Sales Engagement Platform Groove announced a new Auto Contact Capture feature that identifies missing Salesforce contacts cc’d on emails or meeting invitations. Groove helps fill out the buying committee, capturing intelligence around members at the periphery of deals while reducing rep data entry overhead.
Beyond demand unit identification, Auto Contact Capture monitors engagement across the buying committee. “This ensures that every contact involved in the buying process receives a consistent, timely, and relevant experience from their first engagement,” wrote Groove.
“Now more than ever, businesses need to be able to get a complete picture of their sales pipeline in order to maximize revenue,” said Groove CEO Chris Rothstein. “By consolidating revenue intelligence and advanced activity capture into one unified sales engagement platform, Groove empowers businesses to close more deals and intelligently refine their sales processes.”
Groove captures and logs revenue intelligence from emails, calendars, meetings, and LinkedIn communications. Users control which categories are captured and logged to leads, contacts, accounts, opportunities, and cases. While Groove does not offer direct contact enrichment, records can be enriched through subscription partners such as ZoomInfo.
To ensure data integrity, Groove performs duplicate checking that begins with the email but includes additional heuristics. Groove will not create a contact if the email does not match a domain already existing as an account in Salesforce. Groove also maintains user and domain-level blocklists to ensure that only relevant business contacts are created via Auto Contact Capture.
Groove does not provide user alerts concerning captured records, but “it’s easy for reps to identify contacts that have been automatically added to Salesforce,” Groove Director of Communications Jason Klein wrote to GZ Consulting. “Each contact created through Auto Contact Capture has a custom Groove field that is marked as true (Is Created by Groove), allowing for quick analysis and reporting on all contacts created through this new feature.”
Groove has focused on expanding its revenue intelligence capabilities over the past year. Recent enhancements include activity sync, reporting, and analytics features. In March, the firm rolled out real-time opportunity and pipeline management and enhanced ROI reporting.
“Through this expanded capability set, Groove enables revenue leaders to make real-time, data-driven business decisions based on real campaign results at both the individual and team level,” stated Groove. Groove is built natively in Salesforce and uses SFDC as its data store, acting as an engagement layer on top of Salesforce. Thus, there is no data sync process between Groove and Salesforce.
EXPLORE.FR, which has historically been more of a niche data provider for the French market, now offers a full sales intelligence and DaaS offering covering the entire French market. In March, EXPLORE took a minority stake in Societeinfo and published its set of registered Sirene data for ten million active businesses.
“With Societeinfo, we can offer a wide range of data enrichment scenarios, contextualized email generation, semantic targeting without equivalent on the market,” said Laurent Nicouleau, Associate Director of EXPLORE. “These data can, of course, be integrated into the information systems of our customers, including those deployed by GESTINNOV, our subsidiary dedicated to CRM & ERP integration.”
EXPLORE describes itself as ”a designer of high value-added B to B behavioral data solutions” that “identify all the life stages of your prospects and customers and transforms them into a lever for commercial performance.”
EXPLORE French market intelligence includes company and executive profiles, financials, and triggers. Features include prospecting, list mapping, news alerts, and mobile apps.
EXPLORE offers connectors for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, Oracle, SugarCRM, Efficy, and SAP.
A new Microsoft Teams feature lets users look up and share company profiles within the Teams discussion stream. Company profiles may be looked up via their Siret # (registration number), name, or address. From the mini-profile, colleagues can link to the company website or view additional details in EXPLORE. The service works as a freemium with non-EXPLORE users viewing a limited profile and EXPLORE users viewing a complete profile.
The Teams application is French only.
EXPLORE triggers are gathered from regional and national news, social media, the open web (e.g., governmental sites, real estate developers, public purchasers), and public data resources (e.g., building permits, legal announcements). Triggers fall into three categories:
Strategic events such as M&A, Fundraising, IPO, Investment Projects, and Restructuring. EXPLORE captures 3 million strategic events per annum.
Relocation Projects and profiles spanning 15,000 annual events.
Legal News such as company registration, dissolution, change in capital, divestitures, litigation, etc. EXPLORE tracks 2.7 million legal events per annum.
