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Mindtickle, which provides a “sales readiness” platform for enterprises, today announced it has closed a $100 million series E funding round led by SoftBank, with participation from Norwest Venture Partners, Canaan, NewView Capital, and Qualcomm Ventures. The funds, which bring the company’s total raised to $281 million at a $1.2 billion post-money valuation, will be used to expand Mindtickle’s sales enablement, revenue operations, and training teams, according to cofounder and CEO Krishna Depura.

There’s a real and present need for sales readiness solutions. According to Forbes, 58% of buyers report that sales reps are unable to answer their questions accurately or effectively. Moreover, an estimated 84% of all sales training is lost after 90 days due to the lack of information retention among sales personnel. Perhaps unsurprisingly, high-performing sales teams use nearly 3 times the amount of sales technology as underperforming teams, one source found.

Mindtickle’s platform offers continuous learning modules, like simulated scenarios, structured coaching programs, and quizzes and polls. It gamifies lessons and skill-building activities with points, badges, certifications, and leaderboards, which it funnels to a dashboard to expose potential knowledge gaps. On the admin side, Mindtickle creates competency maps that identify problem areas and automatically assigns training based on results, tracking real-time engagement and readiness while delivering personalized feedback to reps as they progress through course materials.

“Throughout our professional lives, I and my cofounders, Nishant Mungali and Mohit Garg, experienced the challenges of unengaging, ineffective training and coaching, firsthand. To solve that problem, we first built a gamification platform that could be used by HR leaders to engage and inform their teams,” Depura told VentureBeat via email. “Over time, through innumerable discussions with customers and prospects, we discovered that the customer-facing teams, particularly the sales teams, could leverage our platform to become more effective and achieve better business results. From that point on, we engaged deeply with revenue leaders across the globe to solve specific use cases in the sales organization and help them create high-performing sales teams.”

Supercharging sales

Mindtickle taps machine learning models to optimize administrative tasks like data entry, aiming to identify knowledge and skill gaps that could impact customer interactions. Conversational intelligence capabilities provide insight into what’s happening across all real-world deal interactions. By learning what’s important to both sellers and buyers, the models deliver opportunities for salespeople to be coached and to reinforce their knowledge, Depura says.

“Perhaps the most impactful AI for sales is focused on seller preparation and call execution to reduce or eliminate the need for human review, pattern detection, and decision-making … [Our AI can] give sellers more time to sell and extends to helping them become more effective,” he added. “AI can help sellers get ready for every customer interaction, [preparing] sellers so they’re ready with the right knowledge, skills, and execution at every stage of the sales process.”

In 2020, Mindtickle claims to have doubled the number of Fortune 500 and Forbes Global 2000 companies it counts as customers, which span health and life sciences organizations, insurance carriers, and tech brands. In total, it has more than 1 million users and 220 brands on the platform, 9 out of 10 of which expanded the scope of their workforce readiness programs after adopting Mindtickle.

MindTickle

“The pandemic accelerated the digitization trends of business-to-business buying and selling, with fewer on-site sales meetings, convergence of inside and field sales, and increased adoption of digital tools. [R]evenue leaders must ensure their sales teams are agile enough to adapt to the shifting landscape by equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and behaviors needed to be successful,” Depura added. “Combined, these trends have resulted in an increased demand for remote-first approaches and technologies that enable and prepare customer-facing employees … [With Mindtickle], revenue leaders can partner with their enablement organizations to define a singular measurement that sets a baseline for what knowledge, skills, and capabilities each sales rep in your organization should possess … Mindtickle’s sales content management capabilities allow prescriptive guidance on not only what content to use, but how it should be deployed and when.”

San Francisco, California-based Mindtickle currently has around 480 employees and says it’s hiring “aggressively” across all areas of the business. By the end of the year, it expects to employ “well north” of 500.

Mindtickle competes in a sales enablement market that’s anticipated to be worth $2.6 billion by 2024, according to Markets and Markets. Rival startup Seismic has raised tens of millions of dollars to roll out its automated sales and marketing enablement suite, as has Showpad. There’s also Outreach, which is creating a semiautomated sales engagement software, along with AI-powered sales enablement toolset developer Highspot.

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