Highspot Lands $9.6M to Improve Sales, Marketing Content

Salespeople in large companies may have hundreds of thousands of individual pieces of marketing content to choose from when pitching a customer. Highspot, a Seattle startup announcing a $9.6 million Series A funding round, wants to help them pick the best one.

The investment is being led by Madrona Venture Group and will help the company add features and ramp-up marketing of its business-to-business focused software, which solves a problem that co-founder and CEO Robert Wahbe encountered as a sales and marketing leader at Microsoft.

A company’s marketing department is supposed to make content that the salespeople use to engage customers and ultimately close deals. But Wahbe says, “Those organizations have no visibility about what each other is doing.”

Salespeople don’t know if they’re picking the best presentation materials for a given customer, and the marketers don’t know if the content they’re producing is effective. In a large organization, this content may consist of hundreds of thousands of case studies, brochures, data sheets, white papers, best practices documents, customer presentations, and so on, Wahbe says.

Wahbe

Wahbe

Highspot digests that content and tracks how customers use it, providing feedback to salespeople in real time. Say a salesperson at a laboratory equipment supplier emails a PowerPoint presentation to a senior vice president of a mid-sized European pharmaceutical company. Highspot monitors whether the executive opened the email and then opened the presentation. Did she look at a specific slide? Did she forward it to a colleague? Did she open a link to other materials?

The company’s software integrates with Salesforce customer relationship management tools—though it also works without Salesforce—to associate that specific presentation with the European pharma company’s customer record. It can then track whether a given piece of content helped or hurt a particular sale.

That information is fed back into the Highspot system and aggregated with results from across the lab equipment company to score the presentation’s effectiveness. Other salespeople can now see what content is working for specific types of customers, and marketers can create more content like it. The aim is an ongoing cycle of improved content that’s more precisely targeted, Wahbe says.

The software is sold on subscription, with a mid-tier plan priced at $30 per user per month.

Highspot’s current customers include Parallels, Buuteeq (now a unit of Priceline), and sales and marketing consultant Lenati.

The company, which was founded in 2012 and raised $2.7 million in a convertible debt offering last year, has 15 employees in its Belltown offices.

Benjamin Romano is editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email him at bromano [at] xconomy.com. Follow @bromano

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