EXPLORE targets commercial real estate, real estate developers, financial services, building supplies, and B2B services. EXPLORE pricing begins in the €2,000 to 3,000 range.
EXPLORE has 160 employees, with offices in Paris and Nantes, and an annual turnover greater than €14 million. EXPLORE has 1,500 clients and over 40,000 users.
In other news, EXPLORE acquired Belgian data vendor CODATA which collects information about retailers in France and Benelux. The dataset covers 370,000 retail locations at 4,600 sites (e.g., city centers, shopping centers, outlets). The new content augments EXPLORE’s coverage of commercial real estate.
“EXPLORE has been present for many years on the commercial property market; our offer is mainly “project” oriented (construction and renovation of buildings, urban development, CDAC-CNAC decisions, etc.),” said Nicouleau. “We were very impressed by the high quality of the teams and the data produced by CODATA in the field. Associated with EXPLORE, CODATA will have new operational resources to develop and strengthen their positions.”
Relationship Intelligence platform Introhive closed on a $100 million Series C. The round was led by PSG, with Bank of America Securities joining. Existing investors The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Aegis Group Partners, Evergreen Coast Capital, and Mavan Capital Partners also participated.
Introhive will be deploying the funds for strategic acquisitions, expanding its global footprint, and growing its engineering, sales, and marketing teams.
“At the moment, our primary goal is to grow as fast as we can possibly grow,” said Global VP of Sales Adam Draper. “And we don’t want pure organic growth to be the limiting factor. So with this amount of money, it just gives us the option (to buy) companies that maybe did well in a certain vertical but couldn’t expand beyond that…or maybe had some sales hiccups, or whatever.”
Introhive, based in Fredericton (New Brunswick) and Miami, anticipates growing from 300 employees to 400 over the next year.
“For us, (the raise) is about continuing to evolve our platform, innovating on technology, staying ahead of our competitive product roadmap, and ensuring the success of our employees,” said Draper.
The round follows a strong 2020 during which Introhive claims to have doubled its revenue to over $20 million. It is projecting $100 million by the end of 2023, said Draper.
During the pandemic, Introhive refined its sales processes and workflows.
“We really focused in 2020 on scaling what I call the operational, the core parts,” said Draper. “Anytime you’re scaling, especially in my world, from a sales perspective, it’s easy to put the sales bodies in place, but you have to have the infrastructure to support that. And so we put a lot of time into process workflow, our tech stack, but also our strategy.”
“Our internal compass focuses on the 3 R’s – revenue, retention, and relationships – as the key ingredients to a successful and thriving business,” said Introhive CEO Jody Glidden. “Whether a company is trying to reduce customer or employee churn, make their revenue generating teams more effective or leverage the numerous untapped connections of ‘who knows who’ that exist in their company, Introhive is creating raving fans.”
“Businesses of all sizes are looking for better ways to leverage relationships and drive revenue, and we believe Introhive has built a unique and innovative set of capabilities that allows them to do this more effectively. In our view, Jody and Stewart (Walchli, CRO) have built a world-class product and management team, and the business is well-positioned for its next phase of growth. We couldn’t be happier to join them on their journey.”
Rick Essex, Managing Director at PSG and New Introhive Board Member
Introhive looks to address the high failure rate of CRM projects by mapping relationship data and identifying opportunities. Introhive claims to save its customers $68,400 per employee on lost productivity and automating manual work.
Introhive boosts CRM adoption through automated contact data enrichment and uploads. It claims to uncover 350 additional contacts per user. “The AI engine then maps these contacts to identify relationships across prospects and customer accounts.” By reducing research and data maintenance overhead, sales and business professionals can focus their activities on prospects and clients, driving customer satisfaction and the bottom line.
Last year, Introhive processed more than one trillion transactions, captured 60+ million contacts and relationships, saved nine million employee hours, and supported users across 90 countries.
“Great salespeople are most valuable when they’re building relationships — and business — with customers,” commented Nicole France, Principal Analyst at Constellation Research. “By intelligently capturing data insights, technologies like Introhive increase the quality and timeliness of the data and help salespeople prioritize their efforts where it matters most. Sellers can focus more of their time on the insights generated from relationship intelligence and putting it to use. As a result, sales and account teams understand the needs of their customers and prospects better than ever before, resulting in more upsells, shorter lead times, and more revenue.”
