Demandbase CRM Connectors

Demandbase sales and marketing engagement data can be visually displayed in Dynamics 365.

Demandbase unveiled a pair of CRM connectors for HubSpot and MSD 365.  The bi-directional, native integrations allow Demandbase One to push data into the CRMs for automated workflows, Lead-to-Account mapping, tracking, and responding to engagement activity.  Syncing is performed nightly.

“This release creates a unified interface that empowers revenue operations, sales, and marketing teams to grow predictable pipeline and close larger deals,” blogged Demandbase Senior Product Marketing Manager Travis Breier.  “The integrations enable a variety of rich workflows for customers to enhance their analytics, derive valuable insights, target more efficiently, and build reporting that aligns with their own CRM data set and their GTM needs.”

Demandbase launched the unified first and third-party view in its Salesforce connector this summer and has now expanded it to two other leading CRMs.

Demandbase offers a set of Calculated Fields that includes intent, engagement, and predictive scores that are synced and displayed in CRMs.

Demandbase feeds intent and engagement data, firmographics, technographics, and Demandbase Calculated Fields into CRMs.  With this data, operations can create CRM custom sales views, reports, and dashboards that display website activity, intent, and heatmaps.  Sales reps can view both sales intelligence and engagement data from a unified view. 

Furthermore, CRM data is available for list building and filtering in Demandbase One.  Users can define selectors, set up orchestration, create Demandbase campaigns, visualize and apply Demandbase intent and predictive scores, analyze journeys, and build reports.  Furthermore, “accurate account identification, combined with their CRM data, also means better predictive models, marketing and sales alerts, personalization opportunities, and more.”

For example, past opportunity data from the CRMs are now available to Demandbase pipeline predict and qualification scoring models to assist with account prioritization.  Demandbase also helps, “align messaging to each stage” of the buyer’s journey and assists with list building and campaign execution.

Conversely, Demandbase is syncing its insights (e.g., intent data, web traffic, most engaged contacts) with the CRM, helping reps prioritize accounts and prepare for account interactions.  Insights include Demandbase’s configurable data, such as its scores and engagement minutes that populate custom fields.

Demandbase brought firmographic, contact, and technographics databases in-house following the May 2021 acquisitions of InsideView (firmographics, contacts, and event triggers) and DemandMatrix (technographics).  Intent data includes first and third-party intelligence such as Surging Intent, Demandbase Keyword Intent, Campaign Responses, and Web Page Visits.

Revenue Operations can also select intent data from Bombora and G2, which are processed through the ABX platform’s predictive models.

“Both of these integrations improve orchestration, delivering greater sales and marketing alignment and a friction-free experience,” stated Demandbase.

“These integrations ensure our customers who use Dynamics 365 and HubSpot CRM realize the full value of the Demandbase platform.  Pairing Demandbase natively with the CRM allows our customers to orchestrate a seamless go-to-market motion with full alignment between marketing and sales.  We’re providing the full power of our Account Intelligence in these connected systems and saving sales and marketing teams time by providing them actionable insights wherever they want to consume them.  The result is better performance with less manual effort at every stage of the customer journey.”

Demandbase CPO Brewster Stanislaw

Demandbase is not done with the connectors.  It plans to add additional functionality to the CRMs, including “new sales-focused experiences, additional capabilities in the Demandbase app in Dynamics, enhanced Lead-To-Account functionality, and the ability to automate and scale account-based / people-based plays directly from your activities.”

Demandbase supports both HubSpot CRM and Marketing Automation platforms.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Q4 Release

LinkedIn Sales Navigator unveiled its Q4 release this month with new account and relationship intelligence lists, improvements to buyer intent, refined searching, expanded revenue and technology data, and a more streamlined ability to upload a sales rep’s book of business.

The new My Current Accounts homepage prompt lets sales reps load their book of business as a CSV list matched against LinkedIn company profiles.  In addition, LinkedIn offers a quick field mapper to ensure the CSV is properly ingested and matched to the correct LinkedIn company profiles.

