LinkedIn Sales Navigator Q4 Release Part II

The new Funding Events Spotlight Filter allows reps to focus on accounts with recent private equity or venture capital funding events.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator rolled out its Q4 release to end-users and admins over the past few weeks. Yesterday, I covered their new data validation flag and Admin tools. Today, I am discussing the rest of the release including new alerts, list sharing, and SNAP (Sales Navigator Application Partner) enhancements.

Sales Navigator added two more Saved Account Alerts: headcount growth and Senior Leadership Hires.

When sharing lists, owners may now designate them view-only or editable.

“List collaborators with edit permissions will be able to add, remove, and comment on Leads or Accounts within a Shared List, and alerts will be sent to collaborators when Leads or Accounts have been added to or removed from a Custom List or when there are new comments on a Custom List.”

LinkedIn Sales Solutions VP of Product Management Doug Camplejohn

LinkedIn added SNAP integrations for Tableau and Power BI.  They also extended SNAP integrations to Oracle Sales Cloud Lead and Account pages (Contacts were already supported).

Teams will benefit from improved TeamLink recommendations on “who to reach out to first for a warm introduction, using connection strength scores based on a members’ interactions.”

PointDrive Roadmap

Finally, LinkedIn teased an improved PointDrive service that will be “deeply integrated” into Sales Navigator beginning in early 2020.  PointDrive provides sales reps with a custom landing page for delivering multi-media content with descriptions and company branding.  The multi-quarter release will streamline access to PointDrive functionality.  However, PointDrive will no longer support shared content.

SalesLoft Leveraging Data Validation Flag

SalesLoft is one of the first vendors to take advantage of the Sales Navigator Data Validation process.  SalesLoft uses the Data Validation flag to notify the SDR or sales rep.  SalesLoft automation rules can then trigger workflows based on whether a prospect on the decision-making committee has left or whether an admin or champion at a customer has changed jobs.  These insights help reps evaluate whether an opportunity may be in jeopardy, the likelihood of closing this quarter pushed out, or they need to move quickly to identify new buying committee members or champions.

“Customers leveraging LinkedIn Sales Navigator Data Validation are now able to use real-time insights to influence critical workflows when their prospects and customers change jobs,” said SalesLoft CMO Sydney Sloan. “Ultimately, this saves time spent reviewing customer data manually, and it will increase the quality of all opportunities as salespeople progress through the buying cycle.”

Zoominfo Workflows

Workflows deliver triggered audiences to CRMs, MAPs, and SEPs.

Zoominfo which launched its combined Zoominfo powered by DiscoverOrg platform in September, released Workflows, their “first data automation tool that streamlines sales and marketing activity and effectiveness by enabling customers to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right audience.”

Workflows identify new and existing prospects based on real-time B2B intelligence.  The prospects are then deployed to automated sales and marketing campaigns.  Audience segmentation can be applied according to intent, event, and news-based triggers including new technology installations, funding rounds, product launches, first- and third-party web activity, spending priorities, and other buying signals with additional company attributes.

One of the triggers is visitor intelligence gathered from their recently launched WebSights service.  “Now, you can engage prospects from organizations researching your site with direct-dial phone numbers and accurate email addresses.  What’s more, you can view your data and segment it according to firmographic filters, for instance, enabling better, more personalized outreach.”

Workflows support a set of sales engagement, CRM, and MAP platforms including Outreach, SalesLoft, Salesforce, HubSpot, Eloqua, and Marketo.  Sequences can drop audiences into campaigns or kick off sales cadences.  For example, a trigger can be set up for specific events and filtered by firmographics, technographics, biographics, or event-specific parameters such as Funding Amounts.

“Integrations with popular sales and marketing applications give customers the opportunity to marry ongoing custom triggers with essential prospecting information from ZoomInfo and connect with potential buyers in a personalized, more efficient way.”

Zoominfo

“Modern B2B buyers demand a personalized experience,” said Zoominfo CEO Henry Schuck.  “Solely relying on standard and static company criteria to identify key prospects restricts sales and marketing’s ability to meet those expectations, especially when timing is so often the difference between a deal that is won or lost.  ZoomInfo Workflows solves this problem with features that capture dynamic buying behavior across first- and third-party channels, as its collected, along with hundreds of rules to automate as little or as much of the go-to-market motion as they’d like.”

