Dun & Bradstreet also announced that the Folloze B2B personalized marketing platform is fully integrated into D&B Rev.Up ABX. Folloze is available in both standard and advanced editions.
The D&B Data Cloud personalizes Folloze for landing pages from both inbound and outbound prospects. D&B customer profile data supports campaigns executed on display, email, or via sales outreach.
With Folloze, Rev.Up ABX customers can create and launch “data-powered, personalized omnichannel experiences across the entire buyer journey.” Folloze captures first and third-party account and individual behavior analytics which are fed back to the CDP. Folloze can also orchestrate targeted campaign activities across sales, account development, and channels.
“B2B buying and selling has changed forever,” said Eric Bauer, Chief Growth Officer at Folloze. “Today’s digital-first buyers want to be treated as partners – not campaign targets. As such, creating the engaging account-based experiences across the entire buyer journey represents the new table stakes for every marketing team. Our alliance with Dun & Bradstreet makes it easy for marketing and revenue teams to retool and quickly deliver dynamic contextual experiences across a wide range of digital touchpoints.”
Companies that deployed Rev.Up ABX include Thomson-Reuters, Schneider, Citrix, Rackspace Technology, and Sierra Wireless.
D&B Rev.Up ABX is GA across all five modules (the four channels plus the Advanced edition that combines the four). The Folloze integration will GA in June.
D&B Rev.Up ABX pricing starts at $30,000. This fee includes the ability to acquire data from the Data Cloud and the embedded CDP (D&B Lattice) along with a single channel to activate a campaign such as email, sales, or web. Other Standard features include visitor intelligence, lead form enrichment, a seat of D&B Hoover’s, Salesforce and MAP import connectors, Salesforce Buyer Insights (10 seats), the Outreach connector (10 seats), analytics, and programmatic audience building.
The Advanced edition applies to clients looking to license at least three modules. It supports broad data ingestion, social activation, paid search, and real-time visitor intelligence feeds to content management systems, along with all four channels.
With D&B Lattice at its core, Rev.Up ABX supports AI-driven models for defining ideal buyers and their individual and account-level buying journeys. Marketers define the goals, segmentation, criteria, and historical period for the model (e.g., four quarters of historical records), and Lattice builds and scores across the segment. These models assist with building targeted audiences of buyers ready to engage across various stages of their journey.
Once a model is built, marketers can create and activate campaigns across channels. For example, an awareness campaign can be activated across paid social, Google ads, and Google search for either accounts or contacts. Lattice manages scheduled audience updates so that marketers do not need to manually update the activated segment.
Likewise, lower scoring leads triggered by website visits can be nurtured in Marketo, while higher scoring visitors are routed to Outreach as sequences or tasks.
Company-level analytics show the engagement journey across stages, contacts engaged, engagement activity, pages visited, firmographics, intent signals, and SDR alerts.
The suite is GDPR and CCPA compliant with opt-in/opt-out flags shared across activation channels.
Dun & Bradstreet launched D&B Rev.Up, a new RevTech product line that brings together first and third-party data in “an open and agnostic platform that aligns teams, data, and technology to deliver relevant and engaging buyer experiences for target accounts.” The datasets are unified via D&B Lattice, the CDP Dun & Bradstreet acquired in 2019.
The first offering is D&B Rev.Up ABX, which supports “first- and third-party data, activation capabilities and measurement, on top of its industry-leading customer data platform (CDP), giving sales and marketing teams a singular view of an account from targeting to revenue.”
“As sales and marketing leaders move to shared revenue responsibility, it becomes important to gain a common view of the customer throughout the buying lifecycle,” said Dun & Bradstreet CMO Stacy Greiner. “We designed D&B Rev.Up ABX to simplify marketing and sales workflows by providing data, targeting, activation, and measurement in one platform, using an open architecture that allows teams to complement and capitalize on existing investments.”
