When it comes to engaging new consumers, salespeople are always searching for a competitive advantage. It is much more probable that the contact will pay attention if you know someone who knows someone at your target client and can create an introduction. Connect the Dots, a firm that intends to construct a customized, professional relationship graph, was founded by a former Salesforce executive who wants to make it simpler to uncover such connections.
It works like this: you join up, and it checks all of your email accounts for connections at other firms. It gathers and correlates this information. When you look at a firm, you may see who you know who knows who at that company, with the strength of your connection indicated by three colored dots. If they are all green, you have made a good connection and may seek an introduction through email.
Drew Sechrist, who joined Salesforce in 1999 as employee 36, was part of Marc Benioff’s early sales team, promoting the firm when no one understood who they were or what hosted software was. Early on, he realized that having connections aided in sales. Benioff is dubbed the “number one alpha networker” by him.
In those early days, he could go to him at any moment and seek an introduction, which would assist grease the skids for his presentation and give him a far greater chance of closing the deal than if he went in cold. Email, he argues, is the most important link. “We’ve got these emails about relationships that have been stacking up for a long time.” Moreover, we just did not know how to bring [them] together and get value from them.
But, because of advances in technology such as machine learning and other sophisticated approaches, “we were able to extract value from that data and then create a graph of links to identify who genuinely knew who,” according to Sechrist. He admitted that LinkedIn was created to accomplish the same goal, but that it is excessively loud and hence untrustworthy.
“Asking for introductions on LinkedIn, salesmen, and individuals who are recruiting or doing anything that requires connection introductions grow tired of asking people who don’t know the person they’re asking for an introduction to,” he added. Sechrist wants to devise a more efficient method of accomplishing this. Connect the Dots now has a social network in beta by request, or you may get on if you know someone who is using it, employing the Clubhouse approach to user-base growth.
The startup built the product with a $5 million seed investment and recently secured a $15 million round headed by Norwest Venture Partners, with previous investors Cloud Apps Capital Partners and Velvet Sea Ventures participating. Connect the Dots has already raised $20 million in total. The firm presently employs 55 people, with a headquarters in San Francisco. However, personnel dispersed around the country, with a large engineering team in Serbia. Sechrist is currently residing in Miami. With the extra funding, he aims to treble the team in the coming year.
He just had his team produce their V2MOM, a document idea from his prior business that is “a management process and acronym standing for vision, values, methodologies, obstacles, and measurements,” according to Salesforce. “We recently completed our V2MOM. Last week, we flew individuals to Mexico from Europe and the United States. One of our key principles, which we spent a week establishing, is inclusivity. As a result, we aim to create a company and a product that is inclusive of all people,” he explained.
He concedes that being ethnically diverse is difficult, especially with so much of the firm’s personnel based in Serbia, but it is something he is focusing on as the company prepares to increase its headcount in the coming year. He intends to run the business largely from home, which should assist because he can hire workers from anywhere. Sechrist, like Crossbeam, a networking startup for partnerships, anticipates that as the networks develop into networks of networks, the product will become more useful as more people use it. He expects the product to be widely available in the first half of next year.