Like other vendors that have canceled public events, Demandbase gave its ABM Innovation Summit keynote as a virtual event on St. Patrick’s Day. This year’s theme was “ABM Next,” though CMO Peter Isaacson admitted that their annual conferences are always forward-thinking. Demandbase also announced three new product offerings: Site Analytics, Data Stream, and Self-Service Targeting (covered in tomorrow’s blog).
Demandbase is a long-time champion of Account Based Marketing (ABM), having been a lone voice in the woods for many years. Back in 2007, they began offering a visitor intelligence service that mapped IP addresses to firmographics. Since then, they released a B2B DSP, account-based retargeting, website personalization, account-based chat, and an AI-based ABM platform. In 2020, they are launching buyer committee targeting, though they did not provide any details on this roadmap item.
Demandbase contends that we are now entering the third phase of ABM. The “Evangelical” phase was aligned with the development of initial ABM technologies and “an awareness of the importance of the account,” said CEO Gabe Rogol. The Evangelical phase shifted the focus of B2B marketing efforts from leads and individuals to accounts. In late 2015, the “Early Adopters and Buzz Phase” began with crystallization around the term ABM. Phase II included point solutions, the beginning of AI tools, and the first full-scale implementations. While Phase II included significant topical buzz, there was not a great deal of consistency and best practices for ABM success. Phase III is a definitional phase where “ABM is table stakes,” but “there is not a clear definition, yet, as to what are the core technologies that make ABM successful and what are the best practices that make ABM successful.”
offered three core requirements for ABM success:
Core ABM Platform: A comprehensive ABM platform consists of
A data layer containing first and third-party data that “provides a unified view of your accounts”
A decisioning layer that manages planning, segmenting, orchestration, and measurement
An actioning layer that supports advertising, site personalization and engagement, sales enablement, and third-party marketing activity integration
An AI and machine learning layer which helps “understand which accounts are most likely to buy and what are the next best actions to take both as a marketing organization and a sales organization”
An intuitive user experience
Account Based Audiences: Rogol called Account Based Audiences “the fundamental unit of B2B Marketing. Much like a people-based audience that’s united by common behaviors and demographics, an Account Based Audience is united by the way it is behaving across your CRM, your website, [and] marketing automation.” It should be “marketed to in a similar way to drive through the customer journey.” Account Based Audiences should be accessible to all customer-facing teams, including marketing, sales, customer success, and data and engineering “so that your organization can act in a unified way that amplifies the strategy and impacts the ABM.” Finally, Account Based Audiences should be available through all marketing, advertising, and sales channels.
Control and Access: Although “AI drives the decision making,” B2B marketers still want access and control over their data. “ABM is one of the most important categories in B2B marketing,” Rogol added, “but you need to be able to control and access the data.”
“B2B marketers are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data available to us every day. Being the control freaks we are, marketers are constantly frustrated trying to extract the right insights to tailor our campaigns and reach our target audiences,” said Rogol. “We are launching new solutions that will empower all of us to take control of data to create tailored campaigns that will drive growth for their organizations. These new solutions are a reflection of what’s coming next in the world of ABM.”
InsideView enhanced its corporate family tree UX. Along with an improved display, users may search and filter the tree, allowing them to home in on key subsidiaries for sales targeting.
and filtering help reps identify best prospect locations for establishing a
beachhead, expand to similar locations, extend into new markets, or leverage an
MSA to identify locations within a sales territory.
tree is now keyword searchable and filterable by location, size (both employees
and revenue), industry, site status (e.g. operating, inactive/closed), and site
type (e.g. Retail, Manufacturing, Distribution Center, etc.). Filtering
allows reps to focus on locations in their territory or locations in targeted verticals.
If a parent node is de-selected by a filter, but a subsidiary is
selected, the parent location is grayed out but still displayed, providing
operational context to the sales rep.
may also expand or collapse tree nodes and individually select locations of
interest. Branch locations may be added to the tree via a “site locations
data available” slider.
number of locations is displayed in the company overview.
and marketing professionals can also download the tree for campaigns and
analysis. Filtered trees may be downloaded in Excel or CSV formats. A
map feature displays location density for the United States by state, for
Canada by province, or globally by country.
new family tree view is available in both the CRM and web views. 1.2
million locations are flagged as subsidiaries or acquired firms.
also recently released a set of small enhancements to InsideView Sales. Admins
can now sync a broader set of Account, Contact, and Lead fields with
Salesforce. New Account fields include Twitter handle, Facebook page, and
blog page. New Contact and Lead fields include city, state, country, job
level, and job function.
