(Downtown skyline at twilight via Shutterstock)
Could Philadelphia become renowned for its salespeople?
Bill Butler thinks so.
Philly, he says, has the best salespeople in the world. He’s heard the sentiment from companies outside of the Philly region, too.
It’s a “Rocky-esque type thing,” he said. “We’re scrappy, we’re tough, we don’t go down.”
Butler, a “50ish” New Hope-based sales veteran, said it’s one reason he didn’t move his Conshohocken sales software startup, Journey Sales, to Silicon Valley, even though he was asked to.
“We’ve got a great DNA for sales,” he said, talking about Philly.
Apparently, we also have a handful of investors who are willing to back Butler’s sales software company.
Journey Sales just raised a $3.35 million Series A led by local investors MissionOG, with participation from NewSpring Capital and Dublin Capital, philanthropist H. Chase Lenfest’s venture firm. Ray Lane, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, also invested. Lane was the lead investor in Visible Path, a corporate social networking company where Butler ran sales.
For MissionOG, the investment represents another in the sales software industry. It previously invested in Center City’s PeopleLinx.
Journey Sales plans to use the money to bulk up its sales, marketing and client success team. The company currently employs 25, half of which are on a development team in India, but plans to grow to 40 or 50, Butler said. (Why work with a remote team in India? Butler’s cofounder Prit Kang already had a company there, Butler said, so it made sense.)
Butler walked us through the product with slides on GoToMeeting, in true salesman fashion. Journey Sales sells a software that’s built on Salesforce (they pay Salesforce a percentage of every license deal), which is essentially a digital sales room where salespeople can upload information on prospects. The software tracks a prospect’s “digital body language,” letting a salesperson know how engaged each prospect is: How recently did they login to the room? Did they look at a certain document? Did they invite someone else to the room?
Butler said that the market for digital marketing has been fruitful (think Hubspot, Marketo, Eloqua) but that digital sales has largely been underserved.
A Lehigh Valley native and Penn State grad, Butler left his last job as president of iPipeline to start Journey Sales. (His success at iPipeline, where he said he grew the company from $5 million to $50 million in annual revenue in five years, is likely a big reason local investors were ready to make a bet on his new company.)
As for Philadelphia having the best salespeople in the world, Butler thinks the city should use that as a business attraction strategy. Why not get international businesses to open up North American sales offices in Philly? (SAP, which chose Newtown Square over the Navy Yard nearly 30 years ago, is a worthwhile example.)
Hmmm, is our new commerce director Harold Epps listening?