Revenue Grid Guided Selling

Revenue Grid which describes itself as a Guided Selling vendor, offers a hybrid platform with sales engagement, revenue intelligence, relationship intelligence, meeting management, and conversation intelligence.  Unlike many startups in these spaces, Revenue Grid comes to market with fifteen years of experience building native platform integrations behind the firewall and in the cloud.  It then layers on top reports, analytics, and an Outlook/Gmail/LinkedIn sidebar for identifying opportunities at risk, next steps and missed actions, engagement scores, and pipeline analytics.

“Algorithmic guided selling leverages emerging AI technology and existing sales data to guide sellers through deals, automating manual sales actions while reducing the need for individual seller judgment in the sales process,” wrote Gartner.  Guided Selling is data and process-driven, with Next Best Action recommendations that make CRMs actionable.

Guided Selling intelligence is gathered from CRMs, emails, calendars, phone calls, and videos.  Engagement is measured across these channels and delivered as a set of insights and revenue signals that support Guided Selling.  Signals are Next Best Actions based upon AI recommendations and sales playbooks.  

Revenue Grid describes signals as “contextual, actionable notifications that tell your whole sales org what is going well or poorly throughout your whole sales process.”  Sales reps can act on recommendations by merely clicking on the signal.

These definitions can all get confusing, but the vision becomes clearer when skipping past the inputs and technology and merely considering which sales and management questions Revenue Grid looks to address.  Revenue Grid answers a host of sales rep questions, including

  • Which deals should I focus on today?
  • How likely am I to close the deal this month or quarter?
  • How can I improve my odds of winning this opportunity?
  • Which deals are at risk and why?  
  • Did I complete all of the post-deal activities discussed on the call?
  • Have I updated all my opportunities before tomorrow’s deal review?
  • How can I prepare for a meeting?
  • Does anybody at my firm have a relationship with key decision-makers?
  • How is engagement across the account?  Am I building relationships with the key stakeholders?

Likewise, managers can answer questions such as

  • Are sales reps focused on the right things?
  • Do sales reps know what to do next?
  • How can I guide reps in each deal?
  • Which deals are moving, stalled, or at risk?
  • Do my reps know what to say at meetings? Do our scripts work?
  • How do I know my coaching is effective?
  • Which committed deals are unlikely to close?
  • How do I improve our forecasts?

Part II discusses Revenue Grid’s feature set.

Cognism Acquires Ricochet

UK-based Sales Intelligence vendor Cognism acquired Ricochet, an outbound sales Chrome extension that displays company profiles from company pages, Twitter profiles, LinkedIn pages, Gmail, and Google search.  Ricochet brings with it 1,200 global customers.  Ricochet employs data aggregation to profile and qualify businesses in real-time.

“We’ve admired Cognism’s approach and success since the early days of Ricochet, with both teams dedicated to empowering sales teams with actionable and accurate B2B data,” said Ricochet CEO Paul Smith. “We’re thrilled to be working with [Cognism CEO] James [Isilay] and the team, and look forward to Ricochet’s technology helping Cognism’s customers improve efficiency and streamline their sales development activity.”

Ricochet claims to reduce research and qualification time by 60%, showing employee size, investment information, similar companies, industries, markets, locations, and Companies House data.  A second tab surfaces company blogs.  

HubSpot and Pipedrive integrations indicate which accounts have been added and when they were last updated.  Users have one-click access to the CRM records.

“I am delighted to welcome Ricochet to the Cognism family,” said Isilay. “Paul [Smith] and his team have built a very impressive tool that is trusted by thousands of sales professionals in the B2B space. They solve a very difficult problem. Their focus on data quality makes them an easy fit for us at Cognism, being a world-leader in providing compliant business data. I am looking forward to working with everyone at Ricochet and helping our customers find and deliver new revenue opportunities in 2021 and beyond.”

The acquisition is IP-only, with no employees joining Cognism.

The free Ricochet Chrome extension launched this summer and has quickly been iterating, adding new functionality through the summer and fall.

Ricochet is Cognism’s second acquisition this year.  In May, Cognism picked up signature marketing firm Mailtastic.  

TechTarget Acquires BrightTALK

Technology purchase intent data vendor TechTarget added another arrow to its intent quiver with the acquisition of BrightTALK, a leader in the marketing and virtual events space.  BrightTALK said virtual event attendance has “high predictive value because IT buyers are making a material investment of their time to engage with vendor-produced content.”

