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CRN Exclusive: InsideSales Taps Former Oracle Direct Exec To Manage Its Commercial Business Sales

Fast-growing InsideSales offers cloud-based predictive analysis sales applications that tap into CRM systems.

Having hired a slew of former executives in the last 18 months,, the fast-growing developer of cloud-based predictive analytics software for sales reps, is now turning to Oracle as a source of management talent.

InsideSales will announce Monday that it has hired Dan Freund, a 16-year Oracle veteran and most recently head of the Oracle Direct inside sales organization, as senior vice president in charge of the company's commercial business unit.

"I saw the opportunity to help a pre-IPO, rapidly growing company scale to the next level," Freund said in an exclusive interview with CRN.

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As head of InsideSales' commercial business unit, Freund will be responsible for sales and business development activities targeting small and mid-market (under 3,500 employees) businesses.

InsideSales' "sales acceleration" software collects data from CRM systems for analysis to help salespeople optimize sales activities and interactions, right down to advising the best people to make sales calls to and when. In September the company launched Predictive Cloud, a platform with machine learning algorithms and contextual data for running the company's own applications, as well as applications developed by ISVs.

InsideSales, based in Provo, Utah, really gained attention two years ago when it closed a $100 million Series C round of financing led by venture capital firm Polaris Partners with participation from Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, and others. Last year a $61 million Series D round, led by Salesforce Ventures, the venture funding arm of, and joined by Microsoft, helped put InsideSales' market capitalization at around $1.5 billion.

Funding isn't InsideSales' only connection with Salesforce. Co-founder and CEO Dave Elkington has tapped into the Salesforce talent pool to staff up his company's management ranks, most notably Jim Steele, a 12-year Salesforce veteran who as chief customer officer helped build Salesforce into a $5 billion juggernaut. Steele joined InsideSales in January 2015 as president of worldwide sales and chief customer officer.

Other Salesforce alum now working at InsideSales include David Rudnitsky, Salesforce's vice president of enterprise sales, now InsideSales' senior vice president of enterprise sales; former Salesforce international strategy senior vice president Lindsey Armstrong, who was recently promoted to InsideSales' COO; and Avanish Sahai, formerly global vice president of ISV and channel alliances at Salesforce and now senior vice president of channels and alliances at InsideSales.

InsideSales, while not disclosing its revenue and other financial details, has said that it has grown at about 100 percent a year for several years.

Freund, now in his third week at InsideSales, is charged with helping the company maintain and even accelerate that momentum.

Freund spent the last seven years of his time at Oracle growing the company's North American Oracle Direct inside sales division from $700 million to $1.2 billion. The operation and its 2,000 employees handle a range of tasks including business development, sales consulting and sales resource management.

Freund left Oracle last year to take time off and to look for a new opportunity with a Software-as-a-Service company. He said InsideSales had "been on my radar" and he began conversations with Elkington in January about going to work for the company.

InsideSales is in the early stages of developing a channel ecosystem. While that's a separate operation from the commercial business unit he will manage, Freund said he will "map into" the channel business to provide services to the vendor's reseller, systems integrator and ISV partners.

"Our plan is to invest heavily in developing the channel. The channel is our growth engine," he said.

Blue Wolf, a fast-growing solution provider and leading partner, has been working with InsideSales and offering the vendor's sales predictive analytics software to its customers.

Last fall Blue Wolf CEO Eric Berridge told CRN that customers were more widely adopting the idea of using data science to predict customer behavior. "There's never enough information you can know about your customer," he said. "InsideSales is really taking advantage of that."

Freund plans to move his family, including his wife and five children, from southern New Hampshire to Park City, Utah, this summer.

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