InsideView released a number of additional enhancements to its product lines.
for Sales users can unlink and rematch improperly linked Account and Contact
InsideView Refresh for Salesforce now offers real-time email verification for unmatched records. Admins can also manage Salesforce contacts, enrich fields, and flag duplicates.
New InsideView Data Integrity dashboards display how many Account, Contact, or Lead records are updated over time. The dashboards indicate the number of records processed, new records processed, duplicate records, match data, field fill rates, and segments.
Target added a filter for contacts with direct dial phones.
also added cross-product navigation.
InsideView universe has grown to 15 million companies and 44 million contacts.
Conversation Intelligence vendor Gong announced the availability of Deal Intelligence, their new AI-driven insights service that provides a “clear, up-to-date view” of deal status, recent interactions, and at-risk deals. Deal Intelligence also helps sales managers provide targeted coaching and assess pipeline activity.
Intelligence allows us to do quicker pipeline inspections and validate with a
third party that we really are where we say we are in the process,” said Armen
Zildjian, VP of Sales at Drift. “It is not to micromanage but to continue
to coach and give reps the next best step with the customer, so we really can
rely on that business.”
Deal Board: Quickly understand which deals are healthy and which require immediate attention.
Deal Warnings: Spot warning signs such as a lack of recent activity and close date in the past. Planned warnings include no future calls scheduled and no decision-maker involved.
Account Page: Centralizes deal-related interactions across email, web conference, and phone to proactively identify risks and review conversations
Engagement Map: Ensures that a deal is multi-threaded and that reps are engaged with the right people in the right way.
“Consider what can be done when you have every phone call, email, and customer interaction automatically captured and the ability to analyze those interactions. It will allow organizations to get a sharper picture of prospect intent and where an account is in the sales process.”
TOPO Sales Analyst Dan Gottlieb
Pipeline Analytics and deal risk are an emerging category of sales analytics. Firms such as Gong, Costello (recently acquired by SalesLoft), and Clari provide a single-pane view for identifying deal risk, assessing multi-threaded engagement, and conducting pipeline reviews.
Intelligence is available to all current customers as part of their core
offering. Admins must turn on email sync from popular clients such as G
Suite and Microsoft 365. Sales Engagement partners include SalesLoft,
Outreach, Groove, and Xant.
Intelligence is view-only and does not support Opportunity record updating.
CRM sync is a planned feature.
supports a broad set of conferencing and dialing tools, including Zoom,
UberConference, BlueJeans, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Join.Me, RingCentral, Dialpad,
Amazon Connect, Google Meet, and Skype.
does not publish any pricing and simply states that pricing is based upon “how
many recorded reps you have,” not the number of listeners.
AI-powered sales engagement service ScaleX.AI announced the availability of SocialFlow, which leverages employee networks for warm introductions at target buyer personas. According to ScaleX, most firms use only 3% of their employees’ professional networks. Social Flow unlocks the remaining 97% of connections for generating warm introductions.
“Successful outbound requires a perfect mix of quality and quantity. With the launch of SocialFlow, we’re further enhancing the quality that our clients have come to expect. This is truly the first-ever AI for Social Selling engine on the market today!”
ScaleX CEO Chad Burmeister
virtual BDR automates social outreach in parallel to phone and email. Once
one of these channels makes a connection, the other channels are halted.
ScaleX features include
Social & Email Automated Cadences
Agent-assisted power dialing
Social & Email templates with proven conversions
Leads from Zoominfo, DiscoverOrg, Lead411, and SalesIntel at a monthly rate vs. an annual commitment
Digital paid ads optimized for impressions
positions itself as an automated BDR at a lower cost than direct sales
staff. The firm describes its ideal customer as “companies who
either can’t afford to hire a full-time SDR or BDR (Sales or Business
Development Representative) or companies who want to augment their in-house
sales team with outsourced Virtual BDRs that are 7-10X more productive.”
ScaleX Virtual BDR (BDR as a Service) starts at $3,000 per month for data and
digital outreach, and $7,000/month for data + digital (email, social, paid-ads)
+ data. Monthly outbound communications include around 3,000 emails per
month, 3,000 social sales activities, thousands of impressions, and 3,000
cited research by one of their Board members that the SDR function grew 500
percent from 2012 to 2017 and another 80-90 percent in 2017-2019. Burmeister
questions how long SDR employment growth will last before automation improves
the efficiency and effectiveness of SDRs, causing the role to plateau, and
was originally called Sales Hack, but they changed their name when Outreach
acquired Sales Hacker.