The acquisition increases TechTarget’s universe of opted-in professionals.  TechTarget already has over twenty million opted-in business contact records (mostly in technology positions from its 140 enterprise technology sites), and BrightTALK has eight million registered attendees on its media platform.  There is likely to be some overlap in names, but having a second source of opted-in professionals increases the scope of measured intent across TechTarget, BrightTALK, and corporate websites (a KickFire OEM deal).

The acquisition offers substantial cross-selling opportunities in 2021 as vendors continue to focus on virtual events in lieu of face-to-face trade shows and conferences.  Furthermore, “BrightTALK generates a large volume of valuable content in webinar and video format that is incremental to TechTarget’s current offerings.  This content improves TechTarget’s potential ability to attract new users and diversifies the content available via TechTarget’s portfolio of web sites.”

And because both platforms are opted-in, the intent data does not need to be anonymized.  TechTarget can deliver person-level intent data that includes contact information, articles read, webinar sessions viewed, potential competitors, and their stage in the buyer’s journey.  What’s more, these rich intent datasets are GDPR-compliant across both platforms.

“TechTarget’s leadership position in the market is further strengthened by the acquisition of BrightTALK. This acquisition checks all the boxes. It allows us to increase our original content, grow our opt-in audience of registered members, and add a material amount of proprietary first-party purchase intent data. It’s a very powerful combination that will enhance our customers’ abilities to use our purchase intent data to grow their revenues and increase their market share.”

TechTarget CEO Michael Cotoia

“We are excited to join forces with TechTarget. They are the leading provider of original expert content and distributor of vendor decision-support content in the B2B tech market, which has allowed them to develop the preeminent first-party purchase intent offering,” said BrightTALK CEO Paul Heald. “Combining our leading platform for online IT events is a winning combination.”

BrightTALK has over 1,000 customers who created 25,000 webinars and videos over the past year.  The platform generates over 200,000 unique monthly viewers and six million annual content engagements.

BrightTALK also fits with TechTarget’s financial objectives.  It is on track for $50 million in 2020 revenue, with approximately half this revenue under long-term contracts.  TechTarget hit 35% in subscription revenue last quarter but has stated a 50% subscription revenue goal.  With Priority Engine on track for approximately $50 million in 2020 subscription revenue and BrightTALK posting roughly $25 million, the combined pro forma company would generate $75 million in subscription revenues on $195 million in 2020 revenue (Q3 YTD + mid-point Q4 guidance + $50M BrightTALK estimate), or approximately 38 – 39% in contract-based revenue.

BrightTALK has also done well during the pandemic, with revenue on track to grow 30% this year.  It added one million additional opted-in professionals over the past year.

The deal is priced at $150 million, a 3X multiple over projected 2020 earnings.  The cash transaction will close before the end of the year.

BrightTALK has four offices in the US, two in the UK, and two in APAC (Sydney and Singapore).  LinkedIn lists them with 275 employees, a headcount growth of 15% over the past year.

Intent data is the hottest category in B2B data. There have been a series of acquisitions in the space over the past month as vendors look to acquire and integrate data sources. Recent transactions include Zoominfo’s acquisition of Clickagy and Spiceworks Ziff Davis’ purchase of Aberdeen. We have also seen the launch of next generation intent solutions such as D&B Intent and Zoominfo Streaming Intent. Bombora has been working with its partners to launch integrated workflow solutions.

Clari Revenue Insights

Revenue Operations vendor Clari announced Relationship Insights, its new Revenue Intelligence service.  Relationship Insights adds “visibility into all the buyers and sellers actively involved in sales pursuits.”  The new service helps revenue professionals assess the “true health of account relationships, more effectively manage their territories, and lead their teams in the new remote selling era.”

Relationship Insights ends the manual auditing of accounts by sales managers and interrogations of sales reps about customer and prospect relationships.  Relationship Insights lets them understand

  • Who are we talking to?
  • Are we single or multi-threaded at the account?
  • When was the last time we interacted with the executive buyer?
  • Have we engaged with the CFO?
  • Do we have the right internal SMEs working on this account?

“Our data shows that deals over $250k require an average of 19 external stakeholders to close successfully,” said Clari CEO Andy Byrne.  “With Relationship Insights, we’re providing total visibility to revenue teams so they can drive exceptional execution in their deals, accounts, and territories across their entire revenue process.”

