VIVUN, WHICH OFFERS A SAAS ITEM TO AUTOMATE THE ADMINISTRATION OF PRESALES PROCESSES, INCREASES $35M SERIES B DIRECTED BY MENLO VENTURES (MICHAEL VIZARD/VENTUREBEAT)

Vivun provides a software-as-a-service (SaaS) system dubbed Hero that automates the management of presales processes. Today the company uncovered it has garnered $35 mil in additional funding using a series B round directed by Menlo Ventures.

While customer connection management (CRM) software is broadly employed to manage sales procedures, applications optimized for presales teams — made up of technicians who often have more information into which deals will probably close than other associates of the sales team — aren’t widely deployed, Vivun cofounder and CEO Matt Darrow said.

Vivun is focused upon presales processes that are specifically critical in IT sales regarding software and increasingly complicated IT infrastructure platforms. The business counts among its clients Autodesk, Okta, Cloudera, plus Dell. But industry sections like aerospace face comparable presales management challenges, Darrow noted. “These issues affect all sorts of industries, ” this individual said.

Presales engineers tend to have a better concept of which deals are likely to close up based on the attributes of an item. As that data is definitely captured in Hero, the woking platform applies AI and other information science techniques. It can, for instance , identify when enhancements to some product might address the technical gap that got resulted in an organization losing offers. That expert system is invoked via a natural language digesting (NLP) engine Vivun created.

Hero is made to enable presales teams to generate their own lists to prioritize tasks based on their choices, as opposed to relying solely around the agenda of a sales team that could not have as deep the technical understanding of a platform’s capabilities. Presales engineers may also receive personalized alerts depending on those preferences.

Hero offers a scoring program for rating the likelihood the deal will close making use of clustering techniques that determine similar sales opportunities which have been closed successfully. Hero may also recommend strategies that have been shown to remedy risky deals or perhaps bolster sales opportunities.

While presales groups have historically been seen as an adjunct to salesmen, who typically engage the client first, Darrow said presales teams often have a much deeper understanding of each customer’s needs. Based on that knowledge, they might have a better appreciation that deals are likely to close depending on what they learned during events with other customers, Darrow stated.

Those insights can be balanced towards less technically oriented users of the sales team who usually tend to be overly optimistic concerning the prospects of closing the deal, Darrow said. That will doesn’t necessarily mean an offer won’t close. Sometimes salesmen have a deep enough partnership with the customer to enable them to get over any potential technical hurdles. Nevertheless, the “biggest tone of voice in the room” should not regularly be allowed to dictate the share of limited presales executive resources, Darrow said.

Organizations have for many years invested billions in systems to automate sales administration processes, with mixed outcomes. A CRM application, for instance , is often employed more like a system of record for product sales managers and finance professionals than as a tool to allow individual salespeople to succeed. The majority of those CRM platforms aren’t designed to maximize the expense in a sales engineering team that needs to support several deals before and after they near. In fact , Darrow notes that will customers often trust people of sales engineering groups because of their technical acumen.

Regardless of how an offer is closed, the need to deal with presale and post-sale executive processes using a dedicated system will only continue growing.

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