Highspot $248M Series F

Sales Enablement Platform vendor Highspot closed on a $248 million Series F that valued the firm at $3.5 billion, up from its February valuation of $2.3 billion.  The firm, founded in 2012, has raised $648 million to date.  The round was led by B Capital Group and D1 Capital Partners, with Iconiq Growth, Madrona Venture Group, Salesforce Ventures, Sapphire, and Tiger Global Management also participating.

“Technologies that unlock human potential are foundational to our economic future,” said Rashmi Gopinath, General Partner, B Capital.  “Highspot’s undeniable performance, coupled with the enthusiasm of their customer base, is a testament to how transformative their technology is for companies across industries and geographies.  We believe Highspot’s platform is an imperative for businesses aiming to drive sustainable growth.”

Highspot will deploy the funds to hire additional staff and open offices in the EMEA and APAC regions.  The firm, which doubled in size over the past two years to 800 employees, plans to add 500 staff over the next twelve months.  Highspot is based in Seattle, with offices in London, Munich, and Paris.

The pandemic accelerated demand for digital platforms such as Highspot as “road warriors have become home warriors,” said Wahbe.  In addition, the shift from traditional selling to digital required new tools and skills.  “Salespeople have to be better than ever in holding the attention of the customer.”

“Even before the onset of the pandemic, buyers were trending toward self-reliance with a plethora of resources at their fingertips, researching vendors on their own time and relying on salespeople as mere transaction facilitators,” Wahbe told VentureBeat via email. The sudden shift to a remote business landscape caused by COVID-19 accelerated this trend, and now modern buyers prefer — and expect — fully virtual sales … A handful of sales tech companies anticipated the trend toward digital selling and strategically designed their products to help turn salespeople from transaction helpers into heroes. Highspot is one such company.”

Highspot CEO Robert Wahbe, “Highspot raises $248M to bolster sales enablement using AI,” VentureBeat (January 13, 2022)

The firm, which has over 170 open positions, is broadly hiring across engineering, product, design, marketing, and sales.

“We see an incredible opportunity in front of us,” said CEO Robert Wahbe. “We need to continue to invest very significantly and invest in our go-to-market team, invest in our product, and [invest in] the capabilities of our product.”

Last month, Highspot announced a quartet of executive hires:

  • Arvind Prakash, Product Management VP: Prakash is a global product and technology leader with over twenty years of experience at Compass, Expedia Group, and Microsoft.
  • John Zhang, Engineering VP: Zhang held Engineering roles at Microsoft, Twitter and Weibo.
  • Julie Valenti, Account Management VP: Valenti has over twenty years of experience running customer-facing teams at DocuSign, Oracle, Responsys, and Yesmail.
  • Kelly Lewis, Revenue Enablement VP: Lewis joins with over 15 years of experience in revenue leadership and technology sales.  Lewis is a former Highspot customer joining from Amwell.

Highspot supports content recommendations, content engagement analytics, sales training, and sales coaching

The recently launched Highspot Marketplace is a partner exchange for marketing, sales, enablement, and customer success partners.  Companies can import packages of content, tools, and training from two dozen partners, including Sandler, Challenger, and Winning by Design.

Highspot Sales Training Dashboard

Highspot has grown revenue 935% over the last three years and posted an Annual Recurring Revenue net retention rate of 130% over the past year. 

Last year, platform usage increased 150%, with Highspot providing training to eight million salespeople, channel partners, service reps, and customers in digital sales experiences.  Highspot counts DocuSign, General Motors, Nestle, Siemens, and Verizon Media among its 700+ customers.

Wahbe envisions the firm going public but did not set an IPO timeframe. “Our focus continues to be on building a significant company in the enablement space,” said Wahbe. “We’re focused on growing the company, which of course then enables us to go public.”

Cognism $87.5M Series C

London-based Sales Intelligence vendor Cognism closed on an $87.5 million (£64m) Series C.  The round was led by Viking Global Investors and Blue Cloud Ventures, with follow-on investors AXA Venture Partners, Swisscom Ventures, and Volution.

Total funding is just shy of $130 million.

