Outreach announced that it is selling the Sales Hacker community back to its founder Max Altschuler and the GTMfund. Outreach acquired the site five years ago, and Altschuler served as the company’s CMO for several years.
Altschuler noted that sales has changed significantly over the past few years and is no longer a standalone function but part of a much expansive view of the customer relationship and go-to-market processes. Thus, the vision of Sales Hacker is being expanded to encompass the broader set of customer-facing teams.
Recognizing this change, Sales Hacker will be rebranded as GTMnow and operate as an extension of the GTMfund. The broader vision will encompass sales, marketing, customer success, operations, and product.
“Sales Hacker had an amazing, decade-long run, but sales is no longer siloed, and we saw an opportunity to transform it into something geared toward the broader GTM space,” Altschuler explained to GZ Consulting.
The new GTMnow website launched yesterday. The site offers a weekly newsletter, podcast, videos, and articles.
“Sales Hacker has been such a great vehicle, a great platform, for educating sellers at scale,” said Outreach CEO Manny Medina. “Sales [reps] learn from other salespeople. Sales is such an art that you always can learn a tip or trick or a move from other sales folks that are deploying this in their own shops.”
“We’ll be sharing the playbooks from our experienced GTM leaders as well as the experiments we’re conducting across our 100+ portfolio companies so that you can run them too,” posted Altschuler on LinkedIn. “We’ll stay focused on producing super high-quality content showcasing the ongoing innovation happening industry-wide.”
GTMfund is an early-stage VC fund “focused on investing in the most exciting, up-and-coming B2B SaaS companies across the world.” Its LP network of over 350 VP and C-level revenue leaders come from leading SaaS companies, including DocuSign, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Snowflake, Okta, and Zoom.
“This network acts as 350+ scouts as well as an expert network for conducting due diligence on companies. Our unique value add gives us access to the deal,” states GTMfund. “We help startups with distribution. With a network of proven go-to-market leaders, startups should never have to go at it alone again. We find the best companies and support them with revenue-generating playbooks, top-tier candidates, and all-around GTM support.”
“This is the most transformative day of our history,” Clari CEO Andy Byrne told VentureBeat. “It’s a big acquisition for us. When we started this company, our thesis was grounded in the belief that AI would revolutionize how businesses manage revenue. More specifically, our vision was to assist CEOs in answering the critical question of whether they would meet or miss revenue targets. We aimed to offer a predictive solution to address the common issue of revenue leaks that many companies face. Our goal was to help them achieve what we call revenue precision.”
The courtship began two years ago when Clari customers began asking about Groove. Around the same time, Groove was implemented internally. The firms launched a Groove / Clari integration last year with a strong UVP.
The deal brings the firms closer to creating a full customer lifecycle platform, with Groove supporting Sales Engagement and Engagement Analytics alongside Clari’s Conversational Intelligence (Clari Copilot), Digital Sales Room, and Revenue Operations capabilities. Clari will recommend sales actions that limit revenue leakage, which reps can execute in Groove without switching applications. Groove engagement data will be fed back into Clari, helping identify deals at risk.
“Most CEOs have a tough time answering the most important question in business: ‘Will we meet, beat, or miss on revenue? By bringing together Clari and Groove, revenue leaders can implement their revenue collaboration and governance strategy across all internal and external workflows, giving them full visibility and control over the company’s most important business process – Revenue.”
Clari CEO Andy Byrne
Clari’s vision is to “bring the entire revenue process into one unified platform so our clients can consolidate, simplify, [and] accelerate” their go-to-market.
According to Clari CMO Kyle Coleman, every CRO, CFO, and CEO he has spoken with over the last six months has emphasized the need to consolidate, simplify, and accelerate their revenue cycle.
“We’re really excited to be able to lean onto this macro trend of consolidation. But it’s not just consolidating for the sake of saving money. It’s consolidating for the sake of reducing complexity, simplifying, and improving your revenue results,” Coleman explained to GZ Consulting. He is ”really confident” in the firm’s expanded capabilities and sees them as “exactly what revenue teams [want] right now.”
