Gong is the latest RevTech company to join LinkedIn’s SNAP program of Sales Navigator integrations. Joint customers can view LinkedIn Sales Navigator Embedded Profiles directly in Gong. Functionality includes executive profile display, related leads, icebreakers, and introductions. Contacts may be viewed or Saved as Leads in Sales Navigator.
“Being a great seller requires two datasets – the quantitative data of when to reach out to whom and the qualitative data of, once you connect with those people, ensuring you have a full view of deal health and that you are employing sales best practices in all your interactions,” argued LinkedIn’s Head of Product and Solutions Marketing Nicole Desjardins. “Sales Navigator does a great job of providing the former, and Gong’s Reality Platform, the latter.”
The SNAP integration provides context around key accounts and the demand unit, helping them build broader relationships and leverage TeamLink (colleague) connections. Furthermore, Sales Navigator within Gong helps reps build credibility, establish rapport, and multithread.
“Integrating Gong’s Reality Platform with LinkedIn Sales Navigator is all about empowering revenue teams with actionable sales intelligence they need to build stronger relationships with prospects more efficiently. Bringing together these two powerful datasets will give sales reps insights and recommended next steps that result in more closed deals, faster,” commented Gong’s Senior Director of Market Strategy Craig Hanson. “Successful go-to-market teams understand that contact inspection and validation are paramount to successful deal management.”
The SNAP integration is only available to Gong customers with Sales Navigator Advanced or Advanced Plus licenses. SNAP integrations are also available across major CRMs and SEPs, including Salesforce, MS Dynamics 365, HubSpot, Salesloft, Outreach, and Groove.
Sales Navigator added M&A Alerts for saved companies. The alert is displayed on the Homepage and is shared for both acquired and acquiring companies. Another new feature is a Weekly Leads and Accounts List Digest that suggests the most relevant Leads (contacts) and Accounts for outreach. It highlights accounts showing interest in the rep’s company, recommended leads, past customers at a new company, and opportunities at risk due to headcount changes.
LinkedIn began rolling out its Q2 Sales Navigator release to users earlier this month. As with previous releases, admins receive the release first, with general users following a few weeks later. New features include expanded data validation, a new SNAP integration with conversation intelligence leader Gong, and the continued rollout of Sales Navigator’s new Search and Lead Page experiences.
Companies have responded to the pandemic and Great Reshuffle by increasing channel noise, hoping to break through the din, but this strategy is flawed. Top-performing reps who heavily exceed their quota are “spending less time selling in the traditional sense — smiling-and-dialing and sending out mass outreach,” explained LinkedIn VP of Global Sales Solutions Alyssa Merwin Henderson. They aren’t increasing the volume but carefully targeting their prospecting and messaging, conducting buyer research, and focusing on skill development.
“In today’s virtual world, where there’s more noise than ever, the recipe for winning is clear – fewer things done better,” concluded Henderson.
LinkedIn Head of Product and Solutions Marketing Nicole Desjardins highlighted three problems facing sales reps that LinkedIn is working to address:
More virtual selling than ever, leading to more virtual noise than ever, with buyers being overwhelmed by irrelevant and generic outreach.
Job switching continues to be higher than normal, making a mess of CRM data and putting deals at risk.
A plethora of new sales tools have hit the market, many of which don’t integrate with each other, making it more confusing to choose the right tech stack.
Desjardins argued that the solution to these problems comes from real-time data fed into the CRM and “meaningful sales intelligence that helps you connect with and nurture the right buyers at the right time.”
The Great Reshuffle continues to create a “mess” of CRM data, resulting in inaccurate forecasts and irrelevant messaging. According to LinkedIn’s upcoming “State of Sales” report, 41% of sales reps said their biggest problem was inaccurate, out-of-date CRM data. To help address this issue, Sales Navigator now flags out-of-date contact and lead records and allows reps to update the CRM from Navigator to address this problem.
