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Dexplora, Started By Founders Of BlackBerry-Acquired TAT, Raises $1.2M To Fix The CRM Experience

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Swedish startup Dexplora is on a mission. Through its GetSalesDone mobile app and supporting service it wants to dramatically improve the User Experience of CRM systems, thus making data entry less of a chore and more accurate, and in doing so improve the sales bottom line. Much easier said than done, of course, but then this team has form.

Its founders perviously started a company called The Astonishing Tribe (TAT), which over ten years built a reputation for stellar UI work, picking up clients such as Google’s Android and practically a who’s who of other mobile companies and carriers, before being acquired by RIM and tasked with helping to design BlackBerry 10 (great work, guys). Now they want to take those UI chops and apply them to the enterprise.

Backing that mission with a $1.2 million funding round being announced today are VCs Creandum and DN Capital, along with 12 angels, including Chris Perret the (former founder and CEO of enterprise mobile management company Nukona acquired by Symantec), Adrian McDermott (Zendesk SVP), and John Taysom (an early investor in Yahoo).

The decision to raise a relatively small amount of capital from such an extensive list of investors, says Dexplora co-founder Hampus Jakobsson, is because of the inroads to the enterprise each could provide as the startup attempts to persuade companies that CRM systems don’t have to suck.

Specifically, the problem that Dexplora is setting out to solve is that, generally speaking, sales people hate the CRM software they are forced to use. It’s management that buys into using a CRM (and holds the purchasing power) as they are the ones who require the data it’s supposed to capture. However, as many sales people don’t actually use it, that data is often updated infrequently and becomes ‘dirty’. What you get out of a CRM is only as good as the data you put in.

Currently built on top of Salesforce.com, GetSalesDone consists of a free iOS app that appears to take its cues from single-use consumer apps that focus on doing one thing and doing it well, and an accompanying paid-for server-side offering that adds rules-based automation to help prompt sales people and prioritise the data they do capture. One way to think of the latter is a IFTT for Salesforce.com. Meanwhile, the iPhone app is task-driven, and enables sales people to add, edit, and sync relevant data and tasks between Salesforce.com and their smartphone — with a focus on fast data entry and a better User Experience.

As for the kind of rules that can be set up on the server-side part of GetSalesDone, these can be manually created or selected from one of the off-the-shelf recipes.

For example, a rule could be instigated so that certain fields in the CRM become mandatory at the end of the sales process, such as billing address, and that some fields can be omitted entirely in the early part of the sales process. Another example might be reminding sales reps if they have ceased interaction with opportunities that are more than just leads.

Always. Be. closing.

To that end, Dexplora hasn’t yet decided precisely what to charge for the service part of GetSalesDone, though it has already been working with 50 or so companies to hone its application. “We are discussing price with our trial customers right now and it will be double digit dollars per user and month,” says Jakobsson. He also notes that the iPhone app was soft-launched some months ago, likening the startup to being in stealth without actually being in stealth, and says that feedback from Salesforce has been really positive so far, validating Dexplora’s decision to build on top of an existing CRM platform rather than trying to roll its own.