From 2013 until 2021, Clari focused on building revenue reporting and a revenue database (RevDB) with time series data. Information is gathered from CRMs, emails, calendars, etc., with Groove soon feeding its activity data. RevDB also ingests external data from data warehouses and Clari’s digital sales room functionality. Data is stored and analyzed in RevDB with support for six products:
“Clari’s RevDB architecture has been a long-term investment by Clari and is the secret sauce that powers the company’s unmatched revenue AI (RevAI) capabilities,” stated Clari. “With Groove added to the Clari portfolio, revenue teams will get real-time insights and suggested actions across every revenue workflow to create and convert more pipeline, while company leaders will be able to see every input, tie every activity to results, and precisely predict revenue outcomes.”
“We’re augmenting the CRM with information that reps are never going to create manually. And then we’re pulling that into our database to build our machine learning and AI models,” explained Coleman.
Last year, Clari acquired Conversational Sales Platform Wingman and added it to its deal monitoring and analytics workflows. The integrated service was recently rebranded Clari Copilot.
“It expanded the workflows that we’re running for revenue teams, bringing call recordings into the flow of work,” remarked Coleman. “You can actually hear and see what the customer is saying…Making CI less of a call recording solution for a call center and really more of a purpose-built solution for revenue teams. While we’re doing that, we’re also adding this whole new dataset into the revenue database that makes us very capable for NLP and prescriptive AI…The RevAI capabilities we have made us capable of recording all these new AI use cases…We have all these different types of AI that we leverage across the platform. We have the predictive components. We have the generative components, and we have the natural language processing. And we’re finding the right ways to expose that…in the flow of a rep’s work [and] in the flow of an executive’s work, so they’re actually getting the insight they need when they need it.”
Groove, already a Clari partner, allows sales reps to go from forecast and deal risk alerts to integrated actions, providing feedback loops and recommendations as a “closed loop of Insight and Action.”
When I spoke to the firms last year about their partnership, they presented an excellent joint value proposition presentation. This messaging continued forward into their acquisition briefing.
A common issue for revenue teams is identifying revenue leaks and mitigating them. Revenue leaks exist across the entire revenue lifecycle. For example, deal slippage is identified in real-time by Clari, allowing reps to take action via Groove to bring the deal back on track.
When Clari identifies a deal slipping for competitive reasons, it can suggest a play be executed in Groove. Likewise, Clari can identify sub-par win rates, overly generous discounting, and low conversion rates for early-stage opportunities.
As Groove is native to Salesforce, it records all activities in real time, providing “full-funnel forecasting” and analytics to Salesforce and Clari. Groove activity will also begin feeding into Clari’s RevDB time-series activities and conversations database.
“We can tie our campaigns through to revenue in Salesforce, and that is something that they (Groove’s competitors) cannot do,” argued Groove VP of Marketing Kristin Hersant. “Then all of that rich data, tying engagement through to revenue, is pulled into Clari and used in the analysis, and that is available today.”
Coleman explained that while you can’t win a deal at any moment, you can certainly break a deal. And once a deal is lost, “it’s very difficult to un-lose” it. Thus, “if you don’t do the right thing at the right time – handle the right objection or pull the right person in or do the right kind of follow-up” – the deal could be jeopardized. Therefore, “handling revenue critical moments expertly and in a prescribed way” and governed by best practices is critical in addressing revenue leaks.
“Having all of that insight into all these moments that exist and then having confidence that every one of your employees is going to be able to execute on them? Well, this is what’s so exciting to us,” said Coleman.
Clari customers benefit from a consolidated selling platform for prospecting and engagement. The platform will turn insight into action, allowing sales reps to kick off a Groove Flow immediately. They will also better understand “top-of-the-funnel effectiveness and tie it to down-funnel results.”
