Vainu Workflow Triggers

European Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor Vainu released Workflow Triggers for target account monitoring.  Workflows leverage recent enhancements to the company’s firmographics, user interface, and CRM integrations.

Workflows are available for Salesforce, Dynamics 365 Online, HubSpot, and PipeDrive and support Account, Contact, Lead, Opportunity, and Task records.

Workflows setup requires four steps:

  1. Select the target group for tracking
  2. Define the filter options such as signal events (e.g., funding, new hires, M&A), data changes (e.g., revenue, employees, address), or new companies in the target group.  Over 70 triggers events are available.  Data changes may be triggered by any licensed data field.
  3. Choose the destination (CRM, Slack, email, or webhook).
  4. Set context including the number and frequency of triggers, additional information, and notes.  “For example, if you’re monitoring accounts to launch account-based marketing campaigns, you can update a data field in your CRM object with custom text saying ‘ABM campaign Q3/2021’,” wrote Head of Marketing Aamer Hasu.

Sales Operations can map data fields with custom text, providing context to data updates and workflows.

Workflow Triggers identify “any significant changes in real-time and use them to trigger workflows across your business systems,” said Hasu. “They’re perfect for nudging prospects over the line and discovering sales opportunities you never knew existed.”

Vainu data covers Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, France (beta), and the United Kingdom (beta).  Users may license one or multiple countries.

One gap in the offering is the lack of support for Sales Engagement Platforms (SEP) such as SalesLoft and Outreach.  SEP functionality is a logical extension to Workflow Triggers. While SEPs are less established in Europe than in North America, both companies have opened EMEA sales and support offices in London.

Vainu is offering fourteen-day free trials to the service.  Email as a trigger destination is available for all users, but CRM integrations are sold separately.

EXPLORE Sales Intelligence

EXPLORE.FR, which has historically been more of a niche data provider for the French market, now offers a full sales intelligence and DaaS offering covering the entire French market.  In March, EXPLORE took a minority stake in Societeinfo and published its set of registered Sirene data for ten million active businesses.

“With Societeinfo, we can offer a wide range of data enrichment scenarios, contextualized email generation, semantic targeting without equivalent on the market,” said Laurent Nicouleau, Associate Director of EXPLORE.  “These data can, of course, be integrated into the information systems of our customers, including those deployed by GESTINNOV, our subsidiary dedicated to CRM & ERP integration.”

EXPLORE describes itself as ”a designer of high value-added B to B behavioral data solutions” that “identify all the life stages of your prospects and customers and transforms them into a lever for commercial performance.”

EXPLORE French market intelligence includes company and executive profiles, financials, and triggers.  Features include prospecting, list mapping, news alerts, and mobile apps.

EXPLORE offers connectors for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, Oracle, SugarCRM, Efficy, and SAP.

A new Microsoft Teams feature lets users look up and share company profiles within the Teams discussion stream.  Company profiles may be looked up via their Siret # (registration number), name, or address.  From the mini-profile, colleagues can link to the company website or view additional details in EXPLORE.  The service works as a freemium with non-EXPLORE users viewing a limited profile and EXPLORE users viewing a complete profile.

The Teams application is French only.

EXPLORE captures business signals from news, social media, the open web, and governmental sources.

EXPLORE triggers are gathered from regional and national news, social media, the open web (e.g., governmental sites, real estate developers, public purchasers), and public data resources (e.g., building permits, legal announcements).  Triggers fall into three categories:

  1. Strategic events such as M&A, Fundraising, IPO, Investment Projects, and Restructuring.  EXPLORE captures 3 million strategic events per annum.
  2. Relocation Projects and profiles spanning 15,000 annual events.
  3. Legal News such as company registration, dissolution, change in capital, divestitures, litigation, etc.  EXPLORE tracks 2.7 million legal events per annum.

EXPLORE targets commercial real estate, real estate developers, financial services, building supplies, and B2B services.  EXPLORE pricing begins in the €2,000 to 3,000 range.

EXPLORE has 160 employees, with offices in Paris and Nantes, and an annual turnover greater than €14 million.  EXPLORE has 1,500 clients and over 40,000 users.

