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.

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

Your Biggest Competitor is No Decision

Back when I was a product manager, I used to conduct sales training classes.  I often opened up the session by asking the question, “Who is your biggest competitor?”  The reps invariably listed a company or two they had heard over the prior day and a half of training.  Even seasoned reps would answer the question incorrectly.

Unless you are in a duopoly or there is a competitor that controls half the market, your biggest competitor is probably NO DECISION.  Either the purchasing decision is kicked down the road or no funding is found.  It may also be that the opportunity was poorly qualified to begin with.

Sales reps no longer control the conversation due to the informed buyer who leverages the Internet and social media in order to research vendors prior to contacting them.  This is one of the reasons that marketing is looking at digitally influencing anonymous individual on the web via Visitor ID, SEO, SEM, and Programmatic.  Sales reps are also confounded in their sales efforts by a second change in purchasing patterns.  B2B budgetary decision making processes have become more complex.

Budgetary centralization and committee-based buying decisions have increased the number of decision makers in the purchasing process, resulting in a greater likelihood of no decision.  According to a Forrester survey of IT sales reps, 43% of lost deals weren’t to competitors but to a category titled “lost funding or lost to no decision: customer stopped the procurement process.”

Furthermore, the rise of cloud computing has shifted budgetary decision making authority away from the CIO to the heads of various functional departments.  Purchasing decisions are being compared to a broader set of non-related purchases from across the organization.  It is therefore critical that sales reps “understand and navigate complex agreement networks and processes within the buying organization that span different altitudes and functional roles,” blogged Forrester Sales Enablement Analyst Mark Lindwall.  “Because decisions are more cross-functional, every dollar is compared against how it could add value in potentially completely non-related areas of investment.”

Thus, sales reps need better tools for identifying who to engage and when best to engage.  They also need to be better informed about companies, individuals, and the industries into which they sell.  In short, they need to know who to call, when to call, and what to say.  They need to quickly navigate what Forrester calls agreement networks to establish relationships across multiple levels and job functions at the organization.

Fortunately, Sales 2.1 tools provide rich biographies and full family trees for navigating these networks.  Users can target specific job functions and levels across the corporate hierarchy, research the appropriate individuals, and reach out to them via social media, email, or phone.

Newer ABM tools help identify the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), score leads based on the ICP, and call out similar accounts and contacts that are not on the company’s radar.  Thus, it’s not just about selling more intelligently based on insights, but targeting and prioritizing one’s sales efforts more effectively.

Sales triggers assist with identifying executive changes, M&A events, product launches, and other reasons for reaching out to individuals.  Triggers can also indicate an expanding opportunity or that a proposal is potentially at risk due to company or market dynamics.

And yes, sales reps should research both the company and the executive.  They need to understand the key trends in the prospect’s industry, why their last quarter was soft, and what does the executive muse about on social media.  While such facts may not be immediate hooks, they provide context and potential talking points down the road.  It also shows that the rep is willing to invest time in understanding the exec, her company, and the environment in which she is making decisions.

There is an opportunity cost to poor targeting, prioritization, and account planning. It shows up as No Decision in your CRM, slow deal velocity in your pipeline metrics, and disappointing sales growth.

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.

DueDil Posted Strong 2016 Turnover Growth; Positions Itself for European Expansion

DueDil's new credit risk filter allows users to filter prospects by the degree of trade credit risk.
DueDil’s new credit risk filter allows users to filter prospects by the degree of trade credit risk.

European private company information platform DueDil recently filed its 2016 financials with Companies House. Revenue increased from £1.21M to £2.25M. The startup continues to run in deficit (£6.17M), but that should be anticipated for an information services startup that is rapidly expanding its content and functionality. DueDil averaged 75 employees last year, up from 46 in 2015.

DueDil’s losses expanded last year as it pursued the European company intelligence market which it believes is becoming more hospitable.

“In the last 12 months, our competitive landscape has changed dramatically, Bureau Van Dijk got sold for $3.3 billion to Moody’s, and Dun & Bradstreet divested its Benelux division. This, along with our much better unit economics, gave our board and management team a clear signal to grow the product and the team and start to compete directly with them. The higher costs are the result of growing our product coverage from the UK and Ireland to pan-European, soon to cover 100 million+ companies.”

