SalesPredict’s predictive lead generation platform was inspired by a desire to ‘change how the business world operates’
A Q&A with SalesPredict founder and CEO Yaron Zakai-Or. The Tel Aviv-based startup, which offers a predictive analytics-based lead generation engine for salespeople, completed a $4.1 million Series A funding round in mid-May. Prominent investors include Russian search giant Yandex and KGC Capital. The company was founded in 2012 by Zakai-Or and CTO Kira Radinsky, and has raised a total of $5.1 million between this most recent round and a Seed round last year.
SUB: Please describe SalesPredict and your primary innovation.
Zakai-Or: SalesPredict helps companies increase revenue by focusing sales, marketing and customer success teams on the best potential prospects. And by best, we mean the ones statistically most likely to convert to a sale.
How do we do this? Predictive analytics. SalesPredict goes beyond lead scoring to provide buying signal insights and enhanced data that help target and fine-tune campaigns and sales pitches to deliver the most effective messages for each prospect.
SUB: Who are your target markets and users?
Zakai-Or: Our initial target market is B2B companies in the U.S., with a major focus on technology companies. Our target users are marketing, sales and customer success professionals who are tasked with generating revenue for their companies and reducing customer churn.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition, and what differentiates SalesPredict from the competition?
Zakai-Or: Our main competitors are Lattice and Infer. Unlike our competitors’ solutions, SalesPredict installs within minutes, requires no configuration, and immediately starts adding value by uncovering hidden revenue potential—and risks—in our customers’ CRM and external data.
This means there are no long, expensive, consulting engagements with data scientists. We also take a lifecycle approach. From day one, SalesPredict adds intelligence to the sales pipeline by scientifically scoring leads, identifying the best upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and highlighting customers with a risk of non-renewal.
SUB: You recently announced that you’ve raised $4.1 million in Series A funding. Why was this a particularly good time to raise more funding?
Zakai-Or: Many companies have reached a glass ceiling with their current CRM and marketing automation implementations, whereby they are no longer able to achieve new business goals efficiently. That’s where SalesPredict’s customer lifecycle intelligence comes into play.
With this new round of funding, we can better meet the growing global demand for our easy-to-use solutions and continue to help more companies make the leap to greater efficiencies and increased conversions.
Rather than labor-intensive analytics or simplistic lead scoring, we provide powerful, automated, real-time predictive insights. No hassles, no more long implementations. It works right out of the box. In 30 minutes you will start seeing meaningful results that will play a major role in your sales and marketing efforts.
SUB: How do you plan to use the funds?
Zakai-Or: Grow sales and marketing in the U.S.
SUB: Do you have plans to seek additional outside funding in the near future?
Zakai-Or: No, we are not seeking additional outside funding at this time.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for SalesPredict? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Zakai-Or: There actually was a clear ‘aha’ moment. Predictive analytics expert Kira Radinsky and I were looking to start a company and started to brainstorm ideas. After ruling out many ideas, I remembered my time as a product marketing manager, launching products and spending a year on the road with the company’s sales team. I related how the sales and marketing teams continually spent 50 percent of their time on bad meetings. Kira immediately responded with: “This is a perfect fit for what I’d like to do. We can change how the business world operates.”
SUB: What were the first steps you took in establishing the company?
Zakai-Or: First, we talked to potential customers to understand whether we are solving a real pain. Second, we got a couple of initial pilots to test that our technology worked. Third, we started working with our first customer, MarketStar, to confirm that the product works in a real, live environment.
SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story or meaning behind it?
Zakai-Or: After considering a long set of names that none of us particularly liked, my co-founder and CTO suggested ‘SalesPredict.’ We all fell in love with it immediately. Best of all, it stands on its own—succinctly describing what we do.
SUB: What have the most significant challenges been so far to building the company?
Zakai-Or: Like any startup, we’ve faced a few challenges. Two years ago, VCs were focusing primarily on B2C startups. Now that we have secured new funding, our next challenge will be growing the company to meet market demand. We have already increased R&D by 33 percent, and now we are ramping up our sales and marketing efforts in the U.S. to increase our visibility.
SUB: How do you generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Zakai-Or: We charge a recurring fee, based on the number of records in the customer’s CRM and marketing automation systems that they want to process through SalesPredict for insights and predictive lead scoring.
SUB: What are your goals for SalesPredict over the next year or so?
Zakai-Or: We would like to achieve a true SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) business model: Repeatable, transactional selling with a focus on making sure that our customers love our product—like our first customers, who have been instrumental to our growth to-date.