Account Lists provide several benefits to sales reps.  Sales Navigator users can

  • Target in-market accounts based on LinkedIn Buyer Intent
  • Review real-time alerts around sales triggers such as funding events, leadership changes, and headcount growth/decline
  • Streamline search and prospecting efforts by spotlighting specific saved searches based a user’s book of business

“Yes, it’s great on its own,” blogged LinkedIn Product Marketing Manager Austin Gray.  “But it reaches a whole new level of capability when you can manage your entire book of business in Sales Navigator – insights surfaced via features like Buyer Intent are more actionable, searching becomes more powerful, and it’s that much easier to stay on top of what’s happening at your most important accounts.”

LinkedIn already aggregated Buyer Intent scores spanning 180 different intent signals, and it added four isolated visible Buyer Intent activities as part of an early beta in Q3.  LinkedIn plans to release additional Buyer Intent activities in future releases.  These specific activities are displayed with the associated account.  Furthermore, when the intent activity is public-facing, the individual completing the activity is also presented to the sales rep.

The four isolated Buyer Intent activities are

  1. Who’s followed a company
  2. Who’s visited your profile
  3. Who’s a new connection to yourself
  4. Who’s filled out a lead gen form
Reps can view LinkedIn buyer intent against their account list and then target accounts with high intent levels.

LinkedIn contends that its intent insights differ from other intent data sets across multiple dimensions, beginning with its identity-based intelligence.  Because LinkedIn users are opted-in, the intent data is tied to the individual conducting research on LinkedIn, not the broader account.  Thus, users know “whether it’s the actual person, groups of people, or if they’re a decision maker.”

Sales Navigator said that it will offer a full-funnel view across the buyers’ journey “from the top of the funnel with ad engagement, to the middle with product page engagement, and to the bottom of the funnel with InMail Engagement.”

Finally, LinkedIn positions activity transparency as a differentiator that goes beyond a signal score to activity detail, which will expand in scope.

Current Account Lists and Buyer Intent are available in Advanced and Advanced Plus (CRM) editions of Sales Navigator.

Buyer Activities capture account and contact-level intent.

LinkedIn did not expand the Buyer Intent categories in Q4 but added two new features: Filtering for Buyer Activities and new Buyer Intent account hover cards.  On Account Pages, sales reps can filter for activities by time range and level of decision-making ability.

Reps can also hover over accounts on Alerts, Lists, and Lead Pages to better evaluate an opportunity and refine account messaging.  The hover popup displays the level of buyer interest, recent news, and decision-makers changes “so sellers can easily double check any account’s level of intent as the work through Sales Navigator, without disrupting the current workflow.”

Hover cards provide account intelligence without disrupting research flow.

The New Executives at Saved Accounts List is an auto-generated list based on the saved accounts list.  The list identifies VP and CxO executives hired by tracked accounts.  While the executive view restricts the report to top-level executives, it doesn’t yet support filtering by function, a valuable report extension.

I’ve long extolled the value of identifying new executives at companies.  Fortunately, sales intelligence solutions are doing a better job of leveraging executive change insights in their products:

  • D&B Hoovers supports exec change alerts and triggers by job function.
  • ZoomInfo offers executive tracking of champions to new companies along with backfill contact recommendations at their old employer.
  • LinkedIn identifies new execs at saved accounts.

“We’ve found a lot of success internally being able to see when a new executive comes in,” LinkedIn Sales Solutions Head of Product Marketing Neil Khare explained to GZ Consulting during a briefing.  “They’re generally more willing to think about new vendors or have a mandate to change things up a little bit.  It’s a great time to capitalize on it, and we find that we’ve had some success internally on it, so we wanted to bring this up externally as well.”

LinkedIn also released a Recently Accepted Connections and InMails List highlighting individuals who responded to connection requests or InMails over the past thirty days.

The lists are available online from the list tab or via a weekly email digest.

“These are people that you are going to want to follow up with,” stated Khare.

Users can access two updated filters when building lists: Technology Used and Revenue.  Both filters have been improved with new data licensing agreements from undisclosed data partners. 

Accounts may be filtered by preset revenue ranges (vs. discrete values determined by the end-user).  All revenue data is in US Dollars.

To improve regional screening, users can paste a set of postal codes.

LinkedIn Sales Insights, LinkedIn’s DaaS enrichment service for sales ops, also benefited from expanded revenue data sourced from LinkedIn members, third-party vendors, and AI models.  95% of Fortune 500 and 75% of publicly traded companies display discrete revenue data.  More broadly, 60% of companies have at least a modeled revenue range.