The new ABM service supports a channel-agnostic, “360-degree view” of accounts, contacts, campaigns, and sales plays. Four ABX channels are supported:
D&B Rev.Up ABX for Ads deploys paid media campaigns across demand-side platforms (DSPs) and social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Ads, theTradeDesk, Google Video & Display360, Verizon Media, Xandr, and MediaMath. ABX for ads is available as either a managed service or a self-serve option. The managed services option supports media, data, execution, and analytics.
Revenue teams can target by role, firmographics, technographics, and intent data. They can then engage audiences via programmatic advertising, paid search, and social media.
D&B Rev.Up ABX for Web supports visitor intelligence, tying visitor activity to accounts across both offices and homes. The service also pre-populates shortened forms, personalize websites, and deploys a tracking pixel to tie engagement back to D-U-N-S Numbers.
Because users select the company name from a type-ahead, drop-down list of names and addresses, the user only needs to enter a partial company name. Dun & Bradstreet then enriches the record with firmographics, linkage, and D-U-N-S numbers. According to Andrew Berg in Dun & Bradstreet Analyst Relations, the “waterfall matching technology” combines IP, cookie, and API matching logic. The API type-ahead drop-down matching is completed in under 200 milliseconds after the first two characters are entered into the company name field on a form.
D&B Rev.Up ABX for Sales builds lists for sales teams, rates opportunities, and activates sales plays with connectors to SalesTech solutions. ABX for Sales supports predictive analytics, propensity modeling, sales plays, sales recommendations, and buyer propensity tracking. SDRs may engage customers and prospects via Outreach sequences. SalesLoft support is planned for later this year.
Sales Engagement sequences can be driven by first and third-party intent, marketing engagement data from MAPs, and Folloze engagement.
D&B Rev.Up for Email builds targets audiences and activates email campaigns via Marketo, Eloqua, HubSpot (June GA), and Pardot (June GA). Functionality includes campaign building, opt-in/opt-out support, and engagement analytics.
Analytics partners include Google Analytics, Optimizely, Adobe Target, and Adobe Analytics. Other partners include Outreach and Salesforce.
“Teams aren’t trapped in a single, enclosed platform like other tech on the market. D&B Rev.Up ABX integrates and works with their existing Martech and SalesTech so that they can activate in one channel, many, or all of them in a consistent and orchestrated way. They gain the power of the Data Cloud and our CDP, while also being able to use tools they already have,” blogged Greiner. “This openness and flexibility helps teams to work efficiently and means they can maximize previous investments and use dollars wisely. You can choose the full power of D&B Rev.Up ABX, or use it just in one channel – ads, email, web, sales plays – and then scale up to achieve a coordinated conversation with buyers everywhere they’re likely to engage.”
Artesian Solutions released Engagement Signals, a set of bespoke rules for its Connect platform. Engagement Signals deliver “a constant supply of highly relevant intelligence and insight on their clients to facilitate advanced prospecting, customer monitoring, efficient onboarding, ongoing assessment of portfolio risks, and automated underwriting.”
Artesian Connect applies customer “Know-How” to structured and unstructured data, identifying “highly targeted calls to action.” Engagement Signals combine triggers with Next-Best-Actions related to accounts.
We make it a priority to listen to our users and evolve our platform to solve their highest value challenges and ability to deliver transformational results. Financial Service organisations are now in a position where they must urgently transform their digital business strategies. With Artesian Connect, modern frontline banking and insurance teams can rapidly merge disparate data sources, create bespoke rules for risk selection utilising rich firmographic data and, most importantly, deliver insight from unstructured data that paints a much deeper picture for next-generation client experiences. Engagement Signals represent a simple way for our users to leverage the power of the Connect Platform through a pre-built set of features and rules.
Rich Clark, Artesian VP of Product Development
Artesian also launched a new Briefing Page that provides a snapshot of a company’s health, financials, and signals. At the top of the Briefing Page are financials and ownership flags, followed by Engagement Signals. A set of tabs below Engagement Signals lets finance and sales professionals review the latest news, data, blogs, tweets, and pinned stories.
ABM Platform RollWorks announced Journey Stages. The new feature “gives B2B marketing and sales teams deeper insight into the impact of go-to-market activities on account progression.”