Data Validation displays an Update CRM badge on Sales Navigator member pages who have recently changed jobs, titles, or locations. After clicking on the badge, reps are shown the new title, account, location, contact owner, and most recent opportunity. Updates are made to matched Lead and Contact records, with the user controlling which fields are to be updated. Reps are also shown which open opportunities are linked to the executive, allowing them to quickly remove departed execs from live opportunities.
“Clearly, this will save you time. Instead of having to toggle back and forth between your CRM and Sales Navigator, you can do it all in our platform,” blogged Product Marketing Manager Austin Gray. “More importantly, because updating your CRM is now easier to do, you’ll have more accurate data within it. LinkedIn’s real-time first-party data means that you can have confidence that your CRM will have access to the most accurate and up-to-date information available.”
Data Validation is available for Sales Navigator Advanced Plus and supports record updates in Salesforce and MS Dynamics 365. The functionality was released to customers with fewer than 15 seats this week and will be rolled out to large customers on June 22.
The New Search and Lead Page Experiences were rolled out to accounts with fewer than fifty seats last quarter. The largest accounts will receive the updates this quarter.
The search feature has been streamlined to improve the time to “successful results.” In addition, the search includes a “larger collapsible, intuitive grouped view of filters” that improves search filter discovery. New and updated filters include TeamLink Connections of, Saved Leads, Saved Accounts, Previously Viewed, Current Company, Past Company, and Company Headquarter.
The search interface updates dynamically, providing results as each filter is added or removed.
The new Lead Page (contacts) is designed for rapid lead qualification with “the most important info front and center,” including the most recent touchpoint, current role, and description. Other features include a sticky action bar, conversation starters, and introduction paths.
The Conversation Starter section displays recent posts for comments and commonalities.
The Get Introduced section has been redesigned and expanded.
The TeamLink section is now organized by seniority level so that reps can find “their best path in.” In addition, the section supports a pre-populated InMail to save reps time writing messages.
Sales Navigator is also adding a new Lead Panel for researching contacts in a prospecting list without having to open multiple windows.
“Prospecting in Sales Navigator often means using our powerful search to find your target buyer,” wrote Desjardins.” Once you’ve found that list of potential buyers, we’re betting you then open a tab for each individual, which can mean a lot of open tabs and a lot of switching back and forth. The new Lead Panel streamlines this process and keeps you on the same page the entire time.”
The Lead Panel displays job title, job description, and conversation starters to assist with quick qualification and messaging.
The Lead Panel will be rolling out to accounts with fewer than fifty seats this quarter and enterprise accounts next quarter.
LinkedIn also added a Gong SNAP integration for viewing LinkedIn intelligence within Gong’s conversational intelligence platform.
Growth equity firm Great Hill Partners invested €180 million in Echobot and Leadfeeder, merging the firms into a Sales Intelligence and Go-to-market platform. Both firms are based in Europe (Germany and Finland) and will benefit from the roadmap set out by North American RevTech firms.
The merged firm will be based in Karlsruhe, Germany, with Echobot CEO Bastian Karweg continuing as CEO. Leadfeeder CEO Pekka Koskinen will become the CPO. The combined company has a headcount of 250 across six offices in Europe and the US. The new firm’s Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) exceeds €20 million.
Leadfeeder serves around 7,000 customers and Echobot 1,500.
Echobot offers a Sales Intelligence and B2B DaaS platform for the D-A-CH region, UK, and France. Late last year, it added a broader European data pack. It supports a database of 20 million European companies and over 60 million GDPR-compliant contacts. Company and contact data is derived from both registered filings and open web sources and includes directors, shareholders, and financials.
Echobot takes a “True Compliance” approach which gathers data only from publicly accessible sources. Furthermore, it provides verification links to the source URLs that allow reps to answer the question, “where did my data come from?” All data is hosted in Germany.
