Last week I wrote about Chili Events, the new event calendaring service from Chili Piper. Today, I am profiling their new Distro service which acts as a “one-stop-shop for lead qualification, routing, distribution, and booking.” Distro routes and assigns multiple Salesforce objects in real-time, including leads, contacts, opportunities, cases, and accounts.
Distro expedites the inbound lead process by immediately routing prospects and customers to the correct sales rep. In addition, Distro supports lead-to-account matching so that inbound prospects are assigned to the proper account owner when applicable.
“Whether a lead comes through your organization’s web form or from an offline source, routing can get quite tedious,” explained Chili Piper in the product announcement. “With the launch of Distro, teams can create intelligent rules to decide which lead gets routed to which rep (or group of reps) on the team. With this intuitive technology, hand-raisers will have the ability to book a meeting instantly, while buyers who need more nurturing are automatically assigned to the appropriate sales rep for follow-up.”
If rules do not assign a lead, round-robin assignments ensure that reps receive an equal number of leads.
Chili Piper has been busy with new product releases. A few weeks ago, Chili Piper announced Chili Events, an Event Meetings Management solution for in-person conferences and trade shows. The product lets Chili gather engagement data from events and manage pre-conference meetings on the floor as well as post-event meetings with reps.
The firm also announced a HubSpot integration earlier this month.
“Today, capturing existing demand for a product or service, in real-time, is vital; yet, ensuring each lead is routed and assigned correctly is way harder than it needs to be. With Distro, we can help B2B sales and marketing teams automate the first step in a meaningful engagement and prevent leads from falling out of the marketing funnel. This is a crucial step for increasing inbound conversion rates and boosting revenue generation.”
Chili Piper CEO Nicolas Vandenberghe
Inbound and event lead management address the issue of speed-to-lead with which many B2B organizations struggle. The average time for lead follow-up is 42 hours. Automating the process greatly increases the likelihood of scheduling a meeting and converting leads to subsequent stages.
“Chili Piper allows you to connect inbound leads with a rep at the moment they’re interested,” blogged Senior Marketing Manager Maggie Aland. “This increases your inbound conversion rates and prevents leads from falling out of the marketing funnel.”
Tech review site IT Central Station closed on a $30 million Series A led by Invictus Growth Partners. The site grew ARR 124%, surpassed 500,000 registered members, and was visited by 3.5 million enterprise software buyers over the past year. The firm was bootstrapped in 2012 and has been self-funded until now. It is both profitable and cash-flow positive.
The funds will be employed to rebrand the site as PeerSpot, expand its coverage of new enterprise tech categories, and accelerate sales and marketing. Hiring will be concentrated in the R&D, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success departments.
IT Central Station has focused on core IT sectors such as Cybersecurity, DevOps, and IT management; however, it does not have the profile breadth of some of the major review sites.
“Now we are expanding to categories where IT is not the primary buyer but is still on the buying committee,” explained CEO Russell Rothstein to GZ Consulting. “Following that we will expand our coverage for all enterprise technology categories, including mid-market.”
The new brand and site will be launched in January 2022.
“IT Central Station has succeeded in building a platform that tech buyers trust and enables vendor marketers to achieve strong ROI,” said Rothstein. “We are in the top of the first inning in our plan to build the world’s largest B2B marketplace for enterprise technology, built upon a foundation of verified user-generated content and peer reviews. The Invictus team adds deep operating expertise, including a uniquely valuable approach to data science, and I am thrilled to have Invictus as our partner for the next stage of our growth.”
Rothstein explained that as a bootstrapped company, the firm didn’t have the marketing resources of other sites, so he focused on the depth and value of reviews, high-quality intent data, and building its customer success team. Along with rapid revenue growth, the firm posted a net retention rate of 142% last year.
“People trust their peers more than any industry analysts or so-called experts,” said Rothstein. As a result, younger tech buyers expect to “go online to tap into the knowledge of their peers as part of the buying process. It’s just natural for them.”
Rothstein argues that IT Central Station’s reviews are “the most in-depth,” with an average length of 620 words. In addition, it offers a “Zero Fake Reviews” commitment, with a triple authentication process (LinkedIn profiles, community policing, and human oversight) for validating reviews. First, reviews are checked to ensure the individual does not work for the reviewed company or one of its competitors. The job function is also verified to ensure that a qualified individual wrote it.