In other news, EXPLORE acquired Belgian data vendor CODATA which collects information about retailers in France and Benelux.  The dataset covers 370,000 retail locations at 4,600 sites (e.g., city centers, shopping centers, outlets).  The new content augments EXPLORE’s coverage of commercial real estate.

“EXPLORE has been present for many years on the commercial property market; our offer is mainly “project” oriented (construction and renovation of buildings, urban development, CDAC-CNAC decisions, etc.),” said Nicouleau.  “We were very impressed by the high quality of the teams and the data produced by CODATA in the field.  Associated with EXPLORE, CODATA will have new operational resources to develop and strengthen their positions.”

ZoomInfo Engage

On its earnings call last week, ZoomInfo provided further color on its Workflows and Engage products that leverage ZoomInfo’s content for sales and marketing automation.  Along with company and contact data, ZoomInfo supports visitor intelligence, intent data, and events

Since its founding, ZoomInfo has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in “to drive material improvements in the way we gather, normalize, match and cleanse that data with the use of AI and Machine Learning.”  ZoomInfo has expanded the breadth and depth of its content and built a “fully scalable platform that powers the digitization of how companies go to market” across departments, funnel stages, and the customer lifecycle.

“Our platform starts with our market-leading and highly accurate data layer, delivers critical sales insights and signals, automates best actions with our next generation workflow software and our tightly integrated activation layer, Engage. This integrated suite of data and software helps businesses of all sizes and across all industries activate targeted opportunities in an efficient, scalable, and repeatable way,” stated CEO Henry Schuck.  “As we continue to invest in automating workflow, expanding the coverage and quality of the data we publish, and leveraging that data asset across our platform’s application stack, we are building a wider and wider moat around the company.”

Engage Notes and Engagement Insights

During Q1, ZoomInfo expanded the platform integration with Engage, their Sales Engagement service.  Enhancements include the ability to “search and import contacts from ZoomInfo and Salesforce into Engage and allowing users to configure target market buyer personas to receive an automated feed of recommended contacts to pursue.  Only a month after release, 40% of active users have taken advantage of these expanded touchpoints.

The also released Workflows enhancements that simplified the creation of Workflows based upon a Trigger / Actions / Filters structure.  Workflows support actions across CRMs, MAPs, SEPs, and Engage.

A recruitment product, currently in beta, will be launched in June, just in time to take advantage of post-pandemic hiring growth in the US.  The Recruiter service includes Engage and supports “a digital motion from candidate sourcing, to candidate engagement, to interview.”  Multiple ATS (applicant tracking systems) will be supported.

Engage ACV doubled over the past quarter, with a 25% increase in usage of the core ZoomInfo platform among joint licensors, with Engage driving higher renewal levels.

Engage is still a new product and only represents “a tiny, tiny percentage of our customer base.”  However, the market signals are strong, and ZoomInfo sees a “strong upside” with the offering.  They have been receiving “great feedback from the customers who are on it.”

“We also see the benefits of this adoption within our retention and renewal numbers where customers who are dual users of Engage and ZoomInfo have materially higher renewal and retention rates than those who are ZoomInfo only customers.  This is one of the most exciting things about the Engage platform: It has multi-area benefits.  Customers buy Engage, which increases the adoption of both Engage and ZoomInfo.  And investment behind Engage has material benefits across our Recruiter and International packages, where that product is a built-in offering.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck

`ZoomInfo offers a sales engagement service and integrates with two of the leading SEPs: Outreach and SalesLoft.  Justin Withers, SVP of Strategy & Corporate Development, described the company as “Switzerland in terms of data and intelligence.”  ZoomInfo customers can choose to deploy Engage for their sales teams or other vendors.  In either case, they benefit as they provide leads (ZoomInfo Company and Contact Data), signals (ZoomInfo Scoops and Streaming Intent), workflows (ZoomInfo Workflow), and activation across leading platforms.

“If an intent signal comes in for an account, and the topic is relevant for the customer, the signal can fire a workflow with ZoomInfo data and add to a sequence in Outreach, SalesLoft, or Engage,” Withers told GZ Consulting.

