Dun & Bradstreet announced the acquisition of a pair of digital B2B data companies to support its Audience Solutions. (Part I)
NetWise offers Dun & Bradstreet a B2B-to-consumer ID Graph that helps Audience Solutions compete in this broader digital context. The Graph includes 30 million U.S. businesses, 100 million business professionals, 250 million opted-in consumer profiles, and 70 million consumer-to-business linkages. At the audience level, NetWise supports over 500 standard B2B segments and 150 consumer segments.
NetWise extends D&B Audience Solutions’ identity graph “across every major online channel, individual device, or a marketing platform,” said Dun & Bradstreet CEO Anthony Jabbour. “Just as our clients rely on the D-U-N-S Number for precision in their offline data, we’re looking to provide the same level of confidence and consistency online as well.”
NetWise excels at joining the offline and online worlds together to connect business personas to their online personas,” said NetWise CEO Dwight Gorall. “We look forward to joining the Dun & Bradstreet family with Eyeota. Once together, we can work to create a complete solution for clients, enabling a full spectrum of capabilities – from audience creation to activation – at scale across many demand-side platforms, customer relationship management systems, connected T.V. or social media platforms. We are committed to helping global enterprises future proof their marketing strategies so they can thrive in a multichannel world.”
NetWise notes that it is the “original producer” of its B2B data products built from first-party data sources, including state and federal business filings, company websites, job descriptions, job postings, social websites, and business directories. Moreover, the firm has unrestricted rights to use and sell its data. Thus, it offers supplementary intelligence for enriching Dun & Bradstreet’s company and contact files.
According to its FAQ, “NetWise generates comprehensive and deterministic B2B segments using current job titles, company firmographics, and other self-declared business-related attributes like skills, education, certifications, etc. This is accomplished by analyzing publicly available information and data created directly by persons in our dataset. These data features are often multi-source validated across our compiled data. Segments are deterministic, based on foundational information and never modeled unless explicitly indicated.”
NetWise is fully compliant with CCPA. In addition, its Data Protection Officer is a California-licensed attorney.
Outside of the US, NetWise maintains 100 million global profiles that can be folded into WorldBase and 300 million non-EU global profiles. NetWise does not build profiles on GDPR (EU) subjects.
Dun & Bradstreet is acquiring 100% of the outstanding ownership interest in NetWise Data for an estimated purchase price of $69 million upon closing, subject to net working capital adjustment. The deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter.
NetWise is based in Boca Raton, Florida and has 47 headcount (as per LinkedIn).
Account Engagement Platform 6sense, which acquired Fortella at the end of August, is also bringing Slintel into the fold. Slintel augments 6sense’s data with technographics, buyer and market insights, and contacts.
“The acquisition of Slintel reaffirms 6sense’s commitment to leading the RevTech Revolution by providing the foundational data sales and marketing teams need to achieve predictable revenue growth,” stated the firm.
Slintel expands 6sense’s marketing data for audience segmentation, AI-driven predictions, account prioritization, campaign outreach, and personalization. Slintel insights also highlight business and market trends for sales reps, assisting with activity prioritization, outreach, and personalization.
Slintel’s technographics and renewal predictions improve rep timing and targeting.
Slintel’s account insights are gathered from historical data, verified data sources, natural language processing, and human validation.
“Data has always been an essential component of the 6sense platform, and we continually look for ways to bring more actionable and accurate data into the platform,” said 6sense CTO Viral Bajaria. “After evaluating many data providers over the past year, we selected Slintel because of the way they capture data as well as the uniqueness and accuracy of the data provided in their platform, all of which will help 6sense customers outperform their competitors.”
Slintel gathers data for 100 million contacts and 15 million companies. Half the contacts have business emails, and 15% include direct-dial numbers.
“Slintel amplifies 6sense across four critical dimensions adding: modern business contact data from verified sources; enhanced technographics, including AI-powered confidence scores and predictions; robust buyer insights powered by account and contact-level psychographic data; and deep market insights on account events, expansions, and other noteworthy changes. Collectively, these data-driven features deliver a unique intelligence layer that helps fuel 6sense’s powerful ability to uncover buyers both before and during their purchase journey.”
Slintel Press Release (October 5, 2021)
Slintel was enjoying rapid growth at the time of acquisition, with revenue up 500% year-over-year.
Slintel CEO Deepak Anchala noted he had been approached in the past about acquisition but passed on the opportunities as they wanted to continue developing the Slintel vision. However, he viewed 6sense differently due to the alignment of the firms’ world views.
“Both teams strongly believe that the market is becoming more buyer-driven and that to succeed, revenue teams need to be smarter, more data-driven, and empathetic to the buyer’s interests,” blogged Anchala. “Our offerings perfectly complement each other. One is a market-leading GTM Intelligence product, while the other is a best-in-class GTM Orchestration product. One has an inbound-heavy, product-led motion while the other is great at closing enterprise deals.”
“When thinking about extending the capabilities of the 6sense Platform, our philosophy is to seek companies that add competitive differentiation, maintain high customer satisfaction, and deliver superior customer value,” blogged 6sense CEO Jason Zintak. “Slintel checks all of these boxes. What makes Slintel’s approach unique is how it captures and delivers data to customers, resulting in superior levels of data coverage, accuracy, and diversity. The combination of Slintel’s data intelligence with 6sense’s industry-leading insights and orchestration capabilities will deliver better outcomes, faster time to value, and a greater return on investment.”
