Artesian Business Categories and Company Buzzwords

Business Categories expand the set of synonyms associated with UK SICs
Business Categories expand the set of synonyms associated with UK SICs

Artesian Solutions announced the availability of Artesian Business Categories and Company Buzzwords functionality to its Artesian Engage sales intelligence service.  Company Buzzwords are a set of common product and service descriptors not found in standard industry taxonomies.  The buzzwords are mined from company websites.  For example, firms manufacturing or selling craft beer can be targeted within Artesian’s Prospector module.  Likewise, technologies such as blockchain and the Internet of Things, which span many industries, may also be targeted.

Artesian Business Categories expand the categories and synonyms associated with existing UK SIC codes.  Artesian gives the example of Drink Production as a synonym of Manufacture of Beverages with the word Drink returning industries such as Drink Retail and Drink Wholesale.

“As a business, we constantly aim to exceed customer expectations, so in response to their feedback, we not only improved the way they use SIC codes (with Artesian Business Categories), but also created a whole new way of finding companies in niche or highly specialised industries,” said Richard Clark Artesian’s VP of Product Management.  “These two new features will help our users get hyper-specific when searching for companies using Artesian’s prospecting tools, thereby enabling them to uncover new opportunities that may otherwise have been missed, and keeping them one step ahead of the competition.”

Artesian Business Categories are available for the UK SIC taxonomy, but not other industry code structures (e.g. NACE 2.0, NAICS).  When multiple codes are employed, Boolean AND / OR operators are supported.

“The SIC code system of categorising a company’s primary activities was first introduced in the UK in 1948 and although it has since been revised, the most recent update was back in 2007.  It is widely criticised for excluding categories to cover the latest sectors and for misrepresenting the activities of many businesses.  For example, Google UK Ltd is listed on Companies House as ‘82990 – Other business support service activities not elsewhere classified’ (a generic category for companies struggling to identify a suitable alternative).”

Artesian Solutions Press Release

Other new features include a news topic search (previously, users had to navigate menus) and expanded prospecting selects for Export Turnover (Export Revenue), Location Type, TPS (UK Telephony blocking), and roles.  Users can also exclude companies with estimative turnover, employee counts, or net worth values instead of actuals.

Vainu Rebrands

Finnish sales intelligence vendor Vainu rebranded earlier this week. The goal was to provide a unified view of the company.  Vainu is focused on company intelligence but includes registered contact/director details and mined data. The firm also offers CRM and MAP data enrichment and hygiene services.

Unlike most sales intelligence databases, Vainu is available in English, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch, Danish and French.  Country datasets include Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and The Netherlands with detailed financial data available for Norway, Sweden, and Finland.  Beta datasets are available for France, the UK, and the US with additional countries being developed.

Core UK data is gathered from Companies House.  US data is aggregated from state filings.

I’ve been planning on covering Vainu for the past six months but was waiting for an event.  Rebranding is as good a reason any.

Vainu was launched in 2014 and crowdsourced its initial dog nose logo (Vainu is a Finnish word for the scent picked up by an animal).  The website design and other branding aspects were inconsistent.

“Everything else was pretty much put together ad hoc after that: color schemes and supporting visuals for our first website layout, stock photos for our first slide decks, different messages to cater to the situations at hand.  The end result has been just as fragmented or ad hoc as our strategy: we’ve looked and felt different and sounded different in any situation.”

Mikko Luhtava, Vainu Head of Communications

Now that the firm has 2,000 customers and 180 employees, they felt it was time to formalize their brand with a new logo, tagline, and website with real images and black, white, and yellow text.

Vainu argues that B2B Sales is still stuck in the era of spam emails and cold calling lists.  “While buyers are looking for a real conversation, one where they’re engaged and understood, salespeople are looking at activity targets and sales quota, merely treating buyers as numbers,” blogged Luhtava.

Thus, the firm offers “real-time B2B sales.”  It is akin to SalesLoft’s call for authenticity in sales.  “While buyers are looking for a real conversation, one where they’re engaged and understood, salespeople are looking at activity targets and sales quota, merely treating buyers as numbers,” stated Luhtava.  “At Vainu, we believe there’s a right way of doing B2B sales—a way that is personalized, a way that uses data, a way that focuses on the buyer.  And we’ve made it our mission to make salespeople better at their jobs, by bringing real-time company data to every customer interaction.  We call this real-time sales.

Vainu supports company list building.  Selects include firmographics, technographics, buying signals (sales triggers), and account intelligence from the company’s CRM.  Trigger alerts cover company announcements, personnel changes, technology updates, and new additions to a prospect list.

The Vainu database covers nearly 60 million active companies and includes company profiles, technology stacks, corporate financials, and recent company news.

CRM admins can setup data syncing and enrichment with Salesforce, MS Dynamics, HubSpot, Pipedrive, Upsales, and SuperOffice.  Zapier is available for other platforms.  The firm also supports an API.

Vainu enriches leads before they are loaded into MAPs assisting with lead scoring and routing.

Vainu also offers bulk data for data modeling including business registry data, website information, and open and web-crawled intelligence.  Applications include churn prediction, account scoring, and financial services risk calculations.

Pricing begins at €6,600 (£6,000 or $7,250) per year for five reps plus a one-time onboarding fee of €600 for a single country database.  Each additional country dataset is priced at €3,000.  At 25 seats, the service is priced at €30,600 (£28,000 or $33,650) with a one-time onboarding fee of €2,100.  Each additional country dataset is priced at €3,000.  Nordic financial data adds €2,400.

Artesian ARCH Compliance Released

ARCH combines firmographics, compliance flags, and credit insights into a unified company profile.
ARCH combines firmographics, compliance flags, and credit insights into a unified company profile.

Artesian Solutions, the UK Sales Intelligence vendor, has been teasing its Artesian Risk and Compliance Hub (ARCH) compliance service for over a year.  The new offering, now Generally Available, “enables relationship managers, underwriters and frontline teams within banks, insurance companies, and other financially regulated industries to quickly assess and better understand their corporate clients at the start of the customer journey and throughout the life of the customer.”

Financial services generally perform KYC / AML (Know Your Customer / Anti-Money Laundering) processing during onboarding, but ARCH moves initial processing to frontline staff at the top of the sales funnel before a client is signed.  This “distributed compliance,” helps expedite the process, sets client expectations when processing may take longer than normal, and allows relationship managers to avoid prospects that will have arduous compliance processing or which may not meet the institution’s “appetite.”  

ARCH flags risks which may require additional information from the client.  By flagging them at the outset, the RM can request the missing data before it delays onboarding.

ARCH performs event-driven reviews which begin before onboarding and continue through the life of the loan or policy.  Thus, KYC is no longer subject to periodic reviews but is performed dynamically as new information about the client is ingested by ARCH.  Instead of client reviews determined by the calendar, events can trigger full client reviews as needed.

ARCH supports commercial insurance policy writing “with a combination of data and sophisticated rules, bringing efficiency, consistency, and accuracy so that underwriters can focus on underwriting.  Decisions can be recorded whilst both justified in the future and used for decision analysis and pricing optimisation.”  Artesian’s fine-grained taxonomy and assisted machine learning help to identify potential underwriting risks “according to the predetermined definitions of an insurer.”

By moving compliance reviews to front-line workers, commercial insurers can perform a KYC check and risk evaluation prior to quoting a policy.  “One reason for using it is that they might want to look at what gets declared to them by the new customer compared to what they can see from ARCH,” said Artesian VP of Risk Solutions Matt Elsom.  “To do that they can have a look at some of the fraud-focused data sources and financial data.”

A January survey by Fenergo of global financial services executives found that poor onboarding negatively impacts client experience and reduces the lifetime value (LTV) of clients.  36% acknowledged losing customers due to onboarding issues and 84% tied the onboarding experience to reduced LTV.

