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Predicting sales and marketing productivity isn’t exactly a walk in the park. But that’s where People.ai — an AI platform for enterprise revenue — comes in.
The San Francisco startup today announced a $30 million Series B funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Lightspeed Ventures, GGV Capital, and Y Combinator.
“By leveraging artificial intelligence, we instantly provide full historical analysis of your sales team’s data, helping you understand which behaviors led to desired outcomes,” People.ai CEO Oleg Rogynskyy wrote in a previous email to VentureBeat. “We also identify potential problems well ahead of revenue impact and immediately save reps 30 to 45 percent of their time by completely [eliminating] the need for manual data entry.”
People.ai’s toolset takes into account all customer contacts, activity, and engagement, which it delivers as actionable insights. From email, phone, calendar, DocuSign, GoToMeeting, and other data, it claims it’s able to automate over 90 percent of customer relationship data entry and to precisely match buying groups with deals.
The end goal, Rogynskyy says, is to simplify sales reps’ jobs by guiding their next best actions. On the sales manager side of the equation, People.ai’s dashboard shows team members’ performance in relation to each other broken out by step: Specifically, they see how much time was spent in each phase of a given sales journey, which parties were contacted, and what the outcome was. And it’s proactive — if a sales rep is taking up too much of a lead’s time or not spending enough time talking to executives and other thought leaders, for instance, a superior will receive a notification.
People.ai has made measurable gains since it launched in 2017. At first, one out of every 100 activities required manual intervention to be classified correctly. Today, that’s roughly one in 6,000 activities, and by the end of the year Rogynskyy expects it’ll be one in 10,000.
The startup’s subscription model is offered per seat, and pricing varies based on the number of seats purchased. Palo Alto Networks, Lyft, MuleSoft, SalesLoft, MemSQL, Tanium, and New Relic are among People.ai’s growing list of customers.
“We believe People.ai will become one of the foundational companies of next-generation SaaS. The unique combination of SaaS and machine learning finally enables organizations to automate data collection and apply that data to improving productivity and efficiency across sales, customer service, and marketing,” said Peter Levine, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “We’ve been impressed with the traction that the team has made with some of the largest organizations, and the combination of business acumen and technical capability of the leadership team.”
People.ai — which competes with predictive sales startups such as Clari, Datahug, Insight Square, and Inside Sales — has 100 employees and has raised close to $40 million to date. This past year, it’s opened offices in Boston and Los Angeles, and is considering expanding to Canada.
The “AI in sales” trend shows no sign of losing steam. According to a Salesforce survey conducted earlier this year, nearly half of all salespeople believe that AI has a role to play in guided selling capabilities, like opportunity rankings, and about 66 percent characterize machine learning’s ability to glean customer sentiment and engagement as “transformative.” Meanwhile, 65 percent say AI-powered insights into business developments, emails, and calendar data would “make them more effective in their job.”
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