SalesLoft: New Partners, Connectors, and Features

The new Call Studio service provides continuous monitoring of sales calls via a new dashboard. Managers and trainers can listen to calls, whisper advice in the a rep's ear, or join the call.
The new Call Studio service provides continuous monitoring of sales calls via a new dashboard. Managers and trainers can listen to calls, whisper advice in the a rep’s ear, or join the call.

Prior to SalesLoft’s Rainmaker user conference, their VP of Product Marketing Sean Kester provided me with a demo and overview of the enhancements to their Account Based Sales Engagement Platform.  The key product announcement is their new Live Call Studio which allows managers to monitor outbound calls.  The firm will also be demonstrating enhanced Salesforce and Gmail connectors which support sales engagement intelligence and the Twilio dialer.

Amongst their new partners are Zoominfo, TalkIQ, and Vidyard which will provide company and contact details, call transcription, and video messaging services.

The other new feature is a “Draft on Behalf” service that allows reps to create emails to be sent from executive inboxes.

SalesLoft closed on a $15M Round B last month.  The firm said that the funds would be used towards product, marketing, and opening an office in San Francisco.  The 2017 product focus includes improved orchestration between sales, marketing, and supporting executives; enhanced insights and reports; expanded governance tools; role based workflow assignments; greater connectivity; and enhanced analytics.

Call Studio

Call Studio provides live coaching and feedback to help managers shape a consistent message.  Call Studio assists with new hire training as well as upsell and cross-sell training for more experienced sales staff.  The Studio displays a set of conversational tiles which track all current calls along with duration and participants.  A manager can listen in on any call and provide feedback afterwards, whisper advice into the rep’s ear during the call, or join the conversation.  Managers and trainers do not need to be at the same location as the Sales Development Reps (SDRs).  Conversely, reps can digitally raise their hand if they need assistance and will feel more confident as they ramp up.

Kester noted that “Front line sales is one of the most difficult positions in a business. Live Call Studio reduces on-boarding time, coaching time, and increases rep effectiveness with the ability to coach from anywhere. Live coaching can quickly identify learning and advancement opportunities so that reps can stay motivated and be more productive.”

Call Studio will officially be launched at their Rainmaker conference during the first week of March and is currently live at ten accounts.

Draft on Behalf

SalesLoft will also be unveiling an as yet unnamed “Draft on behalf ” service which allows sales reps to write an email to be sent from company execs.  The note includes subject, message, and recipients.  The rep also provides an explanation of the request.

Once written, the CxO is sent an email with an overview of the request and a button to open the message.  Executives can also view pending messages stored in a “Requests” tab queue.

A "Draft on behalf" Requests tab provides a queue of pending CSR-written emails for review and transmission.
A “Draft on behalf” Requests tab provides a queue of pending CSR-written emails for review and transmission.

The “Draft on behalf” feature will initially be available in Gmail with plans to extend the service to Outlook down the road.

SalesLoft Connect

Recently enhanced connectors include SalesLoft Connect in Gmail and Salesforce.  The Gmail Connect tool displays SalesLoft in a new right-handed sidebar.  SDRs can click-to-dial from within Gmail and view the live feed for the prospect.  Other SalesLoft Connect for Gmail features include contact search, launching emails, and adding the message to SFDC.  The contact profile includes a set of functions including

  • Add or remove from a cadence (templated SDR multi-channel messaging workflows)
  • View recent notes and activity
  • Flag as Do Not Contact
  • Link to social profiles
  • Open and edit SalesLoft profiles
  • View additional contact information

Connect in Salesforce is both Classic and Lightning-ready providing access to SalesLoft Cadences within SFDC.  Features include the contact profile, SalesLoft Dialer, Cadence view, prospect activity view, and bi-directional synching between SalesLoft and Salesforce.

New Partners

Finally, SalesLoft will be showing off three new ecosystem partners at Rainmaker.  SalesLoft looks for partners that will offer a freemium strategy within their service, so that even SMBs can obtain benefits from SalesLoft partnerships.