Buying Groups: The New Norm for B2B Sales,” Clari, December 3, 2020.  Based on Closed-Won Deals.

Smaller deals require significant relationship building as well.  A Clari analysis of closed-won deals found that opportunities up to $50,000 required relationships with an average of seven external stakeholders.  Successful deals between $50,000 and $250,000 averaged ten relationships between the company and demand unit members at the closed opportunity.

“Buying groups are not only getting larger, [but] they’re also diverging in personal and organizational priorities. Sellers need to navigate this big group of influencers and decision-makers, including business line managers, IT practitioners, executives, and finance leaders.”

Hila Segal, Clari VP Product Marketing

Relationship Insights provides sales reps and sales management with a deeper understanding of the demand unit, letting them see all sales activities, including emails, meetings, and file exchanges.  This monitoring helps ensure that “all selling motions are multi-threaded.”

“An in-depth understanding of your customer relationship landscape is critical for building full buying consensus, reducing cycle time by uncovering potential blockers earlier, and increasing win-rate by getting multi-threaded (building relationships with multiple stakeholders) when your competition may have only relied on one or two contacts.”

Clari VP of Product Marketing Hila Segal

Clari Activity risk tracking identifies the risk of disengagement, providing reps the opportunity to re-engage before the deal goes south.  

“It’s not enough to see who is engaged. You need to understand the strength of the relationship over time—how many meetings did you have with a key individual, when was the last time you met with them, when is the next time you’re scheduled to connect, have they been responding to emails,” argued Segal.

Account auditing ensures that the primary personas and team members are engaged so that reps can run plays to broaden support.

Relationship intelligence also leverages the company’s varied skills and knowledge, so tracking who has been engaged on the selling side is critical.  Segal noted that successful enterprise sales “takes a village,” with many team members, including technical SMEs, product specialists, implementation consultants, and executive sponsors, helping close the biggest deals. “A clear understanding of key players in every account drives stronger account relationships resulting in more qualified pipeline, better win rates, faster cycles and more predictable revenue,” said Craig Rosenberg, Chief Analyst at TOPO.

Seismic Fall Release (Part II)

Sales Enablement Platform vendor Seismic included a set of new reports, dashboards, and alerts in its fall release. Seismic users may deploy pre-built dashboards or build custom reports and visualizations specific to their business requirements.  Other new tools include report auto-sharing and data change alerting.  [Part I covered Seismic’s approach to bottom of the funnel metrics.]

Seismic offers multiple levels of reporting:

  • Out-of-the-box reports and dashboards
  • Bespoke reports built from out-of-the-box reports
  • Business Intelligence (BI) integrations for Tableau, Domo, and other BI services
  • Snowflake Secure Data Sharing.  

Bespoke dashboards are available by persona and role.  Reporting supports KPI filters and widgets that let users drill down to answer specific questions.

Five role-based dashboards support content owners, CROs, CMOs, sales managers, and platform admins.  Seismic’s Content Analytics “now includes actionable, curated, out-of-the-box reports, and visualizations tailored to the distinct challenges of specific roles,” blogged Seismic Product Marketing Manager Elaine Stone.  There are no “superfluous metrics to distract you or slow you down; just the relevant reports and visualizations you need to understand what’s happening and take informed action, leverage your discipline’s best practices, and create your own custom reports to go deeper.”

“By merging your bottom-of-the-funnel data with other cross-functional data sets such as CRM, HR, and customer success, your go-to-market team will have a holistic, yet singular, source of truth to answer its most challenging business questions.  Armed with shared answers, you’ll be equipped to build executive alignment, boost confidence in the teams’ ability to hit numbers, and scale best practices that truly move the needle…Proof of their team’s impact on revenue becomes the Holy Grail—the key to justifying headcount and budget.”

Seismic Product Marketing Manager Elaine Stone

“With Seismic, we’ve been able to gain visibility into ‘dark data’ — all the data you usually can’t access and can’t analyze.  There’s no greater repository of dark data than around the use of content in sales and marketing.  We use Seismic to shine light on that data,” said Eric Duerr, Domo VP of Marketing.  “When we create content, we can look in Seismic to determine what’s being used by sales, and what’s working and what’s not with prospects and customers.  And we can ensure sellers are using the most effective content as possible to support the customer journey.”

