KiteDesk: FIND and FLOW Sales Acceleration

The FIND Prospect Profile provides contact information, social media links, and recent activity.
The FIND Prospect Profile provides contact information, social media links, and recent activity.

The development of a robust set of Account Based Sales Development vendors (ABSD) was a trend I missed in my original Field Guide.  But as vendors began to announce content partnerships with the Sales Intelligence vendors, it was a trend I was unable to ignore.  Readers of my blog will find steady coverage of “Sales Acceleration” firms such as SalesLoft, Outreach, and QuotaFactory.  Just last week, I was writing about

As part of the 2017 edition of my Field Guide, I am including profiles on four ABSD vendors:  SalesLoft, Outreach, QuotaFactory, and KiteDesk.  I selected these four because they have all developed partner ecosystems which include the SI vendors.

KiteDesk is an Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) platform that provides Account Based Prospecting (FIND) and Sales Development workflow tools (FLOW). Content partners include InsideView, Zoominfo, and D&B NetProspex, for prospecting within the FIND module.  Other partners include Full Contact for social media linkages and GoodData for analytics.

FIND is KiteDesk’s “Lead Gen On-Demand” tool.  It supports contact prospecting (300 contacts per month per user), company and contact profiles, social links, and a Google Chrome extension.

FIND Account Based Prospecting allows SDRs to search for additional contacts at a target account or do broader list building. Three information vendors are supported: InsideView, Zoominfo, and D&B NetProspex.
FIND Account Based Prospecting allows SDRs to search for additional contacts at a target account or do broader list building. Three information vendors are supported: InsideView, Zoominfo, and D&B NetProspex.

Not only is prospecting supported, but marketers can upload and enrich company files for contact prospecting.  The company list is matched and then users can prospect for contacts at the targeted companies.  For example, marketers can upload a lead list from a webinar or tradeshow, enrich it with firmographics to help score and route the lead, and then search for additional contacts at the top prospects.

FLOW provides “Sales Orchestration” workflow tools such as pre-defined cadences, email templates, an integrated dialer, task logging, integration, and analytics.  FLOW is sold with FIND included.

The Flow Module includes a sales orchestration cadence tool for planning email, phone, social, and custom actions.
The Flow Module includes a sales orchestration cadence tool for planning email, phone, social, and custom actions.

FLOW’s orchestration tools include

  • Scripts, Checklists, and Discovery Questions
  • Disposition, Note Taking, Sentiment icons (for analytics)
  • Social Steps and Custom Actions
  • Automated logging and sync to SFDC
  • Meeting Scheduler

FLOW provides integrated support for Exchange, Outlook 365, and Gmail temples.  Reps can customize the messaging within a graphical editor.  Tracking features include read receipts, click through, download, and reply.  Users can also schedule an email to send.  Thus, a sales rep could queue up emails over the weekend and have them send when response rates are higher.

FLOW also supports call bridging via softphone, mobile, or PBX.  Other dialer features include call logging with SFDC sync, voicemail drops, local number display, and call queueing.

Distinguishing features include a Chrome extension, meeting scheduler, and predictive prioritization of the FLOW task queue.  The Chrome extension helps SDRs find company or contacts based upon the URL, LinkedIn, or CrunchBase page.  Users can also highlight a name and search for it.  At the company level, KiteDesk will provide a list of contacts at the firm with filtering by job function.  Other features include Save as Prospect (in KiteDesk), Contact (in SFDC), Lead (in SFDC) or CSV Export.

An integrated meeting scheduler helps appointment setters identify meeting times across their team.  It also assists with bringing in experts for follow on calls.

Upcoming features include A/B Testing, expanded analytics, automated flows from sales triggers, and dynamic scheduling whereby prospects can view available windows.

KiteDesk FIND is priced at $75 per user per month and includes up to three hundred prospecting or enriched records per seat per month.

KiteDesk FIND+FLOW is priced at $125 per month and includes workflow tools, email templates, an integrated phone dialer, analytics, and an SFDC connector.  The service includes both prospecting and account flow tools with unlimited dialing and emails.

FIND may be licensed for a single user, but FIND + FLOW requires three seats.

ABSD solutions such as KiteDesk are elevating the role of Sales Development Reps (SDR) at B2B companies.  Whereas this role was traditionally populated by inexperienced sales reps that worked off of scripts and a call dialer, the SDR function is being professionalized.  SDRs are now expected to support corporate messaging and focus on establishing a warm relationship with ABM targets.  The days of B2B smile and dial are quickly passing.


Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors

2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors
2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors

I am now taking pre-orders for my 2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors.  This is the second edition of my book which I expect to deliver to my clients by the end of this year.

I am currently bundling in the 2015 edition with pre-orders at no extra charge.  Please contact me at if you would like to discuss a license.

Approaching the update has proven to be as big a task as writing the original edition due to the rapid expansion of the sales intelligence market and a decision to include several additional categories of vendors.

To assist purchasing departments that either purchased my book last year or performed a 2015 or 2016 evaluation, I have added profile sections covering:

  • 2016 New Products
  • 2016 Vendor Changes
  • 2016 Functionality Changes
  • 2016 Pricing Changes
  • ABM Features
  • ABSD Partners

The original edition focused on eleven vendors that provided either US or global markets.  Coverage included the top five by revenue: LinkedIn Sales Navigator,, Hoover’s, Avention, and DiscoverOrg.

This year I have added profiles on three UK-based vendors:

Bureau van Dijk is one of the top global financial research and sales intelligence companies.  I omitted them last year because they did not return my calls (yes, analysts may ignore you if you fail to support their research efforts).  This year I will cover them whether they cooperate or not.

UK vendors, along with Avention, provide a deep set of registered company data including Directors & Shareholders; Mortgages & Charges; Gazette Status (winding down, receivership notices); and filings data.  Thus, if you have a significant percentage of your sales reps in the UK (or Europe in general), it is worth understanding how US and UK sales intelligence products differ in content, functionality, strengths, and weaknesses.

A second new category of entrants is the PC/VC databases that rolled out sales intelligence services over the past year:

These products cover a smaller universe of companies (generally around one million), but focus on the fastest growing companies.  Traditional sales intelligence vendors tend to be behind the curve on profiling these firms.  Furthermore, they include funding and M&A intelligence, also gaps within the traditional sales intelligence space.

The third new category is Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) vendors (aka Sales Acceleration) that focus on workflow tools for Sales Development Reps (SDRs).  These products provide email templates, phone dialers, cadence/workflow tools, and analytics.  While not technically sales intelligence vendors, I am covering four vendors that have built partner ecosystems that include SI vendors:

Finally, I added discussions of both ABM and ABSD as both topics have trended strongly over the past year as B2B firms look to adopt a more strategic approach to sales and marketing.  Several firms are now positioning themselves as ABM solutions or strongly messaging around their ABM capabilities.

Marketo Account Based Marketing

Marketo is joining the ABM party, having noticed that many of its LaunchPoint partners have been advocating ABM for the past year while their chief rival joined an ABM alliance six months ago.  Oracle and Demandbase launched a joint solution back in April, the ABM Leadership Alliance.  Meanwhile, Terminus has been running Flip My Funnel tradeshows for the past year.  As CMS Critic wrote a bit snidely, “Account Based Marketing (ABM) is the new acronym on the block – Marketo just made sure of it.”

In a companion whitepaper, Marketo wrote, “Today, more B2B organizations than ever are shifting their thinking toward account-centricity. For organizations looking for a high return on investment (ROI), executives need to think in terms of high-value accounts, account penetration, market penetration, and logos. And so a marketing strategy that partners with sales to focus your combined energy on a more targeted approach to finding, engaging, and closing the accounts that really matter naturally aligns to the C-suite and the organization’s strategic goals.”

Marketo ABM supports three sub-processes:

  1. Target and Manage: Account Targeting via account and lead level scoring.
  2. Engage across Channels: Engage Accounts and decision makers across multiple channels including email, web, ads, events, social, and mobile and leverage customer behaviors captured in Marketo Audience Hub to tailor messages.
  3. Measure Your Impact: Refine messaging and channel selection via analytics.  Marketo tools include ABM dashboards, account dashboards (profiles), named account dashboards, and account lists.

For capabilities not supported directly by Marketo, the firms suggests customers look to partner solutions within LaunchPoint for predictive analytics, account enrichment, advanced advertising technology, and account based sales automation.

Marketo's Named Account Dashboard highlights the top individuals at a named account and their recent activity. Other metrics include firmographics, email performance indicators, pipeline value, and web activity.
Marketo’s Named Account Dashboard highlights the top individuals at a named account and their recent activity. Other metrics include firmographics, email performance indicators, pipeline value, and web activity.

