Data Orchestration vendor Openprise expanded its Data Marketplace with the addition of seven new vendors: Dun & Bradstreet, Oceanos, DiscoverOrg, KickFire, Acxiom, Cognism and People Data Labs. The Openprise Data Marketplace is a third-party data mart which assists with “onboarding, ingesting and normalizing data” into major platforms such as Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua, Microsoft Dynamics 365.
“Our customers benefit from having access to accurate and complete B2B marketing data – from verified account and contact data to organization charts to intent signals and buying scoops,” said Katie Bullard, DiscoverOrg Chief Growth Officer. “The depth of our data gives sales and marketers a 360-degree view of target accounts and contacts, and our integrations ensure that data is always fresh, complete and up-to-date.”
“Openprise users can now incorporate Oceanos‘ contact hygiene and provisioning solutions directly within their automated processes to improve their demand generation and Account-Based Marketing initiatives,” said Oceanos’ CEO Brian P. Hession. “Our API wraps five leading hygiene vendors into a single solution, further amplifying the benefits marketers realize.”
Openprise assists with cleaning and normalizing customer data, assesses match rates, recommends new data providers, coordinates data processing, and unifies data across systems.
John Donlon, Senior Director of Marketing Operations Strategies at SiriusDecisions, called acquiring and standardizing high quality prospect data as “one of the biggest challenges marketers face” and “critical” to implementing the SiriusDecisions Demand Unit Waterfall. “Any technology that can facilitate that will give organizations a huge leg up not just in understanding their target audience, but in driving meaningful interactions throughout the buyer’s journey.”
Openprise claims that no single data vendor can provide superior data than their platform. They also warned that a multiple vendor strategy is often ineffective due to industry content white labeling, resulting in little incremental value. “With our Multi-Vendor Enrichment Strategy Service, our customers know quantitatively how each incremental vendor’s data will improve their database and they have the processes in place to easily integrate new data in a way that conforms with their existing data policies.”
The Openprise platform supports data onboarding, data cleansing and enrichment, data unification across systems, and data delivery.
The new dataset covers 250,000 operations professionals and is divided into twelve sub-functions: Operations (including COOs), Customer Service, Supply Chain, Facilities Management, Logistics, Corporate Strategy, Office/Store Management, Safety, Real Estate, Physical Security, Quality Management, and Construction.
“Operations teams are rapidly transforming; in response, there has been an explosion in technology and service providers serving their needs,” said DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Schuck. “Our new operations dataset makes it easy for these companies to find and connect to the right decision-maker, nail their pitch, and save hours of grind.”
DiscoverOrg projects that operations will be the next function transformed by technology. “Operations, which has historically have had to rely on trickle-down budget from IT or other departments, now has a budget of its own,” said Justin Stanley, VP of Data and Research at DiscoverOrg. “Historically, sales to the operations function has been based on long-standing vendor relationships, making it difficult for startups, newcomers, and disruptors to get a piece of the pie. The democratization of data has made it much easier to contact buyers directly (if you can find them) – and beat out older incumbent vendors.”
Furthermore, the budget is “huge” and includes “smart” buildings, security, infrastructure, transportation, insurance, planning, and facilities management.
Stanley noted that operations buyers are focused on efficiency, digitization, automation, and efficiency. They also have a significant role in purchasing and implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) at their facilities. Forbes sized process automation and digitization at $157 billion in 2016 growing to $457 billion by 2020.
But selling into this function is difficult. “First, ‘operations’ is a pretty vague term. It doesn’t usually appear in an employee’s title, so it’s hard to identify exactly the role you’re looking for,” said Stanley. “Second, Operations employees don’t often hold high-profile titles. These aren’t roles that are typically listed on a corporate website, and there aren’t a lot of operations ‘thought leaders’ on LinkedIn. So, they’re difficult to identify – and harder to find contact information for.”
A recent survey by BSG found that the two biggest problems for operations and facilities sales are prospecting and accessing the right decision makers.
“Customers and prospects repeatedly asked for it [an operations database],” said Senior VP of Data and Research Derek Smith. “Over time, it became clear that plenty of people wanted to reach these types of contacts. But there was nowhere to get them.”
DiscoverOrg now covers over 3.6 million contacts across 140,000+ global companies. Data is collected through direct research by their multi-lingual editorial team and refreshed every ninety days. The dataset includes firmographics; contact details like direct dials and verified email addresses; org charts and reporting structures; installed technologies; and buying signals like planned projects, online research behavior, funding announcements and personnel moves.
