Today’s business-to-business (B2B) buyers want and demand more information than ever before. Case studies, demo recordings, data sheets, ROI studies, contracts, data security documents, and the list goes on. Buyers consume all of it. After all, they have to satisfy the needs of their team members from IT, legal, purchasing, and of course, the budget holder. They also have to justify their decision despite all the other options.
Unfortunately, this flood of information dramatically slows down the buying process with back and forth requests, lost or outdated information, and time spent sifting through information to try to make sense of it.
One entrepreneur, Alex Kracov, has set out to solve this problem with a new company, Dock. Dock is a platform where you can collaborate directly with people outside your organization, sharing and exchanging information in one common place. For this article, Kracov shared in an interview why he built Dock, and how it originally came to be.
The Problem Dock Solves: Too Many Docs, Emails, and Platforms in the Buyer-Seller Relationship
The problem Dock solves is so rampant that most people see it as “just a part of the job.” Kracov describes the problem this way: “When it comes to working with customers, there’s no defined way to organize all the information that gets shared. Most people rely on some combination of Google Docs, slides, sheets, PDFs, and email to work with people outside of their company. A tech-forward company might introduce tools like Loom or Slack. But the problem is the same: Everyone just repurposes internal productivity tools for customer interactions. It’s messy and overwhelming for the customer, and even done thoughtfully, it never feels premium enough.”
The result of this problem is an experience that’s unnecessarily difficult for both the seller and the buyer.
For customers, key information can easily get lost in their email as they go about their work. And the logical flow of how different resources fit together can get confusing. Add to that all the information (and false information) that plagues the internet, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. When a customer then starts to put together their internal pitch to key decision-makers, they have to scramble back through their email and reach back out to sales again looking for the resources they need to build their case and put together a presentation.
For sales teams, it’s easy to lose track of what they’ve sent to a customer and when they sent it. They often lean on internal docs that aren’t as presentable as they’d like them to be. The sales team then struggles to organize and coordinate what they’re sending and when. Their time is of course better spent curating a clear, logical path for their customer.
Kracov’s platform addresses both sides of the coin: the customer and the seller. Dock acts as one clear, logical platform for the buyer-seller relationship to live on.
Kracov’s Inspiration and Original Version
Kracov first really experienced this problem while at Lattice, which he helped build from the ground up. He began as the only marketer (and employee #3) and moved on to run a marketing team of 20 people. Their revenue grew from zero to tens of millions, and they went from a seed stage to company to today’s valuation of over three billion dollars.
Here’s Kracov on his experience that ultimately led to his idea for Dock: “I was working with our sales team to figure out how we sell into bigger companies. I noticed that when selling to big companies you had to sell to a buying team, not just an individual. The deal came down to empowering a champion to sell internally. We would convince an HR manager that Lattice was the right solution, but then they would have to convince all the other stakeholders at the company from the rest of the HR team to the C-Suite to managers and employees.”
To solve the problem at the time, Kracov used a tool called Webflow to build partner portals for his sales teams. The portals acted like custom websites where the sales team could share information and key documents with their prospect.
The Solution: A Collaborative Workspace with People Outside Your Organization
Based on these original portals (and their internal success at Lattice), Kracov branched out to build Dock. The Dock platform helps sales teams show the most relevant information at the most relevant time and in the most logical and clear way: articles, videos, case studies, research, ROI docs, and so on. Kracov described the platform saying, “Think of it like a private website between two companies that hosts all the information that gets shared. Dock takes all of the resources you currently share and aggregates them on a single link for your customer.”
The platform has evolved quickly beyond sales teams. Customer success teams use Dock to onboard new customers with checklists, training videos, and kickoff decks. Founders use Dock as a dynamic data house to help raise money from investors. Agencies and service firms use Dock to create portals for each client.
Dock’s Plan Moving Forward: Continuously Building And Improving the Platform
Dock, unsurprisingly, is moving and succeeding swiftly. After moving out of beta in only May of this year, they already have 20+ clients including Kracov’s former company Lattice. Since coming out of beta, they’ve raised three million dollars in seed funding. Over the coming year, Dock plans to keep building features that help sales and customer teams work better with customers.