Vidyard supports quick custom videos which help “humanize” SDR emails along with video playlists.  Thus, an SDR could attach two short demos and a personalized introductory message.  According to Kester, “adding a highly engaging video thumbnail to your email cadence in SalesLoft will help your emails stand out, boost click through rates, and send response rates soaring.”

Vidyard functionality and workflows for SDRs.
Vidyard functionality and workflows for SDRs.

Vidyard tracks which videos were watched and notifies sales reps.

Free Vidyard allows users access to all their features with limitations on the total number of videos hosted in their libraries along with some sharing limitations. The paid version offers a more robust library, organization, and hosting feature set.

TalkIQ provides integrated call transcription.  Features include a summary tab, cross-call searching, audio clips, and coaching commentary.  Premium features include analytics and admin-defined algorithms that automatically pull calls based on specific criteria. These calls will be displayed in a premium dashboard.

From within Chrome, users will have access to Zoominfo’s ReachOut connector which provides in-context account and contact information to SalesLoft.  For example, an SDR could identify the perfect contact in LinkedIn, use the ReachOut extension to obtain contact information, and send company and contact details to SalesLoft to begin a cadence.

Note: SalesLoft is one of the four Account Based Sales Development services covered in my new 2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors.  Zoominfo is also profiled.

 

InsideSales $50M Funding Round

Since yesterday I discussed SalesLoft’s funding round, I would be remiss to note that Predictive Analytics vendor InsideSales closed on a $50 million funding round which included Microsoft and the Irish government.  In total, the company has raised over $250 million.  The latest round, led by Polaris Capital, included Questmark Partners and the Irish Strategic Investment Fund.  Also participating were existing investors Microsoft, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Hummer Winblad, U.S. Venture Partners, Epic Ventures and Zetta Venture.  The latest round was flat or nominally up, allowing the firm to retain its Unicorn status.

InsideSales’ predictive Accelerate service combines predictive analytics with a phone dialer, sales gamification, and email and web interaction tracking within SFDC.  Accelerate lists at $295 per user per month.  An Essentials service, designed for SMBs, is priced at $25 per seat per month.  The firm also offers products at several price points in between.

InsideSales NeuralView identifies the ”most promising leads, opportunities and accounts” for customers
InsideSales NeuralView identifies the ”most promising leads, opportunities and accounts” for customers

The company stores, anonymous, aggregated data.  “We have over 120 million unique buying personas,” said CEO David Elkington.  “More interestingly, I have almost a hundred billion sales interactions with those 120 million people. A sales interaction’s a conversation, an email, a response, a visit, a purchase. We’re adding roughly five billion of those a month. The reason is because it’s aggregate, it’s crowdsourced.”

Elkington emphasizes the value of data over algorithms.  “We’re basically looking at the way categories of people behave within various different situations.  The mistake people are making is thinking the value is in building the best algorithm. The key is in the data.”

Elkington observed a “generational transition” in sales leadership with millennials “becoming predominant quota carrying reps, taking more sales leadership roles.”

In 2015, InsideSales set out to study the “buying and selling patterns of the next generation of employees.” The firm found that over the past few years, the presence of millennials amongst buyers and sellers has nearly doubled “and their behavior is very different.”

“The way a millennial runs their day is fundamentally different than the way other generations run their day,” noted Elkington. “Millennials don’t want to sit down in their CRM. They live all over the web and move around quite a bit.”

Based on these observations, InsideSales recently released Playbooks, a browser plugin which helps sales reps “prospect, prioritize and connect without juggling multiple tools.”  The Playbooks service also supports CRM synchronization and integrated telephony and emails.

InsideSales research found that the typical millennial has seventy to eighty tabs open at a time.  Thus, Playbooks allows the user to leverage the intelligence in each of those tabs and immediately act on the information.

