B2BSignals

B2BSignals' departmental filters are more granular than most vendors and span functions across the organization.
B2BSignals departmental filters are more granular than most vendors and span functions across the organization.

Technology sales intelligence vendor B2BSignals offers data enrichment and prospecting across a database of 50,000 global companies, 700,000 locations, and 27 million executives.  Emails are available for over 20 million executives with emails suppressed in countries with opt-in email regimes (e.g. Canada, Europe).

B2BSignals maintains a proprietary taxonomy for product categories, roles, departments, seniority, skills, and industries.  Over 20,000 technology products are tracked across 8 million product users.  Products and executives are identified at the location level.

B2BSignals does not license any data but acquires it through an open web crawl combined with social listening and editorial review by 900 staff in the Philippines and India.  The web crawl completes every 45 days.

Company prospecting filters include company name, industry and sub-industry, product category and sub-category, employee range, revenue range, domain, international region, country, state/province, city, and “HQ only”.  Contact filters add name, title, email availability, email id, department, and seniority level.  Users may upload suppression files as well as suppress previously downloaded records.

Executive profiles display location address, emails, corporate phones, work histories, roles held, title, department, level, tags and firmographics.  Users may add tags and download the profile as a PDF.

B2B Signals Contact profiles are quite detailed and include emails, titles, roles, products used, work history, tags, and firmographics.
B2B Signals Contact profiles are quite detailed and include emails, titles, roles, products used, work history, tags, and firmographics.

While the prospecting module has clear strengths concerning product and functional responsibilities, sizing data is limited to ranges and location prospecting lacks postal codes, counties, metro areas, and ZIP radius filters.

Company profiles include contact information, Google map, revenue and employment ranges, products installed, contacts by department, and tags.  However, the profile lacks social links, news, sales triggers, and business descriptions, all content which could be gathered via its web crawl.

The User Experience is modern and straightforward.  Separate home pages are provided for sales and marketing.  The Sales Home focuses on prospecting with filter variables, saved searches, recently viewed companies and contacts, and company and contact counts.

Pricing begins at $500 / month with unlimited search, read, and discover, but restrictions on the number of exported contacts and users.  If multiple users download the same record, the user is not charged for subsequent downloads.

In Q4, they will roll out an enterprise edition with APIs and connectors.  A recently introduced Salesforce connector supports batch and on-demand enrichment; custom field mapping; “stare and compare” updates; company and contact prospecting; and i-frame display within account, contact, and lead records.

The B2BSignals Find Contact Prospecting tab in Salesforce
The B2BSignals Find Contact Prospecting tab in Salesforce

The company has an analytics product in beta called Market Insights which provides installed technology segmentation analysis by geographical region, industry vertical, company size, and department. The product is similar to analytics offerings from BuiltWith, Datanyze, and HG Data.

The data cleanse and enrich function pre-processes the records before attempting to match them (many vendors skip this step).  The cleanse steps validate company and contact data, flag obsolete records, remove special characters, dedupe the file, and normalize company data. Cleansing helps improve match rates while flagging out of business companies and contacts no longer at a firm.  Data enrichment then appends firmographics, installed products at both the company and contact level, title, role, department, email, and products used at the contact level.

DiscoverOrg’s recent acquisition of number two technology sales intelligence vendor RainKing cemented their position as the leading vendor.  However, B2B Signals is positioning itself to take a run at the number two position in the technology sales intelligence space with data enrichment, market analytics, and prospecting.  Other contenders for the second position are Aberdeen Services, HG Data, and Corporate360.

Salesify had 2014 revenue of $16.9 million according to their Inc 5000 listing.  The firm was acquired in 2015 by Ziff Davis.  They launched B2BSignals last October.

Correction: B2BSignals was spun off as a separate business unit from Salesify after the Ziff Davis acquisition.   The article originally referenced Salesify, but that is a separate business unit.

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.

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.

Are you ready for EU GDPR Compliance?

On May 25, 2018 the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect, creating data privacy and security concerns for firms both inside and outside of the EU.  The GDPR covers both companies that provide goods and services to EU residents and those that are part of the value chain.  The regulation covers all individuals domiciled within the EU, regardless of where the company is headquartered.

According to Forrester, the regulation has five key requirements:

  • If a firm has “regular, systemic collection or storage of sensitive data,” they need to hire or designate a Data Protection Officer (DPO).  The function may be filled by individuals with legal, privacy, security, marketing, or customer experience.  The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) estimates that the regulation will require 30,000 privacy officers.  The DPO will need to work with security leaders with respect to identity and access management (IAM) and encryption.  They will also be involved in purchasing decisions around CRM, analytics, and other platforms.
  • Should a data breach occur, firms have a-72 hour window for reporting breach details to the authorities and customers.  The window begins as soon as the breach is detected.
  • Privacy must be built into any new projects with a “Privacy-by-design” philosophy.  Forrester stated that “sustained collaboration between teams will be critical, so firms will have to establish new processes to encourage, enforce, and oversee it.” For example, privacy officers will need to review business requirements and development plans related to new apps.
  • Extraterritoriality places requirements on firms outside of the EU, making it a global requirement.  Forrester notes that “a US-based data aggregator that collects and resells EU customers’ data to other business partners will need to comply fully with GDPR requirements, rather than simply meeting international data transfer rules.”
  • Firms will be responsible not only for securing data but providing evidence that they have implemented appropriate risk mitigation.  Thus, a firm can be held in violation even if they have not had customer complaints or data breaches.

