Nimble Prospector

The Nimble Smart Contacts App captures the Name, Email, Mobile Phone, Work Phone, Job Title, Company, Website URL, Physical Address, Facebook URL, Twitter URL, and LinkedIn URL contained within an email signature.
The Nimble Smart Contacts App captures the Name, Email, Mobile Phone, Work Phone, Job Title, Company, Website URL, Physical Address, Facebook URL, Twitter URL, and LinkedIn URL contained within an email signature.

Nimble partnered with CircleBack to add two contact maintenance features into its social sales and marketing CRM for individuals and teams.  Users can capture email signatures or take a photo of business cards to populate Nimble.  Email signatures are gathered from Gmail, Google Apps, Outlook / Exchange, and Office 365.  Furthermore, CircleBack appends missing fields such as social links, corporate addresses, and URLs which may not always be available.  It then updates the records to ensure they remain accurate.

“CircleBack’s collaboration with Nimble brings tremendous opportunity to leverage and enhance our open API ecosystem, and to enable Nimble to enrich contact information from social data in new and increasingly effective ways.” said Manoj Ramnani, CEO, CircleBack. “What makes Nimble such an incredible Social CRM is its ability to provide instant context to its users, and now through the power of our APIs, we want to empower Nimble to do it with greater precision.”

Nimble browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge allow sales reps to capture and enrich contacts while browsing the web.  Thus, a sales rep could be on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or a corporate website and add the contact record with a single click.  CircleBack then enriches the record with missing details.  What’s more, the sales rep doesn’t need to key information into Nimble or guess at email structures.

Nimble plans include 25 free lookups per user per month.  Additional contacts are priced in bundles between 20 cents (50 credits per month) and 10 cents (1,000 credits per month).  While credits are shared across the team and reasonably priced, they do not rollover.  Thus, the true per record cost is higher.

Nimble Prospector Pricing
Nimble Prospector Pricing

RampedUp Sales Intelligence & Win Stories

RampedUp Win Story Questionnaires are customized for each company.
RampedUp Win Story Questionnaires are customized for each company.

Launched in 2015, RampedUp offers a sales intelligence solution for browsers and Salesforce. Company and Lead Prospecting is managed from the browser with the option to send one or multiple records to SFDC. Along with standard firmographic selects, prospecting supports technographics and sales triggers. The database is gathered from Synthio and other vendors and spans 6 million global companies and 180 million contacts.

From within Accounts, Leads, and Opportunities, sales reps have access to the following Battle Card intelligence across five tabs:

  • Company: Contact information, firmographics, social media links, mined business descriptions, and recent news stories
  • Contacts: Title, location, email, and phone. The service also indicates whether the contact has been previously loaded into SFDC.
  • Customers: Similar companies with win stories.
  • Competition: Peers based on firmographics and keywords.
  • Technologies: Products for complementary and competitive targeting

A distinguishing feature of RampedUp is a custom tool for recording and sharing customer wins. Win Stories allow reps to understand how their peers closed deals in similar situations.

Sales Ops or Marketing define the key questions for a Win Story template and sales reps enter their responses. Of course, sales ops or marketing can conduct an interview to gather this information with the custom questionnaire operating as a survey template.

The wins are then published as email announcements and available as mini-case studies for other reps within SFDC. Thus, if prospect X has a competitor that has a win story, the competitor’s win is made available in the RampedUp i-frame. The browser version supports a searchable Win Vault.

Relevant Win Stories are delivered in the Customers tab within SFDC.
Relevant Win Stories are delivered in the Customers tab within SFDC.

RampedUp’s Home Page provides a set of gamification elements including recent case studies and a leader board.

RampedUp front page with win stories and a Leader Board.
RampedUp front page with win stories and a Leader Board.

While the most recent company new stories are displayed within SFDC, users must pop out to the RampedUp browser application to view a deeper set of news or filter by event category and date. Triggers are searchable by company, URL lists, or broadly. Bing-based sales triggers go back several years and are tagged by company and topic.

RampedUp does not yet provide sales trigger alerts, but they are on the company’s roadmap.

RampedUp also provides data enrichment functionality via a Clean Tool. The service charges $1,000 for every 10,000 companies and contacts cleaned during an initial batch cleanse. There is also an on-demand batch Clean process which flags inactive contacts, updates company and contact information, and adds additional contacts. Clean includes a unique contact update feature – not only does it flag departed Contacts, but it indicates where execs moved to as new SFDC Lead records.