Echobot’s products include TARGET (prospecting), CONNECT (Sales Intelligence), DATACARE (B2B DaaS), and an API. In addition, Echobot offers CRM integrations with HubSpot, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and SugarCRM.
“It is our goal to be the leading sales intelligence and go-to-market platform to our core European and North American markets,” said Karweg. “Thanks to Great Hill, we have now assembled the best data, AI / ML, talent, and operating experience to achieve just that. We are increasingly seeing organizations looking to take advantage of their own data and third-party data, and then to augment this intelligence with better, more personalized outreach. The combination of Echobot and Leadfeeder is uniquely positioned to capitalize on a massive market opportunity at the early stages of adoption.”
Leadfeeder offers website visitor intelligence that maps IP addresses to company intelligence. During the pandemic, it worked to identify remote workers and map them to their employers, helping refine which companies are in-market. It also supports connectors for Google Analytics, chatbots, audience retargeting, major CRMs, Zapier, and Slack.
“Integrating Leadfeeder’s web visitor identification system with Echobot’s data and prospecting solutions creates a unique platform upon which we can both enable organizations to identify and engage high-intent prospects as well as introduce incremental applications that enhance B2B sales and marketing operations,” said Koskinen.
Karweg envisions an ABM workflow that begins with an ICP analysis that identifies net-new accounts. The ICP is then mapped against Leadfeeder’s visitor intelligence and Echobot’s firmographics and event triggers to identify high-value, in-market accounts for programmatic marketing. While programmatic campaigns are not yet supported, they are in development.
Great Hill Partners has also committed an additional €50 million toward future acquisitions. In an interview with GZ Consulting, Echobot CEO Bastian Karweg indicated that the €50M in dry powder would be used towards acquiring talent, RevTech functionality, or expanded content.
The equity acquisition is a combination of primary and secondary funding, with Great Hill Partners buying out many of the original investors. It named Growth Partner Derek Schoettle Chairman of the Board and placed Great Hill Partners Managing Director Chris Gaffney and Vice President Greg Stewart on the board of the merged organization.
“Go-to-market is one of the fastest-growing areas of B2B software. Sales and marketing organizations need timely, accurate information and intelligent systems to identify and engage their prospects in an increasingly personalized, automated fashion. By bringing together Echobot and Leadfeeder, we can create the next-generation sales intelligence and go-to-market platform,” stated Derek Schoettle.
The transaction is a merger of equals bringing together two firms of roughly the same revenue and employee base. Both firms have over €10M in ARR and are growing rapidly. Echobot grew 70% last year, while Leadfeeder had a 50% growth figure. Echobot has long been profitable, and Leadfeeder is nearing profitability.
The firms will initially run as independent brands as they merge their operations and platforms. The deal closed a few weeks ago but was announced this morning. Thus, they have already begun combining finance and HR. The two brands will be maintained in the near term with rebranding under consideration for 2023 as Echobot is also the name of a Mirai malware variant.
Valuation figures were not disclosed, but the final price was determined before the recent valuation declines and did not change. The firms were both being advised by GP Bullhound, which suggested that packaging the two firms together would result in a more effective growth equity round. Furthermore, the two companies offered features on each other’s roadmap so were logical complements.
Europe has been tracking behind the US in the Sales Intelligence space, with several national champions now looking to offer European datasets and local UIs. European sales intelligence and B2B DaaS solutions must meet higher data compliance and privacy standards, incorporate registered data from national registers, support multiple currencies, and many languages.
Echobot covers the D-A-CH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), the UK, and France, with a general European data package added late last year. A Nordic data package has been accelerated due to the merger, which would increase its competitiveness against Dun & Bradstreet and Vainu.
“One of the most requested developments for 2021 was to access data from the entire European market. That was not only requested from German customers with a strong export to European countries, but also from new, international users that want to expand into Europe,” explained Karweg last November when Echobot added coverage of over twenty European countries.
