SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Qualified, the conversational marketing platform for companies that use Salesforce, today announced a $12 million Series A funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners with additional participation from existing investors including Redpoint Ventures and Salesforce Ventures. The investment, which brings the company's total funding to $17 million, will be used to meet the growing demand for conversational marketing in the Salesforce ecosystem. Scott Beechuk, partner at Norwest Venture Partners, will join the board of directors.
Qualified is solving a multi-billion-dollar problem for enterprise marketing and sales teams. For B2B brands, building sales pipeline is a slow, inefficient process with delayed handoffs and missed opportunities to meet with qualified buyers. Every year, B2B marketers spend more than $6 billion driving buyers to their website, but sales teams have no way of knowing when a qualified buyer is on their website, and no way of speaking with that buyer in that pivotal moment. The result is that B2B brands are wasting their marketing budget, and leaving pipeline and revenue on the table.
In enterprise sales, speed matters: Waiting even five minutes after a lead leaves a website decreases the chances of making contact by 10x. However, it takes salespeople 38 hours on average to respond to qualified leads. Studies show that 78% of B2B customers buy from the company that responds to them first.
COVID-19 has exacerbated this problem. Marketing and sales teams are scrambling to meet pipeline goals without in-person events. As a result, sales needs to maximize conversations with potential buyers through their digital channels.
"Your website should be your brand's biggest marketing asset to drive pipeline, but instead, it's your biggest blindspot," said Kraig Swensrud, co-founder and CEO of Qualified. "What if your sales team could meet with your most valuable buyers at the magic moment they're on your website and ready to connect? That's the future of B2B sales and marketing."
Qualified turns a B2B website into a real-time selling machine, enabling marketing and sales teams to identify when target buyers arrive on the website and instantly start a conversation. Qualified ties directly into Salesforce to give companies a 360-degree view of their website visitors, and arms them with tools to have a high-fidelity sales meeting, including live chat, chat bots, voice calls, and screen sharing. Within months of using Qualified, ThoughtSpot increased conversations with its target accounts by 10x, Bitly grew its enterprise sales pipeline by 6x, and Gamma drove over $2.5 million in new business pipeline.
"The conversational model is simply a better way to connect with new customers. Buyers love the real-time engagement, sellers love the instant connections, and marketers have the confidence that every dollar spent on demand generation is maximized," said Scott Beechuk, partner at Norwest Venture Partners. "The multi-billion-dollar market for Salesforce automation software is going to adopt this new model, and Qualified is perfectly positioned to capture that demand. If your company uses Salesforce, Qualified will be a multiplier on your sales and marketing investment."
Qualified takes a unique approach as the only conversational marketing platform designed to work seamlessly with complex Salesforce configurations. The platform is rated highest in its category on the Salesforce AppExchange, and built for enterprise-grade reliability and security with 99.9% uptime, GDPR compliance, SOC2 compliance, and Salesforce ISV certification.
"Qualified's conversational marketing platform is built natively on Salesforce, is custom built for Salesforce customers and a natural fit for our ecosystem," said Matt Garratt, managing partner, Salesforce Ventures. "Qualified's innovative technology accelerates the timeline from lead to opportunity, making the pipeline more efficient and creating loyal customers around the globe."
Qualified was founded in 2018 by former Salesforce executives Kraig Swensrud and Sean Whiteley. During their time at Salesforce, Kraig served as chief marketing officer and Sean as GM and product SVP. This is the third company that the duo has built in the Salesforce ecosystem. With this funding, Qualified will more than double the company's size in all key functions including sales, marketing, customer success and product, with additional features coming around artificial intelligence and Salesforce Einstein.
Quotes from Customers
"Qualified has been a total home run. We implemented the solution in under 30 days and had it working with our heavily customized instance of Salesforce. The solution is allowing us to have 10x more conversations with our target 'Diamond' accounts, which are global, billion-dollar-plus companies." - Scott Holden, CMO, ThoughtSpot
"We've been live with Qualified for over a year as a demand gen channel for enterprise clients and we've seen more than a 6x increase in sales pipeline as a result. We refer to it as the cash register for our B2B website." - Scott Keane, CEO, Bitly
"Within six months of go-live, Qualified has already driven more than $2.5 million in new business pipeline. As a CMO, conversational marketing is the single most valuable investment you can make in times like these." - Joe Leverson, head of digital marketing, Gamma
Qualified is the conversational marketing platform for companies that use Salesforce and the highest-rated solution on the Salesforce AppExchange. Enterprise sales and marketing teams at leading brands such as ThoughtSpot, Adecco, Bitly, and Zero Motorcycles trust Qualified to grow their sales pipeline by turning their greatest untapped marketing asset — their corporate website — into a real-time selling machine. Headquartered in San Francisco, Qualified is led by former Salesforce CMO Kraig Swensrud and former Salesforce Product SVP Sean Whiteley, and funded by Norwest Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Salesforce Ventures. To learn more, visit qualified.com.
About Norwest Venture Partners
Norwest is a leading venture and growth equity investment firm managing more than $9.5 billion in capital. Since our inception, we have invested in more than 600 companies and partner with over 150 active companies currently in our venture and growth equity portfolio. The firm invests in early to late stage companies across a wide range of sectors with a focus on consumer, enterprise, and healthcare. We offer a deep network of connections, operating experience, and a wide range of impactful services to help CEOs and founders scale their businesses. Norwest has offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco, with subsidiaries in India and Israel. For more information, please visit www.nvp.com. Follow Norwest on Twitter @NorwestVP.
About Redpoint Ventures
Since 1999, the Redpoint team has been partnering with visionary founders who create new markets or redefine existing ones. From the earliest stages, Redpoint partners have supported over 350 companies, 44 IPOs and 73 upside acquisitions. Industry-defining investments include HomeAway, Fortinet, Qihoo, Right Media, Heroku, Netflix, Tivo, Juniper, among many others. Today, Redpoint manages over $3.3 billion across multiple funds and invests in disruptive founders and companies at the seed, early and growth stages. For more information on our portfolio and team, visit www.redpoint.com
About Salesforce Ventures
Salesforce is the global leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), bringing companies closer to their customers in the digital age. Salesforce Ventures, the global investment arm of Salesforce, invests in the next generation of enterprise technology that extends the power of the Salesforce Platform. Salesforce Ventures is building the world's largest ecosystem of enterprise cloud companies and extending that technology to customers. Portfolio companies receive funding, strategic advisory, and operating support, and can easily join Pledge 1% to make giving back part of their business model. Salesforce Ventures has invested in more than 400 companies, including DocuSign, GoCardless, Guild Education, nCino, Twilio, Zoom, and others across 22 countries since 2009. For more information, please visit www.salesforce.com/ventures.
Mission North for Qualified