Introhive has benefited from using its application. “I think using Introhive at Introhive has always been one of the reasons that we’ve grown so fast,” said Draper. “I remember in the early days, when we couldn’t get leads, we used our software to tap into the networks of our highly connected investors and advisors to create introductions and get some of those first sales.”
Introhive has ten offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Middle East, and Asia.
ZoomInfo launched its Business Contact Preference Registry (BCPR), a centralized registry for recording B2B opt-out requests which will be shared across the industry. The BCPR is ZoomInfo’s latest step in burnishing its data privacy positioning.
“The collection of data is central to businesses in the B2B data industry, but the responsibility of ethical data stewardship falls onto the shoulders of each individual company,” wrote the firm. “As industry leaders in data privacy, ZoomInfo has made it easier for businesses in the B2B data marketplace to address the preferences of consumers by building, maintaining, and sharing access to the BCPR.”
“It’s critical for data-focused companies to prioritize privacy. The Business Contact Preference Registry offers businesses a convenient way to prioritize privacy by supplying the entire B2B data industry with a ready-made list of consumer opt-outs. We’re proactively sharing our opt-outs as an invitation to B2B companies to join us in putting privacy first.”
Bubba Nunnery, ZoomInfo’s Senior Director of Privacy and Public Policy
I had been flagging data privacy as a weakness in ZoomInfo’s model, which could slow their entry to the European market post-COVID, but they have been actively working to shore up their data privacy practices and demonstrate that they are respectful of the data they hold.
ZoomInfo developed a proactive data compliance program based upon “notice and choice” that notifies business professionals about ZoomInfo’s data. The program is global in scope, so not limited to countries that require notifications. ZoomInfo also expanded its data privacy team earlier this year, naming Hannah Zimmerman, ZoomInfo’s Privacy Counsel and Bubba Nunnery, Senior Director, Privacy and Public Policy.
“Our business is founded on the trust our customers have in our data,” said General Counsel Anthony Stark back in March. “Collecting data is central to all businesses, and it’s our job to be ethical stewards of the data we hold. ZoomInfo adheres to its core privacy tenets of transparency and control, showcasing that we are respectful of the rights of consumers while providing critical service to our customers.”
In May, ZoomInfo announced that it received GDPR and CCPA Practices Validation from TrustArc, saying that its policies “are in line with the strictest privacy regulations in the world.”
“Organizations of all sizes must become privacy-forward to earn the trust of their customers,” said Chris Babel, CEO, TrustArc. “ZoomInfo understands that building trust requires an ongoing, scalable approach to data privacy. The organization has consistently prioritized privacy as the enabler of a better experience for its customers and their subscribers, and the TrustArc GDPR and CCPA Validations reinforce that standing.”
“ZoomInfo is leading the way in data privacy. We are working to accept opt-outs from other vendors as part of our efforts to elevate privacy standards across the B2B data industry.”
CEO Henry Schuck
The BCPR is an excellent idea, but I’m not sure whether the registry should be hosted by one of the major vendors in the space. ZoomInfo plans on accepting opt outs from other vendors, but It is unclear whether other vendors would promote ZoomInfo in the lead data collection role. Preferably, it would be hosted by a government agency such as the FTC, which manages the US Do Not Call Registry, or a neutral body similar to the ICANN domain registry. DataGrail, a leader in data privacy compliance, could administer an independent database across businesses and consumers.
Intent-powered Sales Intelligence vendor Slintel closed on a $20 million round A led by GGV, with participation from Accel, Sequoia, and Stellaris. The Bengaluru-based company is looking to expand its presence in the US market and strengthen its product. Slintel, with 100 employees, plans to double its headcount by the end of the year.
The company still has cash from its $4.2 million November seed round but felt it prudent to proceed with an A round earlier than planned.
“We had enough cash in the bank, but investors came to us, and we got a pretty good valuation compared to the previous round, so we decided to take it and use that money to go faster,” said CEO Deepak Anchala.