To improve the Sales Insights workflow, LSI added exclusion filters for companies and personas, helping Sales Operations “focus on industries and geographies that are relevant to your business.”

LinkedIn Sales Insights now offers exclusion criteria to improve reporting filters.

TechTarget Much Better Positioned to Withstand Recession than in 2008

Technology Sales and Marketing Services vendor TechTarget ($TTGT) believes it is in a much stronger marketplace and revenue position than in 2008, the last recession not caused by a pandemic. It has shifted away from economically sensitive brand revenues to a “robust product suite, which allows us to address the evolving needs of our customers.”  As a result, brand revenues have declined from 30% of total revenue to 10% since 2009.

TechTarget is fundamentally much stronger than in 2008.  It has trebled its revenue over the past fourteen years and doubled its Adjusted EBITDA margin.  In 2009, the firm had virtually no long-term contracts; now, 42% of revenue is associated with longer-term contracts.  Other positive signs: TechTarget has grown its customer base from 1,000 to 3,200 customers and is much less reliant on legacy global customers, reducing its revenue share from 32% to 20%.  Furthermore, its largest customers have shifted from hardware to cloud and software vendors with subscription customers.  Whereas its top customers in 2009 suffered revenue downturns, its current customer base is more likely to struggle to grow revenue than to suffer declining revenue.

“The modernization of the sales and marketing organization is a strong and durable trend.  It is hard to compete in today’s IT market without a data-driven go-to-market strategy,” argued CEO Michael Cotoia on TechTarget’s Q3 earnings call earlier this month.  “As the leading provider of first-party purchase intent data in the enterprise IT market, we will continue to benefit from this trend.”

Priority Engine

Priority Engine, its subscription sales intelligence platform, grew revenues by 15% last quarter.  TechTarget will continue to invest in Priority Engine after doubling the number of engineers working on the product in 2022.

In 2023, Priority Engine will further bolster its Salesforce integration with “bi-directional data flow, campaign orchestration from within Priority Engine, additional program impact reporting, market insights to inform marketing and sales outreach, and alert-driven account and prospect intelligence for our sales users.”

Priority Engine also plans to ingest Salesforce data for analytics dashboards around ROI, open pipeline, and won/lost opportunities.   The dashboards will answer the question, “how do we set up our sales reps within our customers’ environment to make the most appropriate and relevant follow-up?”

“We also want to make sure that we are working with our customers to provide more insights across their total campaign with TechTarget, both on the sales side and on the marketing side.  So, what you’re doing with their lead generation and demand gen, their content, their branding, the visitors on their website to really bring that end-to-end view into Priority Engine to help fuel and help modernize…both sales and marketing.”

TechTarget CEO Michael Cotoia

The firm sees significant opportunity for growth in TechTarget’s sales-specific module, which is still in the early adoption phase as it was rolled out less than a year ago.

TechTarget does not break out the number of customers licensing Priority Engine or the Priority Engine sales module.  However, CFO Daniel Noreck said that the module is “growing nicely but still a small base.”

More broadly, the firm has 3,200 customers, but there are over 18,000 global technology companies with at least $50 million in annual revenue, providing plenty of market opportunity. 

“We believe most of those companies are good candidates for the Priority Engine sales module,” stated Cotoia.  “While we expect that our rollout to those customers will be slowed by macroeconomic weakness in the short term, we think the long-term opportunity is enormous.”

Content to Close

TechTarget’s fastest-growing service is Content Enablement which powers its Content to Close strategy.  In conjunction with its customers, TechTarget produced content “to fuel their marketing and sales outreach.”  The service is aligned with the growing focus on self-service research among younger purchasing and business professionals.

“Most technology companies’ current go-to-market strategy is very sales rep heavy. We believe this approach is going to need to transform in the coming years to adjust to the changing buyer dynamics.  The companies that win business will have a comprehensive content strategy to effectively influence buyers before their sales reps get involved.”

TechTarget CEO Michael Cotoia

The acquisitions of Enterprise Strategy Group (“ESG”) and BrightTALK have “uniquely positioned” TechTarget to support growing self-service requirements.  Content Enablement via these subsidiaries will continue to be an “aggressive” investment area.