InsideSales is finding strong usage for Playbooks amongst millennials.  “Reps adopt it much faster with much less training, and satisfaction seems to be higher,” said Elkington.

InsideSales has over 2,000 customers including ADP, Groupon, and Microsoft.  The firm currently employs a staff of 500 located in the “Silicon Slopes” of Utah with an outpost in San Mateo.

“Our mission is to leverage big data and cloud capabilities to unlock human potential through predictive analytics and machine learning,” said 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.”

SalesLoft $15M Round B

The SalesLoft Dialer supports one-click dialing from Salesforce and Inboxes. Calls are managed as part of multi-channel cadences and automatically logged.
The SalesLoft Dialer supports one-click dialing from Salesforce and Inboxes. Calls are managed as part of multi-channel cadences and automatically logged.

Last month, Account Based Sales Engagement vendor SalesLoft closed on a $15M Round B twenty-two months after closing on a $10.15M Series A.  The new round, which valued the firm at $100 million, was led by David Cummings, the founder of Pardot, and his Atlanta Ventures.  SalesLoft chose to work with its existing Atlanta-based investor team.  Cummings chipped in $10 million with Spinnaker Investments and Emergence Capital contributing their pro-rata shares.

By extending Round B amongst current investors, SalesLoft was able to “keep our board the same, move fast to close, and get back to the work of serving our customers immediately,” said CEO Kyle Porter.

Heading into the new year, our growth left us with enough cash in the bank and a modest enough burn rate to keep running for the next few years.  But we’re on a mission to transform the sales industry and be the clear No. 1 in our category. Achieving that mission requires additional investment in the platform, innovation, and our community so we deliver significant value to our customers. For that reason, we decided it was time to double down on our market and put more capital to work.

  • CEO Kyle Porter

The round and funding strategy were proposed by Cummings.  “David [Cummings] is a close friend, mentor, investor, board member, and advisor who has been on the journey with SalesLoft since the very beginning,” said Porter.  “David’s career journey had imprinted on him the value in being a market leader and he recognized the magnitude of the sales engagement opportunity.”

While the firm’s burn rate was low enough to hold off on another round for a few years, “we’re on a mission to transform the sales industry and be the clear #1 in our category,” blogged Porter.  “Achieving that mission requires additional investment in the platform, innovation, and our community so we deliver significant value to our customers. For that reason, we decided it was time to double down on our market and put more capital to work.”

SalesLoft maintains a level of transparency that exceeds most companies with detailed discussions around funding, corporate culture, and product strategy.  While most companies provide pro-forma press releases around funding announcements, SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter wrote detailed blogs around both rounds and presented a case study on his decision to abandon SalesLoft’s successful Prospector service while Cadence was still in its formative stage.

The funding will be used towards product, marketing, and opening an office in San Francisco.  The 2017 product focus includes improved orchestration between sales, marketing, and supporting executives; enhanced insights and reports; expanded governance tools; role based workflow assignments; and enhanced analytics.  Furthermore, “SalesLoft will be at your fingertips at all times, delivering core applications to wherever your reps live in everyday, like Gmail, Outlook, Dynamics, and Salesforce.”

SalesLoft plans to continued expansion of its ecosystem which already includes a broad set of partners:

  • Company/Contacts: InsideView, RingLead, Prospectify
  • Technology: Datanyze, DiscoverOrg, HG Data
  • News: Owler
  • Coaching: ExecVision, TalkIQ, Crystal, People.ai, Gong.io
  • Workflow: Sigstr, Chili Piper
  • Social: ProLeads

Additional partners will be announced at their upcoming Rainmaker Sales Engagement conference.

Although they did not detail their 2017 partner list, the firm named Vidyard and DocSend as 2017 connectors when I was profiling their service for my book.  Vidyard provides video integration into emails with the customer service rep option to record a quick intro.  DocSend provides intra-document tracking tools and analytics which display information on what sections were viewed and for how long.

