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2020: Outreach’s Year in Review

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Jordan Greene

Senior Director of Product Marketing

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Grit is one of our core values. However, it’s one thing to write it in a company handbook and another to live up to it. In 2020, that’s exactly what we did.

We navigated through the darkness, in unknown territory, drawing the map as we went. We pivoted, stepped forward, and found new footing. Our underlying motivation was ensuring our customers made it to the other side, stronger.

Here we are: 2021. Take a second and let that soak in. We made it through a harrowing year, and we’re stronger because of it.

We would be remiss not to celebrate our wins from last year, which can be attributed to our team’s grit and the resilience of our customers and partners. We could not and would not be here without you. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your success — and for being the biggest part of ours, too.

The Highlights

In 2020, Outreach…

  • Closed a $50-million funding round. This round brought Outreach's valuation up to $1.33 billion and total funding to $289 million. We are using the funding to continue to deliver new revolutionary technologies to drive transformative change in sales.
  • Expanded internationally with new offices in London and Prague. At the beginning of the year, we celebrated the opening of our first international office in London. Six months later, we opened a new product development center in Prague. In Europe, Outreach currently serves more than 200 customers, including DocuSign and Signal AI. We are already the largest sales engagement company in Europe.
  • Hired key leadership and doubled our workforce size. Melissa Fisher joined our executive team as chief financial officer, and Leslie Pendergrast became our first-ever chief people officer. We also welcomed several strategic leadership hires across all of our offices. Outreach’s workforce continued to rapidly grow, doubling to more than 600 employees.
  • Forrester names Outreach a sales engagement leader. The Forrester Wave™: Sales Engagement, Q3 2020 report was the first major research report ever released in the sales engagement category. In it, Forrester named Outreach as a “Leader” in sales engagement, earning the highest score possible in 11 criteria. We earned the highest possible marks on platform features that our customers rely on — from user experience interface and workflow steps to email and calendaring and content templates.
  • Launched the premier interactive community for sales professionals. Sales Hacker, which was acquired by Outreach in 2018, launched a new digital community to help sales professionals connect with one another in the remote world. It’s designed to foster knowledge sharing, career development, and education for B2B sales professionals. Some of its features include discussion threads, professional profiles, career development content and trends, and direct messaging.
  • Hosted the largest virtual sales conference in the country. We made the difficult decision to cancel our in-person sales engagement conference, Unleash. We quickly pivoted to create the Unleash Virtual Summit, which was a smashing success. The online event had 13,400 registrants and 72 speakers, and it quickly became the largest virtual sales conference in the country. (We didn’t include this in our count, but a number of household pets attended, too.)

The Accolades

We don’t do what we do for the recognition (but we certainly are grateful for it). Here are some of the awards Outreach won in 2020:

  • Forbes Cloud 100
  • G2’s 2020 Best Product for Sales
  • Inc.’s Best Workplaces of 2020
  • One of Deloitte’s Fastest-Growing Technology Company in North America; 2020 Technology Fast 500 Awards
  • Puget Sound Business Journal; Best Place to Work in Washington
  • Seattle Business Magazine; Best Large Company to work for in Seattle
  • GeekWire’s Next Tech Titan
  • LinkedIn’s Top Startups
  • Nine Comparably Awards (including Best Company for Diversity, Best CEO, and Best Company for Happiness)!

New Product Capabilities

Here’s a rundown of some of our most innovative releases from 2020:

