Form Follows Function

InsideView users can quickly target additional executives by function and level.
InsideView users can quickly target additional executives by function and level.

One of the key aphorisms in architecture is that form follows function.  The quote, attributed to Louis Sullivan, holds that a building’s design should be based upon the underlying purpose of the building, not driven by ornamentation.  Twentieth century design took this maxim to heart with similar thinking spreading through industrial and software design.

In the case of information services, a focus on flashy design or “bells and whistles” can be a distraction if the underlying service fails to meet the basic informational and workflow needs of its users.  One of the great things about Google is that it returns high precision results from a few words entered into a search box.  It was this simplicity that allowed them to grab and hold two-thirds of the search engine market share, leaving Bing and Yahoo! to pick up the scraps.

A well-designed sales intelligence solution supports multiple sales and support workflows.  These users span multiple functions and departments (e.g. sales, sales directors, sales operations, sales support, service departments, business development, and marketing).  Furthermore, there are multiple types of sales reps within larger organizations so your sales intelligence platform needs to be flexible enough to meet differing information requirements and workflows.

Thus, tactical sales reps need to quickly locate contact information and a few prospect qualification variables.  They want to make sure that the contact they are about to call is in their territory and doesn’t work at a subsidiary of a named account.

Conversely, a strategic rep has broad information requirements around companies, company structures, executives, and key events.  Strategic reps are focused on who to call, when to call, and what to say.  Sales triggers are not only a flashing green light that a prospect is more likely to buy, but conversational material for catching the prospect’s attention and signaling that the rep has prepared for the call.  Likewise, SWOT reports, biographies, industry market research reports provide insights into client interests and needs.

Named account reps sell only to a few firms so need a deep understanding of their target accounts.  They need to be apprised of key events at an organization that could positively or negatively impact their pipeline.  Furthermore, named account reps are looking for additional contacts and locations for extending their corporate footprint.   Thus, searching across a company for specific job functions and then reviewing subsidiary profiles and bios is an important task in growing the account.  Named account reps also benefit from PDF exportability so they can review the latest information about their client or prospect while traveling.  These reports can also be shared with other members of the sales and support team.

Territory reps and financial services relationship managers need to be apprised of sales triggers within their territory, quickly research and qualify companies, and dig deeper on larger opportunities.  Furthermore, as they generally sell cross-industry, they  also benefit from industry overviews from vendors such as First Research.  These primers are written in plain English and provide a set of Q&A sections by topic and job function.

First Research reports, found in Dun & Bradstreet products, provide a series of Q&A topics by C-level functions, opportunities, and challenges.
First Research reports, found in Dun & Bradstreet products, provide a series of Q&A topics by C-level functions, opportunities, and challenges.

Most reps work within a CRM, so review the capabilities of sales intelligence CRM connectors.  The tighter the integration the better.  If your CRM is your system of record, you want the sales reps working within the CRM on desktops and mobile devices.  Services that bounce the user between a web browser and the CRM are less effective than those that provide most or all of their content and functionality within Salesforce.com, MS Dynamics, or other CRMs.  Also, look for “stare and compare” updating of records, batch and real-time synchronization of data, custom fields, and duplicate checking.

Many sales intelligence services also support the marketing department.  Standardizing the two functions on a common vendor helps reduce cost and channel conflict.  It also provides a basis for successful ABM programs which cross the two departments.  Several years ago, sales intelligence vendors only offered prospecting to marketing, but now they also support web forms, real-time and batch enrichment of leads, lead-to-account mapping, marketing automation connectors, lead scoring, segmentation analysis, Ideal Customer Profiling, TAM analysis, and net-new leads and contacts.  A few also offer standalone services for the marketing department such as programmatic advertising, visitor id, multi-channel marketing, and SEO.

When evaluating sales intelligence solutions, you should understand the workflows and information requirements of each of your sales groups along with other potential beneficiaries of the service.  Don’t evaluate simply on counts and features, but on the information needs and workflows of your various sales and marketing teams.

Zoominfo Growth Acceleration Platform 2.0 Unveiled

Zoominfo prospecting now includes technographic screening and dynamic counts which update as variables are selected.
Zoominfo prospecting now includes technographic screening and dynamic counts which update as variables are selected.

