European Sales Acceleration vendor Cognism continues to demonstrate strong
momentum out of the gate with a second funding round. The firm closed on
a £2.8 million round from investors including Oliver Wyman, South Central
Ventures, LCIF, Newable, and existing investors.
The expansion capital will be
“used to enhance the solution for Enterprises and also expand the offering into
the Financial Services sector.”
“Cognism is moving beyond
sales intelligence and applying its patented machine intelligence technology to
understand the revenue challenges at the Enterprise level,” said CEO James
Isilay. “There is a natural fit between the data and analytics the
Cognism platform provides and the strategy that can then be derived to enhance
revenue at the Enterprise level. We are keen to showcase this value to this
sector and hope our collaboration with Oliver Wyman will propel us forward and
continue our strong growth.”
Cognism, which was founded in 2016, already has over 200 customers and has posted 617% revenue growth year-to-date. The firm offers a data set of 400 million global companies and contacts. Their Prospector service supports persona based prospecting, sales intelligence, and CRM connectors. Other products include Refresh CRM enrichment and Engage sales acceleration (sales engagement).
“Our clients are continuously looking for new ways to accelerate growth. Cognism technology will provide our clients with dynamic insights into their existing client base, enabling them to develop more targeted solutions and improving sales success. At the same time, Cognism technology will allow our clients to make a step change in their prospecting efforts. Cognism’s data asset will allow our clients to identify prospects matching detailed personas, leveraging data on over 400M companies and individuals.”
Kai Upadek, Partner at Oliver Wyman
Cognism also announced the addition of Vidyard GoVideo to outbound emails. Vidyard’s video “selfies” help sales reps personalize communications and “build stronger relationships with their prospects” with “one-to-one videos on-demand in a matter of moments.”
Sales Acceleration vendor SalesLoft added two new integrated features at the end of last year. From a SalesLoft smart panel, sales reps can view, edit, create, and one-click access Salesforce Opportunities. SalesLoft also added a “log emails from anywhere” feature which captures prospect and customer communications from mobile devices.
Integrated Salesforce Opportunity data provides greater conversational context by surfacing current and historical opportunities and associated information. It also reduces the workflow involved in toggling between applications and rekeying key details across platforms. Bi-directional synching ensures that “opportunity status and stages synced as you’re engaging with your prospects and customers.” SalesLoft also supports one-click new Opportunity creation functionality.
“Opportunities are both a core component of your sales cycle and a leading indicator of the success of your revenue team. Your SDRs are hustling to create them, your AEs are actively working them and bringing them over the line, and your success team is keeping your customers happy and renewing them.”
Product Marketing Director Chris Murphy
The new email synching feature helps teams “log all email activities from their connected email accounts regardless of the device that it was sent from or whether they ‘loft’ their emails from Gmail or Outlook.” Admins control which team members are logged and can choose which domains to capture.
“So, for example, we will automatically prevent emails sent to your company email domain from being logged as activities as well as those “pick up milk on the way home” reminder emails sent to your personal email address,” said Murphy.
SalesLoft also announced an extended partnership with Vidyard which provides freemium recording and transmission of videos from within SalesLoft. Sales reps may attach video “selfies” to emails and email templates which display a custom video image. The integration also supports video playlists, making it easy for reps to include topical videos which address customer questions or concerns. Vidyard maintains view analytics, providing sales and marketing information about who watched and for how long, helping sales reps hone both messaging and identifying which videos are connecting with prospects.
SalesLoft claims significant improvements in response and bottom line impacts from including video in the communications mix:
8X higher response rates
5X higher click-through rates
20% higher close rates
30% larger annual contract values
“We all know you can’t simply communicate through a single channel,” said VP of Product Strategy Sean Kester. “However, when paired together in an intelligent combination of communication channels, process, and technology will ultimately increase conversion rates.”
Prior to SalesLoft’s Rainmaker user conference, their VP of Product Marketing Sean Kester provided me with a demo and overview of the enhancements to their Account Based Sales Engagement Platform. The key product announcement is their new Live Call Studio which allows managers to monitor outbound calls. The firm will also be demonstrating enhanced Salesforce and Gmail connectors which support sales engagement intelligence and the Twilio dialer.
