Passes 100 Customers, $2.2M Raised To Help SDR’s Sell More Using AI with CEO Will Dinkel

Will Dinkel

In Episode #597, Nathan interviews Will Dinkel. He’s the CEO and co-founder of Nova. Prior to founding Nova, Will developed his passion for enterprise sales while working in various technology and sales roles at CloudFlare and HP. Will studied engineering in Harvard Business School.



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Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Presenting to Win
  • What CEO do you follow? – Travis Kimmel
  • Favorite online tool? – Apple Notes
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— “I try”
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I wish my 20-year old self was more ambitious”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:42 – Nathan introduces Will to the show
  • 02:08 – Nova AI is a sales product that uses AI to help set appointments more effectively
  • 02:25 – Nova helps sales reps, they don’t necessarily get leads
  • 02:52 – Nova creates personalized emails and merged templates
  • 03:08 – Nova charges per seat
  • 03:30 – “What we do is very unique”
  • 03:39 – Nova is a smart, workflow product
  • 04:08 – Average pay per seat is $150
  • 04:28 – Nova started in 2015
  • 05:01 – Nova’s co-founder is from MIT
  • 05:15 – Team size
  • 05:40 – Will shares how it’s like in San Francisco
  • 06:00 – Nova has raised $2.2M
  • 06:20 – Salesforce Ventures is one of Nova’s investors
  • 06:54 – The space is getting bigger and bigger
  • 07:15 – Will shares why he raised and went to YC
  • 07:50 – Nova just crossed 100 customers
  • 08:10 – Average seat number per customer
  • 08:40 – Nova is now looking into a bigger number of seats per customer
  • 08:55 – Nova has around a thousand sales reps using them
  • 09:15 – Will’s focus is to make sure the team is functioning well
  • 10:20 – Average MRR
  • 10:45 – Growth rate target in 2017
  • 10:51 – Will is looking into adding additional people to the team, 3 per class
  • 11:51 – Nova uses their own wrinkle for SDR
  • 12:10 – Gross customer churn
    • 12:35 – People are mostly happy with Nova
  • 12:55 – Nova’s paid marketing
  • 13:47 – How do you beat a company like Yesware?
    • 14:05 – Focus on what you do best and don’t get dragged into trying to do everything that everyone else does
  • 16:10 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Focus on what YOU do best—you will lose when you focus on what others are doing.
  2. Offer something unique and it will make you stand out amongst the crowd.
  3. Be ambitious, act sooner than later.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal– Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Jamf – Jamf helped Nathan keep his Macbook Air 11” secure even when he left it in the airplane’s back seat pocket
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives