Animis Labs makes B2B sales human again

Automation is killing sales and Irish company Animis Labs is on a mission to resurrect the forgotten art of selling.

“Animis is solving the widely recognised performance problem in B2B sales,” says Animis Labs founder and CEO Daniel O’Neill.

“Sales is fundamentally about human relationships, trust and value. But, in recent years, companies have lost focus on the fundamentals and instead have prioritised automation to drive volume/ velocity customer outreach as the primary way to drive revenue growth.”

“Think of Animis as the human collaboration layer that sits above the current sales record and productivity tech stack”

The result of this disconnect is stark, according to O’Neill:

  • Frustrated customers- bombarded with content who see perceive little value in sales.
  • 60%+ of sellers missing quota.
  • 50%+ of deals stall as customers lose interest and disengage.
  • Seller burnout and attrition rates are at a record high.
  • Ever diminishing returns as every company uses the same playbook!

“This current model is broken – we believe it’s time to realign the balance between human-powered selling, automation and AI. By getting the balance right, we can unlock a new era of efficiency and high-performance selling.”

The opportunity is vast. “The global B2B technology marketing was $1.69 trillion in 2020. We’re estimating that there was an additional $500bn-plus of revenue opportunity that stalled and was left on the table.”

Selling is at the core

O’Neill explains that Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start-up (HPSU) Animis is a SaaS (software as a service) enterprise sales solution.

“It’s the first advanced sales collaboration platform for B2B revenue teams. It puts human invention and creativity back at the centre of enterprise sales, empowering teams with context and insights to optimise sales performance and drive revenue growth.

“It does this with guided sales collaboration, unified workflows, behaviour insights and performance intelligence to power high-performance selling across the customer lifecycle.

“Think of Animis as the human collaboration layer that sits above the current sales record and productivity tech stack. Humans + Context + Data  = Optimised Sales Outcomes.”

Who dares sells

O’Neill has more than 24 years’ experience in B2B sales, operations and training in large US tech multinationals. I founded Animis in 2019 after experiencing first-hand the challenges today’s B2B revenue organisations face and set out to help companies to unlock and realise the untapped human potential in their organisations.

“In the last two years, this challenge has become even more prescient as automation and AI continue to encroach on human activities and salespeople struggle to understand their roles in this new paradigm.

The Irish tech start-up scene is characterised by an incredible energy and inventiveness, O’Neill says.

“The presence of US multinationals in Ireland over the last 30 years has produced a wave of people with deep expertise in their industries. These veterans are now leaving these companies to found their own start-ups. It’s producing a massive wave of innovation. With the right continued support from the government through EI and others, I think the future looks bright.”

The company is focused on raising funding in the near term. “We plan to fundraise early next year to accelerate our US go-to-market strategy, build our teams and continue to advance the Animis platform capabilities.”

Driving sustainable revenues

The company is in execution mode, nimbly achieving the targets it has set for itself. “I’ve pleased to say I don’t think we’ve made any significant mistakes thus far. We’ve been patient, always listened to our customers and have stayed focused on our mission.

“In relation to lessons. We’ve learnt that early traction does not necessarily mean you have found product market fit. You may be solving some problem or delivering some value, but if its not aligned to the core value proposition of your product, then take a step back refocus on your ideal customer profile (ICP). This will help avoid early churn and drive much more sustainable revenue growth in the long term.

“Another lesson is that timing is so important. It’s extremely difficult to force a solution if the market awareness and recognition of the pain is not quite there. It’s difficult to build a movement, so try piggyback on established or growing communities in your domain and build awareness of your unique point-of-views from there.”

To rob a term from tech industry lore, Animis ‘eats its own dog food’, or in effect uses its own technology to sell. “To stay agile, our team uses Animis as the primary tool for collaborating on sales strategies, customer value creation, and opportunity management. Additionally, we use Slack, Teams, and HubSpot. When integrated with Animis, these tools create a powerful platform for our teams to work together effectively.”

In conclusion, O’Neill’s advice to fellow founders is to bootstrap if not fundraising. “Unless you have income from services or your product is an easy-to-transact consumer or plug and play B2B solution – you need to get used to not having an income for two to three years. As it’s impossible to live on thin air, perhaps look for alternative sources of part-time income, particularly if you’re not looking for early-stage funding.”

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.