Outbound sales managers typically rely on high volumes of inquiries to find customers, but this means that their revenue is often in proportion to the size of their team. Outplay helps them scale more easily with tools that automate campaigns, identifies the likeliest prospects and uses data to decide the right time to send pitches. The company announced today it has raised $7.3 million in seed funding from Sequoia Capital India.
The new capital will be used for tech development and hiring, and brings Outplay’s total raised so far to $9.3 million. Its previous funding was a $2 million raise from Sequoia Capital India’s Surge announced in March after Outplay took part in the program’s fourth cohort.
Since its seed round, Outplay says it has grown its revenue four times and now has customers in more than 50 countries, serving primarily B2B software companies.
Outplay was founded in 2019 by brothers Ram and Lax Papineni. The two previously launched AppVirality, a referral marketing tool for app developers.
Outplay was designed for sales team who contact prospects through multiple channels, like phone calls, emails, SMS, LinkedIn and Twitter. It integrates the channels into one interface, so salespeople don’t have to switch between apps. Outplay also automates sequences, or marketing campaigns that include an initial pitch sent through various channels and automatic follow-up messages if a reply isn’t received within a preset time.
The platform is meant to replace the process of cold-calling potential customers, which is time-consuming and difficult to scale, and enable salespeople to focus on the best prospects, helping them decide which channel to use and when to contact them.
Since its seed funding, Outplay has launched several new tools and features, including a Chrome extension that lets salespeople add prospects from LinkedIn and Gmail, send emails, make calls and perform other tasks without having to visit Outplay’s dashboard. It also added integrations with sales tools like Gong, Dynamics CRM and Zapier (Outplay was already integrated with customer relationship management platforms Pipedrive, Salesforce and HubSpot).
One major new feature is Magic Outbound Chat, a web chat box that is launched when a prospective customer clicks on an email link. Salespeople are notified and provided with context about the prospect. Laxman told TechCrunch that most chat boxes are designed for inbound sales teams, and Magic Outbound Chat has helped some of its teams grow their sales pipeline by 300%.
Laxman said that the onboarding process for Outplay takes just a few days and sales managers are provided with a playbook of successful sequences to help them get started.
Outplay’s competitors include unicorns Outbound and SalesLoft. Laxman said that in the mid-2000s, inbound sales processes and tech began rapidly evolving as SaaS adoption increased, but outbound sales teams still relied on the same high-volume tactics they had been using for years.
“The previous outbound sales tech disruption happened in 2011 when Outreach and Salesloft were founded. We really respect what they have done to the industry, but the approach is not scalable and the revenue eventually becomes a function of the size of the outbound sales team,” he said, adding that Outplay is changing the process by using data-driven signals to help sales representatives engage with the likeliest prospects at the right time in the right channel.
For example, Outplay’s Dynamic Sequencing automatically moves prospects from one sequence to another that has a higher chance of success. In one scenario, Outplay can be configured to move a prospective who opens a sales representative’s email more than four times to another sequence that focuses on people who appear interested in a product. Laxman said some of its customers have seen open rates as high as 80% in the second sequence with Dynamic Sequencing.
In a statement, Sequoia India principal Harshjit Sethi said, “Outbound sales needs are evolving rapidly and reps now need personalized, automated and contextual tools to drive sales which Outplay is successfully enabling. Sales reps spend an average of four hours per day on Outplay, demonstrating the effectiveness of the product which has category-leading customer reviews.”