In 2016, SalesLoft trebled its Annualized Run Rate (ARR) while phasing out its $4 million Prospector Service and expanding the Cadence account based sales offering.  Over this time, the Cadence product increased its ARR by 5,000 percent (from less than $200, 000).  Cadence now has over 1,000 customers.

SalesLoft has grown from 5 employees in early 2014 to 125 with plans to add 85 headcount in the coming months.

The firm is focused on “serving the customer,”  said Porter.  “It was our intention to build a company based entirely on a set of core values and to this date, it’s been the best decision we’ve ever made.”

Porter lists the firms core values as

  • Put Customers First
  • Focus on Results
  • Glass Half Full
  • Bias Toward Action
  • Team over Self

Focusing on values allows us to be intentional about our behavior on a daily basis.  This sets the foundation for healthy teams to establish trust, inspire growth, and achieve something special together.

  • CEO Kyle Porter

While many companies view culture as corporate window dressing around perks and office space, SalesLoft COO Rob Forman defines culture as “our values, consistently applied.”

DiscoverOrg AccountView ICP Tool

Intelligence vendor DiscoverOrg announced a new Account Based Marketing (ABM) tool called AccountView which helps marketers identify the attributes of their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).  The new feature analyzes an account file which it calls a portfolio, enriches it with firmographics and technographics, and then provides a portfolio visualization dashboard of the accounts.  The service also identifies similar companies to the top accounts, prioritizes them, and identifies best fit decision-makers at the net-new accounts.

The AccountView Dashboard provides firmographic and technographic segmentation analysis.
The AccountView Dashboard provides firmographic and technographic segmentation analysis.

The portfolio segmentation dashboard tiles include

  • Size: Revenue and Employee Bar Charts
  • Industry: Primary Industry Pie Chart; SIC and NAICS top frequency lists
  • Technology: Technology lists
  • Ownership: Ownership Structure Pie Chart
  • Companies: Portfolio companies with employee and revenue data.  Company names are hyperlinked to their DiscoverOrg profiles.

Although geographic segmentation is not yet available, it is on the product roadmap.

Within the list tiles, users can search for specific elements (i.e. SIC, NAICS, technology, or company name).

Proposed contacts are shown within org charts with direct dial phones and emails to assist with organizational context and reach out.  DiscoverOrg also provides detailed platform information and a set of sales triggers.

Marketing and sales teams can drill into specific bars or wedges to further research segments.  To quickly refine models, customers can remove outliers to focus the ICP around high frequency variables.

Company Lists include DealPredict Scores and Lightning Bolt Alert Flags.
Company Lists include DealPredict Scores and Lightning Bolt Alert Flags.

Portfolios may be uploaded as CSV files, bulk matched within DiscoverOrg, or generated via DiscoverOrg prospecting.  Result lists may be saved as lists, viewed as searches, or exported to CSV files.  Models may also be loaded into DealPredict where company lists are displayed with Deal Predict scores of zero to five stars.  Next to DealPredict scores, DiscoverOrg displays a lightning bolt icon if the company has a Sales Trigger or OppAlerts in the past sixty days.  OppAlerts are intent based triggers which have been researched by DiscoverOrg editors or gathered through B2B publishers’ online content consumption data.  By clicking on the lightning bolt, reps are shown the related events.

Within DealPredict, company lists are dynamically maintained to reflect the current firmographic and technographic lists of companies.  If there is a change in company size or implemented technology, the DealPredict scores are automatically updated every time a search is conducted.  Likewise, companies which are added to the DiscoverOrg database are automatically scored.

The very foundation of successful sales and marketing is figuring out who your best customers are, understanding why they are the best, and finding more prospects just like them.  What could be a painful analytical exercise is made simple and straightforward with DiscoverOrg’s account-based marketing features, and the result is faster growth for customers who can more effectively identify, understand, and engage with their ideal buyer.

  • DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Schuck

DiscoverOrg suggests a number of account list categories that can be analyzed including the full customer list, high or low spend customers, renewing or non-renewing customers, high or low profitability customers, competitor customer lists, and prospect accounts.  For example, running a competitor’s customer profile through AccountView helps you “determine ways to improve your product, messaging, or positioning.  Likewise, running the non-renewed customer list through AccountView will help identify high-churn candidates for special programs.

Although DiscoverOrg recommends sets of strong and weak account lists, AccountView does not have the ability to discriminate between the two categories.  Thus, marketers would need to separately run the paired lists, compare the portfolio results, and adjust the models for overlapping variables.  For example, knowing that Microsoft Office is heavily used by both strong and weak accounts would indicate that MS Office is a frequently occurring, but non-predictive variable.

Future features include support for multiple models, grouping tech functions by category, sharing models across all users, geographic segmentation reports, and uploading contact information to assist with defining job functions and levels.

AccountView is the latest capability within DiscoverOrg’s ABM Toolkit.  Other features include DiscoverOrg’s DealPredict predictive rankings for companies and contacts, OppAlerts intent-based opportunities, and sales triggers.

DealPredict provides predictive scores similar to those provided by predictive analytics companies.  DiscoverOrg CMO Katie Bullard noted that unlike some black-box predictive platforms, AccountView analysis and DealPredict models are fully visible to sales and marketing users.

The AccountView analytics and net-new account service is included as part of the DiscoverOrg service.  Firms license access to specific DiscoverOrg datasets and a set number of seats.  Licensed users then have unlimited access to the licensed content for viewing, uploading, or downloading.

Other sales intelligence companies that have developed AccountView-like functionality include Dun & Bradstreet (Workbench), Avention (DataVision), and Zoominfo (Growth Acceleration Platform).

DiscoverOrg, which hit $71 million in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) at the end of 2016, has expanded its customer base beyond technology companies.  Over 15% of revenues now come from marketing agencies, staffing firms, and consultancies.

DiscoverOrg is one of fourteen vendors covered in my “2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors“.

LinkedIn Desktop Redesign

The LinkedIn redesign includes streamlined navigation, smarter messaging, and improved feeds.
The LinkedIn redesign includes streamlined navigation, smarter messaging, more intuitive searching, and improved feeds.

LinkedIn has been rolling out a new desktop design to its 467 million members over the past few weeks.  The new user experience provides a streamlined navigation, “smarter messaging,” improved feeds, “more intuitive searches,” and assistance with member profile design and assessing who has viewed your profile.

“Our goal is to ensure you can seamlessly access the most relevant professional conversations, content and opportunities whether you’re on our mobile app or on our desktop experience,” blogged LinkedIn Director of Engineering Chris Pruett.  “Most importantly, this desktop redesign brings conversations and content to the heart of the platform, so you can more easily share ideas, join a discussion, and discover news and topics you care about.”

One of the focal areas for improvement is their feed.  Although the company acquired Newsle and Pulse a few years ago, the feed has remained stubbornly off-message (I last complained about it in my December Five Hopes article).  LinkedIn is promising that “with a combination of algorithms and human editors working together, we’ve fine tuned your Feed to surface the most relevant content from people and publishers you care most about. We’ll also be adding new ways for you to dive deep into specific topics relevant to you and follow trending stories.”

“The algorithm is the one taking the signals and the editorial team can highlight a specific story,” said Tomer Cohen head of content, search and discovery products at LinkedIn. “This is what I see as one of our strongest assets on LinkedIn, the collaboration between algorithm and editorial working together.”

The desktop will offer a universal search box for finding people, jobs, companies, groups, and schools.  There is a set of filters which allow users to refine their search by content category.  The user can then filter further by location, degree of connection, company affiliations, etc.

Post searching is coming soon. They don’t indicate whether they have solved their long-tail content search issue, but hopefully they are addressing that issue as well.  If individuals and companies are to use LinkedIn posts to burnish their brands, the content needs to be accessible.  It seems pointless to use LinkedIn as a blogging platform if your ideas fall below the surface after a few days and aren’t easily retrievable.  They also need to surface postings and updates for individuals and companies within profiles.  This content is some of the best material for understanding the interests, biases, and concerns of customers and prospects.  It needs to be leveraged for job seekers, recruiters, sales reps, and researchers.

