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.
SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter announced that his sales engagement firm hit $50M in ARR while maintaining a 4.9 Glassdoor rating. 96% of employees would recommend SalesLoft to a friend, 99% approved of the CEO, and 96% had a positive business outlook.
equated SalesLoft’s success with respect for his employees:
“Our owners and exec team loves on our employees so they love on you (our customers and soon to be customers). Here’s to keeping healthy as you scale.”
Porter had been advised by a founder / CEO that maintaining such a high-level of employee respect would be increasingly difficult with growth.“I remember a slight tinge of fear when they said this because organizational health is the most important focus area for me as CEO,” said Porter. “But…this team has channeled that fear and delivered. So take that naysayers! :)”
InsideView is adding Direct Dials to its Sales product. The lack of direct dials is a long-standing gap in its service as competitors have provided these numbers for several years. InsideView for CRM supports uploading and syncing of direct dials.
The new field is currently in beta. InsideView expects to have around two million direct dials in its service by the end of this quarter and is targeting ten million by the end of the year. The majority of the direct dials will be for US execs and mid-level managers.
InsideView currently provides 32 million global contacts with 15 million emails. The contacts span 14 million companies.
InsideView also announced Salesforce encryption support for adding and updating Account, Contact, and Lead records. The firm provided the following caveat, “If you are using deterministic encryption, InsideView will attempt to find existing duplicates as part of the ‘Update CRM” data sync/export. If you are using probabilistic encryption, InsideView won’t be able to query Salesforce for potential duplicates in Salesforce, but your users can still use the “Update CRM” feature.
As part of their Q1 2019 release, LinkedIn rolled out a set of new SNAP (Sales Navigator Application Platform) partners including Altify, Drift, G2 Crowd, and Mixmax.
The Drift partnership allows sales reps to “continue website conversations” after a prospect drops off of a Drift chat: “sometimes people leave your conversation abruptly – it happens. But as an SDR, that’s a potential meeting walking out the door. So what do you do? Well now you can send a connection request or follow up message with InMail right from within Drift.”
integration also displays contact and company intelligence including shared
connections while a sales rep is chatting with a prospect visiting her website
(see image on right).
the days of toggling back and forth between LinkedIn and your ongoing sales
conversation,” said Drift Product Marketer Daniel Murphy. “Say goodbye to
awkward lags in conversations. Prospects will never again have to wait for a
response while SDRs search LinkedIn Sales Navigator or Salesforce to determine
if they’re a good fit. Now they can research a prospect’s company, see
mutual connections, and grab other insights and conversation starters – all in
gathers intent data from 24 million technology searchers. Intent data is
collected from G2 profile and category views along with competitor comparisons.
Sales reps are notified when followed accounts are researching on G2
based on contact connections, sales preferences, search histories, and profile
“People don’t buy today as a result of cold calls and emails. The power is in the hands of the buyers doing more research than ever before. As sales teams, we need to focus on accepting the modern buyer journey and connecting to the right buyers at the right time. We’ve always been aligned with LinkedIn on this vision, and this integration helps us make it a reality.”
G2 Chief Revenue Officer Matt Gorniak
SNAP integration supports InMail and Connection requests and profile views from
org-chart software now displays insights and helps users identify key buyers
across an organization.
also noted that it will be available within the Salesforce Winter 2019 release.
Salesforce admins can install the application from the Lightning Setup
Console instead of the AppExchange.
One problem that
has long dogged sales intelligence vendors is ongoing training and product
exploration. To encourage exploration, Sales Navigator added a coaching
feature to extend product knowledge. Sales Navigator Coach is a new
dashboard that “suggests actions for customers to take and links to short
learning videos.” Actions are associated with core workflows. The
videos run thirty to forty seconds.
Finally, GDPR opt-outs are being added to PointDrive presentations. PointDrive recipients will be able to revoke viewer tracking permission, effectively anonymizing their viewing data from sales reps.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator began rolling out its Q1 release two weeks ago. New features include custom list sharing, Sales Navigator Coach, list building exclusion filters, new Sales Navigator Application Platform (SNAP) integrations, and an expanded set of technologies selects.
Sales Solutions VP of Product Management Doug Camplejohn was most excited about
custom list sharing, noting that that “selling is a team sport.”
can share lists with other users on their contracts, share comments, and sort
by “Last Updated” date so sales reps can stay apprised of updated leads and
accounts. Sales Navigator notifies users when lists are being shared with
them. However, lists reside only in LinkedIn and are not downloadable.
“Now we’re taking lists up a notch by adding the ability for you to share these custom lists between your team members and have comments shared as well. Sales Development Reps can collaborate with Account Executives on their team and share progress on breaking into new accounts. Relationship Managers and Customer Success Representatives can collaborate around the health of their named accounts throughout the customer lifecycle. And Marketing can easily share lists from events with the teams following up on new leads. The possibilities are endless.”