RampedUp is priced at $1,000 per month for up to twenty users with unlimited access. Additional users are sold in twenty user bands.

RampedUp has fifty clients and is based in Norcross, Georgia.

Sparklane Predict 2.0

Predict builds Ideal Customer Profiles based upon Fit (Firmographics), Need (Sales Triggers), and Behavior (Marketing Automation behavioral data) allowing customers to identify both current best-fit accounts and net-new prospects.
Predict builds Ideal Customer Profiles based upon Fit (Firmographics), Need (Sales Triggers), and Behavior (Marketing Automation behavioral data) allowing customers to identify both current best-fit accounts and net-new prospects.

French predictive analytics firm Sparklane unveiled their version 2.0 Predict platform which employs artificial intelligence (AI) and active learning to score millions of companies and determine which prospects are most likely to become net-new customers.  The Predict platform is available for the UK and French markets with localized language and datasets.  A German edition is in development.

Sparklane ingests and enriches company data, matching it against firmographics and trigger events to score millions of companies.  The system then models the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and Total Addressable Market (TAM).  Sparklane also identifies “sparks” (hot prospects) based upon sales triggers and delivers real-time alerts, messaging, and contacts.

Models can be deployed for both new and existing business.  New business models can be constructed from historical data (e.g. CRM win / loss flags) or estimated and refined for new market entry.  Existing business data can also be deployed for churn models to help identify companies that are more likely to drop as well as upsell and cross-sell models.

CEO Frédéric Pichard said that employing artificial intelligence to identify your next best customers “is probably the most amazing promise B2B marketing and sales tools can fulfill” as it provides “a new way of working to help our customers be more efficient and successful.”

Sparklane users begin by importing datasets from CRMs or CSV files.  Logic is employed to determine both positive and negative sample records.  For example, a CRM Win / Loss flag could serve as such an indicator.  The file is then enriched and an ICP model is constructed.  The ICP contains three types of variables: Fit (firmographic), Need (Triggers), and Behavior (Marketing Automation prospect activity).  Marketers or Sales Operations are able to view the model and adjust weights.  This model is then employed for constructing a TAM with net-new accounts which can be saved as a fixed account list or dynamic model.

Sparklane onboarded file mapping.
Sparklane onboarded file mapping.

An accuracy score helps define how well the model distinguishes between good and bad prospects.  Thus, an 80% accuracy score indicates that 8 out of 10 companies in the seed file are properly predicted by the model.

An accelerated learning option is available for new market entry.  Thus, if a seed list of good and bad prospects is not available for a new product line or market, an initial set can be manually selected from Sparklane company lists and deployed as a first generation seed list.

An active learning option allows users to perform a qualification pass on a list to help expedite model construction.  While engaged in active learning, the user is shown company profiles which include account overviews, triggers, and family trees.   The marketer can then give a thumbs up or down to each proposed account.

During active learning, sparks can be added, dismissed, or decision postponed, allowing the platform to adjust the model.
During active learning, sparks can be added, dismissed, or decision postponed, allowing the platform to adjust the model.

As output, the platform provides a set of “sparks” which are high probability accounts or contacts.  The user sets the number of sparks displayed in a spark list.  Qualified prospects can be sent to a CRM as accounts or leads.

The French dataset covers three million firms and two million contacts.  The UK universe provides 200,000 companies and 300,000 contacts.  The UK dataset focuses on large companies with sales triggers.

The French file includes 600,000 emails while the UK file supports 100,000 emails.

The firm claims that Predict increases the opportunity conversion rate by 70% and shortens the sales cycle by 30%.

Sparklane employs sixty headcount in Paris, London, and Nantes.  It invests over 20% of its turnover in R&D and has nearly 200 customers in Europe.

Zoominfo Growth Acceleration Platform 2.0 Unveiled

Zoominfo prospecting now includes technographic screening and dynamic counts which update as variables are selected.
Zoominfo prospecting now includes technographic screening and dynamic counts which update as variables are selected.

ZoomInfo unveiled the 2.0 version of its Growth Acceleration Platform to customers at its Growth Acceleration Summit in Boston this month.  Amongst the new features are a refreshed user interface, email tools, and expanded prospecting variables including Product / Vendor technographic selects.  The upgraded platform is currently in beta with general availability in Q4.

According to the firm, “ZoomInfo’s Growth Acceleration platform combines the most comprehensive and actionable B2B market intelligence with tools that help optimize sales and marketing effectiveness, jumpstart growth, and maximize profitability.”

