Our Salesforce Connections Go Way Back
Two decades and three rounds of funding later, our partnership with Salesforce has never been more important to us. So important, in fact, we recently unveiled a timeline that celebrates our deep-rooted connections to Salesforce. Read on to learn about our journey to build the number #1 conversational sales and marketing platform for Salesforce--don’t mind us while we take a trip down memory lane!
Our Salesforce story started in 2005 when Kraig Swensrud and Sean Whiteley founded Kieden, an advertising platform that integrated Salesforce data with Google AdWords. The product, built on what was then known as SForce, was the foundation for growth as Salesforce acquired Kieden and turned Kraig and Sean into full-time Salesforce employees. Kraig and Sean understood the power and opportunity of Salesforce from the start.
Kraig and Sean were instrumental to the growth of Salesforce and Google’s relationship, introducing a product roadmap and partnership to serve B2B customers. In 2007, the Salesforce/Google Alliance launched, spearheaded by Kraig and Sean, and ushered in the “Cloud” era to Salesforce. The shift to the cloud fundamentally changed the software industry.
In 2008, Kraig became the SVP of Product Marketing and launched Service Cloud, Salesforce’s second $1B product, in conjunction with Sean, Dan Darcy, and Alex Dayon. The success of the product inspired Sales Cloud, and eventually the birth of Salesforce Chatter, the world’s first enterprise social network in 2009. Chatter was revolutionary as it provided one place for account teams to collaborate about account activity, opportunities, and keep notes about customer calls and experiences.
Chatter, with the help of Fergie and the Black Eyed Peas, debuted at Super Bowl XLV, alongside Kraig’s move to Salesforce’s Chief Marketing Officer. Under Kraig’s leadership, Salesforce surpassed $1B in revenue and cemented itself in enterprise software history as the company continued to grow.
In 2012, Kraig and Sean doubled down on their Salesforce connections and started GetFeedback alongside seasoned Salesforce leaders Bing Yang and Gopal Patel; GetFeedback was the the first CX feedback platform for Salesforce Service Cloud. GetFeedback hit the ground running with a $2.3M investment from Salesforce Ventures and quickly positioned itself as the #1 CX platform on the Salesforce AppExchange.
Cut to 2018, Kraig and Sean founded Qualified, the first conversational sales and marketing platform for Salesforce, purpose-built for Sales Cloud. Salesforce selected the former execs as “Entrepreneur Trailblazers,” spotlighting their innovation and revolutionary technology in the space.
Salesforce Ventures participated in Qualified’s seed financing later that year. Qualified officially launched on the Salesforce AppExchange as a Certified Salesforce ISV and quickly increased recognition and adoption across the ecosystem.
In 2019, Qualified and Salesforce Ventures partnered for a Series A round of funding, alongside Norwest Venture Partners and Redpoint Ventures. Qualified pioneered the digital frontier of selling amidst global the COVID-19 pandemic, and soon hired Salesforce executive Dan Darcy as Chief Customer Officer in 2020.
Later in the year, Salesforce launched the AppExchange Chat program, powered by Qualified, enabling every Salesforce partner to have conversations with buyers directly on the AppExchange Marketplace.
Launching into a very happy 2021, Qualified welcomed Sarah Franklin, Chief Marketing Officer at Salesforce, to the Board of Directors and launched Qualified X, the next-generation conversational sales and marketing platform for Salesforce.
Salesforce Ventures recently led investment in Qualified’s $51m Series B financing, with participation from Norwest Venture Partners and Redpoint Ventures, setting the stage for exponential growth in 2021 and beyond.
Qualified’s DNA is Salesforce blue. Qualified employees lead by Astro’s example; warm and welcoming, willing to do “whatever it takes” for customer success. Qualified’s history with Salesforce sets the scene for an even more exciting future as organizations move to work from anywhere, sell from anywhere, and market from anywhere.
Interested in joining the #1 conversational sales and marketing platform for Salesforce? Check out our open roles here: qualified.com/careers. Feel free to chat with our team right here on the site about what it’s like to work at Qualified (and see our product in action)!
Today we’re excited to announce that 18-year Salesforce executive Robert Zimmermann is joining our leadership team.