Social Sentinel - Sales Distinction of the Year
Company: Social Sentinel, Inc.; Burlington, VT
Company Description: Social Sentinel, Inc. helps school and university administrators and public safety professionals protect their educational communities by alerting officials to safety and security threats shared publicly on social media. Social Sentinel's service is akin to a home alarm system, scanning publicly available social media to the tune of 1B per day looking for the digital needle in the haystack.
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Distinction Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Sales Distinction of the Year - Computer Software
Nomination Title: Social Sentinel, Inc. - A Success Story
Tell the story about what this nominated organization achieved since the beginning of July 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes: TEXT REDACTED FOR PUBLICATION
As the industry pioneer and leader, Social Sentinel, Inc. helps school and university administrators, and public safety professionals better protect their communities by alerting clients to threats shared publicly on social media. Having been credited with helping to save countless lives and averting potentially harmful events through early awareness, Social Sentinel launched its flagship offering, the Social Sentinel Service®, in 2015 and quickly grew to define and grow a new industry. The DNA of its expertise is grounded in education-based public safety and security.
The Social Sentinel Service is akin to a home alarm system. It scans publicly available social media to the tune of 1B posts per day; identifies indications of harm against people and school assets using proprietary algorithms and the Sentinel Search Librarys; and sends an alert to the appropriate contact person. The Service does not monitor or surveil social media accounts, and respects the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution to protect freedom of speech and assembly.
In part, what makes Social Sentinel unique is its database of nearly a half million behavioral threat indicator combinations and our Local+sm feature that associates information about the people, events, or infrastructure the university, college or school must protect with the behavioral threat indicators in our Library.
In October 2016, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint with the largest social media service providers alleging that competitive services to Social Sentinel were providing social media data to law enforcement for the purpose of tracking and monitoring individuals and protest groups expressing their rights to free speech and assembly. The social media companies reacted swiftly and turned off the data to these competitive services but the Social Sentinel Service was not affected as it is not a surveillance or monitoring tool, and the company services mainly universities, colleges and school districts. Further, Social Sentinel’s respect for the use of social media has enabled the company to build strong partnerships with our data providers.
That said, the impact on the market was immediate, with 4Q16 sales down 43% versus the prior year. Additionally, 1Q17 was anemic with sales down 65% over the year prior period and down 60% from the already lagging 4Q16 numbers. During this time, many competitors shuttered their doors.
The Social Sentinel team remained passionate about its mission and value, and the revenue team doubled down on messaging and market positioning, driving confidence in the Social Sentinel Service and the validity of its value proposition. The perseverance paid off as the team grew in size and scope, protecting tens of millions of students, teachers, staff and administrators at universities, colleges, and school districts across the country. The company’s strategy and business model helped strengthen its position as as the thought leader in social media threat assessment.
The company used its resources strategically to make additional investments in a sales operations professional; a small inside sales team; a specialized field sales force; and a cadre of contracted education leaders and experts to drive relationships and introductions. The results speak for themselves.
Between July 2016 and January 2018, Social Sentinel achieved the following growth:
* Sales to new customers up 400%;
* Annual Contract Value up 48%;
* Total qualified pipeline up 300%;
* The total addressable market (TAM) expanded from $20 million to $100 million;
* The total qualified pipeline grew from $5.2 million to $17.3 million;
* 4Q17 was best quarter as of 12/31/2017.