Quilt is building AI assistants for solving teams.

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The work of so-called “solutions professionals” — people like sales engineers, solution architects and consultants — revolves around pitching complex enterprise tech to potential customers. It is important work. But even so, according to entrepreneur Dean Chen, solution teams are rarely adequately staffed and resourced.

“Solution Teams. Bring technical credibility to the sales movement and help the customer understand what they are buying and why,” Chen told TechCrunch in an interview. “They are the unsung heroes of the business-to-business sales organization, yet they is constantly ignored.”

Chen, formerly a partner at Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital and co-founder of Hero, a sales force support app acquired by HR startup People.ai in 2021, believes the answer lies in AI — specifically Creative AI. So along with his friend Michael Grazek (with whom Chen also co-founded Hero), he created Quilt, a platform that hosts AI assistants for sales teams.

“Two things happened in 2022 that made Quilt possible,” Chen continued. “First, the market correction caused a 180 from ‘grow at all costs’ to ‘doing more with less’… Second, the launch [OpenAI’s] In late 2022, ChatGPT announced an explosion of publicly available pre-trained new products and services. [AI] Models.”

Quilt’s core products are AI-powered assistants designed to help solution engineers with tasks such as filling out requests for proposals, answering basic technical questions and preparing demos. Chen says assistants can complete security and due diligence questionnaires, field questions from representatives through Slack, and summarize notes, calls and research materials before customer meetings.

It all looks like pretty standard workflow automation stuff. But Chen insists that Quilt is uniquely able to incorporate engineers’ technical knowledge and “understand the context.”

“The quilt saves. [teams] Spend time with routine tasks so they can spend more time with customers and help win more deals,” Chen said.

But what about creative AI’s tendency to “cheat”? It’s no secret that models like ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Copilot make mistakes in summarization — including, problematically, meeting summaries. In a recent piece, the Wall Street Journal cited an example where, for an early adopter using CoPilot for meetings, CoPilot invented attendees and indicated that the calls were about such topics. Which are never discussed.

Quilt’s AI can automatically fill out forms and questionnaires, pulling data from solution teams and company databases.

Chen asserts that Quilt suffers from such illusions because its models and training methods “separate the facts the model ‘knows’ from the facts in the enterprise data.”

“Most AI startups continue to downplay illusions and how they can undermine customer trust,” he said. “Sales teams will not use tools that make things up and fill details with fake information.”

But what about how Quilt handles data? The survey shows that many businesses are concerned about the privacy and security risks associated with generative AI. Apple, Samsung and Verizon have reportedly restricted internal use of tools such as ChatGPT due to concerns that employees would disclose sensitive information to them.

Chen says Quilt does not share data across organizations and allows users to request that their account — and data — be deleted at any time.

For what it’s worth, these assurances seem to be enough to allay investor concerns. Sequoia recently led a $2.5 million seed round in Quilt, with participation from angel investors from DataDog, HubSpot, DoorDash, Asana, Eventbrite and a16z.

It’s early days — Chen won’t reveal the names of any Quilt customers. But, because of the seed capital, Quilt plans to expand its six-person team, expand its go-to-market efforts and “accelerate the development of the next solution assistants,” Chen said.

“Over the next two years, AI will be the defining factor between the best-performing sales organizations and the worst,” he added. “For large, complex and often technical products, solution teams are the backbone of the sales process.

Chin may have a point. In terms of a wide range of sales functions, there is a lot of interest in what creative AI can accomplish — and what applications it can accelerate.

According to a 2023 survey by Sales Execution Platform Outreach, 62% of sales organizations are already actively using generative AI for purposes such as enhancing customer interactions, updating customer relationship management data and making recommendations. Responding to requests. Some are hesitant — 42% of respondents said they worry about tech errors. But the majority believe that creative AI has the potential to increase productivity by streamlining existing tasks.

“Given the type of customers Quilt is working with, we are well positioned to be the preferred AI partner for solution teams,” said Chen.

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