“Every review has to have pros and cons. We don’t accept any five-star ‘everything’s perfect’ reviews without any room for improvement,” explained Rothstein. “Reviews have to have both room for improvement as well as value that you get from the product.”
Conversely, IT Central Station also filters out reviews that are purely negative rants.
“If someone’s having such an extreme opinion, then they’re not really presenting a realistic picture,” continued Rothstein. “It’s just losing credibility. People aren’t going to believe the review and it just reflects poorly on the review site itself. So we really aim to get that balance in every review.”
Rothstein explained that IT Central Station has a strong community that both polices the site for biased reviews and supports active Q&A discussions.
Profiles include an overview, filterable reviews, pros and cons, pricing, alternatives, “Many of our customers generate millions of dollars in pipeline and closed business from IT Central Station leads and intent data,” blogged Rothstein. “They’ve given us high marks with an average 70 Net Promoter Score (NPS) over the past four quarters. That’s world-class NPS, putting us at the level of Apple and Starbucks.”
IT Central Station argues that review sites mostly attract “high intent buyers” in the decision phase of the buyer’s journey. Furthermore, Demand Gen’s 2021 Buyers Survey found that most purchasers reached out to peers and existing users before contacting any vendors.
“People don’t read complex product reviews just for kicks – they are looking for help in choosing what product to buy,” added IT Central Station Content Manager Rony Sklar. “B2B buyers who are about to spend a lot of money on an enterprise solution want to know what their peers’ experiences have been with the solutions they’re considering before making a purchase. Because review sites have this highly targeted, homogenous audience whose main logical use case for a review site is researching a purchase, all the site visitors exhibit a degree of intent. Unlike other types of data, this intent data is low funnel and has a high degree of accuracy because there is no guesswork involved. The intent data generated by a review platform shows you exactly which companies are researching you and your competitors.”
Along with CSV files and webhooks, IT Central Station delivers integrated intent data to Salesforce, Demandbase, and LinkedIn. In addition, the firm will be announcing support for 6sense, Marketo, HubSpot, Outreach, and Metadata in the coming months.
“We can provide [intent data] at the contact level, but also aggregate it at the account level, as we can associate multiple people at the same company,” stated Rothstein. “We provide a proprietary Buyer Intent Score for each account that incorporates activity done both at the contact and overall account level for each account. For contact level, we provide email, phone, title, function, job level, and BANT information. We also provide product interests per contact, so you can see which products the contact is researching and comparing, with the level of depth of their research.”
Intent data is updated daily. “Making the right enterprise software purchasing decisions has never been more mission critical for the success of growing businesses and the careers of enterprise software buyers,” said Invictus Managing Partner William Nettles. “IT Central Station’s reviews have proven to be a must have for enterprises to validate the performance of their products, while providing buyers the most trusted and reliable data for their buying decisions. We are thrilled to partner with Russell and his team to help them scale the business to the benefit of enterprise software buyers globally.”
The name of the game in Revenue Acceleration is Digital Engagement. There are many forms of engagement that are now being captured (emails, chat, meetings, webinars, etc.), but offline events seemed to be beyond the scope of capture; however, Chili Piper, the calendaring company, has designed tools for scheduling meetings at trade shows and from trade show floors.
The new Chili Events service offers an “all-in-one Event Meetings Management solution for generating more meetings and maximizing ROI from in-person conferences and trade shows.” In short, Chili is looking to facilitate meetings and gather engagement data from in-person events.
As in-person events return, it is vital to gather registration data as event attendees are likely to be part of the demand unit. According to Chili Piper, “81% of conference and trade show attendees have buying authority.”
“In-person events are hugely important for B2B revenue teams,” said Chili Piper CEO Nicolas Vandenberghe. “With Chili Events, we’re making it possible for marketing and sales to not just automate booking conference and trade show meetings with key prospects and customers, but to treat those meetings like any other digital touchpoint in the customer journey, with quantifiable results and data.”