The funds will be deployed for European expansion and strengthening Cognism’s position in the United States.  Growth will be a “combination of organic growth and acquisitions.”

“The funding will help us empower many more businesses with international sales intelligence over the coming years, setting a new standard in data quality and compliance,” explained CEO James Isilay.  “It will accelerate our growth and global expansion plans as the leading provider of intelligent B2B sales data.”

“We will be organically expanding in the United States this year and have just hired new sales leadership (Mark Sparaco) to accelerate our growth,” Isilay told GZ Consulting.  “Europe remains our primary focus, but we see significant differentiation to other providers in our US and International data that we see significant growth opportunities.”

The firm will remain focused on improving its global data coverage and Sales Intelligence capabilities in 2022.  Roadmap features include marketing enhancements and localization in non-English speaking countries.

Cognism is coming off another strong year, with ARR growth hitting 100%.  They have over 1,000 customers, located in over forty countries.

Isilay is targeting another year of 100%+ growth and stated that Cognism is off to a good start in January with a “record revenue month.”

2021 data improvements include Diamond Data and the addition of Bombora’s intent data set as a premium offering.  Diamond data provides “the most accurate, GDPR & CCPA compliant phone-verified contacts for business development teams internationally, setting a new standard in data quality,” boasted the firm.

The Diamonds-on-Demand request feature supports on-demand phone verification from both the web application and the Cognism Chrome extension.  Users click on a Diamond Verify button to initiate the verification process, which is completed within 48 hours.  In addition, users can track the status on the platform.

“No other software company offers a truly global sales intelligence platform like Cognism. “By pairing our premium quality contact data with advanced contextual data points like technographics and buyer intent signals, we help modern revenue teams connect with confidence and exceed targets. We enable them to build a meaningful connection with their next best customer in the most predictable, efficient, and cost-effective way.”

Cognism CEO James Isilay

Cognism has grown to over 250 employees in seven countries: the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, South Africa, Croatia, Macedonia, and Germany.

Cognism did not state its market valuation.

Cognism also announced that it is SOC II Type 2 compliant.  The designation confirms that Cognism meets AICPA’s Trust Services Criteria for Security, Availability, Confidentiality, Processing Integrity, and Privacy with regards to data.

“We live and breathe security and compliance at Cognism as we handle large amounts of company data that help our customers reach new target audiences,” blogged Cognism CTO Stjepan Buljat. “Most companies, when they start their SOC 2 compliance journey, choose to select type 1 qualification, whereas we’ve selected the more complex type 2 route – often described as the difference between a balance sheet audit and a full audit of financial operations.  Type 2 looks at the information security controls we have in action and confirms that we’re organised to handle the data privacy concerns of the largest companies on the planet.”

Cognism Funding History (Source: Owler)

LinkedIn: DEI Programs Boost Sales

LinkedIn commissioned Forrester Consulting to analyze whether firms with strong Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs have higher sales performance.  The result was a “resounding yes.”

“As the US population diversifies, so must your sales teams,” concluded Vanessa Fabrizio, Market Impact Consultant at Forrester.  “You need a diverse sales team to be customer-obsessed in 2021 and beyond.  Respondents understand the importance of diversity, as 60% stated that diversity within their sales team has contributed to their teams’ success.”

While DEI received much attention in 2020, sales leaders view it as an ongoing initiative, with 82% stating racial or ethnic diversity will be equally or more important in two years.  Additionally, 72% believe that DEI will be equally or more important across the business organization in two years.

Last September, Forrester Consulting surveyed 500 B2B sales leaders about their firms’ performance metrics and DEI practices (e.g., diversity in personnel, commitment to DEI training, and career advancement programs for underrepresented groups).  Those with strong DEI programs outperformed lagging programs across a series of metrics:

  • Sales Forecasts: Firms with strong programs expected 2021 revenue growth of 9% vs. 6% at lagging firms.
  • Conversion Rates: Organizations with strong DEI practices had a 54% lead-to-opportunity conversion rate vs. 26% at laggards.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Firms with strong programs saw a 24% increase in customer satisfaction scores vs. 17% at firms with weak programs.