  • CEO Damian Kimmelman

Because subscription services are ratable, growth in revenue lags billings. Although enterprise sales grew 100% last year, much of this growth won’t show up in the top line until 2017. DueDil had its best quarter in Q1 and then grew 60% in Q2.

“Over the last 6 months, we have grown sales 5% week over week and are continuing to do so,” said Kimmelman.

To fund growth until its next equity round, the firm recently issued a £900,000 convertible note and plans to issue a £1.1 million convertible note. “I think you can assume that we wouldn’t be so bullish on a convertible if there hadn’t been an immediate liquidity event in sight,” Kimmelman told Business Insider. “I am not trying to be coy but that is all I can say.”


In product news, DueDil added Credit Risk and Ownership filters to its list building module. Sales and Marketing can employ the credit risk filter to remove prospects that are unlikely to pass credit checks or to target higher risk companies. The filter can also be used by credit risk and procurement teams during the onboarding process allowing them to streamline the processing of low-risk companies.

Ownership search filters assist with targeting firms with concentrated shareholdings which are “ripe for takeover.”  New Ownership screens include Total Shareholding Count, Individuals Count, Companies Count, and Shareholder Name.

Along with credit scores and ownership filters, DueDil supports a broad set of financial screening filters spanning 40 million companies in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Benelux, Norway, and Sweden with additional European countries in queue.

DueDil added four new shareholder filters for identifying firms "ripe for takeover."
DueDil added four new shareholder filters for identifying firms “ripe for takeover.”

Form Follows Function

InsideView users can quickly target additional executives by function and level.
InsideView users can quickly target additional executives by function and level.

One of the key aphorisms in architecture is that form follows function.  The quote, attributed to Louis Sullivan, holds that a building’s design should be based upon the underlying purpose of the building, not driven by ornamentation.  Twentieth century design took this maxim to heart with similar thinking spreading through industrial and software design.

In the case of information services, a focus on flashy design or “bells and whistles” can be a distraction if the underlying service fails to meet the basic informational and workflow needs of its users.  One of the great things about Google is that it returns high precision results from a few words entered into a search box.  It was this simplicity that allowed them to grab and hold two-thirds of the search engine market share, leaving Bing and Yahoo! to pick up the scraps.

A well-designed sales intelligence solution supports multiple sales and support workflows.  These users span multiple functions and departments (e.g. sales, sales directors, sales operations, sales support, service departments, business development, and marketing).  Furthermore, there are multiple types of sales reps within larger organizations so your sales intelligence platform needs to be flexible enough to meet differing information requirements and workflows.

Thus, tactical sales reps need to quickly locate contact information and a few prospect qualification variables.  They want to make sure that the contact they are about to call is in their territory and doesn’t work at a subsidiary of a named account.

Conversely, a strategic rep has broad information requirements around companies, company structures, executives, and key events.  Strategic reps are focused on who to call, when to call, and what to say.  Sales triggers are not only a flashing green light that a prospect is more likely to buy, but conversational material for catching the prospect’s attention and signaling that the rep has prepared for the call.  Likewise, SWOT reports, biographies, industry market research reports provide insights into client interests and needs.

Named account reps sell only to a few firms so need a deep understanding of their target accounts.  They need to be apprised of key events at an organization that could positively or negatively impact their pipeline.  Furthermore, named account reps are looking for additional contacts and locations for extending their corporate footprint.   Thus, searching across a company for specific job functions and then reviewing subsidiary profiles and bios is an important task in growing the account.  Named account reps also benefit from PDF exportability so they can review the latest information about their client or prospect while traveling.  These reports can also be shared with other members of the sales and support team.

Territory reps and financial services relationship managers need to be apprised of sales triggers within their territory, quickly research and qualify companies, and dig deeper on larger opportunities.  Furthermore, as they generally sell cross-industry, they  also benefit from industry overviews from vendors such as First Research.  These primers are written in plain English and provide a set of Q&A sections by topic and job function.

