Our investment in the professional network for sales.
Today Bravado has come out of stealth mode and announced their Series A, led by Redpoint. I view today as a day to publicly celebrate team Bravado with a special call-out to Sahil Mansuri, the man who initially disappointed his parents, but ended up creating the next big thing for sales.
Sahil’s parents had high hopes for him. They immigrated from India and wished for their son to become a respected doctor or high-achieving lawyer. Much to their chagrin, he became a sales representative. But as it turned out, that was perhaps the best career decision he could make.
As an early employee at Glassdoor, Sahil helped to land some of their biggest customers (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, etc.) and scaled the sales team to what became a $1.2 billion acquisition. Sahil went on to cofound Bravado in 2017 alongside Chris He and Yoni Acriche, Bravado’s CTO and Chief Data Scientist. They were on a mission to change the world’s perception of sales, while helping great salespeople build trust with customers.
I don’t think anyone can deny that the sales profession needs to be, well, professionalized. As product differentiation, especially in the B2B SaaS world, gets thinner and harder to detect, the buyer experience and the relationship with the seller become more important. People have always bought from people (Would you do business with someone you didn’t trust? Didn’t think so.) and this is especially true in enterprise sales. Customers want to do business with trusted advisors who are experts in their industry. B2B companies are aware of this and have started to move away from quotas and started commissioning their sales teams on NPS Score and customer satisfaction. The customer experience is crucial, and salespeople define it.
So long, Glengarry Glen Ross and snake oil salesmen.
The reason we were so excited to invest in Bravado: Vertical networks are powerful and add value to all in the ecosystem. There is Stack Overflow and Github for engineers, Dribbble and Behance for designers, Doximity for doctors… but what about sales? Sales is the most populous job in the United States, with over 18m practitioners, yet no community for sales exists. Bravado is changing that, empowering great salespeople to stand above the fold and differentiate themselves by collecting testimonials from their customers and building their Bravado Credibility Score. If a sales professional’s customers love them and their service, they should be able to attract more customers and leverage their previous expertise. Bravado is recognizing that trust is the currency of sales.
Bravado has members from over 1,000 companies’ sales teams, including Slack, Salesforce, LinkedIn, and Oracle, and the engagement and appreciation from sales professionals is awe-inspiring. Sellers have landed big deals because of Bravado and they have connected with one another and share knowledge on the community platform. Buyers are able to know which sellers to trust and therefore, engage more.
And let’s face it, who isn’t always selling? Don’t think for a second that I haven’t used MY BRAVADO PROFILE to win over a founder or two!
Congratulations to Bravado, and if you’re interested in building your reputation with clients, join me on the new community for sales!