ZoomInfo Workflows Enhanced (Part III)

Continuation from yesterday’s article about ZoomInfo Workflows (Part I).

ZoomInfo hinted at an even broader vision of automated lead qualification and workflows in a recent blog that listed four categories of qualifying data:

Source: ZoomInfo, “How To Automate Lead Qualification for Increased Response Rates,” March 8, 2021 Blog.

ZoomInfo does not support programmatic advertising, chatbots, or Slack notifications, so there is significant running room for product development, particularly around expanded intent.  For example, a recent study by XANT found that inbound lead response rates decay quickly, but reps fail to respond promptly, and many fall between the cracks.  The study analyzed three years of inbound leads at over 400 companies.  XANT looked at 5.7 million inbound leads and found that 57.1% of first call attempts took place after a week or more, and only 0.1% of inbound leads were responded to within five minutes.  However, firms that responded within those first five minutes had an 8X conversion rate versus later return calls.

“Maybe we simply didn’t realize what we were leaving on the table,” wrote XANT.  “Maybe we over-rotated on targeted ABM strategies at the expense of speed-to-lead.  Marketing automation shouldn’t replace meaningful and quick sales engagement.”

XANT proposes a second problem that slows lead response times: the manual assignment of leads to individuals, resulting in two sets of delays – the lead routing process and the sales reps’ ability to respond quickly when a batch of leads is handed to them.

Tying inbound leads (emails, webforms, chatbots) to workflows is the next step beyond enrichment.  It allows for immediate lead scoring, assignment, and routing decisions, speeding up the response rate while determining each lead’s best course of action.  The Trigger / Filter / Action methodology for intent and event-based leads fits perfectly with these other inputs.  Furthermore, Chatbots and FormComplete often gather a few extra qualifying details that would be filter inputs.

“There is perhaps no greater need than for sellers to be calling on the right people at the right time,” said SalesTech analyst Nancy Nardin.  “Fortunately, the level of accuracy and timeliness of data has improved by leaps and bounds with the emergence of AI, and improved data collection, cleansing, and enrichment.”

ZoomInfo Workflows Enhanced

ZoomInfo Workflows are natural language statements that follow a trigger/filter/action process.

ZoomInfo rolled out an upgraded Workflows product for automating trigger-based tasks.  The service sports a simplified natural-language UI for building workflows “in ways that feel conversational, simple, and secure.”

ZoomInfo Senior Product Director Apparao Karri explained that Workflows are at the intersection of go-to-market data availability and sales automation, calling it “the long tail of GTM automation.”

Continued Karri, “Intelligent Automation is a key differentiator for businesses, and the underlying technology stack is mature and ready to deliver at scale.  ZoomInfo Workflows is a product built on this framework to improve productivity, reduce lost opportunities, and bring consistency to the go-to-market motions.”

Product Marketing Director Thad Peterson contrasted Workflows with Marketing Automation Platforms:

“Marketing automation has existed for many years, but often on a generic playing field.  For example, when visitors fill out a form on a company website, marketers can drop their information into a sequence or a campaign in their CRM.  But those campaigns are limited because a form-fill mechanism doesn’t provide targeted and specific information for each of those prospective customers. Now we live in a world where individual sales reps can create hyper-targeted campaigns based on nearly every imaginable scenario.”

ZoomInfo Product Marketing Director Thad Peterson

The basic structure of a Workflow is triggers, filters, and actions.  Triggers are business events detected by ZoomInfo and include ZoomInfo WebSights (website visitor intelligence), technographic changes, Clickagy Streaming Intent, fundings, and ZoomInfo Scoops (e.g., projects, PPP funding).  Triggers may also be created from saved searches that identify new companies or contacts that meet the saved criteria.