Doug Camplejohn, VP of Product Management, LinkedIn Sales Solutions
long described Sales Navigator as a system of engagement that worked with
systems of record (CRM) and communication (email, social). Much of the
initial focus was on lead messaging and SNAP connectors, but the firm is now
placing a greater focus on teamwork. Shared lead lists are “the first
step in a broader strategy to enable collaboration across your selling teams,”
wrote the firm.
Lead lists were released in Q4 and quickly employed by users. 250,000 custom lists were created within the first six weeks of availability. A quarter of active users created custom lists post-launch.
also save Leads and Accounts to custom Lists from partner applications via
their broad set of SNAP partners.
stated that “sharing increases visibility of and fosters collaboration for your
pipeline.” Custom lists help teams organize and plan for key leads and
accounts within lists: “Sharing allows them to collaborate with others as they
research, contact, and advance relationships with those Leads and Accounts.”
track team outreach to prospects, share leads with managers to discuss
strategy, segment by source, and customize follow-on activities.
Other screening enhancements include the expansion of technology selects to 30,000 technologies and the addition of seven categories of exclusion criteria for leads: company, geography, seniority level, title, function, industry and school. Account exclusions are provided for geography and industry. Camplejohn noted that exclusion filters were one of the top user requests.
Part II covers SNAP partners, SFDC Lightning Setup Console integration, and the new Sales Navigator Coach
Mattermark is back as an independent company after being acquired by FullContact in late 2017. Unfortunately, the acquisition announcement was mishandled with FullContact first saying the product was going away and later saying that it was still available.
Mattermark attracted back much of its early staff including its founders
Danielle and Kevin Morrill and Product Lead Paul Denya. The firm has a
“renewed focus on private deal intelligence.”
“This transition has been in the works for the past few months without disruption to services. You have our assurance that will continue to be the case.”
the relaunch, Mattermark is adding headcount to their customer service,
engineering, and data teams “to redouble our commitment to customer
satisfaction and data excellence.”
Mattermark data coverage spans 4 million companies, company news, and funding data. Users can leverage public lists or build shared lists. Mattermark also supports an API, Salesforce integration, Chrome extension, Google Sheets, and lead and account enrichment.
TechTarget added a set of Confirmed Projects to their Priority Engine service. Projects include company information, project location, project contact name, purchase criteria, and purchase details. Purchase criteria include top purchase drivers, product feature criteria, and vendors under consideration.
details include capabilities being considered, key factors in choice of
vendor(s), deployment method, departments where the purchase will be used, and
“The integration of Confirmed Project intelligence within the platform provides an expanded view of the Total Buying Team as well as new deal insights and angles – all in one place – to help Sales teams win more meetings, opportunities and deals. The addition of Confirmed Project data provides a much deeper layer of intelligence on project criteria, specific vendor shortlists and key purchase drivers which enriches and expands insights available within Priority Engine to give sales teams more points of entry into live deals.”
TechTarget Press Release
Projects are displayed alongside TechTarget intelligence including Owler
company overviews, TechTarget buying teams, DiscoverOrg contacts, and HG Data
Projects are collected by TechTarget’s “team of skilled in-house research
assistants who are responsible for calling active prospects from high-ranking
Priority Engine accounts.” Prospects exchange project intelligence in
exchange for TechTarget research.
TechTarget intelligence is accessible from “any browser and imported directly into Salesforce.”
“We saw rapid growth in the use of Priority Engine to fuel inside sales efforts in 2018 as more and more of our customers’ sales teams are using the insights we provide into prospect interests, research focus, vendor considerations, and tech installs. Using this data, leading sales teams have seen up to a 4x increase in opportunity conversion. The addition of Confirmed Projects within Priority Engine will fuel this growth even more.”
TechTarget SVP of Products Andrew Briney
Priority Engine raised revenues 29% in Q4 year-over-year and “bookings remain strong.” The firm signed an additional 32 customers in Q4 and the firm raised Priority Engine prices by 10% in January 2019 after raising them 20% in January 2018. The price increase was across all Priority Engine solutions. As price increases are recognized over the life of contracts and renewals are overweighted to Q4, much of the 2018 price increase will show up in 2019 revenues.
signed up prior to the beginning of the year were protected in their previous
year’s pricing, but then we added other add-on bundles and solutions,
because…we are integrating a lot of our branding lead generation offers into
Priority Engine,” said CEO Mike Cotoia. “So there is an up-sell
capability and opportunity for our customers to…create a greater share of voice
percentage within the markets they care about.”
“Our customers continue to increase their commitment to becoming data-driven sales and marketing organizations. This is creating opportunities to strengthen our partnerships with our customers by further embedding our purchase intent data into their systems to make their sales and marketing efforts more intelligent, competitive and efficient.”
