Advice for Vendors & Purchasers of Sales Intelligence, Sales Engagement, and B2B DaaS 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.
Zylotech added Bombora surge data to its Customer Data Platform (CDP). Bombora’s third-party intent file is gathered from over 4,000 B2B media sites and helps identify accounts with surging interest in B2B topics. The partnership helps “find and drive active demand into the funnel, empowering sales teams to prioritize accounts and win more business.”
describes itself as a “self-learning B2B customer data platform that ensures
customer profile enrichment, predicts purchases, and brings relevancy-based
recommendations towards unprecedented lift.” Features include data health
reports, next best actions, lead scoring, propensity predictions, prescriptive
micro-segments, dynamic segmentation, GDPR support, ID resolutions, anonymous
visitor data resolution, look-a-like audience prospecting, and 360 Customer
Views that incorporate hierarchies.
means that the CDP automatically and continuously detects and creates customer
matches across different data sources.
“Bombora’s intent data coupled with Zylotech’s unified view of all customer data means marketing and sales now have a single, seamless way to identify ideal B2B buyers and drive more conversions. Marketers can personalize their campaigns specifically to the buyer’s intent, allowing sales to focus on buyers with expressed interest, and proactively engage in the decision-making process armed with customer insights.”
Zylotech Chief Revenue Officer Patrick O’Brien
supports HubSpot, Eloqua, Marketo, Salesforce, Tableau, MailChimp, and LiveRamp.
based in Cambridge, MA and has 40 employees. It received a $5.5 million
Series A last October and $6 million in total funding.
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Data vendor Clearbit officially launched Clearbit X, their new marketing and sales “growth engine.” The new service provides digital marketing and demand generation functionality with first and third-party intent data enrichment. The Clearbit X platform consolidates data from CRM systems, activity data such as web events, visitor intelligence enriched with IP and domain information, and Clearbit’s third-party business data on companies and employees (e.g., company size, industry, contact information, etc.).
“Never before has a company created a growth suite built from the ground up to be data-first and focused on B2B buyers. And what’s more, X is the only platform to natively combine both data the customer owns with our popular Clearbit data. I’m looking forward to a future where marketing data is democratized, data-enabled, and smart. Clearbit X is a big step towards this future.”
Clearbit CEO Alex MacCaw.
include Facebook and Google targeting, Slack and email alerts highlighting
active opportunities based on intent, and Clearbit’s visitor intelligence which
matches visitor activity to account intelligence via IP addresses. Visitor
intelligence assists with dynamic chat and website personalization.
is positioning X as the “center of your data universe.“ According to the
firm, “The power supply of any great growth engine is real-time access to what
we call your entire dataverse – all your user data, activity data, and
enrichment data. Clearbit X brings all of that together in one place.”
able to layer Clearbit firmographic data onto our existing data in Salesforce
is really powerful,” said Yuri Daniels, director of performance marketing at
Zenefits. “X has helped ensure that we are targeting customers in our
ideal customer profile as well as being able to exclude people already inside
of our funnel to make new leads. We can target very specific lists on
Facebook with much more efficiency and LinkedIn-level specificity.”
is focused on onboarding their first twenty-five customers and will release
more product details towards the end of the year.
B2B DaaS and contacts vendor DealSignal announced the availability of CRM Data Health, a Salesforce module that continuously refreshes, enriches, and reverifies lead, contact, and account records. DealSignal data is GDPR-compliant and based upon AI validation and human verification.
than comparing dirty CRM data against other static data sources that may
themselves be outdated, DealSignal CRM Data Health takes a dynamic, on-demand
enrichment and verification approach that uses both AI and human intelligence
to ensure near-perfect accuracy,” stated the firm. “DealSignal CRM Data
Health delivers a reliable alternative for companies looking to replace
Like other CRM hygiene apps, CRM Data Health includes a free data health audit. The CRM data enrichment includes detailed contact profiles, Bombora buyer intent, and firmographics. Along with CRM hygiene, customers can enrich inbound leads, events lists, and third-party lists.
“Bad CRM data is a pervasive issue that has a negative ripple effect on B2B marketing and sales performance: from inaccurate ABM targeting, to bounced emails that can damage sender reputation, to outdated or irrelevant contacts that clog marketing automation systems at a great cost,” said DealSignal founder & CEO, Rob Weedn. “Industry studies find that up to 50 percent of CRM data is incomplete, out-of-date, or inaccurate. Compounding the issue, data decays at a rate of over two percent per month, so maintaining data health is a constant challenge that requires an on-going solution—much like you can’t get in shape by going to the gym once. We’ve introduced DealSignal CRM Data Health to help Salesforce customers continuously maintain rich, accurate and verified target audience data, and keep it fresh on a regular schedule.”