“While marketing and sales teams have long been doing account targeting, the technology hasn’t been available to reach and engage accounts – and the decision makers within them – in a coordinated, scalable way from one place,” said Marketo CMO Chandar Pattabhiram.  “Built natively within the Marketo platform, Marketo ABM provides account teams with all of the necessary tools to discover, manage, engage, and analyze the accounts with the most revenue potential, thus driving revenue from their most valuable accounts and delivering higher return on their sales and marketing investments.”

InsideView Infographic
InsideView Infographic

InsideView is one of a dozen launch partners for Marketo ABM.  According to an InsideView press release, “InsideView targeting intelligence for ABM provides a new way for companies to leverage insights that fuel account scoring, lead-to-account mapping, and the high quality and depth of InsideView’s account and contact data. InsideView’s ABM solution helps align both sales and marketing with a consistent view of accounts and contacts across marketing automation and CRM systems and coordinated campaign execution.”

In support of the partnership, InsideView offers an ABM Acceleration Kit and the InsideView API for maintaining CRM and marketing automation data along with account and contact insights.  The Acceleration Kit helps with ideal account targeting, account alerting, and access to corporate family trees and buying committee member intelligence.

“Targeted data based on rich, contextual insights is the secret sauce for ABM,” said Marc Perramond, VP Product Management, InsideView. “Reorienting your marketing and sales to focus on accounts is a huge undertaking for many companies, so it’s critical to get account selection right. If you don’t, no ABM actions will work. We’re doing everything we can to make our customers’ ABM initiatives successful on whatever level works best for them. A bundled solution for a quick jump-start, APIs for a more do-it-yourself model, and a partnership with Marketo to ensure seamless execution and visibility into ABM efforts.”

Predictive Analytics company Everstring was also named a launch partner.  According to their press release, “EverString helps B2B companies expand, prioritize, and enrich their marketing and sales databases. EverString Audience Platform accomplishes this by combining applied data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence with the broadest set of data signals from more than 27 million companies.”

The other launch partners include AdRoll, Bluewolf, Digital Pi, Dun & Bradstreet, Elixiter, Fathom, LeadMD, Owler, Perkuto, and PFL.

“The combination of Marketo ABM with Dun & Bradstreet’s data, analytics, and insights will enable our customers to precisely identify their highest-potential accounts and effectively engage them across online and offline channels,” said Dun & Bradstreet General Manager Michael Bird.

One key area Marketo doesn’t address in their press release and supporting whitepaper is mapping leads to accounts.  Perhaps this falls into LaunchPoint account enrichment, but the Marketo database and workflows are built around leads (people), not accounts.  Unless leads are immediately mapped to accounts, they will exist in a nether world outside of ABM management.  Last week, I wrote about LeanData which offers inbound lead-to-account matching.  Avention’s Eloqua Connector (next story) is another example of real-time lead matching to accounts.

RelSci Goes Freemium

Relationship Science (RelSci) from within the Salesforce AppExchange.
Relationship Science (RelSci) from within the Salesforce AppExchange.

Relationship Science (RelSci) rolled out a freemium offering for their social networking service this week.  A free edition provides ten profile views while the Professional edition is priced at $49.99 per month and supports contact synching, relationship finding, news alerts, power searching, and a mobile app.  The full feature set is shown on their pricing page.

While the professional edition does not yet support networking, the feature is in development for single users.

RelSci is designed for investors (e.g. PE, VC, Wealth Managers), fund raisers, and business development professionals.  It works best at companies where relationships are highly prized for reaching top executives, directors, and donors.  The firm marries your contact network with a database of 5 million “movers and shakers” across 1 1/2 million organizations.  The enterprise edition allows users to leverage the relationships across their firm, providing a powerful research and networking tool.

Along with standard company and executive profiles, you will find nonprofit board and association memberships, nonprofit and political donations, investments, and news alerts.  What you won’t find is emails and direct dial phone numbers.  The system is designed for introductions, not cold calling.

The product offers an elegant user interface combined with powerful prospecting tools.  Along with standard prospecting, there are screens which assist with trip planning, donor searching, and identifying potential investors.

