Salesforce is heading to Toronto for their World Tour this week, and as part of the day-long conference, three companies who are closely tied the Salesforce platform are taking over the stage for Dreampitch on May 3. The pitching competition will see three companies—FunnelCake, Lane Four, and Grapevine6—convincing a panel of judges that their company deserves to take home the $100,000 USD prize.
For this inaugural Canadian Dreampitch, Techvibes took a closer look at each of the companies to see why they were hand selected to make their big pitches. You can check it out by signing up to attend now.
“Instead of always looking at the past, we’re looking at how you change the future.”
FunnelCake started like many other companies: It took too long to do something simple, so Marko Savic found a better way.
Savic is the founder and CEO of the Kitchener-based FunnelCake. The startup began with the goal of identifying how businesses fail to synchronize marketing, sales, and customer success teams. The challenge in sifting through entire data sets to understand what the truth really is—before FunnelCake, it took Savic up to two months to do it manually, but now the platform helps speed everything up.
“We help provide transparency and accountability across the full business, making it really easy for your sales, marketing, and customer success teams to work together and meet scalable revenue growth,” explains Savic.
FunnelCake helps these teams work across the full funnel by integrating with a company’s Salesforce data and helping them to stay on top of leads, and sales processes. This involves looking at how many new leads are being assigned to sales reps; if the leads are followed promptly and with adequate touchpoints like phone and email before being dropped.
“The more tools we’re adopting in marketing technology, the harder it is for you as an individual to get a sense of all the things you’re supposed to be working on,” says Savic.
There’s a huge opportunity for FunnelCake to streamline the processes of mid-market B2B companies. The company typically focuses on the SaaS field and counts companies like Axonify, BigRoad and Auvik as customers. FunnelCake recently published a case study on their work with Auvik and showed how valuable their platform can be: By leveraging one-click actions through FunnelCake, Auvik managed to double their lead-to-revenue conversion rate, which is no small feat.
FunnelCake is all about providing visibility into data so companies can hold themselves accountable for how quickly or slowly they are scaling. Existing tools on the market were all about a top-down approach that overlooked how businesses generated and analyzed insight, then turned that insight into change.
“Our idea was to instead take all of those insights from the dashboard and turn them into the key actions you need to take. Instead of always looking at the past, we’re looking at how do you change the future.”
Dreampitch gives Savic and his team the ability to expose themselves to the massive Salesforce audience they have built their business on, with the added shot at extra funding. If FunnelCake takes home the prize, the money will go towards immediately expanding their sales team and building out the capacity to follow up on their rising inbound leads.
“We’re making plans to grow and expand, and Dreampitch is a great way to tell our story.”
Marketing follows popular trends as newer and better ways to reach customers are developed. Lane Four is all about finding what works best and bridging the gap between sales and marketers.
Andrew Sinclair founded Lane Four in Toronto two years ago as a services consulting company, but that exact model has since shifted a bit. What’s left now is a product designed to help manage ownership of information throughout the sales lifecycle. After launching on the Salesforce AppExchange 12 months ago, Lane Four has worked with over 75 clients to bring marketing automation and inbound demand generation as well as account-based marketing (ABM) together.
“On one hand you’ve got a big influx of leads coming into your system,” says Sinclair. “On the other hand you may say ‘these are 100 accounts I want to target.’ How do you reconcile those strategies, which in some respects are different from each other?”
To explain it further, let’s say a salesperson has been assigned to an account, and while that salesperson is at an event, someone from the account shows up at the event too. Lane Four will ensure that salesperson is made aware that an account rep attended the event as well. it may sound simple, but with thousands of inbound leads and hundreds of accounts, it all gets bogged down very easily.
A real case study that shows where Lane Four shines explores a company that has a ton of inbound demand generation from free trials, whitepaper downloads, attended events, webinars and more. The company boasts two sales teams: one to manage the influx of up to 40 inbound requests per day, while the other team is dedicated to outbound prospecting. Lane Four helps these teams take everything that comes in and makes sure it gets to the right rep at the right time so they can follow up in minutes. Prior to Lane Four’s integration, one person would sort through a pool of leads and information, sorting and delegating it to the right person, consuming over three hours each day.