RelPro and Vertical IQ partnered to deliver company and industry intelligence in each other’s products. Both companies serve financial services firms and the Relationship Management (RM) function at banks, with many customers requesting an integrated solution. Joint customers have access to both programs via bi-directional authorization and accreditation at the user level.
“This is a partnership both companies’ customers have been clamoring for. So we listened to what the market was telling us and worked to bring the concept to fruition. It was a natural fit.”
RelPro CEO Martin Wise
IQ provides a set of over 500 plain-English industry overviews designed for
financial services firms that are broadly applicable to RMs, business
development, and sales reps, particularly professionals that support many
industries. The profiles provide a high-level understanding of
industries, including industry norms, structure, trends, pain points, call prep
questions, forecasts, and news.
is a traditional sales intelligence service with company and executive content
sourced from sixteen partners. Data partners include Zoominfo, Dun & Bradstreet,
BoardEx, GuideStar, Crunchbase, and HG Insights. Rel Pro users build
prospecting lists, perform account planning, identify additional contacts at
key accounts, and, with the Vertical IQ partnership, research industries based
upon each company’s industry codes. A new Industry tab displays Vertical
IQ’s Industry Overview, Trends & Industry News, Competition, and Call
of providing the full Vertical IQ report, RelPro chose to publish the most
valuable sections from Vertical IQ and combine them with industry-specific
intelligence from its database, including Competitors and Top Companies.
Should a user wish to dive deeper into an industry, the RM simply clicks
a button and is taken to the full industry profile in Vertical IQ.
Vertical IQ integration is a bit simpler. Users can click on a “find
companies in RelPro” button located in the industry dashboard. The user
is taken seamlessly to RelPro to perform a peer search. The industry
codes are pre-populated, and the user can include additional sizing and
geographic variables for defining a territory. Users may also plot
company lists on a map, a useful tool for field sales rep planning.
do not need to log into both offerings. A handshake between the firms
ensures that jointly registered users receive access to both platforms.
is a clear logic to this partnership. RelPro and Vertical IQ allow
Relationship Managers to rapidly context switch, perform client due diligence,
ask intelligent questions, and conduct business development. The combined
services deliver customer and industry insights within the RM’s workflow,
helping them better serve customers and their banking objectives.
The partners initially focused on their set of joint customers with contracts written on separate paper. There is no surcharge for the cross-product authorization and functionality.
Vertical IQ has also stepped up during the pandemic to assist business decision making. Their editors are publishing a set of free coronavirus related profiles at the industry-level, allowing RMs, sales reps, and risk decision makers (supply, credit) to properly evaluate industry-specific risks.
“Rather than learning about industries in bits and pieces or from unreliable sources, we knew it was important for people to get information from an experienced industry intelligence partner written for those that advise small and medium-sized businesses. That was the impetus for delivering this intelligence and making it free of charge.”
Bill Walker, Vertical IQ EVP of Research
A freemium approach during the current health and economic crisis makes a great deal of sense. It provides free resources to small businesses and distressed sectors that can assist with decision making, while providing a free taste of their content to professional and financial services firms. The content set should result in both future sales and brand equity.
I collected some ideas from those in the tech industry that I follow.
In this morning’s team meeting the EMEA SalesLoft team discussed how we can keep the culture and mental wellbeing at the forefront while we work remotely…
We are having a daily stand up for 15 minutes, virtual team lunch on a Wednesday and virtual Friday drinks. We are making sure we put time aside for exercise and doing the things we love. We are being mindful of continuing to share ‘glass half full’ stories. We are also looking into what we can do to help with the bigger issue that people are facing in regards to the Corona Virus – local charities, food banks, the elderly.
Ollie Sharpe, SalesLoft VP of Revenue, EMEA
A TOPO study of 350+ marketers indicated that only 16% of firms see a significant impact to their pipeline, 64% see a moderate impact due to coronavirus. The biggest impacts are due to canceled events (87%), corporate travel bans (64%), buyers working from home (53%), and prohibitions against face-to-face meetings. Only 27% cited buyers not booking meetings and frozen buyer budgets (22%).
Research conducted in 2018 by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research indicated that B2B marketers who participate in industry events allocated nearly 40 percent of their budgets to exhibitions and industry shows, almost five times more than the 8% spent on online marketing.
Even if only a small fraction of the events’ budgets is shifted to online marketing, it would translate into a massive growth in web marketing.
The major advantage of digital marketing, besides the fact that it does not require face-to-face interaction, is that it is measurable. Marketers can quite easily obtain a good picture of their spending return on investment (ROI), and of which activities generate the highest number of quality leads and at what expense.