The new user interface is cleaner and supports dynamic display which adjusts by form factor.  All of the pages, including company and contact profiles, employ a common look and feel.  Prospecting was simplified with complex stacked queries being less prominent.  However, they are still available to ZoomInfo’s data services team and power users.

Prospecting added product / vendor selects licensed from HG Data.  Multiple products may be entered for screening with the system defaulting to a Boolean OR (AND is supported, but the user needs to enter a multi-product Boolean string with AND logic).

Prospect lists may be maintained as dynamic lists (saved searches) or as fixed saved lists.  The system displays updated counts as each variable is selected. Zoominfo also allows users to suppress contacts purchased in lists in the past six months from search results and when building other lists.

Records may be uploaded from Outlook, Office 365, and Salesforce for enhancement and targeting.  Enhanced list analytics include pre and post data quality scores along with segmentation analysis. The Enhance Preview provides an analysis of the input data quality file, as well as a detailed report on what information was added, corrected, or confirmed using ZoomInfo’s data. The Data Profile tool shows users a breakdown of information about the user’s list, including top industries, job titles, revenues, and employee count.

The Zoominfo Enhance module provides before and after data quality statistics along with segmentation analysis on the Data Profile tab.
The Zoominfo Enhance module provides before and after data quality statistics along with segmentation analysis on the Data Profile tab.

Users can also upload an ABM account list for key contact targeting.

Company profiles include an expanded set of social media links (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube), related companies (licensed from Owler), and technology data.  Tech data is displayed as summary product counts by category.  The rep clicks on the product category to expand it by product.  Unfortunately, the service does not support customized filtering of products or categories by key competitors or complementary platforms.  As HG Data supports thousands of products, it would be a nice enhancement to support pre-configured product categories and products.  Otherwise, valuable account planning insights may be obscured.

Contact profiles now display more information about the company associated with the profile without the need to navigate to a separate profile.

The ReachOut Chrome connector, which provides on-demand company and executive intelligence from websites and LinkedIn, exports to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft.  Users can also send emails from within LinkedIn.

A new Outlook connector provides contact profiles from within Outlook along with one-click add to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft.  Salesforce duplicate checking is employed if it is turned on.  Users can upload records from Zoominfo’s ReachOut Chrome connector or Outlook as either Leads or Contacts / Accounts (previously this was only available from the Growth Acceleration Platform).  ZoomInfo will create Account records for Contacts if one does not exist in SFDC.

The new Zoominfo Connector for Outlook displays inline company and contact intelligence for each of the parties on an email. This feature helps with researching buying committee members and influencers.
The new Zoominfo Connector for Outlook displays inline company and contact intelligence for each of the parties on an email. This feature helps with researching buying committee members and influencers.

This feature helps with researching buying committee members and influencers.

While ZoomInfo partners with Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) vendors Outreach and SalesLoft, ZoomInfo has added light ABSD email features such as email templates and live email tracking. Templates include dynamic tags for information such as contact name and company name which fill in automatically with ZoomInfo data.  Emails are sent from the user’s default email program.

The ZoomInfo global database has grown to 220 million professional profiles (both active and inactive) and 13 million companies.  The dataset is updated continuously based upon web crawlers and a 300,000 user community that shares email signature data.  Zoominfo offers one of the deepest sets of contacts with emails and direct dial numbers.

Openprise Data Market

Openprise launched a Data Marketplace to assist with ingesting and normalizing third-party B2B and B2C data. Amongst the platforms supported are Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua, and Pardot. The Data Marketplace, part of the Openprise Data Orchestration platform, includes built-in rules to ensure data is properly onboarded. Users can set primary, secondary, and tertiary providers with multi-vendor data normalization rules.

“We’re excited to make ZoomInfo’s 210 million businesspeople and 11 million businesses available on the Openprise Data Marketplace,” said Phil Garlick, VP Corporate Development at ZoomInfo. “Openprise’s data cleansing and unification capabilities, combined with ZoomInfo’s data accuracy, provides marketing and sales teams with an unparalleled solution to run more effective campaigns.”

Other B2B Partners include InsideView, Orb Intelligence, Synthio (FKA Social123), and Dun & Bradstreet. Additional vendors are in the final certification stages. Openprise claims that new data providers can be setup in minutes.

Customers can extend pre-existing vendor contracts or take advantage of pre-negotiated discounts.

