It was only a few years ago that Dun & Bradstreet’s WorldBase file reached 200 million records, but this week the file hit 300 million active and inactive company profiles. The dataset is used for sales, marketing, research, master data management, credit risk, and supplier risk products. It is also licensed to many other vendors (the majority of which are not allowed to publish the provenance of their data). While sales reps do not use inactive companies, they are important for risk products, master data management, compliance, and database cleansing.
Two key features of the WorldBase data set are the D-U-N-S Number, their de facto global numbering system, and global linkages which tie together global company family trees.
LinkedIn is now the number two social media platform by usage, advertising spend, ROI and analytics tools. Facebook remains number one. “While LinkedIn is often considered a hub for job hunters and corporate recruiters, the platform has also shifted to position itself as a marketing engine in recent years,” said Jerry Ascierto, executive editor of The Social Shake-Up Show. “The recent updates to its ad platform and UI seem to be encouraging brands to increase spend. As a result, more companies are experiencing better ROI from this network than others considered more popular and ‘fun,’ such as Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.”
LinkedIn has benefited from a native video feature that was launched last year and was recently extended to company pages.
LinkedIn’s last official member count was 546 million global professional profiles.
Microsoft Chairman John Thompson said that the LinkedIn acquisition has been “wildly successful” and that Microsoft would be “all in” on a similar deal. Of particular interest are firms that would help connect users to the Microsoft cloud.
Thomson was critical of firms that share or sell user data. “Many of them make money off ads and they have used that as kind of a leverage point,” Thomson told Bloomberg. “At Microsoft, we don’t believe in that.”
While Facebook has taken a series of hits on its sharing of member data, LinkedIn has long protected member data (for example, Sales Navigator does not permit the uploading of member information to CRMs but makes it available for display). What’s more, Microsoft has built GDPR compliance into its product line and set it as a global standard.
LinkedIn celebrated its 15th anniversary last month. “15 years ago, we launched LinkedIn in Reid Hoffman’s living room with the tagline ‘relationships matter’,” said VP of Product Strategy Allen Blue. “I’m proud to say that this mantra still rings true today in both the halls of LinkedIn and on the platform. While the world of work has evolved immensely — be it the tools and products we use, the ways we communicate, and even the jobs themselves — our need to connect with one another to be productive in our careers remains at the core of all we do.”
Salesforce is expanding the vision of the AppExchange to a “full blown ecosystem,” said Leyla Seka, EVP of AppExchange. Along with Lightning Bolts and Data, the firm is also adding intelligent search results, personalized recommendations, industry collections, and Trailhead online learning tools associated with apps. While 87 percent of customers have deployed apps, the new search and personalization tools will help customers “find the right solution and potentially solutions they didn’t know were available.”
With over 4,000 partner solutions, improved search and recommendations are necessary, particularly as they are merging the various AppExchange stores. According to Salesforce VP of Marketing Leslie Tom:
“The way that the AppExchange worked was that there were separate stores, such as a separate store for apps, a store for components, and a separate store for consultants — so consultants stayed within their own store; you couldn’t put the consultants in line with the apps and components and the other tools that people are using. In the new AppExchange, we’ve combined all of those things together to show the power of the full ecosystem.”
Salesforce evaluated B2B and B2C marketplaces when redesigning the AppExchange. “Our aspiration is to be as much like your consumer life as possible in buying your enterprise applications. [To that end, we] tried to bring as many of the best practices from marketplaces into the AppExchange as we could,” said Heather Conklin, Salesforce VP of product management. “We’re really anchoring this around the idea of being the Salesforce store – the store you need for everything that you do with Salesforce. It’s not just about apps anymore; it’s really so much bigger than that.”
I recently answered two posts on this question. As Zoominfo data collection is opt-out versus opt-in, executives are sometimes concerned about what is being collected and how they can opt out. Here is my post:
ZoomInfo collects data about US and international businesspeople. Information is gathered via web crawling (for bio data) and email plugins that collect signature information such as name, title, company, direct dial, and email. This information is then available to its customers who use it primarily for sales, marketing, and executive recruitment. Customer use cases include prospecting lists for B2B email and telemarketing campaigns, data hygiene (i.e. confirming you are still at a company and that your contact information is accurate), and call prep prior to telemarketing or recruitment calls.
Here is an example of how they provide additional information about you to LinkedIn users via their ReachOut Chrome plug-in:
ZoomInfo does not collect any consumer or credit information. Thus, they have no lifestyle data, political affiliations, donations, income estimates, age, family details, credit histories, personal emails, mobile phone numbers, or housing data. They focus strictly on your professional persona.