  • Outreach Kaia – A real-time Knowledge AI Assistant, Outreach Kaia helps reps close deals faster by using real-time transcription and analysis to capture key moments during live conversations. Simply start a virtual meeting via Zoom and the product begins real-time transcription. Based on contextual conversation, Outreach Kaia dynamically surfaces information as soon as the reps need it, including product info, battlecards, and more. Reps are now free to focus on having a conversation, while Outreach Kaia seamlessly collects action items and displays key product info when it’s needed.
  • Outreach Insights featuring Buyer Sentiment Analysis – For too long, sales professionals have relied on reply rate metrics to determine the effectiveness of their approach. Through research, we found that the reply rate doesn’t tell the whole story. What if an email has a high reply rate, but the replies are mostly negative? For that reason, buyer sentiment has to play a role evaluating what works and what doesn’t. This new product is a first-of-its-kind artificial intelligence capability that captures buyer emotions and signals to more accurately measure sales engagement versus activity metrics like reply, click, and open rates.
  • New Call Notifications – When logged into the platform, reps are instantly notified when a call is incoming or missed.
  • New Phone Number Purchase Permissions – Admins can now limit phone number purchasing powers to specific profiles in your organization, alleviating stress and unknowns from your monthly phone bill.
  • Outreach Integrates with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales – Outreach’s native integration with Dynamics 365 Sales provides reps with a system to increase productivity, prioritize high-impact actions, and improve customer engagement.
  • Greater Bulk Email Control – Governance for Bulk Compose Emails allows admins to enable or restrict reps from sending bulk emails through Outreach. The feature can be individualized down to the rep, such as those who are new or still onboarding.
  • Prospect Sync and Controls in Gmail – Sometimes, reps send an email without syncing everything over into Outreach. Admins can now enable or disable the auto-creation of prospects into Outreach.
  • Secure Your Syncs – Misalignment between your CRM and Outreach can cause data discrepancies and disastrous sync-to-CRM failures. Secure your syncs with new Unmapped Required Field Notifications, a new feature that notifies admins when CRM required fields are not mapped to Outreach fields, and disables outbound create or updates to the impacted plugin type (prospects, accounts, etc.) until the configuration errors are fixed.
  • Put a Name to a Prospect Instead of a Number – Display Record Name imports CRM record names instead of IDs, when mapping a CRM lookup field to non-lookup field in Outreach, such as a text field.
  • Compose Content in Different Languages – Sellers can now compose emails or create Templates or Snippets in additional languages with our new Text Editor Multi-Language Support.
  • Automatically Update Prospect Phone Numbers – More than half of the meetings booked in Outreach are done through the public calendar experience, where the prospect can select the date, time, and best phone number. To keep your meeting hold rates high and provide a better buyer experience, all details that the prospect enters via the public calendar experience will now automatically populate into the meeting invite.
  • Greater Funnel Insights with New Activity Tracking – Outreach gives sales reps the flexibility to assign an email with the correct opportunity. This permits a greater level of customization and oversight within the context of the conversation and each recipient.
  • Create Data Consistency – If your teams use different values or spellings for the same field, it can cause havoc for your data. (Is it Connecticut, CT, or Conn?) We gave Outreach Admins control by allowing them to copy and paste Picklist/Dropdown values and enter them in bulk into Outreach. This allows for more accurate reporting and consistent workflow execution.
  • Support For Your Preferred Privacy and Security Methods – Whether your teams are using on-premise or cloud servers, we now support customers who have on-premise and two-factor authentication email connections. Outreach’s new Hybrid Modern Authorization supports your preferred privacy and security configurations. Learn how to connect your email.
  • Take the Guesswork Out of Logging Calls – Outreach’s new Call Disposition Indicator informs sellers of their prospect’s next step (or lack thereof) based on the call disposition you select in Outreach.
  • Port Over Local Phone Numbers From Old Carriers Into Outreach – We frequently meet buyers who hit their heads on the ceiling of their previous, lighter sales engagement solutions. With Outreach’s new phone number porting service, new Outreach users in the United States can now port over local phone numbers from their old carriers into Outreach, further simplifying their Outreach upgrade.
  • Efficient Compliance – Outreach helps you operate efficiently and confidently by now providing a compliance request API to existing integrators like DataGrail, future integrators, and customers to automate delete requests in compliance with regulations such as CCPA and GDPR.

What’s Next for 2021?

Despite 2020’s inherent challenges, we gained so much, including life lessons we’ll take with us into the new year.

What’s in store for 2021? Anna Baird, Outreach’s chief revenue officer, makes three key predictions here.

Spoiler alert: The sales industry — and the greater world surrounding it — won’t miraculously return back to “normal” overnight. However, progressive organizations can take advantage of these new shifts by continuing to adapt and pivot. And that’s exactly what we intend to do.

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