Artesian Opportunity View

Social Selling vendor Artesian Solutions added a novel Opportunity feature which combines Artesian’s company intelligence with Salesforce’s Opportunity Stages. Available both within the AppExchange and via browsers, the tool assists with pipeline analysis and forecasting.

To date, most sales intelligence firms have focused on displaying their company and contact information within CRMs. Few have looked at enriching their content with CRM account intelligence to create browser mashups between the CRM and Sales Intelligence content (an exception is D&B Hoover’s CRM Watchlist). I’m not aware of any other vendor leveraging Salesforce stage data.

According to Artesian, “Sales leaders can interrogate each team member’s open pipeline and facilitate proactive conversations about key developments within individual accounts. The result is an improvement in forecast accuracy and more meaningful sales engagements.”

Artesian is the first sales intelligence vendor to combine Sales Intelligence into an Opportunity stage view. Users can quickly create Leads, Tasks, and Opportunities from the browser edition.
Artesian is the first sales intelligence vendor to combine Sales Intelligence into an Opportunity stage view. Users can quickly create Leads, Tasks, and Opportunities from the browser edition.

Users can quickly create Leads, Tasks, and Opportunities from the browser edition.

The Opportunity View allows reps and managers to focus on specific topics such as risk triggers for their most important deals. Managers see an aggregated view of the deals for the people in their teams or can filter by sales rep and stage. Artesian’s Head of US Operations Mike Blackadder listed the features benefits as “more accurate forecasting, deal acceleration, and improved stickiness.”

Users can add Salesforce Leads, Tasks, and Opportunities from within the browser version. They also have a quick navigation option to the CRM Account view.

Additional Opportunities View enhancements are planned for early summer.

DiscoverOrg Tellwise Connector

DiscoverOrg released its latest Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) connector with the rollout of a Tellwise integration.  Joint customers will be able to pass DiscoverOrg intelligence to Tellwise.  The Tellwise service supports a broad set of ABSD features along with Salesforce, MS Dynamics, Chrome, Outlook, and Gmail integrations.  DiscoverOrg is their first content provider integration, but they plan to add others in the future.

Tellwise was founded four years ago by former Microsoft engineers.  According to their CEO Conrad Bayer, their goal is to unify sales communications across channels with respect to user experience, flow, data synchronization, and analytics. The long term mission is to create an omni-channel platform designed for the seller that makes them more effective through higher volume and better insights.

Much of the activity within Tellwise is managed through a Google Chrome extension.  This allows users to operate within other platforms for most of the service’s functionality.  Features include a phone dialer, email templates, prospect chat, presentation tools, and an activity feed.  The system creates personal landing pages for each linked document, allowing Tellwise to track attachments.  These links also provide a mechanism for sending an on-demand chat message to a prospect or for presenting materials.  The system notifies sales reps when documents are being read, providing an opportunity to chat with the prospect or share a presentation.

“Productivity for outbound sales reps is driven by their ability to get accurate contact data and an effective way to communicate and measure activity with those contacts. That is what is so exciting about this partnership between DiscoverOrg and Tellwise.  We are solving two of the most challenging sales problems at the same time. DO provides world class data and Tellwise provides a world class communication platform right from within DiscoverOrg. So far, we have seen this new integration double the effectiveness of our mutual customers,” said Bayer.

DiscoverOrg with the Tellwise Chrome extension opened in the right-hand panel.
DiscoverOrg with the Tellwise Chrome extension opened in the right-hand panel.

Tellwise has a novel mechanism for transferring data from DiscoverOrg to its platform and CRMs.  Instead of downloading a file or running a batch synch, Tellwise users open up the Chrome Browser extension and the current prospecting list is automatically populated as a list within the Chrome extension.  Users can then act on individual leads or take group actions.  It is only when one or multiple records have an action taken (e.g. Place call, Send batch email) that records are synched between DiscoverOrg, Tellwise, and the CRM.

The combination of Tellwise and DiscoverOrg’s technologies enables SDRs to have access to highly accurate contact information and intelligence on their prospects at exactly the right moment they need to engage with them – allowing for more meaningful connections to occur, in the most appropriate forums, and before competitors can get their foot in the door

  • DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Schuck

Unlike other ABSD vendors, Tellwise does not have a full service cadence/sequence tool, but it has a Tasks tool in beta which provides multi-platform scheduled activities.  The service also lacks a transcription service for calls, but they are working on transcription and sentiment analysis for later this year.

Tellwise pricing ranges between $29 and $79 per month.

