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Why We Invested In Qorus

by Anthony Bontrager on April 29, 2020

Me and the Qorus team in Cape Town, S. Africa, September 2018

Qorus Software recently announced a $5M Series A financing on the back of well-earned momentum and disciplined self-sustainability. As the lead partner on this investment, I’ve been asked a lot of questions, including “Why/how did you pick that particular company?” The short answer is that our team has been excited about what the founders (Ray Meiring, Lee Child and Stephanie Laurent) and their team have built since we first met them well over a year ago. This isn’t just about their product, but the special chemistry that exists throughout the company – something that is rarely seen – and we continue to anticipate many great things from them over the coming months and years. The longer answer is more involved…

WestRiver Group is a thematic investment company. For our Pacific Northwest technology investment theme, we spend a lot of time researching and analyzing emerging trends that we believe will fundamentally change the way the world works. Here, our focus is on the application of machine learning and AI across large datasets. We believe this to be the “Permian Basin” of value creation across a number of vertical markets.

One of the areas we’ve looked at is the sales enablement space and the belief that companies will continue to increasingly seek to optimize business results through the adoption of next generation technologies.

Salespeople, on average, spend less than half (35%) of their time on revenue-generating activities. So, we asked ourselves, “What is occupying the other 65% of their time?” We discovered that salespeople spend 7 hours per week searching for content. It doesn’t take a math genius to realize a significant amount of money is being wasted on non-revenue generating activities. What’s more, the content creation phase for the actual proposal can be a cumbersome, time-consuming and frustrating process. It involves collaboration between sales, marketing and customer success teams. But these teams often walk in the dark because they don’t get any feedback from their recipients, and thus, aren’t able to make any ROI-driven decisions around the content used to create their proposals.
Thus, our next question was “How do you simplify a proposal’s content creation phase for salespeople?”

With Qorus, we found our answer.

Originally founded in Cape Town, S. Africa, Qorus recognized early on that sales enablement optimization is more than just document search and retrieval. Businesses require an increased level of sophistication and technology that allows customer-facing employees to communicate their offering’s value in a more compelling and consistent manner.

Microsoft agreed and became a partner and customer of Qorus, which encouraged the company to relocate its corporate HQ to Seattle, while keeping its development and team in Cape Town.

Built on Microsoft Azure, Qorus integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office, Dynamics CRM and Salesforce, to enable sales professionals to build and deliver highly targeted proposals and sales materials to prospects in minutes versus hours. Qorus’ powerful machine learning technology aids in the identification of critical content, suggesting the right content, at the right time, for the right buyer persona. It does this through the use of deep search within a company’s content library, identifying the most appropriate content elements from disparate documents and collateral, and delivering a unique, highly tailored proposal. By improving the customer experience, starting with the very first interaction, sales reps are positioned to create and build the type of trusting relationships that boost profitability. And because the Qorus solution was purpose-built for remote work, their offering is especially relevant during this time when most people are working from home.

What used to be considered a non-essential function to the financial health of businesses is no longer true. Sales enablement has progressed from “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” and those that have incorporated these solutions are leapfrogging the competition. They are closing more deals faster and enjoying increased profitability as a result.

From early on, we had a strong conviction about what the winning company was going to look like, which is why when we met Ray and the team at Qorus, we immediately knew that this company was special, and clearly on its way to disrupting the multi-billion-dollar sales enablement industry.

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