DueDil Connect: Six Degrees Tool

British sales intelligence service DueDil is looking to challenge LinkedIn in the connected executives prospecting game.  With the exception of InsideView, which offers its own Relationship Capital Management (RCM) tool, sales intelligence vendors have shied away from building “who knows who” tools.  Instead, they have followed a coopetition strategy which encourages free LinkedIn alongside their service.  This strategy provides hyperlinks to company and executive profiles on LinkedIn, but does not compete directly with LinkedIn’s RCM features.

DueDil Connect helps users identify and connect to decision makers, map and understand their network connections, and alert users on company news related to their contact network.  Users can also filter by colleague connections within Advanced Search.

“DueDil Connect allows teams to use the power of their social networks to work together – enabling them to find the ideal contact at any company and the best way to reach them” – DueDil CEO Damian Kimmelman

Privacy is an important issue with respect to RCM as rainmakers wish to control their relationships and are wary of sales reps leveraging their network without discussing it with them first.  Users may also wish to restrict which contacts they share.  This is particularly true at firms managing confidential relationships.  CEO Damian Kimmelman noted that enterprise access can be partitioned by teams at the request of a client.  Furthermore, “If your profile is on DueDil Connect, it’s because we could find a publicly available social profile and only in that scenario. In compliance with EU privacy laws, we’ll remove any information you don’t want displayed as soon as possible after you’ve requested it to our support team. You’re also free to unlink your account at any time.”

Contact networks are imported from Google Gmail or Microsoft Exchange.  The system shares emails but not direct dials.  Users may remove an association by navigating to the executive’s profile page, but DueDil does not appear to offer direct group management of relationships.

DueDil Connect leverages co-worker connections for identifying introductions.
DueDil Connect leverages co-worker connections for identifying introductions.

DueDil, which is built on UK and Irish filings data, benefits from the deep set of Directors and Shareholders (DASH) filings in the European market.  These DASH filings allow prospectors to view current and previous directorships along with disqualifications.  One limitation to these datasets is they often list the positions as Director or Corporate Secretary, not the job function or role within the organization.

“A lot of people use LinkedIn to do their prospecting [and] lead generation.  LinkedIn is built off user generated content, and as such it’s really not comprehensive,” said Kimmelman.  “On LinkedIn you have to know the businesses that you are prospecting – most businesses that you prospect you actually don’t know the name of, you only know their characteristics.  To take that further, when you look at something like LinkedIn, you are utilising only one form of ability to get in contact with those businesses, which is InMail. Most marketers or salespeople want to either use social avenues, or they want to be able to cold call, they want to be able to direct mail, or they want to be able to utilise the biggest business network, which is email.”

InMail is a significant LinkedIn vulnerability.  LinkedIn is looking at how it can be a sales tool without  allowing its members to be inundated with sales messages.  This is attempting to square the circle.  Either you provide sales connectivity or you don’t.  Their compromise was restricting access to emails and direct dial information while preventing users from downloading prospecting lists or uploading them to CRMs.  They don’t even allow CRM synching for individual records.  Instead, LinkedIn provides limited access to their InMail text only messaging service.  InMail is not tied into corporate emails, lacks templates and corporate branding, and bars attachments.  In short, it oftentimes feels like spam.

Along with DASH intelligence, DueDil provides much deeper company intelligence than LinkedIn which is generally limited to repurposed marketing content from corporate websites and Facebook.   DueDil company content includes UK corporate financials, credit scores, family trees, and original filings.

DueDil Connect is available to enterprise clients with plans to make the service available to premium and free users in the future.

RainKing Goes Global

RainKing Org Charts provide headshots, social media links, contact information, and organizational position.
RainKing Org Charts provide headshots, social media links, contact information, and organizational position.

RainKing announced immediate availability of their Global Enterprise technology database spanning 30 countries in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.  The database was built by multi-lingual researchers to the same 95% accuracy standard of their North American and European datasets.

Technology profiles, which include all of the BRICS, span

  • Asia: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand
  • Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama
  • Middle East: Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE
  • Other: Russia, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey

RainKing contact information includes org charts; emails and direct dial phones; headshots; social media links; and biographies with education, work histories, and job responsibilities.  Other editorially reviewed content includes company profiles, technology platform details, and Inside Scoops (500 sales opportunities per day).

