LeadSift Growing Despite Pandemic

Just before the pandemic hit, Canadian behavioral intent vendor LeadSift hit $1 million in revenue with a 6% per month growth rate.  As the firm began to absorb the recession, CEO Tukan Das adopted a policy of radical transparency with his team, providing them with daily updates on the company’s status and letting them know they had cash in the bank to avoid layoffs.

“I would say we have navigated COVID pretty well. Fortunately, we were in a position where there’s more of a tailwind in our industry, with more data needed, and data specifically for helping other B2B companies identify their buyers.”

LeadSift CEO Tukan Das

The firm did take an initial 8% revenue hit, but it is now growing at a 5% a month, bringing their run rate above pre-pandemic levels.

“When COVID hit…a lot of companies just went into a little bit of a freeze,” said Das.  “Some of our customers were B2B companies in the travel and event management space, and some of them, their whole marketing teams were fired.  So they obviously had to pause any other spend.”

The end of trade shows meant the loss of some customers, but they went on the offensive and added technographics as an alternative source of technology-specific leads.  LeadSift also added a full-time marketing manager and part-time social media manager, bringing their headcount to 14 (two part-time).  The firm is profitable.

LeadSift also worked a deal with Halifax-based Innovacorp to deliver six months of intent data to Nova Scotian firms at no charge, with Innovacorp picking up half the foregone revenue.

LeadSift is developing a new control panel for delivering intent data and technographics to its customers.  The new platform will support additional analytics and customization.  The Q4 platform release will be more scalable and will provide administrators with greater control over which companies and topics are to be tracked.

LeadSift generates intent data via web scraping across company websites, blogs, job boards, social channels, SEC filings, etc.  LeadSift looks for public actions such as likes, comments, job postings, executive hires, and technology implementations.  It then associates these events with contacts.

The LeadSift company universe spans 40 million contacts associated with 8 million companies and domains.  Contacts include emails with twenty percent also providing direct-dial phones.  LeadSift contacts are GDPR compliant.  The company universe focuses on English-speaking countries.

LeadSift Head of Growth Alex Field views their event intent data as complementary to other intent data sources, with LeadSift helping verify other intent signals such as visitor intelligence or third-party media site visits.  LeadSift scores accounts based on persona (who is active), event type, event recency, and size of the company.  These scores can be combined with other intent scores to provide greater confidence around buyer intent.

Leads are fed daily to CRMs and MAPs, including Salesforce, Pardot, HubSpot, Marketo, and Eloqua.  Pricing begins at $1,000 per month for company-level intent and $1,500 per month for contact-level intent. Das is not looking for his next funding round but isn’t ruling it out.  “We are going to be opportunistic.  If we continue to grow at the rate we are, even during COVID, if we see an opportunity and the terms are right, we would certainly consider raising capital. But it’s not something where I’m saying, ‘We need to raise capital or we are going to run out of money.’”

Rhetorik Opens US Sales Hub

European technology sales intelligence vendor Rhetorik opened a US sales hub in California.  The office will be led by John South, who was named the VP North America.

“Our goal is to meet the needs of US companies seeking European data expertise,” said Rhetorik CEO Meredith Amdur.  “It’s a very exciting prospect to be combining John’s experience and knowledge of the global data market with Rhetorik’s IT databases and data management services in order to achieve this.”

California is a logical location for US market entry (the firm already has a Canadian development office).  Not only is a high percentage of US enterprise software and cloud companies headquartered in California, but the CCPA data privacy regulations are akin to EU GDPR requirements, making marketing departments more sensitive to data privacy and regulatory compliance.

Rhetorik recently expanded its technographics intelligence NetFinder+ service across the EMEA region with support of 17 European countries and Israel.  The service provides “accuracy, completeness, and compliance across Europe,” said Amdur.  Rhetorik emphasizes that contact data is collected subject to the location-level data privacy rules of each jurisdiction and subject to the “Robinson lists” of various jurisdictions (e.g. The CTPS phone opt-out list in the U.K., DNC in Ireland).

NetFinder+ includes a market analytics module that helps product management and competitive intelligence groups evaluate their market position by category and country.  It can also be used to assess complementary partner market share (by installation).

