Busy sales people want to spend their time interacting with customers, not taking care of administrative work. That’s where PandaDoc comes in, a startup that helps automate creation of quotes, proposals and contracts.
Today it announced a $5 million investment led by Altos Ventures with additional participation from TMT Investments and other unnamed investors. The announcement actually encapsulates all of the money the company has raised so far including its previously unannounced seed funding rounds, company co-founder Mikita Mikado explained.
The product is essentially a content layer that sits on top of your CRM tool. Currently it’s compatible with Salesforce.com, Zoho, Pipeliner and Base. It also works with Zendesk to enable customer service personnel to send out renewal contracts and other information.
When sales personnel have to create content for their customers, they can choose from a series of pre-defined templates that have been customized for the company. One template might be standard introductory matter, another could be a pricing table with standard discounts.
They can drag and drop these components to build a document, or can build the document automatically based on information already in the CRM tool. Once they’ve built the document, they then send a link to the customer by email, who clicks the link and reviews the document on what essentially is a microsite. It eliminates word processors, spreadsheets, pdfs and emailing attachments. PandaDoc includes analytics tools that let sales people see what customers spent time on and what they ignored. It also has electronic signature capability to speed up closing.
Ironically, the company plans to use the money to expand its own sales and marketing department. It has been working for the most part using inbound marketing and many of its customers are small businesses. While it has some larger customers like Panasonic, the goal is to get more enterprise customers, which will require a dedicated sales team.
The initial response to the product has been quite good and the company claims it built up $1 million in annual recurring revenue in its first six months in operation. What’s more, it claims 68 percent of documents created in the system were built and sent back by the customer with a signature within one day of document creation; more than 37 percent within just 1 hour.
The company deals with everything from document creation, to analytics to electronic signature, so it’s competing with a range of companies such as DocuSign for electronic signature and SteelBrick and Apptus for CPQ (configure, price quote).
The company began 4 years in Belarus building template documents for sales people. The founders bootstrapped the company and managed to break even, but a couple of years ago they decided to move to Silicon Valley and expand the products capabilities. Last year the company released the results, PandaDoc.