“We are currently evaluating and prioritizing what our next dataset launch will be,” said Chief Growth Officer Katie Bullard. The database will double in size again this year – some of that growth will be from new dataset launches and most from additional contacts in our existing datasets.”
I wanted to call attention to an excellent article written by Dave Kahle in Industrial Supply which aligns fully with my philosophy on B2B competitive strategy and sales training. For nearly two decades I have emphasized the value of staying above the fray with a focus on a company’s unique value proposition and strengths. While the easiest route is to disparage a competitor, it generally conveys fear and a lack of confidence in your own offering. This tends to undermine trust in your company and its people.
“Disparaging the competition – speaking badly about the company or the individual salespeople, using little innuendos and side comments – all of this says more about us to our customers than it does about the competitors to whom we are referring. It reveals us as small-minded, petty, smug and far more interested in ourselves than we are in our customers.”
Dave Kahle, Author and Sales Trainer
Instead I have advocated only discussing competitors when directly questioned about them. In that case, I have recommended a fast pivot where the rep recognizes a strength and then quickly segues back to their offering. The strength should be real and non-trivial, but not applicable to your customer. For example, if selling to an SMB, saying that the competitor offers highly customizable solutions for enterprises, but your offering is designed for small businesses with a straightforward user experience. Such an approach is honest, differentiates yourself from the competitor, and avoids mudslinging.
Kahle offers several alternative, but equally valuable strategies for staying above the fray. Instead of speaking directly about a specific company, generalize the competition. Generalization “provides you a means of pointing out your distinctiveness without being negative about your specific competitors.”
Kahle also suggests posing statements in question form to help frame the prospect’s thinking;
Don’t say, “Y Company is a small local company that doesn’t have the systems or technology to support you in the long run.” Instead, say, “One of the questions you should ask of every vendor is this, ‘What technology and systems do you have in place to assure that you will be able to support us for the long run?’”
Another strategy is a feature list between companies, but I am not particularly fond of this approach for tech firms as the table needs to be assiduously maintained and it shifts the focus from value to features. Furthermore, such lists aren’t tailored to the needs of individual prospects and prospects are likely to view such collateral as biased. When I used to put together such tools, I avoided simple checklists and instead focused on workflow stages and framed the discussion as features and benefits in the context of each stage. Each comparison was dated and I told sales reps that I would perform a just-in-time review of the tool if it was more than several months old.
“While we can’t change the competition, we certainly are responsible for our attitudes and behaviors toward the competition,” wrote Kahle. “What we say and how we act about the competition can have a daily bearing on our bottom lines. An appropriate attitude and set of practices for dealing with the competition should be an essential part of every salesperson’s repertoire.”
It is easy to disdain the competition and crow about your product or service, but competitors should be respected. They also have well qualified sales reps and some feature advantages. “From the 10,000-foot-high perspective, if your competitors were as flawed as you think they are, they wouldn’t be in business, and your customers wouldn’t be buying from them,” said Kahle. “So, bury those attitudes of superiority, and cast off that disdain for the competition. If your customers didn’t think they presented a viable option, they wouldn’t be buying from them.”
Kahle suggests that if a company is truly focused on its customers’ needs, then competitive offers are irrelevant. “Your mindset, from the beginning, is not a bit focused on the competition, but rather is 100 percent targeted to completely understanding the customer’s requirements. The conversation is not about how you compare to the competition, but rather how you meet the customer’s needs.”
DoD photo by Master Sgt. Lono Kollars, U.S. Air Force. Public Domain.
Manoj Ramnani, CEO of CircleBack, launched his next venture, SalesIntel, as a beta service this month. After spending a decade in the sales and marketing space, Ramnani realized that “high quality and affordable B2B contact data for sales professionals was missing, and that enterprises were looking for a better deal.”
Traditional contact files are around 80% accuracy, but SalesIntel claims 95%+ accuracy through human verification of their contact records. Once added to the database, SalesIntel contacts are subject to a 90-day reverification cycle to maintain accuracy. 95% pushes the limits of accuracy due to the 2 to 2 ½% natural decay rate of contacts based on ongoing executive changes.
SalesIntel currently covers one million U.S. contacts, but it is growing at 100,000 names per week. Ramnani projects that the SalesIntel database will double in size to two million contacts by September.
Every contact record contains an email address and 90% contain direct dial phone number and LinkedIn hyperlinks. SalesIntel also provides headquarter and branch location switchboard numbers.
