is beginning to evolve a set of hybrid engagement vendors that deliver a broad
set of sales and marketing services. The boundary between sales and
marketing is quickly crumbling. Hybrid engagement services manage both
data and workflows. Features include
SalesTech adoption rates and spend continue to increase according to a recent SalesTech study of 268 B2B sales and marketing managers conducted by Smart Selling Tools. Only 3% of respondents are planning on reducing their SalesTech spend in 2020 while 6% plan to spend significantly more in 2020 and 41% slightly more. Expanded spending will be focused on the top and middle of the funnel followed by management and reporting. Skills Development, Onboarding, and Bottom of the Funnel expenditures have a lower priority.
Over the past year, SalesTech spend per user has increased significantly. In 2017, only one-third of respondents spent in excess of $150 per user, but two years later, 65% spend more than $150 per user. As the average number of sales tools in use rose only modestly from 4.5 to 4.9 over the past two years, the spend per product has likely increased. The number of applications that are used by a majority of respondents trebled to six (CRM, Online Meetings, Lead List/Database, Social Selling, Account Targeting, and Skills Training & Reinforcement) with an additional four at 47% or higher. CRMs are used by 75% of respondents, lead/list databases by 65%, and social selling by 60%. The one category that dropped in usage was online meetings.
Adoption rates of technologies were fairly even by company size with large firm (500+) employees more likely to have adopted Sales Enablement, Skills Training & Reinforcement, and Sales Performance & Compensation. Conversely, firms with fewer than 500 employees were more likely to have adopted Prospect Engagement (Sales Engagement) solutions.
Account targeting tools for ideal customer prospecting grew from 4% to 51% over the past year, a clear indication that ABM strategies have been adopted. Lead Engagement (communicating at scale with early-stage, unqualified leads) grew from 11% to 49%, while social selling grew from 10% to 60%.
“The significant increase in usage of sales tools across the board indicates a trend (likely irreversible). If your organization is slow to take up the use of sales tools, you could get left behind. Even so, we don’t recommend adding new sales tools without considering what’s required to keep them up to date and who will be responsible, having a plan for measuring success (what does “Good” look like?), and deciding what’s required to establish and grow user adoption.”
Smart Selling Tools founder Nancy Nardin.
three industries represented in the study were technology (42%), Financial
Services (9.3%), and Manufacturing (8.7%).
Artesian Solutions announced the availability of Artesian Business Categories and Company Buzzwords functionality to its Artesian Engage sales intelligence service. Company Buzzwords are a set of common product and service descriptors not found in standard industry taxonomies. The buzzwords are mined from company websites. For example, firms manufacturing or selling craft beer can be targeted within Artesian’s Prospector module. Likewise, technologies such as blockchain and the Internet of Things, which span many industries, may also be targeted.
Business Categories expand the categories and synonyms associated with existing
UK SIC codes. Artesian gives the example of Drink Production as a
synonym of Manufacture of Beverages with the word Drink returning
industries such as Drink Retail and Drink Wholesale.
a business, we constantly aim to exceed customer expectations, so in response
to their feedback, we not only improved the way they use SIC codes (with
Artesian Business Categories), but also created a whole new way of finding
companies in niche or highly specialised industries,” said Richard Clark
Artesian’s VP of Product Management. “These two new features will help
our users get hyper-specific when searching for companies using Artesian’s
prospecting tools, thereby enabling them to uncover new opportunities that may
otherwise have been missed, and keeping them one step ahead of the
Business Categories are available for the UK SIC taxonomy, but not other industry
code structures (e.g. NACE 2.0, NAICS). When multiple codes are employed,
Boolean AND / OR operators are supported.
“The SIC code system of categorising a company’s primary activities was first introduced in the UK in 1948 and although it has since been revised, the most recent update was back in 2007. It is widely criticised for excluding categories to cover the latest sectors and for misrepresenting the activities of many businesses. For example, Google UK Ltd is listed on Companies House as ‘82990 – Other business support service activities not elsewhere classified’ (a generic category for companies struggling to identify a suitable alternative).”
