Conformity, a collaboration platform designed to support business-to-business (B2B) sales, today announced it has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Matrix Partners, Nat Friedman and Y Combinator. CEO Ross Rich says the new funds, which bring Accord’s total amount to $17 million, will be spent growing the startup’s engineering, sales and marketing teams.
Accord was co-founded in early 2020 by brothers Ross and Ryan Rich. Ross was one of the first sales reps at Stripe in 2015, while Ryan was an early sales associate at Google Cloud. The brothers say they discovered the challenges of modern B2B sales firsthand as their teams grew from a handful of sales reps to thousands in the go-to-market team.
“We started Accord to solve frustrating challenges in B2B sales,” Ross told gotechbusiness.com in an email interview. “Customers don’t want to talk to sellers. B2B buyers have been conditioned by the business-to-consumer Amazon-like experience and expect no difference in terms of transparency, speed, and ease of purchase. On top of that, there’s no system in place to reinforce a consistent, repeatable sales process, even when you’ve got the ideal sales path all figured out.”
After rounding up Accord’s founding team with ex-LinkedIn exec Wayne Pan, Ross and Ryan kicked things off in Y Combinator’s Winter 2020 batch. The two built a prototype workspace that sales teams could use to define and execute repeatable sales processes.
“Typically, sales teams hack a mix of Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Slack shared channels, and other common project management tools to achieve sales process management,” said Ross. “However, adoption is incredibly low and none of these tools are integrated into the customer relationship management software, so you can’t build prescriptive workflows and all customer engagement data is lost.”
Ross argues that Accord’s current platform — available in both free and paid flavors — does what disparate apps can’t: provide the ability to collaborate and share sales milestones, next steps, and resources with all stakeholders. “Everyone needs to do more with less these days, and a great answer to that is using Accord to make sure every salesperson in your sales organization gets the most out of every deal and doesn’t miss a thing,” he added in a tone that not much of a sales pitch, rightly so.
Accord has rivals in Clari and Outreach, both of which have recently launched companies (eg DealPoint, Sales Hacker) to develop a similar sales orchestration offering. Ross also mentioned Quip, a company Salesforce acquired in 2016 that embeds documents for collaboration processes, spreadsheets, and chat in Salesforce.
But Ross sees Accord as a pioneer in its category (unsurprisingly), with a customer base dwarfing 130 sales organizations across brands like Figma, Affirm, Stripe, Headspace, and BetterUp. He expects no delay; Accord plans to grow the workforce from 13 people now to more than 30 by the end of the year.
“Recent economic challenges have led to tighter budgets, mass layoffs and a focus on efficiency. This causes slower sales cycles for any company – more decision makers and due diligence for every purchase – but also an immediate reprioritisation of the need for predictability, discipline and rigor when it comes to business-to-business sales and the reliable achievement of annual revenue targets . The need for Accord is exponentially greater in these challenging times as every company is laser focused on increasing their sales efficiency and effectiveness – exactly what Accord delivers.