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You might have heard that we announced a $3M investment in Spiro. We’re super excited to have achieved this milestone, and want to officially welcome our new investors Geekdom Fund, MassVentures and Hyperplane.

I thought it would be interesting for you learn a bit more about why we’ve raised this money, how we’re planning on using it, and how it’s going to help our customers to increase their sales.

Spiro, Just the Buzzfeed for Sales?

Most of the people who know about Spiro probably think of us as the people who write interesting, funny, engaging blogs about sales related topics.

And we do! Like this one 10 Things Salespeople Should Never Say to a Customer, which has been read by over 250,000 salespeople so far:

But what you might not know is that we’re a software company, and our first product was a personal sales assistant.

Spiro Was Born from the Pain of Salespeople Using CRM

Prior to Spiro, I started, ran and ultimately sold a large CRM consulting company. We worked with 750+ enterprise sized clients and deployed solutions to hundreds of thousands of salespeople.

But you know what? I knew that the CRMs we were deploying was deeply flawed.

The sales teams hated it.

So we set out to make a personal sales assistant that would make CRM better.

Spiro, the Personal Sales Assistant

Our inspiration originally came at the movies. Do you know the movie ‘Her’? It’s set in the not-too-distant future. Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with a new intelligent “operating system” on his phone, named Samantha, played by Scarlett Johansson. (Who wouldn’t??)

Samantha is not just some computer program. She helps Joaquin organize his life, keep him on top of his work and social duties, and basically guides him through his day to be more effective.

Now, the plot of this movie gets a little strange and so on, but my “a ha!” moment was that what salespeople need isn’t CRM, it’s Scarlett Johansson. (So to speak.)

Along with my co-founders Andy Levi and Justin Kao, we built our own Scarlett Johansson that would read data in salesforce.com and advise salespeople on who to call, email and basically what they need to do to close more deals.

We were excited to use artificial intelligence technology, like natural language processing and machine learning, but all of that was behind the scenes so salespeople didn’t need to be aware of it.

And salespeople loved it:

By bringing this to market — and actually asking people to pay for it — we learned something very cool that we weren’t expecting.

For every person who wanted to use Spiro as a sales assistant with salesforce.com, there were ten who wanted to use it without Salesforce. And most of these salespeople weren’t using a CRM at all.

After talking with customers like these, we decided to refocus the company.

Spiro, the AI-powered CRM

As we built out our own CRM platform, we took the best from the assistant and applied it throughout the product.

This was big undertaking, costing over $2M and close to 80,000 engineering hours to build. But, at the end of it we have an amazingly great product. (If you want to see a quick demo, you can schedule one here.)

By building CRM from the ground up with artificial intelligence, Spiro does things that no other CRM can do. For instance, update a phone number when it sees it in an email, or create an opportunity when a prospect responds. It proactively makes recommendations about who to call and email.

Plus you can have a full email conversation with assistant@spiro.ai about opportunities, contacts, accounts, or even what the sales team has achieved:

 

We called our new CRM “Proactive” because our vision is that it does things for salespeople and sales leaders on its own.

And since it proactively updates itself, it has much more information than a typical CRM. This makes our analytics package super helpful in managing the team:

Since launching our AI-powered CRM six months ago, we’ve seen incredible growth, and we now have over 500 customers.

3 Million Things To Do – How We Will Use the New Investment

Artificial intelligence is changing how companies use applications. Proactive recommendations, bots, and intelligent services are rewriting the rules of what is possible for CRM. We see the potential for a change in the market just like when on-premise CRM moved to the cloud.

We’re planning on building many more AI enabled features for sales teams, all with the goal to help them close more deals and make more money.

We also have plans to expand our sales, customer success and marketing teams. You can see all of our job openings on the Spiro Careers page.

On behalf of all of us here at Spiro, thank you for your support.

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About the Author Adam Honig

Adam is the co-founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a natural sales leader with a mission to help salespeople make more money using artificial intelligence — or any sort of intelligence for that matter. Adam has been a founder of four companies which resulted in two triumphant IPOs and two legendary mergers. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the ‘No Jerks’ hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.

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