Why Armilar invested in Amplemarket…
… and a few insights on outbound sales tech
Earlier this year, we announced Armilar’s investment in Amplemarket’s $12M Series A. In this post, we share our views on the outbound sales tech landscape and why we decided to co-lead this funding round, alongside Comcast Ventures.
B2B outbound sales are broken
Over the past decade, inbound marketing and digital advertising have gained momentum and, consequently, have increased their share in B2B marketing budgets. The upsurge in reach and relevance of search and social networks, as well as the development of supporting marketing tools such as SEMrush and HubSpot, have enabled companies to drive and convert traffic in a scalable and cost-efficient way.
The rapid developments and impact of inbound marketing and digital ads created the perception that outbound sales, and, in particular, cold contacting — i.e., reaching out unsolicitedly to potential customers –, no longer worked. But, in fact, today, most B2B sales revenues are coming from Outbound activities.
The problem with cold contacting today is that it is, mostly, a manual process, with a “shotgun” approach and highly dependent on the skills of sales reps. To successfully get to a discovery call (the first conversation with a prospect customer after he has shown some level of initial interest), sales reps need to use several tools and do multiple manual activities, including:
- Prospecting potential clients, e.g., by using Crunchbase fundraising information, Clearbit company data, buying intent from Bombora, etc.
- Finding the right person within the target organization on Linkedin/SalesNavigator
- Enriching contact information (e.g., e-mail, phone number) with Rocket Reach or Hunter.io
- Engaging and holding several back-and-forth interactions, through multiple channels (LinkedIn, e-mail, and phone), leveraging automation tools such as phone dialers, LinkedIn automation plugins, calendars, etc.
As sales tools are poorly integrated — despite being great point solutions -, sales reps spend a significant amount of time setting up, learning about, interacting with, and coordinating all the tools they need. Time that they could be using more productively doing what they do best, selling.
Then, there is the whole matter of effectiveness of the outbound contacts. Relevance is everything! Contacting the right person within the right customer, at the right time, for the right reason, is what makes the difference between closing a sale and being classified as spam, as any good salesperson will tell you. There are many cues, many signals that can be read from multiple sources to help qualify and time the leads. But how can you integrate all the signals into one appropriate action, and how can you ensure the right level or personalization of the outbound contact to maximize its relevance, when the data is scattered and sourced from different tools, and when your contact channels are not fully integrated with those tools. Sure, you can manually adjust each cold email to reflect each contact’s situation, but that isn’t really feasible if you are reaching out to tens, or hundreds, of potential customers a day. And with limited time to personalize the approach, contact attempts have limited conversion rates — less than 25% of sales emails are ever open and many emails end up in the spam folder. And how about using channels other than email, in a coordinated way as part of your outbound sequence, to maximize the acceptance of your outreach? Impossible to do manually at scale without a full integration of your campaigns!
The Holy Grail of marketing is to reach the right customer, at the right time and with the right message, all at scale.
And that’s exactly what Amplemarket aims to provide to its customers — nothing short of the Holy Grail!
Amplemarket provides an all-in-one outbound solution, enabling sales reps to be more efficient and have a higher chance of conversion on the top of the funnel — from prospecting potential customers until the discovery call.
In a nutshell, it integrates, in a single tool, a broad and deep database of companies and business contacts, advanced prospection features (including LinkedIn integration), detection of relevant buying signals and generation of leads, while enabling the execution of semi-automated highly personalized multichannel (LinkedIn, e-mail and dialer) campaigns with the highest degree of deliverability.
With such a strong technology and product, it comes with no surprise that some of the most sophisticated sales teams, such as those from Rippling, G2, Deel and many others, are using Amplemarket to fully manage their outbound activities, and reporting a significant uplift in sales. In essence, by increasing the number of meetings (on average, by 58%) and by making sales reps significantly more efficient (i.e., allowing them to achieve higher conversion rates with lower effort), Amplemarket allows companies to broaden their reach and even target new client segments via outbound sales.
Needless to say, Amplemarket also acquires most of its customers, from enterprises to SMEs, by leveraging the Amplemarket product. With a strong, and accelerating, early traction, they are, themselves, a testament to the quality and relevance of their product!
However, Amplemarket was not built “overnight”. Having originally founded Orankl (a YC-backed email marketing and reviews platform for e-commerce players) in 2013, it took 9 years (and a pivot) for the Batalha brothers, João and Luís, and Micael Oliveira to design, launch, and ultimately raise Amplemarket’s Series A, to fuel its current fast growth trajectory. Over this period, they’ve shown an astonishing level of grit to overcome numerous challenges, as well as an unusual acumen to understand what the market needs, and the skills to build it. As engineers (one computer scientist and two physicists), they had to learn sales the hard way, but were able to very successfully apply the scientific method and a pragmatic approach to the issues surrounding outbound sales.
Moreover, since the launch of their product, they have been able to attract a multicultural team of extraordinary professionals, all while creating an incredible culture of belonging and ambition.
Finally, a fun fact: Amplemarket’s founders are also the people behind Fermat’s Library, a pro-bono and well-known annotation tool for academic papers used by thousands of people all over the world. They really do know a thing or two about the scientific method and about generating engagement!
We’re extremely bullish that Amplemarket will lead the new playbook for outbound sales. As they use the Series A funding to accelerate, we are thrilled to join the team in this exciting journey!