“As buyers continue to demand a more personalized experience, successful companies will understand the increasing benefit of diversifying their teams to reflect the changing demographics of their target consumer,” said author and sales expert Jeff Davis.

Source: Forrester Consulting (LinkedIn commissioned research), “Diversity Drives Sales Success: The Link Between Successful Sales Teams and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”

“In 2022, sales leaders will monitor and track the diversity of their organization like any other metric or KPI,” separately predicted Outreach Global Innovation Evangelist Mary Shea.  “With more weight and visibility on this business priority, sales leaders will embrace new and more creative channels to source talent, and they will create internal programs to nurture and foster their existing talent.”


Coincidentally, I am publishing this article on Martin Luther King Day at a time when voting rights are being restricted in many states. MLK stood for DEI, voting rights, freedom, economic opportunity, and economic justice. He was instrumental in pushing LBJ and Congress to pass the original Voting Rights Act which is now opposed by the Republican Party. It is time for Congress to renew the Voting Rights Act and at least pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

Senator Raphael Warnock, who preached from MLK’s pulpit at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, stated

“I have to tell you that the most important thing that we can do this Congress is to get voting rights done. Voting rights are a preservative of all other rights. They lay the ground for all of the other debates. And so to my Democratic colleagues, I say: while it is deeply unfortunate, it is more than apparent that it has been left to us to handle alone the task of safeguarding our democracy.

Sadly, many of our Republican friends have already cast their vote with voter suppression. And so the judgment of history is upon us. Future generations will ask, when the democracy was in a 911 state of emergency, what did you do to put the fire out? Did we rise to the moment or did we hide behind procedural rules?

“I believe that we Democrats can figure out how to get this done, even if that requires a change in the rules, which we established just last week that we can do when the issue is important enough.”

Senator Rappael Warnock (December 14, 2021)

Democracy is not a given. Freedom expands or contracts based upon our willingness to accept others and afford them the same rights (and responsibilities) as others. It must be renewed each generation through teaching, activism, and voting.

Intentsify Equity Round

Intent data vendor Intentsify announced that it received a strategic investment from BV Investment Partners, a middle-market private equity firm that focuses on the tech sector.  The new funds will help the firm accelerate growth and product development.

Intentsify, founded in 2018, continued its pace of strong growth in 2021.  The firm quadrupled revenue in 2019 and 2020 and expected to treble income in 2021 (as of mid-December). In addition, it has grown its customer base to over 150 customers.

Venn-diagram-intent-data-sources
Intentsify layers multiple, complementary intent feeds into its proprietary intent dataset.

“B2B organizations are increasingly leveraging multiple sources of intent data to focus time, efforts, and resources where and how they’ll have the most impact,” said Intentsify CEO Marc Laplante.  “The problem is most B2B companies struggle to quickly gather, analyze, and act on buyer intent signals, which change on a weekly basis. Intentsify is streamlining all of this so our customers can more effectively scale account-based demand and revenue. We are excited to partner with BV who understands our business and has the expertise to help us take Intentsify to the next level.”

Intentsify’s Intent Activation software ingests multiple categories of intent data from several proprietary data sources “to deliver a broader, more accurate view into which targeted accounts are in-market to purchase and the issues they care about.”

Intent data is gathered from over 50 billion intent signals per month from over 5,000 B2B media sites. Intentsify also includes Visitor tracking as part of its offering.

Intentsify offers a pair of Intent Activation Solutions for Demand Generation and Programmatic Marketing. Intent-Activated Demand Generation helps marketers engage target personas at accounts displaying relevant research activity while Intent-Activated Programmatic targets key personas “at the right locations among in-market target accounts.”

“Intentsify uses its proprietary technology backed by a global data science team to power numerous marketing, sales, and customer success use cases,” stated Justin Harrison, Managing Partner of BV Investment Partners.  “Intentsify’s co-founders have long experience in this field and are acknowledged thought leaders in the intent data space who have built a strong company with an impressive leadership team, and we look forward to working with them to scale their business.”

Intentsify did not disclose the size of the investment.