Snowflake Secure Data Sharing is supported out-of-the-box, delivering “an extra layer of insights” and reducing the time spent on data prep tasks such as merging and loading data.  Snowflake improves “time to insights” with “ready-to-query” content data.

“Snowflake Secure Data Sharing enables frictionless, secure sharing of live data within an organization and between organizations, so users can unveil insights to help transform their sales process and deliver meaningful business value,” said Snowflake VP of Customer Product Strategy, Matt Glickman. “We’re excited for Seismic and their customers to leverage Snowflake for fast, easy, and secure access to their content analytics.”

Seismic also enhanced the integration with Percolate, its enterprise content marketing platform, allowing marketers to measure content performance across their sales and marketing channels.  Marketers can determine how sales reps are consuming and using Percolate content published in Seismic.

Improved analytics and reporting associate work to outcomes, optimize content and go-to-market strategies, drive data-driven decisions, identify what is and isn’t working, and quantify and communicate platform adoption and ROI.

Seismic grew 537% between 2016 and 2019 and placed 234th on the 2020 Deloitte Fast 500 Technology list.  With the Grapevine6 acquisition (covered tomorrow), the firm now has over 1000 employees across fourteen offices.  Its 600 enterprise clients include American Express, ADP, SunTrust, T-Mobile, and IBM.


Before I finished writing this post, Seismic acquired Grapevine6 and launched LiveSocial.

Seismic Fall Release

Sales Enablement and Account Orchestration vendor Seismic announced General Availability of its Q3 release with enhanced analytics, alerting, customization, and dashboards.  The release emphasizes improved recommendations and metrics for the bottom half of the funnel.  The fall release aims to improve reporting, alerting, content recommendations, attribution, and context-specific messaging.  

“Sales content performance data has become a critical source of buyer feedback,” said Seismic CEO Doug Winter. “Businesses are looking for ways to engage buyers through personalized, resonant messaging, but haven’t had the visibility into what content performs well and what doesn’t. Our improved analytics capabilities unite revenue teams, changing how deals are closed, how content is produced, and ultimately, how business is done.”

In an interview with GZ Consulting, VP of Product Marketing Jam Khan emphasized that sales and marketing professionals are becoming “increasingly data-driven,” but doing so across the full funnel.  The historical pattern of marketing identifying and nurturing leads before handing them off to sales no longer holds.  Instead, sales and marketing work in tandem, with sales taking broader ownership over email messaging and marketing looking to maintain conversations post-sale.

Top of the funnel marketing has a series of well-defined metrics, but lower down the funnel, analytics are murkier.  Sales and marketing struggle to determine which content is working, what the best-sellers are doing that differentiates them from their peers, which messages are most effective, and the coachable moments.  Reps also want assurances that they are using the most current and compelling content.

Sales Enablement platforms typically report on views and time spent with content but lack attribution that ties content to close.  Thus, content efficacy remains cloudy.  A 2019 Forrester study commissioned by Seismic found that 85% of “buyers will dismiss a seller in the first interaction if they don’t receive tailored information” but that 54% of organizations aren’t able to “effectively generate actionable insights from sales asset data.”  Thus, revenue teams need to understand better what buyers want and replicate best practices across the revenue organization.


Part II discusses Seismic Fall Release reporting enhancements.

Spiceworks Ziff Davis Acquires Aberdeen

Spiceworks Ziff Davis (SWZD) acquired intent and technology intelligence vendor Aberdeen.  The acquisition brings together intent data from Spiceworks and The Big Willow, Aberdeen and SWZD market research, Aberdeen’s technology profiles (the old HHMI / Access CI datasets), and Ziff Davis B2B media sites.  

SWZD describes itself as “the trusted global marketplace for connecting technology buyers and sellers across all marketing channels and the leader in demand generation and integrated intelligence-driven marketing, connecting technology buyers and sellers across IT, marketing, HR, and finance.  SWZD has a massive reach into the entire buyer’s collective with a monthly audience of 71.5M across powerhouse IT brands.”

Aberdeen will be managed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of SWZD, but initially operate independently.  Along with third-party intent, Aberdeen adds a library of industry intelligence, technographic and firmographic data, and a demand generation call center.  

The union positions SWZD as a credible competitor to Zoominfo and TechTarget in the B2B technology intent space, helping customers identify “businesses that are truly in-market for their product.”  Unlike the two larger technology sales intelligence vendors, SWZD does not offer a sales intelligence platform.

