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.
North American Sales Intelligence Market Sizing Model (Excel)
The 2017 Market Size of North American Sales Intelligence Vendors. Includes vendor product features, market share, and notes. GZ Consulting Copyright 2018.
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.
One of the services I provide to vendors is a weekly newsletter called Market Insights which covers the Sales Intelligence, Data as a Service (DaaS), Data Hygiene, and Predictive Analytics markets. I’ve been writing it since mid-2012 and continue to expand my coverage of Sales and Marketing Intelligence.
Year one, I had four clients, all located in the United States. Three were in the Sales Intelligence space and one was in Data Hygiene so my focus was on those segments plus DaaS, a key delivery channel. But predictive analytics was beginning to compete with the SI firms so I folded it into my coverage in 2013.
By 2015, Account Based Marketing and Account Based Sales Development were hot topics so they joined my topic list. I was also covering many more sales intelligence companies outside of the United States. On the DaaS side, Marketing Automation Platform and Chrome Connectors have become much more prominent in my coverage. I’ve also added coverage of intent vendors and sales engagement platforms.
And interest in my little newsletter has grown to over two dozen paid clients including firms in the UK, France, Israel, Germany, and India. This list now includes content vendors that market their databases to the sales intelligence, hygiene, and predictive analytics vendors.
What I’m most proud of is that eight of the top nine sales intelligence vendors in North America are now newsletter clients along with three of the top four UK vendors.
Avention was acquired for $150 million net of cash assumed. Avention generated $60 million in 2016 revenue.
“We are excited to combine our world-class company and contact data with Avention’s best-in-class technology that is fully integrated with the leading software platforms utilized by B2B sales professionals and marketers,” said Dun & Bradstreet COO Josh Peirez. “Avention is a natural fit that will allow us to deliver tremendous value to customers, and the synergies we can capture put the value of this deal well above the purchase price of the acquisition.”
Dun & Bradstreet combined with Avention functionality offers the potential for a powerful sales intelligence service with strong marketing capabilities. Both Dun & Bradstreet and Avention have been expanding their marketing capabilities and ABM messaging.
Dun and Bradstreet content assets include
265 million active and inactive global companies
NetProspex executive file with emails and direct dials
Hoover’s editorially-written profiles
First Research industry overviews
Dun & Bradstreet emphasized the following Avention capabilities:
An intuitive, dynamic user interface to deliver intelligence that can be customized to meet each user’s needs.
Powerful alerts, triggers, and profiling capabilities that leverage both structured data (e.g. industry codes, address, and employee information) and unstructured data (e.g. social content, news feeds, and analyst reports).
Simple integration with the mission-critical systems that your teams use every day, including SFDC, Dynamics, Marketo, and Eloqua, as well as homegrown systems used by many companies.
Combined, Hoover’s, NetProspex, Avention, and D&B alliance products generated over $200 million in revenue. The acquisition provides Dun & Bradstreet with a leading sales intelligence platform as well as several legacy products:
Avention OneSource: Sales Intelligence with advanced company research tools and a light predictive analytics capability. Distinguishing features include Conceptual Search, Business Signals, Ideal Profile Scores, Sales Triggers, and Smart Lists. The OneSource platform supports CRM connectors for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and Oracle Cloud for Sales as well as marketing automation connectors for Marketo and Eloqua (Oracle Marketing Cloud).
Avention DataVision: DataVision, launched in 2016, supports data enrichment, segmentation, look-a-like prospecting, and TAM analysis.
iSell: A legacy sales product
Global Business Browser: A legacy company research product
OneSource Open Connector: API
Dun & Bradstreet offers an overlapping set of products that will need to be rationalized following the acquisition. Hoover’s is a direct competitor of OneSource and iSell. While it has a lower price point than these offerings, it has been struggling for several years with declining revenue and limited investment. As such, Hoover’s is unlikely to see significant investment in the near-term as Dun & Bradstreet moves to integrate the D&B WorldBase company and contact file, NetProspex contacts, and First Research industry overviews into Avention. Hoover’s also maintains 42,000 editorially written company profiles which would also add value to the Avention Global Content Live Platform.
NetProspex’ Workbench service offers many features similar to DataVision. Workbench has an advantage in data matching logic and data verification tools (e.g. phone, email, and address verification), but it is likely that the Avention company universe will be quickly D-U-N-S Numbered and that DUNSMatch logic will be incorporated into Avention services. As such, it is unclear whether Workbench or DataVision would be the long-term hygiene front-end for Dun & Bradstreet.
