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Filed under: News | Technology News Will 'Open The Door' For Customer Success Startups Like Gainsight

Feb 19 2014, 12:31pm CST | by

11 Updates Will 'Open The Door' For Customer Success Startups Like Gainsight

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Full Story Will 'Open The Door' For Customer Success Startups Like Gainsight

Gainsight is a company that fights churn. It does that by helping its clients like Adobe, Box and EMC keep tabs on their own existing customers. Know how happy a company is with your software and you can make sure they don’t discontinue their service out of misunderstanding or neglect. And happy customers are more likely to buy more products or services on top of what they already pay.

That model helped Gainsight, which rebranded early last year and took on Nick Mehta as CEO, to gain customers like Box and Adobe, as well as to raise $20 million in November on top of a Series A just months before., however, is now the biggest player backing what Mehta is trying to do.

Gainsight has been a Salesforce partner for months, one of hundreds the company supports within the broader CRM ecosystem. But that relationship has deepened since the summer, when Mehta sent a team to spend time with Salesforce’s own internal customer success staff.

That led to Salesforce tacking on at the end of Gainsight’s fundraising, what was likely up to, but not more than, a couple million dollars, to prove its faith in Mehta’s team.

“You want to prove your company is valuable in the future, but I like to be level-headed about the impact of news,” Mehta says. “Salesforce invests in a lot of companies. But it gives you a little credibility with the field.”

How it works to be a promising minnow in Marc Benioff’s pond: you assign a staffer to focus on business development that can be done alongside the massive partner. You go to the partner’s industry event—in this case Dreamforce—and you wave the flag as much as you can. You play ball by being a customer, too: Gainsight is going to be using Salesforce’s Heroku1 platform internally. And then you sell  as hard as you can with the Salesforce logo at your back.

Customer success and analytics are areas of priority to Salesforce right now, as Benioff himself confirmed in a meeting with reporters last month. Last year, Salesforce aggressively purchased cross-channel marketer ExactTarget for $2.5 billion, while SAP responded by dropping $1.5 billion on competitor Responsys.

Could customer success companies be the next wave of sales? Speaking to reporters last month, Benioff suggested that the market was still too early there for a sweep of acquisitions. Mehta agrees. “There’s a phase where you can buy a small company where you are just technology and people, but Gainsight is way past that stage. You’ve pitched investors, you believe yourself that you are worth all this money, you just don’t have the business yet.”

Those deals often don’t work, Mehta says, if the company isn’t mature enough to handle an acquisition. As for Gainsight, Mehta says he’s already sold a company and doesn’t want to do so again. “[Selling] is great but it leaves you longing for more,” the CEO says about hopes for an eventual public offering.

So that means that Gainsight and a crop of others are still in the stage of big ambitions, small revenues. Gainsight’s grown Q4 revenue 560% from 2012 to 2013, but we are still talking a couple million dollars, not a profitable or as-yet significant stream of cash.

The key for founders within the enterprise space right now, Mehta argues, is to know your practical trajectory. There are some who can take on $1 million per year customers, like Workday. Others like Marketo can charge $20,000 or so in the mid-market. But it’s tough to see $100 million annual revenues in the future for those who only get a couple thousand yearly per client. (Mehta would put Gainsight in the second category.)

“This is stilla new market, a new category,” says Mehta. Salesforce’s recognition, however, is a sign that 2014 could be a year of significant growth for the entire field.

“It opens the door slightly” to large customers, Gainsight’s CEO says. “The door’s not locked anymore.”

Follow me on ForbesTwitter and Facebook for more tech coverage in startups, ad tech, enterprise software and venture capital.

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Update: 11

Oracle Buys TOA Technologies To Pull The Rug Out From (ORCL)

Source: Business Insider

Oracle on Thursday announced it was acquiring 500-employee TOA Technologies for an undisclosed sum. TOA Technologies offers a cloud service that manages "field service" employees, such as fleets delivery drivers or repair technicians l (i.e. the cable guy). Oracle will add TOA to its cloud, stitching it into Oracle's cloud Enterprise Resource Planning apps (ERP). ERP is financial planning software. Although Oracle's longstanding rival SAP is th ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider 23 hours ago, 12:00pm CDT


Update: 10

VoIPstudio’s Cutting Edge Plug-in Delights Users of SalesForce CRM

Source: PRWeb

The free business VoIP plug-in enables inbound and outbound call handling with SalesForce, meaning no more time wasted switching between applications.(PRWeb July 31, 2014)Read the full story at http://w ...
Source: PRWeb   Full article at: PRWeb 1 day ago, 6:02am CDT

