Two Canadian Unicorn Founders Who Shaped Modern Marketing Raise $5M to Transform Enterprise Sales
Eloqua founding execs, Steve Woods and Paul Teshima, have launched the world’s first modern sales platform that tracks and leverages relationship strength
TORONTO, June 1, 2016 — Toronto-based startup Nudge, led by former Eloqua founding execs, Steve Woods and Paul Teshima, has raised $5 million USD in seed funding to accelerate the development of their modern sales platform. Nudge helps B2B sales teams build stronger relationships with their customers and provides visibility into who has the best access to key accounts. The round was led by OMERS Ventures, with participation from existing personal investors including: Jill Rowley, top social selling speaker and influencer, and previous investors in Eloqua, Neal Dempsey and Brad Woloson.
“We saw two experienced founders tackling a challenge that every business faces,” said Jim Orlando, Managing Director at OMERS Ventures. “Understanding how to leverage your team’s professional networks to grow your business presents an enormous opportunity for B2B organizations. We knew that when they solve this at scale for enterprises, the value created for customers will be tremendous.”
From Modern Marketing to Modern Sales
After successfully guiding Eloqua to a market leader in marketing automation, through IPO and acquisition for $957 million by Oracle, Teshima and Woods set out to solve another massive challenge facing sales professionals. With over 16 years of experience working with the world’s best sales and marketing teams, they realized that trust always trumps content and at the center of every business deal is a trusted relationship between the buyer and seller.
The Enormous Gap Between CRM and LinkedIn
CRM solutions are limited to buyer activities tracked by the organization, they don’t provide insight into the relationship between a sales professional and their buyers. In reality, people buy from people they trust and those relationships are typically formed over a career. On the other hand, LinkedIn does not have visibility into day-to-day interactions, making it impossible to differentiate a strong relationship from a connection that you barely know. As a result, there’s no solution that helps sales professionals manage and leverage their most valuable relationships across their careers.
“Through the Nudge beta, we found that out of 8 million “connections”, only 1 in 10 were real relationships,” said Paul Teshima, Nudge co-founder and CEO. “That means that 90% of your professional network is filled with noise that you need to wade through to get to the people who matter.”
Building the First Sales Platform that Focuses on Relationships
Nudge’s Professional Edition is a free application that allows users to integrate their email, calendar and social media accounts to create a unified view of their network. By doing so, Nudge can track the strength of relationships as a user interacts across channels. Relationship strength gives users insight into when they should re-engage key contacts and which of their relationships they can lean on for help. Additionally, Nudge gives users timely and contextual updates on prospects, customers and influencers that can help grow their business.
“The modern buyer has created a need for a transformative shift in marketing,” said Steve Woods, co-founder and CTO of Nudge and bestselling author of Digital Body Language. “We see that same buyer now driving a need for a modern sales approach that focuses on trust over content.”
The Power of Relationship Strength at Scale
Nudge’s Team and Enterprise Editions provides sales teams with visibility into who in their network has the best access to key accounts. Understanding how to best access accounts significantly accelerates deal cycles. Strategically managing relationships within territories or client lists optimizes new business efforts and maximizes renewal rates. At the same time, marketing’s efforts are magnified by surfacing the perfect piece of content, or ideal event, that their sales team can use to better engage customers.
“Having been a sales leader who worked with the world’s most successful businesses, and now an evangelist of social selling, I believe Nudge is the only solution that proactively leverages relationship strength to bring the salesperson closer to their buyers”, added Jill Rowley, Social Selling Evangelist and top social sales influencer. “That is why I invested in Nudge.”
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