“We give our clients actionable visibility into the businesses that are truly in-market for their products and unparalleled access to quality, scale, and diversity of B2B tech intent data to make meaningful connections with those buyers.  With the union of businesses, we immediately married our data and boosted our intelligence, resulting in a 15% increase in businesses, 70% increase in segment scale, 30% richer intent data, and expansion into fifteen new verticals.”

Richard Jalichandra, EVP and Global GM of SWZD

Continued Jalichandra, “We’re just starting to explore opportunities to further enhance our business-level data and invest in our combined product roadmap.”  

Jalichandra also identified “synergies around research,” a core function at both firms.  Aberdeen offers a “rich library of data-backed reports,” while SWZD offers custom market research.

The combined resources deliver account-level insights across 14 million companies and 24 million contacts.  Over 11 billion intent signals are collected monthly from over 10,000 B2B websites.  Intent data is available for over fifty technology segments.

The merger improves the depth of B2B intent data, expands the scope of account and contact intelligence, and grows their market research capabilities.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to expand the reach and identity of Aberdeen as a subsidiary of SWZD to put customers in even closer contact with the very buyers and influencers they’re targeting,” said Aberdeen CTO Mark DePalma.  “Through the power of our combined data sets, vertically integrated demand generation capabilities, and continued innovation in our technology and services, we help customers with unparalleled targeting and marketing outcomes.”

SWZD’s Intelligent ABM delivers “actionable intent signals,” target account list prioritization, data appends, look-a-like expansion, built-in campaign activation, purchase intent scores, campaign analytics, and “seamless integration with marketing automation platforms.”

“With the combination of SWZD’s first-party intent data and Aberdeen’s third-party intent data, you get greater visibility into the entire buying collective. Not just that, our intent signals captured on the basis of the actions our audience takes; whether it is troubleshooting tech issues, comparing product reviews, connecting with an expert or accessing strategic content, provides an incredible quality and diversity of data right from the boardroom to the server room.”

Spiceworks Ziff Davis Website

SWZD offers a set of technology marketing services, including

  • Direct and programmatic advertising
  • Email marketing and newsletter sponsorships
  • Content marketing (e.g., whitepapers, e-books, infographics, case studies, interactive content, custom video, and market research)
  • Lead generation (e.g., content syndication, BANT qualified leads, intent-based leads)
  • Market research (e.g., online surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews)
  • Virtual events (e.g., webinars, video meetups, panel discussions)

Financial details were not disclosed.

Terminus Acquires GrowFlare

ABM Platform Terminus, which has been on an acquisition binge the past year, added another complementary asset to its platform with the acquisition of sales intelligence vendor GrowFlare.  GrowFlare offers Ideal Customer Profiling (ICP) based on psychographics, which are the common phrases and interests companies share.  Other features include account profiling, prospecting, alerting, and a Chrome extension.  GrowFlare recently doubled its US company dataset to 500,000+ firms.  GrowFlare coverage spans over 90% of “US businesses with Purchasing Power.”

“GrowFlare adds a highly-differentiated level of account intelligence to the Terminus platform,” said Terminus CEO Tim Kopp. “Now teams can identify best-fit target accounts instantly, leverage unmatched AI and psychographic data to know exactly what to say and when, all while being more budget efficient.  This kind of psychographic data has long been used by B2C marketers to profile their future customers and now B2B marketers can as well. This is the modern approach to uncovering target accounts, and accelerates our position as the most intelligent B2B sales and marketing and platform available.”

Terminus likens psychographics to Netflix and Spotify, which can recommend similar content based upon user behavior.  Psychographics extend this logic to account selection. GrowFlare’s unique value proposition is its psychographics.  Most vendors only employ firmographics and technographics in their ICP modeling.

Psychographics are based upon AI and natural language processing of company websites, social media, government filings, job listings, etc.  GrowFlare identifies the “key characteristics that are common across your favorite customers (or any set of companies you want to identify).  From there you can find brand new accounts that match up to your customers, the new product you’re launching, the vertical-specific case study you’re about to drop, and so on.  Enter your favorite customer into GrowFlare and it will spit out hundreds of companies that think and act just like they do, instantly,” blogged Terminus.

