SetSail set out to build a new way to compensate sales people, where based on the data, companies could pay salespeople on where they were in the pipeline, not in just one big chunk when they landed the sale. They believed this approach would enable salespeople to take more risks.

Such an approach requires a great deal of data to understand where the sales process stands, and that data infrastructure it turns out is a great source for generative AI. Today the company announced new capabilities to ask the system questions in natural language, which in turn gets translated in a SQL query and delivers an answer.

SetSail co-founder and CEO Haggai Levi says his company learned that in order to build a fair sales compensation system, it required getting key data out of data silos. His company built the underlying data layer, and could display it not only in dashboards with predefined data, now they could take advantage of that in a different way to answer very pointed questions.

“We spent a lot of time in the past three and a half years focusing on that data infrastructure product that connects all of these silos together and gives you 360 degree views using dashboards — and then ChatGTP comes and then we realize, hey, this is like another great entry point into our data,” Levi said.

He points out that ChatGPT isn’t just good at writing text, it can also write code including well structured SQL queries, which are good enough to replace dashboards with interactive discussion on top of the data.

“We’ve merged the GPT power with the data infrastructure that we created. It just makes ask yourself, why do we need dashboards? We don’t need dashboards anymore because we can ask the questions and answer them directly,” he said.

While he still sees building sales incentives as a viable idea, it turns out that the data infrastructure he’s built has value even if you’re not using it for that original purpose. “In order to deliver on our original vision, we had to create a very unique data set that tracks everything automatically…and what we found was that the infrastructure by itself has a lot of value to customers,” he said.

So you can begin to ask specific questions like which deals are close to closing, which sales people are having trouble closing deals and who’s meeting with an executive decision maker this week. The system connects to email, calendars, the CRM, the marketing automation system to build a picture and answer questions better than simply looking at data points in a dashboard.

In addition to these new capabilities, the company also announced an $11 million investment led by Zoom Ventures, which itself recently announced Zoom IQ, a new conversational tool that actually is well aligned with SetSail’s new capabilities.

The company was founded in 2018 and has raised almost $50 million with the latest investment.

SetSail adds ChatGPT questioning capabilities on top of sales data by Ron Miller originally published on TechCrunch