US companies are still obligated to comply with the 2016 Privacy Shield agreement between the US and EU.  Forrester also warned UK firms to comply with the GDPR as lowering British privacy standards would only serve to complicate UK-EU data transfer rules post Brexit.

Forrester suggested that firms take a cost-benefit analysis to data instead of simply storing everything:

“Firms will learn to better assess the costs and benefits of records they process, store, and protect. They will progressively focus on collecting, buying, processing, storing, and protecting only the data that offers them the most value and will kill the rest.”

Forrester also suggested that privacy should be part of a firm’s DNA and some firms will integrate privacy into brand perception and the customer experience, providing a basis for competitive advantage.

Osterman Research conducted a survey of mid to large companies subject to the law to identify technology expenditure increases for GDPR compliance.

GDPR compliance expenditure increases (January 2017)
GDPR compliance expenditure increases (January 2017)

GDPR non-compliance costs are potentially very high with penalties up to the greater of €20 million or 4% of total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial year.

Unomy Acquired by WeWork

Unomy B2B Prospecting spans 6M companies and 50M contacts.
Unomy supports both B2B company and contact prospecting

I was going to address the Unomy acquisition yesterday, but DiscoverOrg acquired RainKing so Unomy was bumped to today.  This is the fourth deal in the news this week (Moody’s acquisition of Bureau van Dijk closed at the beginning of the month and Zoominfo was acquired by PE company Great Hill Partners.

The WeWork acquisition of Unomy is an out of left field deal.  WeWork has been using Unomy for the past year to assist with their sales process.  The firm is looking to integrate Unomy into its workflows to improve both close rates and pipeline velocity for their co-working offices.  WeWork views Unomy as a key dataset for expanding enterprise sales.  While the firm provides office space for companies of all sizes, they would like to expand enterprise sales beyond 30% of their monthly revenue and 20% of their membership.

“Their B2B intelligence layer will be able to help us enrich our data sets when we’re driving sales in the enterprise market,” said WeWork SVP for Digital Product Ron Gura.

For WeWork, Unomy’s platform will become the backbone of our growing internal sales platform. The Unomy software will be integrated into WeWork’s current systems and the Unomy team – now part of our Sales & Marketing and Digital Products groups – will work with our enterprise sales team to help them go to market most effectively and improve their targeting capabilities, conversion rates, and productivity. More broadly, the Unomy team will also help streamline sales processes, build robust sales intelligence infrastructure, and close member prospects for our enterprise and regional sales teams around the world.

  • Ron Gura, WeWork SVP for Digital Product

WeWork will be retaining Unomy’s staff of twenty which will operate out of a Tel Aviv office.

WeWork did not indicate whether Unomy would be available to their tenants as a free or discounted service.  WeWork offers a services store to its tenants with over forty sales and marketing partners.  Amongst the firms with partnership discounts are Salesforce, CrunchBase, and RelPro.  However, WeWork does not plan on continuing the commercial product and will phase out the Unomy service, helping to transfer clients to other sales intelligence solutions.

Unomy’s database covers 17 million global companies and over 100 million executives.

News Alert: DiscoverOrg Acquires RainKing

DO plus RK

Marketing and Sales Intelligence vendor DiscoverOrg acquired RainKing on Friday and announced it this afternoon.  Both firms employ large editorial teams for building and maintaining company and contact datasets and technology platform details (e.g. vendors, products, project plans).  This is the second acquisition of a competitor by DiscoverOrg which bought iProfile two summers ago and quickly integrated iProfile’s international coverage into the DiscoverOrg universe.

According to Inc., RainKing posted 2016 revenue of $33.9 million, up $6.9 million.  Combined, the two firms had 2016 revenue of $88.3 million and a 160% three-year growth rate.  The combined firm has an Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) in excess of $120 million.  DiscoverOrg’s 2016 end-of-year ARR was $71 million.

“The path to rapid revenue growth is paved with highly accurate, actionable, and predictive sales and marketing data, and the combination of RainKing and DiscoverOrg means that our joint customer base has access to an extraordinary portfolio of data, contextual buying insights, and predictive intelligence.  We are building a company that is to sales and marketing intelligence what Salesforce is to CRM.”

  • DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Shuck

The plan is to immediately merge their coverage into a single database delivered via both platforms.  RainKing customers will benefit from deeper coverage of non-IT execs (e.g. sales, marketing, HR, product management), the assignment of Customer Success Managers to their accounts, and access to DiscoverOrg’s TiLT training for SDRs.  DiscoverOrg users will benefit from deeper company and contact coverage, particularly in Europe, along with a larger editorial team building out and maintaining the combined database.  Both groups of customers will benefit from additional datasets in the DiscoverOrg research pipeline including a new one which will be announced in the next sixty days.

RainKing customers will continue on their current platform for at least a year until RainKing functionality is merged with that of DiscoverOrg.

The combined datasets will span over two million contacts and over 100,000 global companies.  As both firms maintain high quality data standards, DiscoverOrg’s 95% accuracy guarantee will be maintained.

The deal is a cash transaction, though DiscoverOrg did not reveal the price.

Schuck provides additional details on his vision for DiscoverOrg and the acquisition in this YouTube video:

GZ Consulting Take

I have been tracking DiscoverOrg and its CEO Henry Schuck for over a decade.  For a long time, I viewed them as a niche offering in the tech space competing against three other firms of roughly the same size (RainKing, iProfile, and SalesQuest).  Due to competition and the cost of editorial resources, I figured they would plateau in their market coverage below that of the Hoover’s editorial dataset of 43,000 companies.  With more exacting editorial standards and three direct competitors, it was difficult to see how the marginal cost of adding and maintaining the 40,000th profile was less than the marginal revenue for the 40,000th profile (Microeconomics 101 would contend that the rational firm would keep building additional profiles until MC = MR).

But I made several errors in my assumptions.  Most importantly, I built in the additional cost of editorially maintained content without properly understanding the value of the data to clients, particularly as DiscoverOrg and RainKing extended their functionality into the marketing department and added light predictive tools such as ranking and scoring of prospects.  Adding marketing and integration tools greatly increased the value of every profile within their databases and allowed clients to distribute the cost of licenses over both sales and marketing departments.  The advent of Big Data and Predictive Analytics also increased the value of high quality company and contact data within CRMs and MAPs.

DiscoverOrg and RainKing quickly outgrew their other competitors resulting in the acquisition of SalesQuest by Avention and iProfile by DiscoverOrg.  While other firms have entered the IT profiling market, they either focus on technographics (e.g. Datanyze, BuiltWith, HG Data) or remain much smaller (e.g. Corporate360).

Finally, the growth of ABM and a focus on top accounts increases the value of a top company database with rich targeting variables such as tech platforms and projects.  “As the market continues to move toward account-based engagement built on a deep understanding of buying centers, investing in high quality data has become even more critical,” opined John Donlon, Sr. Research Director at SiriusDecisions.  “Simply relying on information scraped from the web is not enough to succeed, but leveraging human-verified sales and marketing intelligence gives organizations a distinct advantage in all aspects of revenue generation.”

Initially, the merger is a win-win for the 4,000 DiscoverOrg and RainKing clients, immediately providing deeper company, contact, and technology opportunity coverage for their 70,000 clients.  It also provides a runway from which DiscoverOrg can quickly grow its coverage including RainKing’s new Federal IT dataset.  According to the firm, “Our roadmap is focused on accelerated data collection, deeper practical predictive intelligence, enhanced account-based marketing capabilities, and seamless data optimization and enrichment in CRM, marketing automation, and sales engagement tools.”

While DiscoverOrg could use the merger as an opportunity to raise prices, my guess is that prices will remain stable so that DiscoverOrg can position itself to take on sales and marketing intelligence vendors such as D&B Hoovers, InsideView, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and Zoominfo.  However, if DiscoverOrg is going to become the Salesforce of sales and marketing intelligence, the firm needs to expand its non-IT content beyond executives to include strategic company and industry intelligence.  It is through the marriage of best-in-class executive intelligence (emails, direct dials, responsibilities, bios, social links, and org charts) with financials, filings, news, industry overviews, and SWOTs that DiscoverOrg will be able to go mano a mano with Dun & Bradstreet and LinkedIn in the broader sales intelligence market.  Under this scenario, DiscoverOrg can continue to build out its best-in-class content set while licensing non-core content from other vendors.

This has been a year of significant M&A activity which has reduced the number of sales intelligence datasets on the market.  Beyond DiscoverOrg/RainKing, Avention was acquired by Dun & Bradstreet to become their new D&B Hoovers platform (Dun & Bradstreet content fueling Avention’s functionality and connectors), Moody’s purchased Bureau van Dijk, Zoominfo was bought by PE firm Great Hill Partners, and Unomy was picked up by co-working company WeWork.  The result is the phase out of the old Hoovers platform, uncertainty about Bureau van Dijk’s commitment to its Mint sales platform, and the withdrawal of Unomy and RainKing from the market (they will continue on in the near term, but are no longer being marketed).  The future of Data.com is also in question as Salesforce has failed to announce a path forward for their AppExchange solution now that Dun & Bradstreet content is no longer available to new clients.