Web content management vendor Episerver acquired web content personalization and analytics firm Idio. Episerver will now be able to predict the interests and intent of buyers and deliver “hyper-relevant” content. The combined company is able to deliver personalized content, product recommendations, product search, triggered emails and messages, and visitor intelligence. B2B solutions span manufacturing, wholesale and distribution, technology, information services, and financial services.
“At the end of the day, people realize every digital interaction is fueled by a business selling something to them whether the sale is via a shopping cart, a service or a subscription,” said Justin Anovick, chief product officer at Episerver. “Persuading people to act is not problematic if the business is providing something of value to them but most digital interactions are created for the masses and end up catering to no one.”
“Idio powers 1:1 digital experiences at global scale. This acquisition is the next part of our mission to help our enterprise clients serve their end customers with timely, relevant and cross-channel experiences. The combined organization, with Episerver’s deep content and commerce expertise and Idio’s predictive and analytical capabilities, make for an exciting future for customer-centric marketers.”
Idio CEO Edward Barrow.
will continue as a standalone product but will be “merged functionally” with
combined company, with the financial backing from Insight Partners, intends to
aggressively grow our deployment and success teams, as well as a significant
acceleration in product innovation to help marketers achieve greater value from
customer-centric marketing,” blogged Idio.
financial terms were disclosed as both companies are private.
Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor Zoominfo acquired Redmond, WA startup Komiko. The deal extends Zoominfo’s sales AI capabilities with CRM automation, playbooks, lead scores, and predictive analytics.
analytical and recommendation tools support sales, account executives, and
customer success teams.
“Organizations are realizing that how they manage and leverage data is a strategic function that can accelerate or inhibit lead, pipeline, and revenue generation. While our offering is a SaaS platform for GTM, we feel ZoomInfo is in the business of helping marketing and salespeople hit their numbers. So, when we see an opportunity to build or buy additional capabilities essential to strengthen that edge — as we did with Komiko — it’s an easy decision.”
Zoominfo CEO Henry Schuck
Komiko employs machine learning and data science “to
better automate CRM processes.” InboxAI gathers contact and activity data
from email inboxes and calendars and populates the CRM. The mined
intelligence also triggers alerts and generates “analytics essential to
supporting renewals, managing new business pipelines, and more.”
Komiko offers a “data-driven platform” which helps
reps understand the likelihood of each opportunity closing. The platform
also captures all customer-facing interactions and contacts. Komiko
claims to “make it easy to see who is interacting with the customer and what
activities are taking place.”
Komiko data includes the strength of connection with
each account (k-score), the relationship of contacts at accounts, the last
communication with the account (outbound or inbound), and key contacts at
Komiko integrates sales playbooks into the CRM and
recommends when to deploy them.
customers will continue to receive the Komiko service with no changes in
support or service.
InboxAI is already deployed at Zoominfo. The firm discovered 60,000 records that had not been logged into Salesforce. “We found a number of accounts where we were only talking to one buyer – when we know that we need four buyers engaged to get across the finish line. InboxAI not only completes our CRM, [but] it gives us the visibility we need to push the right opportunities at the right time,” said Zoominfo CRO Chris Hays.
Komiko functionality will be integrated into the
recently launched Zoominfo powered by DiscoverOrg platform.
Komiko is GDPR compliant and qualifies as a data
processor. It supports the right to be forgotten through a blacklist of
blocked emails. The system also deletes any historical emails related to
Komiko does not monitor internal emails and includes
an external blacklist for blocked processing. Thus, HR, Payroll, Board,
and Legal department communications will not be ingested. Komiko does not
add Salesforce accounts but employs Salesforce accounts as a whitelist.
Komiko also positions itself as a “dynamic coaching”
service which goes beyond informal or “formal, random” processes:
Dynamic coaching is not just a buzz word. It has been proven that taking this approach makes a big impact on win rates. Since taking the dynamic path means defining a formal process combined with your CRM to monitor, evaluate and support your coaching processes…Komiko builds playbooks based on your definition of success, the accounts segments you identify and the input from email capture and CRM. Your playbooks will outline actions that drove success in the past. Each recommended action will include recommended target and its weight (significance) to the overall success. Komiko will enhance your team’s efficiency by triggering call-to-actions based on the customer profile and playbook in real-time.
Komiko claims that clients can “get up and running”
within 24 hours after only 30 minutes of work. They support “customers of
all sizes” across software, healthcare, distribution, professional services,
and insurance. Clients include Adecco, Tata Communications, Pemco
Insurance, and Chorus.ai.