RainKing  is posting the following dataset counts:

RainKing Company and Contact Counts as of March 2016.
RainKing Company and Contact Counts by Dataset as of March 2016.

RainKing received a $67 million private equity transfusion back in October

RainKing is one of the eleven sales intelligence vendors covered in my Field Guide.

Quota Factory: Sales Development Hub

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Two weeks ago, Quota Factory announced a series of content and platform partnerships to their Prospect Relationship Management (PRM) service.  The new Sales Development Hub partnerships address connectivity, analytics, gamification, prospecting, and data enrichment.

Quota Factory, which was incubated by Salesworks AG, launched its PRM service last September.  Quota Factory is based upon fifteen years of experience refining account based prospecting for Sales Development Reps (SDRs).  “After years of successful sales development operations, we productized our internal know-how into the most user-friendly and impactful B2B prospecting platform available today,” said Quota Factory CEO Peter Gracey. “With one platform for data, outbound messaging, call planning, reporting and automation, SDRs can now ditch the eight different logins for all the solutions they’re currently using and free up their time to do what they were hired to do – speak live with prospects.”

Quota Factory helps firms define an ideal customer profile and develops a phone and email database of targeted prospects.  Tools include automated dialing, messaging templates, pre-built call planning, and daily objectives.  The service also supports “rigorous rules around qualification criteria, ensuring that each rep fully qualifies and passes as many targeted prospects as possible through meaningful conversations.”

Gracey emphasized that the firm is self-financed.  “We aren’t a venture backed firm and we are proud of that.  We built our product with the profits made from our outsourcing business. Basically, we earned the right to build the best Prospect Relationship Management (PRM) platform by being phenomenal at…wait for it…sales development! No smoke and mirrors here. If it finds it’s way into QuotaFactory, you can bet the family dog it’s been vetted by actual SDRs first.”

Quota Factory announced new or expanded partnerships with

  • Bedrock Data: Data management and API connectivity
  • Ambition: Sales analytics and gamification tools
  • InsideView: Account and contact prospecting, data enrichment, and account intelligence (expanded)
  • HG Data: Technology vendors and products

Quota Factory worked with Bedrock Data to build its Sales Development Hub.  Bedrock offers a data management platform which provides broad API connections.  Bedrock Data helps firms “synchronize and manage” data across multiple data APIs.  Quota Factory chose to work with a partner instead of building their own data store because “integrations are a tricky business. Companies can either choose to build each one individually on their own, or they can seek out an expert to do it for them. We fall into the latter category,” said Gracey. “Why learn on the job (and run the risk of hurting your customers as a result) when you can partner with a firm that does what you need for a living?”

“Empowering companies to get the most out of their business systems has always been our goal, said Bedrock CEO John Marcus.  “By connecting QuotaFactory users to multiple prospecting data sources of their choice – through the Bedrock Data platform – sales professionals will gain an unfair advantage by having real-time access to critical sales and marketing data.”

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Ambition’s Account Dashboard is “baked” into Quota Factory

The second partnership is with gamification and sales analytics platform Ambition which OEM’d its platform to Quota Factory.  The integration provides account and management dashboards, challenge dashboards for contests, benchmarking reports, and custom reporting.

Gamification tools include “both SPIF-style challenges and ‘Fantasy Football’ style team competitions,” said Gracey.  Contests can be built on the fly using “any metric, role, or timeframe.”  Ambition then provides real-time contest tracking and shares the results with the team.

Quota Factory tested Ambition before licensing the service, providing it to their sales development reps and managers for feedback.   “As part of any pre-partnership due diligence, we had to check out the software for ourselves first,” said Gracey.  “Our internal team of SDRs love it, our managers can’t live without it, and as a result, our customers now get to use it.  In fact, we were so impressed with the functionality, versatility, and impact that it had on our business, we gave it some prime real estate in our platform.”

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InsideView supports company and contact enrichment with duplicate checking within Quota Factory.

InsideView is an existing partner, but Quota Factory expanded their license to support account and contact prospecting, data enrichment, and account research.  Previously, account and contact actions were limited to single records managed by the SDR.

Gracey praised the flexibility of InsideView’s API for prospecting, account research, and data enrichment.  Account and contact records can be enriched en masse or individually.  When managed in bulk, the records can be cleansed (overwritten with InsideView values) or appended (enrich only null fields).

T0 promote the partnership, Quota Factory is including 10,000 free record enrichments to new and existing PRM customers.