“The Cost of Poor CX,” Fenergo, January 2019. N-=250 global Financial Services executives (Source: Artesian Solutions) 

Figure 2: “The Cost of Poor CX,” Fenergo, January 2019. N=250 global Financial Services executives (Source: Artesian Solutions)

Artesian noted that KYC compliance team workloads have “grown beyond all expectations” due to the availability of international ownership linkages and ultimate beneficial ownership data.  “The overall effect of this is an MLRO [Money Laundering Reporting Officer] and board being put under pressure to reduce onboarding delays whilst maintaining adherence to regulation – and the only effective solution has been to recruit more compliance analysts.  The cost associated with this approach has become unsustainable as the work queue continues to grow simply to maintain current levels of new business.”

According to Artesian, “ARCH is not only an innovative new technology, but a huge leap forward in the drive for ‘distributed compliance’ – the ability for central teams to distribute KYC and AML tasks to their frontline colleagues who are best placed to engage with the client and solve issues in the fastest, most productive way.  It places compliance and powerful risk data at the heart of the business – front of mind for every member of staff, informing every decision, instructing every interaction and shaping every relationship from pre-screening prospective new customers through to ongoing tracking and long-standing client development.”

The “configurable decision engine” monitors real-time credit risk and KYC data sets and applies bank or insurer policies to the compliance decisions.  Each client determines which data sources to ingest and “applies custom policies to that combined data in the form of multi-dimensional rules” which are screened and interpreted based upon institutional policies.  Flagged issues are delivered through a browser interface or loaded into other compliance systems via an API.

“We have the great privilege of serving 80% of the UK’s major banking institutions, providing powerful sales engagement insights to relationship managers.  We asked what we could do to make our software even more useful and the answer was ARCH. Almost two years of engineering and millions of pounds later we’re announcing ARCH’s general availability for customers.  We believe this puts Artesian in a unique position to be able to combine customer engagement capabilities together with credit and risk in one single application delivered through a browser or mobile device.”

We’ve built a strong team of specialists to extend our core competencies and have worked closely with our key partners at Experian, LexisNexis, and Refinitiv (Thompson Reuters) with more partnerships to come.  This allows our customers to select the data sources they already rely upon and trust and easily integrate them into ARCH”

Artesian Solutions CEO Andrew Yates

During a beta test with a top UK bank, ARCH decisioning was fully consistent with existing bank processing while flagging 14% more “critical risk” issues than current bank processes.  ARCH also reduced average case time from two hundred minutes to eight, “allowing relationship managers to know more, know sooner and save time – enabling them to focus on delivering a better customer experience.”

PwC recently added ARCH to its eleven-week incubator program Scale InsureTech which is “aimed at identifying and developing fast-growth technology companies in the insurance sector.”

Artesian financial services clients include RBS, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, EY, and Marsh.

North American sales intelligence firms do not normally support client onboarding and risk assessment, but UK and European firms support these functions due to a richer set of registry data.  European vendors such as DueDil, Bureau van Dijk, and Artesian support sales, marketing, and regulatory compliance.

People.ai Round C

San Francisco-based Revenue Intelligence vendor People.ai announced Round C funding of $60 million along with the launch of its new The Wire next-best-action (NBA) service.  The round was led by ICONIQ Capital with participation by Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners, GGV Capital, and Y Combinator.  Will Griffith, Partner at ICONIQ Capital, has joined the People.ai Board of Directors.

People.ai has received $97 million in funding to date.  Its valuation was not provided, but TechCrunch placed the valuation at “mid-nine-figures.”

“Today’s announcement of our Series C funding represents a critical milestone in achieving our vision for the Future of Work,” said People.ai CEO Oleg Rogynskyy.  “We’ve already enabled customers to, for the first time, capture all of an organization’s critical business data, such as contacts and customer activity data, and deliver it directly to the CRM.  This has significantly improved sales productivity and CRM data accuracy and liberated the enterprise from time-consuming manual data entry.  Today, we’re taking People.ai to the next level with AI-driven intelligence that provides customer-facing teams with a simple, personalized set of actions based on current, historical and industry data that will help accelerate revenue.  When you use The Wire, you’ll have your most productive day at work, every day.”