Rhetorik separately offers a DataClinik hygiene and enrichment service.

South has a long history of new business development in the technographics space, having served as the VP of Sales at Datanyze (now owned by Zoominfo) and the head of Client Success and Sales at Aberdeen.  He most recently was the Director of Business Development for Imperium.

South will be “responsible for driving sales, new business development, and planning strategies for the sales teams.”

GrowFlare Doubles Coverage

GrowFlare, which I profiled a few weeks ago, doubled its coverage of US active companies to 250,000.  While a few additional large firms were included, the bulk of the growth was at the SMB end of the market.  GrowFlare nearly doubled the number of companies with $10 million to $50 Million, bringing that set to 50,000.  The coverage of firms with less than $10 million in revenue quadrupled to 170,000 SMBs.  Profiles include firmographics and psychographics, the common phrases that firms use to describe themselves and their markets.

GrowFlare employs a Fit Score, which is the level of similarity between a company and one or multiple companies provided to GrowFlare.  When the new set of companies was added, they were immediately included in the Active Lists (dynamic company lists of prospects) as Alerts.  The new companies are also available for prospecting and research via a Chrome extension.

“We’re continuing to grow organically and invest 100% of revenue into the platform,” wrote CEO Matt Belkin.

Upcoming GrowFlare development is focused on expanded partnerships.  GrowFlare is looking to add contacts from vendors such as InsideView and deepen its integrations with HubSpot and Salesforce.

D&B Hoover’s Enhancements: COVID-19 Impact Index

Soon after the pandemic began, Dun & Bradstreet developed a COVID-19 index which allowed companies to assess the pandemic risk to their loan portfolio, suppliers, and customer base. The firm moved to further enable analysis by implementing the scores within their D&B Hoovers sales and marketing intelligence platform.

“The COVID-19 Impact Index provides insight into how the Coronavirus pandemic is impacting a company’s location, industry, and financial strength,” wrote VP of Product Management McWade.  “This data can help you actively monitor the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on accounts and prospects and refine targeting strategies accordingly.”

“The Index assesses impacts to a business based on the proximity of corporate locations to the pandemic, as well as the level of disruption to the company’s network due to site suppliers and business customers impacted by the pandemic.  Each week, the company and network situation are assessed, and a score ranging from highest to low is assigned to five key impact areas to provide visibility into the level of disruption that may be impacting the account.”

D&B VP of Product Management Phil McWade

The new index is displayed in the Company Summary with simple Green / Yellow / Red indexing.  The five variables have also been added to the Advanced Insights section of Search & Build a List.

The COVID-19 Impact Index Variables are

  1. Financial Impact – Leverages Dun & Bradstreet’s trade credit and risk data to understand financial health by assessing a company’s ability to meet payment obligations, as well as the probability of declaring bankruptcy, experiencing significant financial distress, engaging in M&A activity, and other high-risk activities.
  2. Location Impact – Reviews business site and corporate family locations subject to lockdown, stay-at-home, and shelter-in-place orders and weighs this information by the number of confirmed cases and growth in cases by location.  Country, state, county, and city-level location restrictions are assessed.  Local hospitalization rates are also factored into the variables.
  3. Industry Impact – Looks at industry impact signals to understand industry-associated risk by identifying essential businesses, which can operate remotely, require the physical presence of customers, and need employees to be at a central location.
  4. Overall Impact without Network Effects – Combines the financial, location, and industry impact indicators to determine the overall risk of the business.
  5. Overall Impacts with Network Effects – Reviews business connections with other organizations, such as customers, suppliers, or other third parties, to understand impacts on the company’s network.  This score provides the most comprehensive view of the current situation by adding network impacts to the company’s financial, location, and industry elements.

In Build a List, sales reps can filter for companies that are less impacted by COVID-19.  For territory reps located in hotspots, the location filter should be removed so they can identify companies that are better sheltered from the pandemic.  For example, both Carnival Cruises and Univision are headquartered in Miami, but Carnival would be a weak prospect due to COVID (all five indicators are highest) while Univision would be a good target (Location is highest, but the remaining variables are low).  Conversely, verticalized reps that sell into one or a few industries would omit the industry risk variable but include the location variable.  This strategy would identify firms that are otherwise low risk.