Account information includes firmographics, recent news, and contacts.

HG Data is providing technology vendor and product data for companies.  As with their other partners, Quota Factory vetted the partner through their own SDRs.

“Knowing the incumbent landscape you are entering before you even pick up the phone is pure gold for an SDR,” observed Gracey.  “This is especially the case now that account based sales development (ABSD) is rising in prevalence and demanding a more focused and customized approach to prospecting. Focused prospect messaging driven by competitive intel builds confidence, promotes pre-call research, and drives quality conversation rates northward.”

DiscoverOrg Announces Growth Investment Round

GZ Consulting Financial Figures Gathered from DiscoverOrg Revenue Announcements.
GZ Consulting financial figures gathered from DiscoverOrg revenue announcements.

This morning, tech sales intelligence vendor DiscoverOrg announced its second funding round to assist the company’s growth. Investors included Goldman Sachs BDC, NXT Capital, Silicon Valley Bank and Antares Management. In 2014, DiscoverOrg quietly accepted a growth equity investment from TA Associates and FiveW Capital. The firm did not disclose the size of either round but told The Columbian that the current round was at least a seven digit investment.*

CEO Henry Schuck said that the round did not fall into traditional Series A / Series B designations as it was not designed to address financial needs so much as bring in a set of strategic advisors to help guide company growth. Shuck noted that the firm has long been managed as a cash flow positive operation; thus, the funding rounds were not needed to fund growth but for garnering “seasoned technology and SaaS” expertise.

A secondary benefit of these relationships is they improve the company’s flexibility with respect to acquisitions. In the press release, the firm noted the opportunity to acquire firms in adjacent markets. DiscoverOrg acquired competitor iProfile last year and integrated their international datasets into their core database.

DiscoverOrg continues to build out its datasets. They recently announced their Technology, Engineering, Development, and Design (TEDD) offering which focuses on product management. Other datasets in development include sales and HR departments. A rest of world dataset covering AsiaPac and Latin America is also being readied for market.

Other priorities include doubling their engineering department to forty headcount so they can “build new workflow automation capabilities and integrations for sales and marketing professionals,” and “rapidly expanding” their IT, Marketing and Finance datasets.

“As companies continue to invest in CRM, marketing automation, predictive lead scoring and analytics, they’re realizing that the linchpin to achieving high ROI on these investments is not just having a core system but also adding in verified, high quality data that sales and marketing professionals can leverage to build pipeline and close deals,” said Schuck.

“We invested in technology, we rebuilt the platform from front to back, added integrations with marketing automation systems and CRM and rebuilt the front-end of the Salesforce app,” he added. “We are looking at the technology as more than a delivery mechanism for the data and have it more in the workflow of sales reps.”

DiscoverOrg continues its growth trajectory with topline revenue up 36% in 2015. Their annual recurring revenue now stands at $54 million and Schuck forecasts 40% to 60% revenue growth in 2016. DiscoverOrg is approaching 2,000 customers and has grown to 230 employees.

The firm no longer appears to be allergic to employing digital data collection methods so long as digital data serves as an input to their editorial processes. Shuck noted that the combination of digitally collected data with human verification “would be very powerful.” Shuck gained confidence in such techniques due to success using digital tools for identifying and verifying emails. Their recent experience of verifying the iProfile dataset demonstrated their capability to ingest large third-party datasets and verify the content.

They also recently announced a partnership to license vendor and product data from HG Data. HG Data covers many more companies than DiscoverOrg, so they focused on improving technology fill rates at their current companies. The firm conducted verification tests on the HG Data content and leveraged HG Data’s confidence scores. Of course, the HG Data content also provides seed data for building out new company profiles.

Expanding their data collection methods makes logical sense. While there is a certain purity to editorial only content, leveraging digital data generation and verification techniques allows the firm to focus editorial resources on difficult to obtain high-value datasets such as organizational charts while building out their company and contact coverage more rapidly.

DiscoverOrg also recently partnered with SalesLoft to upload DiscoverOrg contacts into the Cadence product. Sales reps can upload one or multiple records to specific cadences, allowing the reps to immediately begin campaigns. DiscoverOrg also supports an auto-refresh feature to maintain data quality over time.

SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter argued that “What we’re seeing on the front end is a dramatic increase in the quality and quantity of intelligence on companies — the things that DiscoverOrg creates. We can help from there, via fine-grained analytics, which provide information on the right amount of calls, emails, and social contacts to make as well as the best time to execute those touchpoints.”

While the company offers a set of IT, marketing, and finance datasets on its website, they are flexible in their licensing. Firms can bundle multiple datasets or target companies by location or technology sets.

Although DiscoverOrg on the sales and marketing function, they have a sizeable business in the executive recruitment space with over 250 clients. DiscoverOrg supports two sets of recruitment use cases: staffing and business development (identifying HR contacts at target companies). The firm has also had success selling into HR departments, particularly at large financial services companies. By targeting staff at competitors, financial services companies can bring in seasoned professionals with a knowledge of their industry.

Schuck sees a strong future for DiscoverOrg as they find additional was to sell their datasets across user workflows and departments. A recent study estimated their IT Total Addressable Market (TAM) to be in excess of $1 billion. The marketing dataset was deemed to be a comparable opportunity while the finance market was sized at $400 million.

* Correction: The Columbian corrected their wording to read “at least” a seven digit investment.

 

 

 

Not All C-Level Executives Can Be Found in LinkedIn

C-Level Gap Rates on LinkedIn
Partial Display of DiscoverOrg Research on C-Level Population Rates on LinkedIn

A 2015 DiscoverOrg survey of C-level executives found that 25% of top-level execs cannot be located on LinkedIn.  The most accessible industries were health products (e.g. pharmaceuticals, medical devices), professional services (e.g. legal, professional services), and financial services (e.g. banking, insurance, financial services) while the least accessible executives worked for state or federal governments and resource extraction industries (e.g. oil and gas, mining).  Thirty-seven percent of top-level federal officials cannot be found on LinkedIn while only eighteen percent of legal execs cannot be located on the professional social media site.  The technology sector execs tended slightly below the mean with rates between 23% and 25%.

Even if an exec is on LinkedIn, it does not mean that he or she actively uses the site, provides contact information, or responds to InMail requests (plain text messages that can easily be confused with SPAM).  Thus, targeting execs via LinkedIn may be insufficient to reach them.  Sales reps targeting C-level execs will likely need to employ other sales intelligence platforms for direct contact information.  Furthermore, LinkedIn also does not allow users to send company and contact information to CRMs.  Thus, users have to copy / paste or rekey information, an overhead task that most other sales intelligence services handle automatically.

Another shortcoming is the lack of detailed company information for account planning.  Organizational profiles tend to consist of repurposed website and Facebook content with little original company content.

LinkedIn is excellent for tracking colleagues, maintaining professional relationships, personal brand building, and researching executives.  As such, it should be part of every B2B sales reps’ arsenal (at least the free version); however, due to content and functional gaps, LinkedIn should be viewed as a high-value complement to other sales intelligence services and not a direct replacement of them.

News Aggregators: Who Do I Use?

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FirstRain coverage of Lattice Engines includes web volume, business influencers, market drivers, Twitter trends, recent stories, related topics, and subject filtering.

The following is a Quora post I wrote concerning news aggregators…

As an industry analyst that publishes a weekly subscription newsletter on the information industry, I follow companies and industry topics related to my industry.  Coverage spans about fifty companies across North America and Europe with many of the firms having global footprints.  As such, press releases are likely to come from North America and Europe but news coverage needs to be global.

Alerts are basically a distraction so I employ daily push (email alerts) and pull (portals) approaches.  I only want alerts for major events (e.g. PE/VC fundings and M&A activity).

Also, I am not performing due diligence or media analysis, so duplicate filtering and high precision are critical.  I do not want five variants on the same AP story or passing mentions of companies in the twelfth paragraph of an article.  I also am not interested in stock market news as it is ephemeral.