Revenue grew 5X last year and was on pace to grow 3X before the Series A. Anchala contends that the growth rate will accelerate with the additional capital. “With the funding, we’re actually looking at much bigger numbers. We’re looking at 5x in our revenue this year and also trying for 4x revenue next year.”
“Slintel has one of the best go-to-market engines that we’ve seen in any startup, and the consistency with which the team has been able to deliver on their growth targets is commendable. We’re looking at a company that’s changing the marketing and sales intelligence sphere as we know it, and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of their board,” said Prayank Swaroop, Partner at Accel.
Anchala told TechCrunch that since the round closed six weeks ago, the firm increased its investment in product and marketing. The advertising budget was increased, with the firm looking to generate prospects via SEO, free tools on the company website, and events.
“The next big wave in the enterprise space is (the) use of AI to rethink processes, and all AI at its core requires data. I am, therefore, bullish on the entire data stack, including data which is either proprietary or inferred data that is not easy to replicate. Slintel is in the second category. Their ability to predict strong prospects is a relatively unique capability, and it is very easy to sell due to a direct correlation to (the) top line for their customers.”
Alok Goyal, Partner at Stellaris Venture Partners
The Slintel platform delivers technographic and company insights, buying propensity scores, contacts, and lead enrichment. Slintel identifies thematic intent signals (i.e., sales triggers) such as upcoming contract renewals, companies that show signs of buying their products online, or companies that use their competitors’ products. Slintel captures hard to detect signals from the web, combines this with other third-party intent signals from its partners, and surfaces these insights via integrations with Salesforce, Pipedrive, HubSpot, Slack and Chrome.
“Our customers no longer waste precious time and effort reaching out to and targeting the wrong prospects,” blogged Anchala. “They are able to accurately determine who their high-intent buyers are, whether a target account is already using their competitor’s product / service, when the renewal date for a prospect’s current solution is coming up, or the budget restrictions that they have. All this and more, even before scheduling a discovery call with them.”
Slintel “mines buyer insights,” said Anchala. “We understand where the buyers are in their journey, what their pain points are, what products they use, what they need, and when they need it. So we understand all of this to create a 360-degree view of the buyer that you provide these insights to sales and marketing teams to help them sell better.”
Technology intent is based upon digital footprint tracking that analyzes when new technologies have been adopted or dropped. Technographics span 25,000 technologies across fifteen million companies and are updated weekly. AI models project when contracts come up for renewal, which technologies are likely to be purchased next, and when they will move forward with the purchase.
Thematic intent is based on keyword analysis that suggests company pain points. Slintel “analyzes how many times companies have been talking about a certain keyword [and] how frequently and recently they have been emitting this pain point.”
Propensity-to-buy scores are derived from over twenty-five variables, including contract renewal dates, technology adoption/churn, keyword Intent, budgetary spending, and hiring trends.
“We have taken a contrarian approach by focusing on the buyer funnel, which is an inverse of the sales funnel,” said Anchala. “We analyze buyer journeys and buying patterns of companies to capture early signals of buyer intent.”
“While most other data intelligence platforms provide insights based on search patterns, Slintel’s proprietary algorithm provides prospect recommendations based on technographics-powered buying intent,” states the firm. “Using Slintel, you can predict who’s about to purchase your product and market or sell your product to prospects even before they move on to the research phase of their buying journey.”
Slintel has employees across ten cities in India and the US, with plans to remain a remote-first organization.
Slintel also announced that Hans Tung, Managing Partner at GGV Capital, joined their Board of Directors.
“With the global pandemic completely changing the way companies operate, B2B transactions have gone more digital than ever before,” stated Tung. “Inside sales teams are closing high-value, multi-million-dollar deals while working remotely, and products like Slintel are enabling companies to do this by helping them reimagine their entire sales process for today’s environment.”
Revenue Acceleration vendor Drift announced a pair of new services last week. I covered Fastlane, its new webforms/chatbot hybrid service yesterday. Today I’ll be discussing Sales Seat, Drift’s entry into SalesTech.
Sales Seat alerts reps when intent and engagement signals have exhibited buying activity. Drift monitors the website, SEPs, MAPs, and CRMs for buying intent. Sales Seat is Drift’s first sales product and helps reps with timing, messaging, and discovering the buying committee. Sales professionals can reach out with personalized messages via chat, email, or video, based on intent and engagement.