Zoominfo has migrated 1,000 customers to its new platform.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Q2 2019 (Part II) – Alerts

Last month, LinkedIn Sales Navigator rolled out a set of alert enhancements as part of its Q2 release. Alerts are intended to deliver “timely, relevant, and actionable insights” which allow reps to shift from researching to selling and building relationships.  As with other recommendation engines, Navigator alerts call out the “Next Best Action” with an “instant snapshot of the things that matter most about your prospects along with recommended action step for each.”

“At LinkedIn, our goal is to arm you with timely, relevant, and actionable insights so you spend less time sifting through information and more time focused on what matters: building relationships and closing deals,” stated the firm in its release notes.  “Alerts on the homepage gives you all the functionality of Newsfeed in a compressed, easy-to-use dashboard.  Don’t worry about missing anything — all of your favorite items from the old Newsfeed live on as alerts.  We’ve also added some new types of alerts as well!”

New alerts are highlighted in blue at the top of the feed.  Each alert contains an action step (e.g. Message, See Article, See List).  Alerts may be filtered by type and individual alerts may be deleted or turned off.

Three new alert categories were released

  1. An account has had a funding event
  2. A colleague shared a custom list
  3. Pending actions in Sales Navigator Coach

LinkedIn recommends that Navigator Alerts be reviewed once or twice a day.

“Every sales professional faces the challenge of how to best spend their time, maximize their productivity and close more deals,” said Camplejohn.  “That’s why Sales Navigator is now centered around alerts — making it easier for salespeople to identify important changes and prioritize the best next steps to take.”


On Monday, I covered enhancements to the Sales Navigator Sales Coach. On Friday, I will discuss other Q2 2019 enhancements.

People.AI Launches The Wire

People.AI announced availability of The Wire, their new artificial intelligence service for sales reps which suggests next best actions. According to the firm, “Like a brilliant personal assistant who’s always on top of his game, The Wire uses AI intelligence to remind you when to follow up on key accounts, suggest next-best-actions, warn you when a rep or account is falling behind, let you know when customer champions switch jobs, and ensure you’re always prepped for every meeting.”

The Wire suggests emerging opportunities, opportunities requiring attention, and champions that have departed to other companies.

The Wire flags opportunities that are in jeopardy of slipping due to inaction.
The Wire flags opportunities that are in jeopardy of slipping due to inaction.

Managers are alerted when sales reps are falling behind targets.  A Rep Ramp Alert “helps you move from data-aware to data-driven, proactively leveraging industry data to guide and coach your teams.”

Ramp Alerts identify reps that are lagging behind best-in-class recent hires and suggest when a one-on-one meeting may be required.
Ramp Alerts identify reps that are lagging behind best-in-class recent hires and suggest when a one-on-one meeting may be required.

The Wire also supports meeting intelligence with meeting prep reminders and post-meeting note capture and CRM sync.


Last Friday, I covered People.AI’s Round C and the company more broadly.

People.ai Round C

San Francisco-based Revenue Intelligence vendor People.ai announced Round C funding of $60 million along with the launch of its new The Wire next-best-action (NBA) service.  The round was led by ICONIQ Capital with participation by Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners, GGV Capital, and Y Combinator.  Will Griffith, Partner at ICONIQ Capital, has joined the People.ai Board of Directors.

People.ai has received $97 million in funding to date.  Its valuation was not provided, but TechCrunch placed the valuation at “mid-nine-figures.”

“Today’s announcement of our Series C funding represents a critical milestone in achieving our vision for the Future of Work,” said People.ai CEO Oleg Rogynskyy.  “We’ve already enabled customers to, for the first time, capture all of an organization’s critical business data, such as contacts and customer activity data, and deliver it directly to the CRM.  This has significantly improved sales productivity and CRM data accuracy and liberated the enterprise from time-consuming manual data entry.  Today, we’re taking People.ai to the next level with AI-driven intelligence that provides customer-facing teams with a simple, personalized set of actions based on current, historical and industry data that will help accelerate revenue.  When you use The Wire, you’ll have your most productive day at work, every day.”