SalesHood Expands Training Tools with SkillsHood

Sales Enablement vendor SalesHood announced the general availability of SkillsHood, an asynchronous training platform for the entire organization.  The SkillsHood Enablement Platform “automates and scales organizational readiness and messaging alignment processes both for distributed and remote employees.”

“SkillsHood is our latest innovation created to boost employee productivity by elevating how employees learn, coach, and collaborate asynchronously across their organization,” posted CEO Elay Cohen on LinkedIn.  “The SkillsHood Enablement Platform automates and scales organizational readiness and messaging alignment processes both for distributed and remote employees.”

SkillsHood delivers personalized learning and development training for both onboarding and ongoing training.  Features include prescriptive learning paths, video role-playing, manager coaching, video storytelling, employee recognition, peer feedback, quizzes, and assessments.   Streamed content may be delivered just-in-time by role and tenure.  Other features include gamification, badging, and analytics.  The enablement platform is integrated with Domo, GoodData, Tableau, and PoweredBI.

“It’s amazing to see sales enablement mature and transform to company-wide enablement,” said Cohen.  “Now more than ever, all departments are looking for innovative ways to lift employee productivity and bring teams together virtually.”

Remote training will remain a core requirement after the pandemic.  Gartner forecasts that 48% of employees will work at least part of the time versus 30% remotely before COVID-19.

Echobot European Expansion

German Sales Intelligence vendor Echobot closed another successful year of product enhancements and revenue growth.  Echobot offers deep sales intelligence and data hygiene services for Germany, Austria, Switzerland (D-A-CH), and the UK.

In late 2020, Echobot launched its UK database and English language UI, providing a secondary market beyond the DACH region.  The firm grew MRR over 70% this year and hit 1,500 clients.  New business rose 80%, and the firm hired its 100th employee (up 44% this year).  Echobot continues to be EBITDA and Cash Flow positive.  Echobot is self-financed, not having taken any funding since 2013.

The firm also moved into a larger headquarters office in Karlsruhe with 16,000 square feet.

Along with fit-and-finish work on their UK services, the firm rolled out version 2.0 of their TARGET prospecting database.  TARGET offers a refreshed UI, improved data quality, and AI tools for ICP and segmentation analysis.

Users no longer need to build company and contact lists separately.  Instead, build-a-list results are displayed as tabs, allowing users to analyze both company and contact results without requiring them to rekey their query.

Echobot’s product vision is based on its “first principles of data” delivered through its service.  “For data to be useful, it has to be high quality, connected, and fully compliant,” said CEO Bastiaan Karweg.

Data improvements include an Email Validation Engine (EVA) and a “True Compliance” process for GDPR.  EVA “eliminates stale records” and implements mail server and pattern checking to improve data quality.  The EVA reduces bounce rates by up to thirty percent.

“For your outreach to be truly GDPR compliant, you not only need a Legitimate Interest but also be mindful of the preferences of the people you are trying to contact,” stated Karweg.  “Using Echobot, each contact record comes with a public source URL so you can be 100% confident when a prospect asks you, ‘Hey, where did you get my data from?’” Also new is a subject taxonomy that covers over 100,000 topics and industry keywords.

Echobot offers data for DACH, the UK, and the EU. A French dataset will be available in Q1.

Echobot is launching an EU Data pack that “covers the most important companies from all of Europe,” Karweg informed GZ Consulting.  “It’s not as deep data as with DACH, UK, or France, but it will give clients access to essential brands and contacts in each market.”

All four regions (DACH, UK, France, and EU) will be available in all three products (TARGET prospecting, CONNECT Sales Intelligence, and DATACARE hygiene) and the API in any combination.  However, the EU Data Pack omits company and contact data for the DACH countries, France, and the UK.

A French dataset, spanning six million companies, will be launched in Q1 with a French UI and localization.  French sales will be managed from the Karlsruhe office as it is only three miles from the French border.

Finally, Echobot expanded its sales triggers to 33 English-language event categories spanning the full UK universe.  French triggers are in development.

“We are excited to start 2022 with our new product and data assets,” said Karweg.  “Our goal is to continue on our strong growth trajectory and gain more market share in other EU countries.”