Lists can be saved as SmartLists of low-risk prospects that are updated weekly.

COVID-19 Index variables should not be employed as ABM variables for determining which companies to target strategically.  The variables are ephemeral and are unlikely to align with strategic fit.  However, they provide a valuable overlay to ABM lists for focusing on companies that are better sheltered from the economic and operational impacts of the pandemic.  They also provide a warning flag to Customer Success Managers and Account Executives around which firms may be looking to downgrade or churn, allowing sales to plan for one-time discounts, additional services, or alternative financing terms.

Variables are view-only in the desktop and CRM editions, but not downloadable to the desktop or synced with CRMs.  

The index variables are global.


Other recent enhancements to D&B Hoovers were discussed yesterday.

D&B Hoover’s Enhancements

D&B Hoovers released a set of enhancements to its sales intelligence service.  New content and features include expanded company identifiers, company identifier searching, additional URLs, and a COVID-19 Impact Index.

D&B Hoovers has improved the scope and display of global registration numbers (AKA Regnos) within their service, with identifiers available for more than 129 million companies spanning more than 500 different National Identification Numbering Schema.  Regnos are now more prominent in Company Profiles and searchable in the “Company Identifiers” section of “Search & Build a List.”

Identifiers include US Federal Tax IDs (EINs), VATs, and French Siret Numbers.  Up to four identifiers are displayed in company profiles.  While the service has long supported Dun & Bradstreet’s D-U-N-S Numbers, stock tickers, and registration numbers, the expanded scope assists with company lookup and research.

Dun & Bradstreet cautioned that not all registration numbers are unique, and multiple family members may share a Regno.

Users may search for a single identifier or upload a list of up to 1,000 ids.

“This new presentation of global registration numbers with Company Profiles and the Search & Build a List Form better aligns with the display of this information across Dun & Bradstreet products, providing a more consistent data experience for users who have multiple offerings.”

Senior Product Director Phil McWade

D&B Hoovers added 3.5 million additional URLs to their service, bringing the global count to 24 million.

D&B Hoovers continues to expand its company and executive coverage, with nearly 180 million active companies and 160 million active contacts.

Another new feature is a Coronavirus trigger for reps looking to monitor prospects and accounts along with a set of COVID-19 Impact Indices.  The new Impact Index is available as an optional add-on, priced per seat.

The new COVID-19 Impact Index will be covered in tomorrow’s blog.

RelPro – Introhive Partnership

Sales Intelligence vendors RelPro and Introhive announced a partnership to deliver extended relationship insights and workflow integrations to joint customers in the Professional and Financial Services sectors.  The combined solution is immediately available to joint customers.

RelPro integrates content from seventeen data sources to deliver sales insights and contacts across 7 million companies.  Introhive adds relationship insights, data automation, and data cleansing tools.  The partnership helps “clients achieve greater sales efficiency and productivity” during the pandemic and recession.

“Our clients use RelPro to identify new prospects and ensure the contact information they have for those prospects is accurate and reliable.  Being able to map relationships that may already exist within their organization boosts the productivity of their business development professionals and increases referral traffic and collaboration.  With Introhive’s advanced relationship intelligence automation technology and data automation capabilities combined with our rich data coverage and quality, our clients can marry two best-in-class solutions to support and enrich their business development activities with little to no disruption of their day-to-day.”

RelPro CEO Martin Wise

Introhive boosts CRM adoption through automated contact data enrichment and uploads.  Introhive claims that it uncovers 350 additional contacts per user.  “The AI engine then maps these contacts to identify relationships across prospects and customer accounts.”  By reducing research and data maintenance overhead, sales and business professionals can focus their activities on prospects and clients, therefore driving customer satisfaction and the bottom line.

“With Introhive, users gain back roughly an average of 12 hours per week that would otherwise be spent on data entry or preparing for meetings.  Our Pre-Meeting Digest removes the burden of gathering information to ensure prospect or customer-facing professionals are equipped with everything they need before meetings, while Post-Meeting Reports allow for notes, tasks, and activities to be added to CRM directly from the user’s email inbox.  When we add RelPro’s database with our relationship mapping and productivity tools, customers can begin uncovering contacts and opportunities that were previously hidden.”

