Sales teams, under pressure to – pardon the cliché – do more with less as inflation weighs on the economy, are increasingly turning to AI-powered software in search of competitive advantage . Vendors like Winn.AI provide AI assistants for sales calls that automatically track, capture, and update customer relationship management inputs. There’s also Unique and Jiminny, two different platforms that both use AI to analyze customer conversations.
Convinced there’s room for another startup in the burgeoning space, Jason Dorfman co-founded Orum with Karthik Viswanathan in 2018. The company bills itself as a “live chat” platform that helps sales reps to connect with prospects while automating some of the more tedious parts. of the sales development process.
“The pandemic has changed the way outbound sales teams communicate with their prospects. As businesses have moved from face-to-face to digital interactions, the need for real voice communication in order to make rich connections has become an even more important part of the equation,” Dorfman told TechCrunch in an email interview. “By automating workflows…representatives using Orum can focus on hosting quality conversations with potential customers rather than doing the difficult, repetitive work of simply trying to reach them.”
Orum leverages AI to detect, identify and connect with prospects by automatically navigating through time sinks like phone trees. The algorithm attempts to determine when a sales representative has connected with a real person, hit a voicemail, or reached the wrong number, in an effort to save time. A data enrichment tool automatically displays new numbers for potential leads, syncing contact data between Orum and platforms like HubSpot.
Prior to founding Orum, Viswanathan led engineering at Affinity, a “relationship intelligence” platform focused on investment banks and private equity firms. Dorfman led enterprise sales at Rubrik, launching an initiative to bring cloud data management products to the small and medium business market.
“For business-to-business customers, having time for meaningful live conversations is paramount to a successful sales process. However, there is no business value in having your high-priced sales reps spend their day listening to the phone ringing, browsing dial-by-name directories, and manually deleting voicemails,” said Dorfman. “Orum empowers teams to make hundreds of calls in minutes, while helping automate lead data and improve it over time. »
Orum solves a real problem. According to Gartner, it can take 60-90 calls to get an appointment with a prospect, and conversion rates for cold calls are typically around 2%, compared to 20% for strong leads and 50% for leads. recommendations.
But the question is whether it is sufficiently differentiated from other AI-powered sales tools on the market. Dorfman says it does, pointing to Orum’s ability to provide full contact details, notes and campaign information to reps and allow officials to listen in and search through transcribed calls. While platforms like Connect and Sell, Connect Leader, Xant, the recently acquired Five9, and incumbents like Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud do, Dorfman says Orum is more robust than most.
Customers like QTS and Workato think it does, it seems, as well as Orum investors. Orum today closed a $22 million Series B funding round led by Tribe Capital with participation from Craft Ventures and Unusual Ventures at “triple” the company’s previous – but sadly undisclosed – valuation. Bringing the company’s total raised to more than $50 million, the proceeds will be used to expand Orum’s engineering and product teams and product development, Dorfman said.
“The current macro environment has led businesses to experience financial pressures, which means the need for automation and efficiency is greater than ever,” Dorfman said. “But also, because stewardship is one of our values as a company, we’ve always been incredibly intentional about fundraising and where we spend the money. Over the past year, we have focused on growing our teams and innovating our product, which has allowed us to present ourselves and serve our customers as new economic pressures have changed their needs. »
Orum’s employee base currently numbers “just under” 130 people. Dorfman expects the business, which is fully isolated, to grow about 40% by the end of the year.