Vista Equity Takes Majority Stake in Salesloft

Salesloft has been building out its deal intelligence alongside conversations and cadences.

Vista Equity announced that it took a majority stake in Sales Engagement vendor Salesloft.  CEO Kyle Porter indicated that the round values Salesloft above $2.3 billion.  Salesloft is on a roll, hitting $100 million in annual recurring revenue this summer and growing annual revenue 50% this year.

Salesloft rebranded this fall with new positioning around the “Modern Revenue Workspace.”  Its Winter 2021 release included sentiment analysis for inbound emails and an AI Chrome extension tool for optimizing emails.  Salesloft also recently opened a German data center, helping it comply with GDPR and European data hosting requirements.

According to Vista Equity, Salesloft is the most capital-efficient business in its space, meaning that they are enjoying smart growth.

“This means customers can trust that we will continue to deliver the best products and service in our industry,” stated VP of Product Management Frank Dale.

At the beginning of the year, Salesloft closed on a $100 million round that valued the firm at $1.1 billion.  The January investors, led by Owl Rock Capital, have retained their stakes in the firm.

Porter told the Wall Street Journal that he foresees an IPO but did not provide details on timing.

“From day one, Salesloft’s vision has been to help sellers more successfully engage with and serve their buyers.  This investment is a huge milestone in Salesloft’s journey to becoming the most loved brand in sales technology.  It gives us the resources we need to continue serving our amazing customers, while innovating solutions to solve the complex challenges faced by sellers.”

Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter

The additional funds will be deployed towards product development and market expansion, focusing on the Asia Pacific region, and “tripling down” in EMEA.  Salesloft is enjoying triple-digit growth in EMEA after opening its London EMEA HQ in April 2019.

“This deal is about GROWTH for our CUSTOMERS,” posted Porter on LinkedIn.  “We’re growing >50% annually as the most efficient player in our category, which is critical to long-term sustainability and success.  We will be fueling significant innovation and customer services as a result of this deal.”

“This partnership with Vista is about the future we’re building for our customers,” commented CRO Steve Goldberg.  “It’s about making the lives and jobs of sellers easier.  It’s about quickly delivering the solutions and experience they need to win.”

“Vista is proud to be a preferred partner for founders of fast-growing, high-performing, high-potential companies, and we are excited to work with Kyle and the Salesloft team,” said Monti Saroya, co-head of the Flagship Fund and senior managing director at Vista.  “Salesloft has built an incredible enterprise software platform that provides tangible ROI by empowering sales teams and managers to increase productivity, and we are excited to bring our decades of enterprise software experience to help Salesloft further fuel its growth trajectory and global expansion.”

Vista wrote a long blog welcoming Salesloft, but the piece did not focus on Salesloft’s current positioning or value proposition.  Instead, Vista discussed its long history working with Porter (it was a Series A investor), Porter’s focus on recruiting talent and helping build the Atlanta tech ecosystem, and his willingness to mothball the Prospector product so the company could focus on building out its Cadence service.

I would add a few other notes about Kyle, whom I’ve known for just as long.  He is a natural-born storyteller who exudes enthusiasm, just as every sales rep should.  He also emphasizes authenticity in sales, the need to balance automation with personalization (a variation on authenticity), and the importance of building a strong company culture.

David Cummings, who has served on Salesloft’s Board since its early days, lauded Kyle Porter and his willingness to pivot the company for growth and recruit top talent.

“Salesloft is mostly the story of the will, determination, and grit of the entrepreneur Kyle Porter.  From a full reboot of the business in the early days, to multiple pivots, and recently navigating the pandemic, Kyle has endured the high highs and low lows of entrepreneurship many times over.  And one of his superpowers is recruiting an amazing team starting with Rob Foreman.  Rob was introduced to Kyle through a chance encounter at a local event.  From there, the two hit it off and developed one of the strongest yin/yang partnerships I’ve ever seen.  The team grew to include incredible leaders across all the functions including Ellie, Sydney, Scott, Chad, Steve, and many others.”