Introhive CEO Jody Glidden

Several months ago, RelPro released an integration with Vertical IQ to deliver industry intelligence to joint customers.  This partnership is bearing fruit as the companies have been providing referrals to each other in the financial services space.  Of course, integration partnerships also improve the stickiness of both solutions.

RelPro’s revenue is up a bit during the first half of 2020, and Wise is confident about H2.  Their business slowed less due to the pandemic than due to banks focusing on PPP processing for about eight weeks.  The banking business has since recovered as they look to provide “on the couch business development” to relationship managers and business development professionals across all segments of the banking industry.

Showing agility, the firm loaded the SBA PPP loan data into their platform and made it screenable.  Bankers and advisors can search the 660k companies who received loans in excess of $150,000.  The new dataset provides additional banking relationship data that complements UCC (liens) loan data already available through their service.

Introhive has over 240 employees with offices in the US, Canada, the UK, and India.  The firm supports over 100,000 global users.  Introhive was founded in 2012 with an initial focus on the accounting market.  It has taken an industry-by-industry approach and now supports global systems integrators, law firms, finance, commercial real estate, and, most recently, technology firms.

Introhive placed tenth on Deloitte’s Fast 50 with revenue growth of 1,700 percent over four years.

GrowFlare V2.0 (Part II)

Continuing my profile of GrowFlare (Part I)…

While many companies offer keyword searching, it is usually against a mined business description.  Only a few products, such as D&B Hoover’s Conceptual Searching, provide broader topical searching to build company lists.

GrowFlare includes a free Chrome extension that “overlays the power of prospector right over the website,” HubSpot, or Salesforce.  “This is invaluable for anyone from an SDR to an executive that wants a quick ten-second snapshot of a company before engaging,” said Belkin.  The Chrome connector detects the account, displays firmographics, trending topics, psychographics, and Next Best Prospect.

Prospector Bulk and GoldMiner support HubSpot append and enrichment, including Fit Scores.  Salesforce support is a roadmap item.  Belkin said that HubSpot support was a “strategic decision because HubSpot is more readily accessible, cheaper to develop for, more startup-focused, and we can build adoption faster.”

The user interface is clean and well laid out, with the ability to quickly sort prospecting tables and view additional details.  The company universe is limited to 130,000 US companies with ten or more employees “that have meaningful purchasing power.” Thus, GrowFlare is best suited for US account based marketers and strategic teams.  However, the service is still in its early stages of development.  It does not offer any contacts, and the firmographic intelligence, beyond the psychographics and trends, is limited.  There are some novel ideas and tools in this service, many of which are not found in more mature ICP offerings from the established players (e.g. DiscoverOrg AccountView, InsideView Apex, D&B DataVision).  These ICP / TAM tools were built for the marketing department, while GrowFlare is looking to serve both the sales and marketing departments with some competitive intelligence functionality as well.

GrowFlare is a freemium offering, with three free prospects provided with each search.  The Basic offering is priced at $2,950 per annum and includes ten prospects per list.  Growth offers 25 prospects per list for $4,950, and Unlimited offers the maximum number of relevant prospects per list for $9,950.  The paid offerings all include all of the features discussed in this profile along with 24/7 support.

The 2.0 release has helped the firm gain traction in the marketplace with revenue up 600% monthly (on a small base).  The average deal size is greater than $10,000. Upcoming GrowFlare development is focused on expanded partnerships.  GrowFlare is looking to add contacts from vendors such as InsideView and deepen its integrations with HubSpot and Salesforce.

GrowFlare V2.0

GrowFlare rolled out version 2.0 of its sales and marketing intelligence solution.  Enhancements include a revised Prospector tool for similar company searching, a Chrome connector for quick profiling and prospecting against a company website, HubSpot CRM imports, keyword searching, and customer fit scoring for HubSpot.

The enhanced Prospector tool identifies 100 companies similar to a target company based on psychographics, which are the common phrases and interests companies share.  This approach differs from most vendors that employ firmographics and technographics in their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) modeling.  For the target company, the trending topics are displayed as a spider chart with new topics called out.  Reps can drill on trending topics to see an example from the firm.  Topical analysis is derived from websites, social media, government filings, and job listings.