Chili Events features include URLs to pre-book meetings, meeting space availability, unified meeting calendars, automated reminders and rescheduling via email and SMS, and an event management dashboard. Chili Events are integrated with GSuite and Outlook365. Additionally, check-ins and no-shows are synced to Salesforce Campaigns.
Chili Events also supports meeting scheduling from trade booth floors via QR codes for mobile phones, computers at the booth, or register on the prospect’s behalf via Chili’s Instant Booker Scheduler.
Engagement intelligence supports multiple revenue acceleration features including engagement scoring, deal health signals, and deal risk alerts. It can also be used to identify and upload missing contacts in the CRM and build out the buying committee.
Account Based Prospecting Platform LeadIQ announced a $30 million Series B led by Cathay Innovation, with Fresco Capital, Strong Ventures, and Eight Road Ventures joining the round. The round brings total funding to $42 million.
The funds will be deployed to accelerate the product roadmap in account prioritization, buying team and contact personalization, and sales team collaboration. Funds will also be used to fill key management positions for managing its growth and expansion as CEO Mei Siauw plans to double the firm’s headcount over the next eighteen months.
LeadIQ still has $6 million available from its Series A but is looking to expand from lead management into broader account management; thus, it is raising the necessary funds for new product development.
According to Cathay Innovation, LeadIQ has “some of the best enterprise SaaS unit economics we’ve seen.”
Alex Wilhelm at TechCrunch reported that “the company also sports net retention figures of around 125% and a strong ratio of account size versus customer acquisition costs. Those are the sorts of metrics that SaaS investors covet.”
LeadIQ, founded in 2015, is based in San Francisco and Singapore. It employs a remote workforce of 115 in 22 countries and serves companies in 45 countries. Over the past year, the company quadrupled its ARR to “eight digits.” The firm supports over 20,000 sales professionals across 1,200 enterprise and mid-market deployments.
LeadIQ functionality helps sales teams “focus on the right activities and automate the rest.” Its Chrome extension supports prospecting and lead capture from LinkedIn Sales Navigator, capturing both individual contacts and filtered contact lists. Leads may be exported to Salesforce, HubSpot, Outreach, and Salesloft, with duplicates blocked. Contacts sent to Outreach and Salesloft kick off cadences.
“With 65% of teams missing revenue targets, outbound sales efficiency is a major challenge for enterprises globally,” said founder and CEO Mei Siauw. “Today, account-based prospecting is still highly manual and time-consuming thanks to fragmented data across multiple systems, repetitive busywork, low-quality research, and varying privacy laws. We built LeadIQ to help sales teams everywhere make authentic prospect connections with a more thoughtful approach. The numbers speak volumes, where we tripled growth in our enterprise and mid-market segments year-over-year. With this latest financing, we look forward to working with current and new investors like Cathay Innovation, who have the global reach and local market expertise across the US, Europe, and Asia to help us scale further during this next phase of growth.”
Territory management recognizes when reps are capturing leads that do not conform with their territory
Contact tracking that alerts reps when contacts change companies or titles.
An admin portal that helps customers comply with regulations such as GDPR and CCPA
“Led by a resilient and tenacious CEO with incredible vision, LeadIQ offers a next-gen platform that is the glue that unifies sales at the top of the funnel to provide the most comprehensive solution on the market,” said Cathay Innovation CEO Denis Barrier. “Its workflow automation builds a strong moat and competitive advantage, which is critical with the pandemic-era digital transformation and subsequent talent wars forcing sales leaders to prioritize efficiency and effectiveness beyond the quota. We look forward to leveraging our resources worldwide to accelerate the company further onto the global stage.”
LeadIQ begins at $720 per rep on an annual basis for the Starter Plan. Sales reps receive 250 verified emails per month and 25 mobile numbers. However, the Starter Plan only supports Google Sheets and HubSpot Capture.
The Pro Plan doubles the price and monthly data plan. Pro includes Salesforce and SEP integrations and lets users enrich CSV files of up to 100 rows.
Pricing for the Enterprise Edition runs at $135 per rep per month and includes job change notifications, prospecting, a team analytics dashboard, and priority support. The Enterprise plan requires a minimum of twenty users, so it begins at $32,400. LeadIQ did not disclose its current valuation.