Tellwise Pricing
Tellwise Pricing

DiscoverOrg also offers ABSD partnerships with SalesLoft and Outreach.  According to DiscoverOrg, Sales Development Reps can “build highly-segmented prospect lists based on their list of target accounts and buyer personas and push those contacts into streamlined and automated sequences of interactions with their prospects.”

DueDil: New Chairman, Expanded Coverage

DueDil Group Graph for Spotify
DueDil Group Graph for Spotify

DueDil, which provides financial research and sales intelligence services for the UK and Europe, named Alan Millard as its Chairman.  Millard is a consultant for the Table Group and has worked with CEOs and executives at IBM, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, SABmiller, and GSK.  Previously, Millard was the COO at Hiscox UK and CEO of its subsidiary Hiscox Underwriting.

“Alan is helping us transition from a founder led team to an executive led organization,” said DueDil founder and CEO Damian Kimmelman.  “He brings with him the eye of the customer which is so critical as we scale. I am honoured to have him on board guiding our global ambitions.”

DueDil recently expanded its database beyond the UK and Ireland to provide company coverage of France, Germany, Benelux, and the Nordics.  However, they are already talking about a true global dataset to rival Dun & Bradstreet and Bureau van Dijk.  By the end of the year, they expect to offer pan-European coverage and begin to extend their reach to additional global markets.  Thus, their database will grow from 11 million companies at the beginning of the year to 40 million companies in March and 100 million by the end of the year.  Their goal is to be the “largest source of private company information in the world,” said COO Justin Fitzpatrick.

“A more open business world is essential to global growth and prosperity. DueDil is already the largest and richest source of private company information in the U.K., and one of the largest in Europe. We are on an incredible journey to cover over 200 million companies globally by the end of 2018. I am excited to be part of a company that genuinely improves the business landscape and encourages growth and trade,” said Millard.

“Our mission at DueDil is to create the largest source of private company information to help businesses to find opportunity and mitigate risk,” stated DueDil CRO Pierre Berlin at DueDil’s recent Spotlight user conference.  “We help businesses in the digital transformation.  Leveraging it by transforming the business relationship with the key stakeholder in the organization.  Our value proposition at DueDil is to make your business more agile [and] resilient, by providing access to the richest information on the company that matters to you.”

According to Fitzpatrick, DueDil will accomplish their mission via superior data, new insight, and automation.

Along with expanded geographic coverage, DueDil is extending its Know Your Customer (KYC) checks to include beneficial ownership, UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) registration data, and adverse media coverage.  According to the FCA, it “regulates and supervises the conduct of more than 50,000 firms in the UK that provide financial products and services to both UK and international customers.”

In March, DueDil also announced an upgraded API that supports a host of functions including opportunity identification, risk mitigation, auto-populating sign up forms, data enrichment, and verifying credentials during customer onboarding.

The API also supports a new partnership with consumer information vendor CallCredit.  The partners “will offer an integrated solution for verifying a business and the people who run it,” said DueDil Product Marketing Manager Sam Hockley.  Initially the consumer information will only be available via the DueDil API.

Coincidentally, Dun & Bradstreet announced a Beneficial Ownership product a few weeks ago.

LinkedIn StoryLines Launched

StoryLines are trending topics shown on the right side of the LinkedIn Desktop
StoryLines are trending topics shown on the right side of the LinkedIn Desktop

LinkedIn recently introduced their new Storylines feature parallel to the LinkedIn feed.  StoryLines are “curated interest-based feeds that surface developing stories to help you discover and discuss news, ideas, and diverse perspectives from the largest group of professionals, publishers and editorial voices ever assembled.”

Articles are based upon information LinkedIn has about each reader such as their industry.  StoryLines are intended to combine industry expertise with individual network commentary.  A unique hashtag makes “it easy for you to join the conversation and add your own take on the issue.”

LinkedIn emphasized that StoryLines promotes a diversity of opinions and sources.  “Each story includes multiple perspectives, ranging from news publishers and influencers, to people in your network, so that you can easily weigh up diverse opinions”

StoryLines are curated via a combination of editorial curation and algorithmic filters.  When stories break, an editor writes a summary and identifies diverse sources.  An algorithm then adds additional member commentary.  This approach ensures a multiplicity of views that pull members out of “filter bubbles” which would otherwise reinforce current views and biases.  Topics will be business related

“I don’t want just one point of view”

  • LinkedIn VP of Product Tomer Cohen

Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn believes it can avoid the problems of “fake news.”  Inaccurate content that is intentionally deceptive, including fake news, is not acceptable on our site,” said VP of Product Tomer Cohen.  “Our combination of algorithms and editors creates an experience where trending news is validated by editorial to ensure that it is professional and comes from trusted sources.”