So how does RelSci stack up vs. LinkedIn Sales Navigator?  A recent DiscoverOrg survey found that one quarter of top level executives are not LinkedIn members so RelSci has a distinct advantage there.  Furthermore, RelSci brings in intelligence not found within LinkedIn such as rich company profiles (LinkedIn’s are basically warmed over marketing materials from the website and Facebook), donations, and investments.

However, Sales Navigator offers InMail with recommended names to drop while RelSci forces users to request introductions through their network.  This could be a potential bottleneck at firms where the strongest networks go through top level execs and the firms’ rainmakers.

Also, if your focus is more directors and managers, you many not find sufficient depth within RelSci.  An ABM strategy could stall out due to lack of executive depth in RelSci.  For those companies, I’d recommend a full sales intelligence offering (e.g. Avention, Hoover’sDiscoverOrg, RainKing) in conjunction with free LinkedIn.

RelSci offers powerful screening and visualization tools tied to an elegant user interface.  For professional networkers aiming at the upper echelons of companies and boards, RelSci is a superior option to LinkedIn.

Sales Intelligence: US vs. UK

UK private company financials (source: Artesian Solutions)
UK private company financials (source: Artesian Solutions)

The UK is the second largest market for sales intelligence services.  For US firms, the UK is usually either the second or third market (after Canada) which they support.  Thus, the UK market is served by both British (e.g. DueDil, Artesian Solutions, Bureau van Dijk) and American companies (e.g. Avention, Dun & Bradstreet, Factiva).

A key difference between the US and UK markets is the availability of UK private company data.  Approximately three million active UK firms are required to register with Companies House (the major exceptions are small businesses, partnerships, and public sector entities).  Large firms are required to provide full financials while mid-size firms may only be required to file a Balance Sheet or summary financials.  The smallest firms may simply be required to file a basic Annual Return with Director and Shareholder information and abbreviated accounts.

Along with annual financials, the UK filing regime requires statements concerning Directors and Shareholders (DASH); Mortgages, Charges, and County Court Judgments (MCCJ); and Gazette filings concerning receiverships and the winding down of businesses.  The net effect is a richer set of financial figures, superior intelligence concerning corporate families and ownership, a broad list directors, and intelligence concerning cross-company director linkages.

There are some drawbacks to this system.  First, the filings for private companies are not filed until three quarters after the end of the financial year so one is generally looking at data that is three to seven quarters in arrears.  A company’s financial position can shift significantly during this time.  Of course, few companies in the US are required to make any kind of financial filings.

Second, statements may be filed from the offices of corporate secretaries, accountants, or corporate owners.  Thus, the registered address often differs from the actual “trading address”.  When evaluating UK sales intelligence tools, look for vendors that provide both registered and trading addresses.  You should also ask about the population of URLs and phone numbers.

In the UK, sales reps should be calling into the Trading Address (physical) location, not the Registered Address (legal). Make sure your Sales Intelligence service provides both.
In the UK, sales reps should be calling into the Trading Address (physical) location, not the Registered Address (legal). Make sure your Sales Intelligence service provides both.  (Source: Avention)

Third, while there is very good data concerning corporate linkages, including minority shareholdings, the data only goes to the subsidiary level.  But companies may have hundreds of operating locations not listed.  In the US, vendors capture all of these branch locations, but this intelligence is more limited in the UK.

Another problem with this regime is there is little focus on who is managing the organization.  While a few directors are listed, they may not be the people the sales rep will be calling into.  Thus, the sales intelligence vendors have been working to tie in marketing datasets which provide additional color (British translation: colour) including mid-level managers with emails, URLs, and phone numbers.

Finally, one is more likely to have turnover figures (US translation: revenue) in the UK than in the US.  Conversely, US vendors are more likely to have employee figures and modeled revenue figures.  As a result, the employee count is a better sizing metric when prospecting in the US and turnover is the superior prospecting metric in the UK.

I am currently working on the next edition of my Field Guide for Sales Intelligence Vendors.  One of the key additions to this year’s edition is the inclusion of three UK vendors: Artesian Solutions, Bureau van Dijk, and DueDilAvention, which also offers a strong UK product, was previously included.  The new edition will be available before the end of this year.  I am now taking pre-orders for the expanded guide with purchasers receiving the 2015 edition at no charge. Essentials for SMBs Notifications and Activity Tracking Notifications and Activity Tracking is now offering “InsideSales Essentials,” a cloud-based sales acceleration service for SMBs (I have generally classified companies like this as Account Based Sales Development [ABSD], but Sales Acceleration is also a descriptor used by vendors in this category).  The new offering supports email tracking and analytics, integrated dialer, email templates, call recording and monitoring, and automated voicemails.  The service also bundles in local call number display in the top twenty-five metro areas.  InsideSales claims that local number presentation improves contact rates by up to 38%.