Account Engagement Platform 6sense, which acquired Fortella at the end of August, is also bringing Slintel into the fold. Slintel augments 6sense’s data with technographics, buyer and market insights, and contacts.
“The acquisition of Slintel reaffirms 6sense’s commitment to leading the RevTech Revolution by providing the foundational data sales and marketing teams need to achieve predictable revenue growth,” stated the firm.
Slintel expands 6sense’s marketing data for audience segmentation, AI-driven predictions, account prioritization, campaign outreach, and personalization. Slintel insights also highlight business and market trends for sales reps, assisting with activity prioritization, outreach, and personalization.
Slintel’s technographics and renewal predictions improve rep timing and targeting.
Slintel’s account insights are gathered from historical data, verified data sources, natural language processing, and human validation.
“Data has always been an essential component of the 6sense platform, and we continually look for ways to bring more actionable and accurate data into the platform,” said 6sense CTO Viral Bajaria. “After evaluating many data providers over the past year, we selected Slintel because of the way they capture data as well as the uniqueness and accuracy of the data provided in their platform, all of which will help 6sense customers outperform their competitors.”
Slintel gathers data for 100 million contacts and 15 million companies. Half the contacts have business emails, and 15% include direct-dial numbers.
“Slintel amplifies 6sense across four critical dimensions adding: modern business contact data from verified sources; enhanced technographics, including AI-powered confidence scores and predictions; robust buyer insights powered by account and contact-level psychographic data; and deep market insights on account events, expansions, and other noteworthy changes. Collectively, these data-driven features deliver a unique intelligence layer that helps fuel 6sense’s powerful ability to uncover buyers both before and during their purchase journey.”
Slintel Press Release (October 5, 2021)
Slintel was enjoying rapid growth at the time of acquisition, with revenue up 500% year-over-year.
Slintel CEO Deepak Anchala noted he had been approached in the past about acquisition but passed on the opportunities as they wanted to continue developing the Slintel vision. However, he viewed 6sense differently due to the alignment of the firms’ world views.
“Both teams strongly believe that the market is becoming more buyer-driven and that to succeed, revenue teams need to be smarter, more data-driven, and empathetic to the buyer’s interests,” blogged Anchala. “Our offerings perfectly complement each other. One is a market-leading GTM Intelligence product, while the other is a best-in-class GTM Orchestration product. One has an inbound-heavy, product-led motion while the other is great at closing enterprise deals.”
“When thinking about extending the capabilities of the 6sense Platform, our philosophy is to seek companies that add competitive differentiation, maintain high customer satisfaction, and deliver superior customer value,” blogged 6sense CEO Jason Zintak. “Slintel checks all of these boxes. What makes Slintel’s approach unique is how it captures and delivers data to customers, resulting in superior levels of data coverage, accuracy, and diversity. The combination of Slintel’s data intelligence with 6sense’s industry-leading insights and orchestration capabilities will deliver better outcomes, faster time to value, and a greater return on investment.”
Due to this alignment of vision, product, and GTM expertise, Anchala felt that both companies would be stronger together and “can power better experiences for our customers.”
Anchala was also impressed with 6sense as a “clear market leader” that is outpacing its competition and has “a near-perfect Glassdoor employee rating.”
“Together, we will enable organizations to:
1.Plan, uncover, prioritize, engage, measure, and forecast progress against revenue opportunities
2. Get technographic, firmographic, and business insights at the account level as well as modern contact data to drive more relevant, personalized, and timely campaigns
3. Receive market alerts about relevant changes captured from hundreds of attributes across millions of companies every week
4. Capture more intent signals to uncover revenue opportunities more accurately”
Slintel CEO Deepak Anchala
Anchala advised Slintel’s customers that the sale “isn’t an exit,” but “the beginning of bigger, better things together, and an opportunity for two phenomenal companies to join hands to realize our vision faster.”
6sense is on a roll with 114% revenue growth year-over-year. Along with acquiring Fortella, it opened offices in London and Australia, expanding its footprint. In March, it closed on a $125 million Series D.