Amongst their new partners are Zoominfo, TalkIQ, and Vidyard which will provide company and contact details, call transcription, and video messaging services.
The other new feature is a “Draft on Behalf” service that allows reps to create emails to be sent from executive inboxes.
SalesLoft closed on a $15M Round B last month. The firm said that the funds would be used towards product, marketing, and opening an office in San Francisco. The 2017 product focus includes improved orchestration between sales, marketing, and supporting executives; enhanced insights and reports; expanded governance tools; role based workflow assignments; greater connectivity; and enhanced analytics.
Call Studio provides live coaching and feedback to help managers shape a consistent message. Call Studio assists with new hire training as well as upsell and cross-sell training for more experienced sales staff. The Studio displays a set of conversational tiles which track all current calls along with duration and participants. A manager can listen in on any call and provide feedback afterwards, whisper advice into the rep’s ear during the call, or join the conversation. Managers and trainers do not need to be at the same location as the Sales Development Reps (SDRs). Conversely, reps can digitally raise their hand if they need assistance and will feel more confident as they ramp up.
Kester noted that “Front line sales is one of the most difficult positions in a business. Live Call Studio reduces on-boarding time, coaching time, and increases rep effectiveness with the ability to coach from anywhere. Live coaching can quickly identify learning and advancement opportunities so that reps can stay motivated and be more productive.”
Call Studio will officially be launched at their Rainmaker conference during the first week of March and is currently live at ten accounts.
Draft on Behalf
SalesLoft will also be unveiling an as yet unnamed “Draft on behalf ” service which allows sales reps to write an email to be sent from company execs. The note includes subject, message, and recipients. The rep also provides an explanation of the request.
Once written, the CxO is sent an email with an overview of the request and a button to open the message. Executives can also view pending messages stored in a “Requests” tab queue.
The “Draft on behalf” feature will initially be available in Gmail with plans to extend the service to Outlook down the road.
Recently enhanced connectors include SalesLoft Connect in Gmail and Salesforce. The Gmail Connect tool displays SalesLoft in a new right-handed sidebar. SDRs can click-to-dial from within Gmail and view the live feed for the prospect. Other SalesLoft Connect for Gmail features include contact search, launching emails, and adding the message to SFDC. The contact profile includes a set of functions including
Add or remove from a cadence (templated SDR multi-channel messaging workflows)
View recent notes and activity
Flag as Do Not Contact
Link to social profiles
Open and edit SalesLoft profiles
View additional contact information
Connect in Salesforce is both Classic and Lightning-ready providing access to SalesLoft Cadences within SFDC. Features include the contact profile, SalesLoft Dialer, Cadence view, prospect activity view, and bi-directional synching between SalesLoft and Salesforce.
Finally, SalesLoft will be showing off three new ecosystem partners at Rainmaker. SalesLoft looks for partners that will offer a freemium strategy within their service, so that even SMBs can obtain benefits from SalesLoft partnerships.
Vidyard supports quick custom videos which help “humanize” SDR emails along with video playlists. Thus, an SDR could attach two short demos and a personalized introductory message. According to Kester, “adding a highly engaging video thumbnail to your email cadence in SalesLoft will help your emails stand out, boost click through rates, and send response rates soaring.”
Vidyard tracks which videos were watched and notifies sales reps.
Free Vidyard allows users access to all their features with limitations on the total number of videos hosted in their libraries along with some sharing limitations. The paid version offers a more robust library, organization, and hosting feature set.
TalkIQ provides integrated call transcription. Features include a summary tab, cross-call searching, audio clips, and coaching commentary. Premium features include analytics and admin-defined algorithms that automatically pull calls based on specific criteria. These calls will be displayed in a premium dashboard.
From within Chrome, users will have access to Zoominfo’s ReachOut connector which provides in-context account and contact information to SalesLoft. For example, an SDR could identify the perfect contact in LinkedIn, use the ReachOut extension to obtain contact information, and send company and contact details to SalesLoft to begin a cadence.