Sales Seat is integrated with Outreach, letting reps create sequences from the service.
A mobile app notifies reps, supports conversations, and lets reps record and send Drift videos.
A Chrome extension displays all conversations happening in Drift, monitor engagement (e.g. email opens and clickthroughs, page visits), and drop calendar information in Gmails. Reps can optionally bcc Gmails to their CRM for tracking.
The Drift Profile acts as an online business card with a link that can be dropped into emails and social media messages. Recipients can chat with the rep or book a meeting. The profile contains the rep’s title, location, a short bio, headshot, phone, and social links. The chat supports default messages to display when the rep is available and when not.
“Sales success is all about engaging today’s buyers on their terms: Digitally and immediately when they express interest,” said Drift Chief Product Officer Leo Teneblat. “With Fastlane and Sales Seat, Drift customers can ensure their best buyers and highest intent visitors receive express treatment without overloading the sales team. Not only that, but sellers have context to engage buyers with a personalized experience on the exact topics they care about in the moment they’re expressing interest.”
According to Drift, reps are six-fold more likely to book a meeting if they engage with a buyer during the first hour. Thus, immediately transitioning webform submissions into chats and notifying reps that high-scoring prospects are engaging with the company dramatically increases the likelihood of converting a lead into a meeting.
“Not all accounts are created equal. Your target accounts should receive the most personalized and high-touch buying experiences. Account-based marketing lets you create this experience while engaging with VIP buyers and connecting them to sales. By cutting through the noise, you can close more deals – faster,” blogged Drift Product Education Marketer Gauri Iyengar. “When it comes to booking meetings, there is literally no time to waste. Speed is essential to not just set up a meeting but to turn that meeting into revenue.”
The pair of services was released to early adopters that enjoyed an 82% increase in meetings booked, a 77% jump in opportunities created, and a 67% rise in pipeline influenced.
Revenue Acceleration vendor Drift rolled out a pair of sales enablement tools to facilitate rapid qualification and lead routing: Fastlane lead forms and Sales Seat intent and engagement alerts.
Fastlane combines traditional lead forms with chatbots to create “conversational forms.” Prospects fill out a lead form with contact information enriched, scored, and routed to the Drift chatbot for high-scoring leads. Thus, high-scoring prospects immediately move to sales rep conversations from the website.
Low scoring leads are passed to nurture or “other automated activations.”
“As a result, sellers can focus on high-converting buyers while routing lower-priority leads to nurture campaigns or other automated activations,” wrote Drift. “The net outcome results in more qualified sales pipeline, an efficient workflow for sales reps, and overall revenue acceleration for the organization.”
If the buyers are too busy to speak immediately, they can schedule a meeting through the chatbot. Likewise, if the rep isn’t available for chat, the bot can schedule a meeting after collecting additional prospect intelligence.
It may seem odd that a firm that is a #noforms proponent would choose to begin offering forms, but not all marketers are ready to eliminate forms.
“For most marketers, it’s the number one source of leads that they drive for their sales team. And if they didn’t have that, sales teams would be on the hook to create nearly all of their own pipeline – which is very inefficient. So we realized we had to do more. We have to support our customers in every way that they work. From the inbound motion that relies on forms to the outbound motion for customers who can’t rely on marketing alone to hit their numbers.”
CEO David Cancel
There are also scenarios where a form makes more sense than a bot. Registering for a webinar works better as a form than a bot as it is transparent about the requisite data entry. Likewise, enabling forms with optional bots increases their flexibility and value.
Continue to Part II which discusses Sales Seat and the importance of rapid sales responses for inbound leads.
Conversational Marketing Platform Qualified closed on a $51 million Series B round. Salesforce Ventures led the round, with existing partners Redpoint Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners also joining. Qualified has received $68 million in total funding. It is “the only conversational sales and marketing platform purpose-built for Salesforce Sales Cloud,” stated the firm.