Due to this alignment of vision, product, and GTM expertise, Anchala felt that both companies would be stronger together and “can power better experiences for our customers.”
Anchala was also impressed with 6sense as a “clear market leader” that is outpacing its competition and has “a near-perfect Glassdoor employee rating.”
“Together, we will enable organizations to:
1.Plan, uncover, prioritize, engage, measure, and forecast progress against revenue opportunities
2. Get technographic, firmographic, and business insights at the account level as well as modern contact data to drive more relevant, personalized, and timely campaigns
3. Receive market alerts about relevant changes captured from hundreds of attributes across millions of companies every week
4. Capture more intent signals to uncover revenue opportunities more accurately”
Slintel CEO Deepak Anchala
Anchala advised Slintel’s customers that the sale “isn’t an exit,” but “the beginning of bigger, better things together, and an opportunity for two phenomenal companies to join hands to realize our vision faster.”
6sense is on a roll with 114% revenue growth year-over-year. Along with acquiring Fortella, it opened offices in London and Australia, expanding its footprint. In March, it closed on a $125 million Series D.
Zylotech CTO Abhi Yadav will be Terminus’ Head of Platform Development. Yadav is also a Guest Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management.
The deal is Terminus’ fifth acquisition, backing up Gartner’s SalesTech Mayhem thesis that a handful of companies are quickly grabbing market share through strategic acquisitions and high levels of internal investment that fill missing capabilities.
Terminus’ acquisitions have focused on expanding the core capabilities of the company, not taking out competitors. The other acquisitions were
While CDPs are generally deployed to create a single view of the customer, David Raab, Founder of CDP Institute, commented that the Terminus CDP “will tie together the data silos that would otherwise result” from the acquisitions.
“CDP is becoming more widely adopted in B2B, as companies recognize their marketing automation and CRM systems are not enough to provide true data unification and sharing,” said Raab. “By acquiring Zylotech, Terminus positions itself – and its clients – to take full advantage of the capabilities that a CDP provides.”
While data usage and spending are rapidly increasing, few marketers trust their data. A 2017 Forrester survey found that only 12% of B2B marketers have high confidence in their data accuracy, and 84% identified data management as a top-five weakness.
“The key to a successful CDP is trust,” blogged Zylotech Director of Revenue Marketing Alex Bistran in August. “Sales, marketing, and customer experience teams need to trust the data stored in their CDP to drive decisions, whether it’s deciding which accounts require immediate attention or which campaign messaging is most likely to resonate with a particular customer. By constantly refreshing data from your own customer interactions and combining it with validated, third-party B2B data to accurately reflect your contacts and accounts, a CDP provides a clean stream of actionable data that can be operationalized to flow through your marketing, sales, and customer service channels. And, importantly, that can lead to a healthier revenue stream too.”
“B2B CRM data is painfully inaccurate and incomplete, and manual efforts to clean, deduplicate, and activate are slow and expensive. This leads to poor conversion rates, an incomplete view of buying committees, and misleading ROI,” stated the firm.
“Bad data in equals bad data out. Period. We’re entering a marketing revolution – data really is the new oil, and Terminus is sitting on a gold mine. Under Matt’s leadership, Terminus CDP is poised to change the game for our customers. This level of data accuracy is critical for B2B GTM teams looking for a unified view into their customers. I’ve never been more excited about the future of marketing.”
Terminus CEO Tim Kopp
The Terminus CDP addresses the issues of bad data with auditing, cleansing, enrichment, and data management capabilities “backed by the industry’s largest global network of decision-makers and Buying Committees.” Furthermore, Terminus CDP “dramatically” improves data accuracy, campaign effectiveness, and “wasted sales cycles.”
“We are in the golden age of marketing. The breadth of technologies helping us create great experiences has never been so impressive. But, what are all those customer experiences predicated on? Data,” blogged Kopp. “With Terminus CDP, our customers will have their most important account and contact data continuously cleansed and enriched. The result: our customers will be able to put their trust in their data, unleashing their go-to-market teams to accurately engage buying committees every time.”
Continued Kopp, “We’re entering a marketing revolution. A time when sales and marketing teams don’t have to worry about data and can dedicate their energy to create phenomenal experiences that turn into pipeline. I have never been more excited about the future of marketing.”
“Since our early days as an MIT spinout, Zylotech has been focused on delivering the data and intelligence go-to-market teams can trust and take action on,” said Yadav. “Upon meeting Terminus, it was obvious that we shared a common vision. We are proud to join Terminus and this incredible team to jointly improve the accuracy of B2B data.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Kopp described it as a “big deal” that is a “really, really important acquisition.” The Indianapolis Business Journal said that Zylotech was its largest deal to date. The transaction was financed with funds from a $90 February venture round.
Enterprise clients include Google, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Dell, and Rimini Street.