People.ai was founded in 2016 and already supports Red Hat, Lyft, Zoom, New Relic, and Splunk.  The firm describes itself as a Revenue Intelligence System:

“People.ai offers the industry’s only Revenue Intelligence System (RIS) that automates the capture of all contact and customer activity data, dynamically updates CRM and provides actionable intelligence across CRM, collaboration, business intelligence, and other management tools for sales, marketing, customer success and services teams – exponentially accelerating growth and delivering actionable insights for strategic business decision making.”

People.ai Website

People.ai fills out buying committees for active opportunities, maps contacts and interactions to accounts and opportunities, and suggests next best actions.  Applying natural language processing and machine learning to buying committee discovery and NBA are the latest advancement in sales and marketing intelligence.

People.ai also supports contact updates derived from email signatures and pulls “critical information” such as product or competitor mentions, sentiment, and buyer intent.

People.ai’s recently launched Campaign360 service supports marketing attribution by tracking opportunities influenced or generated by marketing activities.  Campaign360 is the “industry’s only AI-based solution that equips Marketers with the real-time, full funnel campaign visibility they need at their fingertips,” said the firm.

“We’re thrilled to partner with People.ai as they execute their vision to unleash the potential of AI to drive enterprise revenue,” said Griffith.  “People.ai is well positioned in a highly strategic enterprise market, leveraging automation and AI to fundamentally change the way people work.  People.ai’s product, powered by strong network effects, is delivering insights and productivity at the scale and quality we have not seen previously.  We see an incredible opportunity to accelerate People.ai’s game-changing technology as they redefine the meaning of the Predictive Enterprise.  People.ai is the Future of Work.”

Partners include Salesforce, Slack, Outreach, SalesLoft, Exchange, and G Suite.


On Monday, I will be covering The Wire, People.AI’s new Next Best Action service.

TechTarget Confirmed Projects

TechTarget's new Confirmed Project details are collected by their research assistants.
TechTarget’s new Confirmed Project details are collected by their research assistants.

TechTarget added a set of Confirmed Projects to their Priority Engine service.  Projects include company information, project location, project contact name, purchase criteria, and purchase details.  Purchase criteria include top purchase drivers, product feature criteria, and vendors under consideration.  

Purchase details include capabilities being considered, key factors in choice of vendor(s), deployment method, departments where the purchase will be used, and anticipated benefits.

“The integration of Confirmed Project intelligence within the platform provides an expanded view of the Total Buying Team as well as new deal insights and angles – all in one place – to help Sales teams win more meetings, opportunities and deals.  The addition of Confirmed Project data provides a much deeper layer of intelligence on project criteria, specific vendor shortlists and key purchase drivers which enriches and expands insights available within Priority Engine to give sales teams more points of entry into live deals.”


TechTarget Press Release

Confirmed Projects are displayed alongside TechTarget intelligence including Owler company overviews, TechTarget buying teams, DiscoverOrg contacts, and HG Data installed technologies.

TechTarget Confirmed Projects are displayed within Salesforce Account i-frames.
TechTarget Confirmed Projects are displayed within Salesforce Account i-frames.

Confirmed Projects are collected by TechTarget’s “team of skilled in-house research assistants who are responsible for calling active prospects from high-ranking Priority Engine accounts.”  Prospects exchange project intelligence in exchange for TechTarget research.

TechTarget intelligence is accessible from “any browser and imported directly into Salesforce.”


“We saw rapid growth in the use of Priority Engine to fuel inside sales efforts in 2018 as more and more of our customers’ sales teams are using the insights we provide into prospect interests, research focus, vendor considerations, and tech installs. Using this data, leading sales teams have seen up to a 4x increase in opportunity conversion. The addition of Confirmed Projects within Priority Engine will fuel this growth even more.”


TechTarget SVP of Products Andrew Briney

Priority Engine raised revenues 29% in Q4 year-over-year and “bookings remain strong.”  The firm signed an additional 32 customers in Q4 and the firm raised Priority Engine prices by 10% in January 2019 after raising them 20% in January 2018.  The price increase was across all Priority Engine solutions.  As price increases are recognized over the life of contracts and renewals are overweighted to Q4, much of the 2018 price increase will show up in 2019 revenues.