Qualified’s Salesforce roots “go deep.” Along with the Salesforce Ventures funding, Salesforce CMO Sarah Franklin joined Qualified as a board observer, and former Salesforce SVP Dan Darcy joined as their Chief Customer Officer. Multiple execs are former Salesforce employees including CEO Kraig Swensrud who worked on the development of Chatter and served as the firm’s CMO.
“Qualified represents an entirely new way for B2B companies to engage buyers,” said Bill Patterson, Salesforce EVP of CRM Applications. “When marketing and inbound sales teams use this solution with Sales Cloud…they see a notable impact on pipeline. We are thrilled about our growing partnership with Qualified and their success within the Salesforce ecosystem.”
Qualified will deploy the funds to “fuel product innovation;” build out key functions including engineering, sales, marketing, and customer success; and more than double its headcount before the end of the year.
“Conversational sales and marketing is no longer a ‘nice to have.’ It’s mission critical for fast-growing businesses, and table stakes for modern buyers. The world’s top CMOs and demand gen leaders are turning to Qualified as a new way to meet with their most important buyers the moment they arrive on the website. There’s no better partner than Salesforce Ventures to help us accelerate Qualified’s growth and bring this solution to Salesforce customers around the world.”
Qualified CEO Kraig Swensrud
Qualified addresses a “multi-billion problem for enterprise marketing and sales teams,” their inability to identify qualified buyers and message to them while they are on the website. Thus, the $6 billion spent driving buyers to company websites is poorly converted into sales pipelines.
“In enterprise sales, speed matters: Waiting even five minutes after a lead leaves a website decreases the chances of making contact by 10x,” wrote the firm. “However, it takes salespeople 38 hours on average to respond to qualified leads. Studies show that 78% of B2B customers buy from the company that responds to them first.”
Qualified offers real-time visitor intelligence and routing based upon Salesforce. Visitors may interact with chatbots or talk to reps via chat, voice, and screen sharing. The service promises 99.9% uptime, GDPR compliance, SOC2 compliance, and Salesforce ISV certification.
“The conversational model is simply a better way to connect with new customers. Buyers love the real-time engagement, sellers love the instant connections, and marketers have the confidence that every dollar spent on demand generation is maximized,” said Board Member Scott Beechuk. “The multi-billion-dollar market for Salesforce automation software is going to adopt this new model, and Qualified is perfectly positioned to capture that demand. If your company uses Salesforce, Qualified will be a multiplier on your sales and marketing investment.”
Qualified saves conversations to Salesforce, including a complete visual recording of the timeline, chat transcript, and screen recording.
Last year, Qualified grew revenue by 800% and posted a 175% customer revenue retention rate. New customers include Adobe, Matterport, Poly, Sodexo, SurveyMonkey, Talend, Tech Data, and VMware.
According to LinkedIn, Qualified grew its headcount by 92% last year.
Conversational Marketing is hot, but the market is shifting from standalone chat to chat as a front-end to ABX Platforms. ZoomInfo acquired Insent last week and rebranded it ZoomInfo Chat, Drift expanded its product vision into Revenue Acceleration with additional channels, and Terminus acquired Ramble and integrated it into its ABX Platform.
Continuing my discussion [Part 1] of PeopleGlass and Sales Solution for Salesforce….
“People.AI’s acquisition of Hero Research is changing the game for enterprise sales teams who use Salesforce,” said People.AI CEO Oleg Rogynskyy. “Companies run sales on CRM, yet virtually every rep and manager we meet runs a shadow spreadsheet to manage what’s actually happening in their territories. Finally, we’re able to bring the two worlds together with People.ai and Hero Research’s best-in-class solution, so sales teams have the flexibility to manage their pipeline, territories, and activities in an optimal way, ultimately closing more deals.”
PeopleGlass simplifies CRM access to “a single pane of glass to do their job better than ever,” continued Rogynskyy. There is “no more tab sprawl, no more cutting and pasting, no more shadow spreadsheets.” Sales reps create a custom view with access to their CRM data without requiring admin or IT support.
“CRM is the place where most sales organizations want their reps and managers to spend their time. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a rep that isn’t trying to fill critical CRM gaps by stitching together a patchwork of other siloed sales tools without a cohesive workflow. With the People.ai experience available inside of Salesforce, sales teams gain access to all of the data and insights they love incorporated into their daily workflows in a simple and unified way. That has a massive impact on CRM adoption and utilization.”
