Sales engagement, the interactions that take place between a salesperson and a potential customer throughout the sales cycle, can accelerate companies’ revenue growth. But setbacks often crop up. In a recent Gartner report, salespeople pegged content strategy, partnerships with marketing, building an effective playbook and process, and defining a strategy as the top issues in sales engagement. Exacerbating the challenge is the increasing workload that sales teams face, with a 2021 Salesforce poll finding that 50% of sales professionals saw their responsibilities grew during the pandemic.
Startups and tech giants alike have offered automation as a solution to sales engagement woes. For example, Seattle, Washington-based Outreach provides a voice-powered “knowledge assistant” to support sales engagement workflows. 6Sense captures intent signals to proactively trigger marketing communications. And Twilio’s Engage delivers personalized customer experiences across different channels.
Another vendor in the sales engagement segment is Vymo, which is developing what it describes as a “mobile-first” sales assistant. After raising $18 million in 2019, the company notched more than 20% quarterly growth in 2021 — expanding its customer base to over 250,000 users across more than 65 organizations such as Berkshire Hathaway and BNP Paribas.
Sales automation is having a moment. McKinsey estimates that about a third of all sales tasks can be automated, reducing the cost of sales by freeing up time spent on administration. Way back in 2015, as many as 54% of companies were using customer relationship management or sales automation systems to streamline workflows, according to Ascend2.
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Vymo’s assistant detects customer calls from phone dialer data and can identify sales meeting prospects (e.g., potential buyers) from a rep’s smartphone GPS. In the background, an AI algorithm crunches data to generate recommendations tailored to reps’ quarterly targets, calendar availabilities, and locations.
“Traditional financial services organizations are adopting technology rapidly to take on insurtech and fintech players and also attract new millennials as customers and workforce. However, organizations need more than just a customer relationship management system to truly effect change bottom-up,” cofounder and CEO Yamini Bhat told VentureBeat via email. “Vymo surfaces behavioral insights on why some salespeople are performing better than the rest. It then replicates these winning behaviors at scale to improve sales outcomes without hiring any additional workforce.”
Vymo can create a daily map route around prospects that factors in the meeting time each is expected to take. The app can also log calls and meetings automatically, delivering follow-up reminders based on calls and prompting next best actions. Beyond these tasks, Vymo can scan business cards, receipts, and other documents, auto-populating digital contact cards and expense reports for reps and their managers.
Companies that prefer a more human touch can program rules and allocate agents themselves using Vymo. Alternatively, they can have Vymo automatically assign meetings to sales teams and reps and receive reports that show the best-performing clients and progress toward sales targets.
Vymo lets managers optionally track reps’ real-time location and attendance — features that not all salespeople might be comfortable with. Location tracking must be enabled on reps’ phones, and the platform lets managers specify reps’ working hours to automatically disable tracking during specific times and days. But the latter process has to be done manually. And Vymo says that it stores location data on its servers for 60 days before deleting it.
“An organization can use location information in one of two ways: as mandatory information that must be captured at a said frequency or as optional information,” the company writes on its website. “The Vymo app captures location information in a manner that’s compliant with user privacy requirements and any organization-level requirements. Some organizations explicitly prohibit user location capture for any enterprise applications.”
In the U.S., there’s no federal law governing employer geolocation. States including Georgia, Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri also don’t have any such laws. However, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin prohibit installing certain location-tracking devices without a person’s consent, while California prohibits all forms of location tracking without employee consent.
As E&Y notes, privacy management at enterprises has historically been seen the responsibility of compliance professionals, aided by a cybersecurity team. But more and more companies are realizing that privacy is impacting stakeholders in practically every corner of the organization. “Managing privacy risk brought on by location tracking requires a concerted effort that also includes human resources, operations, information security, communications and investor relations,” E&Y’s Maribeth Banaschik writes in a report. “Privacy claims for location tracking [are] subject to public and regulatory scrutiny.”
In a show of investor confidence, nearly-450-employee Vymo — which has offices in San Francisco, Singapore, Bangalore, and Tokyo — today announced that it secured $22 million in series C funding led by Bertelsmann Investments with participation from Emergence Capital and Sequoia Capital. To date, Vymo has raised $45 million.
“The pandemic coerced many businesses … to adopt digital transformation if they hadn’t already — now industry leaders had little choice. It was imperative for them to continue customer engagements in light of COVID-19, without compromising on the safety of their employees,” Bhat continued. “At the onset of the pandemic, Vymo spoke across its client base to identify the top three challenges they were facing and needed solutioning. Being mobile-first, Vymo was well-positioned to serve deskless, remote enterprise sales reps. A few strategic enhancements to the product helped salespeople continue performing their roles remotely, and remain productive as they worked from home.”
Vymo, which was founded in 2013 by Google alum Venkat Malladi and McKinsey alum Bhat, plans to use the new capital to grow its business in the U.S. and Japan, where it estimates that the sales tech market opportunity is over $10 billion. Laying the groundwork for expansion, Vymo introduced a new manager experience in 2020 designed to enable managers to provide “in-the-moment” proactive coaching. More recently, it launched a set of tools to track sales incentives and attempt to predict which sales activities are most important.
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