Cohen added, “The content members write and share on LinkedIn becomes part of their professional identity — it can be seen by their boss, colleagues, and potential business partners. Promoting fake news can damage your reputation, and there is no hiding behind anonymity on LinkedIn.”

Other features include related stories and follow options for topical experts.

The new feature is being rolled out to US members and then will expand internationally.

LinkedIn mobile also added feed personalization tools which will soon be available via desktop.  Amongst the filters are options to follow companies, industry leaders, and publications.  Users can also hide posts, and unfollow people and companies.  Unfollowing people allows users to retain connections without seeing the connections posts.

LinkedIn has struggled to customize their feed for users, but StoryLines sounds like a smart innovation.  By creating a curated trending topic category and placing it to the right of the feed, they can provide relevant content and discussions without it overwhelming the user feed.  Furthermore, by curating a set of diverse viewpoints, members are provided with a broader set of perspectives.

Since the beginning of the year, I have noticed an improvement in LinkedIn’s feed.  Gone are the eye candy stories from Business Insider covering bots and bikes.  Also, there are fewer viral stories about enterprising individuals overcoming hardship.  Instead, they have done a better job of surfacing posts from my connections and articles in my field.

The launch of Sales Navigator Enterprise (covered last week) was another indicator that they are focusing more on the Professional side of Professional Social Networking.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Enterprise Launched

An embedded User Guide is displayed within a PointDrive page. Commentary is provided by sales reps.
An embedded User Guide is displayed within a PointDrive page. Commentary is provided by sales reps, allowing them to personalize embedded documents or multi-media elements.

LinkedIn unveiled a series of enhancements to Sales Navigator including a new Enterprise Edition, CRM widgets, and integration of PointDrive into the Team and Enterprise editions.  The Enterprise edition includes Single Sign-On, PointDrive sales messaging, 50 InMails per month per user, and TeamLink Extend.

These features are on top of recent Sales Navigator screening enhancements.

While the original TeamLink feature was limited to Sales Navigator subscribers that opted into the service, TeamLink Extend allows opted-in co-workers to share their personal LinkedIn networks with sales reps, even if they are not Sales Navigator licensors.  “That means, if you’re trying to reach a prospect, you can quickly see if anyone in your company has a connection with that person, and reach out to your colleague to ask for warm introduction,” said LinkedIn Sales Solutions Head of Products Doug Camplejohn.

The first 1,000 TeamLink Extend seats are included as part of the Enterprise Edition contract.

PointDrive, which LinkedIn acquired last summer, is designed to solve two problems with emails: attachment laden emails lack “control over narrative” as emails provide little flow, story, and “experience for the buyer.”  Also, they provide no visibility into who is viewing the email.  Thus, post-demo messaging is haphazard as emails don’t communicate a story very well.

According to LinkedIn, there are 5.4 decision makers involved in the buying decision which means that there is a high probability that sales emails with rich media attachments are being forwarded to others.

Bill Burnett, Director of LinkedIn Sales Solutions stated that the goal of PointDrive is to “turn this [email] exchange into a truly more engaging experience” which provides real-time sales signals about what content decision makers are viewing.  Instead of sending long emails, buyers are directed to a PointDrive landing page which allows the sales rep to control brand, content, and commentary.  PointDrive was designed as a “mobile first” interface with landing pages supporting both traditional and mobile browsers.

PointDrive Profile
PointDrive Profile

Brand and product information are “now presented in a way that truly differentiates and engages the buyer” through personalization and organization.  PointDrive also provides easy access to sales rep bios and contact information (see image on left).  Each attachment is displayed in a framed box with sales rep narratives and document descriptions alongside the marketing piece.  PointDrive supports embedded collateral, pricing sheets, presentation decks, multimedia, and images which are all displayed within the PointDrive landing page.  Users do not need to download content or window out to other documents.

PointDrive is customized to the seller allowing firms to convey their brand identity.  Burnett claims that creating a PointDrive is “as simple as creating an email.”  Users upload content and grab links, videos, and Google Maps.  “We’ll lay your brand and identity on top of it for you so that when you are ready to share with your leads [and] share with your connections,” said Burnett.

Real-time alerting metrics are provided for each document view.  Thus, PDF analytics indicate who viewed the document, when viewed, how much total time buyers or influencers spent viewing the document, total pages viewed, and how much time was spent on each page.  It even captures the viewing browser and location of the viewer.  This intelligence is available for both the original recipients and any forwarded viewers.

