Qualified secures $5 million Series A funding to fuel conversational marketing vision
Qualified, a tech marketing startup that solve a core problem that B2B companies have been grappling with for decades, today announced it has closed a $5 million Series A funding round to fuel its conversational marketing vision. The round was led by our long-time friends at Redpoint Ventures and Salesforce Ventures. Conversational marketing is a new way for B2B companies to transform the way they engage with buyers and differentiate from the competition.
The new capital infusion will enable Qualified to move even faster, deliver even more innovation, and take customer success to new heights. The new strategic investment from Salesforce Ventures will also be used to deliver a conversational marketing solution that runs natively on the Salesforce Platform and is purpose-built for Salesforce CRM and Salesforce Pardot, the company said in a blog post on its website.
Founded in 2018 by Kraig Swensrud and Sean Whiteley, Qualified is a conversational marketing startup that helps companies to convert more of their inbound website traffic into pipeline for sales. Qualified app alerts company reps instantly when qualified prospects arrive on their website, and make it easier for them to engage with customers in real-time through live chat, voice calls, and screen sharing. Qualified customers report increases in conversation volume (10X), qualified lead volume (+34%), and sales pipeline (+68%), the key metrics for any B2B sales and marketing organization.
According to the blog post, the company claims that CMOs will spend $6B running online campaigns in 2019 alone. “Every targeted ad, every email drop, every keyword buy, every social post, and every dollar spent is designed to drive traffic to their company’s website. But if a prospect wants to talk to sales, they have to fill out a form that ends with “thanks, we’ll get back to you later.” The problem? Buyers move onto other things and sales reps struggle to respond fast enough to engage the buyer and begin the selling process,” Kraig Swensrud and Sean Whiteley, Qualified co-founders said.
By contrast, B2C companies provide a quick, seamless sales experience. When you go to any B2C website like Netflix or Spotify, everything is personalized and you can stream content instantly. When you visit Amazon, the site makes product recommendations for you that you can buy with one click. When you explore Apple, you can talk to an expert, buy a MacBook, and it shows up at your door by courier in under an hour.
Qualified runs on a website and has a built-in rules engine that determines in real time which visitors are qualified to meet with sales. The qualification engine determines buying intent by evaluating campaign attribution, browsing behavior and matching visitors to the demographic and firmographic data from a company’s internal systems, such as Salesforce.
When qualified prospects are identified, the sales team is alerted in real time and both parties can engage in a conversation instantly on the website using a full stack of meeting tools including live chat, voice calls, and screen sharing. When the sales team is too busy or the buyers don’t meet qualification criteria, automated chat bots step in to collect information and book meetings for sales.