Revenue Intelligence platform Clari announced the acquisition of DealPoint. DealPoint supports deal management and collaboration by enabling “new visibility for sales teams into the connections and agreements between buyers and sellers.” In addition, DealPoint supports deal rooms and Mutual Action Plans (MAPs), helping reduce friction between buyers and sellers and fostering deal alignment.
“With mutual action plans, sales teams can improve alignment with buyers, drive scalable process and rigor, and improve win rates,” said Clari CEO Andy Byrne. “Our acquisition of DealPoint gives Clari customers a new insight they have never had — a view into what buyers are thinking. Combined with our new execution insights, managers and reps will have comprehensive visibility and new inspection capabilities in one unified workspace.”
At the front end of the collaboration, workflow is deal qualification, including defining the pains, processes, and priorities. Next, the teams develop a joint interactive timeline, team maps, and shared team resources (e.g., case studies, requirements, proposals). Finally, engagement metrics help reps quickly determine “which buyers are engaged, and who’s just kicking the tires.”
DealPoint monitors milestone completion and warns reps when milestones have been missed, helping keep deals on schedule.
“With a MAP, sellers get instant validation on value prop, buyer team, and timeline. Because both sides are operating from an actual plan, frontline managers can see not only what has been done on a deal, but also what hasn’t been done.
In other words, we know which buyers are serious, which deals are going to stall, and what needs to happen to keep everything running smoothly.
Incorporating those buyer signals gives Clari new insight into deal health that will revolutionize deal inspections, resource allocation, and forecast accuracy for frontline managers.”
Tom Williams, Head of DealPoint
Having a joint plan assists with buy-in, providing a psychological edge for the sales team. “By providing a clear plan to value, you guide the customer journey and keep the conversation focused on fixing their problem with your product,” states DealPoint. “Buyers adopt your plan as their own, edging out competitors and reducing surprises.”
Sales Managers also benefit from instituting a repeatable process. According to DealPoint, 50% of reps quickly abandon new methodologies. Thus, streamlining the methodology helps ensure buy-in and compliance.
Once integrated with Clari, managers will have even more confidence in forecasts based upon milestone tracking. Additionally, managers can ask reps what needs to be done to bring the deal back on plan, and sales reps can ask similar questions to buyers, helping foster shared accountability.
Customer Success teams benefit from smooth handoffs and pre-defined expectations.
DealPoint argues that taking a set of small steps helps foster trust that reduces perceived buyer risk as milestones are met. Likewise, collaborating on a joint plan helps build relationships between the revenue team and the buying committee.
DealPoint comes with the MEDDIC methodology out of the box, but users can implement others.
DealPoint is priced at $59 per rep per month on an annual contract. Seats include an unlimited number of customers and Mutual Action Plans. In addition, DealPoint is integrated with Salesforce and HubSpot.
Deal Rooms are a logical extension of Revenue Intelligence as they facilitate communications between sales reps, customer success, and buyers. Collaboration also aligns buyers and sellers, fosters collaboration, reduces the probability of surprises, improves forecast confidence, and gooses close rates.
The integrated Deal Room GA is scheduled for Q4. Acquisition terms were not announced.
This morning, Artesian Solutions and DueDil announced the merger of their two firms. Both vendors serve the B2B FinTech/RegTech/SalesTech spaces with products that assist their 700 customers in onboarding clients, performing KYC/AML checks, prospecting, and monitoring customers.
The merger took place six weeks ago and was described as a partnership at the time. However, they held off on the formal announcement until “everything was aligned.”
Artesian/DueDil is currently working on a combined brand identity that reflects the offerings of both companies. For this blog, I am, therefore, referring to them as “the merged company.”
Over eighty percent of their revenue comes from the financial services sector (Banking and Insurance), with products covering the UK, Ireland, US, and Canada. While Artesian and DueDil serve the same market, they have only eight joint customers, providing significant upsell and cross-sell opportunities for their primary offerings:
Engage – Artesian’s Sales Intelligence offering supports prospecting, customer research, financials, Companies House images, industry research, and high precision news tagging and alerting. Other tools include the Ready mobile app (meeting prep and meeting chat) and CRM connectors for Salesforce and MS Dynamics.
Connect – Artesian’s compliance and onboarding platform supports company screening, customer due diligence, and a configurable decision engine that ingests third-party data. As a compliance and decisioning platform, Connect displays early warning indicators, supports KYC and AML checks, and delivers adverse media alerts.
Artesian Connect includes a bespoke rules-processing engine that captures client know-how, including business rules, sales preferences, prospecting criteria, and onboarding checks. Connect supports Artesian’s Premium Data feeds, the B.I.G., and customer-licensed third-party data integrations.
B.I.G. – DueDil’s Business Information Graph spans 270 million relationships, including companies, directors, shareholders, and subsidiaries. Roughly thirty percent of the relationships are curated. The graph is updated three or four times a day.
DueDil APIs – DueDil’s premium API also provides the capability to access B.I.G. data and plug it into existing systems “quickly and seamlessly” to power automated KYC / KYB and onboarding journeys.
The companies have complementary capabilities. Artesian Solutions offers mobile tools, CRM connectors, business events, a rules engine, and web applications. Conversely, DueDil has focused on a set of APIs and relationship data.