With the decommissioning of Data.com, vendors like Dun & Bradstreet, InsideView, Zoominfo, and DealSignal are jumping into the fray. If you are looking to make your sales reps more effective, your segmentation more accurate, or your Einstein predictions more precise, then you should be evaluating a Lightning Data or general data quality solution for your CRM.
Gartner forecasted 3.2% growth in global IT spend in 2019, with turnover hitting $3.8 trillion. Growth will be driven by Enterprise Software (up 8.5% this year and 8.2% next year) and IT Services (up 4.7% this year and 4.8% next year). Slower growth segments include Devices (1.6% growth in 2019), Communications Services (up 1.3% in 2019), and Data Center Systems (growing in 2019 but retreating in 2020).
“Despite uncertainty fueled by recession rumors, Brexit, and trade wars and tariffs, the likely scenario for IT spending in 2019 is growth,” said John-David Lovelock, research VP at Gartner. “However, there are a lot of dynamic changes happening in regards to which segments will be driving growth in the future. Spending is moving from saturated segments such as mobile phones, PCs and on-premises data center infrastructure to cloud services and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. IoT devices, in particular, are starting to pick up the slack from devices. Where the devices segment is saturated, IoT is not.”
“IT is no longer just a platform that enables organizations to run their business on. It is becoming the engine that moves the business. As digital business and digital business ecosystems move forward, IT will be the thing that binds the business together.”
David Lovelock, Gartner Research VP
shift to the cloud and SaaS will continue to benefit Enterprise Software spend
with global expenditures hitting $466 billion in 2020.
shift is not just about cloud. As organizations pursue new IT
architectures and operating philosophies, they put in place a foundation for
new opportunities in digital business, including next-generation IT solutions
such as the Internet of Things (IoT),” said VP Ed Anderson earlier this year.
“Organizations embracing dynamic, cloud-based operating models position
themselves for cost optimization and increased competitiveness.”
warned that companies are failing to upskill their internal staff quickly
enough to support newer technologies such as IoT, AI, machine learning, data
science, APIs and services platform design. Gartner was concerned that
“nearly half” of the IT workforce is in “urgent need” of upskilling to “support
their digital business initiatives.” The risk for businesses is that
emerging technologies “are changing faster than we’ve ever seen before.”
Intent and technographics vendor Aberdeen announced Aberdeen Behavioral Technographics, their next-generation installed technology dataset. Aberdeen is the successor to the pioneering Ziff Davis and Harte-Hanks Access CI dataset that was developed over two decades ago.
Aberdeen notes that traditional technographics are binary, static flags at the corporate level whereas Behavioral Technographics “actively measure technology usage down to company location, number of users, and pains and priorities of the usage.”
data has been overdue for innovation,” said Aberdeen CEO Marc Osofsky.
“The reaction to our data has been amazing, companies have signed up
within days of seeing the data.”
claims that its technographics are “up to 55% more accurate than legacy install
(technographic) data” resulting in improved account prioritization, pipeline,
“Historical technographic data is actually still pretty new for most firms. And the way that it’s most commonly collected, at least in recent days, is focusing on job boards and individual websites to determine whether or not technology’s actually installed at a company. And they do this by…focusing on the job boards to see if a technology is present within the actual job description. There are a lot of fallbacks to this, and this new method gets around that way.”
Benjamin Cavicchi, Aberdeen Senior Data Analyst
Technographics are based upon technology usage and topical queries, not simply
installation. Data is captured from over 1,100 websites that host
educational content concerning technologies. This takes them beyond
traditional job board scans to include forums, tutorials, and educational
sites. 365 days of behavioral data are captured which include deployed
technology, pain points, and topics.
focus on the education of an individual about a technology because that is
clear evidence that they use it,” said Aberdeen Senior Data Analyst Benjamin
Cavicchi. “So what we’re looking at is a handful or a couple of thousand
websites that resolve to user tutorials or user forums where people ask
questions and answer them about a technology, as well as a host of other, I
would say, technology-specific blogs where experts write about it.”
idea was to focus on those pages ”that answer these very specific questions
that you would have in your daily work working with the technology.” This
is the content that shows up when technology questions are typed into Google.