Journey Stages determines the stage of the buying journey and activates stage-specific, multi-channel campaigns based upon this intelligence. Journey Stages helps revenue teams “uncover insights about account journeys, measure account progression and regression, and understand key drivers and trends for any velocity changes between stages.”
Journey Stages lets sales and marketing professionals target and orchestrate multi-channel account-based campaigns based upon the journey phase. Journey Stages tracks account progression based upon custom definitions across the full customer lifecycle.
“For example, if a bulk of your accounts are ‘unaware,’ you may prioritize brand programs over lower funnel plays,” blogged RollWorks Lead Product Manager Mark Miller. ”If you see that a bulk of your accounts are ‘aware,’ you’ll likely focus on pulling them down the funnel with different offers. Essentially, you’ll have the information you need to toggle certain programs and budgets on and off at the ready.”
“We’re eager to bring this robust set of identification and measurement features to market,” said Justin Cooperman, VP of Product at RollWorks. “With Journey Stages and additional journey functionality shortly to come, RollWorks gives marketers a new layer of end-to-end insights to help them better understand the impact of their Account-Based campaigns, enabling finer tuning of their ABM programs for pipeline progression and revenue growth.”
Journey Stages is currently in beta, with GA scheduled for Summer 2021.
Seismic announced enhancements to its recently launched Aura AI platform. Aura provides sales reps with “intelligent recommendations on how to effectively engage with buyers, advance deals, and uncover new opportunities.”
Aura AI is a personal assistant for sales reps delivered via a Chrome extension. It suggests “personalized, relevant content recommendations” using data from similar customers and prospects. This content can then be forwarded to customers and prospects or posted on social sites as a LiveSend Link that supports full tracking and analytics.
Aura also displays customer engagement history and engagement between the customer and colleagues.
“Artificial intelligence isn’t just about making sellers more productive, which is important. It’s also about helping buyers solve their problems by connecting them with the right content,” blogged Seismic Senior Content Strategist Tony Smith.
Seismic also released CRM SmartPlays within Salesforce. The new feature “removes the burden of identifying the best sales plays” and suggests higher-performing content and context. “The modern salesperson is constantly pulled in multiple directions, leading to information overload and decision fatigue on what to do next. Aura’s content recommendations act as the seller’s sidekick, helping them eliminate the noise and avoid missing the next important engagement moment,” said Seismic CEO Doug Winter. “Our approach to AI combines the best of human and artificial intelligence to give sellers a competitive edge and more time back in their day to engage with buyers. I can’t wait for more Seismic customers to see what Aura will do for them.”
European Sales Intelligence vendor Vainu implemented a proprietary AI-based industry taxonomy. The 700+ segments are derived from company website content and “extensive training data sets to determine unique industries for each company.” Custom industry labels may be combined when list building. Thus, sales and marketing can target companies, such as “Nordic SaaS providers building marketing automation platforms” or “Medical device manufactures developing machine learning applications.”
The industry codes are clustered into 46 custom industry groups. For example, there are over 80 software codes and 19 sustainability codes (e.g., Biofuel, Biomass Energy, Clean Energy). Vainu has focused the initial set of codes around emerging technologies and fast-changing markets. Traditional industries such as agriculture, food and beverage, and manufacturing are supported by broad codes as these industries are well defined by traditional industry taxonomies.
“Traditional industry classifications for B2B segmentation don’t do the trick anymore—they are too generic, broad, or even incorrect,” blogged Vainu Customer Marketer Ella Tyrväinen.
Custom Industries are available on the Vainu platform and via its API. Industry-based target lists may be exported as a CSV file or JSON.
Vainu also recently added three fields to its list exports: Countries of Operation, Website Languages, and Technographics. In February, Vainu released a webCRM integration.
On its earnings call last week, ZoomInfo provided further color on its Workflows and Engage products that leverage ZoomInfo’s content for sales and marketing automation. Along with company and contact data, ZoomInfo supports visitor intelligence, intent data, and events.