“We feel like so many people in the B2B tech space sell the tool then throw it over the fence, letting the company adopt it on their own. In everything we do we try to make sure we have that tight relationship with who we’re working with and that we understand their day to day and the problems they’re working with.”
Sinclair began seeing a shift towards account-based approaches and was solving problems and challenges related to that field well before there were real tools aimed at it.
“We said we’ve got enough people and its good tech, so let’s start making this a tool so we don’t have to do a custom from-scratch project every time someone wants to do something,” says Sinclair. “First we made it reproducible, then we hardened it and put it on the app exchange as something we could sell.
Companies that embrace Lane Four are typically in the sales and marketing world, ranging from 20-30 person startups right up to 400-500 person post-funding organizations. Salesforce has allowed Lane Four to really work with a wide array of SMEs while still having the close personal touch they champion with clients.
“We’re not too well known in the Toronto tech scene, but we’re making plans to grow and expand, and Dreampitch is a great way to tell our story.”
If Lane Four ends up taking home that final Dreampitch purse, the money will help the company expand out of their current comfort zone and scale aggressively into the future with new sales and marketing initiatives.
“The tie between sales and marketing is content, and the smarter you can deliver content, the more powerful that combination can be.”
Content has driven engagement for as long as marketing has been around.
Mike Orr knows this. As the co-founder of Grapevine6 and having experienced exits with his other companies, Orr knows how to make the connection between sales and marketing, and it’s pretty simple if you think about it.
“I think the tie between sales and marketing is content, and the smarter you can deliver content and track engagement to make it relevant, the more powerful that combination of sales and marketing can be,” says Orr.
That is the vision Grapevine6 follows. The Toronto company is a sales enablement solution for content that integrates with the Salesforce platform. Grapevine6 finds relevant content that salespeople can use to build out their brands digitally with a focus on social media. The platform will schedule and post relevant content from third-party sources as well as corporate sources, all with a mobile-first mandate. Grapevine6 handles a company’s or person’s digital presence to build out their network and brand.
Almost any company can use Grapevine6, but the focus for Orr seems to land on wealth management and financial institutions. But that doesn’t mean large enterprise companies are out of the picture—in fact, they can be some of the best Grapevine6 users, because larger companies often publish their own content.
“What we found is that salespeople and financial advisers act a lot like entrepreneurs. They’re responsible for creating conversations, driving new business interests and maintaining client relationships. But our expertise was always in enterprise.”
“That’s where we took the company,” he says. “Our first big client was SAP and they deployed it globally as part of their social selling program. There’s an advantage to creating a lot of your own content. It provides a richer personal brand when you can share third party as well as your own content and build an expertise around a solution or area that is unique to you.”
One advantage of working with larger companies and ones in wealth management is that Grapevine6 has also built out a robust compliance engine. The company built a sort of “AI for compliance” that allows companies to scale their supervisory functions without adding additional bodies.
Grapevine6 focuses on their customers first and foremost, so because of that, they are connected to a larger partner ecosystem where they often run into companies running Salesforce. That integration is why Grapevine6’s enrollment in Dreampitch makes sense, as the added exposure and possible new funds will do wonders to help the company scale.
“The winnings would help deliver on our Salesforce use cases,” says Orr. “We would invest more resources into delivering on the more personal one-to-one communications. Instead of taking a digital footprint of the user, we take the profile from the CRM of their buyers and process them to figure out what would they be interested in hearing from you about.”
“Salesforce is a strategic partnership for us in that we think we can help them win more and go to market in financial services where we’re really strong,” says Orr. “It’s also just extending capabilities of the CRM into real relationship management using content. It’s transformative for their customers and with Salesforce’s help we can win in the category and make them even more dominant.”
In a simple way, Grapevine6 opens up the conversation for businesses and brands. It could be an old conversation that is suddenly made relevant again, or maybe a new opening that needs guidance before execution. Content can be king again with Grapevine6.
FunnelCake, Lane Four and Grapevine6 will be pitching at Dreampitch on May 3 at Salesforce’s World Tour in Toronto. They have a shot at $100,000 USD and bragging rights among the Salesforce elite.
Techvibes is the official Media Partner of the Salesforce World Tour Toronto / Dreampitch Competition.