Thomas Wyatt, Chief Product and Strategy Officer at People.ai
People.AI is bringing the full Hero team onboard, including founders Morgan Bender and Daniel Chen, who will be joining the product organization. No deal terms were disclosed.
“Combining our unique dataset with People.AI’s AI-driven insights creates a sales productivity solution unlike any other vendor in the market. Customers who have used the solution are reporting an increase of up to 25% in selling time,” commented Bender.
PeopleGlass is available on a freemium basis, sold both as a standalone offering and bundled with People.AI solutions. According to COO Art Harding, the firm is still defining pricing and packaging following the acquisition.
While People.AI has simplified data access and update, reps will continue to access Salesforce for the “mission-critical workflows that can only be accessed within the solution.” The new embedded Salesforce experience integrates “the power of People.AI’s benchmarks, leading indicators and sales insights with Salesforce’s native pipeline, account, and opportunity views.” The integration also supports People.AI tools such as auto-populated relationship maps, deal scorecards, and digital playbooks.
The Sales Solution for Salesforce includes People.AI’s org chart tool built on their October 2020 ClosePlan acquisition. The Sales Solution for Salesforce also displays engagement insights, peer benchmarks, and next-step recommendations for sales reps.
Sales Managers can track account health, opportunity execution, and rep performance through the Sales Solution.
“People.ai does the heavy lifting by bringing the tools and the data into Salesforce, allowing sales ops to deliver a better end-user experience to their teams and giving reps new tools to accelerate bookings,” explained Rogynskyy. “Customers who have deployed the product tell me that in a few weeks, this solution has had a bigger impact on Salesforce adoption than years of serving up other carrots and sticks.”
People.AI employs over 200 and has revenue “well into the double digits.”
ZoomInfo announced that it acquired Conversational Marketing firm Insent.AI this morning. The new offering was immediately rebranded as ZoomInfo Chat. Insent, ZoomInfo’s latest post-IPO tuck-in, follows acquisitions of Everstring (firmographics) and Clickagy (intent data) in late 2020. In total, ZoomInfo (FKA DiscoverOrg) has acquired eight companies over the past four years.
CEO Henry Schuck focuses on acquiring complementary data assets that become significantly more valuable when combined with ZoomInfo’s data assets and are then cross-sold by its sales teams.
Last month Schuck told Yahoo! Finance:
“It [the size of the company] doesn’t really matter because the way that we evaluate M&A is, we look for opportunities where, number one, our data makes a big impact from a competitive differentiation perspective. And number two, which goes to the valuation piece, because we are seeing incredibly high valuations on M&A targets today.
But on that piece, we’re always looking to see, hey, if we buy this company and we integrate it into ZoomInfo, and we have all of our sellers selling that product or service and it’s integrated and it’s gotten better with the data asset that we have, how fast can we grow the business? It’s always much faster than that business is going to grow on its own.
And so, when we’re doing the analysis on what to buy and what to build, the buy equation has a lot to do with how much faster we can grow the business. And so while a valuation today might feel like a lot, when we look at what we’re going to be able to do with that asset over the next year and two years, we look for those assets to be accretive in the short term. And it really becomes a go-to-market exercise for us.”
Conversational Marketing is a rapidly emerging segment that provides value across the revenue team. Insent, which will be powered by ZoomInfo’s WebSights visitor identification and its global database, performs real-time routing of conversations to sales reps. Low-scoring prospects are managed by the chatbot, with high-scoring visitors routed to the appropriate sales reps. Insent, which competes against Intercom, Terminus, and Drift, calls itself a “human-first chatbot.”
“Marketers spend enormous amounts of time, money, and effort to drive traffic to their websites, but only convert less than two percent of visitors into leads – an incredible inefficiency for teams,” said Schuck. “The acquisition of Insent will combine chat with ZoomInfo’s dynamic IP-to-company graph and insights. Marketers will be able to instantly identify previously anonymous companies that are on their websites, route prospects to the right account owners, and arm them with ZoomInfo’s key intelligence about their buyers. As a result, they’ll initiate real-time conversations that can yield significant conversions.”