Clari customers “can use it [Groove] both to fill the funnel and execute the funnel, turning insights into action in real-time – closing that loop and knowing what’s happening at the top of the funnel.” Revenue teams can tie activities to revenue results and “hone and change” their revenue process.
Groove customers also benefit from platform unification as they prioritize activities, simplify forecasting, and enjoy a better understanding of deal status. They will leverage analytics that tie activity to revenue impact, thus improving outcome predictions.
Furthermore, leaders will receive “end-to-end visibility of the revenue process by connecting sales engagement with conversion.”
“The goal is to consolidate all revenue-critical technology for all revenue-critical employees,” stated Coleman. While the focus is on supporting the revenue team, Clari is finding that other stakeholders, such as finance and product management, also benefit from the ability to track sales activity.
For antitrust reasons, Clari has not discussed pricing with Groove for the six products but expects to have it locked down by the end of the month. Reps will be quickly trained on the combined offering, and a unified team will be at Dreamforce.
“We’re bringing all of our quota carriers together for a two-day super deep dive – everything you need to know about the Groove product [and] everything you need to know about the combined platform. We don’t want our sales reps to show up uninformed when they take the first meetings, and we expect there to be a healthy amount of demand coming in for this combination,” explained Coleman. “We’re on this path to be a truly multi-product company. And part of that journey is creating a true co-sell playbook. When does it make sense to sell the full platform? When should it be Groove standalone? When should it be Groove plus Copilot?”
“The ultimate goal from a Go-to-Market standpoint is to be the single revenue platform that’s used by all revenue employees,” continued Coleman. “We feel really good about this vision that we have to be the most used platform.”
Clari already has $1.5 trillion in revenue under management and over 1,500 customers.
Groove co-founders Chris Rothstein and Austin Wang will join Clari and oversee the Groove product line’s strategy, product direction, and customer success.
“I’m incredibly excited about the power of combining Clari’s Revenue Platform with Groove’s best-in-class pipeline creation and conversion capabilities,” said Rothstein. “Together, we will create more pipeline and enable sellers to act on opportunities with incredible speed and effectiveness. Revenue teams are looking to win more, faster — and Groove and Clari are bringing the rocket fuel.”
The first stage of the Groove integration is planned for October.
“This acquisition will create a sense of urgency in the market that leads all key players to step up their focus to create their own version of a revenue orchestration platform,” opined Forrester Principal Analyst Seth Marrs. “It’s a significant win for all companies looking to improve sales performance.”
“Consolidating to create a more comprehensive platform is the best option in this environment,” continued Marrs. “Those that don’t, face the less appealing prospect of a down round or going out of business.”
“B2B sales tech buyers want to take advantage of AI for sales and simultaneously reduce complexity in their tech stack,” said Gartner Senior Director Analyst Dan Gottlieb. “Clari with Groove now has the pieces to deliver a complete revenue hub with interconnected workflows and deep data integrations.”
B2B data vendor Clearbit posted a demonstration video of its ChatGPT plugin that supports Reveal (visitor intelligence), Enrich, and Prospector API calls, helping marketers build free-form queries against Clearbit’s intelligence. For example, marketers can ask for lists of companies or contacts that match their ICP and demonstrate clear intent. They can also identify firms displaying clear purchase intent over the past week by analyzing Clearbit’s Weekly Visitor Report data.
In the demo, ChatGPT-4 queries are executed against Clearbit to identify three large companies in Japan. No coding knowledge is required, with ChatGPT leveraging Clearbit’s business intelligence API and Whimsical’s account mapping service.
A follow-on query displays a Whimsical account map of Rakuten execs sourced from Clearbit.
“With this plugin, anyone—be it a marketer, sales professional, or even a curious individual—can now create and utilize the same complex sales and marketing workflows that were once reserved for the most highly technical growth teams. It breaks down the walls that have long separated the technical growth hackers from the rest of the business world.”