TechTarget also believes it has a market advantage due to its opted-in, privacy-compliant intent data sets gathered from its B2B media websites and BrightTALK.  Cotoia argues that customer sensitivity to privacy issues and growing government regulations will offer an ongoing competitive advantage for its intent data from permission-based audiences owned and operated by TechTarget.  This advantage “will become even more apparent when Google eliminates third-party cookies.”

TechTarget will continue to look for acquisitions like BrightTALK and ESG that expand the firm’s product capabilities.  It is also interested in acquiring vertical media companies like Xtelligent Healthcare that expand the firm’s TAM into verticals that share similar attributes as Enterprise IT: significant purchase price, complex buying process, long lead times, and large buyer teams.

Healthcare Intent

TechTarget recently integrated XTelligent Healthcare intent into Priority Engine, creating a sales intelligence solution for HealthTech and Healthcare.

Priority Engine for Healthcare Highlights for Top Accounts.

Priority Engine for Healthcare supports over 400,000 opted-in healthcare contacts, including Providers, Health Systems, Payers, Pharmaceuticals, Life Sciences, Accountable Care Organizations, and Federal/State Healthcare Agencies.  TechTarget claims that 90% of the US healthcare system is covered.  Xtelligent said its audience contains “70% Business & Finance Executives and Clinicians who have critical involvement across healthcare technology purchases that are becoming increasingly complex.”

To demonstrate confidence in the company, TechTarget began a new stock buyback program to repurchase up to $200 million in common stock and convertible debt over the next two years.

RelPro Partners with Lendovative Technologies

Sales Intelligence vendor RelPro announced a partnership with Lendovative Technologies, “a provider and developer of niche lending technologies for financial institutions.”  The partnership enhances both companies’ ability to assist financial institutions that serve businesses across the United States.

The two firms made a go-to-market announcement with no technical integration.  Ostensibly, it is a two-way referral partnership “consistent with us developing relationships in the Banking and Financial Services ecosystem,” explained RelPro CEO Martin Wise to GZ Consulting.  Lendovative reached out to RelPro due to its “established and growing position in the Banking industry.” 

“Their platform helps banks to grow their commercial business, and the next question from their customers is ‘how can I find new SMB companies and executives to call on to grow my business?’ and that’s where RelPro fits in,” continued Wise.  “Equally, RelPro’s smaller banking clients are always interested in learning about new technology platforms that will help them grow their business.”

“The two-way referral partnership is consistent with us developing relationships in the Banking and Financial Services ecosystem – this is an efficient way for us to grow our business with smaller banks, and it leverages RelPro’s strong positioning in the banking industry (RelPro is used by half of the Top 50 banks in the US),” concluded Wise.

“By delivering deeper insights on small- to medium-sized companies and their decision-makers, we are helping financial services professionals identify more potential clients who need access to capital,” noted Lauren Meyers, RelPro’s VP of Partnerships & Customer Success.  “This partnership with Lendovative enables us to accelerate the prospecting initiatives of lenders while providing them with a solution to help businesses navigate their cash flow needs in unique and innovative ways.”

RelPro has long specialized in financial services and developed a sales intelligence platform for the space.  Its business datasets include seven million US companies, 150 million contacts, UCC filings (liens), PPP (pandemic loans) intelligence, and SBA loan data.  This summer, it added Commercial Real Estate intelligence and financial services intent data to its platform.

Lendovative offers the BB-360 lending collateral tracking platform for commercial lending.  BB-360 connects businesses to financial institutions, helping maximize access to short-term capital and collateralizing accounts receivable, inventory, and other assets.

“Loan growth is a key strategic goal for our financial institution clients, and that starts with actionable business intelligence,” noted Patrick True, President at Lendovative. “I have worked with similar service providers for more than thirty years, and no one is better at helping develop quality leads for commercial lending than RelPro.  The synergies that exist between our two companies are powerful, and will help Lendovative Technologies achieve its mission of connecting financial institution clients to more businesses across the U.S.”

RelPro integrates and presents company and contact intelligence from 17 vendors.

6sense Unveils Conversational Email

The new 6Sense Conversational Email Campaign Builder

At the 6sense Breakthrough Conference, 6sense unveiled its new Conversational Email module. Conversational Email employs AI models, psychographics, technographics, intent data, and predictive analytics to deliver “hyper-personalized, hyper-relevant emails to qualify and convert leads to sales meetings.”