Insent also looks for website triggers such as page visits and scroll locations when launching the chatbot.
“As visitors engage in personalized conversations with a chatbot, the nature of the interaction can further inform and qualify visitors for a seamless transition to a live chat with a sales representative,” blogged Schuck. This interactive intelligence will be combined with firmographics and other account and contact intelligence related to the prospect. These insights then “trigger automated sales and marketing workflows, plays, and alerts to create informed, serendipitous, personalized engagement.”
The Insent chatbot supports inline meeting scheduling and additional information gathering for the rep. ZoomInfo will also support automated follow-up workflows and conversations.
Chatbots have an advantage over traditional web forms. Not only do they capture and enrich information, but they can engage with prospects when “your brand is top of mind” and selectively pass high-scoring visitors immediately to sales reps. If the sales rep is not available, the chatbot can schedule a call and collect additional intelligence for the meeting.
“And that opportunity extends beyond the lifetime of that visit,” added Schuck. “Leveraging the visit as a trigger event, ZoomInfo can expand the audience at an account by identifying other likely members of the buying committee and activating outreach to those professionals following a website visit by one or a number of their peers.”
Insent supports integrations with Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot, Slack, MS Teams, and Zendesk (customer support).
Real-time integrations between platforms and the chat engine, combined with real-time reference data are key to this deal. “Without tightly integrated, highly accurate data and timely insights, these systems are merely empty repositories that lack the intelligence to surface, prioritize, and trigger effective, personalized engagement at scale,” blogged Shuck. “At ZoomInfo, we are actively executing against our vision to build a go-to-market platform that combines our best-in-class data and insights with a tightly integrated engagement layer that activates those insights as they surface. Our system facilitates real-time connection with buyers in their time of need, alerts sales teams to meaningful activity, and feeds engagement activity data back into the system for better future profiling and targeting.”
“ZoomInfo is a trusted leader in go-to-market intelligence and orchestration that enterprises rely on to help them identify and close their ideal customers,” said Insent CEO Arjun Pillai. “ZoomInfo and Insent will help shape the future of chat by allowing teams to have data-centric, intelligent conversations that can expedite sales cycles.”
Insent isn’t “just building a chatbot that generates leads, but a collaborative platform that is going to help marketers create, nurture qualified opportunities, and shorten sales cycles,” said the firm earlier this year.
The goal is to remove “digital walls” between buyers and sellers by replacing web forms and follow-ups “with instant live conversations on websites” that schedule meetings and deliver “personalized content recommendations based on engagement history.”
Insent describes itself as an “integration first platform,” with MAPs, CRMs, and ABM Platforms “to help sales teams talk to engaged prospects while they’re on the website.”
According to Insent Digital Marketer Aatharsha Jey, “integrations should be planned and carried out in a way that does not ask people to change their behaviors in order to adopt a new tool.”
“By guiding their buyers at the right time and proactively alerting your salespeople, Insent generates new revenue opportunities and accelerates existing ones,” said Pillai.
Initially, the pandemic slowed Instent’s growth as marketing teams reduced budgets and delayed decisions, but chatbots are high on the list of MarTech digital acquisition solutions. Between May 2020 and January 2021, Insent revenue quadrupled.
Earlier this year, Insent was using 6Sense for visitor identification. “We go and task 6Sense through an API,” said Pillai in February. “We take that data, and we do further processing of that data. All of this happens in microseconds. Basically, the moment somebody lands on the website, boom, the API call comes back with the data based on that website, company visitor.”
Insent stress-tested various platforms before settling on MongoDB and AWS. Pillai contends that the platform gives them a five-year or six-year window before rearchitecting. The platform was designed with an account-based, versus lead-based, architecture that ties leads to accounts for account-based orchestration.
The new ZoomInfo Chat offering will be available to new and existing customers in Q3. Deal terms were not disclosed. The acquisition was deemed not to have a material impact on the firm’s 2021 financials.
Pillai will be joining ZoomInfo as the SVP of Strategic Growth.
GZ Consulting offers a detailed analysis of ZoomInfo which includes a one-hour Q&A session. Contact Michael Levy for licensing.