InsideView UI Refresh

InsideView recently rolled out a beta user interface which follows a mobile first navigation structure and includes a redesigned News Feed view for followed companies.  InsideView describes the new UI as “fresh. Modern. And easier to navigate, with more engaging graphics and a common user experience across platforms – within CRM, mobile, and web.” 

The color scheme utilizes a monochrome palate with splashes of red, blue and green for accents (e.g. hyperlinks, highlighted tabs, buttons).  Unfortunately, much of the text is gray against a white background which may cause readability issues in brightly lit locations. 

Navigation is via a left-handed navigation bar.  For companies, the primary tabs are Overview, Company Information, People, and Insights.  Sub-headings under Company Information are Firmographics, Industry Profile, Financials, Family Tree, and Competitors.  Industry Profile has a third level of horizontal tabs, and really should be presented as a top-level navigation item. 

A Search bar provides a type-ahead feature to assist with company and contact searching.  The type-ahead feature begins as a Recently Viewed list of companies and contacts. 

The Insights Tab includes social integration, news filtering by agent, and keyword searching.
The Insights Tab includes social integration, news filtering by agent, and keyword searching.

The Insights Tab is an updated version of the InsideView buzz tab.  Users can view company news, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook in a single feed.  News can be filtered to a subset of their 17 agents and be shared via email, social media, or Yammer.  All four sources are keyword searchable.  Twitter is fully integrated with a Twitter handle summary along with reply, retweet, and favorite.  Facebook supports an integrated stream of posts with commenting support. 

One of the nice features that was carried forward from the old Buzz tab is the ability to switch between company posts and posts from others for Twitter and Facebook. 

In place of a static Home Page, the user is taken to the News Page which presents the user with news stories for followed companies in a grid pattern.  Users may filter the topics by one or multiple Agents (sales triggers) and Watchlists.  Individual articles may be shared with social media, email, or Yammer. 

The News view may be filtered by Watchlist and Agent.
The News view may be filtered by Watchlist and Agent.

The Company view still lacks an export to PDF feature similar to that found in D&B Hoovers and Hoovers classic.

Users will be able to switch between the classic and beta versions through April 27th.

Sales Navigator Q1 18: Seat Transfers, Additional Alerts, and Seniority Preferences (Oh My!)

SN Seat Transfers
If your firm has an enterprise Sales Navigator team account, you can migrate your standalone account to the enterprise account and let your employer pay your subscription fees.  Just realize that all of your current data (InMails, Messages, Saved Leads and Accounts, etc.) are being uploaded into the corporate account.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator adopted a new quarterly release system for 2018 and has begun rolling out its Q1 release.  Yesterday, I touched upon their redesigned Account profiles.  Today, I’m delving into other new features that are rolling out to clients over the next few weeks.  These include self-service seat transfers to enterprise accounts, expanded alerting, and a Seniority Level preference.

The new self-service seat transfer feature allows sales reps to import their Sales Navigator information into a corporate account. Thereafter, the corporation pays for the license. Migrated content includes Saved Leads, Saved Accounts, Saved Searches, InMail, Messages, InMail Credits, Notes & Tags, and personal Sales Navigator settings. However, when a rep leaves a firm, there is no way to migrate content back to the individual account (their LinkedIn connections are untouched). While activity that took place after the rep merged their account can reasonably be considered company intellectual property, the shared information contributed by the new rep should be returned to the individual’s private account afterwards.

Alerting for the PointDrive service (an enhanced email which directs users to an HTML page containing attachments and multi-media) has been modified to provide real-time email messages when an individual views PointDrive content. Alerts are suppressed for subsequent views by the same individual. The alert’s viewer data includes name, title, company, email, and location. The feature allows reps to reach out to viewers in a timelier manner (perhaps while still viewing the content). PointDrive also provides activity reports and identifies individuals to whom content has been forwarded.

LinkedIn added a new email alert called “Saved Leads Who Viewed My Profile.” According to LinkedIn, the mobile push notification for this event has the highest click through response rate. Sales reps perceive the trigger “as a potential buying signal and want to know ASAP when this happens.” LinkedIn added the near real-time email feature because not everybody has installed the Sales Navigator mobile app. The alert includes quick account and contact details along with account employment details by function for the past six months (if available). To avoid email SPAM, users are only re-notified of visits after seven days.

LinkedIn inserted a new variable for Seniority Level in its Sales Preferences which are employed for recommendations. Sales Navigator also added the option to quickly toggle preferences on and off during Account and Contact Searches. For example, a Boston-based rep for an enterprise Martech Solution can automatically target New England executives, Director or Higher, working in Marketing, IT, Finance, or Purchasing.

Preferences are set during the Sales Navigator onboarding process.
Preferences are set during the Sales Navigator onboarding process.

DiscoverOrg Legal & Compliance Dataset

Executive Change Alerts from the Legal and Compliance database.
Executive Change Alerts from the Legal and Compliance database.

DiscoverOrg continues to rollout additional datasets to meet the needs of sales and marketing professionals that target specific corporate departments. The latest dataset focuses on legal and compliance departments, complementing datasets for technology, sales, marketing, HR, finance, and the executive suite. The new dataset meets the same standards of coverage and quality as previous datasets (e.g. 95% accuracy guarantee, 95% email fill rates, 90-day refresh rate). Along with executive bios and contact information, users will enjoy compliance department org charts, installed technology, and buying signals.

“Companies selling into legal and compliance functions have become okay with buying inaccurate, outdated contact data and sales intelligence tools—some in actual book form.  And until now, legal and compliance companies had few other options. DiscoverOrg is changing that and bringing a solution to the market that is robust, high quality, and designed to allow these organizations to build their businesses around.”