Introhive and BoardEx announced a partnership that will “enable shared clients to uncover more high-quality connections and business opportunities that accelerate growth.” The partnership will assist with discovering opportunities, deepening relationships, increasing internal collaboration, and mitigating risk.
“We are excited to offer our clients a joint solution with BoardEx,” said Diana Sapienza, Global Head of Strategic Partnerships and Alliances at Introhive. “With Introhive’s advanced AI-powered relationship mapping, automation, and enrichment capabilities and the BoardEx alerts on role and/or company changes at the executive and board level, our clients can better manage their ever-growing networks to spot opportunities sooner and grow their businesses faster.”
BoardEx, a division of Euromoney People Intelligence, employs a team of over 300 global research analysts focused on mapping relationships between more than 1.5 million business leaders and decision-makers.
“Having a resilient network is critical to the success of any business, and that resiliency relies on the ability to understand and leverage the most impactful professional relationships,” explained Jubayer Kalam, Head of Product for BoardEx. “We are excited to partner with Introhive by embedding BoardEx data and insights directly into their environment for our mutual clients.”
Introhive, which describes itself as a Relationship Acceleration Platform, released a set of enhancements last month that include a new Salesforce Sales Activity Dashboard, Business Intelligence Webhooks, MS Dynamics hygiene tools, and an Outlook Intelligence Panel Search.
The new Sales Activity Dashboard “cuts through the noise of activity data and delivers the signal directly to sales professionals and leaders alike,” blogged Lead Product Marketer Julie Taylor. “At a glance, Sales Leaders can get a sense for the type and volume of activities their teams are investing their time in, and individual sellers can keep a pulse on their own activity levels to see where they stand.”
The Sales Activity Dashboard is available at both the team and individual rep levels. The report summarizes calls, meetings, and email volumes over the past seven and thirty days.
New Business Intelligence Webhooks include a Global View of Relationships, Account Relationships Dashboard, and Activities Dashboard.
Introhive’s Cleanse for Microsoft Dynamics added contact record merging and archiving stale records. The service already supported CRM contact data entry and updates. “Understanding your data provides your team with powerful capabilities.
Your success lies in the ability of your people to understand your data and use it to make better decisions,” explained Taylor. “The faster you can make sense of your data by transforming it from information to insights, the further you and your team can go.”
UK-based Sales Intelligence vendor Global Database continues to expand its content and functionality. Recent platform enhancements include expanded prospecting variables, industry coding, and list enrichment.
New screening variables include
Annual Growth: Turnover, Headcount, EBITDA, Net Profit, Liabilities, and Exports
Ownership: Parents, Number of subsidiaries, Foreign parent, Number of shareholders
Industry: European and North American industry codes, Industry Keywords
International SIC and NACE codes are available across the full company universe. Global Database also implemented an NLP tool that crawls company websites and identifies keywords and business descriptions. This descriptive content is then mapped to over 100,000 industry keywords.
“The SIC code is outdated when it comes to new industry verticals, such as Big Data or E-commerce, and if you are looking for such companies by SIC Code, they will be classified as: 63990 – Other information service activities n.e.c., explained CEO Nicolae Buldumac to GZ Consulting.
Global Database now supports company and contact list enrichment for Salesforce and MS Dynamics. Users upload a list that is matched against its reference database and enriched with over 80 variables and match score confidence. Matching employs registration numbers, corporate names, domains, phone, postal codes, etc.
Global Database also provides an interactive report with match rates and segmentation. Enrichment analytics include match rates, list averages, company status distribution, turnover distribution, top five companies, and pie charts for employment, years in business, and industry. A location map is also displayed.
Other data tools include CRM maintenance, APIs, and web forms with auto-population.
The Global Database universe now spans 130 million companies and 118 million contacts:
Most of its data is from trade registries, publicly available sources, an in-house data research team, and a few data vendor partnerships. Direct emails are available for 17 million contacts and mobile numbers for 1.6 million. If a contact does not have an email or phone number, Global Database integrates with two data vendors, where this information is requested via API in real-time.
Global Database continues to expand its universe of credit reports, with instant Business Credit Reports now available for 350 million companies. If a country does not support instant reports, customers may request a new investigation from on-the-ground resources. These reports are delivered within five to seven business days.