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Update: 9

Return Path and ExactTarget's Marketing Cloud help optimize email marketing

Source: added new features to its ExactTarget Marketing Cloud Journey Builder tool. Among the new tools are maps that enable brands to plan customer interactions, triggers that enable brands to respond in real time to things like abandoned carts and affinity changes, and metrics that allow brands to test and optimize interactions. I sat down with Matt Rausenberger, Senior Director of Channel Sales at Re ...
Source:   Full article at: 1 day ago, 2:05pm CDT

Update: 7

Salesforce adds automation, wearable device notifications to ExactTarget's Marketing Cloud

Source: has updated the Journey Builder feature of its ExactTarget Marketing Cloud product. The updates are designed to enable automated and enhanced customer interactions for Salesforce1 and Salesforce Marketing Cloud customers. At an event at Salesforce's headquarters in San Francisco, Salesforce unveiled new additions to Journey Builder, including maps that enable brands to plan customer interactions in advance; trig ...
Source:   Full article at: 1 day ago, 12:00pm CDT

Update: 6

Report finds IBM and Microsoft catching up on Amazon in cloud

Source: TechRadar UK

Amazon's success in cloud computing might be short-lived as data compiled by the Synergy Rersearch Group shows that Microsoft and IBM are growing at a much faster rate than AWS.The market, worth a cool $13 billion (about £7.67 billion, AU$ 13.8 billion), is growing fast at a rate of nearly 50% year-on-year. SRG figures show that both IBM and Microsoft have gained market share over the past year while that of Amazon Web S ...
Source: TechRadar UK   Full article at: TechRadar UK 3 days ago, 8:15am CDT

Update: 5

Adding Predictive Intelligence To Sales Gets Companies All Excited. But Native Is Key

Source: Forbes Real Time

Only a week or two ago announced its acquisition of RelateIQ, a technology that promised to help Salesforce customers identify their very best prospects and opportunities. Many people were confused abut the deal, but suffice it to say that we’re ...
Source: Forbes Real Time   Full article at: Forbes Real Time 3 days ago, 7:31am CDT

Update: 4

Taking the business world by storm: the rise of Google's Chromebook

Source: TechRadar UK

Since the first model launched two years ago, Google's Chromebooks have been maturing into an increasingly successful series.Last Christmas saw Amazon announce a pair of Chromebooks as two of the three best-selling notebooks of the US holiday season and they now make up more than 20 per cent of notebook sales to businesses in the US, matching sales of tablets. We are now seeing this same trend continue in the UK. The last six months has seen a significant increas ...
Source: TechRadar UK   Full article at: TechRadar UK 4 days ago, 10:00am CDT

Update: 3

Tactile touches up sales software

Source: Conde Nast Portfolio

Imagine spending more than a decade making products that you believed nobody liked using. Chuck Ganapathi, a former senior vice president at Salesforce and executive at Siebel Systems working on customer relationship management (CRM) applications, could tell you what it was like: Frustrating. “One of the things that always bugged me was that the products we built — while they made us a ton of mo ...
Source: Conde Nast Portfolio   Full article at: Conde Nast Portfolio 6 days ago, 8:00am CDT

Update: 2

San Francisco Office Rents Have Risen Nearly 90% In The Last Four Years Thanks To The Tech Boom

Source: Business Insider

Tech workers and their large salaries have largely been blamed for the gentrification and rising rents plaguing San Francisco. When it comes to finding a place to live, demand has far outpaced supply. It turns out the same thing is happening to commercial real estate in the city. According to The Information, back in 2010, there were 22 blocks — or office spaces of 100,000 square feet or more — on the market, and th ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider 6 days ago, 2:44pm CDT

Update: 1

Salesforce1 Sales Reach to enable one-to-one campaigns from mobile devices

Source: will launch a tool designed to provide sales representatives with the ability to send one-to-one marketing campaigns directly to prospects and leads from a mobile device. The tool, Salesforce1 Sales Reach, will be available in 2015. Sales Reach combines the Salesforce1 Sales Cloud automation tool, Pardot’s b-to-b marketing automation tool, and the social selling platform Communities. The three integrated tools provide sales team ...
Source:   Full article at: Jul 24 2014, 10:20am CDT

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