“Earlier this year, we surveyed 175 marketing professionals to identify data marketplace trends and published our findings in the B2B Data Market Industry Report,” said CEO Ed King. “We found that companies that worked with multiple data providers were much more likely to be satisfied with their third-party data, but those same companies expressed how much they struggled with pulling multiple providers’ data into their marketing and sales system of record while maintaining a consistent set of standards. Openprise Data Marketplaces solves this problem.”

Openprise polled marketers on which B2B data providers they have deployed. Source: "B2B Data Market Industry Report: 2017"
Openprise polled marketers on which B2B data providers they have deployed. Source: “B2B Data Market Industry Report: 2017”

The B2B Data Market Industry Report also asked which vendors were being deployed. The survey of 175 B2B marketers at firms with at least 200 employees found the top three vendors were Zoominfo (40%), InfoUSA (36%), and Data.com (35%). Surprisingly Sales Genie matched D&B/Hoovers amongst all of the surveyed marketers and exceeded it amongst enterprises.  InfoUSA rates were likely higher than the other firms as it offers both business and consumer data while Dun & Bradstreet/Hoovers and many of the other vendors offer strictly B2B data.

The most common use case for B2B data vendors is identifying additional contacts at target companies (62%). Marketers also looked to B2B companies to identify additional target accounts (52%) and append missing fields (50%). Only 37% were looking to B2B data vendors to cleanse their database.

The survey participants were well distributed across B2B industries with an over weighting to advertising / marketing.

Zoominfo Acquired by PE Firm Great Hill Partners

I went on vacation figuring there would be few mid-August product announcements (I was right), but didn’t anticipate M&A activity beyond the Bureau van Dijk acquisition closing (it did on August 10th).  But while I was moving my daughter to North Carolina for graduate school, sales and marketing intelligence database Unomy was acquired by co-working firm WeWork and Zoominfo was acquired by private equity firm Great Hill Partners.  Coincidentally, both deals involve technology relationships between the US and Israel.

“We are enthusiastic about our new investment in ZoomInfo,” said Christopher Gaffney, managing partner at Great Hill Partners. “The company is growing very fast while maintaining a high level of profitability, a rare combination that attests to the quality of its products, data, and employees. In the evolving market of data driven solutions for sales and marketing, we see a significant growth opportunity for ZoomInfo, and trust that with its current track record, strong product innovation and efficient operations they will continue to dominate the market.”

Gaffney will be joining Zoominfo’s Board of Directors.

Like Zoominfo, Great Hill Partners is also Boston-based (technically, they are in the same MSA, if not the same town).  VentureBeat listed the acquisition price at $240 million or roughly 6X trailing revenue.

Zoominfo President Yonatan Stern indicated “it’s time for me to move on . . . . I’m not going to retire, but I want to move the center of my life to Israel.”

“We’re doing really well, and we wanted to pay out some of those early investors,” said a company representative. “They had been in the game for a long time.”

Stern built and sold three successful companies in the Boston area including Bizo and CardScan.  He will continue as the CEO for at least a year before ceding responsibility to his executive team.  Stern will remain on as the Chairman and retains a stake in the firm.

Zoominfo is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts and most of its 200 employees are located there.

“I am very excited about this new chapter in ZoomInfo’s growth story.  The company will continue to focus on delivering value to our rapidly expanding base of thousands of satisfied and loyal customers. We invest heavily in growing and improving our data assets, and in product innovation to deliver a wealth of information where and when our customers need it. We look forward to working with Great Hill Partners to accelerate our growth and maintain competitive advantage.”

  • Yonatan Stern, CEO and Chief Scientist, ZoomInfo.

Zoominfo made the last three Inc. 5000 lists with revenue of $39.8 million in 2016 and a three-year Compound Average Growth Rate of 39%.  The ZoomInfo dataset spans 222 million active and inactive global contacts and 9.3 million companies with firmographics, emails, direct dials, and web mined bios.  Roughly 80 million contacts are for US executives and employees.

Zoominfo began as Eliyon, an online search engine for people in 2000.  The firm struggled for several years as it found itself in competition with better-heeled well known competitors such as Google and LinkedIn.  About five years ago, it pivoted from SalesTech (which it continues to serve along with Executive Recruitment) into MarTech and began building out its Growth Acceleration Platform marketing capabilities (cloud-based enrichment, web forms, segmentation analysis, cluster analysis, and list building).  It also shifted its contact acquisition model from web-based biographic scraping to a community model.  Thus, the firm has had strong growth in both its contact database and revenues.