Triggers act as signals subject to pre-defined filters.  The filters are conditions that must be met for an action to be taken.  They can be based upon ZoomInfo or Salesforce criteria.  For example, presence in an ABM list, meeting firmographic criteria, assigned to a rep in Salesforce, or not present in Salesforce.  Actions dictate the Workflow response and include sending emails, assigning contacts, creating records, or kicking off sales flows (cadences) in ZoomInfo Engage, SalesLoft, or Outreach.  Marketing actions can be processed through HubSpot, Pardot, Marketo, and Eloqua.

Actions include a processing frequency (e.g., daily, weekly) and limits on the number of exported records.  The limit works as a throttle so that reps are not overwhelmed with too many leads.  It also prevents a workflow from using up too many ZoomInfo credits.  Some actions have sub-actions associated with platforms (e.g. set campaign or cadence / sequence / flow).

Filters can also be employed for territory assignment, ensuring that the activity is routed to the proper sales rep.  As ZoomInfo has one of the deepest pools of professional contacts with emails and direct-dial phones, they can activate sales and marketing activity from anonymous account-level signals for targeted functions and levels.

“If businesses want to scale quickly, they can’t become mired in day-to-day tasks that can easily be automated,” said ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck.  “ZoomInfo’s Workflows eliminates redundant, repetitive tasks and helps teams to focus on the human side of closing business by establishing strong relationships with prospects and customers.”


Continue to Part II.

Vainu Workflow Triggers

Sales Intelligence vendor Vainu has added a set of Workflow Triggers that take automated actions based upon CRM data updates.  As Vainu enriches CRMs with financial data mined from European registered data filings, it has raw, current data for triggering activities.  Admins set up the trigger rules, and Vainu creates “smart actions” such as creating CRM Tasks, adding a row in Google Sheets, or sending a Slack notice.

For example, a Workflow Trigger may be set up to look for SaaS companies that meet the “Rule of 40” condition (revenue growth plus profitability margin).

Vainu CEO Mikko Honkanen notes that trigger rules and ratios will vary by industry and may include custom rules specific to each of Vainu’s customers.  Thus, the Rule of 40 “is typical of the software industry but isn’t that critical for other businesses.  For being truly data-driven, each company has its own magic numbers based on the data points of their interest.”

Vainu claims that it supports thousands of data points for triggered workflows, kicking off both sales notifications and custom marketing messages associated with each trigger.

“Some people might want to know when a company starts using lead capture forms on its website.  Someone else might want to be alerted as soon as a company adds a new environmental standard to their corporate social responsibility web page.  Or when a company appoints a new CEO. Or when it adds an auxiliary name that includes the word ‘restaurant’ in it.  The most valuable trigger event is often a change in that specific event.”

Vainu CEO Mikko Honkanen

Along with data changes, actions may be based upon any of seventy event triggers or new accounts meeting ICP criteria.

Vainu, headquartered in Helsinki, emphasizes the value of dynamic data fed into enterprise platforms.  Dynamic data ensures that decision-making is based upon timely and accurate data.  It also allows salespeople to be customer-centric.

“By having access to data that informs them of the current situation of an organization, as well as what recent changes the organization has undergone, salespeople are able to tailor their messaging and offer a personalized experience,” blogged Vainu marketer Nikolai Bang. Vainu covers nearly thirty million companies across Scandinavia, the Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom.  Triggers are based upon the licensed countries.

Vainu Sales Triggers support automated Workflows.

Warmly, Seed Round

Warm leads startup Warmly, (yes, with a comma as when signing a letter), raised a $2.1 million seed round led by NFX.  Y Combinator, Matchstick Ventures, Scribble Ventures, Mike Vernal of Sequoia, and Harry Stebbings’s 20VC also joined.

The new funds will be used to build out their sales team and hire additional engineers to embed machine-learning capabilities into their software.

“We want to end cold outreach altogether because we should be able to show you the shortest-path warm intro into any company you want to sell to, and the number of hops [it] takes to get there,” said Warmly CEO Max Greenwald

Warmly tracks job changes and tracks champions that have decamped to other companies.  They leverage a firm’s CRM to identify relationship strength and identify former users of a firm’s products and services.  Alerts are sent to sales reps when a former user or advocate resurfaces at other organizations.  Warmly also notifies the customer success team when a user or advocate has left.