example, if employees are researching topics about Excel, they are likely using
it. “The idea is that if you aggregate all of the individuals associated
with a company and you look at this historical activity on Excel, you can get a
better understanding of whether or not they use it. So other users at his
company may be googling other, more advanced things like how to write efficient
VBA code, or creating dynamic Excel dashboards,” said Cavicchi.
because they are looking at trends and technology questions, they can discern
which companies are using precursors to more advanced solutions, usage levels,
and current pain points. Behavioral Technographics are available at the
is the natural antecedent to a BI solution, a more advanced one. So if
you have a lot of people at a company that are writing VBA code, that are
trying to create these dynamic dashboards, but they don’t have any activity on
any other BI solution, it seems to me that they probably need one. We’re
finding the problems of the company, and helping companies to essentially find
Technographics is a perfect complement to Intent Data,” said Aberdeen.
“Both provide full visibility into your target market: Intent Data
identifies companies in-market to buy and Behavioral Technographics provides
technology in use insights to prioritize and target the remaining accounts not
yet showing intent.”
Technographics are patent-pending. Aberdeen describes its new
technographics as “dynamic and quantitative.”
The next step will be behavioral profiling which is common in B2C but has yet to be extended to B2B. Behavioral Profiling will look at groups of individuals to determine buyers and influencers. For example, high levels of research around python indicate the presence of a data science team.
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner raised concern about a tide of tech regulation following recent data privacy scandals. Of particular concern is the impact of removing tech company immunity for the content shared by users under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. If the Section were removed, social networks would be forced to proactively censor posts.
if the [technology] industry were to do greater self-regulation, you’re going
to see more regulatory oversight.”
as the wide use of algorithms has provided a megaphone to misinformation and
fringe social media, regulation can have unintended consequences. “The
unintended consequences work both ways,” said Weiner. “Companies make
decisions only with the best of intentions, and there are unintended
consequences of those decisions. But from a regulatory perspective, I
think it’s the same thing.”
“You could stifle a lot of innovation. You could stifle a lot of openness. You could stifle a lot of the things that create value by virtue of changing these liability rules and laws. That is just almost a canonical example of where these unintended consequences would really proliferate. The things companies would need to do to ensure that they were protected is going to hurt the way in which people can communicate with one another.”
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner
LinkedIn operates in China where it is subject to censorship. The firm decided to enter the market as it’s mission is to create economic opportunity globally. “The censorship issue in China is always a painful one,” he said. “It has to be navigated and managed in the context of the broader vision.” While LinkedIn is advocating for Section 230, its parent company has taken a pro-regulatory view on data privacy, calling for an American version of GDPR. Microsoft has built GDPR into the infrastructure of its platforms.
Sales engagement vendor SalesLoft rebranded its Meeting Intelligence functionality as Conversation Intelligence. SalesLoft describes four sets of features which help reps schedule meetings and then listen to, understand, and engage with customers and prospects. SalesLoft supports a broad set of conversation tools including appointment setting; automated recording, transcription, and indexing of calls; time-stamped notes, and call analytics. This functionality is available for prospect, customer, and internal calls. Managers, mentors, and trainers can join calls or whisper into a sales rep’s ear.
the evolution of SalesLoft’s platform and user experience, one feature has
changed so much that its prior name no longer did it justice,” wrote SalesLoft
Head of Community Aly Merritt. “Meeting Intelligence is now Conversation
Intelligence, because sales isn’t just meetings – it’s every conversation and
recordings can be stored in a training library or shared for coaching or
questions. For example, if a sales rep does not know the answer to a
question, it can be forwarded directly to customer support or engineering for a
Intelligence supports both SalesLoft’s native dialer and leading web meeting
applications: Zoom, GoToMeeting, join.me, UberConference, Cisco WebEx, and
Cisco WebEx Enterprise.
Sales calls come in many forms: prospecting, discovery, demos, stakeholder alignment, and so on. All of these interactions make up the foundation for the long-term customer relationship. High-value customer relationships are made possible when prospects feel that the relationship they are entering into is mutually beneficial.
How can you build such a relationship? By working to ensure your prospects feel heard and confident that you understand their needs. Work to engage them throughout their journey. After all, sales doesn’t stop when the deal closes, nor does engagement cease when a seller hangs up the phone.
▪ SalesLoft Product News
SalesLoft said that it is “designed to flex around the needs of the user based not only on their role but also on their preferred workflow. This empowers SalesLoft customers to offer consistent value at every stage.”