People.ai was founded in 2016 and already supports Red Hat, Lyft, Zoom, New Relic, and Splunk.  The firm describes itself as a Revenue Intelligence System:

“People.ai offers the industry’s only Revenue Intelligence System (RIS) that automates the capture of all contact and customer activity data, dynamically updates CRM and provides actionable intelligence across CRM, collaboration, business intelligence, and other management tools for sales, marketing, customer success and services teams – exponentially accelerating growth and delivering actionable insights for strategic business decision making.”

People.ai Website

People.ai fills out buying committees for active opportunities, maps contacts and interactions to accounts and opportunities, and suggests next best actions.  Applying natural language processing and machine learning to buying committee discovery and NBA are the latest advancement in sales and marketing intelligence.

People.ai also supports contact updates derived from email signatures and pulls “critical information” such as product or competitor mentions, sentiment, and buyer intent.

People.ai’s recently launched Campaign360 service supports marketing attribution by tracking opportunities influenced or generated by marketing activities.  Campaign360 is the “industry’s only AI-based solution that equips Marketers with the real-time, full funnel campaign visibility they need at their fingertips,” said the firm.

“We’re thrilled to partner with People.ai as they execute their vision to unleash the potential of AI to drive enterprise revenue,” said Griffith.  “People.ai is well positioned in a highly strategic enterprise market, leveraging automation and AI to fundamentally change the way people work.  People.ai’s product, powered by strong network effects, is delivering insights and productivity at the scale and quality we have not seen previously.  We see an incredible opportunity to accelerate People.ai’s game-changing technology as they redefine the meaning of the Predictive Enterprise.  People.ai is the Future of Work.”

Partners include Salesforce, Slack, Outreach, SalesLoft, Exchange, and G Suite.


On Monday, I will be covering The Wire, People.AI’s new Next Best Action service.

ABM Research Vendors

When conducting account based (ABM) research, it is necessary to develop a broad view of your customers and prospects which includes company, contact, and industry research.   Unfortunately, open web research is quite time-consuming and your sales reps are unlikely to consistently engage in general research, so consider Sales Intelligence vendors with editorial research teams. 

Executive research should go beyond the Leadership page and LinkedIn profiles.  One option is Boardroom Insiders which gathers rich executive profiles on CxOs written by business journalists.

For industry research, look at Vertical IQ, IBISWorld, or First Research.  Vertical IQ and First Research are strong offerings for sales teams that sell broadly across many segments but are not verticalized.  They are written in plain English and include Q&A sections. The content in IBISWorld is more formal but better suited for verticalized teams.

At the company level, consider Dun & Bradstreet Hoovers, InsideView, or DiscoverOrg.  All three provide company and contact profiles, list building, and sales triggers.  D&B Hoovers goes deeper on global coverage, family trees, and industry profiles, DiscoverOrg offers the deepest set of technographics and rich bios, and InsideView provides excellent sales triggers and social media intelligence.

Quora: How can you export Linkedin leads/contacts into a database?

LinkedIn does not permit lead/contact downloading. This is part of the privacy agreement they have with their members.

That being said, there are some workarounds. The first is to license Salesforce Navigator which maintains a set of Accounts (companies) and Leads (contacts) within the product. While not downloadable, you receive alerts on those contacts along with messaging tools (InMail, messaging, and PointDrive).

You can also download accounts and contacts (called Leads within Sales Navigator) from Salesforce or MS Dynamics to LinkedIn Sales Navigator. While company and contact data is view only within CRMs, any data entered into LinkedIn (e.g. Notes, InMails) is uploaded to your CRM.

Sales Navigator includes a set of SNAP connectors for CRM, Sales Engagement, and other platforms. This tool provides a subset of Sales Navigator and Functionality within enterprise software. Features include profile viewing, InMail, connections, and icebreakers (talking points).