Since its founding, ZoomInfo has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in “to drive material improvements in the way we gather, normalize, match and cleanse that data with the use of AI and Machine Learning.” ZoomInfo has expanded the breadth and depth of its content and built a “fully scalable platform that powers the digitization of how companies go to market” across departments, funnel stages, and the customer lifecycle.
“Our platform starts with our market-leading and highly accurate data layer, delivers critical sales insights and signals, automates best actions with our next generation workflow software and our tightly integrated activation layer, Engage. This integrated suite of data and software helps businesses of all sizes and across all industries activate targeted opportunities in an efficient, scalable, and repeatable way,” stated CEO Henry Schuck. “As we continue to invest in automating workflow, expanding the coverage and quality of the data we publish, and leveraging that data asset across our platform’s application stack, we are building a wider and wider moat around the company.”
During Q1, ZoomInfo expanded the platform integration with Engage, their Sales Engagement service. Enhancements include the ability to “search and import contacts from ZoomInfo and Salesforce into Engage and allowing users to configure target market buyer personas to receive an automated feed of recommended contacts to pursue. Only a month after release, 40% of active users have taken advantage of these expanded touchpoints.
The also released Workflows enhancements that simplified the creation of Workflows based upon a Trigger / Actions / Filters structure. Workflows support actions across CRMs, MAPs, SEPs, and Engage.
A recruitment product, currently in beta, will be launched in June, just in time to take advantage of post-pandemic hiring growth in the US. The Recruiter service includes Engage and supports “a digital motion from candidate sourcing, to candidate engagement, to interview.” Multiple ATS (applicant tracking systems) will be supported.
Engage ACV doubled over the past quarter, with a 25% increase in usage of the core ZoomInfo platform among joint licensors, with Engage driving higher renewal levels.
Engage is still a new product and only represents “a tiny, tiny percentage of our customer base.” However, the market signals are strong, and ZoomInfo sees a “strong upside” with the offering. They have been receiving “great feedback from the customers who are on it.”
“We also see the benefits of this adoption within our retention and renewal numbers where customers who are dual users of Engage and ZoomInfo have materially higher renewal and retention rates than those who are ZoomInfo only customers. This is one of the most exciting things about the Engage platform: It has multi-area benefits. Customers buy Engage, which increases the adoption of both Engage and ZoomInfo. And investment behind Engage has material benefits across our Recruiter and International packages, where that product is a built-in offering.”
ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck
`ZoomInfo offers a sales engagement service and integrates with two of the leading SEPs: Outreach and SalesLoft. Justin Withers, SVP of Strategy & Corporate Development, described the company as “Switzerland in terms of data and intelligence.” ZoomInfo customers can choose to deploy Engage for their sales teams or other vendors. In either case, they benefit as they provide leads (ZoomInfo Company and Contact Data), signals (ZoomInfo Scoops and Streaming Intent), workflows (ZoomInfo Workflow), and activation across leading platforms.
“If an intent signal comes in for an account, and the topic is relevant for the customer, the signal can fire a workflow with ZoomInfo data and add to a sequence in Outreach, SalesLoft, or Engage,” Withers told GZ Consulting.
Meeting Automation vendor Chili Piper closed on its $33 million “Series Spicy” led by Tiger Global with participation from existing investors Base10 Partners and Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture capital fund. The Series B raised total funding to $54.4 million, most of which was raised over the last nine months.
The additional funds will be used to accelerate product development and global expansion. The round will also help them build out its sales, marketing, and customer success teams.
“We’re excited to partner with Tiger Global, one of the most successful and prolific software investors in the world,” said Chili Piper CEO Nicolas Vandenberghe. “With hundreds of customers and tens of thousands of reps using Chili Piper adding spice to their calendaring efforts daily, we thought, why not raise $33 million to ensure we up our Scoville game?”
Like many SalesTech companies, Chili Piper enjoyed pandemic tailwinds as businesses went remote and looked to streamline their calendaring.
“We’re proud to have so many customers scheduling meetings and optimizing their calendars with Chili Piper’s Instant Booker. We know some people can’t handle how hot our platform is, but believe me, once you use software as pungent as this, you’ll never go back,” said CPO Alina Vandenberghe.