Credit reports are priced between £19 and £80, with the UK and Irish reports at the low end. Most continental European credit reports are priced between £35 and £40. North American reports are also priced at £40.
Sales Engagement Platform Groove closed on a $45 million Series B led by Viking Global Investors. Previous investors Capital One Ventures, Level Equity, Quest Venture Partners, and Uncork Capital also participated. The funds will be deployed for international expansion and continued growth in the enterprise segment.
The round brings total funding to $61 million. Groove did not disclose its market valuation following Round B.
“We’re experiencing explosive growth in the enterprise segment of the market,” Groove VP of Marketing Kristin Hersant told GZ Consulting. “This latest round of funding will enable us to invest more heavily in R&D while expanding our operations in EMEA and doubling down on the sales and marketing engine that’s fueling this growth.”
Enterprise ARR is up 114% over the past years. New enterprise clients include Activision, iHeartMedia, LexisNexis, New Relic, TIBCO, Veeva, and Wintrust.
Although Salesforce’s first cloud was the Sales Cloud, digital selling remains an issue for many Salesforce customers. An August 2021 Forrester report on the “State of CRM” found that 57% of respondents struggled to offer solid customer experiences due to poor integration and accessibility.
Groove, a native Salesforce Sales Engagement application, “solves this accessibility problem by meeting sellers where they already work, increasing rep productivity while ensuring over 90% Salesforce adoption,” wrote Groove.
“This notion of the sales engagement platform as a cockpit for sellers is likely to continue to drive further integrations between other sales tech categories and these platforms as the advantages of bringing everything to the seller where they sell (the original vision for CRM technology) become more widely recognized,” said Anthony McPartlin, Principal Analyst for Forrester Research in a recent blog post.
“Our enterprise customers want to enable the modern seller while ensuring the highest levels of enterprise security and compliance. We’re capturing a significant amount of enterprise market share from our competition because our platform was built for the needs of large, complex organizations that rely on Salesforce as their system of record. We bring automation to the seller instead of requiring that they work out of a separate system. This flexibility ensures extremely high user adoption rates, even with technology averse sellers in non-tech industries.”
Groove CEO Chris Rothstein
Groove also announced a pair of product enhancements that meet “the unique needs of complex organizations.” The first new feature is automatic logging to custom objects. The second new capability, OmniActions, “enables reps to complete any sales action without leaving their workflows.”
“By seamlessly integrating valuable CRM data into specialized workflows for different roles, teams, and industries, Groove drives CRM adoption and enables revenue teams to get a more complete picture of all sales activities. The addition of automatic logging to custom objects and OmniActions provides customers even more flexibility for executing, capturing, and properly associating activities with both standard and custom Salesforce objects. With these new features, Groove strengthens its position as the only sales engagement platform that can easily fit into an organization’s complex and dynamic sales workflows.”
“One of the great things about Groove is its ability to flex to any organization’s sales process, regardless of how much they have customized Salesforce. Today, we’ve made it even easier for reps to complete, assign, and track their activities without having to leave their workflows. That means more time for reps to sell, more complete data for managers to manage their teams, and more flexibility for admins to maintain established and successful processes.”
Groove VP of Product Sonia Sarao
Groove’s Advanced Activity Capture now automatically logs activity to custom objects, “minimizing the manual work required by sellers while ensuring complete visibility into account health and opportunities.”
Activity Capture may be configured by profile, allowing for customization at the functional or team level.
OmniActions lets reps manage or execute any activity outside of their regular Flows with automated real-time activity logging. OmniActions is fully integrated with the Groove Omnibar, supporting actions in Google Workspace, Microsoft Outlook, Salesforce, or the Groove app.
“This combination gives sellers a 360-degree view of their prospects’ and customers’ lifecycle from details and activity to actions – all in their workflow,” wrote the firm. “OmniActions enables revenue organizations to associate all activities with open opportunities, whether they are part of a single action or multi-step Flow. By accurately associating all types of activities, revenue teams can take advantage of more accurate reporting and insights into the sales process.”
Groove continues its rapid growth, making the Inc. 5000 for the past three years. It has over 70,000 users.
