- Vivun, the creator of the world’s first product for Presales, announced it raised $3 million in a seed round of funding led by Unusual Ventures
Vivun — the creator of the world’s first product for Presales — announced it has raised $3 million in a seed round of funding led by Unusual Ventures, the seed-stage venture firm led by serial entrepreneurs Jyoti Bansal and John Vrionis. And Vivun sells its products to multi-billion-dollar software companies, fast-growing B2B startups like SignalFX (acquired by Splunk), and Bansal himself. Bansal first encountered Vivun’s software as CEO of his latest startup Harness.
“Our head of Presales came in and said, ‘You’ve got to see this,’” said Bansal. “It didn’t take long to see why. To be successful, a technology company needs to understand three things: where it will be in five years, what its customers need right now, and what the market wants that it’s not currently providing. Presales has answers to all three questions and is a strategically important department that needs management, analytics, and tools for accelerating deals. Yet, no one was making software for this critical department until Vivun.”
Presales — also known as Sales Engineers, Solution Engineers, Solution Consultants, and Field Engineers — is considered one of the largest divisions in the enterprise. And though officially part of Sales, Presales serves as a bridge between the product and revenue-generating functions. After Sales makes contact with a potential customer, Presales is called in to determine the customer’s technical requirements, walk through a demo and, guide the pilot deployment if all goes well.
As the VP of Presales then Product — during Zuora’s IPO run — Vivun CEO Matthew Darrow saw the impact Presales could have on a business. And he also saw how much of Presales’ potential went unrealized because they were doing their jobs with a mishmash of spreadsheets and systems owned by other teams.
“The thing people don’t realize about Presales is that they get even closer to the customer than Sales,” explained Darrow. “Presales are the ones rolling up their sleeves and working alongside the users. They know things no one else knows, including what it takes to get a prospect to buy. But because there’s no system of record for Presales, all that knowledge goes untapped. Sometimes you launch a feature that could win a bunch of new customers or drive upsells, but the sales team never hears about it. Or Presales sees capabilities the market is demanding, and word never gets back to the product team. In both cases, the intelligence the business needed is locked up in Presales. It happens all the time.”
Hero by Vivun unlocks the strategic potential of Presales with sophisticated features for team management as well as tools for channeling customer intelligence to product and sales staff, identifying critical shortfalls, and flagging opportunities that have come back to life. And Hero by Vivun’s innovations include:
– Sales-Product Hub (aligns go-to-market and development teams to achieve breakout growth)
– Market Foresight (prioritizes features that drive maximum business benefit like revenue, competitive differentiation, and churn reduction)
– Activity Management: shortens sales cycles by uncovering the patterns that get deals done
– Hero Score: Nails the sales forecast and leverages data science to rank opportunities on their technical merit
– Deal Revival: Closes the deals your sales team forgot about
– Smart Alerts: Accelerates opportunities with real-time and personalized alerts
“All too often, Presales is relegated to a support role as the ‘demo team,’” commented Darrow. “That’s a big mistake. Presales is your product and industry expert. It’s your most strategic asset. If you’ve ever worked a deal you knew would never close, or seen a product team spend months building features that didn’t move the needle, you can be sure information wasn’t flowing from Presales to the teams that needed it. Presales staff are scarce, expensive and hard to hire. You owe it to the business to give them the proper support. If you do, you’ll not only make Presales more effective, you’ll transform your entire go-to-market.”