Terms of the
deal were not released.
founded in 2015 by former Microsoft engineers Hal Howard and Ami Heitner. Owler
lists Komiko’s revenue at $3 million. However, marketing activity (blogs,
LinkedIn) seems to have slowed around three months ago, indicating a firm that
was reserving cash for a managed exit.
60 customers and expects to double the count by the end of the year.
Komiko CEO Howard, “We want our product to be seen by millions of people. Our
choices were we could take an additional round of venture funding and build our
market, or partner with ZoomInfo and use an already-existing go-to-market. This
was the fastest path to that market and to millions of customers.”
Komiko’s machine learning chops with ZoomInfo’s data pipeline creates a much
stronger value proposition than either company could have offered
independently, so the combination makes a ton of sense for both,” said Chris
DeVore, managing partner at Founders’ Co-op, Komiko’s Seed Round lead investor.
“Everybody dreams of the unicorn exit. And
those are all well and good, but the goal of every technology innovator is to
get your technology in the hands of as many people as possible,” Howard told GeekWire.
over 1,100 employees and more than $300 million in revenues.
TechTarget revenues rose 10% to $33.8 million in Q3 2019 driven by their sales and marketing intelligence Priority Engine service. Quarterly Priority Engine revenue rose 30% year-over-year and is up 37% year-to-date. The firm added 51 new Priority Engine customers in Q3.
Long-term contracts now represent 35% of revenue.
TechTarget believes that their initial success selling
to firms outside of the top 200 customers “bodes well for our launch of
Priority Engine Express in 2020, which is targeted at the next largest 5,000
software vendors and resellers, for whom we don’t currently have attractive
offerings in their price range.”
TechTarget collects second-party intent data and
opted-in contact data from its 140 B2B technology media sites. Priority
Engine identifies companies actively in-market along with who is conducting
purchasing research, the buyers’ journey stage, and other vendors under
TechTarget said that its new features have been “well-received” by clients as it “increases the value and ROI of Priority Engine for our customers.” They are also confident in their “robust” 2020 product roadmap. “Our customers are still in the early stages of their transition to becoming data-driven sales and marketing organizations. We have many customers that are using our data in sophisticated ways to drive market share gains and revenue growth,” stated their 8-K filing.
The firm plans another ten percent increase in
Priority Engine pricing, similar to annual price hikes of the past two years. CEO
Michael Cotoia is confident in their ability to raise prices:
Our customers take a look at our data that we offer, real and observed purchase intent data, and they have a very large initiative around…their sales and marketing organization. So, we haven’t really had a pushback price. They do understand how we get our data in terms of providing the right content and publishing the right content across…thousands of technology segments. Owning and operating those sites and communities across our network throughout TechTarget and really observing and capturing the real intent that we’re getting from buying team members… it’s very clear, it’s very taut, it’s very concise, so we haven’t really seen any pushback on that.
TechTarget CEO Michael Cotoia
“By helping companies see and interpret real buyer
needs and preferences, Priority Engine first provides a relevant, permissioned
basis for a marketer to intercept a buyer’s journey and then it assists users
in taking very specific influencing and engagement actions,” CMO John Steinert
recently told ABM Report.
“Because Priority Engine provides the actual permissioned people doing
buying research, it saves tons of resource that’s commonly wasted chasing
prospects who don’t have a need and leads that are actually dead ends. And
because Priority Engine shares the real needs and preferences of the actual
buyers with both marketing and sales when they share the platform, it enables far
better conversion at every step, from funnel, to pipeline, through to renewal.”
Cotoia is also confident in TechTarget’s market
expansion strategy. “We are seeing [SMB] customers now. We’re taking
their input. We’re looking to possibly modify, enhance, position, package,
create some other additional spinoffs of this Priority Engine Express for
different segments within all those others. So, we’re off to a good start.”
Priority Engine Express will remain in beta until Q1
with several dedicated sales reps during the beta window.
One identified opportunity is value-added resellers at
both the national and regional levels. “They are looking to really
identify the opportunities and the projects and buying teams that are in their
regions” and focus on their go-to-market strategy and active prospects said
Cotoia. “We want to make sure that we have the right user interface [and]
ease of use for those regional resellers so that their sales teams, inside
sales and outside sales, have easy and quick access to the potential projects
and buying teams within their market.”
InsideView launched its new Data Integrity service for Salesforce. Data Integrity is a customer data management solution that provides data visualizations, ongoing data hygiene maintenance, and data health analysis for CRMs. According to the firm, the service is fully integrated with Salesforce and “offers an easy migration path for customers using Data.com.”
“Data is the world’s most valuable resource—it’s the new fuel. Maintaining the quality of that resource should be paramount for every company. InsideView Data Integrity was created to help companies get the most out of their data by maintaining an accurate and rich customer database, and check on the health of that data at a glance.”