This data acquisition model is similar to the editorial process implemented at DiscoverOrg which has built a high quality database of three million contacts subject to 90-day human reverification cycles.
Ramnani emphasized that contact quality is even more important in the era of ABM targeting and committee buying:
When they do start a conversation, sales reps lack the contact information to easily include and reach out to everyone involved at an account. Each business decision involves seven buyers on average, but at least info for two of those contacts is expected to be wrong on average. Inaccurate data doesn’t only cost the cost of acquiring the data. It costs your sales team time, profit, and can slow down deals.
SalesIntel CEO Manoj Ramnani
SalesIntel also supports ABM lookup of contacts at companies and broader list building. Screening covers basic location, employee, revenue, title, and name filters along with six job levels, nine departments, and industry codes (SIC and NAICS). Location screening is limited to State and ZIP codes. Up to 500 records may be downloaded at a time.
The basic service offers 50 view-only contacts per month for $50. The standard service provides 100 downloadable contacts per month for $100 and the Advanced service provides 250 contacts per month for $250. A Salesforce integration and technographic selects are coming later this month.
“My team and I started this journey six months ago with the mission to make sales professionals’ lives easier,” Ramnani said. “We realize that salespeople shoulder the most important responsibility for the existence and growth of their organizations, namely, revenue growth. Our goal is to use the power of machine gathering and human verification to make their lives easier by providing them with the highest quality data on the market.”
SalesLoft added enhanced LinkedIn SNAP messaging tools to its sales engagement services. Sales reps can now send InMails, request connections, submit introduction requests, and conduct research from within SalesLoft and Salesforce. These steps can be built into SalesLoft cadences.
“According to our data science team’s research on derived cadences, more than half of all steps outside of email and phone in SalesLoft cadences are already LinkedIn actions,” blogged SalesLoft Product Marketing Manager Sunshine Levin. “The ability to incorporate LinkedIn Sales Navigator social selling steps from within SalesLoft is important to you, and we listened!”
At SalesLoft’s 2018 Rainmaker event, Doug Camplejohn, VP of Product Management Sales Solutions at LinkedIn, cited LinkedIn research concerning InMail efficacy. While emails have only a 3% response rate, InMails average a 15% response rate. Even more impressive, the best sales reps can achieve greater than a thirty percent response rate.
“LinkedIn-specific steps help salespeople stay focused, do less application switching, and deliver a better sales experience,” said Levin. “The TOPO 2017 Sales Development Touch Report states that more than 80% of sales professionals are leveraging the triple-touch approach of email, phone, and LinkedIn in their sales cadences. Furthermore, over 50% of touches outside of email and phone are through LinkedIn.”
Reps must have active Team or Enterprise Sales Navigator accounts in order to take advantage of this new feature set.
Also new to SalesLoft is a Zipwhip app which allows reps to insert text messaging steps into their cadences. Texts can also be sent and received from a business phone from within SalesLoft. Inbound and outbound messages are grouped into conversations and displayed as part of the contact’s activity feed.
CreditSafe USA added payment and trade line intelligence to its US credit reports. Expanded intelligence includes trade line information from business leases, commercial credit cards and term loans that will enable businesses to make better, more informed decisions. Other information includes total credit utilization, past due amounts, at risk balances, and closed accounts.
“While business credit reports and scores are traditionally put together using a variety of public and private information covering business demographics and company-to-company trade payment data, the addition of payment data showing not just how a business pays its bills, but how it pays its term loans, commercial cards and other debts takes our reports to another level,” said Matthew Debbage, CEO of Creditsafe’s Americas and Asia-Pacific division. “Creditsafe has built its reputation and success on doing things differently. We are committed to changing the way business information is used and by adding in this payment data to our U.S. offering we are continuing to do just that and to provide American businesses with a compelling option. Our Analysis shows that a typical user will now have the added benefit of seeing financial payment data on over 40% of previously ‘thin credit file’ companies. We believe this increase in data availability is a complete game-changer.”
The new financial details span $220 billion in commercial transactions from 400 financial institutions.
A 2016 Manta survey of small businesses identified a “major knowledge gap” concerning business credit scores. The survey of 3,000 businesses found that almost three in four did not now their own credit score and sixty percent did not know where to obtain such intelligence.
HG Data recently unveiled a set of enhancements to its HG Data for Salesforce app. The Lightning Data app now supports integrated account prospecting and lead enrichment, features heavily requested by their customer base. HG Data’s firmographic and technographic content is also available for lead routing, scoring, and segmentation.