“We’re going to make customer success teams more powerful than sales teams in generating revenue.  Now that 84% of all b2b sales come from a referral, traditional methods of customer acquisition like outbound sales & marketing are less effective.  Warmly is building the first ever customer network graph, a novel way to leverage customers to drive new sales.”

Warmly, Website

Warmly was founded in early 2020 by three former Googlers (Greenwald, CTO Carina Boo, and Chief Product Officer Val Yermakova) and VP of Engineering Alan Zhao.

“They’ve got this wide-open market.  It’s this fantastic fertile soil [that] they’ve put themselves in,” says NFX managing partner and Warmly board member James Currier.  Currier also emphasized that customer success software is in its early stage of development.

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.

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.

Vertical IQ – RelPro Partnership for Industry Intelligence

Vertical IQ Call Prep Questions in RelPro

RelPro and Vertical IQ partnered to deliver company and industry intelligence in each other’s products.  Both companies serve financial services firms and the Relationship Management (RM) function at banks, with many customers requesting an integrated solution.  Joint customers have access to both programs via bi-directional authorization and accreditation at the user level.

“This is a partnership both companies’ customers have been clamoring for. So we listened to what the market was telling us and worked to bring the concept to fruition.  It was a natural fit.”

RelPro CEO Martin Wise

Vertical IQ provides a set of over 500 plain-English industry overviews designed for financial services firms that are broadly applicable to RMs, business development, and sales reps, particularly professionals that support many industries.  The profiles provide a high-level understanding of industries, including industry norms, structure, trends, pain points, call prep questions, forecasts, and news.

RelPro is a traditional sales intelligence service with company and executive content sourced from sixteen partners.  Data partners include Zoominfo, Dun & Bradstreet, BoardEx, GuideStar, Crunchbase, and HG Insights.  Rel Pro users build prospecting lists, perform account planning, identify additional contacts at key accounts, and, with the Vertical IQ partnership, research industries based upon each company’s industry codes.  A new Industry tab displays Vertical IQ’s Industry Overview, Trends & Industry News, Competition, and Call Preparation content.  

Instead of providing the full Vertical IQ report, RelPro chose to publish the most valuable sections from Vertical IQ and combine them with industry-specific intelligence from its database, including Competitors and Top Companies.  Should a user wish to dive deeper into an industry, the RM simply clicks a button and is taken to the full industry profile in Vertical IQ.

The Vertical IQ integration is a bit simpler.  Users can click on a “find companies in RelPro” button located in the industry dashboard.  The user is taken seamlessly to RelPro to perform a peer search.  The industry codes are pre-populated, and the user can include additional sizing and geographic variables for defining a territory.  Users may also plot company lists on a map, a useful tool for field sales rep planning.

Users do not need to log into both offerings.  A handshake between the firms ensures that jointly registered users receive access to both platforms.

There is a clear logic to this partnership.  RelPro and Vertical IQ allow Relationship Managers to rapidly context switch, perform client due diligence, ask intelligent questions, and conduct business development.  The combined services deliver customer and industry insights within the RM’s workflow, helping them better serve customers and their banking objectives.

The partners initially focused on their set of joint customers with contracts written on separate paper.  There is no surcharge for the cross-product authorization and functionality.

RelPro offers four industry subjects to the combined RelPro / Vertical IQ industry tab.

Vertical IQ has also stepped up during the pandemic to assist business decision making. Their editors are publishing a set of free coronavirus related profiles at the industry-level, allowing RMs, sales reps, and risk decision makers (supply, credit) to properly evaluate industry-specific risks.

“Rather than learning about industries in bits and pieces or from unreliable sources, we knew it was important for people to get information from an experienced industry intelligence partner written for those that advise small  and medium-sized businesses. That was the impetus for delivering this intelligence and making it free of charge.”

Bill Walker, Vertical IQ EVP of Research

A freemium approach during the current health and economic crisis makes a great deal of sense. It provides free resources to small businesses and distressed sectors that can assist with decision making, while providing a free taste of their content to professional and financial services firms. The content set should result in both future sales and brand equity.