Sales reps have control over actions taken on PointDrive embedded content.  They can block downloads, password protect the element, set expiration dates, and track forwards.

Burnett calls this a “new way for sellers within Sales Navigator to engage with customers and prospects much deeper into the sales funnel.”  The service also provides “tremendous value for account managers or anybody inside of your organization that’s communicating on a regular basis” with customers and prospects.

“The new Sales Navigator features are to enhance the overall customer experience of Sales Navigator, and to integrate it into daily workflows to get people the information they need as easily as possible,” said LinkedIn Senior Marketing Manager Derek Pando.

PointDrive is available as part of the baseline Team and Enterprise editions.  While Enterprise Edition users will have unlimited access, Team Edition users will be limited to ten PointDrives per seat per month.

The Enterprise Edition includes additional management reports.

A new CRM Sync feature allows sales reps to take notes, send InMails, and track calls from their iOS and Android devices.  Information will initially only synch from Sales Navigator to SFDC, but additional platforms will be supported later this year.

Finally, Sales Navigator added new SFDC and MS Dynamics widgets which display Sales Navigator profile details such as photos, work history, job titles, and TeamLink shared connections.  Widgets will soon be available for Oracle, SAP Hybris, NetSuite, SugarCRM, Hubspot and Zoho.

“LinkedIn is a valuable pool of data that’s a great fit for CRM,” said Ian Campbell, CEO of Nucleus Research.  “As long as it doesn’t limit or preclude users from using other CRM options,” he told CRM Buyer, “this is a good move that will add value.”

Camplejohn told TechCrunch that LinkedIn is not looking to muscle in on Salesforce or other CRMs.

“We’re not competing at all with Salesforce.  We like the position that we are in. Ours is about the connections and activities that are happening. For us, the best play is to be a complement to all CRM systems so that we can exist in that world.”

  • LinkedIn Sales Solutions Head of Products Doug Camplejohn.

The Enterprise Edition begins at $1,600 per seat per year with multi-volume discounting available.  LinkedIn Sales Solutions published the following feature table for the three editions:

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is offered as a three-tiered service.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is offered as a three-tiered service.

EY (Ernst & Young) has already signed up for 30,000 enterprise seats but will be able to leverage TeamLink opt-ins amongst its 250,000 global employees.

Camplejohn hinted to Ingrid Lunden of TechCrunch that gamification and other incentives will be deployed in a future release to encourage TeamLink participation.

Sales Navigator “has good traction with companies focused on B2B sales,” said Constellation Research Principal Analyst Cindy Zhou “Navigator’s ability to facilitate social sales through third-level connections is one of the primary revenue generators for LinkedIn, and a key driver for the Microsoft acquisition.”

Furthermore, PointDrive “provides one centralized location for prospects to access content, and it’s all trackable by sales and marketing.  This is a bonus for organizations considering the Enterprise Edition and a good bundling strategy.”

On the negative side, Zhou raised concerns about whether sales reps would manage the TeamLink opt-in responsibly.  “Organizations using TeamLink will need to be aware of their responsibility to properly train users to not abuse the access to connections.”

Crunchbase Series B

Last week was a busy week for VC funding in the SalesTech space.  Yesterday, I covered SparkLane’s funding round and today I am blogging about PE/VC database Crunchbase which announced an $18 million Series B led by Mayfield.  The funding announcement was paired with the launch of a new team-based Crunchbase Enterprise service.  Crunchbase was spun out of AOL in 2015 with $6.5 million in funding from Emergence Capital followed by a smaller $2 million round.  Crunchbase also laid out plans for a Crunchbase Marketplace that would allow the company to become the “Facebook of company information.”

The new funds will be dedicated towards extending its SaaS offerings, expanding its database, and growing its teams with a “significant commitment to diversity.”

“Mayfield is excited to partner with Jager McConnell and the team at Crunchbase to be the place where consumers, professionals, and businesses can easily access the information on companies to sell to, market to, partner with, finance, work for, research, acquire, and do business with. The early success of Crunchbase Pro and its usability have given us a view into the ambitious vision and roadmap of increasing the breadth, depth, and accessibility of the high-quality data platform Crunchbase is creating,” commented Rajeev Batra, Partner at Mayfield. “Crunchbase not only has a globally dominant position and brand, it has the potential to be a true platform company in becoming the actionable master record for company data.”

Crunchbase funding rounds and investors
Crunchbase funding rounds and investors

Crunchbase now offers an API along with three levels of service: free, Pro ($29 / month), and Enterprise ($99 / user / month with a minimum of five users).  Additional services are in the pipeline.