“InsideSales has mastered sales across the enterprise, powering companies like Microsoft, ADP, and Groupon to increase revenue growth by up to 30 percent. With this new package, we’re taking what’s proven to work for some of the biggest brands and tailoring it for small business needs,” said Gabe Larsen, director of Labs.  “Essentials gives small and medium-sized businesses the power to sell smarter and help expand their company through strategic sales plays.”

InsideSales Essentials begins at $5,000 for five seats.

“Our mission is to leverage big data and cloud capabilities to unlock human potential through predictive analytics and machine learning,” said InsideSales CEO Dave Elkington. “We are building an Amazon-style recommendation engine for business — a system capable of intelligently analyzing billions of data points in real-time and recommending the optimal next steps for almost any application or business process. This lays the groundwork for a future where predictive technology can be applied, not just to sales organizations but also to government, healthcare, retail and beyond.”

The firm was also just named to Forbes Cloud 100, placing it amongst the top private cloud companies in the world.

ABSD  / Sales Acceleration is a rapidly growing field as firms look to formalize ABM processes amongst their sales development teams.  I have seen such rapid growth amongst ABSD firms that I am including profiles of four ABSD vendors (QuotaFactory, KiteDesk, Outreach, and SalesLoft) in the next edition of my Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors.  Inclusion is based upon the existence of a partner ecosystem which includes sales intelligence vendors.  Because does not offer such an ecosystem, they did not make the cut.  However, the firm has seen rapid growth and would be considered amongst the leaders in this burgeoning field.

Outreach: Forbes 100 Cloud Rising Star

Account Based Sales Development vendor Outreach has been named a Forbes 100 Cloud Rising Star.  CEO Manuel Medina said that his firm offers a “platform that transforms how sales teams communicate and engage with prospects.  We believe there is a massive opportunity to bring a higher level of sophistication to the sales process so teams can focus on what they do best – close deals.”

Karan Mehandru, General Partner at Trinity Ventures, describes Outreach as a “system of action for sales people.”  Calling sales “the lifeblood of the organization,” Mehandru continued that “salespeople are creating the same level of sophistication as their marketing counterparts” which creates an opportunity for a “massive company” to deliver on the promise of CRM.

Mehandru joined the Outreach board after Trinity led a $17.5 million Series B round this summer.

Noting that almost sixty percent of sales rep time is dedicated to non-sales activity, Medina said, “Our main goal is to provide them with both more analytics about what he’s doing and more insight into what he could be doing to do it better.”

Seattle-based Outreach has grown to 92 employees and has sixteen open positions across Product, Sales, Engineering, Marketing, and Customer Success.  Back in June, they stated plans to double their company to 160 employees over the next year with a trebling of their engineering team to forty headcount.

The firm supports over one thousand sales teams at firms of all sizes.  Customers include AdRoll, Adobe, Glassdoor, Cloudera, Zillow, and Docusign.

Outlook provides email and phone cadence tools. Email features include Exchange and Gmail support, email templates, A/B testing, open and click tracking, and out of office detection. Actions are posted to Salesforce.
Outlook provides email and phone cadence tools. Email features include Exchange and Gmail support, email templates, A/B testing, open and click tracking, and out of office detection. Actions are posted to Salesforce.

The firm provides a cadence tool for email and phone, analytics, mobile apps, and connectors with Salesforce, Gmail, Exchange, DiscoverOrg, and Datanyze.