Assuming that many marketers will have some extra free time, especially those who will have to go into home isolation, they are advised to use it to review their online marketing strategy and redefine their marketing messages.
Dan Gerstenfield, Interteam Content Services
It’s time to pick up the phone. No texts, no emails, no social platforms. Pick up the phone and talk to someone. You are probably dealing with some of the same issues that come with physical separation.
It’s not the time to pitch people, it’s the time to show that you care–about them. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, but ask them how they are doing, ask how they are keeping engaged and productive, share some ideas.
All of us share in this experience. Each of us is figuring things out. We can learn from each other, at the same time feel more connected.
David Brock, Author of “Sales Manager Survival Guide”
Sirius Decisions (Forrester)
Create a task force. Except in very large companies or those with specific types of risks, most companies do not have a dedicated crisis response team, and many have never created even a bare-bones crisis communications plan. Now is the time to do so. Bring together functional leaders from across your organization to begin identifying and prioritizing issues, with all major functions and regions represented. The senior communications leader is usually at the helm, and in some smaller organizations, the effort may be led by the CEO. Other participants will likely include human resources, legal counsel, operations/facilities, sales and customer service leaders, and various marketing/communications disciplines that are either directly affected or will be involved in delivering information to audiences. Each individual should have a clear understanding of his or her specific responsibilities.
Prioritize issues of greatest urgency. Ensuring the safety of employees, customers and other stakeholders is obviously the priority, and external guidance from public health experts will be important to understand what these issues are…
Develop a protocol for emergent situations. Obviously the plan should lay out a set of actions the organization will take immediately, based on what is known today. However, the situation is fluid and it’s not possible to know with certainty what the situation will look like in a month or six months. That’s why it’s important to have a protocol for addressing new situations as they emerge…
Prepare the communications engine. Providing transparent and ongoing communication is the hallmark of good crisis communications. The communications team needs to analyze the types of communication that will be needed to support a variety of scenarios. One of the most challenging aspects of crisis management is the need to create a wide range of critical content, have it vetted by legal and pushed out through channels as quickly as possible. Create templates for common types of content and stub content that can be built-out as needed. Set up an expedited legal vetting process and work with digital teams to identify how content will be conveyed through the company’s owned channels (web site, social, communities). Also prepare spokespeople – from the CEO to the receptionist, with concise answers that can be given without additional approvals or escalation paths.
Map communications strategies to audiences. SiriusDecisions always recommends starting with an understanding of the audience, and crisis response is no different…
Maintain open communications with employees. A large percentage of the workforce will face some kind of disruption to their normal routines or even their income…One of the first priorities should be to plan for how communications will flow internally: the channels and cadence that employees can expect, as well as where to go if the normal channels (which may occur in a face-to-face environment) are not available. Also remember that employees are a channel, and if you enable them with content, they can extend the reach of your information and credibility with audiences. [Full Text]
First off, social distancing is a bit of an oxymoron, but critical. We need to close our schools, theaters, and sporting events as they would be the locus of rapid transmission. Limit travel. Ignoring and complaining about the advice of health professionals and emergency planners isn’t a case of bravado, but stupidity. It places friends and family with compromised immune systems and underlying health issues at risk. If our healthcare system is overwhelmed, then we are all at risk for any medical emergency.
If you are sick, don’t go to the ER. Call ahead and see if your symptoms match. Then follow advice on where to proceed for a test.
Don’t Panic. Stay in the market, it will turnaround once we’ve passed the peak of infection. Selling now will just lock in your losses from the recent peak. Also, don’t horde. Plan for two weeks of staples and make sure you have sufficient medication. Things will get worse before they get better. Expect that and accept that.
Don’t Obsess. Stay aware of what is going on, but turn off the news if it is making you anxious. Find credible news sources only and ignore social media and email chain nonsense.
Check-in on friends and family. Offer to pick up meds or food for family and elderly neighbors. While delivery and curbside pick up are options, don’t expect that the operational bandwidth is in place immediately.
Be healthy. Eat healthy foods and get your exercise. Get on the bike or rowing machine in the basement. Go for a walk in the woods or a bike ride in your neighborhood. Play catch or soccer in your backyard with your kids.
Be forward-thinking. If you are at home, identify projects that you have been ignoring. This could include updating your LinkedIn profile and resume, home repair, spending time with your kids, reading a book, taking a Coursera course, etc. Not only are these good habits, but they are welcome distractions from the present news.
If you have the financial wherewithal, find ways to help out service workers and contingent employees. If you ate out once a week, use food delivery services once a week to keep revenue flowing to restaurants. Tip delivery people well. Donate to your local food bank and other social service organizations.