“Kyle was the visionary all along,” continued Cummings.  “Through a strong focus on organization health, never-ending love for the customer (#saleslove), bold acquisitions of several companies, and masterful fundraising, Kyle operated in one of the most aggressive, yet thoughtful, ways imaginable.”

The RevTech space has some excellent CEOs who match product vision and intelligent growth with passion and a stakeholder perspective.  Besides Porter, the industry is lucky to have Henry Schuck (ZoomInfo CEO), Manny Medina (Outreach CEO), Jon Miller (Founder of Engagio and Marketo and currently the Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Demandbase), Sangram Vajre (co-founder of Terminus, author, and leader of the Flip My Funnel movement), and others.

Salesloft supports 4,000 customers, including IBM, Google, Cisco, Shopify, and LinkedIn.

As part of the transaction, Vista will be joining Salesloft’s Board, and Cummings will be exiting it.

Avoma Series A

Conversational Sales vendor Avoma closed on a $12 million Series A led by Headline, with participation from Storm Ventures, Global Founder Capital, Zoom Apps Fund, Operator Partners, Industry Ventures, and existing investors K9 Ventures, Dragon Capital, and Twin Ventures.  Founded in 2017, Avoma has garnered $15 million in total funding.

Avoma combines meeting management, an AI assistant, CRM synchronization, and conversation intelligence into a unified tool.  Other features include meeting snippets, conversational analytics, and keyword searching.

“AI does the first draft, but then you have notes and can go back and highlight notes and provide more context if you need to,” remarked CEO Aditya Kothadiya.

Avoma’s integration partners include

  • CRM: Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive, and Zoho
  • Video Collaboration: Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet
  • SEP: Salesloft, Outreach, and Groove

The funds will expedite the build-out of their meeting lifecycle assistant.  According to TechCrunch, Avoma will focus on three pillars: AI, user interface, and workflow integrations.   It will invest in its machine learning and natural language processing for notetaking and enhance the user experience.

“Since our launch, we have helped over 300 customers and tens of thousands of professionals save multiple hours per week with AI-generated notes and collaboration and improve meeting outcomes by 30% with actionable insights,” posted Director of Marketing Yaagneshwaran Ganesh on LinkedIn.  “But so far, we have probably accomplished a small percentage of our vision.  Our goal is to not only assist you in notetaking and CRM data entry, but also to help you research attendees, get real-time coaching recommendations, send a follow-up calendar invite, and more.”

Avoma call notes

One of the core value propositions of conversational sales services is their ability to improve the presence of sales reps during calls.  Once relieved of notetaking, sales reps no longer need to delay conversations to jot down notes; instead, they can focus on meeting attendees, gather non-verbal cues, and better manage the discussion flow.

“As a product leader, I was constantly in meetings and spent time taking notes. With every new product, I would hand it over to the customer or product market team but would find that during meetings, I was not listening to what was going on because I was taking notes.  We wanted to apply technology to this so we would make sure nothing was lost.”

Avoma CEO Aditya Kothadiya

Avoma claims that this improved meeting presence results in a thirty percent improvement in meeting outcomes.  Furthermore, reps no longer need to toggle between four or five applications to “prepare for a meeting, take notes, participate, and follow through with participants with action items.”

“With so much context switching and information loss in disparate tools, knowledge professionals spend over 20% of their time on low-value admin tasks,” blogged Kothadiya.  “And that’s why there is an urgent need to streamline and automate workflows across the meeting’s entire lifecycle.”

Avoma is targeting mid-market customers and enjoys “obsessed customers,” according to Jeff Fein, a partner at Headline.  The firm has been using Avoma internally and “loved it.”

“It helped in our own processes, and when we talked to their customers, they were obsessed, many of them saying they could not live without it,” said Fein.  “They said it made their work that much more efficient.  We heard that more consistently, and it piqued our interest in a huge way.”

Avoma has quintupled growth each of the past three years and now supports over three hundred customers.  Success has been built with a lean team of only 15 employees, but the firm plans to quadruple its US and Indian headcount over the next year.  Hiring will focus on the engineering, product, and go-to-market teams.

