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InsideSales.com Raises $35M From US Ventures For Predictive Analytics Platform

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InsideSales.com has raised a $35 million Series B round of funding from US Ventures. The round follows a $4 million investment in August from Hummer Winblad, which also participated in the funding announced today.

The previously self-funded company serves small and medium-sized business, offering predictive analytics to help serve inside sales professionals. Its algorithms are designed to tell the sales professional who to contact, when to contact, and how to tailor the message for the sales target.

InsideSales.com is part of a growing group of enterprise SaaS companies that look bound for significant exits, be they IPOs or acquisitions. Yesterday I wrote about Apptio and Infusionsoft, both of which look primed for an IPO in the next few years.

InsideSales.com has 177 employees and anticipates growing to 350 – 400 people in 2013. The company would not disclose the number of customers it has. In August, executives said they had increased from 600 to 900 customers, including the likes of Cisco, Eloqua, Gannett, Groupon, NEC, Marketo, and Seagate.

The sales game is changing fast in the enterprise, as new analytics capabilities and the web as a lead generator make traditional techniques look outdated. InsideSales.com has also come a long way. It used to be that the inside sales person had a secondary role, often serving the more senior sales people and being seen as telemarketers. InsideSales.com has pioneered the evolution of this category.

Co-Founder Ken Krogue said this in a recent blog post:

Inside sales is at a stage much like in the movie Moneyball that depicted how baseball was forever changed by the  A’s in 2002, when they learned to rely on statistics, not intuition.

Back then we in inside sales were fighting just to be recognized. We got the scraps off the table from an entrenched outside sales or field sales infrastructure that had ruled for fifty years or more. But they had one key flaw, they didn’t know technology and wouldn’t use it. They still won’t. We were the Gen-X and Gen-Y Millennial generation that grew up with technology.

We use it, we live in it.

The top problems of the inside sales industry today are vastly different than even recently. Nobody questions the viability anymore of the sales department that uses web conferencing tools like GoToMeeting or the cool new multi video and web conference tool iMeet. Lives in LinkedIn, and sells over the phone and through the web far better than it’s aging predecessors. In fact, recent research is showing that outside sales is spending half their day trying to catch up by using the exact same remote selling approaches we pioneered.

Today’s modern, inside sales person lives a different kind of life. It’s online, it’s remote, and it’s machine-influenced. It’s the future of enterprise sales.

InsideSales competitors include Leads360 and Five9.