Databook: Empowering Sales Teams to Meet Quota with AI-driven Insights
by Josh Stein, Partner, Threshold Ventures
We are thrilled to announce that we’ve led a $5M seed round for Databook, welcoming founder and CEO Anand Shah and his team to Threshold’s portfolio of innovative enterprise solutions.
Databook provides an AI-powered customer intelligence platform that arms strategic account executives with insights to be better positioned during the sales process. Databook’s IP lies in its robust intelligence layer, which Anand developed and productized based on his experience building the strategic sales practice at one of the world’s largest consulting companies.
Strategic sales is a huge category of enterprise spend, and yet sales reps, who are typically covering multiple accounts, still struggle to really understand customer’s pain points or how to best frame conversations to strategically align their solutions with each customer’s goals. Reps prioritize in-person time with customers, leaving little time to sift through news alerts or financial data that could be used to better position themselves. Many point solutions are built to aggregate data for sales reps, but they often exacerbate the problem by overwhelming reps with dispersed information that isn’t easily actionable. And even with the right data, sales reps are often not trained to analyze complex financial statements or industry reports. Sales organizations suffer from huge variability in performance across their teams, a problem that we believe Databook can help solve by equipping teams with better and more actionable tools.
Databook’ s platform makes extensive use of natural language processing and AI to parse through thousands of data sources and give sales reps a point of view about their customers so they can determine:
- The best time to engage customers.
- The company benchmarks against peer’s KPIs.
- The customer’s annual initiatives and how the product aligns.
By turning data into insights, Databook reduces the time that account executives spend on research and provides them with a financial case for change so that they can close more deals faster.
During our diligence, what really caught our attention was the glowing reviews we got from Databook’s customers. Sales reps that we talked to described Databook as “indispensable” and “my most valuable tool;” one rep felt such a high ROI that they were willing to pay for it out-of-pocket, telling us “I can’t do my job if I’m doing research. I drive value when I’m with my customers, not at my desk. Databook doesn’t just funnel information to me, it gives me a point of view that’s already synthesized — data and analysis that help me form my narrative. I know my customer better than the customer’s employees do, and bringing an informed point of view helps me build credibility from the get-go.” As another rep succinctly put it, “In this new economy, if account executives don’t come prepared with a point of view, companies won’t waste time on us.”
We found that sales managers championed Databook as well. “I want my salespeople to be experts so they can understand industry trends and peer benchmarks. I want customers to know that we’ve thought deeply about their problems. Databook forces reps to do homework before a call so they don’t just give a generic pitch.” Unlike existing tools that mostly provide data without context, Databook raises the business acumen of salespeople who have no finance or tech background. Databook makes data useful and actionable.
Our team was amazed to see how passionate Databook’s users are about the product, and I was equally impressed to see their qualitative feedback quantitatively reflected in measurably improved performance at the customers’ sales teams.
At Threshold, we often discuss the Threshold effects that create a “Why now?” opportunity. For Databook, we see both market and technology forces converging:
- Cloud SaaS is widespread and competitive, which creates an added burden for sales teams to differentiate their products.
- Industries are evolving more rapidly than ever before, making it increasingly difficult for sales teams to manage trends, news, and priorities for their customers.
- Sales teams are under pressure to communicate IT and business goals to their clients since the two are increasingly intertwined.
- Companies are producing more data than ever before that is accessible via APIs, databases, transcripts, publications and earnings reports.
- Natural language processing and AI enable Databook to analyze this data and produce deep insights on companies at a scale and cost that was not possible earlier.
We are excited to be backing a company with passionate users, in a large and expanding market, at the convergence of these threshold effects. To learn more, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.