“Europe is not one country but many, and there are differences between them, whether it’s to do with culture or data compliance,” remarked Schoettle. “Having a platform that is unique and linguistic-specific, and serving its markets with high-quality data, is a differentiator.”
“It’s a dream match,” argued Koskinen. While previously the firm purchased contact data from multiple sources, “it has been difficult to get sufficiently up-to-date and accurate data.” With the merger, Leadfeeder will offer better data quality and “have all the expertise in-house” to expand its coverage.
Along with higher quality data, Leedfeeder will benefit from a broader set of firmographics, financials, and sales triggers for data enrichment and lead scoring. Leadfeeder will also be able to cross-sell Echobot’s sales intelligence, prospecting, and data enrichment services to its 7,000 customers.
“We want to be the biggest in Europe,” stated Koskinen. “It’s going to take a few years, but I think we’re succeeding…We have long had customers all over the world. After the merger, we will be able to offer something that no one else can.”
One of the unsung benefits of conversational intelligence is market and competitive monitoring for product and strategy teams. Vendors such as Gong and Chorus can tag competitors and product requests. Still, this intelligence needs to be regularly and directly reviewed, making it more of a hit-or-miss proposition. Furthermore, this intelligence is rarely tied to competitive battlecards for sales reps.
Competitive Intelligence Platform Crayon is looking to address these issues. It now delivers a daily log of competitive mentions to sales reps, providing them with battlecard links and links to call transcripts that help them write follow-on messaging that parries competitive statements. The mentions are collected from Gong.
“Product marketers and competitive intelligence professionals dedicate a tremendous amount of time ensuring sales reps are equipped with the most up-to-date competitive and market intelligence,” stated Crayon CPO Erica Jenkins. “However, despite these efforts, there’s still friction around the adoption and use of these enablement materials. The integration between Crayon and Gong gets competitive intel into an account executive’s hands quickly and easily, drastically improving competitive positioning for reps to level up their game.”
Crayon listed two other Gong-related initiatives on its roadmap to assist CI and strategy professionals:
Field intelligence: Your prospects and customers are sharing intel with your colleagues every single day. Remove the middleman by automatically pulling these insights out of Gong transcripts and pushing them into your Crayon portal.
Win-loss analysis: When an account is won or lost, the notes you find in your CRM will only tell one side of the story. Find out what really happened by pulling Gong snippets into Crayon, where they’ll be matched with the notes that our system pulls in from Salesforce.
These future releases will benefit competitive intelligence and strategy professionals who struggle to gather real-time market intelligence, particularly from remote individuals. For example, while sales reps are often happy to discuss competitive scenarios, they rarely take the time to record competitive details in the CRM. Conversational intelligence platforms are an excellent source of this intelligence, which can be automatically fed into competitive platforms such as Crayon, helping to close the loop.
When I was a CI professional at a SalesTech company, gathering competitive intelligence generally involved interviewing customers, prospects, and inside sales reps and collecting and synthesizing this information. This approach was haphazard and often anecdotal. Although Competitor fields were added to the CRM, they were rarely populated, and virtually all losses were attributed to pricing.
A structured set of competitive signals gathered from customer conversations would have been significantly more accurate, complete, and timely. Furthermore, these signals and comments would have omitted sales rep biases concerning lost deals and enabled competitive coaching on high-value deals.
Crayon supports a broad set of Sales Enablement Platforms, including Seismic, Highspot, and Showpad. The Gong-Crayon integration is immediately available to joint customers.
Sales Engagement Platform Salesloft formally opened an AsiaPac headquarters based in Singapore. The firm began internationalizing a few years ago when it opened its London EMEA office. Salesloft is looking to replicate its EMEA success across the APAC region. It trebled its EMEA revenue over the past two years, with European revenue growing 140% last year.
The new office provides sales and support for its “thousands of users” in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the broader Asian market.