2016 North American Sales Intelligence Market Sizing Model (Excel)
The Market Size of North American Sales Intelligence Vendors. Includes vendor product features, market share, and notes. GZ Consulting Copyright 2017.
Price Reduced ($750 ⇒ $500)
For the past few years, I have been sizing the North American Sales Intelligence Market. This is the largest of the markets as Europe and AsiaPac are more fragmented (the UK is the only other mature market with Bureau van Dijk, Avention UK, Artesian Solutions, and DueDil offering full solutions).
In 2016, I estimated the market at $770 million with LinkedIn Sales Navigator as the top vendor. While new firms continue to enter, the top ten firms (now eight following the 2017 acquisitions of Avention and RainKing) earn seven of every eight dollars in the industry.
I am making my market model available for license (See PayPal button at top) as an Excel spreadsheet. It includes revenue numbers by company along with market share, key features, and notes.
I have also broken out two sub-categories: Predictive Analytics and Tech Sales Intelligence. Predictive Analytics vendors continue to scuffle in the marketplace. Last September, Gartner sized the global market at between $100 and $150 million. I have gone back and forth on whether to include them in the larger sales intelligence space, but several of the sales intelligence vendors have added light predictive tools (e.g. Avention, DiscoverOrg, RainKing) while the predictive analytics companies have moved to add enrichment and provide more insights to sales reps. As such, I see the two product categories moving towards each other so chose to include Lattice Engines, Leadspace, and similar firms.
The Tech Sales Intelligence category (e.g. DiscoverOrg, RainKing, Aberdeen, Corporate360) continues to show strong growth and makes up just over 15% of the market. Both DiscoverOrg and RainKing have posted remarkable growth over the past few years and merged their efforts last month. Post acquisition, they are the number three vendor in the space and may hit $120 million in 2017 revenue. The new powerhouse has 4,000 customers and is looking to expand beyond technology sales to become a general purpose sales intelligence solution.
Acquiring RainKing should move DiscoverOrg well past Data.com (Salesforce) which will likely see declining 2017 revenue. Salesforce has dropped the ball on Data.com. They overpromised and under-delivered for years, relying on their ability to bundle the offering with other SFDC products. As of last month, they are no longer able to deliver Dun & Bradstreet content (D&B WorldBase, Hoovers, and First Research) to new customers (legacy customers retain access). Unless Data.com has a major content partner announcement at Dreamforce, it is likely to see significant revenue declines in 2017 and 2018 as customers switch to D&B Hoovers for Salesforce and other offerings.
Dun & Bradstreet re-established itself as the #2 vendor in the space with the January 2017 acquisition of Avention and the rebranding of Avention OneSource as D&B Hoovers. Both companies have struggled to grow revenue with Avention growing slowly over the past few years and Hoovers declining. However, infusing Avention products with Dun & Bradstreet content both reduces the underlying cost structure of Avention offerings and improves the depth and quality of the content. Furthermore, Dun & Bradstreet has a much larger sales force which previously has lacked a credible global sales intelligence offering. Hoovers classic generated nearly all of its revenue in the United States. Over the next two years, expect to see significant revenue shift from Hoovers Classic to D&B Hoovers.
Finally, LinkedIn Sales Navigator has established itself as the clear number one vendor in market revenue. The product didn’t exist five years ago and its competitors still tend to dismiss this gorilla in their midst. How can they be missing the #1 vendor in the space? Easy — the gorilla is well camouflaged and appears to be more of a three-toed sloth sleeping in the forest canopy. Sales reps all use the freemium version of LinkedIn so give little thought to delve further when they ask “how are you obtaining your account intelligence today?” and the response is LinkedIn. Thus, they enter LinkedIn as the competitor into their CRM, not Sales Navigator. A few months later when they lose the opportunity, the rep then enters “no decision” into the CRM instead of recognizing a competitive loss. I have been warning vendors in the space for years about this phenomenon, but they have failed to understand the threat of a gorilla that looks like a three-toed sloth.
N.B. Three-toed sloths inhabit Central and South America and gorillas Central Africa. This is a metaphor.
Inc. published its annual Inc 5000 list of fastest growing US private companies this week. Several firms covered by this newsletter made the list including Synthio, DiscoverOrg, RainKing, Zoominfo, and Pure Incubation. To qualify for the list, companies must be private and have at least $200,000 in 2013 revenue.