Conversational Email supports campaigns across functions and the buyers’ journey. Marketing can send “personalized peer-to-peer nurture emails from multiple AI personas, and Operations can systematize meeting conversion and scheduling for qualified accounts. Sales teams can operationalize best practices and “scale across segments much easier.”

Marketing can also deploy Conversational Email to revive dormant accounts, qualify and convert inbound leads, and boost webinar and event registrations, participation, and follow-up.

6sense claims that beta customers enjoyed a 50% reduction in deal cycle times for marketing-sourced opportunities and a 1.5X increase in average deal size.

“A look at the basic process Conversational AI uses to nurture leads and turn them into sales opportunities.”

AI tools include a Visual Conversation Flow Builder, Email Assistant, and Qualification and Sales Handover. The Email Assistant employs AI to “effortlessly engage the correct buying team members, schedule follow-up based on out-of-office replies, book meetings with the right owners, and send targeted content.”

Dynamic content consists of multivariate blocks tailored to specific keywords, segments, personas, or products for personalizing messages.

Additionally, Conversational Email supports automated workflow triggers based on account buying behavior and contact activity.

“This launch is one of our most significant product updates yet,” said 6sense CTO Viral Bajaria. “Every company has overlooked and underworked, yet high-quality, leads. Critical outreach happens too late or simply never at all, which leads to missed revenue opportunities. The early results from customers in our beta program using 6sense Conversational Email demonstrates the impact: reduction in deal cycles, increase in average deal size, and new pipeline generated. While others in the market focus on sending emails, we are the first to focus on writing relevant emails and responding in ways that lead to more quality pipeline, more efficiently.”

6sense Contextual Targeting improves engagement and recall.

6sense also rolled out Contextual Targeting, which places ads alongside similar digital content. A study by Spark Neuro found that contextually relevant ads generate 43% greater engagement and double the ad recall.

In addition, 6sense offers over 100 new custom contextual topics for B2B marketers. “Advertisers won’t need to settle to use contextual segments that are largely designed for consumer marketers,” stated 6sense.

6sense claimed three benefits to Contextual Targeting. It:

  • Respects user privacy by targeting audiences without using behavioral or data profiles
  • Provides ready-to-use contextual topics built specifically for B2B 
  • Eliminates wasted ad spend on buyers that aren’t likely to engage 

Another new feature is Campaign Forecasting which estimates a campaign’s daily audience, daily impressions, and daily spend. Campaign Forecasting helps marketers assess campaign budget and reach before launching the campaign.

6sense also announced at Breakthrough that a sales intelligence data application would be released in Q1. 6sense, which bought data company Slintel last October, will offer global contact data, intent data (3rd-party data, anonymous web visitor insights), firmographics, psychographics, and technographics. In addition, the “intuitive” UX will provide “actionable insights and [an] orchestration layer necessary to identify, prioritize and engage with accounts in-market.”

“With B2B buying committee members increasingly choosing to remain anonymous through most of their journey, sellers need insight to earlier signals for their sales outreach to be effective. With our latest advancement in 6sense Sales Intelligence, we bring industry-leading intent data, contact data, and AI insights to help sellers efficiently identify priority prospects, personalize their interactions, and take timely action with ease to drive meetings and conversion of pipeline to revenue.”

Amar Doshi, SVP of Product & UX at 6sense

The Breakthrough Conference was billed as “an inside look at best practices to leverage AI and big data to accelerate revenue generation efficiently.”

“The Proceed with Confidence focus of our 2022 Breakthrough event couldn’t be more timely. We heard from more than 50 sales and marketing speakers at this year’s event that 6sense Revenue AI is the must-have competitive edge they can’t grow without,” said 6sense CEO Jason Zintak. “B2B companies are losing revenue opportunities and leaving money on the table. To deliver a better buying experience in today’s selling environment, it’s imperative to leverage AI along with pre-intent data, intent data, and predictive analytics to know which accounts are in market to buy your product or service, when and how to target them, and what messages to deliver to best engage.”

TechTarget: Priority Engine for Healthcare

Priority Engine for Healthcare offers topical intent for 400K registered healthcare administrators, IT professionals, and clinicians.