LinkedIn claims that they have already had some success with improving their feed. Over the past year, engaged sessions in the feed grew by forty percent and referral traffic to some their top posters doubled or trebled.

To assist members’ promotional activities, LinkedIn is honing its profile suggestions and providing “greater insight” into who has viewed your profile.

Messaging improvements include expanding the presence of messaging across LinkedIn pages and surfacing ice breakers such as individuals in your network that work at a firm.

I am still waiting for the rollout to reach my account, so I cannot comment on whether LinkedIn achieved their stated goals.  However, there is a very popular Open Letter to CEO Jeff Weiner” excoriating him and LinkedIn on the redesign.  Issues included the lack of a before and after comparison to assist with feature changes, slow performance, missing / hidden analytics, and weak precision on trending article display.  The letter identified eleven areas of concern and includes a set of updates as he has had ongoing discussions with the firm since his letter was posted on the ninth.  Normally, one would expect some blowback on any redesign, but in six days the letter has received nearly 6,000 likes and 1,300 comments.

Owler Insights Displayed within SalesLoft

Owler news is visible to SDRs while they are customizing emails or planning for their next call.
Owler news is visible to SDRs while they are customizing emails or planning for their next call.

ABSD vendor Owler officially announced their SalesLoft connector which feeds Owler News and Alerts into the SalesLoft Sales Engagement platform.  Owler is one of several content partners that participate in SalesLoft’s partner ecosystem.  Owler intelligence is delivered via a combination of mined content (news, blogs, press releases), editorial work (funding and M&A announcements), and crowdsourced intelligence concerning competitors, company size, CEO approval, and future expectations.

SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter posed the problem of engaging prospects as one of quickly understanding them.

How do you portray that feeling?  How do you portray that understanding that you know what they’re up to?  That you know who they are?  That you think you can help and you’ve got hypotheses about their needs?  And I think the answer to that is sales intelligence and so for the last few year of my career I’ve been looking for amazing products that help our customers learn more about the prospects they are reaching out to whether it’s the account or whether it’s the individual themselves.

Owler provides integrated news, press releases, funding histories, videos (YouTube and Vimeo), and corporate blogs from within SalesLoft company and contact records.  The partnerships allows sales reps to plan their account messaging without toggling to another platform.  Users can even filter headlines by content type and copy links directly into emails.

SalesLoft noted a “dramatic increase” in reply rates and meaningful conversations due to Owler insights.  The integration has helped “increase the level and efficiency of personalization that the modern sales rep can add when they’re communicating with their buyers,” said SalesLoft VP of Product Strategy Sean Kester.  “So they can better connect, quality, and convert their target accounts into customer accounts.”

SalesLoft trains SDRs on a 10-80-10 strategy for creating “sincerity at scale.”  SalesLoft suggests that the first ten percent of the email should have a custom hook from LinkedIn, Twitter, or Owler.  The goal is to “find something relevant and connect with them on that level,” said SalesLoft SDR Brad Ansley.  The 80% message core should focus on how your product relates to their pains.  It should not be a feature dump, but must “give them a reason to respond.”   The final ten percent is a “PS line” to connect on a more personal level (e.g. Congrats on the Pats).

Other SalesLoft content partners include InsideView, Datanyze, HG Data, DiscoverOrg, RingLead, and Prospectify.  SalesLoft also provides messaging assistance and coaching tools such as Crystal prospect personality analysis, Sigstr email signature management, Chili Piper calendaring, and call transcription and analytics from TalkIQ, ExecVision, and Gong.io.

Sales Intelligence Vendors Move Upstream

ZoomInfo Personas provide a multi-dimensional cluster analysis for identifying persona categories and prospecting against them.
ZoomInfo Personas provide a multi-dimensional cluster analysis for identifying persona categories and prospecting against them.