Artesian Solutions Press Release
new features include a news topic search (previously, users had to navigate
menus) and expanded prospecting selects for Export Turnover (Export Revenue),
Location Type, TPS (UK Telephony blocking), and roles. Users can also
exclude companies with estimative turnover, employee counts, or net worth
values instead of actuals.
B2B DaaS and contacts vendor DealSignal announced the availability of CRM Data Health, a Salesforce module that continuously refreshes, enriches, and reverifies lead, contact, and account records. DealSignal data is GDPR-compliant and based upon AI validation and human verification.
than comparing dirty CRM data against other static data sources that may
themselves be outdated, DealSignal CRM Data Health takes a dynamic, on-demand
enrichment and verification approach that uses both AI and human intelligence
to ensure near-perfect accuracy,” stated the firm. “DealSignal CRM Data
Health delivers a reliable alternative for companies looking to replace
Like other CRM hygiene apps, CRM Data Health includes a free data health audit. The CRM data enrichment includes detailed contact profiles, Bombora buyer intent, and firmographics. Along with CRM hygiene, customers can enrich inbound leads, events lists, and third-party lists.
“Bad CRM data is a pervasive issue that has a negative ripple effect on B2B marketing and sales performance: from inaccurate ABM targeting, to bounced emails that can damage sender reputation, to outdated or irrelevant contacts that clog marketing automation systems at a great cost,” said DealSignal founder & CEO, Rob Weedn. “Industry studies find that up to 50 percent of CRM data is incomplete, out-of-date, or inaccurate. Compounding the issue, data decays at a rate of over two percent per month, so maintaining data health is a constant challenge that requires an on-going solution—much like you can’t get in shape by going to the gym once. We’ve introduced DealSignal CRM Data Health to help Salesforce customers continuously maintain rich, accurate and verified target audience data, and keep it fresh on a regular schedule.”
With the decommissioning of Data.com, vendors like Dun & Bradstreet, InsideView, Zoominfo, and DealSignal are jumping into the fray. If you are looking to make your sales reps more effective, your segmentation more accurate, or your Einstein predictions more precise, then you should be evaluating a Lightning Data or general data quality solution for your CRM.
Intent and technographics vendor Aberdeen announced Aberdeen Behavioral Technographics, their next-generation installed technology dataset. Aberdeen is the successor to the pioneering Ziff Davis and Harte-Hanks Access CI dataset that was developed over two decades ago.
Aberdeen notes that traditional technographics are binary, static flags at the corporate level whereas Behavioral Technographics “actively measure technology usage down to company location, number of users, and pains and priorities of the usage.”
data has been overdue for innovation,” said Aberdeen CEO Marc Osofsky.
“The reaction to our data has been amazing, companies have signed up
within days of seeing the data.”
claims that its technographics are “up to 55% more accurate than legacy install
(technographic) data” resulting in improved account prioritization, pipeline,
“Historical technographic data is actually still pretty new for most firms. And the way that it’s most commonly collected, at least in recent days, is focusing on job boards and individual websites to determine whether or not technology’s actually installed at a company. And they do this by…focusing on the job boards to see if a technology is present within the actual job description. There are a lot of fallbacks to this, and this new method gets around that way.”
Benjamin Cavicchi, Aberdeen Senior Data Analyst
Technographics are based upon technology usage and topical queries, not simply
installation. Data is captured from over 1,100 websites that host
educational content concerning technologies. This takes them beyond
traditional job board scans to include forums, tutorials, and educational
sites. 365 days of behavioral data are captured which include deployed
technology, pain points, and topics.
focus on the education of an individual about a technology because that is
clear evidence that they use it,” said Aberdeen Senior Data Analyst Benjamin
Cavicchi. “So what we’re looking at is a handful or a couple of thousand
websites that resolve to user tutorials or user forums where people ask
questions and answer them about a technology, as well as a host of other, I
would say, technology-specific blogs where experts write about it.”
idea was to focus on those pages ”that answer these very specific questions
that you would have in your daily work working with the technology.” This
is the content that shows up when technology questions are typed into Google.