  • Chief Growth Officer Katie Bullard

“Lack of access to contact data has prevented engagement with in-house legal teams at corporate entities,” said the firm. “Many companies outsource legal services to 3rd party firms, but the largest 20% of corporates manage most legal matters in house. The Legal and Compliance dataset enables legal technology and legal services companies to systematically reach this untapped buyer group – to position a technology solution or be the vendor of choice.”

DiscoverOrg is “already seeing high demand” during their soft launch window and have signed several “high-profile legal technology companies.” The dataset is designed for Legal Services companies, Law Firms, and Staffing and Recruiting firms looking to place Legal and Compliance talent.

Coverage spans 150,000 legal professionals across 25,000 organizations constituting “the largest and most complex legal departments and the largest law firms.” Corporate titles include General Counsel / Chief Legal Officer, Legal Operations, Compliance, Government Affairs & Relations, Litigation, IP, Contracts, eDiscovery, Risk Management, Governance, and General Counsel Executive Assistant. Titles at legal services and law firms include C-Suite / Partners, IT, Finance, and Legal staff. Also included are legal representatives at federal, state, and local government entities. Data Security Officers can be found in the IT dataset.

“Ten years ago, DiscoverOrg completely revolutionized the way IT companies prospected, and we’ve now brought that sales and marketing revolution to the rest of the market,” said CEO Henry Schuck. “Companies outside of IT have become okay with buying inaccurate, outdated contact data and sales intelligence tools—some in actual book form. That is not okay, but until now, legal and compliance companies had few other options. Today we are changing that and bringing a solution to the market that is robust, high quality, and designed to allow legal and compliance companies to build their businesses around.”

In 2017, the DiscoverOrg database roughly doubled its contact coverage to three million biographies with emails, direct dials, organizational position, and responsibilities. DiscoverOrg also expanded its company coverage by 50% to 125,000 global entities. The growth was bolstered by the acquisition of RainKing at the end of August. The firm has a team of over 300 researchers responsible for building and maintaining datasets. DiscoverOrg is used by sales, marketing, and recruitment teams at over 4,000 firms.

Owler Pro Coming Soon

Owler is now promoting its first paid service, Owler Pro, which will be launching in a few months.  Owler Pro is priced at $9.99 / month but will be discounted to $4.99 / month for the first 1,000 users (lifetime guaranteed pricing).  The service is offering the following additional features:

  1. Go straight to article, bypassing the Event Page.
  2. Skip Owler recommended content such as competitors of your followed companies
  3. Follow groups of companies
  4. Customize the displayed instant insights (event triggers)
  5. Ad free

As I haven’t seen advertising on Owler, I’m assuming that the free version will become a sponsored platform.  Most of these features are fairly insignificant, but at $4.99 per month the pricing is reasonable to prevent advertising and avoid the Event Page click-through.

Subscriptions are available from the following landing page.

If you haven’t checked out Owler, the free service provides company profiles, M&A and Funding histories, competitor lists, event alerts, and user-based surveys.

Owler Pro Features

RampedUp Account Scoring

RampedUp Profiles now include account based scores (zero to five stars).
RampedUp Profiles now include account based scores (zero to five stars).

Sales Intelligence vendor RampedUp added account scoring to their platform. Other new features include saved searches for leads and trigger events, lead and trigger event downloading to CSV files, importing corporate URLs into searches, and the auto-population of decision makers and preferred technologies.

The new scoring doesn’t employ predictive analytics, but rates accounts on a zero to five basis, with a star awarded for each of five conditions:

  • One of top 5 industries based on the client roster
  • One of top 5 market segments based on client employee count
  • Installed Technology based on products important to the client’s sales process
  • Contacts present with preferred title based on selected buying committee
  • Recent trigger event article showing activity over the last 90 days

“Two things that have always set RampedUp apart from other sales intelligence platforms have been the tailored nature of the data we provide,” said CEO Scott Miller. “Our customers are exposed to contacts that are unique to their buying committee. We also share look-alike customer data based on a sync that pulls customer data into our platform in near real-time. RampedUp also tracks triggering events and installed technology used by companies to help sellers understand their prospects better. All this information is used to create our unique scoring methodology.”

Artesian: £3.5M in Expansion Capital to Focus on A.I.

Arti responds to "How many companies do you cover?"
Arti responds to “How many companies do you cover?”

British sales intelligence vendor Artesian Solutions announced that it received £3.5M in expansion capital from Columbia Lake partners. The funds will be used to refinance current debt obligations and provide working capital for “further growth and expansion.” The refinancing also provides better terms and business flexibility after the firm reached a profitability milestone in July.

Artesian has begun integrating artificial intelligence into its tools. Earlier this year, it launched Insight Agent, “the first step in a series of intelligent chat bots aimed at automating many of the tasks carried out by B2B professionals” along with Arti, the firm’s interactive digital assistant.

“This is an exciting milestone in our company’s history and positively reinforces the leadership position we have attained.  We are constantly looking at the ‘what next’ scenario, pushing boundaries to establish our business as one of the leading innovators in B2B software for commercial teams, this has paved the way for our new risk mitigation capabilities which will be released in the New Year.”

  • Artesian Solutions CEO Andrew Yates

The firm has recently shifted its positioning from social selling to “A.I. powered sales intelligence.”

“Social Selling sits at the heart of Artesian’s founding principles,” explained Yates. “But as sales best practice has evolved, so has Artesian. Our goal is to be at the forefront of technology evolution for enterprise B2B, delivering a suite of A.I.-powered tools to make prospecting, engaging and closing deals easier. As our forthcoming risk mitigation capabilities demonstrate, we will continue to evolve to ensure we remain a trusted partner of our enterprise customers and to maximise the impact of their business relationships”

Artesian offers products for both the British and American markets.


Your Biggest Competitor is No Decision

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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