ZoomInfo unveiled the 2.0 version of its Growth Acceleration Platform to customers at its Growth Acceleration Summit in Boston this month.  Amongst the new features are a refreshed user interface, email tools, and expanded prospecting variables including Product / Vendor technographic selects.  The upgraded platform is currently in beta with general availability in Q4.

According to the firm, “ZoomInfo’s Growth Acceleration platform combines the most comprehensive and actionable B2B market intelligence with tools that help optimize sales and marketing effectiveness, jumpstart growth, and maximize profitability.”

The new user interface is cleaner and supports dynamic display which adjusts by form factor.  All of the pages, including company and contact profiles, employ a common look and feel.  Prospecting was simplified with complex stacked queries being less prominent.  However, they are still available to ZoomInfo’s data services team and power users.

Prospecting added product / vendor selects licensed from HG Data.  Multiple products may be entered for screening with the system defaulting to a Boolean OR (AND is supported, but the user needs to enter a multi-product Boolean string with AND logic).

Prospect lists may be maintained as dynamic lists (saved searches) or as fixed saved lists.  The system displays updated counts as each variable is selected. Zoominfo also allows users to suppress contacts purchased in lists in the past six months from search results and when building other lists.

Records may be uploaded from Outlook, Office 365, and Salesforce for enhancement and targeting.  Enhanced list analytics include pre and post data quality scores along with segmentation analysis. The Enhance Preview provides an analysis of the input data quality file, as well as a detailed report on what information was added, corrected, or confirmed using ZoomInfo’s data. The Data Profile tool shows users a breakdown of information about the user’s list, including top industries, job titles, revenues, and employee count.

The Zoominfo Enhance module provides before and after data quality statistics along with segmentation analysis on the Data Profile tab.
The Zoominfo Enhance module provides before and after data quality statistics along with segmentation analysis on the Data Profile tab.

Users can also upload an ABM account list for key contact targeting.

Company profiles include an expanded set of social media links (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube), related companies (licensed from Owler), and technology data.  Tech data is displayed as summary product counts by category.  The rep clicks on the product category to expand it by product.  Unfortunately, the service does not support customized filtering of products or categories by key competitors or complementary platforms.  As HG Data supports thousands of products, it would be a nice enhancement to support pre-configured product categories and products.  Otherwise, valuable account planning insights may be obscured.

Contact profiles now display more information about the company associated with the profile without the need to navigate to a separate profile.

The ReachOut Chrome connector, which provides on-demand company and executive intelligence from websites and LinkedIn, exports to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft.  Users can also send emails from within LinkedIn.

A new Outlook connector provides contact profiles from within Outlook along with one-click add to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft.  Salesforce duplicate checking is employed if it is turned on.  Users can upload records from Zoominfo’s ReachOut Chrome connector or Outlook as either Leads or Contacts / Accounts (previously this was only available from the Growth Acceleration Platform).  ZoomInfo will create Account records for Contacts if one does not exist in SFDC.

The new Zoominfo Connector for Outlook displays inline company and contact intelligence for each of the parties on an email. This feature helps with researching buying committee members and influencers.
The new Zoominfo Connector for Outlook displays inline company and contact intelligence for each of the parties on an email. This feature helps with researching buying committee members and influencers.

This feature helps with researching buying committee members and influencers.

While ZoomInfo partners with Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) vendors Outreach and SalesLoft, ZoomInfo has added light ABSD email features such as email templates and live email tracking. Templates include dynamic tags for information such as contact name and company name which fill in automatically with ZoomInfo data.  Emails are sent from the user’s default email program.

The ZoomInfo global database has grown to 220 million professional profiles (both active and inactive) and 13 million companies.  The dataset is updated continuously based upon web crawlers and a 300,000 user community that shares email signature data.  Zoominfo offers one of the deepest sets of contacts with emails and direct dial numbers.

Openprise Data Market

Openprise launched a Data Marketplace to assist with ingesting and normalizing third-party B2B and B2C data. Amongst the platforms supported are Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua, and Pardot. The Data Marketplace, part of the Openprise Data Orchestration platform, includes built-in rules to ensure data is properly onboarded. Users can set primary, secondary, and tertiary providers with multi-vendor data normalization rules.

“We’re excited to make ZoomInfo’s 210 million businesspeople and 11 million businesses available on the Openprise Data Marketplace,” said Phil Garlick, VP Corporate Development at ZoomInfo. “Openprise’s data cleansing and unification capabilities, combined with ZoomInfo’s data accuracy, provides marketing and sales teams with an unparalleled solution to run more effective campaigns.”

