People.ai and the Race to Build the Intelligent Enterprise
by Jim Lundy
One of the most talked-about technologies in Silicon Valley today is artificial intelligence. After the term AI is uttered, the question usually follows: “How do we leverage AI?”
One of the start-ups in Silicon Valley that is making an impact is People.ai, an emerging start-up that is helping firms add intelligence into the sales process. This blog is about People.ai and the $30 million B round they just received from Andreessen.
From Predictive Lead Scoring to Account Intelligence for Sales and Marketing
One of the biggest issues in sales is who to call on and what is actually happening in a deal. While a number of first-generation firms emerged early to focus on predictive lead scoring, their issue is that Salesforce copied them and that category never took off.
People.ai is taking the idea of sales intelligence further and enabling what we are calling intelligent sales. The idea is to use existing data and about 90 other signals to help paint a more accurate picture of account activity. This approach is what is attracting firms to People.ai and why Andreessen Horowitz led their B round.
People.ai Founder Oleg Rogynskyy Understands the Issues with Sales
In many cases, an initial product offering, also known as a minimum viable product (MVP), gets the offering partially right. In People.ai’s case, CEO and Founder Oleg Rogynskyy understands the issues in sales and marketing because he began his career in sales. Any executive that is in sales knows that nearly everyone outside of the sales organization is always an expert of what is wrong with sales (e.g., not making numbers).
Rogvnskyy firsthand understands the need for better sales intelligence and he is not standing still. He is expanding his team and recently added Silicon Valley veteran Dayle Hall as CMO.
Sales Enablement and Guided Selling
Aragon has been covering the sales enablement space for years and one of the terms we have used to try to convey what AI could enable for sales is guided selling. Today, many of the sales engagement platform (SEP) providers that offer content and communication analytics to drive deal acceleration still do not offer true guided selling.
People.ai Delivering on the Promise of Einstein?
Many enterprises have made big proclamations about AI and sales. This includes Salesforce with their Einstein offering. Currently, Einstein performs better at basic predictive lead scoring and one has to have the enterprise edition before they can buy the Einstein module. People.ai is simplifying the process of making sales and marketing intelligent and that is why enterprises are signing up and achieving the desired goal of “faster time to revenue.”
People.ai is not the only firm competing in the race to sales and marketing intelligence. Besides Salesforce, other firms that are racing to add intelligence to sales include Olono and sales forecasting services, such as Aviso and Clari. There are also a number of predictive lead scoring firms.
People.ai is taking the AI story further and looks to be delivering on the promise of true guided selling. Check back to see more information on this as this category unfolds.