“Our new company will be able to make strategic investments for sustainable and profitable growth, remaining agile to new opportunities whilst keeping focused on leveraging our newly combined strength to drive greater value for our customers.”
Artesian+DueDil CEO Andrew Yates
“If you can imagine the Big Information Graph, the APIs with their published endpoints that make them really quick and effective to integrate, a rules engine, and then a host of really powerful frontline applications, and middle-office applications, that’s what we mean by end-to-end,” explained Yates to GZ Consulting. “There’s a market in the FinTech space, which is ‘just give me the data as it is’ as a service prepackaged with rules to do things like digital onboarding, straight-through processing, and automated underwriting. And then at the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got people-centric relationship management. People not only want to get access to the insight and the data, but they need the applications that link all of that together and link that back to the customer.”
“We’ve been very effective at helping our customers find the right customers, and more laterally, using things like screening technology and forensic analysis with the rules engine,” continued Yates. “DueDil has been focused on the onboarding journey and the remediation journey, so onboard them faster and keep them for life.”
There are two ways that Artesian adds value to commodity data, said the merged company’s COO Justin Fitzpatrick, who formerly led DueDil. The first is by creating “proprietary, derived data” such as relationship connections. The second is to embed “business logic around those data points” to answer “business-critical questions.”
“We can provide data that helps them check that they can onboard the customer. But at the end of the day, ideally, our clients want to be able to shortcut that process and know whether they can safely onboard that customer,” continued Fitzpatrick. “And so that’s where we started developing things like our integrated KYB endpoint, which pulls together the different bits of data, runs logic and rules over it, and spits out a sort of Pass/Fail/More type answer so that people can kind of have direct responses to the business questions that they’re asking. Being able to layer Artesian Connect’s programmable rules engine on the API was a really attractive proposition for us.”
The firms have competed against each other for around a decade but saw less of each other over the past three or four years as they focused on meeting complementary market requirements. While DueDil focused on its API strategy and B.I.G., Artesian focused on event triggers, Artesian Connect’s rules engine, and workflow tools.
“Over the past decade, DueDil and Artesian have delivered some of the most innovative and successful technology solutions, tackling the financial service market’s biggest client lifecycle challenges. We will continue to draw on this experience together to push the boundaries even further.”
Artesian+DueDil COO Justin Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick argued that official registries such as the UK’s Companies House “do a great job” as “electronic filing cabinets to make sure that people file their accounts on time.” Still, they were never designed to connect the dots between “company information, director information, and shareholders.”
Fitzpatrick argues that registry data is, therefore, a commodity, with the company adding value through disambiguating the filings, matching data, identifying relationships, facilitating onboarding, client monitoring, and delivering client and prospect intelligence via an API. For example, they disambiguate about two million director profiles in the UK, ensuring that all John Smith listings are correctly matched, and that name variants are properly managed.
The merged company will continue to focus on Directors and relationships but will not become a contacts database with emails and phone numbers akin to ZoomInfo or Cognism.
“We absolutely will cover that from a regulatory standpoint,” said Yates. “Directors, officers, non-exec directors, how those people link together, entities linked together. These are absolutely critical questions that regulated industries that are trying to engage with customers need answers to.”
CEO Andrew Yates will head the merged company with Justin Fitzpatrick assuming the role of COO. The broader leadership team contains individuals from both companies. The new firm has between seventy and eighty employees, “and that number will be growing.” The combined turnover is in “double-digit millions” of pounds.
The strategy is to focus on the “multiple 1000s” of FinTech, financial services, insurance, and insurance broking institutions” that require “access to our combined capabilities.” Not only are there significant upsell and cross-sell opportunities, but “the actual number of institutions relative to the total addressable market…is still very large,” said Yates.
“When you bring the data smarts in at the next level, you start to be able to really give people a laser-guided focus in not only who the right company is, but exactly how they should engage,” expanded Yates. “If we can forensically analyze the data and combine it with rules, we can provide an engagement signal, which is essentially a next best action or recommendation as to what the individual should do – it goes way beyond giving them a piece of killer insight or a set of financials or some short animation around the structure and the way they’re organized and the ultimate beneficiary.”
Customers will also benefit from the “much more integrated experience” that unites the frontline teams and back office with a shared set of data, insights, and APIs. The goal is to “find the right customers, onboard them faster, and keep them for life.”
Yates is promising that Artesian Customers will have access to the B.I.G. and DueDil’s APIs “in a matter of weeks.”
“What’s emerging is a new company that allows more functionality, more value, and more freedom for our clients,” stated Yates. Artesian Customers will “have one of the most extensive and accurate views of every UK and Irish company at their fingertips, in real-time, and available instantly.”
Venture Capital investors Notion Capital and Octopus Ventures backed the merger, stating that “the UK is one of the leading financial centres in the world, supported by a technology ecosystem built around trust, security, and innovation. The combination of Artesian and DueDil creates an exciting growth company chasing an enormous opportunity in the FinTech market. We are thrilled to play our part in supporting them on that journey.”
Artesian is coming off of a “strong” H1 marked by profitable, double-digit growth. It added three significant customers, including two banks. Its gross retention rate was 94%, and its net retention was over 100%. Artesian has a track record of efficient revenue operations. Its LTV/CAC ratio (Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost) was 9X last year, indicating an efficient sales engine with low churn.