InsideView CEO Umberto Milletti
admins control which records are managed, which fields updated, and the
frequency of updates. Along with historical match and update trend
graphs, they can review a data hygiene dashboard that displays the number of
family tree linkages, duplicates, past employments, lead-to-account mapping,
Integrity features include
Account, Contact, and Lead “stare and compare” updates
Separate Match Score thresholds for accounts, contacts, and leads which allow for differing degrees of match accuracy based on the record type
An Update CRM button within the InsideView Sales product. Updates are subject to rules set by the Data Integrity account administrator.
Validation of business emails associated with leads and contacts
Dashboards for Accounts, Contacts, and Leads which provide segmentation analysis, duplicate and match rates, email counts, segment/team distribution, etc.
A Processes Dashboard which tracks Data Integrity processing and action items
B2B DaaS and
sales intelligence firms have been looking to take the lion’s share of
Salesforce’s Data.com business which is now being decommissioned. The
opportunity is likely around $250 million (legacy clients business plus
additional revenue from superior offerings). The Prospector and Clean
services are no longer sold, but final contracts are being fulfilled through
the middle of next year. InsideView offers both sales and data management
solutions as does Dun & Bradstreet, Zoominfo, and Infogroup.
is critical to a series of B2B data workflows including territory assignments,
account hierarchies (corporate linkage), lead-to-account management,
segmentation analysis, duplicate record prevention, and email validation. Accurate
and complete data is also critical for account planning and messaging, ICP /
TAM analysis (supported via InsideView’s sister product Apex), and reducing the
time spent by sales reps entering and maintaining company and contact data.
Integrity pricing is tiered based on the number of CRM seats.
covers 13.5 million global companies and 32 million contacts spanning eighty
fields. Account data includes standardized addresses, sizing variables,
and parent/subsidiary linkages.
recently expanded its AsiaPac company coverage in four countries: New Zealand
(25K total), Hong Kong (40K), India (150K), and Singapore (40K). Total
coverage for the region (Asia, Oceania, Middle East) is now at 840K companies.
The expanded coverage is derived from existing and new vendors along with
Integrity is currently available for the AppExchange with Microsoft Dynamics
365 queued up next. Other CRMs will follow.
Sales engagement vendor SalesLoft acquired Costello earlier this week. Costello, which describes itself as an opportunity management software company, supports quick deal updates, guided selling playbooks, pipeline collaboration, and real-time CRM sync. Other features include deal management, dashboards, and dynamic note-taking.
said that the acquisition “furthers SalesLoft’s mission to help account
executives not only prospect and build pipeline, but manage their day and their
deals, from creation through close.”
Costello and SalesLoft gives all sellers, whether they’re pipeline builders,
closers, or responsible for upsells and renewals, a platform to deliver the
ultimate buyer experience and close more revenue. Sales engagement is now
the place all reps can start and end their days,” said SalesLoft CEO Kyle
“Sales Engagement isn’t just about generating pipeline. It is about all the people who engage with customers and prospects throughout their journey. We are working with our customers to constantly evolve what sales engagement can do for them. It now represents the complete workflow application for sellers. It’s a giant leap towards solving the sales challenges I hear from revenue leaders all the time.”
SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter
been available as a SalesLoft application partner since last year. “The
companies will continue to support existing Costello customers, invest and
enhance product capabilities, and natively integrate Costello capabilities into
the SalesLoft platform,” stated the firm.
listed four sales challenges that are addressed by the merged company: updating
opportunities, app switching, new hire account messaging, and simplified
calls, Costello acts as a “real-time co-pilot” that ensures sales reps ask key
questions, handle objections, and tell relevant customer stories.
displays a Deal Dashboard and Deal View from within SalesLoft for pipeline
management. Deal Status elements include deal stage, days in stage, days
active, and deal amount. Costello also calls out Deal Gaps (missing deal
fields, days past due), Stakeholders (buyers’ circle with roles and concerns),
Call Summary with notes, and a deal timeline.
SalesLoft’s second acquisition. They previously acquired NoteNinja which
served as the basis for their meeting scheduling and intelligence
functionality. SalesLoft plans to natively integrate Costello
functionality into the SalesLoft platform while investing and enhancing product
supports over 2,300 companies and has grown revenue 1,000 percent over the past
three years. The firm has 450 employees.
“Sales Engagement platforms have started to make significant progress with sales organizations. When we look across our dataset of high-growth early-adopters, 69% are leveraging a Sales Engagement platform today. As the sales engagement platform market looks to expand to the more widespread market of sales reps, we expect the platform’s feature set will also expand beyond traditional prospecting channels to serve all the day-to-day needs of the sales rep including enablement, planning and forecasting and productivity.”