example, if employees are researching topics about Excel, they are likely using
it. “The idea is that if you aggregate all of the individuals associated
with a company and you look at this historical activity on Excel, you can get a
better understanding of whether or not they use it. So other users at his
company may be googling other, more advanced things like how to write efficient
VBA code, or creating dynamic Excel dashboards,” said Cavicchi.
because they are looking at trends and technology questions, they can discern
which companies are using precursors to more advanced solutions, usage levels,
and current pain points. Behavioral Technographics are available at the
is the natural antecedent to a BI solution, a more advanced one. So if
you have a lot of people at a company that are writing VBA code, that are
trying to create these dynamic dashboards, but they don’t have any activity on
any other BI solution, it seems to me that they probably need one. We’re
finding the problems of the company, and helping companies to essentially find
Technographics is a perfect complement to Intent Data,” said Aberdeen.
“Both provide full visibility into your target market: Intent Data
identifies companies in-market to buy and Behavioral Technographics provides
technology in use insights to prioritize and target the remaining accounts not
yet showing intent.”
Technographics are patent-pending. Aberdeen describes its new
technographics as “dynamic and quantitative.”
The next step will be behavioral profiling which is common in B2C but has yet to be extended to B2B. Behavioral Profiling will look at groups of individuals to determine buyers and influencers. For example, high levels of research around python indicate the presence of a data science team.
At its INBOUND conference earlier this month, HubSpot released a new app Marketplace. “One of the things we’ve really tried to do with the next iteration of the marketplace is just to help SMBs (small to medium businesses) get deeper information on these integrations,” said HubSpot VP of platform ecosystem Scott Brinker. “So you’re not just like, ‘Oh, here’s another company, go off and figure it out.’ It’s like, ‘OK, here’s exactly how this interfaces into HubSpot. Here’s a video of how it works.”
HubSpot partners are obligated to post pricing information, data flow structure, and demo videos. The new market supports improved filtering and searching. Over 300 apps are available with 93% of HubSpot’s 64,000 customers having installed at least one app. The average customer has installed five apps.
Amongst the top apps are Gmail, Outlook Calendar, Zapier (connectors), Facebook Ads, Google Calendar, Twitter, MailChimp, WordPress, LinkedIn, Facebook, Slack, Vidyard, Google Ads, and SurveyMonkey. “We’re really excited about trying to make this whole platform ecosystem world accessible to the SMB markets,” said Brinker.
“It’s not enough to have the wondrous capabilities all these different apps offer, especially if each is locked in their own silo. To run your business effectively and to give customers a coherent and compelling experience across all the different touchpoints they have with you, all these different apps need to work together. This is why HubSpot is committed to building an open platform that can serve as a “hub” for the myriad apps across your business that all contribute to improving the customer experience. We want to make it easy for you to orchestrate these apps, to better serve your customers, and to help you grow better.”
Finnish sales intelligence vendor Vainu rebranded earlier this week. The goal was to provide a unified view of the company. Vainu is focused on company intelligence but includes registered contact/director details and mined data. The firm also offers CRM and MAP data enrichment and hygiene services.
sales intelligence databases, Vainu is available in English, Swedish,
Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch, Danish and French. Country datasets include
Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and The Netherlands with detailed financial
data available for Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Beta datasets are
available for France, the UK, and the US with additional countries being
Core UK data
is gathered from Companies House. US data is aggregated from state
I’ve been planning on covering Vainu for the past six months but was waiting for an event. Rebranding is as good a reason any.
launched in 2014 and crowdsourced its initial dog nose logo (Vainu is a Finnish
word for the scent picked up by an animal). The website design and other
branding aspects were inconsistent.
“Everything else was pretty much put together ad hoc after that: color schemes and supporting visuals for our first website layout, stock photos for our first slide decks, different messages to cater to the situations at hand. The end result has been just as fragmented or ad hoc as our strategy: we’ve looked and felt different and sounded different in any situation.”
Mikko Luhtava, Vainu Head of Communications
Now that the
firm has 2,000 customers and 180 employees, they felt it was time to formalize
their brand with a new logo, tagline, and website with real images and black,
white, and yellow text.
that B2B Sales is still stuck in the era of spam emails and cold calling lists.