I interviewed Andrew Yates back in 2018. He discussed technological disruption, AI, and data insights.
ZoomInfo has been talking about its LTV/CAC (Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost) ratio for a few years and is now boasting about its sales efficiency ratio. For every dollar the firm invests in Sales and Marketing, it is growing $1.50 to $2.00 in revenue with even better results on the retention business side. These values are well above the SaaS industry average and indicate that the firm should increase its revenue operations investment.
“On the new business side, we aim for somewhere between one and a half to two X return for every dollar that we spend on a customer. And then on the retention and growth or account management side, we look for a six to eight X return for every dollar that we spend there. It’s a super-efficient go-to-market motion. Most software businesses, you put a dollar in, you get like 70 cents out in the first year. We’re putting a dollar in and getting one and a half to two X out.”
ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck
Schuck described their go-to-market efficiency as one of their “big strategic levers” when acquiring firms with less mature go-to-market motions. ”So when we find companies that don’t have a very sophisticated go-to-market motion, that aren’t truly optimized in the way that they get clients, they’re not doing one and a half to two X efficiency or a 15 X LTV to CAC. Those are great fits for us.”
ZoomInfo has a track record of improving sales efficiency, helping unlock value in acquired assets where the go-to-market motions are aligned. “In our big acquisitions – RainKing, ZoomInfo, and, most recently, Chorus.AI — we really felt like we could leverage the go-to-market motion to accelerate growth within those companies. That’s a key piece.”
When DiscoverOrg acquired RainKing, which had a $40 million ARR, he was convinced that DiscoverOrg could treble their EBITDA to $30 million and accelerate their top-line growth within six months. Within one year of acquiring RainKing, DiscoverOrg’s market valuation grew from roughly $600 million to $2 billion.
One of the inherent advantages of SalesTech is you don’t have to teach sales reps the value and use cases of your product. This shortens ZoomInfo’s ramp time for new reps from several quarters to four months. “it makes it way easier for you to be able to sell to your counterpart on the other end of the line. It’s a big difference for us,” said Schuck.
ZoomInfo heavily hires sales reps directly out of college or soon after and trains them as SDRs, responding to inbound leads and performing outbound prospecting. “In nine months, we start promoting them into the account executive role. So we got value out of them in that ramp time. Then four months after they’ve gone into the account executive role, they’re fully ramped. Thirteen months from when you’ve never sold something until you’re an account executive at one of the fastest-growing technology companies in the country, that’s a really fun promotion to see.”
And because ZoomInfo is hiring sales reps to sell sales and marketing solutions, Schuck does not consider complicated or technical product categories for acquisition. Instead, he looks for solutions that broadly meet the needs of his 20,000 customers and which are easy to understand. Chorus.AI, the Conversation Intelligence vendor that ZoomInfo acquired last month, fits the bill: “We use it, all of our sellers use it. It’s really simple to understand, ‘Hey, we’re going to record and transcribe all your calls, and then you can go do instant coaching on the key moments in those calls’,” remarked Schuck.
On its earnings call last week, TechTarget announced its latest acquisition, Xtelligent Healthcare Media, a Boston-based firm with a similar content model to TechTarget. It has over 1.5 million healthcare-related visitors per quarter across ten websites. Content focuses on healthcare-related software and technology decisions, aligning with TechTarget’s enterprise software focus but in an adjacent market. Xtelligent topics include telehealth, healthcare analytics, revenue cycle management, healthcare IT security, and electronic health records.
“The healthcare IT market is one of the most important vertical technology markets and a natural adjacency for TechTarget to expand into. This acquisition checks all of the boxes for us. Xtelligent has an original content model with a permission-based audience of registered members and a large amount of first-party purchase intent data.”
CEO Michael Cotoia in TechTarget’s Q2 2021 Letter to Shareholders
Similar to BrightTALK, Xtelligent did not have a solution for disseminating its intent data, but TechTarget will create new purchase intent segments and feed them into Priority Engine, expanding Priority Engine’s potential user base.
Xtelligent CEO, Sean Brooks, is a former TechTarget VP who founded Xtelligent a decade ago. Brooks will continue to run the business. Cotoia noted that Brooks built Xtelligent with a similar opted-in, permission-based audience model.
“We are very excited to join TechTarget and extend our combined audiences and offerings into new markets,” said Brooks. “TechTarget’s experience and success with first-party data, combined with their deep understanding of the B2B Media & Data space, will help us continue to grow and offer customers new opportunities to reach and engage highly targeted healthcare technology decision-makers.”
“[Healthcare] is a vertical that we’ve been keeping our eye on for a couple of years and the adjacent vertical where healthcare intersects with IT and infrastructure, security, hardware, and software, just made all the sense in the world to us. We believe it’s going to open the door to new customers [and] opportunities….We believe that we have an untapped revenue opportunity with Priority Engine and bringing our purchase intent data onto the Xtelligent community.”
TechTarget is eyeing other adjacent verticals, including FinTech and Asset Management, where BrightTALK has some penetration.
TechTarget paid $25 million in cash for Xtelligent, which includes an additional $5 million earn-out.