Craig Rosenberg, Co-founder and Chief Analyst of TOPO
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to observe two different teams while replacing the flooring on my first floor. The first team laid tiles, and it was an uncomfortable experience watching the master tiler berate his apprentice. The second team demoed the wood floor and carpet as a team.
The tile experience was awkward. While the end work product was excellent, the apprentice was treated more like a dog than an employee. The tiler incessantly berated his employee making it difficult to work from home. Several times an hour I heard the boss yell “Charlie!” and then proceed to tell him he was lazy or incompetent. The tiler did all of the artisan work with the apprentice grabbing tools, hauling tile, mixing grout, and waiting for his next instruction.
When I discussed it with the flooring company that was managing the project, they confessed that they usually have him work new construction instead of renovations. The master tiler will have work so long as the economy is strong, but I imagine he will be quickly dropped once the economy cools.
The second team arrived this morning and attacked phase I (demo). All four knew their roles and worked without much direction required. The house was noisy with electrical saws and wood being pulled up with crowbars. It buzzed with Spanish as the guys enjoyed working together. Nobody needed direction beyond simple coordination. The men moved between tasks as the project proceeded. I don’t think I heard a single raised voice. They were a team that I’d welcome back in my home.
So what was the key difference? Respect. If you respect your teammates and subordinates, the team is more efficient, the work is more enjoyable, and each member is confident in their role.
Dun & Bradstreet, which acquired Lattice Engines at the beginning of Q3, launched a Lattice Campaigns App for LinkedIn. The new app “improves campaign performance by creating and activating always-on AI-based audiences for LinkedIn Ads.”
“When Dun & Bradstreet acquired Lattice Engines, we were building on an existing partnership of the world’s most comprehensive B2B data and the world’s leading B2B Customer Data Platform,” said Dun & Bradstreet’s President of Sales & Marketing Solutions Michael Bird. “This is the first in a series of innovations we’re quickly bringing to market to power more effective and efficient digital marketing, demand generation and sales acceleration programs for our customers through the intelligent use of data.”
The Lattice Customer Data Platform supports “hyper-targeted”
LinkedIn advertising as part of a broader omnichannel engagement strategy. Lattice
combines first and third-party customer data, displays account and contact
insights, and uses “AI to segment their buyers and deliver hyper-targeted
engagement in an automated fashion across display, web, email, CRM and now
“Let’s say a buyer at a cold account starts visiting certain product pages on your website anonymously. Rather than just showing this buyer a generic ad about your brand, you could show them an ad with more specific copy and CTA [call to action] related to the product pages that they visited on your website.”
Dun & Bradstreet President of Sales & Marketing Solutions Michael Bird
The app creates matched audiences for LinkedIn ads and
then lets marketers adjust media spend to target high-performing audiences. The
app then updates LinkedIn audiences based on “changes in buyer engagement,
interest and company data. As a result, marketers can ensure that buyers
are engaged with the most relevant campaigns based on not only persona but on
profile, propensity, interest and buyer stage.”
Dun & Bradstreet is claiming a 42% increase in
click-through rates and triple the post-click conversion rates resulting in a
54% reduction in qualified lead expenditures.
According to Gartner, CMOs are spending 23% of their
marketing budget on paid media.
“In an environment where B2B marketers are
overwhelmed with data and technology options, our goal is to make their jobs
easier by connecting interactions across customer journeys,” says Bird. “This
allows marketers to target the right audiences with the right message and make
the best use of their ad dollars.”
Connectors for Facebook, Twitter, and other social
media platforms are in the works.
There are a number of indicators signaling a slowdown
in both the general economy and technology products and services:
The Gartner CMO Spend Survey showed a drop in marketing spend as a percentage of overall spend from 11.2% in 2018 to 10.5% this year. The peak in marketing spend was in 2016 (12.1%). The data is based upon a survey of 340 North American and UK marketing leaders. However, 61% of marketers anticipate a rebound in 2020. “While we’re not yet witnessing a precipitous drop in budgets, this year’s downtick presents a counterintuitive scenario,” commented Gartner’s VP of the Marketing practice, Ewan McIntyre. “You could call this confidence in the face of adversity. Or you could call it hubris.”
MarTech budgets fell 3% to 26% this year.