“While buyers are looking for a real conversation, one where they’re
engaged and understood, salespeople are looking at activity targets and sales
quota, merely treating buyers as numbers,” blogged Luhtava.
firm offers “real-time B2B sales.” It is akin to SalesLoft’s call for
authenticity in sales. “While buyers are looking for a real conversation,
one where they’re engaged and understood, salespeople are looking at activity
targets and sales quota, merely treating buyers as numbers,” stated Luhtava. “At
Vainu, we believe there’s a right way of doing B2B sales—a way that is
personalized, a way that uses data, a way that focuses on the buyer. And
we’ve made it our mission to make salespeople better at their jobs, by bringing
real-time company data to every customer interaction. We call this
supports company list building. Selects include firmographics,
technographics, buying signals (sales triggers), and account intelligence from
the company’s CRM. Trigger alerts cover company announcements, personnel
changes, technology updates, and new additions to a prospect list.
database covers nearly 60 million active companies and includes company
profiles, technology stacks, corporate financials, and recent company news.
can setup data syncing and enrichment with Salesforce, MS Dynamics, HubSpot,
Pipedrive, Upsales, and SuperOffice. Zapier is available for other
platforms. The firm also supports an API.
enriches leads before they are loaded into MAPs assisting with lead scoring and
offers bulk data for data modeling including business registry data, website
information, and open and web-crawled intelligence. Applications include
churn prediction, account scoring, and financial services risk calculations.
begins at €6,600 (£6,000 or $7,250) per year for five
reps plus a one-time onboarding fee of €600 for a single country database. Each
additional country dataset is priced at €3,000. At 25 seats, the service
is priced at €30,600 (£28,000 or $33,650) with a one-time
onboarding fee of €2,100. Each additional country dataset is priced at
€3,000. Nordic financial data adds €2,400.
Yesterday, DiscoverOrg announced that it is rebranding with the Zoominfo name. The firm determined that it was easier to build brand perception than brand presence. They also rolled out a new combined platform and packaging.
While the firm officially launched their new platform yesterday, the two legacy platforms will continue to be available to clients under current contracts and pricing structures. The 100 customers who have licensed both products since acquisition will be moved to the joint platform.
second issue the firm confronted was their pricing structure. Zoominfo
pricing was based on the number of records purchased or maintained under a
subscription license with a significantly lower initial price point.
DiscoverOrg provided broad access to their database with an average
contract value of around $30,000. The new product line offers pricing and
functionality similar to legacy Zoominfo offerings at the lower end and pricing
and packaging similar to DiscoverOrg at the upper end. Thus, as contracts
expire and customers migrate to the new platform, there should not be
significant sticker shock.
The Starter package for a single user supports basic company and contact information, direct dials and verified emails, quick search, and prospect list building. The service is designed to help users “find their next customer.”
package is akin to the broader Zoominfo service. Professional helps
three users “prospect with ease.” Additional features include a Contact
Accuracy Score, recent and saved searches, list management, customizable tags,
and list matching. Professional also supports CRM, MAP, and Sales
The Advanced package supports unlimited page-level exports and provides “deep insights” for five users. The package is similar to DiscoverOrg with technographics, org charts, Scoops (sales triggers), web references, similar companies, personal contact details, investors, funding data, and rich bios with education and work histories. Other features include data enhancements and alerts.
WebSights: a newly launched visitor id service. The service is still in beta and based upon their extensive IP addresses tied to company intelligence.
Enrich: CRM and MAP data maintenance
DiscoverOrg emphasizes that it has “solutions for businesses of every size” on its pricing page. While this is generally true and they have done an excellent job of combining two companies with much different pricing models, they do not have a single-seat sales intelligence solution priced to compete against LinkedIn Sales Navigator, InsideView, or D&B Hoovers. However, DiscoverOrg has never offered such a product and it has had high growth rates from the beginning. With the Zoominfo acquisition, they are much more competitive at the lower end of the market save the single-seat sales intelligence scenario.
has historically focused on the sales and marketing function, but Schuck sees a
broader user base. “The thing that ends up happening is they invest in
CRM, marketing automation and open the door to any information to go into those
systems,” he said.
New use cases include website visitors, trade show and webinar attendees, and ongoing data hygiene.
