Advice for Vendors & Purchasers of Sales Intelligence Products
Author: Michael R. Levy
Michael R. Levy is the Principal of GZ Consulting, a market research and competitive intelligence consultancy which focuses on the information services industry. Services include market sizing, market research, competitive profiling, product strategy, licensing advice, competitor benchmarking, and sales enablement.
Michael has fifteen years of experience in the sales intelligence industry having worked for OneSource (Product Marketing Manager) and InfoGroup (Manager of Strategy and Competition) before launching GZ Consulting in 2011.
Michael is also the author of the just published "Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors." He also publishes a weekly Market Insights Subscription newsletter covering the B2B sales intelligence, predictive analytics, data hygiene, and DaaS spaces.
CreditSafe USA added payment and trade line intelligence to its US credit reports. Expanded intelligence includes trade line information from business leases, commercial credit cards and term loans that will enable businesses to make better, more informed decisions. Other information includes total credit utilization, past due amounts, at risk balances, and closed accounts.
“While business credit reports and scores are traditionally put together using a variety of public and private information covering business demographics and company-to-company trade payment data, the addition of payment data showing not just how a business pays its bills, but how it pays its term loans, commercial cards and other debts takes our reports to another level,” said Matthew Debbage, CEO of Creditsafe’s Americas and Asia-Pacific division. “Creditsafe has built its reputation and success on doing things differently. We are committed to changing the way business information is used and by adding in this payment data to our U.S. offering we are continuing to do just that and to provide American businesses with a compelling option. Our Analysis shows that a typical user will now have the added benefit of seeing financial payment data on over 40% of previously ‘thin credit file’ companies. We believe this increase in data availability is a complete game-changer.”
The new financial details span $220 billion in commercial transactions from 400 financial institutions.
A 2016 Manta survey of small businesses identified a “major knowledge gap” concerning business credit scores. The survey of 3,000 businesses found that almost three in four did not now their own credit score and sixty percent did not know where to obtain such intelligence.
HG Data recently unveiled a set of enhancements to its HG Data for Salesforce app. The Lightning Data app now supports integrated account prospecting and lead enrichment, features heavily requested by their customer base. HG Data’s firmographic and technographic content is also available for lead routing, scoring, and segmentation.
Lead Enrichment supports both real-time and scheduled batch enrichment with firmographic and technographic intelligence. Lead records are updated every fourteen days. Webform leads passed through Marketo and Pardot are processed in real-time, enabling immediate lead scoring and routing.
HG Data technographic intelligence is also available for Salesforce reports, dashboards, workflows, and triggers. For example, Salesforce admins can build reports based upon technology usage scores or trigger Chatter messages informed by which platforms are deployed at leads.
According to CEO Elizabeth Cholawsky, “Our lead enrichment capabilities allow marketing groups to engage with prospects earlier and more meaningfully in the sales cycle for things like contextual outreach programming, more personalized lead nurturing, targeted content marketing, and other top of funnel activities.”
The new Discover Companies functionality supports both direct account lookup and list building. Selection facets are displayed in a right-handed window and include firmographics (e.g. HQ country, state, and city; revenue and employee ranges; industry) and technographics (product, product category, and vendor). The results list flags current accounts to help prevent duplicates but does not contain a suppress current accounts feature. Users may select up to 25 accounts at a time for immediate import to Salesforce.
Technographic prospecting helps expand the scope of target accounts as it helps identify firms using both complementary and competitive platforms. Users can then refine the list via firmographics.
“One of the biggest discoveries B2B sales and marketing teams make when they start using our technographic data is that their known available market might be 3 to 5 times bigger than they had thought,” said Cholawsky. “The latest version of our app enables users to take fast and precise action by allowing them to import net new accounts directly into their Salesforce CRM instance based on our leading comprehensive tech installation data and supplemental firmographics.”
“Everyone and everything is getting smarter and more connected than ever before, and companies are looking to transform the way they connect with customers, partners and employees,” said Kori O’Brien, SVP, ISV Sales, Salesforce. “By leveraging the power of the Salesforce Platform, HG Data provides customers with an easy way to use and access technographic data to better inform their marketing and sales programs.”
Pricing begins at $5,000 per annum for HG Data for Salesforce. If the Discover Companies module is included, the minimum price begins at $6,000. Volume pricing is available with tiers at 50 and 500 employees.
HG Data offers sales and marketing intelligence services to tech titans (e.g. Microsoft, HPE, IBM, Dell, Salesforce), predictive analytics companies (e.g. LeadSpace, Everstring, Lattice Engines), and sales intelligence vendors (e.g. TechTarget, Dun & Bradstreet, Zoominfo).