Lead Enrichment supports both real-time and scheduled batch enrichment with firmographic and technographic intelligence. Lead records are updated every fourteen days. Webform leads passed through Marketo and Pardot are processed in real-time, enabling immediate lead scoring and routing.
HG Data technographic intelligence is also available for Salesforce reports, dashboards, workflows, and triggers. For example, Salesforce admins can build reports based upon technology usage scores or trigger Chatter messages informed by which platforms are deployed at leads.
According to CEO Elizabeth Cholawsky, “Our lead enrichment capabilities allow marketing groups to engage with prospects earlier and more meaningfully in the sales cycle for things like contextual outreach programming, more personalized lead nurturing, targeted content marketing, and other top of funnel activities.”
The new Discover Companies functionality supports both direct account lookup and list building. Selection facets are displayed in a right-handed window and include firmographics (e.g. HQ country, state, and city; revenue and employee ranges; industry) and technographics (product, product category, and vendor). The results list flags current accounts to help prevent duplicates but does not contain a suppress current accounts feature. Users may select up to 25 accounts at a time for immediate import to Salesforce.
Technographic prospecting helps expand the scope of target accounts as it helps identify firms using both complementary and competitive platforms. Users can then refine the list via firmographics.
“One of the biggest discoveries B2B sales and marketing teams make when they start using our technographic data is that their known available market might be 3 to 5 times bigger than they had thought,” said Cholawsky. “The latest version of our app enables users to take fast and precise action by allowing them to import net new accounts directly into their Salesforce CRM instance based on our leading comprehensive tech installation data and supplemental firmographics.”
“Everyone and everything is getting smarter and more connected than ever before, and companies are looking to transform the way they connect with customers, partners and employees,” said Kori O’Brien, SVP, ISV Sales, Salesforce. “By leveraging the power of the Salesforce Platform, HG Data provides customers with an easy way to use and access technographic data to better inform their marketing and sales programs.”
Pricing begins at $5,000 per annum for HG Data for Salesforce. If the Discover Companies module is included, the minimum price begins at $6,000. Volume pricing is available with tiers at 50 and 500 employees.
HG Data offers sales and marketing intelligence services to tech titans (e.g. Microsoft, HPE, IBM, Dell, Salesforce), predictive analytics companies (e.g. LeadSpace, Everstring, Lattice Engines), and sales intelligence vendors (e.g. TechTarget, Dun & Bradstreet, Zoominfo).
HG Data employs 65 and has raised $24 million in funding to date. Investors include Updata Partners, Rincon Ventures, Epic Ventures and Stepstone Capital.
Data coverage now spans 12.4 million global locations across 8,000 technology products and 4,000 vendors. HG Data uses advanced data science to parse billions of structured and unstructured documents each month. Technographic insights are derived from over twenty different document types including case studies, white papers, press releases, blogs, job postings, and government documents.
Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor InsideView rolled out a Marketing Suite for Microsoft 365 which packages add-on prospecting and enrichment capabilities for the Microsoft 365 InsideView service. The new suite helps “modern marketers grow and improve the quality of their pipeline, prioritize leads, find and engage ideal prospects and customers, and support account-based marketing (ABM) programs.”
The Marketing Suite bundles InsideView Enrich (lead and webform enrichment), InsideView Target (list building), and InsideView Refresh (Batch Account updates). InsideView is offering special “Suite Deal” pricing.
InsideView has long provided a natively embedded free Insights service for North American sales reps within Dynamics.
InsideView Apex, their recently launched go-to-market decision engine, is a further option for the Marketing Suite.
“Today, as more B2B marketers use targeted strategies like account-based marketing to expand customer relationships and win new ones, they need a marketing automation solution that helps them identify and engage with the best opportunities,” said Joe Andrews, InsideView VP of product and solution marketing. “The InsideView Marketing Suite builds on the foundation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing so marketers can tap into our Targeting Intelligence to get higher quality data, make better marketing decisions, and execute more successful targeted marketing programs. As a Microsoft OEM partner, InsideView is always looking for ways to extend the value we can offer their customers.”
At last month’s Growth Acceleration Summit, ZoomInfo previewed a lead scoring feature which will be available later this year. Users will build models for ideal customers and the associated scores will be displayed across the product including in lists, profiles, and enriched web leads. The goal is to “customize ZoomInfo to each and every one of you,” said CMO Hila Nir at her Product Roadmap presentation. Customization also includes routing and territory management. ZoomInfo will continue to offer tools which foster sales and marketing alignment and look to “take noise out of sales and marketing organizations.”
