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Sales Engagement Platforms

Artificial intelligence is helping sales teams manage relationships and optimize the customer lifecycle.

Overview

Sales engagement platforms (SEPs) provide a single interface for sales departments to plan, optimize, and execute interactions with prospective buyers and then deliver services throughout the customer lifecycle. SEPs distinguish themselves from previous generations of sales technologies by focusing on improving the overall quality of sales interactions and the actions taken to convert prospective customers and retain permanent customers.

Powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), platforms which specialize in different stages of the sales journey as well as comprehensive all-in-one sales and marketing solutions, are driving the demand for SEPs. Traditional sales tools are unable to provide efficient personalized solutions at scale, while the improved return on investment (ROI) through increased conversion rates and elevated customer lifetime value is a key value proposition for SEP adoption.

What's driving this industry?
Market Sizing

Global market size for sales engagement platforms expected to reach USD 5.7-12.8 billion by 2026

Conservative case

USD 5.7 Bn

Low Penetration
Base case

USD 8.7 Bn

Average Penetration
Expansion case

USD 12.8 Bn

High Penetration
USD billion0246810121416202120222023202420252026
View details

COVID-19 IMPACT

An increase in digitalization has led to a shift in sales strategies toward automation and omni channel touch points—boosting demand for sales engagement platforms (SEPs).

Email marketing has seen a positive impact with reports of higher year-over-year (YoY) open rates across financial services (27.1%), media and publishing (23.9%), and healthcare (23.7%) sectors during March 2021.

Leading disruptors Lusha, MindTickle and People.ai have raised large funding rounds at unicorn valuations since the pandemic, reflecting ongoing traction for SEPs despite economic headwinds.

  • Lusha: Raised USD 205 million with post-money valuation at USD 1.5 billion, in November 2021.

  • MindTickle: Raised USD 100 million at a USD 1.2 billion valuation in August 2021. A month later, the company expanded its platform capabilities as it transitions to provide a single, integrated platform.

  • People.ai: Raised USD 100 million at a USD 1.1 billion valuation in August 2021. The company also revealed that its customer base grew 260% over the past year, likely leading to its unicorn valuation. 

View detail

Market Mapping


The largest identified disruptor, ZoomInfo, specializes in offering conversational and lead generation solutions. Other leading disruptors, such as Zenvia and Salesloft offer a more complete solution, following in the footsteps of larger incumbent players that have opted for an end-to-end offering. Sales workflow and sales campaign automation disruptors are small-scale in terms of funding in comparison to other disruptors, with the exception of Aurora Solar, while sales coaching has garnered the least activity. Leading disruptors Bigtincan, Highspot and Seismic in the segment have become an integral part of sales teams to help drive growth in the number of users. Players such as Revenue Grid, VanillaSoft and Reply.io have largely bootstrapped operations while expanding their offerings.

Incumbents
Growth
Early
Seed
Pre-Seed
Conversational intelligence
?
Sales workflow automation
?
Sales Campaign automation
?
Lead generation
?
Sales Intelligence
?
Sales coaching
?
After-sales service
?
Integrated offering
?
(ManageEngine)
(ManageEngine)
(ManageEngine)
(ManageEngine)
(ManageEngine)
(ManageEngine)
(ManageEngine)
(ManageEngine)
Gong
MindTickle
Qualified
mPulse Mobile
ForceManager
ZoomInfo
VanillaSoft
Close
Koncert
InteractiveTel
Orum
Second Nature
Outplay
Allego
Salesroom
bao
Aircover
Sealed.ai
Unique
Pickle
Accenture
Wishpond Technologies
Aurora Solar
Apollo.io
Totango
Chili Piper
Scratchpad
Vymo
LeadIQ
Penny AI
ForceManager
Spotio
VanillaSoft
Dooly
Groove
Avoma
Attentive
Leap
Whatslly
Nektar.ai
Logik.io
Accord
Hub
FunnelFlare
Yesware
Cirrus Insight
Close
Saleshandy
Mailshake
Levitate
Mixmax
Outplay
Klentysoft
Lawmatics
SellX
File Channels
Funnelfly
Lusha
Cognism
Introhive
Affinity
ZoomInfo
Spotio
Databook
RightBound
Vitally
GrowthGenius
Clodura
Vainu
Microsoft
Accent Technologies
Clari
Outreach
6sense
People.ai
Apollo.io
Totango
Conversica
Vivun
Cognism
Drift
BoostUp.ai
Revenue.io
Revenue Grid
Endgame
Atrium
Salesfloor
Draup
Calixa
Vitally
Clientbook
Echobot
Cloudapps
Correlated
Amy
CloseFactor
Botco.ai
PreSkale
Quark
Highspot
Seismic
MindTickle
Showpad
Penny AI
Bigtincan
Second Nature
Allego
Issuetrak
Zoho (ManageEngine)
Dixa
Hiver
Trengo
Help Scout
Thankful
NumberAI
Zervicio
Salesforce
Adobe
SugarCRM
Zendesk
SAP
Oracle
Cisco Systems
Freshworks
Aurea Software
Hootsuite
Salesloft
Intercom
DealHub
Zenvia
Tact.ai
Conquer
Airkit
Mediafly
Walnut
Zomentum
Journey Sales
Reply.io
Pitcher
Recapped.io
BuyerAssist
Momentum
Gondola
SmartKarrot
Chatwoot
SendSquared
Upscale

