We are delighted to announce the second investment out of our $125M Opportunities Fund in Showpad’s Series D, having invested in fellow Belgium-founded Collibra earlier this year in the $100M round led by Alphabet’s CapitalG growth fund.
Salesforce and Marketo get your sales reps in the room with the customer, but then the tech stops at the door
Top sales reps are like top footballers. They are a precious resource and commensurately expensive.
Football clubs spend huge amounts of time and money on getting the best players and deploying them efficiently. Teams of coaches, physios and support staff are paid to ensure players are deployed at the right time in the right place with the right formation and the right teammates. But once those players are out on the pitch, they are on their own — everyone else is waiting on the sidelines.
Sales and marketing is no different. Top sales reps are expensive, so huge amounts of time and money are spent on getting the reps you do have in the right room to close the right deals — efficiency is key.
The rise of the CRM and marketing automation, through the likes of Salesforce and Marketo, has proven the value of tech in efficiently deploying sales talent. Your marketing automation software might drive a number of qualified leads, which are then re-qualified and tracked through your CRM before requiring the sales rep’s focus.
But there is a missing piece of the puzzle. CRM and marketing automation tools are about getting your sales rep in the room with the customer. Once they are in, the tech stops at the door — the rep is in there on their own with the chance of closing a deal. What has been missing is a way to use tech to maximise the chances of the sales rep converting the deal.
The sales enablement opportunity
Enter Showpad. Showpad solves exactly this problem and has pioneered an elegant solution, known as a “sales enablement” platform.
What variables can be optimised? The rep in the room should be: a) as well trained as possible b) equipped with the best tools and collateral to make the time productive and valuable.
The old way of doing things saw out-of-date presentations, every rep having “their own version” of the deck and unharmonised sales messaging — together known as the “content struggle”. The consequence was not enough time for selling, long ramp times for new reps and no clue as to which content was actually effective.
Showpad has defined the modern paradigm with its broad and powerful platform. First, it ensures harmonised content across multiple channels and closes the loop on the success of different pieces of content, delivering valuable attribution insights.
Second, it ensures sales reps receive relevant and up-to-date training, whilst also allowing them to see what content the best reps are using at each stage of the customer journey.
Finally, Showpad’s AI engine is leveraged throughout the platform to provide smart, data-driven recommendations for the next piece of relevant content in the sales journey or the next piece of personalised training material for each rep.
Overall, Showpad optimises the sales rep’s time in the room, resulting in more deals, faster deals and reduced ramp time for new reps.
Sales enablement represents a multi-billion dollar opportunity across multiple verticals, with use cases not limited to customer-facing selling, but also valuable for internal knowledge transfer, channel selling, inside sales and SDR selling.
Doubling down on Showpad
We are thrilled to announce that Dawn has doubled down on Showpad, co-leading its $70M Series D funding round alongside Insight, with participation from new investor Korelya, and existing investor Hummingbird.
We first invested in Showpad in 2014, leading their Series B. At that point, their focus was purely on making sure content was consistent across the sales and marketing organisation. Since then, they have added learning and training capabilities through the acquisition of Chicago-based Learncore, as well as augmenting their platform with AI, data, analytics and customer engagement tools.
Showpad is leading the sales enablement category (as recognised by Forrester, G2 and Gartner) and pioneering the unified platform offering. Customers love their UI and the ability to customise it, as well as their set of integrations across the full modern cloud stack.
Overall, PJ, Louis and the team at Showpad have built an elegant, effective solution and we are thrilled to double down as they scale into a global leader.