And as much as I hate to say this, ignore President Trump. If you don’t believe me, then watch how the market reacts to his speeches. Dr. Fauci and VP Pence are more reliable, but it is the governors and big city majors who seem to have the best handle on what is going on (Newsome, Inslee, Cuomo, Baker, DeBlasio). They are on the front-lines and planning ahead of the Federal Government.
I had four tradeshows canceled this month and next. They were opportunities for me to meet with customers and prospects (and conduct research for my industry newsletters). At this point, I’m assuming that at least two more will fall by the wayside in H1. I’m sure many of you are in a similar boat. Your marketing calendar is in a shambles, your field and inside sales reps are cloistered at home, and you are uncertain about how to manage remote workers.
Here are some ideas about how to retain momentum and deploy technology to mitigate pipeline and operational risks:
If you haven’t deployed video widely across your workforce, due so ASAP. Vendors such as Zoom, WebEx, BlueJeans, Join.Me, and GoToMeeting provide reliable video conferencing solutions for multi-party meetings, demos, and document sharing. Video Meetings are a do not pass Go, donot collect $200 requirement. Every customer-facing, development, management, and planning employee should be able to join meetings from home or the office.
Setup scheduled video meetings for the next three months so they are blocked out on team calendars. This could be a 15-minute corporate call every few weeks, weekly team calls, and one-on-ones. Standing meetings should all be web-based. Office-based employees are going to feel disconnected socially, so build in some social fun at the team level (e.g. recognizing birthdays and work anniversaries, celebrating wins and releases, etc.)
I would also build training time into video meetings. It shouldn’t be all top-down. Give your staff the opportunity to cross-train peers. A sales rep could discuss her latest victory with lessons learned or provide insights into a target vertical. Marketing can review the latest product positioning and new collateral. Product Management can train on new products, review the product roadmap, and discuss the competitive landscape. The goal is to provide training, communications, coordination, and social interaction.
Record meetings and make them available to those who miss meetings with Slack or Team links. Expect that meetings will be missed due to illness, parenting requirements, and meeting conflicts.
As event marketing is off the table, marketers will need to be flexible in how they deploy their budgets. For those that planned on hosting events, they should at least proceed with their Keynote as a webinar. For H2, a roadshow in September or October can be planned, but mitigate risk in your contracting and through joint shows (shared cost and risk).
Marketers will need to deploy or expand their use of other channels including webinars, press releases, analyst outreach, blogging, social, and video. Direct mail is problematic as prospects are likely to be working from home, but e-gifting is a viable option. Look at e-gifting vendors that are supported by your Sales Engagement platform (e.g. Sendoso, PFL, Alyce)
Here is an opportunity to test additional channels and provide your event marketing team with some cross-channel development.
Canceled shows are also a reason for re-engagement campaigns. You can restart the marketing nurture process with a message around “not being able to talk to you this season.” Keep the message short and serious. You don’t know if your prospect is worried about his or her job, family members, or personal health. Also, don’t appear to be taking advantage of the situation. Be empathetic, not opportunistic.
Also, make sure to reschedule meetings from those cancelled conferences. These are likely to be phone or video calls, but reps and executives should reconfirm calls now.
Once you have standardized meetings, make sure they are recorded and transcribed. This is particularly true for sales meetings. Conversation Intelligence vendors such as Gong, ExecVision, and Chorus record calls, transcribe them, and perform NLP/AI processing on the conversations. Conversation Intelligence allows sales reps to be more present during calls as they no longer need to focus on note-taking.
Transcriptions and analytics have multiple benefits:
Sales Reps can quickly review calls and return to key topics and issues (e.g. pricing, next steps).
Sales Managers can review calls related to accounts and opportunities at risk to provide coaching tips to reps.
Analytics identify both the strengths and weaknesses of reps versus their peers. They also flag missed actions (e.g. discussing next steps), customer concerns, and competitors. To assist with training and opportunity scoring, Conversation Intelligence vendors identify filler word frequency, monologue length, and conversational engagement.
Reps can forward snippets to peers for questions and help. If there is a question about a bug or support issue, the snippet can be forwarded to support personnel for an update. If a sales rep feels that they handled a question or issue poorly, a snippet can be forwarded to sales management or training for advice on how to better handle the issue next time. Snippets allow peers to hear the voice of the customer.
Snippets can be stored in a library for training purposes. These would include exemplars for objection handling, competitor parrying, value discussions, etc.
Product Managers can perform bulk analysis of sales calls to identify requested features, competitor discussions, and product issues. Vendors allow for keyword customization and analytics.