I provided the above as I use information services to meet specific workflow needs.  Your needs may differ.  Here is how I achieve the above objectives (in order of importance):

  • FirstRain – I have used FirstRain for five years.  They have extremely high precision meaning that stories are almost always about the topic in question.  They include a FirstTweets feature which provides ten Tweets about my subject.  Instead of simply looking for Twitter keywords, they follow the Twitter links and analyze the linked content.  Thus, FirstTweets provides me with side door access to blogs, company website posts, and social media.  I am setup to receive daily news for companies and industries and can explore their news archive by company, industry, or business topic.  SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE
  • Owler – Owler combines semantic mining of open web news with social media crawling (Blogs, YouTube, and Vimeo), polling (e.g. CEO and transaction favorability), crowdsourcing (e.g. company size estimates and competitors), and editorial resources.  Editors review story tagging to improve precision and collect funding and M&A information.  I receive daily alerts of news and social media that complements FirstRain well.  I also receive editorially created M&A and funding alerts that provide transaction details and company overviews along with curated story hyperlinks.  FREE SERVICE
  • Feedly – I use Feedly as my RSS portal.  I have it setup for company blogs, industry analysts, trade publications, and a few individual bloggers.  I generally use Feedly as a backup system to make sure I haven’t missed a story or for when my newsletter is short and I’m looking for additional ideas. FREE SERVICE
  • Seeking Alpha – I have a short list of public companies that I cover with earnings news flashes.  Seeking Alpha provides me with alerts on transcripts, filings, and investor analysis (I generally ignore the investor analysis).  The key things for me are the earnings bullets and transcripts. FREE SERVICE
  • Trade Publications – I am setup for weekly feeds of a few trade publications.  FREE SERVICES
  • Factiva – Factiva is a subscription service, but I can access it through my alma mater’s library.  I generally access Factiva only a few times per quarter for archival research (they go back over thirty years) or Wall Street Journal articles (Factiva and the WSJ are both owned by News Corp).  SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE
  • YouTube – I have setup the corporate YouTube sites for many of the companies I follow.  YouTube provides corporate positioning videos, product demos, webinars, conference keynotes, and training tips.  I live in YouTube the week of Dreamforce (SFDC’s annual show) as I am not able to attend the show. FREE SERVICE

I also have licenses to various sales intelligence services but do not use them generally for my newsletter as it could bias my research.  If you have access to a subscription sales intelligence service (e.g. InsideView, Avention, Hoover’s) or news service (e.g. Factiva or LexisNexis), it can also be part of your aggregation mix.

LN Company Dossier: What Could Have Been

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LexisNexis Company Dossier Company Overview for FedEx

I’ve worked in the sales intelligence space for fifteen years and was convinced back in 2002 that LexisNexis Company Dossier had the inside track on the sales intelligence space; but a sales intelligence version (Prospect Portfolio) of the offering wasn’t built until about five years ago.  By then, the market had already passed them by.  Thus, when I wrote my 2015 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors, LexisNexis didn’t make the cut.  I don’t think it will make the 2016 version either.

LexisNexis has an incredible archive of news and company information, but beyond news tagging they do little to add value to the content sets.  The user interface is little changed from 2002 and information is presented at the vendor versus field level.  Thus, the family tree is single sourced (Directory of Corporate Affiliations AKA DCA) as are the executives.

The FedEx profile shows executives from DCA, NetProspex, and Professional Contacts as separate lists.  Users either pick one vendor or download and de-duplicate multiple lists.  With DCA, Company Dossier lists only five FedEx executives but only two have titles.  No other sales intelligence vendor would provide executive names without titles or job functions.

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DCA provides five executives for FedEx, but only has titles for two of them.

Company Dossier has fairly standard company prospecting, but lacks peer searching, a feature available in many other offerings.

When Competitors are shown, it is merely a hyperlink list with no details about the companies.  Other vendors display mini-profiles of competitors which provides additional insights.  Likewise, financials display key reports without visual cues to sub-totals and grand totals.  They don’t even bother to label the name of the report, but simply call the section “Annual Figures.”

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The Balance Sheet is not labeled, sub-totals and totals are n0t called out, and numeric values are flush left making them more difficult to read.

Company Dossier retains its legal focus even though it would be easy to build a non-legal version.  They display the auditor and legal counselor just below the business description and provide a deep set of legal content, much of which has little or no value to sales reps.  News searching is Boolean based although everybody else shifted to Google-style keywords over a decade ago.  While Boolean searching can be quite powerful, most sales reps have no idea how to build such searches.

Another gap is the lack of overrides to update or correct datasets.  Information is presented as is from the vendors so will be weeks or months out of date following key events.  Thus, news stories will indicate that the CEO left the company or the firm was acquired, but the company profiles will continue to show outdated information.

This is not to say that Company Dossier lacks value.  They have excellent news precision with a multi-year archive, SWOT reports from MarketLine, and M&A profiles.  My concern is more that they fail to make the most of what they have.