Other B2B Partners include InsideView, Orb Intelligence, Synthio (FKA Social123), and Dun & Bradstreet. Additional vendors are in the final certification stages. Openprise claims that new data providers can be setup in minutes.

Customers can extend pre-existing vendor contracts or take advantage of pre-negotiated discounts.

“Earlier this year, we surveyed 175 marketing professionals to identify data marketplace trends and published our findings in the B2B Data Market Industry Report,” said CEO Ed King. “We found that companies that worked with multiple data providers were much more likely to be satisfied with their third-party data, but those same companies expressed how much they struggled with pulling multiple providers’ data into their marketing and sales system of record while maintaining a consistent set of standards. Openprise Data Marketplaces solves this problem.”

Openprise polled marketers on which B2B data providers they have deployed. Source: "B2B Data Market Industry Report: 2017"
Openprise polled marketers on which B2B data providers they have deployed. Source: “B2B Data Market Industry Report: 2017”

The B2B Data Market Industry Report also asked which vendors were being deployed. The survey of 175 B2B marketers at firms with at least 200 employees found the top three vendors were Zoominfo (40%), InfoUSA (36%), and Data.com (35%). Surprisingly Sales Genie matched D&B/Hoovers amongst all of the surveyed marketers and exceeded it amongst enterprises.  InfoUSA rates were likely higher than the other firms as it offers both business and consumer data while Dun & Bradstreet/Hoovers and many of the other vendors offer strictly B2B data.

The most common use case for B2B data vendors is identifying additional contacts at target companies (62%). Marketers also looked to B2B companies to identify additional target accounts (52%) and append missing fields (50%). Only 37% were looking to B2B data vendors to cleanse their database.

The survey participants were well distributed across B2B industries with an over weighting to advertising / marketing.

Creditsafe Expanded Country Coverage

CreditSafe Global Coverage Map
Creditsafe Global Coverage Map

Commercial credit and business profile vendor Creditsafe expanded its coverage footprint to over 100 countries with the addition of sixteen Middle Eastern and North African countries.  Creditsafe is now able to provide real-time reports for 240 million companies.  Key new countries include Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon.  In 2016, the firm added Southeast Asian coverage along with 40 million Chinese company profiles.

“This mark’s the single largest and most significant database expansion we have done to date.  And, it completes our global offering.  No one in the marketplace offers such a comprehensive solution supported by an incredible portfolio of analytics,” said Matthew Debbage, CEO of Creditsafe USA and Asia.  “Not only have we added critical financial data on thousands of public and private companies to our platform, but we are providing insight on many located in Middle East and Africa which have proven to be complex economies in the past. We can now provide International Database Reports on millions of companies instantly online. No one else in the market offers the level of data that we do.”

Based on its coverage map, the most significant gaps are in Latin America (e.g. Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica) and Africa (e.g. South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia).

Creditsafe processes over one million daily updates collected from over 200 sources.  Furthermore, the firm claims that 99.9% of report requests are delivered in real-time.

Last year, Creditsafe launched US and UK sales intelligence services under the Sales Joe brand.  The product provides prospecting, look-a-like customers, light SFA tools (e.g. notes, dialer support, meeting scheduling), task tracking, and deal opportunity forecasting.

Sales Joe Deal Opportunities assist with pipeline tracking.
Sales Joe Deal Opportunities assist with pipeline tracking.

“The big development during the year was launching our new lead management tool, Sales Joe, which enables businesses to build effective sales campaigns using company information gathered from Creditsafe’s extensive database,” said Chris Robertson, global sales director at Creditsafe Group.  “Our positive results have been fueled by strong customer retention, an increase in new business, and a further expansion and strengthening in our international offering to UK customers.”

Creditsafe revenue has grown 28% over the past twelve months.  The firm maintains 18 offices and supports 200,000 users each day.  Globally, Creditsafe employs 1,500 headcount.

Creditsafe USA posted $12.8 million in 2016 revenue with a three-year CAGR of 75%.  Creditsafe opened US operations in 2012 and services 14,000 US customers out of its Lehigh, PA office.  “Over the past several years, we have focused incredibly hard on building our business and brand in the US,” said Debbage.

Creditsafe UK also posted strong growth with 2016 revenues up 12% to £35.5 million and pre-tax profits of £8.1 million.