“Sales meetings are the moments in the sales cycle where you have the opportunity to provide the most value for your customers. As such, they are some of the single biggest opportunities for your team to influence revenue. It’s where your deals are won and lost,” wrote the firm. “Despite this, sellers often don’t get the opportunity to improve on this critical component of the sales process. Combine this with the challenges that face sales leaders around how much time it takes to digest sales meetings, gain visibility into what’s really happening, and be proactive in the deal cycle.”
At its INBOUND conference earlier this month, HubSpot released a new app Marketplace. “One of the things we’ve really tried to do with the next iteration of the marketplace is just to help SMBs (small to medium businesses) get deeper information on these integrations,” said HubSpot VP of platform ecosystem Scott Brinker. “So you’re not just like, ‘Oh, here’s another company, go off and figure it out.’ It’s like, ‘OK, here’s exactly how this interfaces into HubSpot. Here’s a video of how it works.”
HubSpot partners are obligated to post pricing information, data flow structure, and demo videos. The new market supports improved filtering and searching. Over 300 apps are available with 93% of HubSpot’s 64,000 customers having installed at least one app. The average customer has installed five apps.
Amongst the top apps are Gmail, Outlook Calendar, Zapier (connectors), Facebook Ads, Google Calendar, Twitter, MailChimp, WordPress, LinkedIn, Facebook, Slack, Vidyard, Google Ads, and SurveyMonkey. “We’re really excited about trying to make this whole platform ecosystem world accessible to the SMB markets,” said Brinker.
“It’s not enough to have the wondrous capabilities all these different apps offer, especially if each is locked in their own silo. To run your business effectively and to give customers a coherent and compelling experience across all the different touchpoints they have with you, all these different apps need to work together. This is why HubSpot is committed to building an open platform that can serve as a “hub” for the myriad apps across your business that all contribute to improving the customer experience. We want to make it easy for you to orchestrate these apps, to better serve your customers, and to help you grow better.”
Conversational marketing vendor RambleChat is the latest partner available through the SalesLoft app directory. Along with real-time website chat, joint customers can embed chat into SalesLoft email cadences. RambleChat then routes sales conversations to account owners “providing a more personalized interaction via chat.” Joint customers can also employ dynamic fields in SalesLoft to customize greetings with personal and company names.
“The SalesLoft/RambleChat integration gives a whole new capability for marketing and sales teams. RambleChat is the only chat platform that can instantly open chat from any online source. Ramble then routes sales conversations to the right account owner — enhancing both demand generation and ABM campaigns. And now, for the first time, chat can be an integral part of sales plays and interactions in the SalesLoft platform.”
Sean Kester, VP of Platform Strategy at SalesLoft.
Chat (SCC), RambleChat’s patent-pending technology, extends chat capabilities
from the website to outbound communications. So long as a URL can be
embedded, chat conversations can be initiated via a click. Along with
corporate websites, SCC enables chat initiation from LinkedIn, Twitter,
Facebook, digital ads, landing pages, blogs, QR codes, and product
collateral. SCC allows sales reps to “meet buyers at the moment of
automatically logs chat conversation histories and details at the SalesLoft
Account level. When a user navigates to an account, chat history is
displayed under the “Notes” section. If a SalesLoft user desires more
in-depth information about the chat conversation, a URL is automatically
provided for the user to click.
has been in partnership discussions with SalesLoft since at least March when
Ramble CEO Justin McDonald attended SalesLoft’s Rainmaker conference. Instead
of simply building a website chat solution, the firms chose to “build better
pipelines by extending chat beyond corporate websites and into SalesLoft
Cadences and social channels via RambleChat’s Single Click Chat.”
“As we met with joint customers in mid 2018, a constant theme surfaced; the market was struggling to find practical and tangible means of Account-Based Selling and Marketing. There’s no shortage of ABM technology, but many lacked quick deployment and immediate results for sales organizations. This became the MO for the RambleChat + SalesLoft partnership, and we landed with a more powerful integration that fills the ABM gap for both sales and marketing.”
Ramble CEO Justin McDonald
immensely excited about our joint efforts. This integration delivers new
opportunities for sales engagement and improves functionality for sales reps to
execute account-based selling. Account-based marketing (ABM) requires an
equal effort from Sales, and RambleChat delivers immediate functionality to
bridge the gap for SalesLoft customers,” said RambleChat CEO Justin