staff by 120% over the next year and open a German data center.
Its top markets in EMEA are the UK, Ireland, France, and Germany.
SalesLoft benefited from being the first SEP with a European office. While the revenue team can create content in any language, the UI remains English only. Their NLP is English only, but Porter anticipates supporting additional languages for conversational intelligence “in a very short time.”
SalesLoft is also enjoying strong growth in APAC even though it lacks a physical presence in the region.
“While we don’t have physical locations in Asia, we have many customers there and in Australia,” Porter told GZ Consulting. “We have many customers that are US-based businesses with operations there. So we’re global in our customer base and usage of the application, but we don’t have feet on the street in the Asian or Australian market yet.”
The pandemic has driven demand into new segments as companies are looking to establish new communications channels with the loss of trade shows and face-to-face meetings. Customer growth has been “across the board.” SalesLoft has “really expanded to Main Street” as firms realized they needed to adopt a “digital sales motion.”
The pandemic “brought about some, incredible businesses that traditionally took a little bit longer to buy Sales Engagement,” explained Porter. “We’ve got companies like 3M and Liberty Mutual and McGraw Hill and S&P and carpet manufacturers. It’s moved outside of tech to manufacturers, health care, financial services, [and] a number of different professional services. That’s been one of the great lessons learned post-pandemic.”
“As companies have pivoted to a full digital selling motion, SalesLoft has become a mission-critical partner and platform,” wrote the firm. “Only SalesLoft combines the three most critical products in digital selling – Cadence for managing multi-channel communications, Conversations for recording and analyzing meetings, and Deals for managing opportunities and pipeline.”
Continue to Part II which discusses the addition of Calendly CEO Tope Antowana to SalesLoft’s board.