DiscoverOrg made the list for the seventh year in a row with 2016 revenues of $59.4 million, up $15 million. The firm is in a strong position to make the 2017 list as they closed 2016 with an ARR of $71 million. DiscoverOrg’s three-year Compound Average Growth Rate (CAGR) was 40%.
“Our mission remains focused on accelerating our customers’ pipeline and revenue growth—we can only grow when they grow,” said CEO Henry Schuck. “Since our inception 10 years ago, our customers have experienced the difference our unmatched data has on their own sales. Making the Inc. 5000 list for the seventh time is a reflection of their trust and of our mutual success.”
Along with financial growth, the company has continuously grown its editorial-based content while expanding the functional and integration capabilities of its service. While originally focused on providing company and IT executive profiles for US sales reps, the company has globalized its coverage, extended into marketing tools, and added additional job functions including sales, marketing, HR, and Product Management (TEDD) to its database. By including CRM and MAP connectors, analytical tools, and light predictive scoring, the firm has increased the value it provides to companies across a broader set of job functions (marketing, exec recruitment, strategic sales, and sales operations) and found additional ways to augment the value of each record. In so doing, they have been able to maintain a profitable, cash-flow positive growth trajectory over a decade.
“Only a tiny fraction of the nation’s companies have demonstrated such remarkably consistent high growth,” said Eric Schurenberg, President and Editor in Chief, Inc. Magazine. “This achievement truly puts DiscoverOrg in rarefied company.”
DiscoverOrg’s top competitor RainKing also made the list for the fourth consecutive year. 2016 revenue rose $6.9 million to $33.9 million. RainKing has a three-year CAGR of 29%. Two weeks ago, DiscoverOrg acquired RainKing.
“This has been a transformational year for RainKing and this award is a recognition of the satisfaction of our customers and the accomplishments of our employees,” stated RainKing CEO John Stanfill. “We have had some significant accomplishments over the past twelve months which have helped fuel our growth, but the biggest factor in our success is our ability to help our customers grow their businesses faster.”
Among the recent content and platform enhancements were a new user interface, coverage expansion to 65,000 companies and one million executives, the launch of a Federal IT dataset, and rebranding. The firm also moved to larger office space in Bethesda, Maryland.
New York-based Madison Logic made the list for the fifth consecutive year with a three year CAGR of 43%. CEO Tom Regan said, “We’ve developed the only comprehensive account based marketing solution that unifies display advertising, lead generation and advanced measurement capabilities that enable marketers to achieve a quantifiable return on investment.”
Zoominfo, which was bought by private equity firm Great Hill Partners last week, had a three-year CAGR of 39% with 2016 revenue of $39.8 million. The firm successfully pivoted into marketing services a few years ago with contact data enrichment services, list building, web forms, segmentation analysis, and cluster analysis. The firm has over 5,000 enterprise clients.
“ZoomInfo’s positioned for staggering advancement on both the employee and technology front,” said CEO Yonatan Stern. “As we continue on this journey we are focused on creating even more value for our customers.”
I came across an interesting analysis of financial disclosure rates by regions around the world. The blog, written by Mark Bodnar, a librarian at Simon Fraser University (British Colombia), observed limited financial disclosure in North America and much of AsiaPac, but broader financial availability in Europe.
Of the 18 million North American companies covered, only about 35,000 have detailed financials. That’s about 0.19%. Those would be from the relatively rare cohort of publicly traded companies we mentioned earlier. The other 99.81% of the companies are privately held, and in North America that means that they are under almost no obligation to reveal their financials.
Compare that to Western Europe, where about 10 million of their 30 million companies in the database have detailed financials…
Oceania (incorporating AUS, NZ, and many wonderful island nations) is also down around 0.2%, largely because there are detailed financials for only about 0.15% of the companies based in the biggest country in the region, Australia.
While none of this would be a surprise to people in the business information sector, it was a good way to surface the information for students and non-experts. European countries have a long history of requiring non-public (aka non-quoted or non-listed) companies to publicly file annual returns. The depth of filing varies by country and size of company, but Europe has a deep set of financials available to assist with credit and supplier risk analysis, prospecting, company research, KYC/AML, and market analytics.
In the US, disclosure is limited to public companies, non-profits, and financial services companies. Of these, only public company financials, which are filed via EDGAR (SEC), are fully transparent with few accessing state insurance filings, IRS 990 filings (non-profits), or the FDIC (banks).
I would take the author’s analysis of countries with deepest coverage of financials with a grain of salt. It is likely that many of the countries with the highest disclosure rates have limited coverage of companies not subject to financial disclosure. Furthermore, some of the filing regimes do not require financials for smaller companies.