“People that signed up prior to the beginning of the year were protected in their previous year’s pricing, but then we added other add-on bundles and solutions, because…we are integrating a lot of our branding lead generation offers into Priority Engine,” said CEO Mike Cotoia.  “So there is an up-sell capability and opportunity for our customers to…create a greater share of voice percentage within the markets they care about.”

“Our customers continue to increase their commitment to becoming data-driven sales and marketing organizations. This is creating opportunities to strengthen our partnerships with our customers by further embedding our purchase intent data into their systems to make their sales and marketing efforts more intelligent, competitive and efficient.”


TechTarget Shareholders Letter, February 6, 2019

TechTarget admitted that the data subscription business differs significantly from their traditional quarterly marketing campaigns.  Over the past two years, they have learned that service requirements vary greatly by size.  Larger firms “who have sophisticated systems and ample resources” can immediately leverage intent data for awareness campaigns and fueling sales outreach.  Enterprise accounts have revenue renewal rates “well over 100%.”  However, smaller firms require more handholding and renew at less than 100% of revenue.  To assist SMBs, TechTarget has assembled a unified customer success team to offer post-sales service and support.  “We believe over time that this will increase our revenue renewal rates with this customer segment. “

TechTarget described a strong IT spending environment with multiple catalysts for growth: AI, security, data analytics, and cloud migrations.  In the US, accelerated depreciation of capital expenses through 2022 gives “companies a short window to invest in technology with favorable tax treatment.”

LinkedIn Q4 Sales Navigator

Sales Navigator now supports custom Account and Lead lists.
Sales Navigator now supports custom Account and Lead lists.

LinkedIn rolled out its Q4 Sales Navigator release in November, but I failed to blog about it.  (Q1 will be covered next week in this blog.) The release contains several nascent initiatives including custom lists and the collection of “Reports To” data to assist with organizational mapping.  Other feature sets include three new alerts, an improved accounts center, PointDrive activity logging, and additional SNAP connectors.

LinkedIn is beginning to collect data around who reports to whom.  As sales reps or others learn about reporting relationships, they can add them to executive profiles.  The data is then shared across the LinkedIn contract with co-workers but not more broadly.  Following after last quarter’s support of buying committees, it is evident that LinkedIn is looking to infuse additional project and reporting relationships within Sales Navigator.

“We’re laying the foundation for full-blown org charts by adding a new “Reports To” field on the Lead Page,” blogged Head of Products for LinkedIn Sales Solutions Doug Camplejohn.  “Once you learn who someone’s manager is, you can add that info to their page by searching for a name or browsing our recommendations.  Any additions you or your colleagues make will only appear to those in your company’s Sales Navigator contract. So, the next time you or a team member looks that lead up, you’ll see who they report to, who added that connection, and a reporting history.”

An unlimited number of custom lists of accounts or leads may be built within the LinkedIn desktop or mobile app. Users may post notes on saved leads or accounts and filter the lists by people who have changed jobs in the last 90 days, people who have posted on LinkedIn in the past 30 days, companies who have had senior leadership changes in the past 3 months, etc.

LinkedIn does not yet support custom list uploading. Custom Sharing is part of the Q1 release.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator added three new alerts
LinkedIn Sales Navigator added three new alerts

LinkedIn added three new alerts:

  1. Someone at a saved account viewed your profile
  2. A saved account has just raised funding
  3. A saved lead has engaged with LinkedIn posts from your company

which accompany six current alerts:

  1. A saved lead started a position at a new company
  2. A saved lead has a new position within the same company
  3. A saved lead viewed your profile
  4. A potential lead recently joined a saved account
  5. A saved lead has accepted your connection request
  6. A saved lead was mentioned in the news

Alerts are now included in the main menu bar of both the desktop and mobile editions.  Camplejohn noted that LinkedIn has improved the “signal-to-noise ratio” of its alerts.

“Think of our Alerts as a trusted sales advisor tapping you on the shoulder with information about your saved leads and accounts when it’s most important and relevant to you,” said Camplejohn.

LinkedIn has simplified its admin experience and “made it much easier to do tasks from assigning users to managing groups.”  LinkedIn also unified its administration module across Sales Navigator, LinkedIn Learning, and LinkedIn Recruiter.

Advanced Searching was added to the Sales Navigator mobile app, bringing it to list building parity with the desktop application.  Earlier this year, LinkedIn enhanced its company and lead profiles, also bringing them to parity with the desktop application.

