The rise of social media over the last decade has given companies, both large and small, a new way to get into the minds of their customers. To find out what they like, and what they are talking about, and then leverage that into higher sales.
One company that has been on the forefront of that movement has been enterprise social sales platform Hearsay Social, and now the company has raised a new $30 million Series C round of funding, the company revealed Thursday.
The round was led by existing investors, Sequoia Capital and NEA. The company had previously raised a $3 million Series A in February 2011, and an $18 million Series B in July of 2011. This latest funding brings the total raised to $51 million.
The company says that it will use the new funding for accelerated product development and continued global expansion, most likely to other parts of Europe. Earlier this year, the company expanded beyond its North American operations in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Toronto to Europe, with the opening of its London office. It has signed its first set of European enterprise customers.
In addition to the funding news, Hearsay also announced the addition of two new executives. The company has hired Gary Liu, formerly of ServiceSource and Siebel Systems, as its new VP of Marketing. The company has also promoted Chris Andrew, who was the first employee at Hearsay Social in 2010, to Managing Director of Europe.
Founded in 2009 by CTO Steve Garrity and CEO Clara Shih, Hearsay Social offfers a suite of services that help sales forces to use social media to attract prospects, retain customers, and grow their business, rather than relying on cold calls and e-mail.
Earlier this year, Hearsay unveiled a new social selling platform designed for sales professionals who need an easier way to stay connected with customers throughout the customer life cycle, but who can’t necessarily use social marketing solutions.
The software uses natural language processing to alert a sales professional to a new event—like a customer’s wedding or upcoming move—so that the sales professional can comment on the activity or send a message. The new platform allows those in sales to listen in on their customers’ conversations across Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.
Last year, the company introduced Content Exchange, a way for corporate marketing managers to select articles they can put into a central library that can be accessed by their sales teams or local managers around the country.
“More and more Fortune 500 companies are realizing the power of social sales to help reps deliver highly personalized service, improve rep productivity, and deepen customer relationships,” Bryan Schreier, Sequoia Capital partner and Hearsay Social board member, said in a statement. ”We were eager to double down on our investment in Hearsay Social because it is uniquely positioned in the market to meet the sales, marketing, and compliance needs of the world’s largest firms.”
Hearsay also revealed that it has added dozens of new enterprise customers over the last year, doubling its custome base in that time. The new clients include Raymond James, Mutual of Omaha, Bank of the West, Nationwide Insurance, Allianz Global Investors, Wunderlich Securities, Modern Woodmen of America, SWBC, RPM Mortgage, Mortgage Master, and two of the Canadian Chartered banks.
(Image source: http://hearsaysocial.com)