“There’s no mechanism to update that data. Meanwhile, companies are growing, they’re shrinking, they’re doing a merger or acquisition, an IPO. They’re hiring a new CEO, a new CMO, a new CIO.”
Zoominfo CEO Henry Schuck
Zoominfo plans on sending their executives to communicate the new brand and capabilities at conferences and tradeshows this fall. The firm also plans digital advertising and offline advertising (e.g. billboards) in key markets.
After DiscoverOrg acquired Zoominfo in February, the firm maintained both brands and announced that a new platform which supported both services would be available this summer. At the time, the assumption was that the Zoominfo brand would be retired and the firm would move forward as DiscoverOrg. After all, DiscoverOrg was the larger of the two firms and the brand was highly associated with data quality, technographics, and rich executive profiles while Zoominfo was known for having the largest set of B2B emails and direct dials spanning companies of all sizes and positions.
commissioned research into both brands and found that Zoominfo had broader
brand awareness. The research also indicated that it would be less
expensive to increase brand equity than brand awareness. Both brands had
their strengths, but, according to Chief Growth Officer Katie Bullard, it was
easier to buy brand perception than brand awareness. Furthermore, research
indicated that the Zoominfo brand perception had improved since acquisition.
was significantly more — three times — the market awareness around the ZoomInfo
brand than the DiscoverOrg brand,” said CEO Henry Schuck. “I’ve tried to
pride myself on making the decision that is right for the business and not
necessarily easy for me or convenient for me. This was obvious.
This was the right decision for the business, and I wasn’t going to let
the nostalgia for the DiscoverOrg brand overshadow that.”
on this research, the firm decided to retain the Zoominfo brand and deploy the
DiscoverOrg brand as a “powered by” brand booster. Thus, the new platform
will be labeled Zoominfo Powered by DiscoverOrg for the next year or two.
“The new platform will be known as ZoomInfo powered by DiscoverOrg and combines the strengths and benefits of the DiscoverOrg platform with those of the ZoomInfo platform, which it acquired in February 2019. Designed to be the single source of B2B data truth for sales and marketing professionals, the new platform offers a suite of software tools coupled with unrivaled data coverage, accuracy and depth. As a result, customers gain a highly actionable 360-degree view of contacts, companies, and opportunities to target and convert. Deeply integrated into both workflows and technology stacks, ZoomInfo powered by DiscoverOrg works seamlessly with all the leading sales, marketing and CRM platforms…”
With this launch, ZoomInfo Powered by DiscoverOrg features an unparalleled combination of proprietary AI and machine learning tools, a vast contributory network, deep two-way business application integrations, and human verification from over 300 researchers. The result is the most unique [sic] and effective SaaS platform designed to empower companies to deliver more predictable and sustainable growth.”
Zoominfo Press Release (September 10, 2019)
firm’s mission is “To create a world where every company has a clear view of
their ideal customers and how to connect with them.”
new Zoominfo logo is black with a standalone Z and a rising arrow.
site is simplified from DiscoverOrg’s last design with white, gray, lavender,
and black as the primary background colors. Red and lavender are employed
for buttons and hyperlinks. Most text is black with white employed for
text in buttons and black backgrounds. The site is much less frenetic
than the last DiscoverOrg design. A splash of lavender and light use of
pastels, which are not often used in B2B websites, provide a calming effect.
new website tagline is “Your business deserves more.” The firm continues,
“ZoomInfo gives you more. We combine the leading business contact
database with best-in-class technology to pinpoint, process, and deliver the
marketing and sales intelligence you need— exactly when and how you need it, to
always hit your number.”
Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) reached $350 million across 13,500 customers. ARR has grown significantly since the Zoominfo acquisition. According to Inc., combined 2018 revenue was $222 million. As ARR is higher than revenue when a subscription service is growing, the likely 2019 revenue is around $300 million+.