“More growth is expected in 2017, our 20th anniversary year,” added Robertson.  “The growing sales force and the new products and technology being introduced this year will ensure our momentum continues and we further set ourselves apart from our competitors.”

Are you ready for EU GDPR Compliance?

On May 25, 2018 the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect, creating data privacy and security concerns for firms both inside and outside of the EU.  The GDPR covers both companies that provide goods and services to EU residents and those that are part of the value chain.  The regulation covers all individuals domiciled within the EU, regardless of where the company is headquartered.

According to Forrester, the regulation has five key requirements:

  • If a firm has “regular, systemic collection or storage of sensitive data,” they need to hire or designate a Data Protection Officer (DPO).  The function may be filled by individuals with legal, privacy, security, marketing, or customer experience.  The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) estimates that the regulation will require 30,000 privacy officers.  The DPO will need to work with security leaders with respect to identity and access management (IAM) and encryption.  They will also be involved in purchasing decisions around CRM, analytics, and other platforms.
  • Should a data breach occur, firms have a-72 hour window for reporting breach details to the authorities and customers.  The window begins as soon as the breach is detected.
  • Privacy must be built into any new projects with a “Privacy-by-design” philosophy.  Forrester stated that “sustained collaboration between teams will be critical, so firms will have to establish new processes to encourage, enforce, and oversee it.” For example, privacy officers will need to review business requirements and development plans related to new apps.
  • Extraterritoriality places requirements on firms outside of the EU, making it a global requirement.  Forrester notes that “a US-based data aggregator that collects and resells EU customers’ data to other business partners will need to comply fully with GDPR requirements, rather than simply meeting international data transfer rules.”
  • Firms will be responsible not only for securing data but providing evidence that they have implemented appropriate risk mitigation.  Thus, a firm can be held in violation even if they have not had customer complaints or data breaches.

US companies are still obligated to comply with the 2016 Privacy Shield agreement between the US and EU.  Forrester also warned UK firms to comply with the GDPR as lowering British privacy standards would only serve to complicate UK-EU data transfer rules post Brexit.

Forrester suggested that firms take a cost-benefit analysis to data instead of simply storing everything:

“Firms will learn to better assess the costs and benefits of records they process, store, and protect. They will progressively focus on collecting, buying, processing, storing, and protecting only the data that offers them the most value and will kill the rest.”

Forrester also suggested that privacy should be part of a firm’s DNA and some firms will integrate privacy into brand perception and the customer experience, providing a basis for competitive advantage.

Osterman Research conducted a survey of mid to large companies subject to the law to identify technology expenditure increases for GDPR compliance.

GDPR compliance expenditure increases (January 2017)
GDPR compliance expenditure increases (January 2017)

GDPR non-compliance costs are potentially very high with penalties up to the greater of €20 million or 4% of total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial year.

Quora: Why is My Information on Zoominfo?

I recently answered two posts on this question.  As Zoominfo data collection is opt-out versus opt-in, executives are sometimes concerned about what is being collected and how they can opt out.  Here is my post:


ZoomInfo collects data about US and international businesspeople. Information is gathered via web crawling (for bio data) and email plugins that collect signature information such as name, title, company, direct dial, and email. This information is then available to its customers who use it primarily for sales, marketing, and executive recruitment. Customer use cases include prospecting lists for B2B email and telemarketing campaigns, data hygiene (i.e. confirming you are still at a company and that your contact information is accurate), and call prep prior to telemarketing or recruitment calls.

Here is an example of how they provide additional information about you to LinkedIn users via their ReachOut Chrome plug-in:

The ZoomInfo ReachOut Chrome connector provides just-in-time company and executive intelligence from corporate websites and LinkedIn.
The ZoomInfo ReachOut Chrome connector provides just-in-time company and executive intelligence from corporate websites and LinkedIn.

ZoomInfo does not collect any consumer or credit information. Thus, they have no lifestyle data, political affiliations, donations, income estimates, age, family details, credit histories, personal emails, mobile phone numbers, or housing data. They focus strictly on your professional persona.

ZoomInfo’s privacy rules and how to opt out of their database can be found on their website.

If you would like to know more about ZoomInfo, I cover them on my blog.

2016 North American Market Size

2016 North American Sales Intelligence Market Sizing Model (Excel)

The Market Size of North American Sales Intelligence Vendors. Includes vendor product features, market share, and notes. GZ Consulting Copyright 2017.

