Technology built for salespeople has existed for decades. First in the form of customer relationship management (CRM) systems, historically served by companies like Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, Siebel, and many others between the ‘90s and 2000’s. Over the last decade, with the growth of SaaS, there has been an explosion in software tools that have augmented core CRM systems to address other sales workflows and processes.
Amazing companies have been built in categories like sales engagement (Outreach, SalesLoft), sales enablement (Highspot, Seismic), sales data (ZoomInfo), sales intelligence (Gong, Chorus), etc. While these systems have been amazing at improving sales productivity, they have focused primarily on inside sales reps. On the other hand, outside sales reps, which represent over half of the roughly 15M sales people in the US, have seen fewer tools emerge dedicated to solving their unique pain points (estimates according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Nowhere is this pain point more acute than in sales intelligence. Sales managers are tasked with overseeing a team of sales reps, coaching them, and improving their performance. That requires data on your reps’ customer engagements. For example, imagine you’re a manager of a field sales team at a home services business that sells windows to homeowners. In this scenario, you know who your top performing reps are – they close the most business every month, every quarter. But what about the rest of your reps? What is the average sales rep, or a below average rep, not doing in their customer engagements that the top reps are? What parts of your sales playbook are your reps omitting from their process? What types of customer objections are your reps facing, and how are your reps addressing them? Which of your competitors are coming up in customer conversations, and how are your reps selling against them?
In the past, outside sales teams solved this problem around lack of clarity into customer engagements by having managers shadow their sales reps in-person, a process known in the industry as “ride-alongs”. Ride-alongs can be extremely time-consuming. In industries like home services, customer engagements can be anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, meaning managers can only see 1-2 customer engagements with a single rep in a day. Reps could get around this by taking notes in digital notetaking apps or by pen and paper, or by using voice memos to record notes about the conversation either during or after customer engagement. Those notes can then be reviewed by a rep and their manager to identify areas to improve upon in future sales engagement. These various processes can be time-consuming, incomplete, and ultimately ineffective at coaching reps and improving sales performance for outside sales teams.
Those challenges are coming to an end, however, as Rillavoice is redefining sales intelligence for outside sales teams. For the first time, outside sales teams have an application dedicated to them that enables the recording, transcription, and analysis of face-to-face conversations with customers.
The company’s application is used by reps to record customer engagements in a compliant manner via mobile devices, tablets, or computers. Rillavoice’s proprietary signal processing and natural language processing algorithms then analyze the customer conversation, understands what they say and the context behind it, and generates insights for sales managers to implement best practices across their sales teams. Rillavoice’s customers can upload their unique sales playbook to the app and create custom markers that flag key moments in customer conversations such as price objections and competitor mentions. That data can then be used to improve rep performance and ultimately close more business.
Thousands of salespeople use Rillavoice across the US today, in industries such as home services, telecom, solar energy, and insurance, among others. Some of the largest enterprises in these industries, such as Duke Energy, Window Nation, and Rebath use Rillavoice across their sales teams.
Rillavoice was founded by Sebastian Jimenez, Michael Castellanos, Chris Martin, and Lukasz Niepolski, four entrepreneurs and engineers who met in high school and college. After discovering the lack of sales intelligence tooling dedicated to outside sales reps, the team came together, and Rillavoice was born.
We at Crew Capital are incredibly excited to be leading a seed financing round in Rillavoice and partnering with Sebastian, Michael, and the entire Rillavoice team as they make sales intelligence accessible to sales reps selling face-to-face in the physical world.
We’re also excited to announce the great group of coinvestors who joined us in the financing, including Entrepreneurs’ Roundtable Fund, the Launch Fund by Jason Calacanis, Broom Ventures, Comma Capital, and the NYU Innovation Venture Fund.