TechTarget, a leader in second-party technology intent data sets for sales and marketing, expanded the scope of its Priority Engine service to support the US healthcare sector.  The new Priority Engine for Healthcare service provides prospect-level intent gathered from Xtelligent Healthcare Media, its August 2021 acquisition.

“Being able to provide our customers with 1st-party intent data on the largest healthcare technology and information audience on the web is a true game changer in our industry,” said Sean Brooks, Co-Founder of Xtelligent Healthcare Media.  “Sales and marketing teams will now have direct access to entire healthcare buying teams, including Clinicians, Line of Business, and IT Decision-Makers, to find more opportunities and accelerate technology deals.”

Priority Engine for Healthcare Highlights for Top Accounts.

Priority Engine for Healthcare supports over 400,000 opted-in healthcare contacts, including Providers, Health Systems, Payers, Pharmaceuticals, Life Sciences, Accountable Care Organizations, and Federal/State Healthcare Agencies.  TechTarget claims that 90% of the US healthcare system is covered.  Xtelligent said its audience contains “70% Business & Finance Executives and Clinicians who have critical involvement across healthcare technology purchases that are becoming increasingly complex.”

The service is available for ten segments:

  1. Analytics
  2. Electronic Health Records (EHR/EMR)
  3. Healthcare Security & Compliance
  4. Health IT Infrastructure
  5. Life Sciences
  6. Patient Engagement
  7. Payer
  8. Pharma
  9. Revenue Cycle Management
  10. Telehealth

Intent data is gathered from 14 B2B healthcare media properties.  HealthTech sites include EHR Intelligence, Health IT Security, and Health IT Analytics.  Clinical research and medical sites include LifeSciences Intelligence, PharmaNews Intelligence, and HealthPayer Intelligence.  Over 400 healthcare topics are covered, with roughly half focused on Healthcare Tech.

Priority Engine for Healthcare also offers visitor intelligence and content view tracking.  Healthcare intent data from BrightTALK, TechTarget’s digital webinar and event platform, is also included.

Xtelligent, also based in Boston, has a similar content model to TechTarget.  When acquired last year, it had over 1.5 million healthcare-related visitors per quarter across ten websites, but lacked a platform for enabling its contacts and intent datasets. 

Xtelligent 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 new intent topics identify HealthTech content consumption at the account and prospect levels, gathered from TechTarget’s 150 enterprise and health technology websites.

“By expanding the amount of permission-based, relevant 1st-party purchase intent data our customers have access to and delivering a full suite of marketing, sales, and go-to-market services to engage real buyers, we help companies of all sizes achieve better results at scale in this market,” said Michael Cotoia, CEO, TechTarget.  “As a leader in coverage of B2B enterprise tech for more than 20 years – combined with working very closely with our almost 3,000 customers – TechTarget has unique visibility into the buying dynamics across every major sector of the market.  Our experience positions us well to bring our model to adjacent vertical markets with similar attributes to enterprise B2B tech – long/complex-sales cycles, large purchases, multiple members of the buying team, and a strong need for 1st party data to enable marketers and sellers – just as we have done in healthcare.”

Priority Engine for Healthcare Prospect Insights

Company Links: TechTarget | Xtelligent | Priority Engine

LinkedIn “Deep Sales” Positioning

LinkedIn Deep Sales ad (Wall Street Journal)

Coinciding with its Q3 2022 release, LinkedIn is positioning Sales Navigator as a facilitator of Deep Selling.  Deep Sales positions LinkedIn as a new way to sell that addresses many of the current problems faced by sales teams (e.g., The Great Reshuffle, increased deal complexity following COVID, the digitization of communications, and an increase in SPAM).  This new positioning was announced in the Wall Street Journal.

“Too many sales professionals are stuck in what we’ve come to call “shallow selling” – an endless, frustrating loop of contacting more and more potential buyers in ways that no longer work,” posted LinkedIn Sales Solutions’ Marketing VP Gail Moody-Byrd.  “I’ve felt the pain of sales in my professional life.  I’ve consoled colleagues who were at risk of getting fired because they weren’t hitting their numbers or seen them committing “unnatural acts” to get a deal closed.  I’ve been on endless, painful pipeline review calls, looking at leads that will never materialize into a closed/won deal.  And I feel it daily in my personal life, as I try to dodge intrusive emails, texts, and phone calls that keep coming at me to purchase MarTech software.”

