ZoomInfo has not been shy about acquiring companies in its bid to become a leading revenue acceleration company. This morning, they announced the acquisition of Chorus.AI, a leading Conversation Intelligence company. While most of its deals have been small, Chorus has the opportunity to leverage ZoomInfo’s company and contact intelligence with rich engagement data and analytics, placing the firm at the center of the rapidly growing Conversation Intelligence market.
Chorus employs machine learning and AI to “capture and analyze” calls, meetings, and emails, digitizing customer interactions, and capturing insights for revenue teams and sales management. As a result, sales reps can be more present during calls as they no longer need to capture action items and take notes while leading sales meetings. Automating insight capture allows them to be better engaged during the call, avoiding those awkward pauses for note-taking.
While not discussed in the press release, combining Chorus’ NLP with Insent should raise bot performance and become another leg of conversation intelligence at the top of the funnel.
The expanded ZoomInfo will support and assess a broad set of digital touchpoints for intent and engagement:
- Chorus: Email, Phone, Meetings
- ZoomInfo: Visitor Intelligence, Webforms, Chatbots (Insent), Intent (Clickagy)
Chorus also assists with buying committee discovery. While ZoomInfo has long supported contact discovery at the account level, monitoring engagement to determine who is involved in deals and who is being referenced in conversations is the next major step in buying committee discovery, moving it from educated guesswork to a scientific approach. Once committee members are identified, Chorus monitors conversations for sentiments, motivations, and concerns, helping gauge deal health. ZoomInfo will supply Chorus with rich company and contact information fed to customer CRMs and continuously maintained by ZoomInfo’s APIs and connectors.
Chorus’ Momentum Insights, released in December, helps revenue teams understand customer relationships, improve their forecasting, identify which interactions propel deals forward, and flag deal risks.
“Momentum Insights will unlock learnings never before available from the CRM to harness the most valuable dataset available—conversations with customers,” said Chorus CEO Jim Benton at the time. “This will empower revenue teams to solve complex problems which require strong relationships, and relationships ultimately drive revenue. Reps get exactly what they need to engage and personalize their efforts, while leadership is able to trust the unbiased data aggregated from each opportunity to inform critical business decisions.”
“By integrating keyword trackers from Chorus into ZoomInfo, revenue teams will also be able to create audiences based on insights from conversations, flag deals and renewals that could be in jeopardy, and trigger alerts to address concerns in real-time,” stated ZoomInfo.
The deal added $18 billion to the company’s TAM, raising it to $70 billion. The acquisition is “expected to be accretive to growth immediately, generate adjusted operating profits within 12 months, and be accretive to cash flow in the second half of FY 2022.”
“ZoomInfo is the only company that can marry a best-in-class data layer with world-class go-to-market applications,” said CEO Henry Schuck. “The acquisition of Chorus will accelerate our vision to deliver a modern go-to-market platform that brings together best-in-class intelligence with comprehensive data management, workflow, and engagement software, empowering companies to effectively execute their revenue-generating strategies. With the largest Conversation Intelligence patent portfolio in the industry, Chorus will advance each aspect of our vision by surfacing a new category of insights, illuminating new workflows, and enabling more targeted engagement at scale.”
CEO Henry Shuck has been open to both large and small deals, so long as the combination of ZoomInfo and the acquired company drives significant growth in revenue at the acquisition. A few decades ago, the term was synergy, but that phrase was used so often to describe failed deals that it is now verboten when describing acquisitions. However, ZoomInfo with Chorus has the opportunity to grow significantly faster than as a standalone organization.
As with the recently acquired Insent.AI and Clickagy, Chorus will benefit from access to the breadth, depth, and quality of ZoomInfo’s B2B dataset and access to ZoomInfo’s Go To Market strategy and efficient sales processes. With an LTV / CAC ratio greater than ten, ZoomInfo should be able to efficiently cross-sell and upsell Chorus’ analytics across its 20,000 customers.
Chorus also sets up ZoomInfo’s new Engage platform to challenge market leaders SalesLoft and Outreach. Chorus is one of the leading Conversation Intelligence firms.
“We are thrilled about the opportunity to join forces with ZoomInfo and bring Conversation Intelligence to every revenue team,” said Jim Benton, Chorus.ai CEO, who will join ZoomInfo as SVP, Emerging Products. “ZoomInfo has a bold vision of delivering a world-class go-to-market platform that empowers companies to drive better execution and more revenue. Chorus will play a vital role in helping deliver on that promise with deep, A.I.-driven insights based on real interactions with prospects and customers, a previously untapped source of crucial data about their relationships.”
Frost & Sullivan named Chorus a 2021 Customer Value Leader in Conversation Intelligence. “Frost & Sullivan finds Chorus’ value proposition is multi-faceted as it offers vital benefits for various personnel, including sales, customer success, sales development, and frontline managers, as well as long-term solutions designed to promote employee skill growth,” wrote Samantha Fisher, Best Practices Research Analyst.
The deal was priced about $575 million in cash. The purchase price includes a cash tax benefit related to the asset purchase of more than $100 million, ZoomInfo said. The transaction will be funded with cash on hand and $500 million in additional financing.