The job of so-called “solution professionals” – people like sales engineers, solution architects and consultants – revolves around introducing complex business technologies to potential customers. It is essential work. But while that is the case, solution teams rarely have sufficient staff and resources, says entrepreneur Dan Chen.

“Solution teams Bring technical credibility to the sales process and help the client understand exactly what they’re buying and why,” Chen said in an interview with TechCrunch. “They are the unsung heroes of the business-to-business sales organization, but are continually missed.”

Chen, previously a partner at Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital and co-founder of Hero, a Salesforce support app that HR startup acquired in 2021, believes the reply lies in AI – specifically generative AI. So he co-founded along with his friend Michael Graczyk (with whom Chen also founded Hero). Ceilinga platform that hosts AI assistants for solution sales teams.

“Two things happened in 2022 that made Quilt possible,” Chen continued. “First, the market correction resulted in an abrupt 180-degree shift from ‘growth in any respect costs’ to ‘do more with less’… Second, the launch of (OpenAI’s) ChatGPT in late 2022 led to an explosion of recent services and products available on the general public market based on available pre-trained (AI) models.”

Quilt’s core products are AI-powered assistants designed to assist solutions engineers with tasks resembling completing RFPs, answering basic technical questions, and preparing for demos. Chen said assistants can complete security and due diligence questionnaires, answer questions from representatives via Slack, and summarize the contents of notes, calls and research before client meetings.

This all seems like normal workflow automation. But Chen insists that Quilt is uniquely capable of integrate engineers’ technical knowledge and “understand the context.”

“Quilt saves (teams) time on routine tasks, in order that they can spend more time with customers and shut more deals,” Chen said.

But what about generative AI’s tendency to “hallucinate”? It’s no secret that models like ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Copilot make mistakes Summaries – including, problematically, in Meeting summaries. In a recent article within the Wall Street Journal quoted A case where Copilot, for an early adopter using Copilot for meetings, invented participants and implied that the calls were about topics that were never discussed.

Quilt’s AI can robotically fill out forms and questionnaires using data from solution teams and company databases.

Chen claims that Quilt is less susceptible to such hallucinations because its models and training procedures “separate facts that the model ‘knows’ from facts in corporate data.”

“Most AI startups proceed to underestimate hallucinations and the way they’ll damage customer trust,” he said. “Sales teams is not going to use tools that make things up and add fake information to details.”

But what about how Quilt handles data? Survey show that many corporations are concerned in regards to the privacy and security risks related to generative AI. Apple, Samsung, and Verizon, amongst others, have reportedly restricted internal use of tools like ChatGPT for fear that employees would reveal sensitive information to them.

Chen says Quilt doesn’t share data between organizations and allows users to request deletion of their account – and their data – at any time.

These assurances appear to have been enough to allay investor concerns. Sequoia recently led a $2.5 million seed round for Quilt with participation from angel investors from DataDog, HubSpot, DoorDash, Asana, Eventbrite and a16z.

It’s still early — Chen would not reveal the names of quilt customers. But Quilt, fueled partly by the seed capital, has plans to grow its six-person team, expand its go-to-market efforts and “speed up the event of the subsequent solution assistants,” Chen said.

“In the subsequent two years, AI might be a key factor between the very best and worst performing sales organizations,” he added. “For large, complicated and sometimes technical products, solutions teams are the backbone of the sales process.

Chen might be right. When it involves sales functions typically, there may be numerous interest in what generative AI can do – and what applications it could drive.

According to a 2023 survey by sales platform Outreach, 62% of sales organizations are already actively using generative AI to be used cases resembling improving customer interactions, updating customer relationship management data, and responding to cite requests. Some are hesitant – 42% of respondents said they were concerned in regards to the technology’s inaccuracies. However, the bulk consider that generative AI has the potential to extend productivity by streamlining existing tasks.

“Given the style of customers Quilt works with, we’re well-positioned to be the popular AI partner for solutions teams,” said Chen.

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