Moody-Byrd argued that shallow selling doesn’t work, but reps can employ deep learning software to support “deep sales.”

“Think of deep learning, where software learns from enormous amounts of reliable data to get to a meaningful answer.  Deep sales relies on that kind of data to deeply understand buyers and their context.  It helps sellers approach buyers in the way that is welcomed, at a time in the buying process that makes sense.  It helps develop deep relationships with buyers, based on understanding them – the opposite of shallow spray-and-pray tactics.”

LinkedIn claims that Sales Navigator customers enjoy a 38% increase in pipeline generated, a six percent increase in win rates, and a 47% increase in deal size.  The firm is positioning the combination of Sales Navigator and Sales Insights as its Deep Sales solution set.

“It’s good to see LinkedIn working on new ways to utilize machine learning to sort its various data inputs and provide a better experience,” stated SocialMediaToday Head of Content Andrew Hutchinson.  “Thus far, LinkedIn hasn’t really been able to tap into its unmatched database of professional insights, but maybe, through advanced machine learning on its huge dataset, it’s moving towards the next stage of becoming a critical companion for all HR and business professionals, by facilitating guidance on various fronts that can lead to smarter decisions.”

Sales Navigator actionable insights include relationship intelligence, buyer intent, and Account Insights.

Vainu Launches Global Database

Vainu Global Database Attributes

European Sales Intelligence vendor Vainu unveiled its new Global Database this week, a domain-based company dataset spanning over 65 million companies.  The database was built through web-crawling and includes standard firmographics, technographics, Vainu Custom Industry Codes, social links (Facebook and LinkedIn), and web-based insights (keywords and phrases that describe the company). 

Domains are mapped to headquarters locations, with additional locations captured during the site crawl and displayed as part of the profile.  A countries of operation field helps with market entry planning (e.g., which companies in our ICP have operations in specific countries?).  Vainu also captures website languages, helping determine which markets companies are targeting.

“If you’re selling a product or service where the buying decision is made on a business unit/regional level, having this type of data in your CRM is crucial,” argued co-founder Mikko Honkanen.  “It helps your sales reps to pick upsell and cross-sell opportunities and in general, makes it easier to maximize the revenue potential of your customer portfolio.”

“Unfortunately, finding good data for regional offices has been challenging in the past,” continued Honkanen.  “Most companies will only list their main office on their social media accounts, and it’s been difficult for salespeople to manually add office data from company websites to their business systems due to the limitations in the availability of data properties.”

Filtering with Vainu’s proprietary industry codes and associated Confidence Scores.

Vainu offers over 900 proprietary industry codes, including emerging industries such as SaaS and Artificial Intelligence not available in other taxonomies.  When screening, the system defaults to high-level confidence, but users can more broadly search by accepting companies with lower industry tagging confidence.  In addition, users may select one or multiple categories, employ Boolean logic (e.g., SaaS AND Executive Recruitment), and modify their selects with web-based insights.

The crawler and platform UX are English only.

Discrete sizing data is not provided, with companies mapped to five employee ranges.  Vainu employs an “ordinal regression and classification approach” to its model that factors in web traffic, the number of office locations, detected web technologies, mentions of specific key phrases, etc.

Honkanen argues that its methodology may be off by one size band but is unlikely to make large errors.  “Our own internal testing indicates that our model generally outperforms other employee count models, but it truly shines when it comes to minimizing the large, important mistakes.  What that means is that it might be difficult for the model to choose between 51-200 and 201-1,000 if the company has roughly 200 employees, but it has an easy time avoiding big and important mistakes, such as enterprise companies being classified as micro companies.  In other words, our model still makes mistakes, but those mistakes are often small in magnitude, i.e., the model might predict the nearest neighbor.”

Vainu has been building and tuning the database for over a year, helping it distinguish between product sites (e.g., Tide) and company sites (e.g., Proctor & Gamble).  It is growing at 100,000 companies per day and recrawls sites every sixty days.  Users can set up saved searches that identify new companies, upload them to HubSpot, and alert the sales rep.

Company data is available through a web-based platform, API, CSV downloads, and connectors (HubSpot today, with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 on the Global Database roadmap). 