The Gartner 2Q19 Global Talent Monitor indicated growing concern about the job market with fewer employees looking to change jobs. 53% of US employees are intending to stay put and only 12.5% are actively looking for other positions. The US actively looking rate dropped in half in Q2 and the percent looking to stay put rose ten points. “Over the previous several years, the clear story within the U.S. has been a robust economy, tight labor market and plenty of opportunities for growth and improvement from the employee perspective,” said Brian Kropp, chief of research for the Gartner HR practice. “With this quarter-over-quarter increase in intent to stay, we are now seeing a shift as employees hunker down, indicating concerns around available job opportunities and potential weakness in the labor market.”
Gartner also noted a 2.4% decrease in global business confidence amongst employees and an increasing willingness of US employees to go “above and beyond the call of duty at their jobs.” According to Kropp, “Workers appear to be putting more time and effort into their current positions with the hopes of solidifying their roles in case of a change in the economy. This situation creates an opportunity for organizations to invest in internal training programs that capture this employee commitment to build a stronger, more productive workforce.”
Trump’s Tariff War is proving more difficult to win than he anticipated, resulting in inflationary pressures in the US alongside harm to the industrial and agricultural sectors. Tariff rates are expected to increase at the end of the year.
Brexit remains a big question mark with dates, agreements, and new UK elections changing almost every day.
The US and UK governments are both very unpopular with Trump facing Impeachment hearings and Boris Johnson preparing for an election.
While the US unemployment rate is at a historical low point (3.6%), the economy only added 128,000 non-farm jobs last month and 130,000 per month this year, well below the 223,000 jobs added each month in 2018.
The preliminary US GDP Q3 growth rate came in at 1.9% compared to 2.9% in 2018.
US Hiring has slowed to its lowest rate in seven years. A survey of economists by the National Association of Business Economists found that only one in five of their firms grew their headcount in Q3 down from one in three in Q2. Capital equipment purchasing is at a five-year low and fewer firms are offering pay raises. “The U.S. economy appears to be slowing, and respondents expect still slower growth over the next 12 months,” said Constance Hunter, NABE president and chief economist at KPMG.
The NABE also reported slowing sales with only 39% reporting sales growth in Q3 compared to 61% a year ago.
If the US economy tips into a recession, there is little room for fiscal or monetary policy to slow a recession. The Federal Funds rate (1.75% following three cuts this year) is historically low for an economy at 3.6% unemployment and the Federal deficit provides little room for expansionary fiscal policy. Trump lowered personal and corporate tax rates when the economy was strong instead of waiting for a recession.
is beginning to evolve a set of hybrid engagement vendors that deliver a broad
set of sales and marketing services. The boundary between sales and
marketing is quickly crumbling. Hybrid engagement services manage both
data and workflows. Features include
SalesTech adoption rates and spend continue to increase according to a recent SalesTech study of 268 B2B sales and marketing managers conducted by Smart Selling Tools. Only 3% of respondents are planning on reducing their SalesTech spend in 2020 while 6% plan to spend significantly more in 2020 and 41% slightly more. Expanded spending will be focused on the top and middle of the funnel followed by management and reporting. Skills Development, Onboarding, and Bottom of the Funnel expenditures have a lower priority.
Over the past year, SalesTech spend per user has increased significantly. In 2017, only one-third of respondents spent in excess of $150 per user, but two years later, 65% spend more than $150 per user. As the average number of sales tools in use rose only modestly from 4.5 to 4.9 over the past two years, the spend per product has likely increased. The number of applications that are used by a majority of respondents trebled to six (CRM, Online Meetings, Lead List/Database, Social Selling, Account Targeting, and Skills Training & Reinforcement) with an additional four at 47% or higher. CRMs are used by 75% of respondents, lead/list databases by 65%, and social selling by 60%. The one category that dropped in usage was online meetings.
Adoption rates of technologies were fairly even by company size with large firm (500+) employees more likely to have adopted Sales Enablement, Skills Training & Reinforcement, and Sales Performance & Compensation. Conversely, firms with fewer than 500 employees were more likely to have adopted Prospect Engagement (Sales Engagement) solutions.
Account targeting tools for ideal customer prospecting grew from 4% to 51% over the past year, a clear indication that ABM strategies have been adopted. Lead Engagement (communicating at scale with early-stage, unqualified leads) grew from 11% to 49%, while social selling grew from 10% to 60%.
“The significant increase in usage of sales tools across the board indicates a trend (likely irreversible). If your organization is slow to take up the use of sales tools, you could get left behind. Even so, we don’t recommend adding new sales tools without considering what’s required to keep them up to date and who will be responsible, having a plan for measuring success (what does “Good” look like?), and deciding what’s required to establish and grow user adoption.”
Smart Selling Tools founder Nancy Nardin.
three industries represented in the study were technology (42%), Financial
Services (9.3%), and Manufacturing (8.7%).