First Research reports, found in Dun & Bradstreet products, provide a series of Q&A topics by C-level functions, opportunities, and challenges.
First Research reports, found in Dun & Bradstreet products, provide a series of Q&A topics by C-level functions, opportunities, and challenges.

Most reps work within a CRM, so review the capabilities of sales intelligence CRM connectors.  The tighter the integration the better.  If your CRM is your system of record, you want the sales reps working within the CRM on desktops and mobile devices.  Services that bounce the user between a web browser and the CRM are less effective than those that provide most or all of their content and functionality within Salesforce.com, MS Dynamics, or other CRMs.  Also, look for “stare and compare” updating of records, batch and real-time synchronization of data, custom fields, and duplicate checking.

Many sales intelligence services also support the marketing department.  Standardizing the two functions on a common vendor helps reduce cost and channel conflict.  It also provides a basis for successful ABM programs which cross the two departments.  Several years ago, sales intelligence vendors only offered prospecting to marketing, but now they also support web forms, real-time and batch enrichment of leads, lead-to-account mapping, marketing automation connectors, lead scoring, segmentation analysis, Ideal Customer Profiling, TAM analysis, and net-new leads and contacts.  A few also offer standalone services for the marketing department such as programmatic advertising, visitor id, multi-channel marketing, and SEO.

When evaluating sales intelligence solutions, you should understand the workflows and information requirements of each of your sales groups along with other potential beneficiaries of the service.  Don’t evaluate simply on counts and features, but on the information needs and workflows of your various sales and marketing teams.

Creditsafe Expanded Country Coverage

CreditSafe Global Coverage Map
Creditsafe Global Coverage Map

Commercial credit and business profile vendor Creditsafe expanded its coverage footprint to over 100 countries with the addition of sixteen Middle Eastern and North African countries.  Creditsafe is now able to provide real-time reports for 240 million companies.  Key new countries include Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon.  In 2016, the firm added Southeast Asian coverage along with 40 million Chinese company profiles.

“This mark’s the single largest and most significant database expansion we have done to date.  And, it completes our global offering.  No one in the marketplace offers such a comprehensive solution supported by an incredible portfolio of analytics,” said Matthew Debbage, CEO of Creditsafe USA and Asia.  “Not only have we added critical financial data on thousands of public and private companies to our platform, but we are providing insight on many located in Middle East and Africa which have proven to be complex economies in the past. We can now provide International Database Reports on millions of companies instantly online. No one else in the market offers the level of data that we do.”

Based on its coverage map, the most significant gaps are in Latin America (e.g. Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica) and Africa (e.g. South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia).

Creditsafe processes over one million daily updates collected from over 200 sources.  Furthermore, the firm claims that 99.9% of report requests are delivered in real-time.

Last year, Creditsafe launched US and UK sales intelligence services under the Sales Joe brand.  The product provides prospecting, look-a-like customers, light SFA tools (e.g. notes, dialer support, meeting scheduling), task tracking, and deal opportunity forecasting.

Sales Joe Deal Opportunities assist with pipeline tracking.
Sales Joe Deal Opportunities assist with pipeline tracking.

“The big development during the year was launching our new lead management tool, Sales Joe, which enables businesses to build effective sales campaigns using company information gathered from Creditsafe’s extensive database,” said Chris Robertson, global sales director at Creditsafe Group.  “Our positive results have been fueled by strong customer retention, an increase in new business, and a further expansion and strengthening in our international offering to UK customers.”

Creditsafe revenue has grown 28% over the past twelve months.  The firm maintains 18 offices and supports 200,000 users each day.  Globally, Creditsafe employs 1,500 headcount.

Creditsafe USA posted $12.8 million in 2016 revenue with a three-year CAGR of 75%.  Creditsafe opened US operations in 2012 and services 14,000 US customers out of its Lehigh, PA office.  “Over the past several years, we have focused incredibly hard on building our business and brand in the US,” said Debbage.

Creditsafe UK also posted strong growth with 2016 revenues up 12% to £35.5 million and pre-tax profits of £8.1 million.

“More growth is expected in 2017, our 20th anniversary year,” added Robertson.  “The growing sales force and the new products and technology being introduced this year will ensure our momentum continues and we further set ourselves apart from our competitors.”