The company hinted at email templating and territory dashboards, but did not provide details on these future product concepts beyond conference screenshots. Email templating is most commonly found in Sales Engagement services such as Outreach, SalesLoft, and ConnectLeader.
While Zoominfo has not released financials, Garlick indicated that the firm had a strong 2017 marked by “really fast revenue growth.” The firm also added over 100 staff and 2,000 customers in the past year. He attributed the firm’s success to hard work, teamwork, sweat, and tears.
ZoomInfo pricing is a hybrid between number of seats and number of records licensed. While the firm used to be transparent about its pricing, they stopped posting such details a few years ago.
Zoominfo held its third annual Growth Acceleration Summit in Boston last month. The event projected increasing marketing confidence by the firm, with Earvin “Magic” Johnson keynoting and lectures by many of the top sales and marketing thought leaders including Jay Baer, Convince & Convert; Tiffani Bova, Salesforce; and Keenan, A Sales Guy, Inc. Analyst sessions included Sirius Decisions, Heinz Marketing, and Forrester.
The event also provided a forum for announcing ZoomInfo’s latest Growth Acceleration Platform features. New capabilities include a revamped ReachOut 2.0 Chrome Connector and a HubSpot Connector.
Magic, who has a long history of success in business and team ownership, provided personal anecdotes about his basketball and business career. Key pointers includied hiring self-motivated staff that are smarter than you so as to continuously renew the organization; make sure you over deliver on customer expectations; and reward your staff, not just executives, as it is the staff that will ensure your ability to continuously over deliver; Finally, he said that there are too many competitors out there to ever relax – both businesses and athletes need to continuously improve.
The new Hubspot connector allows users to upload Accounts and Contacts to Hubspot with a click of a button from either a browser or the ReachOut Chrome connector. The HubSpot integration also supports ZoomInfo Complete which provides on demand enrichment at record creation. ZoomInfo Complete for HubSpot is currently in beta.
ReachOut 2.0 streamlines account and contact research from within Chrome, providing instant access to ZoomInfo intelligence while browsing. The service is context sensitive, providing company and contact profiles based upon the current LinkedIn record, URL, or CRM record being viewed. The service also supports quick export to Salesforce, Hubspot, Microsoft Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft. When expanded into an 80% screen view, full company and contact intelligence is displayed. Company insights include location, firmographics, people at company by job function, company locations with contacts and location counts per geography, technologies used (licensed from HG Data), and competitors (licensed from Owler). Contact data includes company intelligence along with an expanded set of social links and contact details.
The 80% ReachOut expanded view supports full prospecting both across companies and within a single firm. Users can quickly select records and share them to CRM (Salesforce, MS Dynamics, HubSpot) or Sales Engagement platforms (Outreach, SalesLoft). Being able to enlarge to the 80% view allows Zoominfo to pack a full-featured offering into ReachOut, helping it expand from a tool to a full-service product.
ReachOut now supports user tagging allowing users to store campaigns, lead source, etc.
“If you combine your own intelligence with Big Data, you create for yourself a crystal ball that gives you the ability to focus your attention on the most important things that need to get done,” said CEO and Chief Scientist Yonatan Stern. “When you focus, it doesn’t cost you more money, but you can increase productivity and profitability.”
“Over the last year, we have doubled down on our strategy of making ZoomInfo’s contact and company data available on the platforms where our customers live,” said Phil Garlick, VP of corporate development. “In keeping with that strategy, we have released two new products that integrate seamlessly with a host of platforms and systems our customers use.”
Also unveiled at the Summit was ZoomInfo’s new ZoomInfo University certification program, “a comprehensive, hands-on certification program that enables B2B professionals to fully leverage its B2B contact and account database for business results.”
The new training program teaches best practices around persona development, lead scoring and routing, market segmentation and territory management, campaign strategies, and data management.
“ZoomInfo University is designed to strengthen your knowledge of the industry and usage of the entire ZoomInfo Product Suite,” said Garlick. “It’s both a deep dive of capabilities and the beginning of a lasting growth acceleration journey.”
ZoomInfo continues to be confident in their data quality due to their Community product which provides them with access to email signature blocks. According to a sales rep, records updated within the past year have a 90% deliverability rate. He noted, however, that deliverability will vary by industry and function due to the underlying contact decay rates of various segments. For high decay functions (e.g. sales) and industries (e.g. high tech), he suggested using the six-month update select to ensure receiving the highest quality leads.