Deals

ToutApp receives $3.35M in quest to speed up email for salespeople

Above: Email is still part of the sales process, and ToutApp is looking to improve and automate it.

Image Credit: James Cridland/Flickr

A number of startups have been sweetening the basic sales-lead software from Salesforce.com with analytics and external data. One of these startups, ToutApp, which optimizes email communication with leads from within Salesforce, has just picked up funding, with an eye toward growing and delivering even more analytics for sales managers in the future.

A document on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission puts the San Francisco-based company’s funding at $5.2 million. That figure includes seed funding from the Founders Collective and 500 Startups, as well as a new $3.35 million round for the company that includes participation from Sigma West Ventures.

Much of the new money will go toward adding sales and marketing employees to expand the company’s user base, said founder and chief executive Tawheed “TK” Kader.

Founded in 2010, ToutApp lets customers draft emails with time-saving features like templates, scheduling, and possible meeting times drawn from calendars. These functions can happen on the Salesforce website. Data from Salesforce can be woven into the templates users build.

After emails go out to leads, ToutApp users can monitor recipients’ activities and figure out whom to follow up with. They can also have ToutApp automatically send follow-up emails. Data on when emails are sent to leads and what recipients do with the emails ToutApp users send can be sent right back into Salesforce, or other supported customer-relationship management (CRM) tools. [Update: Kader has since clarified that ToutApp also integrates with Gmail and Microsoft Outlook.]

That sort of back-and-forth communication could cut down on the incidence of salespeople forgetting to update the CRM with the latest information.

Other software companies provide slices of ToutApp’s feature set. For example, ClearSlide tracks how people engage with emails and attachments they receive. The company shows how long people spend looking at certain slides in presentations. And ClearSlide can generate reports about the effectiveness of a salesperson, a team, and an entire company and can integrate with CRMs, according to the company’s website. Still, Kader doesn’t think of ClearSlide as a competitor.

And he’s not too worried about marketing automation tools such as Eloqua and Marketo barging into the sales space, because salespeople are different from the marketers who use those products. They weren’t “designed from the ground up for sales teams,” he said.

In addition to investing in the company’s sales and marketing functions, Kader said the company will spend to develop analytics tools for sales executives. Specifically, the company wants to track engagement data across the sales process for each person working in sales. And there could be ways to help managers see what’s going on inside a company’s entire sales pipeline and find out what messaging is working and what’s not, Kader said.

Ultimately, ToutApp wants to empower salespeople to close deals more quickly, said Kader. It sounds like the funding will push the company closer to that goal.

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