ZoomInfo has not been shy about acquiring companies in its bid to become a leading revenue acceleration company. This morning, they announced the acquisition of Chorus.AI, a leading Conversation Intelligence company. While most of its deals have been small, Chorus has the opportunity to leverage ZoomInfo’s company and contact intelligence with rich engagement data and analytics, placing the firm at the center of the rapidly growing Conversation Intelligence market.
Chorus employs machine learning and AI to “capture and analyze” calls, meetings, and emails, digitizing customer interactions, and capturing insights for revenue teams and sales management. As a result, sales reps can be more present during calls as they no longer need to capture action items and take notes while leading sales meetings. Automating insight capture allows them to be better engaged during the call, avoiding those awkward pauses for note-taking.
While not discussed in the press release, combining Chorus’ NLP with Insent should raise bot performance and become another leg of conversation intelligence at the top of the funnel.
The expanded ZoomInfo will support and assess a broad set of digital touchpoints for intent and engagement:
Chorus also assists with buying committee discovery. While ZoomInfo has long supported contact discovery at the account level, monitoring engagement to determine who is involved in deals and who is being referenced in conversations is the next major step in buying committee discovery, moving it from educated guesswork to a scientific approach. Once committee members are identified, Chorus monitors conversations for sentiments, motivations, and concerns, helping gauge deal health. ZoomInfo will supply Chorus with rich company and contact information fed to customer CRMs and continuously maintained by ZoomInfo’s APIs and connectors.
Chorus’ Momentum Insights, released in December, helps revenue teams understand customer relationships, improve their forecasting, identify which interactions propel deals forward, and flag deal risks.
“Momentum Insights will unlock learnings never before available from the CRM to harness the most valuable dataset available—conversations with customers,” said Chorus CEO Jim Benton at the time. “This will empower revenue teams to solve complex problems which require strong relationships, and relationships ultimately drive revenue. Reps get exactly what they need to engage and personalize their efforts, while leadership is able to trust the unbiased data aggregated from each opportunity to inform critical business decisions.”
“By integrating keyword trackers from Chorus into ZoomInfo, revenue teams will also be able to create audiences based on insights from conversations, flag deals and renewals that could be in jeopardy, and trigger alerts to address concerns in real-time,” stated ZoomInfo.
The deal added $18 billion to the company’s TAM, raising it to $70 billion. The acquisition is “expected to be accretive to growth immediately, generate adjusted operating profits within 12 months, and be accretive to cash flow in the second half of FY 2022.”
“ZoomInfo is the only company that can marry a best-in-class data layer with world-class go-to-market applications,” said CEO Henry Schuck. “The acquisition of Chorus will accelerate our vision to deliver a modern go-to-market platform that brings together best-in-class intelligence with comprehensive data management, workflow, and engagement software, empowering companies to effectively execute their revenue-generating strategies. With the largest Conversation Intelligence patent portfolio in the industry, Chorus will advance each aspect of our vision by surfacing a new category of insights, illuminating new workflows, and enabling more targeted engagement at scale.”
CEO Henry Shuck has been open to both large and small deals, so long as the combination of ZoomInfo and the acquired company drives significant growth in revenue at the acquisition. A few decades ago, the term was synergy, but that phrase was used so often to describe failed deals that it is now verboten when describing acquisitions. However, ZoomInfo with Chorus has the opportunity to grow significantly faster than as a standalone organization.
As with the recently acquired Insent.AI and Clickagy, Chorus will benefit from access to the breadth, depth, and quality of ZoomInfo’s B2B dataset and access to ZoomInfo’s Go To Market strategy and efficient sales processes. With an LTV / CAC ratio greater than ten, ZoomInfo should be able to efficiently cross-sell and upsell Chorus’ analytics across its 20,000 customers.
Chorus also sets up ZoomInfo’s new Engage platform to challenge market leaders SalesLoft and Outreach. Chorus is one of the leading Conversation Intelligence firms.
“We are thrilled about the opportunity to join forces with ZoomInfo and bring Conversation Intelligence to every revenue team,” said Jim Benton, Chorus.ai CEO, who will join ZoomInfo as SVP, Emerging Products. “ZoomInfo has a bold vision of delivering a world-class go-to-market platform that empowers companies to drive better execution and more revenue. Chorus will play a vital role in helping deliver on that promise with deep, A.I.-driven insights based on real interactions with prospects and customers, a previously untapped source of crucial data about their relationships.”
Frost & Sullivan named Chorus a 2021 Customer Value Leader in Conversation Intelligence. “Frost & Sullivan finds Chorus’ value proposition is multi-faceted as it offers vital benefits for various personnel, including sales, customer success, sales development, and frontline managers, as well as long-term solutions designed to promote employee skill growth,” wrote Samantha Fisher, Best Practices Research Analyst.
The deal was priced about $575 million in cash. The purchase price includes a cash tax benefit related to the asset purchase of more than $100 million, ZoomInfo said. The transaction will be funded with cash on hand and $500 million in additional financing.
Sales Engagement vendor SalesLoft announced that it acquired professional services partner InStereo. InStereo, founded in 2018 by Bill Galfano and Adam Post, was an early ecosystem partner that has grown alongside SalesLoft. Last year, SalesLoft named them their “Partner of the Year.”