HG Data employs 65 and has raised $24 million in funding to date. Investors include Updata Partners, Rincon Ventures, Epic Ventures and Stepstone Capital.
Data coverage now spans 12.4 million global locations across 8,000 technology products and 4,000 vendors. HG Data uses advanced data science to parse billions of structured and unstructured documents each month. Technographic insights are derived from over twenty different document types including case studies, white papers, press releases, blogs, job postings, and government documents.
Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor InsideView rolled out a Marketing Suite for Microsoft 365 which packages add-on prospecting and enrichment capabilities for the Microsoft 365 InsideView service. The new suite helps “modern marketers grow and improve the quality of their pipeline, prioritize leads, find and engage ideal prospects and customers, and support account-based marketing (ABM) programs.”
The Marketing Suite bundles InsideView Enrich (lead and webform enrichment), InsideView Target (list building), and InsideView Refresh (Batch Account updates). InsideView is offering special “Suite Deal” pricing.
InsideView has long provided a natively embedded free Insights service for North American sales reps within Dynamics.
InsideView Apex, their recently launched go-to-market decision engine, is a further option for the Marketing Suite.
“Today, as more B2B marketers use targeted strategies like account-based marketing to expand customer relationships and win new ones, they need a marketing automation solution that helps them identify and engage with the best opportunities,” said Joe Andrews, InsideView VP of product and solution marketing. “The InsideView Marketing Suite builds on the foundation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing so marketers can tap into our Targeting Intelligence to get higher quality data, make better marketing decisions, and execute more successful targeted marketing programs. As a Microsoft OEM partner, InsideView is always looking for ways to extend the value we can offer their customers.”
At last month’s Growth Acceleration Summit, ZoomInfo previewed a lead scoring feature which will be available later this year. Users will build models for ideal customers and the associated scores will be displayed across the product including in lists, profiles, and enriched web leads. The goal is to “customize ZoomInfo to each and every one of you,” said CMO Hila Nir at her Product Roadmap presentation. Customization also includes routing and territory management. ZoomInfo will continue to offer tools which foster sales and marketing alignment and look to “take noise out of sales and marketing organizations.”
The company hinted at email templating and territory dashboards, but did not provide details on these future product concepts beyond conference screenshots. Email templating is most commonly found in Sales Engagement services such as Outreach, SalesLoft, and ConnectLeader.
While Zoominfo has not released financials, Garlick indicated that the firm had a strong 2017 marked by “really fast revenue growth.” The firm also added over 100 staff and 2,000 customers in the past year. He attributed the firm’s success to hard work, teamwork, sweat, and tears.
ZoomInfo pricing is a hybrid between number of seats and number of records licensed. While the firm used to be transparent about its pricing, they stopped posting such details a few years ago.
Zoominfo held its third annual Growth Acceleration Summit in Boston last month. The event projected increasing marketing confidence by the firm, with Earvin “Magic” Johnson keynoting and lectures by many of the top sales and marketing thought leaders including Jay Baer, Convince & Convert; Tiffani Bova, Salesforce; and Keenan, A Sales Guy, Inc. Analyst sessions included Sirius Decisions, Heinz Marketing, and Forrester.
The event also provided a forum for announcing ZoomInfo’s latest Growth Acceleration Platform features. New capabilities include a revamped ReachOut 2.0 Chrome Connector and a HubSpot Connector.
Magic, who has a long history of success in business and team ownership, provided personal anecdotes about his basketball and business career. Key pointers includied hiring self-motivated staff that are smarter than you so as to continuously renew the organization; make sure you over deliver on customer expectations; and reward your staff, not just executives, as it is the staff that will ensure your ability to continuously over deliver; Finally, he said that there are too many competitors out there to ever relax – both businesses and athletes need to continuously improve.
The new Hubspot connector allows users to upload Accounts and Contacts to Hubspot with a click of a button from either a browser or the ReachOut Chrome connector. The HubSpot integration also supports ZoomInfo Complete which provides on demand enrichment at record creation. ZoomInfo Complete for HubSpot is currently in beta.
ReachOut 2.0 streamlines account and contact research from within Chrome, providing instant access to ZoomInfo intelligence while browsing. The service is context sensitive, providing company and contact profiles based upon the current LinkedIn record, URL, or CRM record being viewed. The service also supports quick export to Salesforce, Hubspot, Microsoft Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft. When expanded into an 80% screen view, full company and contact intelligence is displayed. Company insights include location, firmographics, people at company by job function, company locations with contacts and location counts per geography, technologies used (licensed from HG Data), and competitors (licensed from Owler). Contact data includes company intelligence along with an expanded set of social links and contact details.