Five years ago, Sales Intelligence vendors avoided selling into the marketing  department.  While there were a few enrichment projects for CRMs, these were driven by Sales Ops, not marketing departments.  Furthermore, SalesTech products are sold on a per seat basis for sales reps while marketing revenue is generally volume based (e.g. number of prospecting records sold or records enriched).  This made pricing of services difficult.

But MarTech was receiving heavy investments and several firms shifted their focus from sales to marketing.  Zoominfo began discussing Sales and Marketing Alignment and developed a set of marketing tools.  The firm, which had been struggling to grow revenue for several years, is again on a growth trajectory and made the two most recent Inc. 5000 lists.

InsideView also began developing marketing functionality and now treats the two departments equally.  Most of InsideView’s recent investment has been in building out marketing solutions or expanding their company and contact coverage (which benefits sales and marketing equally).

At the beginning of 2015, Dun & Bradstreet acquired NetProspex for its contact database and Workbench hygiene platform.  The firm also used NetProspex as the basis for their Audience Solutions programmatic marketing service which was launched in 2015.

In 2016, the Sales Intelligence vendors continued to move upstream into marketing intelligence and hygiene.  InsideView continues to enhance its Target, Enrich, and Refresh marketing tools while Avention launched OneSource DataVision for web form enrichment, continuous enrichment, segmentation, look-a-like prospecting, and TAM analysis.  Avention also launched Marketo and Eloqua connectors for their OneSource service.

“OneSource DataVision naturally extends the sales and marketing benefits our customers can gain from OneSource Solutions by being even more targeted with campaigns and programmes – including account-based,” said Avention SVP of Product Lauren Bakewell. “Better qualified leads and more targeted account-based approaches should bring better sales results, which should in turn strengthen sales and marketing alignment; we feel alignment happens best when sales forecasts are being met and exceeded!”

Zoominfo has repositioned itself as a MarTech company with a rebranding of their platform as the Zoominfo Growth Acceleration Platform.  While sales reps are still supported, the emphasis is on data enrichment, segmentation analysis, cluster analysis, and look-a-like prospecting against clusters.

DiscoverOrg and RainKing also placed greater emphasis upon marketing and ABM capabilities.  Both services support predictive rankings of accounts and contacts, MAP and CRM enrichment, and new opportunities (Inside Scoops from RainKing and OppAlerts and sales triggers from DiscoverOrg).

In 2017 and 2018, expect the walls between SalesTech and MarTech to crumble.  The opportunity to offer a solution for both departments via a shared reference database will continue to drive strategy at these firms.  As MarTech begins to consolidate, expect M&A activity within the sector and vertically with SalesTech vendors.

Sales Intelligence vendors have key assets that benefit marketing departments including large company and contact datasets for prospecting and enrichment; firmographic data for lead scoring, targeting, segmentation, and routing; and the growing ability to tie leads to accounts in real-time.  They are also well positioned to support ABM functionality with profiling, analytics (segmentation, Total Addressable Market analysis), and look-a-like prospecting.

Of course, MarTech is also beginning to eye SalesTech.  Last spring, Demandbase acquired Spiderbook and leveraged its capabilities to launch their DemandGraph relationship dataset.  The expanded content set employs semantic mining and machine learning to assemble the “entire business network of a company” which helps  “identify which companies and buying committees are in-market for particular solutions.”  The DemandGraph helps users target in-market accounts, identify key buyers, uncover meaningful insights, and deliver personalized content.  While they have not announced specific predictive tools or capabilities, they are hinting at such tools.

Demandbase DemandGraph
Demandbase DemandGraph

Meanwhile, the predictive analytics companies, which originally focused on lead scoring, are now building sales functionality including net-new contacts at accounts, account prioritization, flagging churn candidates,  and providing recommendations for sales reps.

Things are just beginning to get interesting.