Consensus Raises $15 Million Series B to Scale Presales With Intelligent Demo Automation

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2021 proved to be another breakout year for Consensus as analysts officially declare the Demo Automation Category and Consensus sees exponential growth with no signs of slowing down

Consensus, the Intelligent Demo Automation Platform scaling Presales teams instantly with interactive video demos, has raised $15 million in a Series B funding round to drive additional growth. The round is being led by longtime Consensus investors Riverside Acceleration Capital and The Frazier Group, bringing their total funding to $33 million. 

Presales is now in demand across the revenue funnel. But there’s a gap between that demand and the scarcity of talent to support technical sales and guide complex purchases. That gap delays, and can even kill, deals. To compound the issue, there are more people involved. Today, according to Gartner, “An average of 11 individual stakeholders are involved in a B2B purchase; that number can occasionally flex up to nearly 20.” Their individual buying journeys are asynchronous and buyers simply expect better experiences — guided, on-demand, interactive. The problem is most sellers still hold their buyers hostage to their own calendars because they think they close deals. But as Garin Hess, Founder and CEO of Consensus, says, “sellers can’t close deals, only buyers can.” A buyer-enabled approach is the only way forward. 

Consensus is central to Buyer Enablement not only because it aligns the highest impact interactions to buyer’s preferences, but also because it gives sellers the insights they need to effectively guide their buyers through a purchase. “When technical sales teams focus energy, planning and resources on enabling buyers, those buyers make decisions faster and close more often.” With its patented digital demo and stakeholder insights engine, Consensus helps its Presales customers scale instantly to close bottlenecks while delivering a better buying experience. Sales Engineers and Solution Consultants are able to automate repetitive product demos with an on-demand and personalized experience that uncovers and qualifies stakeholders organically, eliminates unqualified demos and demo lag time, and helps Account Executives accelerate revenue. 

This is why the recent announcement from Aragon Research about the rise of Demo Automation is so important. Aragon predicts the market will grow to $2.1 billion by 2026 and subsequently grow at a 20% year of year rate. “Because demo automation can enable either partial or full automation this can free up sales engineers, who can then focus on the high-value customer interactions.” writes Jim Lundy, Chief Analyst at Aragon Research. “Demo automation is different because it can be enabled for self-service use, or it can be used by a systems engineer to curate parts of a demo during a major proof-of-concept meeting.” 

Software that equips sales engineering, an often overlooked but critical function in enterprise software sales, is disrupting B2B and drawing the attention of investors. “Technologies that help scale technical sales teams while simultaneously making B2B buying easier and more pleasant are no longer a nice-to-have, they’re absolutely essential,” said Jim Toth, Managing Partner at Riverside Acceleration Capital. “Customers that employ the Consensus platform see an immediate impact, and we believe Intelligent Demo Automation is now a requirement for any enterprise software team that needs to shorten sales cycles and close more deals more often.”

Rob Bruce, former VP of Presales Americas for Consensus customer Stibo Systems and current Global Buyer Enablement Strategist, said “Consensus is a catalyst to get to the key stakeholders. We’ve already sold and won several deals using the platform.” Brian Oehling, Global VP Presales General Business at SAP Concur, another Consensus customer, said, “Consensus gives us scale. In fact, we’ve added over 335 selling days to our organization. That’s more than a year.”

Key facts showcasing the growth and market leadership Consensus has achieved this past year include:

  • 137% ARR YOY growth 
  • 128% net revenue retention in fiscal 2021
  • 55% increase in customer base in fiscal 2021
  • 2,975,301 stakeholders discovered organically in fiscal 2021

“When we narrowed our go-to-market strategy to focus on scaling Presales teams, our objective was not to eliminate sales engineers, but to unlock time tied up in repetitive demos and help them spend that time on high-impact activities.” said Garin Hess. “This also makes buying easier. What we’re seeing is so much more than what we ever anticipated. Our clients’ cut sales cycles on average 29%, close rates increase by as much as 44% and prospects that view interactive video demos are 34% more likely to become opportunities. Measurable customer impact is the most satisfying thing. Consensus has become critical to their success. It fuels our passion to continue to innovate on their behalf.”

Additional Resources:

  • Hear directly from customers about the impact Consensus is having on their businesses.
  • See the power of the Consensus Intelligent Demo Automation Platform first-hand 
  • Consensus is hiring in all positions in a completely remote work environment. Email our team if you’re interested in helping our customers scale: careers@goconsensus.com
  • See the official press release here

*Source on buying team size: Gartner: https://blogs.gartner.com/tad-travis/2020/09/14/the-future-of-sales-in-2025-a-gartner-trend-insight-report/

About The Riverside Company

RAC invests in high-growth B2B software companies and provides funding and resources to support companies across their entire lifecycle. The organization is a part of The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm focused on the smaller end of the middle market, founded in 1988.

About The Frazier Group

The Frazier Group specializes in Seed, Bridge and Series A financing in the Technology and Healthcare sectors. Since 1995 they have provided funding to over 120 companies in Utah and surrounding states.

About the Author

Garrett Erickson

Garrett Erickson

Garrett is an experienced marketing professional who focuses on revenue, enables sales teams, effectively communicates value propositions, and drives measurable results. He utilizes his deep understanding of sales and procurement processes to create engaging content that supports business development efforts. He's also passionate about empowering companies and employees to give back to their communities in creative and innovative ways.