Users can also upload lists of domains for matching and enrichment.  When downloading data, they specify file formats, controlling which fields to download and their order.

As they offer a LinkedIn field, users can quickly create and upload LinkedIn Matched Audiences to the LinkedIn Campaign Manager with high match rates.

The database does not contain contacts, but Honkanen argues that Vainu’s company data is superior to firmographics from other services.

Honkanen provided several reasons for not offering contacts, “We don’t want to be a vendor that provides bulk contact data…We don’t want to promote salespeople to do spam.  Also, it is very challenging to do that in a GDPR-compliant way.”

Instead, the company wants to promote “smart, Account Based Marketing” that supports very specific industry and keyword screening and LinkedIn audience campaigns.  From the LinkedIn Campaign Manager, users can target by persona.  Users can also match against existing HubSpot contacts with pre-existing consent tied to Vainu-enriched firmographics.

“If you’re looking for a combination of high-quality firmographic and website-based insights, we’ve got you covered,” blogged Vainu Marketer Nikolai Bang.  “Our global data offering includes numerous important data points, such as location, industry, company size, technologies, website keywords, and website traffic, that, according to our customers who have tested several offerings, other vendors cannot provide at a similar quality.”

While other databases, including Vainu’s Nordics database, are built around business ids, the global database is built around domains, with the firm capturing multiple locations related to domains.  Business ids are preferred for KYC and credit scenarios as the data is tied to legal ids, but domain data matches well against CRMs and emails.

Vainu contends that domain-keyed databases are better for ICP/TAM analysis as subsidiaries and branches aren’t double counted, providing a more accurate view of market opportunity.  Vainu claims that ICPs built using Vainu Custom Industry codes and website-based insights during beta testing consistently achieved 90% accuracy.

The Global Database resides on a new platform and is available as a distinct product with separate licensing and administration from its Nordic registered-data services.

Pricing starts at €12,000 per annum, with a one-time setup fee starting at €1,000.  Instead of seat-based pricing, Vainu is pricing based on the number of records uploaded or maintained.

Vainu Company Profile

Vainu Resources

ZoomInfo Expands its Technographics

ZoomInfo, which began as a technology sales intelligence service, has expanded its technographic intelligence to more than 30 million global companies.  The technographic dataset now spans 300 million company/tech pairings, whether that is a technology, platform, or programming language.

The firm, which has recently focused on sales and marketing enablement technology (e.g., Conversational Sales, Chatbots, Sales Engagement, Recruitment/HR) and Operations, has been quietly expanding its content coverage with announcements concerning company coverage and technographics in the past few weeks.

“Knowing which technologies your prospects use before you even pick up the phone gives sellers a tremendous head start,” said Kirti Patel, Senior Director of Engineering at ZoomInfo.  “With today’s economic headwinds, sales teams are looking for every opportunity to increase efficiency, and having access to a prospect’s tech stack can transform your go-to-market engine.”

ZoomInfo’s technographics intelligence is derived from over twenty data sources, including company websites, job postings, and customer testimonials.  Its taxonomy covers over 30,000 technologies.

ZoomInfo claims that nearly 90% of its active tech-to-company pairings have been updated within the past three months.

Technographics assists with prospecting, lead and account scoring, look-a-like modeling, and market analysis (e.g., Technology Market Share, ICP, and TAM).  It is also common for firms to target customers of partners for complementary pitches and competitors for takeaways. ZoomInfo supports alerting when technologies are added or dropped from prospects’ tech stacks.  In addition, its Workflow module automates sales and marketing outreach.

ZoomInfo provided a pair of ZoomInfo SalesOS screenshots to GZ Consulting with functional descriptions concerning their technographics capabilities:

Technographic Alerts: “Customers can subscribe to individual technologies to get alerts on what companies are Adding/Dropping/Discovering that technology. For Adds, we know the company recently began using that technology, whereas, for Discoveries, we believe the company has been using the technology for a while, but our systems are just discovering it for the first time.”

Company Specific Profile: “This image is just one technology that ZoomInfo uses. It shows the date of the last time we have seen evidence that ZoomInfo uses machine learning technology. We can only view one technology category at a time on a company’s profile. You’ll see to the left of the image all of the technology categories that we have ZoomInfo technologies for.  You can hover over each to get the date of the last evidence.”