[Funding alert] SalesKen raises $22M in Series B capital led by Microsoft and Sequoia

With this funding, SalesKen aims to enter the US markets and is also looking closely at product development.
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Sales conversation AI startup SalesKen has raised $22 million in a Series B round of funding, led by M12, Microsoft’s Venture Fund. The round also saw participation from existing investor - Sequoia India. The funds will be used to accelerate expansion into the North American market and invest further into their proprietary deep tech product.  

"In the last 18 months, SalesKen has grown 300 percent in revenue and successfully launched our North American operations. We now have customers in Edtech, Banking, Financial Services, Construction, Logistics, FMCG and several other B2C sectors. From a product perspective, we have made our real time cues more sophisticated through a deeper sales intelligence, and continue to productise winning sales insights into actionable guidance," said Surga Thilakan, Co-founder and CEO, SalesKen in a conversation with HerStory.

She explained that the conversation AI industry has seen a rapid growth in the last couple of years due to the need for intelligent software to manage remote teams. SalesKen is creating a whole new category of real time, in-call intelligence to assist inside sales reps during live calls. 

Abhi Kumar, Partner at M12, who will be the new member of the board at SalesKen, said in a note shared by the company, “Mapping customer personas to relevant products, reading customer emotions and delivering relevant playbook-aligned responses is a persistent challenge for inside sales teams. These challenges persist despite existing efforts to improve sales outcomes through training, pre-call preparation and post-call analytics.

He explained SalesKen is defining the massive category for ‘In-Call Sales Intelligence’; it delivers immediate impact, improving conversions across sales organisations by 15-25 percent within 60 days of go-live.

The platform claims to improve the revenue per rep by developing insights on gaps in their sales calls and bridging the gap with real time cues to the sales reps.

SalesKen’s co-founders, Surga and Sreeraman Vaidyanathan, spent over 10 years training over 20,000 sales reps and combined their deep domain expertise of sales coaching with cutting edge engineering and data science to build a product that has seen rapid global adoption over the past two years. 

According to Surga, Covid expanded remote selling modes to other more traditional industries that were previously selling through outside sales. She added that inside sales is now a reality and here to stay as organisations discover the efficiency and economy of selling remotely over cloud telephony and video conferencing.

In the absence of working from offices, it has become harder for team leaders to train sales reps effectively, with significant onboarding challenges for new recruits. 

"There is also a need for increased visibility in sales productivity at the last mile as reps have gone out of sight. SalesKen has plugged into this growing deep need for sales call analytics and live call assistance, and seen a huge growth spurt on the back of this demand," said Surga.

She said SalesKen is creating a whole new conversation AI category within sales tech called “Real time in-call sales intelligence” and looking to evangelise and establish category leadership over the next few years, while expanding globally to inside sales organisations across various industry verticals. 

Shailesh Lakhani, Partner at Sequoia Capital, said, “SalesKen has made great progress since their Series A by showing tangible results to customers in the US and India. The market they operate in is growing rapidly and SalesKen's product is rapidly iterating to serve a multitude of sales team requirements. Sequoia India is delighted to continue to support Surga and team SalesKen.”

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