Continuing from yesterday’s post that discussed revenue innovation and the Sales Execution Gap. Today I am discussing their new Outreach Commit and Outreach Success Plans.
Outreach Commit, based on their Canopy acquisition, offers sales analytics and forecasting capabilities that augment Outreach’s AI-based buyer sentiment and Success Plans, providing Outreach customers with “true visibility across the entire revenue cycle.”
“The use of deep learning and big data has the potential to transform B2B forecasting in the same way it has transformed B2C forecasting. Such changes are shifting the emphasis on forecasting from predicting the number to beating the number…Reliable activity data allows sales leaders, for example, to drive more rigorous pipeline reviews and estimate forecasts with greater confidence. It allows companies to discover and capture data about prospects and customers that previously lived in the realm of the ‘shadow pipeline’ — that murky world of secret selling that organizations have traditionally been blind to.”
Forrester Research Principal Analyst Anthony McPartlin, “Enabling B2B Interaction Visibility In A Converging Sales Tech Landscape” (June 2021)
Commit provides a flexible forecasting model with multi-level views, allowing managers to view a probabilistic model of outcomes for multiple periods and teams based upon prior win-loss histories, current pipeline, and adjustable assumptions. Revenue forecasts are broken into Booked, Weighted Pipeline, and Intra-period high-velocity deals (i.e., projected new opportunities that are not in the pipeline but will close before the end of the period). In addition, models can be adjusted to account for events external to the model (e.g., new product launches, tradeshow held earlier or late in the quarter, economic shocks). The underlying KPIs that drive the models are selectable when setting them up, with the model updating every fifteen minutes.
Commit provides individualized rep scorecards based on company KPIs. Managers can set targets, coach to outcomes, and level up their team. Managerial note-taking helps them track 1:1’s, assign tasks, and track completion.
Commit supports active deal monitoring that flags deal risks and delivers insights. “Signals notify leaders of the things they need to know today. From opportunity risk identification to shifts in top of funnel metrics, Signals act as your eyes and ears–ensuring your frontline leaders are focused on what matters most to your business.” Deal risk is significantly reduced when issues are flagged early to reps, and managers can provide on-demand coaching to address nascent problems.
Commit also supports Custom Signals. Revenue Operations sets custom thresholds and unique parameters.
At a recent analyst briefing, Outreach management emphasized that they offer a tripartite value proposition: Engage (Sales Engagement), Guide (Kaia Conversation Intelligence), and Commit (Outreach Commit).
“To achieve predictable, efficient growth, every organization needs to engage with their buyers, guide their sellers through strong sales cycles, and then commit the number with confidence.”
Canopy deal terms were not disclosed. All nine employees have joined Outreach. The startup, founded in 2019, had raised $2.1 million.
Outreach also provided updates on Outreach Kaia and Success Plans at its Unleash event. Kaia, its Conversation Intelligence platform that was developed in-house, is adding real-time talk analytics, Comprehensive Search, Saved Search, and Outreach Voice Import. The new capabilities will be available by the end of the month.
Call analytics provide real-time talk-time visibility, letting reps self-correct if they are speaking too much.
Comprehensive Search provides managers with access to notes, content cards, action items, and transcripts across the sales organization. Additionally, both meeting platform intelligence and Outreach Voice cold calls are included. Thus, “leaders can identify trends and risks across teams and at various stages of the sales cycle.”
Saved Search Alerts provide scheduled intelligence on key topics, allowing managers to track competitors, pricing, functional requests, etc.
Outreach Voice Import supports post-call analysis of Outreach Voice and Microsoft Teams. Fully integrated support for Teams is scheduled for 2022.
Outreach warns RevOps not to trust the algorithm blindly. Instead, revenue teams should understand “the math behind every forecast to see what’s actually driving the number.” Accordingly, Outreach maintains the fidelity of data signals such as engagement and sentiment through transparency that displays “every opportunity and signals where sellers should take action.”
“Canopy’s Augmented Revenue Analysis engine combines advanced statistical modeling with machine learning and artificial intelligence,” states the Canopy website. “Simply put, we show our math. Instead of black box predictions, we show you every trend and variable driving our predictions, ensuring you have access to every data point necessary to confidently call your business.”
