Heresy, a startup co-founded by Dimitar Stanimiroff, who was previously MD Europe at Stack Overflow, is a new sales tool designed to increase collaboration between sales team members, and help them make better data-driven decisions, collectively and individually, and ultimately close more sales.
The Software-as-a-Service isn’t a CRM replacement as such — in fact, it painstakingly syncs with Salesforce — but, Stanimiroff tells me, takes its inspiration from agile software development with a front end that includes a simple to use Kanban board (similar to something like Trello) for inputting data and tracking where each potential sale is in the sales pipeline.
Under the hood, data entered by individual sales people is then crunched and analysed to let sales teams and their managers know how likely they are to close a particular deal or meet a sales target overall. Crucially, the software intervenes to let individuals or teams know if they are likely to lose a deal or miss a target and what they should do to prevent this.
Stanimiroff says the London-based company’s broader mission is to increase collaboration between sales team members and break out of the old way of doing sales where sales people effectively worked in a silo and are discouraged from supporting or learning from one another.
It’s a lesson he learned at Stack Overflow, where an early version of Heresy was built to be used internally and to “scale the sales team to 120-plus in a very short period of time”.
In a demo I was given of Heresy, Stanimiroff showed me how easy it is to enter data into the kanban board-esque UI and the immediate value doing so brings to an individual sales person.
The plague of traditional sales-based CRM systems is that entering accurate data is time consuming and fiddly and often feels like it is only to the benefit of sales managers not the individual sales person. This leads to a CRM either not being used or being filled with inaccurate or so-called “dirty data”.
That’s the first part Heresy, like other startups before it, has set out to solve, by providing immediate value, such as getting realtime feedback on sales goals based on the data entered, and even something as simple as alerts when a deal is predicted to be slipping or a target is in danger of being missed.
“As a salesperson, you can do all the usual stuff you’d expect i.e. manage pipeline stages, set reminders for follow ups, track emails/notes, etc. but everything happens within a couple of clicks or simple drag and drop,” says Stanimiroff.
The second aspect, and key to Stanimiroff’s longer term vision, is the way data is aggregated and shared with managers and, optionally, the rest of the sales team. In doing so, the aim is to create a sale culture that, he says, is more akin to the way he witnessed engineers collaborating at Stack Overflow.
This includes what the Heresy CEO calls “one burndown to rule them all,” described as a single view of the team burndown so that everyone knows how the entire team is performing and where they are likely to end the month based on forecasted deals.
“Problems can be identified earlier, allowing the team to course-correct before it’s too late,” he says.
Meanwhile, Heresy is set to announce that it has raised £755,000 in funding for further product development and European expansion. Backers include LAUNCHub Ventures, AngelList, Seedcamp, and the London Co-Investment Fund. The startup is also being advised by Stack Overflow founder Joel Spolsky, and Trello co-founder Michael Pryor.