Sales Cadences, also called sequences, are at the core of Sales Engagement. Cadences set up a structured set of multi-channel outbound communications supported by email templates, dialers, social, and SMS text. Cadences improve sales efficiency by eliminating follow up tasks, recording activities to CRMs, and deploying A/B tested content (emails, attachments, cadences, call scripts). While most commonly used for SDR outreach, cadences can also be used for meeting reminders, setting up quarterly account reviews, and training follow up.
SEP vendors understand that authenticity is the key to sales success. Simply blasting mindless emails at prospects is futile. Cadences can be customized by target role, industry, company size, technographics, and stage in the buyer journey. Furthermore, reps are expected to personalize emails before sending them out (SalesLoft says 20% is the optimal level). Most of the vendors now support 1-1 embedded videos from Vidyard, Hippo Video, or Videolicious.
SEP Vendors also provide a deep set of analytics. Initially, these focused on communication efficacy (e.g. open and click-through rates, best time of day to call), but now analytics assess conversations, call out deal risks, prioritize accounts, and suggest next best actions.
SEPs are now commonly deployed amongst SDRs and Inside Sales, but may still be foreign to field sales reps; however, field sales reps will be operating more like inside sales reps for the next quarter, so deploying SEPs to field sales makes sense.
Beyond outbound communications, SEP vendors are beginning to support meeting management (setting up calls), conversational intelligence, and opportunity management. SalesLoft and Outreach are the farthest along in supporting these emerging feature sets. SalesLoft acquired and integrated NoteNinja (meeting management) and Costello (opportunity management) into its platform.
SEP Vendors have taken two approaches to partnering. SalesLoft, Outreach, and Xant have partner App Directories while the other vendors integrate key vendors (e.g. Vidyard, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Zoominfo) into their offerings without a formal partner ecosystem directory.
For B2B sales, there is no social platform more trusted than LinkedIn. Sales reps can leverage their networks by sharing marketing content (they should include some comments of their own) as well as writing their own content.
LinkedIn also offers an excellent Sales Intelligence product called Sales Navigator. It is available as both a desktop and mobile solution and provides additional communications channels:
InMail: An outbound email alternative, InMail allows you to message prospects for whom you lack emails and direct dial numbers.
Chat: A quick short-message way to keep in contact with members of the buying committee. It is also useful for quick reach out after establishing a LinkedIn connection with a prospect or to send a quick, congratulatory note. Chat messages are retained archivally, providing a conversational log. I have had success providing my Calendly link with initial chats, providing a mechanism for new connections to easily schedule a call (my Calendly includes my video meeting details so there is little friction).
Smart Links: Forward one or multiple attachments to a prospect via social, InMail, or email. Viewing and forwarding are tracked by LinkedIn, helping reps know which content was viewed and when. Forward tracking helps expand their understanding of the buying committee. Smart Links maintain corporate branding.
Sales Navigator provides several other high-value features:
SNAP connectors display LinkedIn content and Navigator functionality (e.g. icebreakers, mini-profiles, InMail) within Sales Engagement Platforms, CRMs, and other enterprise software.
TeamLinks allow you to leverage co-worker relationships for reaching out to prospects.
Build a List lets reps assemble Lead (contact) and Account lists within Sales Navigator. Lead and Account lists may also be synced from the CRM, allowing reps to track news and updates about key companies and contacts. While LinkedIn does not permit upload of account and contact data, they make exceptions for notes, tags, and messages entered by the rep in Sales Navigator. They also just added a thin record upload of contacts to CRM and the ability to flag execs that have left a company.
List Sharing — After building a list, users may share them with co-workers who have Sales Navigator licenses.
Sales Navigator can be a bit pricey, so running a test amongst your inside sales and field sales reps makes sense, particularly if you are concerned about H1 pipeline delays. Given the difficulty of reaching anybody by phone (made worse by prospects working at home) or email, adding additional sales communications channels is well worth testing out.
There are other LinkedIn services worth investigating or trialing. LinkedIn Marketing supports highly targeted B2B campaigns. Unlike other platforms, LinkedIn can target by company, job function, level, industry, geography, and education. LinkedIn provides campaign metrics and allows marketers to set daily budgets. Both CPM and CPC pricing are available. Pricing is based upon second-best auctions (you pay 1 cent above the second best bid price).
For larger companies, LinkedIn Elevate should also be considered, particularly with remote workers. Elevate provides a curated feed of content to company employees for social media distribution (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook). Elevate amplifies corporate messaging and reduces the level of effort for sales reps and other employees to share content through social networks.