LinkedIn SNAP Connector within a Salesforce Opportunity Record (View Only).
LinkedIn SNAP Connector within a Salesforce Opportunity Record (View Only).

Option 2 is to license a chrome extension which recognizes domain names and LinkedIn profiles and matches them against their reference database. They then provide contact details and company firmographics within a right-handed side window. These databases usually include email and phone information not available in LinkedIn. Some include other details such as company technographics, news, and Alexa scores. Vendors with Chrome extensions include Zoominfo ReachOut, DiscoverOrg, HG Insights, DataFox, RingLead, Sigstr, PersistIQ, and Pitchbook.

The Zoominfo ReachOut Chrome extension supports contact prospecting at companies along with on-demand company and contact profiles based upon the current LinkedIn page or company domain.

Chrome extensions support send to Salesforce, MS Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft features. Thus, you can be researching a company or contact, click on the extension icon, and kick off a sales engagement cadence within a few seconds (longer if you pause to review the enhanced profiles). A few even include contact prospecting for companies so you can search for specific company roles and

  • Add them to your CRM as contacts or leads individually or in bulk
  • Be notified of contacts already in your CRM (to avoid duplicates)
  • Kick off a Sales Engagement cadence / sequence
  • Research employees

Plunkett Almanacs Now Sold through ReferenceUSA

Plunkett Almanacs Now Sold through ReferenceUSA
Plunkett Auto Industry Statistics
Plunkett Auto Industry Statistics

ReferenceUSA, the library and government sales division of Infogroup, is partnering with Plunkett Research to sell their industry almanacs.  Plunkett offers three dozen almanacs including fast-growing sectors such as Green Technology; Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine; and Nanotechnology.  Plunkett reports are written for the “general reader to readily access and understand the most vital trends, technologies and companies creating change within given industries—even if the reader has no current expertise in that industry.”

Jack Plunkett, CEO of Plunkett Research, said, “We’re excited to team up with the terrific people at ReferenceUSA.  Their deep relationships with librarians and understanding of libraries’ unique needs make them the ideal group to spread the word about the Plunkett Research Online industry reference platform.  At the same time, ReferenceUSA and Plunkett Research products are perfectly complementary–libraries that subscribe to both will be able to harness the full power of our deep data analyses.”

Plunkett almanacs cover both US companies and industries. They are available as online subscriptions, eBooks, and printed subscriptions. Plunkett helps close a gap in the ReferenceUSA product line. Infogroup provides a deep set of US and Canadian company and consumer files along with new companies, new households, family trees, and prospect list building. The partnership helps ReferenceUSA compete against Mergent Online which provides a company and industry research service in partnership with Dun & Bradstreet.

Subscription users can download custom industry reports as PDFs. Tables, company lists, and association lists may be downloaded to Excel.

Plunkett Online Subscription Pricing
Plunkett Online Subscription Pricing

View only subscription pricing begins at $1,295 for a single seat with downloading available for $1,995. Printed almanacs and ebooks are priced at $380.

Mattermark Returns

The Mattermark Account I-Frame in the Salesforce AppExchange supports both company news and an account overview with over 80 fields. The service is reasonably priced at $49 / user / month.
The Mattermark Account I-Frame in the Salesforce AppExchange supports both company news and an account overview with over 80 fields. The service is reasonably priced at $49 / user / month.

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.

The relaunched 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.”


Eric Milliken

To support 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.

Quora: How do I find a company’s top competitors?

The following is a post I wrote on Quora.


There are a couple of ways.