Salesloft “recognizes that making a human connection is important to building relationships in the Asia Pacific market,” wrote the firm. “Core to Salesloft’s mission is a hyper-focus on customer success and helping customers become more efficient and productive to achieve better sales outcomes.”
Newly appointed Asia-Pacific Vice President Vincent Ooi will manage the regional HQ. Ooi previously managed Southeast Asian and Korean Sales for Tableau Software and was the Asia-Pacific VP for DataRobot. Ooi will be responsible for “building and scaling” the Salesloft team in the APAC market and “lead the company’s revenue and customer growth strategy in the region,” announced Salesloft.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Salesloft team at such a pivotal moment in the company’s growth,” said Ooi. “The company and the category are growing exceptionally fast. I look forward to building a team that consistently delivers significant business results quarter over quarter. More importantly, I’m excited to help bring the power of sales engagement to more customers around the world to help them exceed their sales goals.”
Salesloft’s top regional verticals include software, professional services, and education.
“We are committed to making the lives of sellers easier, not just in the U.S. but around the globe,” said Nate Remmes, Executive Vice President, Commercial Business Unit at Salesloft. “At Salesloft, we put our customers at the center of our business. Our continued growth has allowed us to expand into the Asia-Pacific market and offer in-region support to our customers.”
Salesloft also announced that it would soon be offering native integrations with HubSpot CRM and Microsoft Dynamics. Both vendors have large installed bases in the APAC and European markets. Like its long-standing integration with Salesforce, the partnerships will support the syncing of Account, Contact, Lead, and Activity records. The CRMs will act as systems of record, while Salesloft will be the system of engagement.
The HubSpot and Dynamics integrations are currently in beta, with GA later this year. “General availability of these integrations will ensure customers around the world will have maximum flexibility and benefit using Salesloft regardless of their CRM,” wrote Salesloft.
Bombora is one of the leading sources of third-party intent data gathered from B2B Media sources, with over 5,000 media websites contributing to its Company Surge intelligence. It has chosen to remain independent and broadly partner with RevTech Companies, including six of the seven vendors that were listed in Gartner’s 2022 Magic Quadrant for ABM Platforms: 6sense, Demandbase, Terminus, Madison Logic, RollWorks, and Triblio (Foundry).
“Gartner weighs Intent data as its single-most critical capability for new account acquisition and a driving force in both customer retention and expansion,” blogged Bombora Senior Product Marketing Manager Ryan Moline. “This full-funnel visibility into what’s important to your prospects and customers empowers your go-to-market teams with the data needed to create hyper-personalized, omnichannel buying experiences that result in more meetings booked, accelerated deal cycles, and opportunities for long-term growth. This is just one reason why many of the companies recognized in this year’s Gartner Magic Quadrant partner with Bombora for their Intent data needs.”
Both ABX platforms and direct customers rely on Bombora to identify in-market demand, allowing them to reach out to accounts in their ICP when they are actively researching solutions. Company Surge data can also be deployed for identifying churn risk accounts and upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
“Bombora’s content consumption model has become the de facto standard in B2B marketing for third-party behavioral data to indicate intent,” stated Forrester.
This month, Bombora announced an integration with HubSpot and an enhanced integration with Salesforce.
“Bombora has prioritized direct integrations and partnerships in order to make it easier for sales and marketing teams to access our insights without changing their workflows,” said Bombora CEO Erik Matlick. “HubSpot is one of the most well-known marketing, sales, and service software companies in the world, and we’re thrilled for our app to be in the spotlight as they look to help B2B brands with their business challenges.”
After I wrote about the revised 2022 MarTech Landscape, Frans Riemersma, who helped Scott Brinker update the MarTech Landscape, shared an analysis of supply and demand among various MarTech categories. The light shading represents the “demand” side of MarTech, as captured in the frequency by which apps appear in 718 tech stacks. The dark shading represents the “supply” side of MarTech in a particular category, as represented in the MarTech Landscape.
