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.
Owler is now promoting its first paid service, Owler Pro, which will be launching in a few months. Owler Pro is priced at $9.99 / month but will be discounted to $4.99 / month for the first 1,000 users (lifetime guaranteed pricing). The service is offering the following additional features:
Go straight to article, bypassing the Event Page.
Skip Owler recommended content such as competitors of your followed companies
Follow groups of companies
Customize the displayed instant insights (event triggers)
As I haven’t seen advertising on Owler, I’m assuming that the free version will become a sponsored platform. Most of these features are fairly insignificant, but at $4.99 per month the pricing is reasonable to prevent advertising and avoid the Event Page click-through.
Subscriptions are available from the following landing page.
If you haven’t checked out Owler, the free service provides company profiles, M&A and Funding histories, competitor lists, event alerts, and user-based surveys.
Sales Intelligence vendor RampedUp added account scoring to their platform. Other new features include saved searches for leads and trigger events, lead and trigger event downloading to CSV files, importing corporate URLs into searches, and the auto-population of decision makers and preferred technologies.
The new scoring doesn’t employ predictive analytics, but rates accounts on a zero to five basis, with a star awarded for each of five conditions:
One of top 5 industries based on the client roster
One of top 5 market segments based on client employee count
Installed Technology based on products important to the client’s sales process
Contacts present with preferred title based on selected buying committee
Recent trigger event article showing activity over the last 90 days
“Two things that have always set RampedUp apart from other sales intelligence platforms have been the tailored nature of the data we provide,” said CEO Scott Miller. “Our customers are exposed to contacts that are unique to their buying committee. We also share look-alike customer data based on a Salesforce.com sync that pulls customer data into our platform in near real-time. RampedUp also tracks triggering events and installed technology used by companies to help sellers understand their prospects better. All this information is used to create our unique scoring methodology.”
Contact vendor FullContact is releasing their next generation platform and Enrich API. Full Contact’s identity graph offers a 95% confidence rating. The upgraded API supports advanced querying capabilities and improves security.
“Many organizations have incomplete, inaccurate records for their contacts that prevent them from making smart business decisions with actionable customer insights. Enabling businesses to create meaningful relationships with their customers means providing them with the most accurate data in a way that’s easy to integrate,” said CEO Bart Lorang. “Our Next Generation platform was created for users that rely on up-to-date customer intelligence to impact their business.”
Customer data enrichment begins at $1,000 per month. API data packs begin at $99/month for 2,500 company and contact matches with additional contacts priced at $0.04 per matched record. For $499/month, developers receive 50,000 company and contact matches per month with a $0.01 charge for additional matches.
Other API calls include email verification, business card image transcription, and consumer enrichment (e.g. demographics, social, employment history).
The Full Contact API supports Eloqua, Hubspot, Slack, Google, Sheets, and other platforms.
British sales intelligence vendor Artesian Solutions announced that it received £3.5M in expansion capital from Columbia Lake partners. The funds will be used to refinance current debt obligations and provide working capital for “further growth and expansion.” The refinancing also provides better terms and business flexibility after the firm reached a profitability milestone in July.
Artesian has begun integrating artificial intelligence into its tools. Earlier this year, it launched Insight Agent, “the first step in a series of intelligent chat bots aimed at automating many of the tasks carried out by B2B professionals” along with Arti, the firm’s interactive digital assistant.
“This is an exciting milestone in our company’s history and positively reinforces the leadership position we have attained. We are constantly looking at the ‘what next’ scenario, pushing boundaries to establish our business as one of the leading innovators in B2B software for commercial teams, this has paved the way for our new risk mitigation capabilities which will be released in the New Year.”
Artesian Solutions CEO Andrew Yates
The firm has recently shifted its positioning from social selling to “A.I. powered sales intelligence.”
“Social Selling sits at the heart of Artesian’s founding principles,” explained Yates. “But as sales best practice has evolved, so has Artesian. Our goal is to be at the forefront of technology evolution for enterprise B2B, delivering a suite of A.I.-powered tools to make prospecting, engaging and closing deals easier. As our forthcoming risk mitigation capabilities demonstrate, we will continue to evolve to ensure we remain a trusted partner of our enterprise customers and to maximise the impact of their business relationships”
Artesian offers products for both the British and American markets.
As we are one month away from the new year, it is a good time to think about budgeting for data quality in 2018.
I know it isn’t glamorous, but that doesn’t mean it is unnecessary.
Data Quality software is markedly improved over the past few years. No longer is it necessary to download and forward a file to a vendor and wait for them to process your marketing file. Sales and Marketing Operations can now setup automated cloud cleansing that works within Marketo, Eloqua, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and other enterprise applications. B2B vendors to consider include Dun & Bradstreet, InsideView, Zoominfo, and ReachForce.
