Why I'm Excited About First Round's Investment In Salescrunch

Let’s face it: Sales are the bastard stepchild of the startup world.

While everyone was buzzing about the Verizon iPhone, there was a short mention (Thanks Peter!) about a New York company called Salescrunch that we funded.  It was an order of magnitude smaller funding than what Formspring raised to take yet another crack at the Q & A Holy Grail, and much less than what Klout raised to measure influence in the Twitter ecosystem, so it didn’t get a lot of buzz.

Helping companies make money just isn’t a very interesting goal for a startup these days.

That’s unfortunate, because Salescrunch is one of the most exciting deals I’ve ever seen and Sean Black is the right person for the right job if I’ve ever seen one.

So what does Salescrunch do?  First of all, their CrunchConnect product will make your pitches a lot easier, by not forcing your clients to download plugins to do over the web presentations.  If nothing else, that’s going to make all our lives a lot easier—and now that DimDim is getting shut down, there aren’t a lot of other usable options.

The real excitement over Salescrunch, though, is how the platform can help you make your sales team perform better.  By recording the calls from your best sales professionals, and allowing you to share them across your team, you can immediately create an environment that focuses on best practices.  Ever sit in on a sales call with one of your team members?  The process is extremely insightful—not only to hear how your team is pitching, but to hear, first hand, customer objections as well.  I’m sure there are a lot of product people that would like to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.  That’s CrunchTrainer and that will be out soon.  It’s all built on that initial CrunchConnect platform.

When you’ve identified issues and gaps in your team’s knowledge, that’s where SalesSchool comes in.  There are over 500 companies involved in sales training, and there’s no efficient way for them to reach their end consumers with their content in a consistently measureable way.

Helping companies build a culture of continuous improvement in the sales process, listening to customers, and focusing on best practices is something that every VP of Sales we talked to wants to do.  The market is clamoring for a company like this and we’re super psyched to be a part of it.  I’m even more excited to be working with Chris Fralic, who is the partner on point here for First Round and Theresia Ranzetta from Accel, who joined us in this round.  I know Theresia back from when I was at the GM pension fund and we were an LP.  I even got to pitch to her twice with Path 101 (I only get turned down by the best!).  It’s exciting to see Accel in NYC and getting to work with them on one of our most exciting new investments, even if it’s not a Twitter based geolocation app for the iPhone to enable group buying in Quora. 

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