Clearbit Group Product Manager Zachary Swetz
By grounding ChatGPT with business intelligence, Clearbit addresses the issues of data latency and hallucinations related to firmographic and contact queries. Furthermore, when third-party plugins are deployed, ChatGPT cites them, addressing the problem of attribution and GDPR compliance (as Clearbit is compliant). ChatGPT also displays which plugins are enabled within the model.
“While ChatGPT is extremely powerful, go-to-market teams currently can’t fully capitalize on its potential due to its out-of-date data—ChatGPT’s current knowledge cutoff is March 23rd, and it has limited knowledge of the world and events after 2021. And, it has a tendency to hallucinate, producing answers that seem accurate, but are incorrect,” wrote Swetz. “To remedy this, we’re bringing Clearbit’s reliable and accurate data to ChatGPT to make it an incredibly valuable tool for sales, marketing, and operations professionals.”
TechTarget released the latest update to Priority Engine, with expanded sales intelligence insights, workflows, and data syncing. Enhancements support greater Salesforce functionality and additional Prospect-Level Intent use cases. Prospect-level intent is generated from GDPR-compliant activity across its network of 150 enterprise technology media sites and over 1,000 topical video channels.
“To serve the more than 30 million opted-in members (your buyers) across our information networks and keep them coming back, we have to stay on top of their rapidly evolving information needs,” blogged CMO John Steinert. “We need to anticipate where categories and organizations are going and be there for our members. And that means, for our tech vendor clients, we can be the best possible source of insights into what’s happening in their hyper-specific categories, for both strategic and tactical – lead gen or otherwise — purposes. We help them turn our audiences (represent their markets) into more demand, better leads, and healthier opportunity pipelines.”
Furthermore, Prospect-Level Intent improves both sales and marketing performance. For example, email nurture campaigns that target active buyers and prospect interests “commonly result in dramatically higher CTRs vs. cold contact outreach.”
Likewise, outbound sales activity targeting active prospects with demonstrated intent enjoy “significantly higher” call conversion rate.
A TechTarget analysis of over 350,000 opportunities across 90,000 accounts found that TechTarget-influenced deals progressed to closed/won status 35% faster than other opportunities.
“When B2B tech buyers need to solve business problems, they come to TechTarget first because we provide both the independent decision-support editorial content they respect and the vendor content they seek in a context that caters to their buying ‘jobs-to-be-done.’ Priority Engine provides our clients with deep insight into these buying team and buyer’s journey interactions so they can better capitalize on real demand taking shape in their markets. This release gets this proprietary data directly into more GTM users’ hands and makes it easier for them to drive critical impact for their organizations.”
TechTarget CEO Michael Cotoia
TechTarget improved its Salesforce syncing and real-time territory management. Syncing supports both standard Account and Opportunity objects and custom fields associated with these objects.
For example, customers may now build and dynamically update Priority Engine Account Lists using customer first-party account attributes such as target account lists, accounts in specific geos, or by opportunity status.
Priority Engine also supports syncing of third-party data sources stored in Account custom fields such as 6sense stages, Demandbase minutes, or Bombora scores to build Account Lists.
TechTarget VP of Corporate Communications Garrett Mann provided additional detail on the benefits of improved syncing to GZ Consulting: “The ability to dynamically sync and automatically update Priority Engine Account Lists based on customer first-party data and third-party data enables several benefits across sales, marketing, and ABM use cases, for example: (1) The ability to set and continuously update sales rep territories based on Account Owner, ensuring sales reps using Priority Engine are always seeing insights and new prospects from current account targets; (2) the ability to integrate separately purchased 6sense, Demandbase, and/or Bombora data with Priority Engine Account Intent for a single source of truth; (3) the ability to export into MAP nurture opted-in TechTarget prospects from Accounts where both TechTarget and 3rd party intent providers are seeing down-funnel demand; (4) and the ability to target TechTarget lead generation or advertising campaigns using this data.”
Other Priority Engine enhancements include:
An improved user experience and navigation that expedites account monitoring. Intent insights include new buying team members engaging, named prospects and customers researching competitors, or accounts accessing late-stage decision-making content.