These platforms perform both initial batch match & append and ongoing enrichment, ensuring that your sales and marketing files have both accurate and complete data. These services also support company and contact prospecting, data health reports, suppression lists, and segmentation reporting. A few even offer free data quality reports, deduplication, technographic enrichment, nixie files (defunct companies and departed exec files), web form support, sales intelligence services, and contact verification and standardization (e.g. address, phone, and email) for non-matched records.
As these services reside in the cloud and offer cloud connectors for the major MAPs and CRMs, the operational overhead is minimal allowing operations to focus on ABM look-a-likes, segmentation, and improved targeting instead of file management.
What’s more, data quality improvements benefit sales, marketing, and downstream systems. A record cleansed and verified as it is created costs much less than a bad record passed down to other enterprise platforms. Beyond direct cost reduction (storing bad data, marketing to departed execs, sales calls to abandoned voicemails, reduced time keying and updating records manually), there are improvements to segmentation, targeting, lead scoring, lead routing, and messaging.
So budget for data quality in 2018. It isn’t glamorous, but it is effective.
Company profile vendor Pitchbook added 171,000 European company profiles along with financial data and M&A transaction details to their public and private company dataset. The new profiles cover France, UK, Germany, Benelux, Ireland, Sweden and Norway. Pitchbook also backfilled 35,000 European companies with financial data.
“Our customers require a holistic view into global financial market activity to make informed business decisions, which is the key driver behind PitchBook’s aggressive push to increase coverage of Europe’s financial ecosystem,” said Doug Trafelet, Managing Director at PitchBook. “The new companies and financials included in this dataset expansion provides unmatched visibility into company health and industry fluctuations, which simply cannot be found elsewhere. Continuing to add and refine our coverage of the European market will remain a key priority in 2018 and beyond, especially as PitchBook asserts its presence in region, both in terms of data collection and corporate footprint.”
The Pitchbook Platform is approaching one million global companies with profiles of nearly 900,000 private companies, 80,000 public companies and 800,000 transactions. Pitchbook data is delivered via browsers, mobile, data feeds, Excel, and CRM. The Excel plug-in supports custom charting and twenty pre-built models for comps, tear sheets, and valuation.
Pitchbook has over 2,000 clients who “use PitchBook regularly to follow and analyze the flow of capital across the entire private and public markets.” The firm is a subsidiary of Morningstar and has over 600 employees.
The firm did not disclose whether they directly gathered the European private company data or licensed it from a third party. However, as the expanded country coverage matches CreditSafe’s recent expansion, it is likely that CreditSafe is providing the company financials.
Pitchbook also recently added a Chrome Browser extension which allows subscribers to right-click on a company to view a company profile.
Data automation vendor Openprise announced support for the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which goes into effect on May 25th. The new Openprise Data Orchestration Platform capabilities provide “visibility, control, and access management inside and outside of a company, without the added complexity of traditional compliance solutions.”
The GDPR specific functionality “controls the flow of EU data out of your company” via “fine-grained data filters and permission roles,” and flags leads and contacts which are subject to the GDPR even if the records lack country flags. The firm performs checks based upon emails, IP addresses, phone numbers, and non-standardized country fields. Both standard and custom fields in sales and marketing automation platforms are GDPR validated. Openprise maintains an audit trail and logs records which have been processed by partners.
The firm noted a Catch-22 in GDPR regulations. Enriching records that lack country designators may require enrichment from non-compliant datasets, violating the law. By utilizing data from within the record (e.g. domain, phone numbers), Openprise avoids violating the law in order to support the law.
“The vast majority of US-based companies are woefully unprepared for GDPR, and this new set of regulations has teeth. We’ve heard from our customers that they want a central control point to help maintain compliance with GDPR. Openprise’s position in the MarTech stack as the conductor that manages the movement and processing of data across systems puts it in a unique position to serve as this control point.”
Openprise CEO Ed King
The GDPR is broadly written to cover data held by non-EU companies, even those without operations or sales staff within the EU. Penalties can be quite high, reaching up to 4% of revenue or €20 million, whichever is greater.
“What’s so critical about GDPR is that it affects companies everywhere in the world, whether they have a presence in the EU or not, and unlike many other regulations, this one has teeth,” says Allen Pogorzelski, vice president of marketing at Openprise. “If you’ve got EU citizen data in your databases, you’re subject to GDPR regulations. U.S. companies that ignore these regulations do so at their own peril.”
This summer, Openprise launched a Data Marketplace to assist with ingesting and normalizing third-party B2B and B2C data. Amongst the platforms supported are Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua, and Pardot. The Data Marketplace, part of the Openprise Data Orchestration platform, includes built-in rules to ensure data are properly onboarded. B2B Partners include Zoominfo, InsideView, Orb Intelligence, Synthio, Salesgenie, and Dun & Bradstreet.