Accord, a collaboration platform designed to support business-to-business (B2B) sales, announced today that it has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Matrix Partners, Nat Friedman and Y Combinator. The new funds, which will bring Accord’s total revenue to $17 million, will be used to grow the startup’s engineering, sales and marketing teams, CEO Ross Rich said.
Accord was co-founded in early 2020 by brothers Ross and Ryan Rich. Ross One of the first sales people at Stripe in 2015, Ryan was an early sales hire at Google Cloud. The brothers say their teams have gone from a few reps to thousands in go-to-market teams to meet the challenges of modern B2B sales.
“We launched Accord to solve frustrating challenges in B2B sales,” Ross told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Customers don’t want to talk to salespeople. B2B buyers expect no difference in the level of business-to-consumer, Amazon-esque, experience and transparency, speed and ease of purchase. Coupled with the reality, there’s no system that can reinforce a consistent, repeatable sales process, even if you have the perfect sales journey.
After rounding out the Accord founding team with former LinkedIn exec Wayne Pan, Ross and Ryan kicked things off in Y Combinator’s Winter 2020 batch. The two sales teams built a prototype workspace that they could use to define and execute a repeatable sales process.
“Typically, sales teams use Google Docs, Sheets, shared Slack channels, and other comprehensive project management tools together to accomplish sales process management,” Ross said. “But adoption is incredibly low and none of these tools are integrated into customer relationship management software, so you can’t build pre-written workflows and all customer-engagement data is lost.”
Ross argues that today’s Accord platform — available in free and paid flavors — does what separate apps can’t: it provides the ability to collaborate around and share sales milestones, next steps and resources with all stakeholders. “Everyone has to do with less these days, and a good answer to that is using a deal to make sure that every salesperson in your sales force is getting the most out of every deal and not letting anything slip. Sales volume, exactly.
Accord has rivals in Clari and Outreach, both of which have recently eclipsed first-tier companies (ie DealPoint, Sales Hacker) with similar sales orchestration offerings. Ross cited Quip, a Salesforce company that joined in 2016, that includes collaborative workflow documents, spreadsheets, and chat within Salesforce.
But Ross sees Accord as a pioneer in the category (unsurprisingly), with a client base spanning 130 sales firms with brands including Figma, Affirm, Stripe, Headspace and BetterUp. He is not expecting a slowdown; Accord plans to grow its workforce from 13 people today to 30 by the end of the year.
“Recent economic challenges have led to tight budgets, mass layoffs and a focus on efficiency. This results in slower sales cycles for every company – more decision-makers and due diligence for each purchase – but re-prioritizes the need for predictability, discipline and rigor when it comes to business-to-business sales and reliable annual recurring hits. Income goals. As every company is laser-focused on their sales efficiency and effectiveness, the need for a deal is huge in these challenging times – exactly what a deal offers.