The Disruptors


Leading disruptors in the sales engagement platform (SEP) space either specialize in a particular aspect of the sales journey or provide an integrated offering, providing a  collection of tools and services ranging from personalized content for account based marketing, customer relationship management (CRM) automation, conversational intelligence, coaching and guided sales tactics for sales representatives.

The industry is led by a handful of established players working on artificial intelligence-based (AI-based) solutions for customer insights and execution of sales playbooks. Publicly traded ZoomInfo has a valuation of USD 8.2 billion (June 2020), and leads the pack of well funded disruptors we have identified, which also includes Salesloft, Clari, Outreach, Mindtickle and People.ai which as of end 2021 have also crossed the USD 200 million fundraising mark.

Conversational intelligence

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
ZoomInfo
Public - Market cap USD 20.1 bn
Gong
583
MindTickle
281
Qualified
163
mPulse Mobile
42
Orum
29
ForceManager
16
Second Nature
16
Salesroom
9
Allego
8
VanillaSoft
4
Aircover
3
Pickle
2
Close
Unknown
Koncert
Unknown
InteractiveTel
Unknown
Unique
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Outplay
bao
Sealed.ai

Sales workflow automation

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Aurora Solar
523
Apollo.io
151
Totango
147
Dooly
102
Groove
61
Chili Piper
54
Scratchpad
50
Vymo
45
LeadIQ
40
Penny AI
31
ForceManager
16
Avoma
15
Whatslly
11
Logik.io
10
Attentive
7
Spotio
5
VanillaSoft
4
Leap
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Nektar.ai
Accord
Hub
FunnelFlare

Sales Campaign automation

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Yesware
47
Levitate
20
Mixmax
13
SellX
2
Cirrus Insight
1
Close
Unknown
File Channels
Unknown
Saleshandy
Unknown
Klentysoft
Unknown
Mailshake
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Lawmatics
Outplay
Funnelfly

Lead generation

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
ZoomInfo
Public - Market cap USD 20.1 bn
Lusha
245
Cognism
127
Introhive
126
Affinity
120
Databook
71
RightBound
28
Vitally
9
Spotio
5
Vainu
5
GrowthGenius
2
Clodura
Unknown

Sales Intelligence

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Clari
496
Outreach
489
6sense
426
People.ai
200
Apollo.io
151
Totango
147
Conversica
132
Vivun
131
Cognism
127
Drift
107
BoostUp.ai
57
Endgame
52
Revenue.io
36
Atrium
34
Salesfloor
30
Revenue Grid
22
Draup
20
Calixa
16
Vitally
9
Amy
6
Clientbook
6
CloseFactor
5
Echobot
1
Cloudapps
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Correlated
Botco.ai
PreSkale

Sales coaching

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Bigtincan
Public - Market cap USD 309.4 mn
Highspot
645
Seismic
447
MindTickle
281
Showpad
160
Penny AI
31
Second Nature
16
Allego
8

After-sales service

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Dixa
158
Trengo
38
Hiver
30
Help Scout
28
NumberAI
12
Thankful
12
Zervicio
Unknown

Integrated offering

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Zenvia
Public - Market cap USD 95.3 mn
Salesloft
246
Intercom
241
DealHub
85
Airkit
68
Mediafly
60
Walnut
56
Tact.ai
53
Conquer
26
Zomentum
17
Recapped.io
6
Momentum
5
Journey Sales
4
SmartKarrot
3
Reply.io
0
Pitcher
Unknown
Watchlist
?
BuyerAssist
Gondola
Chatwoot
SendSquared
Upscale

ZoomInfo

Founded in 2007, ZoomInfo (formerly known as DiscoverOrg) is a subscription-based, software as a service (SaaS) company that operates a B2B market intelligence database for sales, marketing, operations and recruitment. The platform uses automated machine learning to scan company websites, job listings, SEC filings, and news articles. Its data insights are then used by customers for prospecting, demand generation, and recruiting purposes. The company rebranded its suite of products and services under its operating system RevOS (launched in February 2022), featuring a unified login and app as well as a unified dashboard. As of February 2022, the platform had served more than 20,000 enterprises globally; its data assets consist of over 100 million company profiles and over 4.3 million C-level contacts, with more than 38 million online sources scanned daily. ZoomInfo has offices across the US and Israel.