ZoomInfo Personas provide a multi-dimensional cluster analysis for identifying persona categories and prospecting against them.
ZoomInfo Personas provide a multi-dimensional cluster analysis for identifying persona categories and prospecting against them.

MarTech analyst David Raab noted that the acquisition “continues a trend of marketing technology vendors being purchased by private equity firms, although Great Hill hasn’t been particularly active in the martech space.”

I will cover Unomy’s acquisition tomorrow.

Oceanos Data Services

Oceanos began as a list broker back in 2002, but has since evolved into a B2B contact aggregator and data refinery.  The firm aggregates 97 million active US contact records and retains millions of inactive names and emails to assist with hygiene.  Data is aggregated from eleven vendors and includes social data from FullContact and Pipl.  Oceanos provides data enrichment, TAM analysis, net-new contacts, and a set of data specialists to assist with projects.

Oceanos is self-funded and based in Marshfield, MA.  Annual revenue is around $5 million and is derived from data hygiene services, contact matching, and API-based data licensing.

Each record is assigned a data quality score based upon eleven signals including dead email addresses, drops between files, email naming conventions, and social data verification.  Thus, customers and partners can employ data quality score cutoffs when licensing data.  Data quality scores are also employed as part of a free Data Health Check for customers.

Contacts are mapped to 12 Job Functions, 109 Sub-functions, and 7 Job Levels.  Granularity to the sub-function level assists with strategic targeting.  For example, marketing is mapped to 18 job functions including brand, corporate communications, events, public relations, search engine, and social media.

The Data Health Check report does not directly validate emails and other fields, but employs the Data Quality Scores to provide an overall Data Quality Score and a data accuracy histogram.  The service also provides proposed before and after fill rates across twenty biographic and firmographic variables including address fields, direct and corporate phone, employees, revenue, industry, and major social handles.  The final element of the Data Health Check report is a set of segmentation charts by job level, function, specialty, domain extension, industry, sizing variables, and country.

At the end of the report, there is a data health recommendation where they contrast their Account Based Marketing approach to traditional database augmentation services:

With 0ther health checks, this is the section where they tell you that they have a plethora of contacts for you to purchase, all matching your data profile.  First, the point of this analysis is not to assume that the accounts and contacts currently in your database represent the optimal mix.  In many cases the results demonstrate that there is a percent of bad and misaligned data.  Second, it’s important to note that this is not a quantity game.  In fact the more-the-merrier mindset is the root of many database problems.

We recommend a three step process to effectively cleanse, complete, and grow your database.  This is the ideal approach, but we understand that timing and budget do not always permit the perfect solution.  That being the case, we suggest a conversation to review the health check results and to determine the best prescription based on your needs and goals.

The Cleanse and Complete stages purge bad data, standardize and validate data, and enrich the client’s database.  Cleansing processes the file against FreshAddress, Clickback, internal tables, Whitepages, Pipl and FullContact.  Only once the current data quality issues are addressed does the firm recommend a Contact Gap Analysis for populating accounts with missing strategic contacts.  The analysis also identifies the percentage of contacts that match the target audience criteria (Ideal Customer Profile).  Oceanos contends that best-in-class firms have at least 70% of contacts within their target audience.

House vs. Greenfield Analysis compares target audience coverage for company files vs. Oceanos.
House vs. Greenfield Analysis compares target audience coverage for company files vs. Oceanos.

The Contact Gap Analysis also provides a greenfield (net-new contact analysis) by job function and sub-function and an analysis of Total Addressable Market (TAM) coverage between House and Greenfield contacts.

Integration services include a partner API, used by ReachForce, Engagio, and Integrate, and MAP connectors for Marketo and Eloqua Cleanse and Append

Oceanos President Brian P. Hession identified their differentiators as their unique blend of technology, professional services, and data quality. With data quality being critical to ABM sales and marketing initiatives, the inclusion of real world project fulfillment through their program specialists provides Oceanos with data quality insights that are used to continuously inform and enhance the data quality processes. “We apply both technology and real-world insights to ensure the highest quality of data before we are releasing it. We are incorporating a continuous stream of data quality insights into our code to address the many nuances that a program specialist encounters manually on a dataset,” said Hession.  “The way that Oceanos is going to be successful in the future is if we can assemble an internal contact database that is of the highest quality in the industry.  So there’s been a lot of focus on putting models on top of our contact data.”