$750.00

For the past few years, I have been sizing the North American Sales Intelligence Market.  This is the largest of the markets as Europe and AsiaPac are more fragmented (the UK is the only other mature market with Bureau van Dijk, Avention UK, Artesian Solutions, and DueDil offering full solutions).

In 2016, I estimated the market at $770 million with LinkedIn Sales Navigator as the top vendor.  While new firms continue to enter, the top ten firms (now eight following the 2017 acquisitions of Avention and RainKing) earn seven of every eight dollars in the industry.

I am making my market model available for license (See PayPal button at top) as an Excel spreadsheet.  It includes revenue numbers by company along with market share, key features, and notes.

The LinkedIn Market Share Section of the 2016 North American Sales Intelligence Market Sizing
The LinkedIn Market Share Section of the 2016 North American Sales Intelligence Market Sizing

I have also broken out two sub-categories: Predictive Analytics and Tech Sales Intelligence.  Predictive Analytics vendors continue to scuffle in the marketplace.  Last September, Gartner sized the global market at between $100 and $150 million.  I have gone back and forth on whether to include them in the larger sales intelligence space, but several of the sales intelligence vendors have added light predictive tools (e.g. Avention, DiscoverOrg, RainKing) while the predictive analytics companies have moved to add enrichment and provide more insights to sales reps.  As such, I see the two product categories moving towards each other so chose to include Lattice Engines, Leadspace, and similar firms.

The Tech Sales Intelligence category (e.g. DiscoverOrg, RainKing, Aberdeen, Corporate360) continues to show strong growth and makes up just over 15% of the market.  Both DiscoverOrg and RainKing have posted remarkable growth over the past few years and merged their efforts last month.  Post acquisition, they are the number three vendor in the space and may hit $120 million in 2017 revenue.  The new powerhouse has 4,000 customers and is looking to expand beyond technology sales to become a general purpose sales intelligence solution.

Acquiring RainKing should move DiscoverOrg well past Data.com (Salesforce) which will likely see declining 2017 revenue.  Salesforce has dropped the ball on Data.com.  They overpromised and under-delivered for years, relying on their ability to bundle the offering with other SFDC products.  As of last month, they are no longer able to deliver Dun & Bradstreet content (D&B WorldBase, Hoovers, and First Research) to new customers (legacy customers retain access).  Unless Data.com has a major content partner announcement at Dreamforce, it is likely to see significant revenue declines in 2017 and 2018 as customers switch to D&B Hoovers for Salesforce and other offerings.

Dun & Bradstreet re-established itself as the #2 vendor in the space with the January 2017 acquisition of Avention and the rebranding of Avention OneSource as D&B Hoovers.  Both companies have struggled to grow revenue with Avention growing slowly over the past few years and Hoovers declining.  However, infusing Avention products with Dun & Bradstreet content both reduces the underlying cost structure of Avention offerings and improves the depth and quality of the content.  Furthermore, Dun & Bradstreet has a much larger sales force which previously has lacked a credible global sales intelligence offering.  Hoovers classic generated nearly all of its revenue in the United States.  Over the next two years, expect to see significant revenue shift from Hoovers Classic to D&B Hoovers.

Three-Toed Sloth By Stefan Laube (Tauchgurke) - Public Domain.
Three-Toed Sloth By Stefan Laube (Tauchgurke) – Public Domain.

Finally, LinkedIn Sales Navigator has established itself as the clear number one vendor in market revenue.  The product didn’t exist five years ago and its competitors still tend to dismiss this gorilla in their midst.  How can they be missing the #1 vendor in the space?  Easy — the gorilla is well camouflaged and appears to be more of a three-toed sloth sleeping in the forest canopy.  Sales reps all use the freemium version of LinkedIn so give little thought to delve further when they ask “how are you obtaining your account intelligence today?” and the response is LinkedIn.  Thus, they enter LinkedIn as the competitor into their CRM, not Sales Navigator.  A few months later when they lose the opportunity, the rep then enters “no decision” into the CRM instead of recognizing a competitive loss.  I have been warning vendors in the space for years about this phenomenon, but they have failed to understand the threat of a gorilla that looks like a three-toed sloth.


N.B. Three-toed sloths inhabit Central and South America and gorillas Central Africa.  This is a metaphor.