Plano Startup Earns Innovation Award at MarTech Breakthrough

Cien's app uses artificial-intelligence software to measure the productivity of sales teams.

Cien

A Plano startup with global ties that helps businesses measure sales productivity earned recognition of its own this month, winning the Innovation Award for CRM Software at MarTech Breakthrough’s first event.

The 3-year-old startup Cien, which has an office and leadership in Plano, has developed an app that uses artificial-intelligence software to measure the productivity of sales teams.

“It’s good for us as a little startup—a fast growing startup—to be ranked among the giants in the software industry.”
Damien Acheson

Damien Acheson, head of marketing, likened it to a Fitbit for your sales team, tracking data and crunching numbers in a way that makes sense and takes into account human language and behavior. It provides predictions and recommendations to optimize the performance of salespeople.

“It basically restructures your sales data so you can understand what your sales data is saying to you,” Acheson said. “One of the biggest problems is sales—it’s really hard to scale. The sales team gets less and less productive as it grows. The reason for it, they’re not measuring what matters. Companies are sitting on a gold mine within their CRM systems.”

cien

[Photo Courtesy Cien]

Besides its Legacy West location in Plano, the company has offices in Miami and Barcelona. The company’s co-founder Margot Carter, Chief OO Lisa Cook and head of sales Doug Dzina are established North Texas executives.

CIEN WAS ONE OF 2,000 COMPANIES NOMINATED FOR AWARD

There were more than 2,000 nominations from 12 countries competing in the MarTech Breakthrough event. Other companies recognized at the event included SalesForce and Adobe.

“It’s good for us as a little startup—a fast-growing startup—to be ranked among the giants in the software industry,” Acheson said.

The company has gone from three employees to about 25 in three years.

Its name— Cien — is Spanish for 100 and it was chosen because the company’s founders wanted to make this venture 100 times better than anything they have done before, Acheson said.

cien

Cien CEO Robert Kall, left, co-founder Margot Carter, center, and Ben Strum, CTO [Photo Courtesy Cien]

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