When users click on a trending psychographic, they are presented with in-context examples of the phrasing with the term highlighted.  The trending topics and psychographics are “invaluable for marketing and sales personalization,” said GrowFlare Founder and CEO Matt Belkin.

Terminus is also positioning GrowFlare as a new form of “observed intent” versus third-party intent that is simply inferred. “If you’re a data-driven marketer, this should make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up because you know this primary data is a powerful signal coming directly from the accounts you want to target,” crowed Eisenberg.

“Your friends in sales will receive alerts about accounts that are starting to become interested in different things, almost as if it was trending on Twitter. They’ll be able to understand the most important focuses for those businesses, the psychographic topics that are trending, and just how serious they are about those focuses. They’ll know who to reach out to, when to do it, and what to say to deliver a beautifully personalized experience.”

Terminus Blog

Belkin noted that the two firms complement each other, with GrowFlare helping sales and marketing teams efficiently find accounts and Terminus focusing on account engagement.  With the acquisition, revenue teams can target segments based on firmographic, relationship, intent, and now psychographic data.

In GrowFlare, a similar companies New Prospects list includes a Fit Score, which gauges the level of similarity to the target company along with the shared psychographics.  So if a rep just closed a deal at the target, he or she can be confident that the high fit scores are similar in their market positioning.  Fit Scores are exportable to lead scoring models.  A quick view magnifying glass icon displays the trending topics for any of the prospects.

Any Keyword Search or Prospector Active List is automatically setup for alerts, whereby GrowFlare notifies the customer each week of meaningful changes and new prospect opportunities.  When viewed, the table of new prospects includes a Trend score, which is the change in rank position from the prior week.  An Active List focused on competitors will notify sales and marketing when competitor positioning shifts.  This tool would also be valuable for competitive intelligence analysts and business development reps looking to track a narrow universe of competitors or partners.

” Everywhere you look sales and marketing teams are wasting millions of dollars trying to acquire the wrong customers and saying the wrong things.  It’s crazy and the whole approach is broken.  We started GrowFlare to fix it.  You already know your best customers, GrowFlare helps you find 100 more just like them based on their shared interests.  It’s easy to see how focusing on what buyers care about – their psychographics – is far more effective when marketing and selling to them.  It sounds fancy, but it’s the same magic that powers recommendations for Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify in the consumer world.  We just built it for B2B.”

GrowFlare CEO Matt Belkin

Along with Prospector, GrowFlare offers a Prospector Bulk feature that executes against a full customer list.  According to Belkin, “The resulting output averages between 25x-100x more high-fit prospects that sales and that sales and marketing teams can target with account-based outbound campaigns.”

GrowFlare also offers Keyword Search for identifying companies that are using specific terms in their marketing along with shared psychographics, locations, and company sizes.  Boolean operators such as AND, OR, and NOT are supported (e.g. “food delivery” NOT pet).   Keyword search “is valuable if you want to know what companies dominate specific messaging terms or if you are launching a new campaign and want to see who else may be positioned there,” said Belkin.

While many companies offer keyword searching, it is usually against a mined business description.  Only a few products, such as D&B Hoover’s Conceptual Searching, provide broader topical searching to build company lists.

GrowFlare is Terminus’ third acquisition over the past year.  They also acquired Ramble and its Chat Anywhere service and Sigstr for its email signature banner ads and relationship intelligence.

Belkin and the rest of the GrowFlare team are joining Terminus.  Belkin has twenty-five years of SaaS-industry experience at Adobe and Omniture.  At Domo Belkin was the Chief Operating Officer.  Belkin is Terminus’ new EVP of Data, Strategy, and Partnerships.

ABM platforms have emphasized top of the funnel audience engagement and given sales prioritization and messaging short shrift.  GrowFlare will help Terminus pass the ABM baton from marketing to sales.


I profiled the GrowFlare service back in June.

ZoomInfo Acquires EverString (Part III)

Company counts will hit 100M once the Everstring Business Graph is incorporated into their coverage.

Last week, ZoomInfo announced that it was acquiring Business Graph vendor EverString to grow its company coverage five-fold.


ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck noted that large enterprises license and integrate a broad set of content from many vendors.  They struggle to “stitch” all these disparate content sets together via “a complicated system relying on data analysts, engineers, and product managers.”  Furthermore, different analysts manage datasets for other countries, further complicating the situation.  “Each one restarts a process of understanding the nuances and integrating, normalizing, matching, managing, and maintaining that unique data source.”