TechTarget Shareholders Letter, February 6, 2019
TechTarget admitted that the data subscription business differs significantly from their traditional quarterly marketing campaigns. Over the past two years, they have learned that service requirements vary greatly by size. Larger firms “who have sophisticated systems and ample resources” can immediately leverage intent data for awareness campaigns and fueling sales outreach. Enterprise accounts have revenue renewal rates “well over 100%.” However, smaller firms require more handholding and renew at less than 100% of revenue. To assist SMBs, TechTarget has assembled a unified customer success team to offer post-sales service and support. “We believe over time that this will increase our revenue renewal rates with this customer segment. “
TechTarget described a strong IT spending environment with multiple catalysts for growth: AI, security, data analytics, and cloud migrations. In the US, accelerated depreciation of capital expenses through 2022 gives “companies a short window to invest in technology with favorable tax treatment.”
LinkedIn rolled out its Q4 Sales Navigator release in November, but I failed to blog about it. (Q1 will be covered next week in this blog.) The release contains several nascent initiatives including custom lists and the collection of “Reports To” data to assist with organizational mapping. Other feature sets include three new alerts, an improved accounts center, PointDrive activity logging, and additional SNAP connectors.
beginning to collect data around who reports to whom. As sales reps or
others learn about reporting relationships, they can add them to executive
profiles. The data is then shared across the LinkedIn contract with
co-workers but not more broadly. Following after last quarter’s support
of buying committees, it is evident that LinkedIn is looking to infuse
additional project and reporting relationships within Sales Navigator.
laying the foundation for full-blown org charts by adding a new “Reports To” field
on the Lead Page,” blogged Head of Products for LinkedIn Sales Solutions Doug
Camplejohn. “Once you learn who someone’s manager is, you can add that
info to their page by searching for a name or browsing our recommendations. Any
additions you or your colleagues make will only appear to those in your
company’s Sales Navigator contract. So, the next time you or a team member
looks that lead up, you’ll see who they report to, who added that connection,
and a reporting history.”
number of custom lists of accounts or leads may be built within the LinkedIn
desktop or mobile app. Users may post notes on saved leads or accounts and
filter the lists by people who have changed jobs in the last 90 days, people
who have posted on LinkedIn in the past 30 days, companies who have had senior
leadership changes in the past 3 months, etc.
LinkedIn does not yet support custom list uploading. Custom Sharing is part of the Q1 release.
LinkedIn added three new alerts:
Someone at a saved account viewed your profile
A saved account has just raised funding
A saved lead has engaged with LinkedIn posts from your company
accompany six current alerts:
A saved lead started a position at a new company
A saved lead has a new position within the same company
A saved lead viewed your profile
A potential lead recently joined a saved account
A saved lead has accepted your connection request
A saved lead was mentioned in the news
now included in the main menu bar of both the desktop and mobile editions. Camplejohn
noted that LinkedIn has improved the “signal-to-noise ratio” of its alerts.
our Alerts as a trusted sales advisor tapping you on the shoulder with
information about your saved leads and accounts when it’s most important and
relevant to you,” said Camplejohn.
simplified its admin experience and “made it much easier to do tasks from
assigning users to managing groups.” LinkedIn also unified its
administration module across Sales Navigator, LinkedIn Learning, and LinkedIn
Searching was added to the Sales Navigator mobile app, bringing it to list
building parity with the desktop application. Earlier this year, LinkedIn
enhanced its company and lead profiles, also bringing them to parity with the
“LinkedIn’s recent updates to its Sales Navigator management tool makes it a more robust platform for sales teams. More importantly, the moves to bring more of its desktop features to the mobile app are evidence that LinkedIn finally understands how crucial a mobile experience is when designing a sales tool focused on lead management.”
Amy Gesenhues, MarTech Today
Sales Navigator’s multi-media sharing application, will begin writing activity
history back to Microsoft Dynamics. Salesforce PointDrive sync will come
in 2019. PointDrive presents documents and video to end users as a
landing page and tracks views and shares.
you send that pricing proposal to a prospect in PointDrive and members of the
buying committee engage with it, you’ll be able to see that activity in both
Sales Navigator and your CRM,” blogged Camplejohn.
to expand its SNAP
partnerships, adding Zoom as their first
web conferencing partner. Users can now hover over an attendee name and
view Sales Navigator intelligence including their profile photo, title, and
launched v2 SNAP integrations which provide broader access to Sales Navigator
Salesforce Winter Lightning release, admins will be able to configure Sales
Navigator and add support for Person accounts without having to go to the
This year, Sales Navigator focused on improved functionality and display for accounts, leads, and list building in their mobile and desktop applications; SNAP integrations; GDPR compliance and security; CRM opportunity management and buyers circles; alerting; employment analytics; and PointDrive CRM integration. Details on earlier releases are available in my blog: Q1, Q2, Q3.