Global Database Adds Sales Engagement

London-based Sales and Credit Intelligence vendor Global Database added Sales Engagement features to its service.  Sales reps can automate their outbound campaigns with sequences of emails, phone calls, and other tasks.  Other features include A/B testing and analytics.

CEO Nicolae Buldumac demoed the new service to GZ Consulting, which is generally available but undergoing a soft launch with a formal release in early Q1.

“We want our customers to succeed in their outreach campaigns,” explained Buldumac.  However, “having access to data is not enough.  You need to have the necessary tools that will save you time and make your campaigns more effective.”

The Sales Engagement Platform adds an activation platform for sales reps, allowing them to reach out to prospects in a structured manner.

“We already see a lot of positive responses from our existing customers that have started using the platform, and many new features will be released in the coming weeks.”  Among the pending features are a phone dialer, Chrome extension, and Global Academy, “a series with educational material, where we will communicate the best practices to set up your campaigns, with specific examples that are working for us.”

The new Sales Engagement Platform is included as a new module at no extra charge.  The platform supports email templates, sequences, and analytics, but a dialer will not be available until Q1.

Sales reps can select one or multiple contacts from the Prospector module and assign them to a sequence.  Global Database may be licensed regionally or globally, with pricing based on the selected region and number of users.

Sales Engagement Platform provides Send to CRM support for Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, with HubSpot planned; however, the service does not yet sync activities between the engagement service and CRMs.

Email templates support dynamic variables, signature blocks, and rich text.  Templates are shareable, so marketing or sales ops can create email messages and share them with the sales team.

Email reports track emails sent, replies received, tasks completed, and deliverability, helping reps and sales operations “make informed decisions on future campaigns.”  Email analytics include top engagement by title, industry, country, and employment levels.

Global Database Email Engagement Analytics

Other email features include out-of-office detection, unsubscribe support, and manual send.

Separately, Global Database announced a data request feature that lets sales reps request similar contacts.

“Once such a request has been received, our system will automatically search in multiple sources,” explained CEO Nicolae Buldumac.  “If there are limited results, this request will be passed to our in-house data enrichment team for manual review.”

Global Database supports Similar Contact prospecting. Global Database editors will research additional prospects if the returned set is small.

Global Database maintains a global collection of company, contact, credit, tenders, and filings data spanning:

  • 120 million companies
  • 118 million contacts
  • 6 million emails
  • 1.2 million direct dials
  • 20 million general numbers

Global Database contacts are GDPR compliant and employ a Legitimate Interest basis for data collection.  Global Database is registered with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office.

“The lawful basis that we rely on for processing personal information in our public records register is that the processing is necessary for our legitimate interests which are not outweighed by the rights and freedoms of the individual (Article 6(1)(f) of the UK GDPR),” explained Buldumac.  “Our legitimate interests include the fulfillment of our mission as set out above; namely, to increase and promote transparency of the corporate and business world, including the existence, ownership, activities, entities, and people connected with them, by maintaining our public register.”

Most Sales Engagement vendors do not own a database (the major exception is VanillaSoft which acquired AutoKlose), but several database vendors have added sales engagement capabilities to their platforms, including ZoomInfo, Cognism, and Data Axle Genie.  Adding sales engagement features is a logical market extension for B2B database companies as it provides workflow and activation tools for their data, increasing the value of the underlying database.

Global Database is profitable, and revenues are growing, but Buldumac chose not to disclose the firm’s growth rate.

IDG Acquires LeadSift

Technology media company IDG Communications acquired Halifax-based intent data vendor LeadSift.  LeadSift identifies a daily digest of in-market leads, “allowing B2B marketers to craft the appropriate messaging for outreach and sales follow-up resulting in robust new business opportunities.”