  • If a US public company, look at its 10-K (annual report). Firms generally discuss their competitors. You can locate the 10-K on a company’s investor site, through sales intelligence vendors, or free Edgar sites.
  • If a private company, look at Owler, a free site (See below). This is crowdsourced so may include firms that aren’t true competitors.
Owler competitor lists are gathered through social voting.
  • Look at sales intelligence services such as D&B Hoovers or InsideView. Hoover’s competitors are editorially generated and include top three flags (see below)
D&B Hoover’s competitor lists are gathered by a team of researchers.
  • Within IT, look at Forrester Wave reports. Another option is technology category searches in PE/VC databases such as DataFox, Crunchbase, Pitchbook, or CB Insights. Keep in mind that companies within the same segment may not be competitors, but partners, customers, etc.
  • Many industries have industry specific market research that includes competitors. A few general market research firms also provide competitors (e.g. MarketLine, Euromonitor, Global Data, and Freedonia). Top Competitors are also available in IBISWorld, Vertical IQ, and First Research.
  • Zoominfo and a few other vendors identify similar companies based upon proximity in articles. This finds competitors, but also customers and partners so should be carefully reviewed.
  • For new technologies or industries, D&B Hoovers offers Conceptual Search which identify companies associated with key phrases (e.g. Marcellus Shale, Obamacare). This is more of an associated companies list and will identify firms in a topical ecosystem. For example, “Harry Potter” identifies studios, publishers, toy makers, theme parks, and thematic tours. (See example below of conceptual search on Marcellus Shale). Conceptual Search lists may be refined by standard prospecting filters such as industry, geography, and size.
D&B Hoover’s Conceptual Search looks for companies associated with specific phrases.
  • If none of these work, use peer list searches (industry code lists) or keyword searches in sales intelligence vendors. If cost is a concern, go to your public library and see if they have ReferenceUSA, AtoZDatabases, or Mergent Online. Each of these allows you to build peer lists based on industry codes, company size, and geography. If you need help, ask for the business or reference librarian to assist.

ISI Emerging Markets

EMIS Professional Dashboard
EMIS Professional Dashboard

EMIS, a research service for emerging markets, was sold by Euromonitor Institutional Investor to CITIC Capital and Chinese media company Caixin Global back in April. CITIC is an alternative investment management and advisory company.  Also included in the sale was CEIC data, a provider of global time series data.  The two businesses, jointly named ISI Emerging Markets, have been run in parallel and will continue to do so, but sales operations have been merged.  Sales continues to be organized regionally, and some product specialization will be retained.

ISI is headquartered in Hong Kong with offices in eighteen countries.  The firm has over 500 employees located in both emerging and developed countries.  The two firms reported an operating profit of £11.9 million ($15.1 million), as disclosed in the notes to Euromoney’s 2017 annual accounts.  The firms reported 2016 revenue of about $52.7 million and EBITDA of $14.5 million.  Based on 2016 turnover and the $180.5 million purchase price, the deal had a 3.4 multiple.

EMIS delivers news, research, analytical data, and peer comparisons for over 125 emerging markets.  The content is multi-lingual and serves researchers, industry analysts, corporate strategists, credit analysts, and business development professionals.  Customers are found in corporate and investment banking, consultancies, private equity, government, and academia.

EMIS displays news and research from 7,000 publications and 3.6 million emerging market company profiles, two million of which include financials.  Industry sources include BMI Research, Technavio, MarketLine, Mintel, and Euromonitor.  Sixteen languages are supported for content and UI along with cross-translations between the languages.

The products have regional strengths. CEIC began with a Chinese focus twenty-five years ago and is strongest in Asia.  EMIS began in Eastern Europe, but now generates half of its revenue in the Americas.  Asia now represents 25% of its revenue with India its fastest growing market.

Chief Product Officer Diego Obere said that “the majority of our employees are based in emerging markets, allowing us to establish an unrivalled level of expertise on these often opaque countries.” The firm’s “focus [is] on providing our clients with information on countries that are classed as emerging markets. Over 90% of our 5,000+ content sources are from emerging markets”.

The product roadmap includes an improved EMIS UX, upgraded industry pages, and investments in improved mobile and API access.

Channel-wise, EMIS partnered with EBSCO and ProQuest for university distribution.  The firm supports both subscription access and on-demand research purchases.