SalesTechStar Interview with John Winner, CEO at Kizen

By Kizen - Salestech Series - November 21, 2022

John Winner, CEO at Kizen talks about the various ways through which workflow automation platforms can drive better sales and sales ops performance.

 

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Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat, John, tell us about yourself and more about Kizen?

Thanks for having me! I’m the CEO of Kizen, which is the sixth company I’ve founded. I’m passionate about creating great products that enable people to work together to advance humanity. In my last company, a management consultancy that helped everyone from startups to Fortune 100 giants grow, I saw the incredible potential of intelligent automation and unified data.

But I also noticed at that time that only the biggest companies could afford to take advantage of that amazing potential — and even they were struggling. So we set out to help teams accomplish more in 25 hours each week than they used to in 45 hours.

The result is Kizen: the first no-code, enterprise-grade platform designed to accelerate growth and workflow automation for businesses of all sizes. Kizen unifies data and delivers value quickly, allowing companies to efficiently implement and rapidly tailor workflows from sales to operations to customer support.

We’d love to hear more about Kizen’s evolution over the years and recent funding…

We started Kizen because we understood that businesses needed a better platform to help them drive amazing, personalized customer experiences across teams and faster growth. Average organizations were using multiple siloed and disconnected tools that were difficult to use, time-consuming and expensive. There was not a platform that was both easy to use and able to integrate and act on large amounts of data.

After multiple years of product development, we launched Kizen in September of 2021, releasing our first three products: our Sales CRM, our Operations Cloud and our Data Platform. Since our launch, we have sold over 400,000 licenses and are honored to be growing with and serving 15 different industries. Kizen’s recent seed funding raise of $12 million is a major milestone for us as a company as we continue the development of our Marketing Automation Platform and our Insights Engine as well as introduce ourselves to companies around the world with more significant sales and marketing efforts.

How can B2B sales teams benefit from better workflow automation platforms? A few processes here that can boost internal ops?

Workflow automation platforms have three major benefits for sales teams. First, employees can save five to ten hours a week by automating certain tasks (i.e. prospect research and qualification, proposal generation, commission calculations, and sales hand-off to success/service teams). Second, workflow platforms can increase sales conversion by 25 percent or more by prioritizing tasks intelligently and ensuring best practices are followed so nothing falls through the cracks. Third, companies can increase overall profitability significantly by delivering personalized insights automatically to each team member to help them sell more.

Additionally, workflow platforms like Kizen’s can assist with account-based marketing when you are in a complex sales process with multiple decision makers (ie: VP of Sales, VP of Sales Ops, CIO, CMO). A workflow automation platform like Kizen’s can track all of the different roles and help you personalize your outreach for each person based on the part of the sales cycle you are in. Also, workflow platforms assist with research and lead nurturing, provide intelligent reminders on next steps, and act as a single source of truth for all customer history, ultimately helping salespeople close more deals.

How are you seeing demand for intelligent automation drive salestech adoption trends? A few thoughts on how you feel this will evolve?

We are seeing Intelligent Automation, and more specifically the underlying infrastructure, data platforms, drive significant demand for sales, operations and marketing automation applications. In 2018, very few organizations were investing in and leveraging intelligent automation and data platforms. Today we are seeing around seven to ten percent of organizations make heavy investments in this space. Over the next five years, over 80 percent of organizations will realize this technology is essential to customer experience, really important to recruit the best team members and a major accelerant for growth.

A few thoughts on the future of the B2B sales market?

It’s an incredibly exciting time to be in B2B Sales as the market is booming. There are so many great organizations and our processes and technology as an industry are getting better – helping teams better serve customers and close more deals.

And finally, a few views on salestech as a segment and how you feel this space will shape up over the next few years?

Typical companies today have a lot of tools from multiple different vendors in their tech stack – oftentimes dozens. Organizations will see some consolidation in the number of tools they use as partnerships, acquisitions, and new tools like Kizen enter the market to create easier paths for teams to have a more seamless workflow.

We will continue to see better technology available to B2B sales organizations – enabling team members to spend more time building relationships and helping customers instead of wasting time imputing data and managing technology. A major area that will take off in the coming years is more automated insights on voice and video calls which will provide actionable insights in real-time for team members. Very excited about the direction of the segment 🙂

By Paroma Sen

Originally Published in SalesTechStar