When users click on a trending psychographic, they are presented with in-context examples of the phrasing with the term highlighted.  The trending topics and psychographics are “invaluable for marketing and sales personalization,” said Founder & CEO Matt Belkin.

The similar companies New Prospects list includes a Fit Score, which gauges the level of similarity to the target company along with the shared psychographics.  So if a rep just closed a deal at the target, he or she can be confident that the high fit scores are similar in their market positioning.  Fit Scores are exportable to lead scoring models.  A quick view magnifying glass icon displays the trending topics for any of the prospects.

Below the Prospects list are additional graphics and analytics, including a shared psychographics word cloud, top 10 shared psychographics, locations of the prospects, and sizing ranges (employee and revenue).  As these analytics are based on the prospecting list, they assist with campaign messaging.

Searches are auto-saved to Active Lists, which identify new prospects.  Company profiles are scanned and rebuilt each week with companies compared and ranked within the list.

“NEW means they are new to the list and is usually a great signal to reach out [to] now because something strategic has changed with that prospect, bringing them closer to your ICP.  Your window of opportunity is now,” said Belkin.  “For example, they launched a new campaign, rebranding, business model shift, product launch, leadership change, etc. – all of these can cause this change.”

Any Keyword Search or Prospector Active List is automatically setup for alerts, whereby GrowFlare notifies the customer each week of meaningful changes and new prospect opportunities.  When viewed, the table of new prospects includes a Trend score, which is the change in rank position from the prior week.  An Active List focused on competitors will notify sales and marketing when competitor positioning shifts.  This tool would also be valuable for competitive intelligence analysts and business development reps looking to track a narrow universe of competitors or partners.

GrowFlare recommends that firms run Prospector against themselves to see “where your messaging shines” as well as competitors to understand their current positioning.

”Everywhere you look sales and marketing teams are wasting millions of dollars trying to acquire the wrong customers and saying the wrong things.  It’s crazy and the whole approach is broken.  We started GrowFlare to fix it.  You already know your best customers, GrowFlare helps you find 100 more just like them based on their shared interests.  It’s easy to see how focusing on what buyers care about – their psychographics – is far more effective when marketing and selling to them.  It sounds fancy, but it’s the same magic that powers recommendations for Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify in the consumer world.  We just built it for B2B.”

­GrowFlare CEO Matt Belkin

The Prospector Bulk feature is similar to Prospector but executes against a full customer list.  According to Belkin, “The resulting output averages between 25x-100x more high-fit prospects that sales and marketing teams can target with account-based outbound campaigns.”

GoldMiner CRM compares a customer list against open CRM leads and opportunities.  CRM accounts may be uploaded from HubSpot or entered as a domain list. 

The results are similar to Prospector, with GoldMiner listing the best prospects based upon Fit Score and the best reference customer.  GoldMiner also displays

  • The most valuable reference customers – Which accounts are the top referenced customers for the prospect list
  • Match rates
  • CRM Growth Multiplier – The CRM Growth Multiplier compares the number of high priority prospects in the prospect list to the number of customers in the CRM.
  • CRM Efficiency – The number of CRM high-priority prospects versus the total leads in your CRM.  CRM efficiency indicates the percentage of high value accounts in the CRM vs. weak fit accounts as determined by GrowFlare.

Belkin suggests that the new leads list should be run through GoldMiner “every day or week” as “this can be very valuable in quickly prioritizing third-party list buys, webinar lists, partner lists, technographic lists, and much more.”


Part II of my GrowFlare coverage continues tomorrow with a discussion of Keyword Searching, the Chrome Extension, and pricing.

Echobot Growing Quietly

Echobot, the German sales and marketing intelligence vendor, continues to do well during the pandemic.  It has over 1,000 clients and a growing ACV.  They added 15 employees this year, bringing their staff count to 65.  The firm was founded in 2011 and has posted a consistent 40% compound average growth rate.  It is internally funded.

Echobot offers multiple products: The Target prospect database of European B2B firms (UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria) and the Connect intelligence database with 11 million companies.  Content includes registered data, technographics, contacts, and news.  The firm also provides online and social print monitoring and DataCare DaaS Hygiene for CRMs and ERPs.

