Building an Operating System for Enterprise Sales Process – Our Investment in BuyerAssist
Enterprise sales is a journey, not just a transaction. It involves complex project management spread across 100s of emails, telephonic conversations, project management tools and many ad-hoc documents. Add to this, the extensive collaboration and alignment that is required between multiple stakeholders in buyer and seller organizations. The sales closing process involves multiple steps like demo, RFP, ROI calculation, feasibility review, solutioning, security assessment, vendor onboarding, deal structuring, etc. to name a few. The process typically goes on for 6 to 12 months and then transitions into implementation, onboarding and training processes to ensure that value is delivered to the buyer.
To traverse this complex journey smoothly, the sellers create a Mutual Close Plan – aka Mutual Success Plan (MSP). Good sales people do this jointly with the buyers, as the word “mutual” should suggest. MSP outlines the key milestones, intermediate steps, target dates along with owners of milestones from buyers and sellers side. MSP is geared towards not just closing the deal, but also ensuring that the buyer is able to get the maximum value from the partnership. Typically prepared on excel sheets and uploaded on CRM on a weekly basis, the MSP is the single source of truth on the progress of the project for both sides. However in reality, multiple versions of the truth exist. Sales leadership often falters to find the latest updated version of the Mutual Close Plan for their quarterly projections. Missed follow ups and deadlines are still common due to lack of discipline and visibility. It was quite surprising that technology has not yet been leveraged to make Mutual Success Plans more efficient and effective.
Enter BuyerAssist.io – our recent seed investment.
BuyerAssist is a collaborative platform shared between buyers and sellers to drive clarity and alignment at each step. It digitizes the creation of Mutual Success Plan creating better visibility leading to faster value realization. With automated reminders, checklists of action items and flagging potential risks, BuyerAssist makes account executives more disciplined. It also empowers the buyer to get actively involved in the process enabling seamless exchange of information at one place instead of multiple email threads. Additionally, it helps seller organizations plan and collaborate effectively by giving better visibility to the progress of each deal.
To summarize, BuyerAssist delivers 3 core value propositions to sellers:
- Faster time to value for buyers (lower sales cycle and higher renewal rates)
- Better alignment and collaboration between buyers and sellers
- Better visibility to internal support teams and sales leadership
We believe that this is a perfect timing to build such a solution. Two decades back, sales stack meant just “CRM” which was effectively a pipeline management solution. Over this time, there has been a continuous segmentation of this stack – sales intelligence, sales readiness, sales enablement, conversational intelligence, incentive management, etc. Surprisingly, the last mile of this process – closure – which most sales people will tell you is the most critical step of sales, has not been rethought. Need for such a solution has only gone up in the last 18 months with the pandemic as buyers and sellers have become more comfortable in remote collaboration.
In Shyam, Shankar and Amit – the ex-MindTickle trio that co-founded BuyerAssist, we see a perfect blend of domain understanding and complementary functional expertise. The team is uniquely poised to solve this problem as they have themselves been through multiple enterprise sales cycles, built enterprise products & businesses and understands what it takes to build trusted relationships with enterprise customers. They have seen that journey from a very early stage to a scaled up enterprise software company. Shyam was in GTM leadership roles and understands the fine nuances of enterprise selling. Shankar has done frontline enterprise sales while Amit is an engineering leader who has built enterprise grade products. Their personal affinity for the problem coupled with a desire to build a large impactful business led them to start BuyerAssist.
BuyerAssist has already started delivering value to their design partners and recently opened up their beta product to new customers. The team’s commitment to build a world class product and deliver true value to their customers is heartening and we feel privileged as well as excited to partner with them. We are also delighted to partner with Emergent Ventures who bring significant experience in building Enterprise SaaS businesses in the US.