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Category Design Insights - Spiro Lightning Strike

"Spiro is serious about its R-rated, joke-laden sales assistant app." - VentureBeat

It's not everyday that you celebrate a headline like this in VentureBeat.

But that is exactly what team Spiro is doing on the heels of their lightning strike and funding announcement at Sales Hacker's SalesStack Conference in San Francisco.

To understand this story, we have to backtrack a bit, all the way to the early days of SFA. In the early nineties, there was no such thing as CRM yet. Instead, there were hundreds of companies running around in the pre-CRM era automating manual processes in sales, marketing, customer service and field service. Yes, we said manual processes.

For those who witnessed the early days of SFA marketing - legends like Siebel, Vantive, Clarify, and Scopus were dropping millions of dollars trying to convince people to move from Franklin planners, rolodexes, Act and Goldmine to a new world where all of your customer and prospect data went into a single technology enabled selling database. This new age of sales force automation promised that every sales rep and manager will have full visibility to every customer touch, action and insight. No, we are not making this up.

If you looked hard enough on the DCI tradeshow floor, you would have seen Adam Honig, a fresh faced consultant from Cambridge Technology Group running around the show convincing companies to apply the right people, process, and technology to automate the sales lifecycle. It is worth noting that DCI was the Dreamforce of the 90's - with hundreds of companies duking it out to win their category tournament. It's also worth mentioning that Adam was in cahoots with Play Bigger partner Christopher Lochhead to convince the world that "customers are your most important asset."

Well a few things have not changed. Adam is still a pirate. Adam still thinks it's time to make selling easier with technology. Adam still has great hair.

A few things have changed since then. Adam decided that, after almost 20 years, that CRM and SFA was not going to fix itself. After 10 years of failed Siebel implementations and billions spent on dumping customer data into the Salesforce database in return for a funnel chart, Adam has had enough.

Adam assembled a team of pipe swinging mobile experts led by Andy Levi and Justin Kao in Boston to help him do the one thing that CRM has never accomplished.

Help sales reps make more money.

Yes, that is right. Adam and team Spiro declared themselves advocates of every quota carrying sales rep who wants to make more money. It sounds obvious, but Spiro was the first to declare that CRM systems don't help you make more money. They do just the opposite. They waste your time. So, Spiro declared war against the soul sucking, time wasting, monkey-pushing-buttons CRM experience.

The first thing team Spiro did was shine a bright light on the reality of selling today. Selling is not about inputting and forecasting. It's about taking the right action, at the right time, with the right process to close deals. Sounds simple right? But most CRM systems do not reward a rep for taking the right actions, instead CRM systems are punitive to reps not plugging in forecast data and other Sunday night sales data conjuring.

Spiro had a very big technology insight. What if you could arm a rep with a mobile app that could predict the next moves a sales rep should make to close a deal? And what if this app was something fun to use? What if rewarding a rep for every action put a smile on her face, and would actually result in making that rep more money?

That's exactly what Spiro developed. They dug in their heels and researched the right mix of data, psychology, and artificial intelligence to produce a money making app for sales reps. This personal sales app plugs into Salesforce or other CRM systems to mine all of the relevant pipeline data. Then it basically follows the path of a rep and fine tunes its recommendations to call, email, meet and engage with prospects every day.

But giving the right advice was only half the battle. Spiro needed to create an experience that a sales rep would enjoy. So they created different personalities that reps could choose from, which include Surfer Dude, Jewish Mother, R-rated, Gossip Girl, and Coach. One rep said, "Using Spiro is like hanging out with my favorite drinking buddy all day."

And, it turns out that most reps felt the same, as the R-rated app has taken a strong lead in the initial release.

They came out swinging at the Sales Hacker show in San Francisco on launch day, November 10. Well, actually they came out "spinning" with their now famous spin for a drink wheel. Yes, booth visitors would spin the wheel and receive a very unique gift based on the Spiro personalities.

They also launched a provocative new website with one of the best "About Company" descriptions in the history of technology.

And team Spiro rolled out a set of killer coverage, which closes the loop back with the headline at the beginning of this story.

Spiro is serious about its R-rated, joke-laden sales assistant app

Spiro Launches Free Personal Sales Assistant

And, finally, Adam and team Spiro would kill us if we didn't ask you to tell every one of your friends in sales to get Spiro now and make more money!

Play Bigger salutes team Spiro! Pirate on.

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