LinkedIn Learning is offering sixteen courses at no charge covering topics related to working from home, remote management, tools, and mindset.
“In the coming days, we will make 16 LinkedIn Learning courses available for free including tips on how to: stay productive, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, use virtual meeting tools (Microsoft Teams, Skype, BlueJeans, Cisco Webex and Zoom), and balance family and work dynamics in a healthy way.”
Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn SVP of Product
Sales Intelligence services help sales reps build prospecting lists, quality leads, refine account messaging, expand into new departments and locations, track accounts, and target additional buying committee members.
Many sales intelligence services also offer B2B DaaS services for updating CRMs and MAPs. Salesforce data hygiene is maintained through Lightning Data connectors, a sub-category on the AppExchange. Because data is synced with CRMs and MAPs, it is continuously updated, ensuring that firmographic data is accurate and that departed contacts are removed from sales and marketing activity (BTW — contacts decay at 30% per annum, so maintaining your enterprise software contact data is a valuable investment)
Sales Intelligence vendors also provide full workflow integrations into CRMs which allow reps to build lists; view and update accounts, contacts, and leads; and perform account qualification and account planning within CRM I-frames.
Sales Intelligence vendors include
Zoominfo: Deep contacts, emails, org charts, and technographic content. They are the leader in technology sales intelligence and recently added visitor intelligence, trigger-based workflows, and webforms. Zoominfo (FKA DiscoverOrg) also supports Ideal Customer Profiling (ICP), email verification, and B2B DaaS.
D&B Hoovers: The deepest set of global company intelligence for strategic sales reps. Includes full family trees, public company financials and filings, analyst reports, industry market research, SWOTs, European private company financials, and sales triggers. Dun & Bradstreet also supports ICP, B2B DaaS, Visitor Intelligence, Programmatic Marketing, and Customer Data Platforms.
InsideView: A global database with greater depth in North America and Europe, InsideView offers strong sales triggers and integrated social media viewing. InsideView also supports B2B DaaS and ICP.
Sales Genie: The best solution for reps that sell to both companies and individuals (e.g. insurance agencies, mobile, office supplies, landscaping). Features include light sales force automation for firms that have yet to implement a CRM, new businesses, new homeowners, email templates, integrated dialer, and marketing services (SEO, site design, direct mail).
RelPro: A specialist vendor targeting financial services companies.
Artesian Solutions: A UK-based social selling vendor with deep sales triggers and mobile-based meeting prep. They also offer a US solution.
Cognism: A UK-based sales intelligence vendor with sales engagement functionality, B2B DaaS services, and ICP tools.
Vainu: A Nordic-based sales intelligence vendor that also covers the Netherlands (France, US, and the UK are in beta). They also support B2B DaaS and trigger-based workflows.
Research has shown that firms that continue to invest during recessions come out of the downturns much better prepared to grow market share and revenue than those that stop investing. Marketing is an investment in your pipeline and brand. B2B Data-as-a-Service is an investment in your data quality and ability to target prospects effectively. It also reduces sales and marketing waste in efforts directed at weak prospects and departed contacts. SalesTech and MarTech purchases are investments in your revenue generation capabilities.
This is also an opportunity for your sales and marketing teams to cross-train, develop new skills, and test out new tools and processes.
When we come out of the backside of what, hopefully, is a short-term recession, you want to be better prepared to meet latent demand for your products and services. While cutting back on investment and cash burn may be necessary for survival at some companies, don’t cut back on your ability to serve the market in 2021 unless you have to do so. Let others sacrifice the future of their revenue generation operations out of short-term concerns. Bank your savings in travel expenses and event marketing, but don’t cut back in other areas unless necessary.
We are entering a terra incognita for the next three to six months, so steady, empathetic leadership should be your objective. On 9/11, our CEO pulled us into the room and talked to us. I don’t remember his words, but I remember that he was calm and understood that we were all upset and anxious. Business was the least of his concerns that day. He wanted to show a steady hand at the tiller and sent us home to be with family.
Our raison d’être is not to work, and sometimes we are jolted back into that reality. Family, friends, and health are a higher priority. COVID 19 is not the new normal, but simply a bad storm that will pass.
Sales Engagement vendor Outreach opened its London EMEA headquarters, intending to treble its London customer-facing headcount by the end of the year. The firm already has over 20 local staff in support, sales, professional services, and customer success. The firm has over 500 customers with local or global teams in Europe, including DocuSign, Deliveroo, and Protegrity.
