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Sales enablement is a gigantic market whose growth shows no sign of slowing. It’s anticipated to reach $890 million in combined revenue this year according to an analysis of Crunchbase data, while worldwide enablement platform sales inch upward from $1.1 billion this year to a forecasted $2.6 billion by 2024. Moreover, Gartner predicts that by 2021, a full 15% of all sales technology spending will be set aside for sales enablement technology.
Belgium-based Showpad stands to benefit from current trends, or so its investors seem to think. The sales enablement startup founded by Pieterjan Bouten and Louis Jonckheere in 2011 today announced that it’s raised $70 million in a combination of debt and series D equity led by Dawn Capital with participation from Hummingbird Ventures, Insight Venture Partners, and Korelya Capital, bringing the company’s total raised to $180 million. (Silicon Valley Bank provided the debt financing.)
The infusion of capital comes after a stellar year for Showpad, which saw year-over-year growth in the U.S. top 150% and worldwide growth exceed 90%. CEO Pieterjan Bouten says it’ll enable the company to double its workforce of 400 to 600 this year and to expand into new European and international markets.
“The growth we’ve experienced in the past year is proof that sales enablement solutions are now a must-have for B2B businesses. We pride ourselves on empowering modern sales teams to increase win rates, deal size, and buyer engagement with a single, scalable platform and a consumer-like user experience,” said Bouten. “The continued support of our investors is validation of our vision for the sales enablement market and our ability to deliver innovation that maximizes sales productivity and optimizes marketing impact.”
One product lineup in Showpad’s solutions suite — Showpad Experiences — lets sales teams guide buyers through custom-tailed content, including (but not limited to) classic folder structures, preconfigured web templates, and mobile and desktop applications. From within Experiences’ code-free and drag-and-drop dashboards, designers can build navigation structures per product, persona, or vertical; add custom icons, logos, and backgrounds; and create visual maps, content selectors, ROI calculators, quote configurators, and more.
Meanwhile, a separate product — Showpad Content — provides metrics to marketing assets most often used by salespeople and closely tied to revenue, ultimately toward funneling investment in the direction of content that maximally impacts closures. It connects with both third-party content management systems (CMS) and digital asset management systems, which Showpad’s CMS orchestrates to notify teams of updates to files in real time. Perhaps more importantly, Showpad Content provides recommendations to marketers drawn from a curated library or a machine learning algorithm, and it supports organizational metadata such as tags, granular file permissions, compliance settings, and user settings or content divisions.
Showpad’s Shared Spaces feature is designed to drive collaboration between buyers and sellers by hosting content in a single, fully brandable web portal. Team leaders and admins can invite members, executives, and outside stakeholders to Shared Spaces, who can then comment on existing files or contribute new ones or surface a real-time overview of historical interactions with buyers over time.
On the analytics side of the equation, Showpad’s tracking tools let teams keep tabs on (and send along to Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics) things like email opens, page-by-page content views, downloads, and forwards. Internal performance charts plot sales reps relative to their peers and facilitate benchmarking, in theory helping to prioritize coaching. Showpad claims the average sales team sees 40% more cross-sells and upsells as a result of these and other tools, along with a 60% reduction in ramp time and a 17% uptick increase in sales within the first month after deployment.
Showpad has formidable rivals in Highspot, which in June raised $60 million for its AI-driven sales enablement platform, and Seismic, which recently closed a $100 million round. But it already counts more than 1,200 customers in 50 countries across segments like manufacturing, health care, technology, and financial services among its growing client base, with standouts like Johnson & Johnson, Honeywell, and Coca-Cola.
“To date there has been enormous innovation in automating the marketing and sales workflow. However, in the end, sales comes down to one person selling to another,” said Dawn Capital general partner and Showpad board member Norman Fiore. “Historically, this has been an offline process that has been wildly inconsistent and opaque. Showpad’s suite of products succeeds in bringing this process online for the first time with data-rich feedback loops on the effectiveness of teams, managers, salespeople, and even individual pieces of sales content.”
In addition to its headquarters in Belgium, Showpad has offices in London, Munich, Poland, Chicago, San Francisco, and Portland.
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