Over the next year, the company is looking to add additional intelligence and insights into the sales workflow.  The firm lists many insight and workflow capabilities as coming soon:

  • Plays and Playbooks – “Create a master plan to engage your accounts with Plays and Playbooks designed to optimize your approach.”
  • Play-by-Play – “Engage multiple personas within an account simultaneously with Plays designed to accomplish a specific goal at every step.”
  • Insights Tiles – “Learn more about the person you’re communicating with for the most personalized conversation possible.”
  • Colleague Replies – “Determine how connecting with one prospect in an account affects the engagement of other colleagues in the playbook.”
  • Persona Optimized – “Outreach gives you analytics to determine when the best times are to call, all by persona.”
  • Voicemail Drop – “When reaching your recipient’s voicemail, let Outreach leave a pre-recorded message, so you can move on to the next activity.”
  • VM Drop A/B Testing – “Let Outreach test which voicemails produce higher call-back rates by A/B testing the drop of a selection of recordings.”
  • Calling within Playbooks – “Call each role persona in succession for an opportunity to communicate your value.”
  • Conversation Transcription – “Read transcripts of conversations, broken down by who said what, for coaching opportunities.”
  • Transcription Search – “Search conversation histories for specific mentions of objections, competitors, and more.”
  • Whisper – “Managers can speak to their reps on a call without the end recipient hearing them.”

An MS Dynamics connector is also in development.

Owler: CEO Jim Fowler on Marketing

Owler's Profile of General Electric.
Owler’s Profile of General Electric.

Jim Fowler, CEO of Owler and former CEO of Jigsaw, has an excellent interview with Brian Carroll on the B2B Lead Blog.  They discuss SEO, virality, why successful entrepreneurs itch to start additional companies, and the give and take between sales and marketing.

Here is Fowler on the subject of the future of B2B Sales and Marketing:

Sales people are going to continue to have to become better marketers.

With Jigsaw, we provided a set of contact data so that you could communicate with people directly with phone numbers and business email addresses. I said at the time, what this means is that the people on the receiving end of these communications are going to get more and more and more communications. It’s kind of a funny thing. Sales and marketing, their job is to communicate with people that don’t really want to be communicated with, but they need to be because they need to buy stuff.

I think that we’re going to continue to see the buyers or the receivers of these communications get more and more of it, and it’s become more and harder to rise above the noise. What it means is sales people are going to have to become better marketers. They’re going to have to work hand in hand with marketers to get them.

Marketers, frankly are going to have to become gods, because their job is just getting harder and harder. I mean, people have no attention. We’re in the age of a hundred and forty character limit is all people will read, and this makes the job tough. I just think that with that in mind all of our communication is crisp, simple, scannable data.

For instance, our descriptions of companies are one sentence long. We only allow a hundred and forty character description of a company, because we know people won’t read more than that. I just think understanding these trends is critical regarding future success. It’s going to continue to accelerate, is my prediction.

It is clear that reaching B2B professionals is becoming more difficult for sales and marketing which is why Marketing Automation, Account Based Sales Development, and Sales Intelligence services are so necessary.  It is about having a compelling message when you can get their attention.  It is also why Account Based Marketing is gaining traction — when it is difficult to garner attention, make sure you are focusing your sales and marketing efforts on your best prospects.

However, I disagree with Fowler’s contention that 140 character business descriptions are sufficient to describe a company.  While sales reps would rather be selling than reading long reports, 140 characters is simply too short.  It is really an editorial decision made by Owler.  They didn’t want to invest editorial resources in writing and maintaining business descriptions.  Instead, they are focusing their editors on fine tuning their triggers and collecting funding and M&A details.  Whether you are using Owler for competitive intelligence or sales intelligence, 140 characters will often be insufficient to provide an actionable description.

Here is Owler’s description of General Electric:

GE provides capital, expertise and infrastructure for a global economy.

Let’s compare that to what Reuters says about GE:

General Electric Company (GE) is a global digital industrial company. The Company’s products and services range from aircraft engines, power generation and oil and gas production equipment to medical imaging, financing and industrial products. Its segments include Power segment offers products and services related to energy production and water reuse; Renewable Energy segment offers renewable power sources; Oil & Gas offers drilling, completion, production and oil field operation; Energy Management offers technologies to electrical power; Aviation designs and produces commercial and military aircraft engines, integrated digital components and mechanical aircraft systems; Healthcare provides essential healthcare technologies; Transportation is a supplier to the railroad, mining, marine, stationary power and drilling industries; Appliances & Lighting offers appliances and a subset of lighting products, and Capital offers continuing financial services businesses and products.

And that is Reuter’s short description.  The long description from Reuters runs one to two paragraphs for each of their divisions.

To be fair, when you are looking to cover millions of companies, short descriptions are understandable for the vast majority of companies.  But top companies should have deeper profiles.  Owler, with half a million registered users, has sufficient usage data to identify the most heavily researched companies and write longer profiles.  The question is whether they wish to invest expensive editorial resources in expanding beyond Twitter-length descriptions.