The free service receives 2.3 million unique visitors per month of which 40%  of site traffic is international.  Pro, which was launched last September, is “well past” 5,000 subscribers according to CEO Jager McConnell.  The firm has licensed its API to more than ten partners including Glassdoor and SimilarWeb.

The new Enterprise service combines Pro with API access, list downloads, email addresses, phone support, and a CRM connector.  The AppExchange service supports daily Crunchbase updates and data change alerts.

Crunchbase product pricing and features table
Crunchbase product pricing and features table

Crunchbase now covers a half million companies and 2,700 VC firms.  Other content includes investors, people, events, and products.  Data is maintained by a team of editors with updates provided to Crunchbase by their member community.  The database also benefits from VC firm updates and machine learning tools which search for anomalous information.  Annually, five million updates are made to the database.

Crunchbase has become the go-to destination for accurate and up-to-date company information for businesses all over the world,” said McConnell. “As we grow, hiring a diverse team will bring a variety of valuable perspectives into the business, which reflects the culture of Crunchbase. This will remain a focus of hiring as the company doubles in size in the next year.”

Crunchbase clients include Affinity, Datafox, Datanyze, Deloitte, Engagio, Everstring, Infer, Microsoft, Nestle, Samsung, Slack, Target, Volkswagen, and IBM Watson.  The firm has forty staff of which 43% are women and half are non-white.

McConnell wants Crunchbase to be the Facebook of company information.  “The premise is: it would be impossible for a single company to find all these slivers of company information, and put it into one spot on their own. They can’t be all those core competencies, so the idea is, let’s go and form these partnerships with all these companies that have those core competencies, put it in one place and, if we do a good job here, the user will say, ‘I know where to go, it’s where all this data comes together, that’s at Crunchbase.’”

To accomplish this vision, Crunchbase is readying a Crunchbase Marketplace of fifteen to twenty partners “to build a true company master record.”  Thus, Glassdoor would provide CEO ratings, employee ratings, and available jobs while SimilarWeb would feature website traffic for a specific company or industry.

Users will have the ability to select which content sets display.  The goal is to cover all of the companies on the Internet.

“Over time, pretty much every data provider that has some slice of company information, we’d like our users to have the ability to go and add that data directly into their experience. Sometimes that will be free, like Glassdoor will be a free dataset, but other times it may even cost a little bit of money to go add in technology stack data, or patent data,” said McConnell.  “Sometimes people want to know not just about funding, but about jobs, the CEO or all the companies in their geography that have a certain amount of website traffic.  Or sales reps want to find people who use a competitive product. Right now, they need three partners to get all that data. We want to let you choose it as part of the experience.”

David Sternis of Deloitte said, “The quality and accessibility of Crunchbase data is second to none. We save an immense amount of time by using Crunchbase Enterprise to power our TechHabor solution in order to stay on top of the innovation and startup landscapes. Our teams spend a fraction of the time they used to on research and market analysis and can prioritize focusing on providing strategic recommendations for our clients.”

Note: While Crunchbase and CB Insights both cover the PE/VC space, they are separate, non-affiliated companies.

Sparklane €4m Funding Round

Sparklane Lead Scoring
Sparklane Lead Scoring

Sparklane, which describes itself as “a publisher of sales intelligence SAAS solutions,” announced that it received a €4m funding round from XAnge and Entrepreneur Venture Investment Fund.  The round raised its total funding to €7m.  XAnge also participated in Sparklane’s previous funding round.

“We were won over by Sparklane’s disruptive positioning and the impressive performance of its management team, prompting us to offer them our renewed support as we participate in this fundraising initiative alongside Entrepreneur Venture,” stated Guilhem de Vregille, Deputy Director of XAnge.

The round allows Sparklane to continue its European expansion.  The French company established itself in the UK in 2016 and is currently eyeing the German market.  The funding will also be directed towards expanding its artificial intelligence capabilities, and growth in their sales and R&D teams.

According to Chairman Frédéric Pichard, the funding round is a “real vote of confidence,” in the company.  “Our goal remains the same: to help marketing and sales people identify their future customers more quickly using Artificial Intelligence.”

Sparklane offers predictive lead scoring and prospecting tools for sales and marketing teams in the UK and France.  Their Predict platform processes client CRM data to define an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), apply predictive lead scores, and identify look-a-like prospects.

Sparklane supports nearly 350 clients across banking, insurance, technology and business services.  The firm was listed in Deloitte’s 2016 EMEA Fast 500 list of technology companies with 265% revenue growth between 2012 and 2015 (three-year CAGR of 54%).