According to their analysis, MarTech “Monopolies” exist where there is significantly more demand than supply (technically, they are oligopolies). Segments marked by many buyers and few suppliers include Social & Search Advertising, ABM, and Mobile & Web analytics.
Conversely, MarTech competition exists in segments with more vendors than demand. Competitive segments include Mobile Marketing, Live Chats & Chatbots, and eCommerce Platforms & Carts.
Riemersma identified niches as segments with a low number of suppliers and limited demand. Niche segments include Native/Content advertising, Video Marketing, Marketing Analytics, and Performance & Attribution.
Sales Engagement Platform Groove announced the general availability of Groove Conversations, the “first conversational intelligence product that enables revenue teams to access call recording and insights directly from the inbox and calendar instead of a separate platform.” The firm also announced the Groove+ mobile app for iOS that helps remote and hybrid teams prepare for meetings and manage post-meeting follow-up (Android will be available later this year). Groove+ also displays Salesforce and key meeting insights.
Groove is natively built in Salesforce. Unlike its competitors, Groove does not sync data between a separate database and Salesforce but stores and accesses it natively in Salesforce. Thus, conversational insights and Salesforce updates are directly managed by Groove inside Salesforce.
Groove Conversations offers call recording, transcription, and analysis without leaving the Inbox. Additionally, insights are associated with Salesforce Activities and Opportunities.
Conversations initially supports Zoom and Groove’s OmniDialer, with Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, WebEx, and other services in development.
Conversations are fully searchable, with users able to listen to the searched term or keyword-related discussion.
Analytics include talk time, keyword mentions, sentiment analysis, and talk timelines for each attendee. In Q3, the firm plans on adding “deeper analytics and AI-driven insights.”
Additional features include
Picture-in-picture viewing capabilities to support multi-tasking
Recording, transcript, and keyword access from email, calendar, Salesforce, or the Groove app
Internal sharing of meetings for review and team coaching
Internal and external sharing of calls, with the ability to extract and share a snippet of a meeting available soon
Groove+ delivers meeting alerts powered by Salesforce data to reduce deal time. Users can easily access deal history, account information, meeting attendees, and activity history. In addition, meeting notes may be logged to Salesforce with voice-to-text functionality. Reps can also update meetings, accounts, contacts, opportunities, custom fields, or unique Salesforce configurations.
“The value of Groove+ goes beyond sales to include all revenue team members,” explained Groove Director of Communications Jason Klein to GZ Consulting. “Essentially, anyone interfacing with clients should find value from Groove+.”
Groove conducted a survey in December and January of 1040 B2B sales reps which determined that 46% of companies are not planning a total return to the office. Thus, managing remote and hybrid sales teams will remain a top issue for the CRO. Top concerns for remote sales reps include updating CRM platforms (48%), inputting account notes (46%), and scheduling follow-up meetings (45%).
“Now that most reps are working in a hybrid role permanently, revenue teams need to focus on maximizing the value of their CRM. Extending the power of CRM to remote teams makes them productive and effective while also providing leaders with the visibility and insight needed to manage them effectively.”
Groove CEO Chris Rothstein
Groove Conversations and Groove+ provide remote, hybrid, and inside sales reps with immediate access to sales productivity tools, conversational analytics, and deal insights. Additionally, sales reps can update SFDC from Groove+ and access call recordings and insights from anywhere, providing centralized call coaching, next steps, and follow-up.
Groove Conversations and Groove+ are separate offerings but will be integrated later this year. Groove+ is available with any Groove core license. Groove Conversations is available as a premium add-on. “When we founded Groove, we knew that building for the seller first was the key to driving widespread adoption and seller productivity,” said Rothstein. “As a result, we are the only platform that is just as easy to use and relevant for field sales as it is for sellers working from home or in the office. Our customers typically see over 90% adoption rates of Groove and Salesforce, realizing as much as 83% seller productivity improvements as a result.”