Chili Piper positions itself as a Meeting Lifecycle Automation company. Beyond booking meetings, it handles inbound meeting requests, sets up follow-up conversations, and maximizes the value of meetings. Meeting workflow features include setting and sharing agendas, booking next steps, logging notes and follow-up actions, and syncing with the CRM.
“Before we launched our inbound solution, Concierge, every company had accepted the industry standard 40% conversion rate on inbound demo requests — meaning that 60 out of every 100 inbound meeting requests (aka inbound leads) never converted into a held meeting. The biggest culprit was speed to lead. The moment a prospect submits a meeting request form on your website, you should be connecting to get a meeting on their calendar.”
Chili Piper, founded in 2016, has 101 employees across 22 countries. The company is structured as a fully remote organization.
Customers include Gong, Spotify, Intuit, Twilio, and Airbnb. Expect more spicy pepper puns in the coming months.
Chili Piper isn’t the only Meeting Management vendor to be gaining attention from the VCs. In January, Calendly closed on a $350 million Series B with OpenView Venture Partners and Iqoniq Capital. The funding round valued the Atlanta-based scheduling firm at greater than $3 billion. Last year, it doubled its subscription revenue to $70 million and grew its user base to ten million.
Calendly has been profitable since 2016. Nigerian immigrant Tope Awotona founded Calendly after a series of failed businesses.
The funds will be used to provide liquidity for early shareholders and employees. It will also fund ongoing product innovation, including expanded appointment setting enhancements and integrations. The firm plans to double its headcount (at 200 in January) and continue to build out its R&D operations in Kyiv.
As a freemium service, users can test out Calendly and license the service for either $8 or $12 per month. The service is generalized, supporting business people, teachers, contractors, and freelancers. It offers integrations with calendars (e.g. Outlook, Exchange, Google Calendar), video conferencing (e.g. Zoom, Teams, GoToMeeting, JoinMe), and payment services (PayPal, Stripe). Calendly offers apps for Android, iOS, Outlook, Chrome, and Firefox.
“We really see ourselves as a leading orchestration platform,” explained Awotona. “What that means is that we really want to remain extensible and flexible. We want our users to bring their own best-in-class products. We think about this in an agnostic way.”
“Calendly has a vision increasingly to be a central part of the meeting life cycle,” said Blake Bartlett, a partner at Openview. “What happens before, during, and after the meeting. Historically, the obvious was before the meeting, but now it’s looking at integrations, automations, and other things so that it all magically happens. But moving into the rest of the lifecycle is a lot of opportunity but also many players.”
Happy Mother’s Day. I wrote this blog about six years ago, but it is no longer available online, so I thought I’d republish it here with a few minor updates.
My mother was a highly successful sales rep in two different capital goods industries for several decades. She regularly noted how important her reputation was in building her pipeline across her territory. From her perspective, acting unethically was severe short-term thinking. You were better off telling a customer that they should go to a competitor for a specific product if you can’t meet their needs than to shoehorn in a solution that only damages your reputation and that of your firm. While fibbing (using my mom’s polite term when she caught us in a lie) might close a few more deals early on, once you have been found to be slippery with the truth you are unlikely to close more sales at that account.
My mother worked her territory for over a decade and didn’t win any significant business at some prospects for the first few years. At the outset, her company had little market presence in the region. But she hung in there and sold a few beachhead deals that solved niche problems. It was with this long-term approach that she slowly built trust with her new customers. They then brought her in when new RFPs were being written – she had earned their trust.
Because she sold capital goods to only three segments (Hospitals, Nursing Homes, and Universities), she approached the market with an Account Based Marketing (ABM) perspective. Each account represented a series of opportunities over the next five to ten years. She treated each account with respect and built her relationships well ahead of RFPs. She intuitively understood Lifetime Value (LTV).
It is only with a reputation for integrity that you can expect to be called when an exec moves to another company.
It is only with integrity that you will be asked to advise on an RFP.
And it is only with integrity that customers will be willing to take referral calls for you or recommend you to their colleagues.
