SalesLoft, DemandBase, Datanyze, and Leadspace made Gartner’s “Cool Vendors in Tech Go-to-Market, 2016” list. According to the report, “Marketing and sales enablement leaders should consider these software-as-a-service applications to complement existing CRM tool investments.” Gartner also recognized predictive analytics firms Everstring and Radius in the data-driven marketing category.
Providers are doing a better job in responding to the changing B2B technology buying cycle and the higher expectation that buyers (both prospects and customers alike) have when they look to make a purchase. Some of this involves process and training improvement, improved messaging and positioning. But there is also a technology element, particularly as it relates to things like data, analytics, content, targeting, personalization and engagement. And clients are increasingly leveraging the latest tools that allow them to make better, smarter decisions.
- Gartner Research Director Todd Berkowitz
Here is what Berkowitz said was cool about the firms:
- Datanyze – The technology tracking firm helps identify “when a particular piece of SaaS or mobile software (say from a competitor) is added and fire off alerts.” This feature helps SDRs and sales reps see “which companies are in market and engaging with them.” Datanyze also offers a “cool” Chrome browser extension called Insider which displays firmographics and technographics from a company website, performs on demand email detection, and uploads this information to Salesforce.
- Demandbase – The firm supports Account Based Marketing (ABM) marketing with IP-based advertising and personalization tools. The firm delivers “a unique ‘one-two punch’ of real-time IP identification and technology that makes it possible to deliver company advertising (targeting and retargeting) and website personalization to help marketers increase awareness, drive up conversions, generate net-new and upsell/cross-sell leads from named accounts, and measure program effectiveness across the funnel.”
- LeadSpace – The predictive analytics vendor helps customers “generate demand, enrich and prioritize accounts/leads from companies with a higher propensity to buy.” Berkowitz also commended their “virtual data management platform that drives their models and recommendations.”
- SalesLoft – The Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) firm assists sales development reps (SDRs) with lead qualification and prospecting. “Their suite of templates, an integrated dialer and real-time analytics are a lot cooler for SDRs than the old way of working. And they work much better.” Their Cadence tool helps streamline prospect communications such that “some of their customers reported more than doubling the number of successful connections, appointments, demos and sales-qualified leads (SQLs), while reducing follow-up time from leads by more than 75%.” Their new Sales Development Cloud provides prospect intelligence to SDRs from DiscoverOrg, Crystal, Owler, InsideView, Datanyze, RingLead, Sigstr, and ExecVision.
- Everstring – A more recent entrant to the predictive analytics space (founded in July 2014), Everstring offers predictive demand generation and scoring models at both the lead and account level. Everstring covers eleven million B2B companies and 20,000 different attributes with “rapid deployment of models across many points in the funnel.” The firm is also a strong proponent of ABM and helps marketers identify accounts. “EverString’s predictive account models enable marketers to identify high-potential ABM candidates and then push them to third-party ABM platforms for use,” said Berkman.
- Radius – The predictive company was lauded for its segmentation tools which help SMBs “determine total available market, create attractive segments and identify accounts to target.” Radius was also praised for its “clean interface,” “data and analytics tools,” and the ability to train and validate models within one business day. Berkman warned that Radius has faced little competition in the SMB market to date but is likely to face stiffer competition as both Radius and the market for predictive analytics solutions grow.
Berkowitz noted that these tools are all focused on making it easier for marketers and down-the line sales to make better decisions” noting that they all rely on the “heavy use” of data and analytics.
While many of these firms provide predictive analytics, Berkman contends that vendors will soon be offering “prescriptive analytics” that help firms decide what should be done. Thus, analytics will shift from predictions based upon historical analysis to recommendations concerning which actions to take. Prescriptive analytics utilizes graph analysis, simulation, complex event processing, neural networks, recommendation engines, heuristics, and machine learning.
“We have seen it [prescriptive] used a little bit on the sales analytics side already,” said Berkman. “It is likely that we will get to that stage with marketing so the marketer will know not only who is most likely to buy and what they will buy.”
For marketing, prescriptive analytics will assist with prospect identification, optimizing customer communications, and improving prospect offers.
Another trend you will find amongst the cool vendors is the heavy citation of ABM and ABSD tools amongst these vendors. Everstring, SalesLoft, and DemandBase are all strong proponents of ABM while Leadspace recently partnered with ABM vendor Engagio.