Over the past eighteen months, IDG has been assembling elements of a MarTech solution, having acquired

  • Triblio – Acquired in 2020, The Triblio ABM platform supports account-based advertising, website personalization, sales activation, orchestration, and intent-based audiences.  Triblio is integrated with Marketo, Eloqua, HubSpot, LinkedIn, Salesforce, MS Dynamics, and Salesloft.  In addition, Triblio recently added a Smart Score that employs AI for account prioritization.  The Smart Score uses first and third-party intent, website activity, and CRM data “to identify what accounts should be prioritized for sales outreach.”
  • KickFire – Acquired in September, KickFire provides a cookieless, privacy-compliant visitor id service (first-party intent) that de-anonymizes website traffic at the account level and enriches it with firmographics.
  • LeadSift – LeadSift captures third-party, cookieless intent data at the account and contact level.  Each week it captures 80 million intent signals.  The LeadSift database spans 20 million companies and 30 million contacts.  Customers can create custom triggers based on keywords, job postings, and competitor names.

KickFire and LeadSift are complementary intent services. KickFire identifies in-market buyers on a company website, and LeadSift determines which companies are in-market based on B2B media search activities.

IDG also recently launched a second-party intent data service called IDG Neon that leverages B2B Media interactions with “verified data from personal interactions with technology audiences across events, conversations, and surveys.”  Intent data is gathered from the nearly 45 million global B2B technology purchasers and influencers registered across its proprietary network of digital tech publications.

Neon captures branded conversations, event attendance, roundtable participation, conversations with event sponsors, and individuals posing questions at event sessions.  This level of “deeper engagement” indicates “stronger intent.”

IDG brands include CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, Macworld, Network World, PCWorld, and Tech Hive.

“Expectations of tech marketers have never been higher as the technology landscape continues to become more competitive.  By positioning IDG at the intersection of media and MarTech, we help B2B marketers navigate the customer journey across a dynamic ecosystem by leveraging unmatched data sets.  LeadSift’s technology is further enhancing our unique intent data that drives ROI for our customers.”

IDG Communications President Kumaran Ramanathan

“The buying journey for B2B technology purchases are extremely complex and involve multiple decision-makers,” said LeadSift co-founder Sreejata Chatterjee.  “Having a view into those intent signals at the contact level provides a massive competitive advantage and directs your sales team to engage with the right buyers at the right time.”

LeadSift was founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2012, focusing on “mining information from public web sources to help businesses identify and engage their customers in the buying journey.”   They were an early proponent of intent data, recognizing its value before it became a core element of ABM programs.

“It is obvious the company that has the most depth and breadth of data wins the B2B demand generation space,” wrote Das and Chatterjee to their customers.  “IDG.com being the #1 Tech Media company with troves of proprietary first-party intent-data across event attendance, engagement with editorial articles, branded conversations, and human-verified insights has a massive head start.  Imagine how scalable and actionable our intent signals will be once we integrate our 3rd-party real-time web-based intent signals with this proprietary first-party intent data stream.”

IDG, based in Boston, provides LeadSift with global reach and access to enterprise customers.  It also offers complementary intent data sets and the Triblio marketing platform for activating the intent datasets.

“3rd-party intent data is one piece (albeit a very important one) of the overall B2B marketing and demand generation puzzle,” continued Das and Chatterjee.  “But what if you could know all the information about your first-party web visitors (IDG | KickFire), cross-reference and prioritize them with 3rd-party intent signals (LeadSift + IDG proprietary first-party data), activate them seamlessly across digital channels (IDG | Triblio), and run highly targeted lead generation programs, all from one single dashboard!”

IDG sees itself at the intersection of media and MarTech.  However, it is not the only tech media vendor playing this angle. For example, TechTarget and Ziff Davis also combine B2B media assets, events (TechTarget’s are digital), multiple categories of intent data, and activation platforms.

“IDG’s goal of moving to the intersection of media and MarTech is to help B2B marketers navigate the customer journey across a dynamic ecosystem by leveraging unmatched data sets,” stated Ramanathan.  “LeadSift’s technology is further enhancing our unique intent data that drives ROI for our customers.”

Account-level intent starts at $12,000 per year. 

Last week, they launched LeadSift 360, a contact-level intent service that supports both keyword and research-based intent signals gathered from over five data sources.  LeadSift360 starts at $30,000 per year. IDG did not disclose deal terms.  LeadSift’s management and staff of fifteen will continue to operate in Halifax.