Consensus raises $110M to inject automation into SaaS product demos

Garin Hess, a tech entrepreneur primarily based in Utah, skilled what he calls the “demo bottleneck” at a earlier software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup whereas pitching to potential prospects. He theorized {that a} self-directed interactive demo, personalised to every stakeholder, couldn’t solely streamline the method and save time, but additionally assist organically uncover and have interaction different stakeholders who may not usually be reached.

That led Hess to discovered Consensus, a platform for interactive video demos, which at this time introduced that it raised $110 million from Sumeru Fairness Companions. Consensus lets engineering groups construct a library of reusable, interactive video demos that gross sales groups can ship out on demand.

“Consensus is like an ‘Iron Man mech go well with’ for each gross sales engineer to have the opportunity to do extra with what they’ve,” Hess instructed ClassyBuzz in an electronic mail interview. “For instance, Consensus automates the routine ‘harbor cruise‘ demos in order that consultants can spend extra of their time doing what they do finest: strategically serving to consumers by way of complexity when shopping for options which have many items to the puzzle.”

Launched in 2013 and now with over $139 million within the financial institution (inclusive of at this time’s elevate), Consensus permits customers to construct demo movies after which electronic mail these demos to prospects. Prospects decide what they need to study and get a personalised demo, which they’ll share with their wider groups and group.

All through the method, Consensus tracks engagement and robotically finds new stakeholders by function and precedence.

“In contrast to generalized video platforms, Consensus tracks who engages and personalizes each a video demonstration and hands-on, click-through product tour expertise primarily based on solutions to particular questions requested upfront,” Hess defined. “It makes use of a proprietary personalization engine, then gathers information analytics for the gross sales workforce to assist drive alignment within the shopping for group.”

In fact, Consensus isn’t the one recreation on the town when it comes to product demoing — removed from it. There’s Arcade, a startup growing a Chrome extension for product demos, which raised $7.5 million final September. One other prime rival is Demostack, which landed $34 million in April for its “demo expertise” platform for SaaS gross sales groups.

To additional set itself aside from the group, Consensus launched Excursions not too long ago, which lets a salesman exhibit a product characteristic through video after which hand it off to a prospect to allow them to discover the identical characteristic by way of a self-directed click-through expertise.

“Thousands and thousands of {dollars} of income are locked up within the inefficiencies of the normal gross sales engineering mannequin of doing stay demo after stay demo. It artificially stretches the shopping for cycle and provides threat to each deal, not to point out it’s enormously costly,” Hess mentioned. “With Consensus’ clever demo automation platform, enterprise software program gross sales groups not solely enhance their very own efficiencies, however extra importantly enhance the goal group’s shopping for group effectivity, which robotically accelerates the shopping for course of, reduces threat and ends in extra gross sales with out including headcount.”

Is that promising an excessive amount of? Maybe. However Consensus hasn’t had bother attracting enterprise, apparently. Consensus’ present prospects span 15 of the 30 largest software program firms, together with Coupa, Oracle and Autodesk. In accordance to Hess, income grew 60% in 2022.

“The pandemic helped transfer the ‘pre-sales’ occupation from a deal with ‘have to be there in individual’ to ‘Hey, we will do that remotely?’” Hess mentioned. “This forcing perform from the pandemic triggered the complete gross sales trade to sit up and query the established order, which has been useful to opening minds to the usefulness of demo automation as a part of the method. We imagine Consensus is uniquely positioned to develop successfully on this slowdown as a result of we’re automating a perform that for a lot of enterprise software program firms [has] by no means been automated earlier than.”

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