“We see a very real opportunity to help evolve the sales industry and customer experience in Europe, and we see London as the best place to do so. U.S. teams are engaging with customers in new and innovative ways. Our customers in Europe have shared with us that they believe Outreach can provide European customer-facing teams with the tools they need to transform the sector and turn sales into a true engine for business growth.”
Outreach CEO Manny Medina
“I want to
thank our customers here in the U.K. who have been on this journey with us
since we launched, said Outreach CEO, Manny Medina. “Thanks to their
early and ongoing support, we knew we had market fit – we just needed the right
person to grow and lead our team here.”
was named the head of EMEA sales, where he is “hard at work” assembling the
London sales office. Castley has over twenty years of experience building
“high functioning” technology sales organizations. He previously led
Apptio’s pan-European account team and held several sales roles at Oracle.
sales industry needs to brush up on its image of an industry full of mavericks
who magically secure their sales pipeline at the last minute. We think
it’s time we put this cliché to bed,” said Castley. “This is
why we’re swapping it for a data-driven approach that helps create a steady
flow of prospects filling the pipeline and replaces the ‘peaks and troughs’ of
the sales cycle with a predictable process. Companies can then arm their
team with relevant data to not only perfect the art of customer engagement but
also increase the productivity of the sector and give the board a simple system
to predict their revenue.”
Outreach has over 450 employees and 4000 global customers. Last year, the firm nearly doubled its revenue to $70 million, according to Forbes.
Sales Engagement Platform Outreach, which is enjoying significant growth and good press, has twice had to redefine itself. The first time was a pivot from supporting recruiters to sales reps. The second redefinition was cultural – reshaping its male-centric, burn-the-midnight-oil culture into a more inclusive, hospitable environment.
estimated Outreach revenue at $70 million in its last fiscal year (January
2020) up from $38 million in fiscal year 2019. The firm is considering a
direct IPO, but views that event as several years out. In the meantime, “Our
goal is to take Outreach and become a large, independent company,” says DFJ
Growth partner Sam Fort.
initial sales were mostly into tech firms such as DocuSign, where the software
saves reps at least ten hours per month by streamlining and improving sales
communications. “You have to land tens of thousands of customers and you
can’t do that with a team of 100 people cold calling,” says DocuSign CRO Loren
Alhadeff. “Your best bet is to find a way to make your touches more
important and more pertinent.”
the opportunity as much broader and believes only 1% of the market has been
tapped. Sales engagement may even expand beyond B2B sales functions and
support higher-end consumer sales roles such as financial advisors and mortgage
The path to success has been rocky. The firm began in the recruitment space and was nearly bankrupt when it began marketing some internal sales tools it developed. Outreach has also had problems with employee churn due to rapid hiring, a difficult winner-take-all pace that burned-out staff, and a male culture that permitted “sexually charged jokes.”
an Ecuadorian immigrant, realized that cultural change was necessary. “I
don’t come from central casting. I’m not an old white guy from Silicon
Valley,” he said. “I know what it’s like to be marginalized, so I take
this to heart.”
these problems, the firm released managers that promoted the negative culture,
centralized sales teams so that reps could learn from each other, and hired
Anna Baird as COO. Baird has focused on hiring and building an inclusive
culture where “everyone has a fair shot.”
The executive team is now 40% female with a goal of parity. “This is not a checkbox for me,” said Medina. “This is the life I want to live. I want to be surrounded by people who want to feel included, who are doing their best work with peers that they love and respect.”
Cancels Unleash 2020 (Covid 19)
SalesLoft and Outreach both made difficult decisions this week, canceling planned user conferences. SalesLoft aborted its Rev2020 conference, which was to open today, and Outreach scrubbed its April Unleash show. Adobe, Zendesk, and Shopify also canceled events, while Twitter and Facebook pulled out of SXSW.
We have been closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Our first priority will always be the health and safety of our community, employees, customers, and partners. After careful consideration of the developing situation, we have come to the incredibly difficult decision to cancel Unleash 2020 scheduled for April 7-9.
Unleash is my favorite event of the year. I love having the chance to meet with all of you and share in the excitement of what’s to come. It’s with a heavy heart that we made the decision, but we believe your health and safety should come first, no matter what.
Outreach CEO Manny Medina (March 3, 2020)
SalesLoft will still be presenting its opening keynote, but as a virtual presentation on Tuesday. Outreach is planning a virtual event and twelve-city Unleash Summit tour later this year.
Vendors invest millions in marketing dollars hosting their own events. It is an excellent opportunity for them to build their brand, promote ecosystem partners, roll out their roadmap, provide specialized training by job function and role, expand their organizational presence at current accounts, and convert prospects to customers.