A new account journey visualization that displays valuable demand-related activities at accounts across both client systems and the TechTarget network.
Streamlined user management and administration for target account lists and territory management. Admins will also benefit from simplified seat license administration and usage dashboards.
A new Opportunity Dashboard in Salesforce that displays the progression of opportunities, where go-to-market teams should take action, and where TechTarget has influenced deals.
“No matter your stack, realizing the value of RevOps sinks or swims based on the accuracy and quality of the intent and contact data – and TechTarget has that in droves,” said Sales Community Founder Randy Seidl, “The backbone of any successful GTM revenue motion isn’t how many tools you have, it’s about the insights and data that you’re using in them that unlocks value.”
This is part II of my discussion of Data Axle. On Monday I covered the launch of its Audience360 cloud-based data management platform.
B2B data vendor Data Axle announced expanded US content coverage, including additional depth for federal contractors, startups, nonprofits, and medical professionals. Organizational counts grew five percent, with Data Axle “adding hundreds of thousands of sought-after businesses and millions of new or updated contacts,” with “new attributes [that] are incredibly accurate and reliable,” explained Senior PR Manager Courtney Black to GZ Consulting. “Businesses can use this data to effectively identify prospects, which is particularly important in the current economic climate.”
New coverage includes 20 thousand more startups, 100 thousand federal contracting businesses, 100 thousand medical professionals, 35 thousand restaurants and bars, 500 thousand nonprofit organizations, and two million other US-based companies.
The medical professionals dataset spans 44 medical occupation titles and 124 specialties.
The federal contracting coverage has long offered ownership flags for veteran, minority, and women-owned businesses. Data Axle added Unique Entity Identifiers (UEI) alongside the expanded coverage.
Startup profiles include names, address fields, phone numbers, industry codes, corporate email addresses, websites, Twitter, and other social media handles. The firm recently added a source of technology startups but did not disclose the name.
Nonprofit profiles include EINs (federal tax ids). As most nonprofits do not earn revenue, the data set focuses on modeled machine-learning employee counts. Board members are included in the coverage.
Data Axle content spans nearly 18 million US and Canadian verified businesses and 150 million business contacts. Data Axle also added or updated 10.3 million contact records, with “superior coverages of firmographics, such as industry type, professional specialty, cuisine, and geocoding.”
“All our products benefit from the extended datasets,” explained Data Axle Marketing SVP Kara Alvarez to GZ Consulting. “Business data is added to Data Axle’s platform in real time as we identify updates, and each of our products and services leverages this central fulfillment platform as do many clients.”
Among the benefits listed by Alvarez were:
B2C Link connections offer more contact-to-consumer connections, tying together business and consumer profiles.
Data Axle products, including Genie (formerly Sales Genie), USA, Exact Data, and Reference, etc., enjoy expanded business data. For example, Genie contains “attributes specific to the use cases Genie clients focus on as opposed to the more extensive set available in our data platform.”
Data Axle’s standard and custom programmatic audiences “are always current” in any channel. Partner ecosystem audiences “also benefit as they ingest those updates.”
“At Data Axle, we are constantly seeking to expand the number of records available to our clients while simultaneously ensuring that the quality of our premium verified data remains at the highest level possible,” said Data Axle CEO Michael Iaccarino. “Our clients count on us for data at scale but also accuracy. We focus on carefully integrating machine learning into our processes. However, we will never cease leveraging human verification. We make over 20 million calls yearly to ensure details and key information are correct.”
Data Axle also gathers consumer data, so its B2C Link dataset benefits from the increased breadth of businesses and medical professionals.
“As a leading provider of consumer data in addition to business datasets, Data Axle plays a vital role in establishing a crucial connection between businesses and consumer profiles,” stated the firm. “The recent addition of business contacts in Q2 further strengthens this connection. Data is available separately for organizations looking to build insights between the two datasets or as a prebuilt set of audiences.”