This data sourcing and loading process is “inefficient, costly, and introduces a complex web of operational challenges and compliance vulnerabilities.”  Data ends up being siloed and fragmented, reducing its value to the organization.  “It has to be integrated, unified, validated, cleansed, enriched, deduplicated, and delivered to the right people and systems, at the right time, in the right form for it to unlock the value it was intended to create.”

Shuck argues that other vendors overly complicate data projects and offer expensive consultations and complex solutions.  ZoomInfo’s vision is to be the “first unified, single source of truth for sales, marketing, and all other go-to-market functions.”

“With the data from EverString, ZoomInfo will provide data on virtually every high-level parent company, local parent company, franchise, and satellite office in America.  This broader data set enables better search, scoring, and account assignment, and provides greater access to buyers and buying centers.”

CEO Henry Schuck

“The combined ZoomInfo and EverString data asset will be unparalleled in the marketplace,” said EverString CEO J.J. Kardwell.  “We’re excited to join ZoomInfo and work together to bring sellers and marketers the most extensive company and professional data that will help make their go-to-market motions even more effective and efficient.”

Kardwell will serve as an advisor to ZoomInfo and will remain with ZoomInfo through the transition.

ZoomInfo is moving to combine the two databases quickly.  As it has a track record of acquiring and rapidly integrating datasets, the merged database should be available soon (ZoomInfo declined to provide a target date).  In the meantime, customers can already enrich data via a superset of the EverString and ZoomInfo databases. Financial terms were not disclosed, but ZoomInfo indicated the deal was not expected to have a material effect on the fourth quarter.

ZoomInfo Acquires EverString (Part II)

On Friday, I began coverage of ZoomInfo’s acquisition of EverString. Continuing with part II…


Over the past few years, ZoomInfo has been rapidly building its go-to-market intelligence through acquisitions and capital investment.  Initially, ZoomInfo (then called DiscoverOrg) rolled up competitors iProfile and RainKing, but in February 2019, they acquired ZoomInfo, a leading global contact information source.  The firm also managed two tuck-ins last year: NeverBounce email validation and Komiko Inbox AI.

After going public in June, ZoomInfo acquired intent data service Clickagy in October before acquiring Everstring.

ZoomInfo is exceptionally strong across many of the core B2B data categories, including

  • Global contacts (e.g. emails, direct dials, phone numbers, bios, social links, job function, and job level)
  • Technographics (e.g. vendors, products, projects, IT professionals)
  • Intent data (1st Party IP-matching and the recently acquired Clickagy real-time intent signals)
  • Sales Triggers (e.g. M&A, Exec Changes, Partnerships)
  • Org Charts (human-verified and modeled)

However, ZoomInfo has lagged behind other vendors in firmographics and linkage.  The Everstring acquisition plugs this gap across core firmographics, SMBs, and company linkages, putting the firm in a stronger sales intelligence, digital marketing, and B2B DaaS position.  The expanded company universe will significantly improve ZoomInfo’s match rates for batch, real-time, and continuous data enrichment.

In a multinational telecom provider test, the match rate doubled to 98% due to three factors: M/L-powered matching, historical matching against outdated records, and record completeness.

“EverString’s machine learning powered entity resolution (aka matching) algorithms are designed to accept and process multiple identifying inputs from a customer’s file, such as phone number and address, alongside the company name and website, improving the likelihood of returning a matching record.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck

Maintaining a historical file of inactive and out of date records provides significant value when batch processing enterprise records sitting in CRMs and MAPs.  Much of this legacy data is bad, but without a reference file with historical data (e.g. inactive and closed companies, former addresses, FKAs), operations teams don’t know which records are defunct businesses.

Everstring has nearly 100% fill rates on core firmographic fields such as employee count, revenue, and industry codes. The expanded firmographics improve field fill rates, lead scoring, lead routing, and analytics (e.g. ICP, TAM, segmentation).

Nevertheless, ZoomInfo has a few remaining gaps around public company financials and filings (e.g. SEC, Companies House, UCC) that would hold them back at financial services companies and European firms.  Everstring does ingest filing data (e.g. Secretary of State incorporations, UCC liens, 5500 ERISA filings with the Department of Labor, federal contract bids, OSHA, fleet data, UK Companies House) when building its business graph, but source data viewing is often required.


Continue to Part III.