Sparklane: Sales Triggers and Hidden Opportunities

The Sparklane Watchlist
The Sparklane Watchlist

I posted a blog yesterday on the Sparklane website discussing sales triggers as a tool for identifying new opportunities.  Triggers provide a mechanism for warming up cold calls with of-the-moment talking points.  Current triggers signal to prospects that you have conducted some research on the company and aren’t calling blindly into the firm.  They also help account reps stay abreast of what is happening at their key customers and prospects.  Sales Triggers are a key component of social selling and Account Based Marketing strategies.

Sparklane is a French Sales Intelligence solution which provides elements of predictive lead scoring around target companies.  They are readying to enter the UK market with an English language service in the coming weeks.  Their goal is to revisit the Battle of Hastings (1066) and “conquer the UK” (OK, I’m overstating their marketing claim, but there is nothing wrong with bold objectives).

Sparklane has had significant success in the French market with fifty percent annual growth since launching seven years ago.  Last year they posted five million euros  in revenue with a goal of eight million euros this year ($9 million).  Clients include Samsung, Oracle, Jaguar, Capgemini, and SAS.

We have entered into a new era. The era of smart data. Basic data has less and less value. Sparklane is the first player on this market to propose a true predictive lead scoring solution. Sparklane’s main benefit is to improve quickly the sales performance of its clients.

  • Sparklane CEO Frédéric PICHARD

Just last week, I blogged about Contify, an Indian social selling vendor, which is focusing on news + social awareness.  I have also recently written about Artesian Solutions which opened a Boston office and is rolling out a North American social selling offering.  Their Artesian Ready app is the most advanced sales intelligence mobile offering I’ve seen on the market.

It is wonderful to see the market continue to heat up with new competitors and approaches.  Competition catalyzes product development and helps goose innovation.  It focuses the mind of competitors and helps keep complacency at bay.  I look forward to seeing what ideas the French have around social selling when they launch their UK service in a few weeks.

Sparklane Lead Scoring
Sparklane Lead Scoring

Fortune: The C-Suite Remains a Male Bastion

DiscoverOrg employs 150 editors to gather its multi-level executive database across 60,000 global organizations.
DiscoverOrg employs 150 editors to gather its multi-level executive database across 60,000 global organizations.

Fortune employed DiscoverOrg C-Level executive data to analyze the presence of women in the C-Suite. Of the 9,975 C-level executives evaluated, only 18% were female. At the corporate apex, only 6.9% of the CEOs and 6.7% of Board Chairs were women. That is fewer than one in fourteen execs.

Of the twelve titles assessed, only four have female population rates above twenty five percent:

  • 31.9% Chief Legal Officer
  • 36.4% Chief Compliance Officer
  • 48.0% Chief Marketing Officer
  • 62.2% Chief Human Resources Officer

Even more concerning is that the top two positions leading to the CEO position, COO (7.2%) and CFO (8.8%), remain male bastions.

“The biggest surprise to me was how little gender diversity there still is,” opined DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Schuck. “You might expect less than 50% of C-level executives to be women, but I was surprised at how much less it was.”

I also found it interesting that this research was employed using DiscoverOrg data and not a public company dataset from Reuters, FactSet, S&P, Mergent, etc.  Any of these public information vendors could have also provided the data as well, but DiscoverOrg had an advantage in that it researches the full C-suite (and several levels below it) and reverifies data every ninety days.  While the other vendors are also likely to have highly accurate data for the C-Suite, they are dependent upon SEC filings to recognize executive changes.  Thus, they would be as accurate as DiscoverOrg for CEO, Chairman, COO, CFO, and Chief Legal Officer, but are less likely to be accurate for positions which report into the CEO, CFO , and COO.  Here, DiscoverOrg’s curated data collection methods have a data quality advantage.

What would be fascinating is if DiscoverOrg analyzed their data by function, level, and sector across the Fortune 1000.  They already have data sets for Finance, Marketing, Product Management (TEDD), and IT with several others ready to launched by the end of the year.  Assuming DiscoverOrg can provide historical cuts of their database, the IT function can be evaluated going back a half decade or more with Finance and Marketing for a few years.  At a minimum, such an analysis would make for some fascinating blogs, but it could also be an invaluable dataset for academic research.