Welcoming David Sacks and Craft Ventures to Scratchpad. A little story on how we got here.

Today, I’m thrilled to share that Scratchpad has secured $13 million in new funding led by David Sacks at Craft Ventures, with Accel continuing to participate after leading our seed round last year. 

While the new capital itself is important for our ability to invest in product development to make Scratchpad even better and faster for our users, the truly exciting part is the opportunity to partner with the best folks in the industry on our journey. 

Steve Loughlin, from Accel, previously built RelateIQ (acquired by Salesforce in 2014). Steve’s understanding of the sales technology landscape is unparalleled and his experience in building a company known for culture has already played an important role at Scratchpad. 

David Sacks, aka “the Rainman” and one of the “Besties” from the All-In podcast, is joining the Scratchpad board of directors. David’s expertise in bottoms-up SaaS businesses and products is, well, legendary. 

The Scratchpad team and I are excited to work with David, Steve, and our incredible angel investors to create something truly special for salespeople - the world’s first workspace for revenue teams. 

How did we get here?

A couple years ago we started with a question: Why do salespeople use so many browser tabs to do their jobs? 

How we came to ask this question is a different story which we’ll get to in a later post.

Nearly every salesperson we spoke with struggled with the browser tab fiasco, and everyone accepted that endless browser tabs was just an unfortunate part of the job. Salespeople succumbed to the pain of managing their daily to-dos and sales workflows with dozens of open browser tabs and the mind numbing process of copying and pasting notes from various apps into Salesforce opportunities. 

In our search to learn more, we used the same products and adopted the same workflows every account executive used, we conducted hundreds of Zoom calls with salespeople, and we were fortunate enough to shadow some reps in person (pre-COVID-19 days) where we literally sat for hours observing how account executives work. To all of you who let us into your worlds to learn - thank you. We wouldn’t be here without your support.

There were no flashes of brilliance. Instead, there were a series of observations that eventually led to identifying patterns. We mapped those patterns and our learnings to ideas and we started to connect the dots. We’re still doing this today, but we are focused on new questions and challenges in an endless journey to surprise and delight our customers.

We learned Salesforce is an exceptional product, but it’s primary strength is a relational database for capturing information and reporting on it. In other words, it’s for managers and leaders. It does not, however, fit naturally into a salesperson's day-to-day workflow. 

  • Working in Salesforce alone for end users (account executives, account managers, sales engineers, etc…) is technically possible, but it’s terribly inefficient and slow, forcing highly educated and skilled salespeople into spending 50% or more of their time with tedious data entry. 
  • To deal with the challenges of working directly in Salesforce, account executives rely on applications that are easier and faster to use including Evernote, Mac Notes, One Note, Google Sheets, Google Docs, To-do lists, and more. 
  • The problem is these apps aren’t connected to Salesforce, which is a critical system for running the business. 
  • The company then develops data integrity issues since valuable data from salespeople lives across all these disconnect systems, and they counter with strict validation rules and sales managers constantly nagging their teams to “update Salesforce”. 
  • Back to the account executives, they’re forced to block hours on their calendar each week to update the bare minimum in Salesforce and deal with cumbersome workflows when working inside of Salesforce. 

From these learnings we developed the nugget of an idea, something small and delicate at the time. We identified the most important signal; account executive adoption and asked ourselves these questions:

  • What if we rebuilt these general purpose apps account executives use today and designed them specifically for the needs of top performing salespeople - connected directly to Salesforce as the system of record? 
  • Could we create something account executives loved to use instead of something they are forced to use? By doing so, would important sales data naturally find its way to Salesforce? 
  • Could we design a product that meaningfully impacted how a salesperson works and deliver a little bit of joy and delight?

We wondered why nearly all B2B enterprise apps were boring. “End-users” are still people. Just because an application is for work doesn’t mean the bar for user experience should be any lower than the apps people love to use naturally.

Sales is an emotionally taxing job filled with daily rejection and stress, so building a delightful product became even more important to us. 

Fast forward → Here’s some of the evidence and the impact showcased on our customer love wall

The unintended impact of our work

For sales organizations we are seeing sales managers coaching instead of nagging reps for CRM updates, sales operations teams are gaining improvements in process compliance, and sales leaders are forecasting with more accuracy. 

For the lives and careers of end users we are observing drastic improvements in compressed rep ramp times, better capacity planning, and increased quota attainment. But the real, human impact is what motivates our team the most.

One user attributed her promotion to Scratchpad. Others describe the impact on their lives.

Another Scratchpad user said “Scratchpad changed my life” and I was completely surprised by what I learned. On a call, she told me every day she blocked off an hour on her calendar at the end of the day just to update Salesforce - a strict requirement by her manager. By using Scratchpad, she was so efficient that everything was updated in real time - and she could use that extra hour to have dinner with her daughter. 

I was moved by what she told me. I have three young kids and I treasure the time I get to spend with them. I never anticipated that our nugget of an idea nearly two years ago to improve how salespeople worked would have such a personal impact on lives while empowering salespeople to be the best at what they do.

So what started as a simple question has developed into a mission we’re dedicating our creative energy towards.

We believe sales is a craft and our mission is to power how salespeople work with products they love to use. We’re accomplishing this by creating the world’s first workspace for revenue teams - designed and built specifically for the needs of top performing salespeople and sales teams.