ZoomInfo has been active in the M&A space over 2019–2021. In June 2021, the company acquired Insent.ai, an enterprise sales platform focused on qualifying leads and converting them by tracking visitor data to generate insights. With the acquisition, ZoomInfo launched “ZoomInfo Chat,” powered by Insent’s AI capabilities. This transaction was followed by the acquisition of Chorus.ai, a conversational intelligence company, in July 2021. Previously, ZoomInfo also acquired data intelligence companies Clickagy (October 2020) and EverString Technology (November 2020). In 2019, the company acquired Komiko (CRM startup) in November and NeverBounce (email verification startup) in March.

For the full year 2021 (FY2021), ZoomInfo reported an EPS of 0.57 and a revenue growth of 57% YoY to USD 747.2 million, with an annual net revenue retention (NRR) rate of 116% (vs. 108% in 2020). Adjusted operating income increased 36% YoY to USD 306.6 million, with an adjusted operating income margin of 41%. With the release of robust Q1 2022 earnings, the company upgraded its full-year 2022 guidance–revenue which is expected to range between USD 1.06-1.07 billion (previous USD 1.01-1.02 billion). Adjusted operating income is expected to range between USD 418-424 million (previous USD 405-415 million), while adjusted EPS guidance is expected to range between USD 0.75-0.77 (previous USD 0.71-0.73).

In June 2020, the company raised USD 935 million in IPO funding with a valuation of USD 8.2 billion.

Segment:
Conversational intelligence
Total funding:
USD 7.0 million
Competitors:
6Sense, Databook, RightBound
Disruptor Funding History

Conversational intelligence:

ZoomInfo
Gong
MindTickle
Qualified
mPulse Mobile
Orum
ForceManager
Second Nature
Salesroom
Allego
VanillaSoft
Aircover
Pickle
Outplay
bao

Sales workflow automation:

Aurora Solar
Apollo.io
Totango
Dooly
Groove
Chili Piper
Scratchpad
Vymo
LeadIQ
Penny AI
ForceManager
Avoma
Whatslly
Logik.io
Attentive
Spotio
VanillaSoft
Nektar.ai
Accord
Hub

Sales Campaign automation:

Yesware
Levitate
Mixmax
SellX
Cirrus Insight
Lawmatics
Outplay

Competitive Analysis


Filter by a segment or companies of your choice
Conversational intelligence

Incumbents


In-house solutions and acquisitions remain common

A majority of incumbents in the sales engagement platform (SEP) space are traditional customer relationship management (CRM) providers who have been able to either adopt rudimentary in-house artificial intelligence (AI) solutions or provide standalone sales software through acquiring startups who provide more complex, tech-enabled solutions.

Most incumbents have focused on creating integrated offerings that provide content management, communication, customer predictive capabilities, and automated data-driven guidance. An analysis of recent acquisitions by industry incumbents further highlights a key trend of moving up the stages of the customer lifecycle. Specifically, large CRM players such as Salesforce and SugarCRM lead in terms of AI-based offerings while facing competition from cloud software providers such as Adobe, SAP, and Oracle, who are also active in the space.

SugarCRM’s acquisitions have been mainly centered around natural language processing (NLP) and predictive analytics to bolster in-house solutions. It acquired CRM analytics technology provider Corvana in September 2019 ahead of the launch of its platform’s principal AI feature, “Sugar Discover”. Similarly, Adobe acquired the SEP platform Marketo for USD 4.8 billion in 2018 and Workfront for USD 1.5 billion in 2020 to complement its in-house offerings.

Over the past three years, Zendesk has built out its customer service offering using omnichannel messaging platforms, lead generation tools, and communication and reporting technologies. In March 2020, Salesforce, a leader in CRM, acquired the customer data platform Evergage to bolster its content personalization and account-based marketing solutions. Similarly, Adobe and SAP have made recent acquisitions in the content personalization and campaign management space.

Conversational intelligence
Sales workflow automation
Sales Campaign automation
Lead generation
Sales Intelligence
Sales coaching
After-sales service
Integrated offering
In House Development
M&A
Partnership
Investment
Salesforce
Adobe
SugarCRM
Zendesk
Microsoft
SAP
Oracle
Accenture
Cisco Systems
Wishpond Technologies
Freshworks
Aurea Software
Hootsuite
Quark
Accent Technologies
Issuetrak
Zoho (ManageEngine)

Notable Investors


No investor data is available

Funding data are powered by Crunchbase
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