“Dun & Bradstreet is uniquely positioned to serve this growing market with its foundational company and contact data, which will soon be delivered through Avention’s best-in-class software offerings,” stated Dun & Bradstreet in a press release. “The combination provides a tremendous opportunity to evolve Dun & Bradstreet’s Traditional Prospecting offerings into a category that serves critical B2B sales and marketing needs.
“The Sales Acceleration space offers a big opportunity for Dun & Bradstreet. We believe as the global leader in commercial information we are well positioned to take market share and accelerate our growth strategy,” said Dun & Bradstreet CEO Bob Carrigan. “Bolstered by the success of our recent M&A activity, which has exceeded its acquisition economics, we will continue to explore smart, tuck-in acquisitions that, combined with disciplined execution, will help us to further expand our leadership in this category as well as other areas of our business.”
One potential area of conflict may be around Data.com. Dun & Bradstreet provides their WorldBase file to Data.com Prospector and does not offer a D&B360 Salesforce.com connector. However, Avention has a robust AppExchange connector which competes against both Data.com Prospector and Data.com Clean.
One of the most straightforward ways to increase the value-add of a Sales Intelligence Service is to expand the content it delivers to its users. Generally, a vendor can license additional content within the same general category (e.g. more contacts) or expand coverage into new content categories not previously supported by the product. The first approach is usually faster and less expensive as there is limited development involved in adding additional coverage within a currently supported category (assuming the vendor is not hitting up against platform limits), but there are still costs involved with licensing, de-duping, and merging content sets. As such, it is much more common for firms to increase the scope of current data sets than to add entirely new content categories to their services.
So which of the fourteen sales intelligence vendors discussed in my new Sales Intelligence book invested in increasing their depth of coverage? Basically, all of them. Of course, the scope of content investment varied greatly:
Avention roughly doubled their global company, contact, and email coverage. Their product now spans sixty million companies, eighty million contacts, and twenty million emails (US and UK). I previously discussed their AsiaPac expansion, but the coverage expansion was global with most of the new content outside of the US, UK, and Canada where they already had significant depth.
DiscoverOrg also greatly increased its coverage as it grew to 60,000 editorially researched company profiles and one million researched contacts. Over the past twelve months, DiscoverOrg had a 91% increase in company coverage, 134% increase in contact coverage, and a 371% increase in non-IT contact coverage (numbers supplied by DiscoverOrg). The non-IT increase was due to an expansion of their job functions datasets to include Product Management (TEDD), Sales, CxO, and HR. The firm also continued to invest in their marketing dataset. CMO Katie Bullard noted that “the Marketing budget has begun to meet or exceed the IT department budget in many companies and vendors” while “service providers selling into marketing continue to proliferate.”
RainKing continues to build out its company and contact coverage and expects to hit one million executives by the end of 2016. The firm roughly doubled the number of decision makers in its database while extending its international coverage. They also have increased the number of marketing, finance, and HR decision makers.
InsideView’s executive coverage grew to 17 million US contacts and 8 million European contacts. Total global contacts more than doubled to 31 million and global emails grew by 10 million to 17 million.
Bureau van Dijk added RepRisk environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk reports to their service while continuing to build out their company database. At the end of the year, Bureau van Dijk provided close to 210 million active and inactive company profiles
DueDil rolled out enhanced financials for UK and Irish registered companies. Along with performance and growth metrics such as EBITDA and multiple CAGRs (compounded annual growth rates), DueDil is providing historical graphs for key metrics. In total, six new metrics and 12 key performance indicators (KPIs) have been added.
Data.com expanded the Dun & Bradstreet content displayed in a new Prospect Insights view. Extended company intelligence includes D&B WorldBase firmographics and linkage, Hoover’s top company descriptions and competitors, and First Research industry overviews with call prep questions and industry summaries.
Infofree grew its executive email file to 26 million.
Salesgenie raised its business email count to 58 million US contacts.
Owler’s primary focus in 2016 was to expand their Competitive Graph and gather additional company intelligence. The Competitive Graph improved as the user base has grown and the firm has implemented a set of data cards (simple user queries such as is company X a competitor of company Y) which help refine sizing data, competitors, and a few other firmographic topics. Revenue and employee figures have grown to 2.7 million companies.
Zoominfo expanded its set of company enrichment variables with the addition of 200 new Company Attributes in October 2016.
LinkedIn continues to add two members per second. At the end of the year, they delivered 467 million global profiles across ten million companies.
Dun & Bradstreet grew its WorldBase file of global companies to 265 million active and inactive firms. Over the past few years, they have also focused on improving the depth and accuracy of their international file.
So who did I omit? Technically Artesian Solutions did not make the content list, but that is simply because their new US edition will be discussed in the new product category. Likewise, InsideView’s Tech Profiler Premium is also being discussed as a new product.