The Karlsruhe-headquartered firm is readying a new 18,000 square foot office, which it plans to move into in 2021.

“COVID-19 did not slow us down,” said CEO Bastiaan Karweg.  “In some cases it actually helped to put our agenda of digital sales intelligence front and center – mostly to compensate for missed trade shows and grounded field sales operations.”

Echobot Target supports firmographic and sales trigger (event) prospecting

I’ve followed the sales and marketing intelligence space for nearly two decades. The market developed in the United States with few European vendors (Bureau van Dijk being the exception). Often, it was US vendors such as OneSource, Factiva, and InsideView covering Europe as part of their global coverage . But over the past half decade, there has been a blossoming of European based sales and marketing intelligence solutions from

Not only are these vendors based in Europe, but they have a better understanding of the local datasets, regulatory requirements, and market nuances. Several are multi-lingual and carry local filings to serve financial services and compliance use cases.

Seismic – Vertical IQ Partnership

Seismic announced a partnership with Vertical IQ to deliver industry-specific insights within its Sales Enablement Platform.  Vertical IQ industry overviews will be delivered through Seismic’s dynamic content automation tool, LiveDocs, allowing bankers to quickly assemble client-facing content tailored to the client.  Vertical IQ covers over 325 industries with coverage of industry risks, quarterly insights, key financial benchmarks, and industry growth data.  Coverage of niche industries and regional economic data are also available from within Seismic but are not part of the LiveDocs integration.

Insights can be presented in-person, in print, or via digital devices and are packaged into Seismic templates.

The integration “helps bankers develop hyper-personalized communications with clients and prospects,” stated Vertical IQ CMO David Buffaloe.  “Our industry content is available directly through their platform, allowing bankers to develop customized presentation slides based on the prospects specific industry.”

Vertical IQ content is available to customers outside of the banking space, but the initial implementation was developed with Fulton Bank.  “We started with the joint focus on banking/financial services organizations; however, anyone that uses Seismic and sells to multiple industries would see value,” said Buffaloe.

Buffaloe called the integration a “big win for users” as bank leaders are looking to reduce the number of logins for conducting account research and support.

A Gartner survey found that bankers that deliver insights to their customers generate 94% higher fees.

Relationship Managers (RMs) at banks and credit unions support a broad set of customers and industries, making it difficult to develop deep expertise in individual industries.  Deploying on-demand, industry-specific intelligence helps RMs quickly come up to speed on an industry, ask intelligent questions of owners and financial professionals, and assemble custom presentations for winning business.  Industry-specific content also assists customers in their decision making and supports more valuable meetings between RMs and customers.

“Conversations between a banker and client should go both ways.  Vertical IQ and Seismic’s solution ensures conversations are backed by real-time, tailored insights so bankers can engage in better discussions and act as a trusted advisor.  This helps them bring unique value and expertise to the table to win, grow and retain more business.”

Vertical IQ CEO Bobby Martin

A recent JD Power survey of small businesses found that most were dissatisfied with their bankers’ ability to meet their needs and expectations.  Only 37% of small business customers felt that banks appreciated their business, and only 32% felt that banks understood their business.

According to Bob Neuhaus, VP of Financial Services at JD Power, “Banks need to focus on better integrating high-touch resources with innovative digital tools to meet the demands of small business.”

“Business customers have come to expect hyper-personalized interactions that meet the standards that are now common-place in their personal lives,” said Bill Finnegan, Managing Director, Financial Services Marketing at Seismic.  “We’re thrilled about our partnership with Vertical IQ because of the competitive advantage it will offer our banking customers.  The ability to generate rich industry insights on-the-fly in a marketing-approved format will help bankers elevate client conversations from just product, to industry-specific trends, advice, and guidance.  It allows bankers to be a consultative partner that demonstrates their bank truly understands their business.”

Vertical IQ has launched several integrations over the past year to deliver its industry research within sales and banking workflows.  Recent partnerships include Salesforce, RelPro, and Seismic.  Vertical IQ profiles are written in plain English for non-experts in financial services industries.  Strategic sales reps also leverage Vertical IQ.

The Vertical IQ integration is being sold by Seismic as an add-on to their current sales enablement solution.