“We were impressed by their focus on what the customer is trying to achieve,” SalesLoft President and Chief Strategy Officer Rob Forman told GZ Consulting.
As a partner, InStereo helped “B2B Sales and Marketing teams better engage with buyers to create more demand, authentically engage prospects, and convert prospects into delighted customers.”
“Bringing InStereo directly into the SalesLoft family is a key way we are investing in our customers’ success. Our customers will benefit from InStereo’s deep understanding of buyer journeys and engagement strategies. Their experience and proven enterprise methodologies will help customers operationalize the SalesLoft platform and accelerate the value of Sales Engagement across their entire revenue organization.”
SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter
InStereo focuses on go-to-market and implementation strategy for SalesLoft, HubSpot, and Salesforce delivered through a pair of consulting services:
“We believe customer journey maps are more than just wall art,” states InStereo. “We create buyer journeys you can activate. By understanding how buyers approach the purchase process, sales and marketing teams can better align people, process, and content to deliver just what buyers need, when they need it.”
Buyer Engagement Services pairs clients with a Strategist and Revenue Consultant to assist with enterprise software implementations. For SalesLoft, they focus on “1:1, personalized engagement via cadences” and process automation. For marketing automation, InStereo assists with nurture campaigns and optimization, and for CRM, they focus on leveraging CRM capabilities and improving data quality. Other services include SalesLoft Admin as a Service and sales development services.
“At SalesLoft, our goal isn’t to just sell software; it’s to help our customers exceed their revenue goals,” said SalesLoft CRO Steve Goldberg. “Too many times software companies focus on features and technology, not the success of their customers. InStereo shares our passion for helping our customers get the outcomes they’re looking for.”
InStereo’s customers skew towards enterprise implementations. SalesLoft “plans to take their methodologies into new areas of our business,” expanding InStereo beyond the technology vertical into financial services, SalesLoft’s second-largest vertical.
InStereo has completed over 150 customer engagements. Joint customers include Cargill, Pegasystems, and 3M.
“This past year we tripled our investment into our alliance organization and programs because empowering our partners leads to success for our customers,” said Forman. “InStereo leveraged the power of our partnership and consistently drove incredible outcomes for our mutual customers.”
All twenty InStereo employees will be joining SalesLoft, including their two founders and Carrie McGrew, InStereo’s VP of Strategy. In addition, Galfano will be joining the CRO Leadership Team as the SVP of Consulting Services.
SalesLoft did not provide any pricing deals on the acquisition.
“It’s a feeling of expansion, born of learning so much from our customers, and born of the digital transformation that has happened in the last year,” said Demandbase CEO Gabe Rogol. “This is an intentional step for us beyond being solely an ABM leader and into broader B2B go-to-market. That’s important because ABM is just a part of the go-to-market challenges that B2B companies face.”
The new services are packaged as an ABM Suite consisting of four clouds: ABX, Advertising, Sales Intelligence, and Data. Customers will have the flexibility to order various elements of the suite, selecting the clouds and services that fit their needs.
“Our focus has been on building the most complete ABM solution (we call it ABX, because it’s not just marketing),” said Rogol, “and that was the impetus behind acquiring Engagio, putting a lot of the top of funnel and lower funnel stuff together. That will still be important.”
While some may view this as Demandbase growing beyond ABX, it is an opportunity for them to complete the ABX vision. I have long been critical of Demandbase’s limited framing of ABM within the marketing department. While they acquired Spiderbook, a small sales intelligence vendor, a few years ago, it withered on the vine and is no longer mentioned by the firm. InsideView provides them with an opportunity to realize ABX as a complete customer lifecycle solution. There are still missing elements such as sales engagement tools and chatbots, but they are now working on a much wider canvas.
Demandbase is in a sprint to establish the ABX platform space against vendors such as Terminus, 6Sense, and Dun & Bradstreet. It has been using the ABM three-letter acronym for a dozen years and was a lonely voice extolling ABM for half of that time, arguing for a shift from demand generation marketing to account-based strategies. Earlier this year, it shifted from ABM to ABX (Account Based Experience), which places a greater emphasis on long-term relationships with customers and the broader revenue team (sales, marketing, customer success).
“We’re proud to join forces with these two great companies. Our vision is bold. We are transforming how B2B companies go to market, helping them deliver great experiences at every stage of the account journey. This requires great data — and we now have the premium B2B data and intelligence solutions to help companies identify, understand, and engage their customers and prospects. With this move, Demandbase moves from being ‘just’ a leader in account-based programs to being the definitive leader in B2B go-to-market…
These new offerings let us work even more flexibly with our customers. Customers can mix and match to focus on the areas most important for them, whether that’s data embedded to their existing systems, or advertising, or sales intelligence, or a full account-based transformation. We are moving aggressively to deliver on this mission, and no company will move faster than us to achieve it.”
Demandbase CEO Gabe Rogol
Acquiring InsideView and DemandMatrix strengthens its position in both marketing and sales. Furthermore, InsideView’s sales triggers provide Demandbase customers with a rich set of talking points for account managers and customer success teams, letting them know if there are executive changes, M&A events, new partnerships, etc.