Users can also review “where you started and where you finished,” providing a post-mortem period review that “pinpoints slippage, forecasting variance, and conversion rates across any data point from any time window.” They can also generate “what if” scenarios with multiple assumptions.
Outreach Success Plans, which were announced back in May, will be generally available on October 27. Success Plans align buyers and sellers to improve action and predictability in a shared deal room. They act as a buying hub that allows buyers and sellers to agree on shared success criteria, objectives, and timelines. Success Plans also support shared access to project resources, allowing new demand unit members to quickly access project documents. Only invited individuals can participate in the Success Plans.
Success Plans provide an additional set of engagement intelligence for tracking deal risks and momentum. The Opportunity View includes Success Plan views, comments, resource downloads, and shares, providing engagement insights specific to deal planning and document sharing.
Outreach Success Plans deliver “unparalleled visibility into pipeline opportunities and risks,” blogged VP of Product Marketing Victoria Grady.
Outreach claims that two-thirds of buyers have “stopped working with a company mid-deal, simply because the competitor provided a better buying experience.” Thus, streamlining the document sharing process, framing the timeline, and agreeing on success criteria not only facilitates the process and improves deal visibility but improves the likelihood of winning each deal. Outreach supports 5,000 customers, including 19 of the 25 fastest-growing public companies and more than 60% of the Cloud 100.
Sales Engagement Platform Outreach expanded its value proposition with the acquisition of Revenue Intelligence service Canopy. Outreach immediately began integrating the service into its platform, with GA expected in H1 2022. The new Outreach Commit service “significantly expands” Outreach’s revenue intelligence capabilities, “giving revenue leaders the sales analytics and forecasting capabilities they need in today’s sales environment.”
“In the past 18 unpredictable and transformative months, we have seen the rise of a new cohort of leaders we are calling Revenue Innovators who have thrived by embracing the digital disruption of sales,” said Outreach CEO Manny Medina. “These are leaders who had to adapt and evolve their mindset to embrace automation and machine learning as the keys to driving predictable, efficient growth – consistently and despite the uncertainty in the market. They need tools that combine engagement with intelligence and marry together the art and the science of sales. The evolution of the Outreach platform does exactly that.”
Outreach provides revenue innovators with “predictable, efficient growth” based upon AI guidance for more effective engagement, improved forecasting, and next best actions. The objective is to reduce the “Sales Execution Gap” between revenue potential and actual performance based on instinct and limited data; instead, data and AI will narrow the gap.
“The Sales Execution Gap manifests itself in several ways across the business — decisions based on gut instincts, slow rep ramp times, competing priorities, random achievement, missed opportunities with little understanding as to why,” explained Medina. “And yes, lost revenue, but also a growing disconnect between what high-performing reps want and what employers can deliver.”
“Once a seller has experienced the power of an Engagement and Intelligence platform, they won’t want to go back to inefficient, broken workflows — and they’re making career decisions because of it.”
Outreach CEO Manny Medina
Unfortunately, CRMs were “not designed for sellers.” They are systems of record that store information but lack engagement and insights. Firms that want reps to “live in the CRM” will drive away their best sales reps and candidates who “demand AI-driven insights and workflow automation to guide their actions in real-time.” As more sellers become “digital natives,” this performance gap will widen.
Top-performing reps and managers that have enjoyed modern SalesTech tools will be reluctant to work without digital tools. They expect their sales toolbox to include AI-generated intelligence, including email sentiment, live meeting guidance, real-time call analysis, and automated deal review and scoring. They are also looking for sales engagement with templated sequences (cadences), multi-channel outreach, task prioritization, and recommended actions. Finally, they are looking for improved forecasting, risk alerts, engagement data, and deal facilitation.
With Commit, Outreach has added forecasting and expanded risk analytics to its toolkit.
“Revenue innovators are embracing automation and AI in real-time to provide guidance to reps mid-cycle, guide more effective engagement with customers, and entirely rethink how they forecast because they have the signals that can proactively identify risk in their pipeline and deals,” stated the firm.
Continue to Part II which discusses Outreach Commit and product enhancements announced at the Outreach Unleash virtual meeting.