Being shady eventually backfires. Who is going to call you back when you have failed to deliver on your promises? It can be a scorched earth approach that is contrary to today’s ABM focus. With ABM, there are a limited number of top accounts within your territory which are to be nurtured and grown. Playing fast and loose with the truth, delivering shoddy products and services, or failing to live up to your promises will undermine your reputation at key accounts and erode your brand value.
It can even backfire quickly. One time, my mother responded to a state RFP with aggressive pricing she knew her competitor was unlikely to match. She attended the bid award meeting and was shocked to find she was underbid. As state bidding is open, she reviewed the competitor’s bid and found they had substituted refurbished equipment for new even though the RFP barred used equipment. She contested the bid on the grounds that the firm had failed to comply with RFP requirements and was later awarded the multi-year contract. Not only did her competitor lose the contract in question, but it undermined its reputation at the state purchasing department.
Ethical Competitive Strategy
When training sales reps, I also emphasize staying “above the fray”. Besmirching a competitor’s product also sullies your reputation. It shows a lack of class and a sense of desperation. It is much better to position the value of your offering and focus on areas of differentiation than it is to throw mud. You should lay landmines for competitors, not besmirch their reputation.
A landmine is simply an emphasis upon those features and benefits where your product or service offering excels. The goal is to frame the discussion around the dimensions in which your product provides superior value to the end user. Keep in mind that value is dependent upon the customer in question, so you need to factor in job function, industry, company size, etc. Also, be careful to select areas in which your firm excels overall, not dimensions in which you are superior to competitor X that is vying for the deal but inferior to competitor Y. Otherwise, you may later find out you lost the deal to Y.
Likewise, you should expect your competitors to be laying landmines for your sales reps. They need to understand where these mines are laid and how to diffuse them.
One tool I recommend is the quick parry. This is a quick response to the question, “how are you better / different than company X?” A quick parry is only three or four sentences and usually begins by saying something positive about the competitor before transitioning with a BUT or HOWEVER. The positive item can be a recognition of some dimension in which they are the acknowledged leader or a dimension that is of limited importance to the customer in question. Thus, if you are selling to an SMB, you might emphasize the breadth of their solution for enterprise customers vs. the ease of use, quick implementation, and pricing models you offer for smaller firms. Such a tool differentiates your service from the competitor without throwing mud.
While modern sales tools don’t make sales reps more or less ethical, digital tools allows them to focus on relationship building instead of cold calling and administrative tasks. When I’ve shown my mother the current generation of sales tools, she becomes jealous of today’s sales reps. Think about
How much closer she would have been to her customers had she been able to review profiles for each company; seen detailed lists of contacts with titles, emails, and phone numbers; and received daily email alerts with account and prospect sales triggers.
How much less time she would have spent filling out monthly pipeline reports (three-part carbon forms) had account intelligence been integrated into a CRM.
How easily she could have reached out to clients via email or social media by quickly leveraging a trigger.
How much faster she would have learned that a key contact moved to another company and planned her strategy accordingly.
How she would have benefited by viewing her accounts and prospects displayed on a map to assist with road trip planning.
How she could have mapped out the demand unit, identified gaps, and tracked engagement with revenue and sales intelligence tools.
What about the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) strategy? I tend to dislike it unless it addresses a true pain or fear of the buyer. When I worked at MCI back in the ‘90s, one of AT&T’s strategies was to emphasize their reputation and solidity. We used to refer to it as the “Nobody ever gets fired for recommending AT&T strategy”. It addressed the inherent risk aversion of recommending an upstart over the industry behemoth. Such a strategy often works best for incumbents as it allows them to focus on their strengths (e.g. experience, stability, breadth of solution, zero transition costs). Upstarts using FUD need to make sure that they don’t come across as mocking the larger firm instead of emphasizing their strengths as an upstart (e.g. innovation, flexibility, focus).
When training your sales reps, make sure they fully understand your value proposition and those of your competitors. Reps should only be discussing competitors when directly asked about them. Landmines and quick parries emphasize your value proposition and differential value while avoiding the pitfalls of mudslinging. My mother understood these truths four decades ago.