Demandbase, which offers an ABX Cloud and an Advertising Cloud, now supports a Data Cloud and Sales Intelligence Cloud. The Sales Intelligence Cloud is based upon InsideView and supports:
Prospect Finder – A traditional list-building feature for company and contact data. Along with firmographic and biographic data, the InsideView prospect finder includes connection variables (Who Know Who “six degrees”), sales triggers (17 + custom variables), data availability (e.g., LinkedIn Connections, Email), and suppression lists.
Browser Extension – A Chrome extension for quick lookup and prospecting. The extension displays InsideView company and contact profiles from LinkedIn, company websites, and CRMs. Records may be sent to the CRM or Sales Engagement Platforms.
News and Social Insights – InsideView publishes daily email alerts based upon their sales triggers. As these are event-based, most company noise (e.g., stock price fluctuations, scores for teams playing at branded stadia) is removed and duplicates suppressed. They also support inline social media viewing for Facebook, Twitter, and Company Blogs. Inline viewing helps account managers and customer success teams stay abreast of key accounts. It also assists marketing and CI professionals in monitoring key partners and competitors.
Corporate Hierarchies – Family trees assist with lead-to-account mapping, selling deeper into an organization, and ensuring that leads are accurately scored and routed.
The Data Cloud consists of Demandbase, InsideView, and DemandMatrix assets. InsideView contributes close to 100 million global contacts and 17 million companies. DemandMatrix supports technographics (current tech stack, future technology needs, technology-based skill set trends, cloud consumption revenue, and IT Spend).
Other Data Cloud services include Demandbase Account Identification, InsideView Apex (ICP Discovery and Expansion), InsideView Data Integrity hygiene tools, and the InsideView API.
“For the last 15 years, we’ve been focused on empowering our customers to experience rapid revenue growth through the power of data. InsideView’s leadership in sales intelligence made it clear to us years ago that stronger ties between sales and marketing lead to more revenue—and data is the key. By joining forces with Demandbase, we’re combining our legacy and leadership in sales, and the industry’s freshest, most reliable data, with leading marketing technology. Our customers will be able to do more with data across more B2B revenue channels from sales, to advertising, to account-based campaigns. We’re taking the convergence of data and workflow to the next level.”
InsideView CEO Umberto Milletti
InsideView was highly rated in The Forrester Wave B2B Marketing Data Providers Q2 2021 report, scoring a five (highest score) across 14 of Forrester’s 24 evaluation criteria. Among the categories in which they excelled were data management, data coverage, and customer support.
Rogol emphasized the value of technographics for enterprise technology companies, saying that “for technology companies, the number one feature in a data science model is what technologies your prospect owns.”
“B2B data is complex, and customers consistently ask us for help with their data stack,” said DemandMatrix CEO Meetul Shah. “We started with further innovating technographic data to give customers valuable insights into their prospects and what other technologies they might buy. By now being part of the Demandbase Data Cloud, we’ll be able to provide customers access throughout the B2B data stack to help them realize their revenue goals.”
Both Milletti and Shah will continue running their respective businesses and join the Demandbase executive team as general managers. The two subsidiaries will operate separately, but the firm will consolidate the data across the offerings.
Acquisition prices for the two firms were not disclosed. The InsideView service lists its revenue at $30.5 million and 275 employees, which has remained stable over the past few years. DemandMatrix is listed at $3.0 million in revenue with 90 employees.
“At Demandbase, our vision is bold. We are transforming how B2B companies go to market, helping them deliver great experiences at every stage of the account journey. This requires great data,” said Demandbase. “We now have the premium B2B data and intelligence solutions to help companies identify, understand, and engage their customers and prospects. With this move, Demandbase goes from being ‘just’ a leader in account-based programs to being the definitive leader in B2B go-to-market.”
InsideView and DemandMatrix customers benefit from the more extensive go-to-market capabilities of their parent. The DemandMatrix suite helps customers:
Design and orchestrate their entire buyer’s journey across marketing and sales
Personalize their website experience, track account-level engagement, and attribute revenue
Deliver account-based display, native, and social media advertising that is brand safe for B2B
Target and segment their market
Rogol admitted that the integration work would not be easy. “Obviously, we still have a lot of the execution work ahead. One thing to point out is that these are different types of acquisitions than Engagio. With Engagio, the goal was to get to the most comprehensive ABM platform. These are adjacent expansions, so they’re going to operate as standalone businesses pretty much.”
Barb Mosher Zinck of Diginomica was bullish on the transactions, calling it a “smart move” to consolidate the data from three companies under a single platform. “It’s essentially a Customer Data Platform (CDP) without the CDP name (and some CDP capabilities), providing all the critical information sales and marketing need to find the right accounts and contacts within those accounts. The intelligence DemandMatrix brings on technology is key, as is the ability from InsideView to see when things are changing in a company.”
“I also like that Demandbase has broadened its offering from only account-based marketing to sales intelligence because the two groups are tightly aligned,” continued Mosher Zinck. “These two solutions can operate separately but bringing them together under the same umbrella with access to the same data is key to ensuring a company-wide focus on customer experience.”
The following Market Flash published on May 4th to my newsletter subscribers. I also offer a detailed InsideView product review for purchase ($349).