Zoominfo also has to reposition its data acquisition model. DiscoverOrg began employing web data acquisition tools last year, so that methodology was already understood by their clients. The firm also has licensed data sets in the past, however sparingly. The new website discusses four methods for data gathering: signature block mining; automated online crawling and machine learning; in-house editorial teams: and third-party data licensing.
block intelligence comes from Zoominfo’s community members that permit access
to signature blocks in exchange for Zoominfo access. It is the most
controversial of their methods as data is being harvested on third-parties
without their consent. While both companies are GDPR compliant,
Zoominfo’s approach was simply to add an EU contact filter. This is an
area that they will likely need to address further, particularly as US states
adopt GDPR-like regulations and Zoominfo expands its “personal contact
learning gathers technographic and firmographic intelligence from job boards,
web sites, news, and SEC filings. It is a standard data gathering method
and broadly employed across the industry.
“We use cutting edge AI/ML technologies to help GTM [go-to-market] teams stay laser-focused on the right markets and best opportunities to hit their number.”
research for gathering and verifying company and contact data has long been at
the core of DiscoverOrg’s brand and value proposition. Zoominfo continues
to maintain the DiscoverOrg editorial team of over 300 researchers. The
editorial process is the basis of their high data quality and rich biographic
and technographic intelligence. As such, it is the justification for
their premium pricing. Hopefully, the firm doesn’t make the mistake that
D&B did after acquiring Hoovers and allowing its editorial capabilities to
atrophy when a high-quality dataset (Hoover’s editorial coverage of 42,000 companies)
was mixed with a much larger universe of companies and contacts (D&B
WorldBase). Given DiscoverOrg’s long-term focus on data quality and
editorial research, it is unlikely that they would make this mistake.
Conversations I’ve had with Schuck and Bullard over the years support
third-party datasets are licensed. Content includes public company data
(long a gap of both services), M&A details (added last year), government
data sources, and social media feeds.
database has grown to 20 million company profiles with 5 million C-level
contacts, 16 million decision maker direct dials, and 20 million decision maker
emails. Globally, Zoominfo provides 66 million emails and 42 million
direct dials. They also maintain departed contact details to assist with
According to the Portland Business Journal, private equity firms TA Associates, The Carlyle Group and 22C Capital have invested at least $790 million in Zoominfo. The PBJ also noted that Zoominfo is profitable.
Compliance and social selling vendor Artesian Solutions announced its best quarter yet with Q1 (April – June) new business bookings up 290% year-over-year. The firm also posted a 95% retention rate and an average net promoter score of +50. The firm benefited from “strong growth” in its ENGAGE sales acceleration service and its ARCH compliance service released in June. ARCH moves onboarding processing to front-line relationship managers with credit risk monitoring and Know Your Customer data sources. ARCH is designed for banks and insurance companies and allows them to build compliance models which reflect institutional policies.
closed on a multi-year ARCH deal with Metro Bank along with several other financial
“We are off
to an incredible start this year,” announced CEO Andrew Yates. “Our
strong Q1 performance is a continuation of the momentum that began a decade ago
when we launched the first iteration of our award-winning insight and
intelligence platform. The growth in new business bookings and high
retention rate of existing customers highlights the exceptional value Artesian
brings to frontline teams, which was boosted further by the launch of ARCH, a
revolution in front-line initial credit and risk decisioning. Building on
these results we will continue to invest in both ENGAGE and ARCH and have some
exciting new enhancements which will soon be announced, extending our product
and feature set and the overall Artesian experience.”
selling platform Artesian ENGAGE is available for the UK and US markets.
Along with company profiles, ENGAGE supports a broad set of high
precision sales triggers and news stories. ENGAGE intelligence is
available through Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, browsers, and the Ready
mobile app for news alerts and meeting planning and notes. While Artesian
continues to sign US clients, its strength is in the UK market.
is English only gathered from global sites. News coverage is particularly
strong for the US, UK, Canada, and Singapore.
“The entire B2B landscape is undergoing a massive shift, where, increasingly, the key point of differentiation between competing brands is how they sell, not what they sell,” said Director of Marketing Stuart Newton. “The companies that understand this and act quickly to change how they approach customer engagement will be the ones that reap the biggest rewards. Potential buyers are spending more and more time conducting research at arm’s length through digital channels and via word of mouth – front line teams have less time to create an impactful first-impression and when buyers do engage, they expect sellers to deliver value at every touchpoint instead of focusing on features and price alone.”