The 80% ReachOut expanded view supports full prospecting both across companies and within a single firm. Users can quickly select records and share them to CRM (Salesforce, MS Dynamics, HubSpot) or Sales Engagement platforms (Outreach, SalesLoft). Being able to enlarge to the 80% view allows Zoominfo to pack a full-featured offering into ReachOut, helping it expand from a tool to a full-service product.
ReachOut now supports user tagging allowing users to store campaigns, lead source, etc.
“If you combine your own intelligence with Big Data, you create for yourself a crystal ball that gives you the ability to focus your attention on the most important things that need to get done,” said CEO and Chief Scientist Yonatan Stern. “When you focus, it doesn’t cost you more money, but you can increase productivity and profitability.”
“Over the last year, we have doubled down on our strategy of making ZoomInfo’s contact and company data available on the platforms where our customers live,” said Phil Garlick, VP of corporate development. “In keeping with that strategy, we have released two new products that integrate seamlessly with a host of platforms and systems our customers use.”
Also unveiled at the Summit was ZoomInfo’s new ZoomInfo University certification program, “a comprehensive, hands-on certification program that enables B2B professionals to fully leverage its B2B contact and account database for business results.”
The new training program teaches best practices around persona development, lead scoring and routing, market segmentation and territory management, campaign strategies, and data management.
“ZoomInfo University is designed to strengthen your knowledge of the industry and usage of the entire ZoomInfo Product Suite,” said Garlick. “It’s both a deep dive of capabilities and the beginning of a lasting growth acceleration journey.”
ZoomInfo continues to be confident in their data quality due to their Community product which provides them with access to email signature blocks. According to a sales rep, records updated within the past year have a 90% deliverability rate. He noted, however, that deliverability will vary by industry and function due to the underlying contact decay rates of various segments. For high decay functions (e.g. sales) and industries (e.g. high tech), he suggested using the six-month update select to ensure receiving the highest quality leads.
Predictive Analytics company Mintigo unveiled its new MintigoAI service. Mintigo describes their solution suite as “a comprehensive intelligent customer engagement platform powered by AI” for mid-size and enterprise companies to “drive greater pipeline and revenue.” The “customer lifecycle solution” includes CRM and MAP connectors, ABM targeting tools, inbound lead enrichment and prioritization, upsell / cross-sell recommendations, and a new Buying Stages capability.
Buying Stages determines where accounts and leads are in their buyers’ journey. The solution assesses lead enrichment, fit, intent, and behavior data to determine customer intent and stage. Data is sourced from 1.7 billion user interactions per day spanning 13 million global companies. Buying Stages tags accounts into three categories: Target (based on fit), Awareness (based on intent), and Consideration (based on behavior). Buying Stages evaluates the “aggregate actions of leads” and weighs both anonymous web traffic and site visit activity. Mintigo also factors in firmographic, technographic, and social intelligence.
“To plan, strategize and execute B2B marketing effectively in today’s world, marketers need a high-definition view of their customers,” blogged CEO Jacob Sharma. “Using AI and predictive analytics, we built MintigoAI to mine billions of data points and identify the set of insights that make a company’s actual customers unique. These insights range from hiring patterns to technology installs to firmographic data, and much more. The result of this process is the ICP, which MintigoAI uses to identify right targets within existing marketing databases and proactively discover new high-propensity targets that display the ICP characteristics.”
Nancy Nardin of Smart Selling Tools published her 2018 SalesTech Landscape with more than 500 companies, a 25% increase over 2017. While the scope of the industry is impressive, it is one-tenth of the MarTech Landscape list put together by Scott Brinker and Chief MarTech. Many of the SalesTech companies appear in both lists.
“The SalesTech space is certainly a crowded market. It’s complex and confusing and it will become more, not less, confusing for the foreseeable future. I don’t see a major consolidation happening any time soon despite recent acquisitions,” said Nardin. “At this point, there is unquestionable pressure due to sales tool fatigue, for solution providers to broaden their offerings either by acquisition or added functionality. Fewer companies are willing to manage the implementation and adoption of 10 or more individual sales tools – many of which have over-lapping capabilities.”
Nardin recently launched a second company called Vendor Neutral which assists sales departments with identifying “the right mix of solutions based on your organizations capability gaps.”