“LinkedIn’s recent updates to its Sales Navigator management tool makes it a more robust platform for sales teams.  More importantly, the moves to bring more of its desktop features to the mobile app are evidence that LinkedIn finally understands how crucial a mobile experience is when designing a sales tool focused on lead management.”


Amy Gesenhues, MarTech Today

PointDrive, Sales Navigator’s multi-media sharing application, will begin writing activity history back to Microsoft Dynamics.  Salesforce PointDrive sync will come in 2019.  PointDrive presents documents and video to end users as a landing page and tracks views and shares.

“Now when you send that pricing proposal to a prospect in PointDrive and members of the buying committee engage with it, you’ll be able to see that activity in both Sales Navigator and your CRM,” blogged Camplejohn.

LinkedIn continues to expand its SNAP partnerships, adding Zoom as their first web conferencing partner.  Users can now hover over an attendee name and view Sales Navigator intelligence including their profile photo, title, and common connections.  

The Zoom LinkedIn SNAP integration provides meeting attendee insights and connections from within Zoom.
The Zoom LinkedIn SNAP integration provides meeting attendee insights and connections from within Zoom.

Four vendors launched v2 SNAP integrations which provide broader access to Sales Navigator actions:

  1. Yesware (Email Engagement)
  2. Leadfeeder (Visitor ID Analytics)
  3. Groove (Sales Engagement)
  4. Outreach (Sales Engagement)

SalesLoft, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics previously released V2 SNAP integrations.

In the Salesforce Winter Lightning release, admins will be able to configure Sales Navigator and add support for Person accounts without having to go to the AppExchange.

This year, Sales Navigator focused on improved functionality and display for accounts, leads, and list building in their mobile and desktop applications; SNAP integrations; GDPR compliance and security; CRM opportunity management and buyers circles; alerting; employment analytics; and PointDrive CRM integration.  Details on earlier releases are available in my blog: Q1, Q2, Q3.

Owler Pro

Owler promises 60 second access to the platform with one-click Salesforce permissioning.
Owler promises 60 second access to the platform with one-click Salesforce permissioning.

Sales and competitive intelligence vendor Owler is readying to launch Owler Pro, its first end-user premium service.  Pro reads the open Leads, Accounts, and Opportunities in Salesforce and begins delivering automated alerts to sales reps.  Owler Pro supports single-click sign-on so no Salesforce admin support is required.  The service is currently in beta test and includes a redesign of their Instant Insights email alert design.

“In short, it’s an ad-free, streamlined way for Saleforce.com users to automatically sync their active opportunities with Owler, and auto-follow those companies on Owler. So, a sales person’s Daily Snapshot will always be relevant to the deals they are currently working on.”


Owler CEO Tim Harsch

The service is designed for sales reps, but Owler plans to support competitive intelligence analysts, marketing professionals, and senior level executives in the future.

Owler Pro, which is expected to launch in mid to late February, is priced at $12.99 per month or $119.88 annually.  During the beta, users receive one free month, but they are undecided on whether that offer will continue following general user rollout.

The premium service also alerts on a broader set of topics.  While the free version focuses on M&A activity, funding events, and exec changes, the Pro edition adds an additional dozen triggers:

  • Product Launches
  • Joint Ventures
  • Partnerships
  • Awards
  • New Offices
  • IPO Announcements (a precursor to the closing of the actual funding)
  • Record Earnings
  • Earnings Announcements
  • Restructuring
  • Key Employee Departures
  • Key Employee Hires (in addition to primary leadership which are included in the free version)
  • Layoffs

According Harsch, the goal is to “arm sales reps with sales triggers.”

Owler also recently rolled out a Lightning Data solution which performs a monthly match and append against Salesforce Accounts.  36 fields are supported including the top three competitors and social media links.  The service is priced at $25 per user per month for all users in the instance.

The Lightning Data solution includes a free self-assessment report which analyzes Owler’s match and append rate against Salesforce Accounts and includes segmentation data.

Owler has 2 ½ million active users, up from 1.1 million a year ago.  Nearly half of users are located in the Sales or Marketing department and forty percent are directors or above.  An additional 17% describe themselves as Analysts, Consultants, or Specialists.

Owler user base demographics
Owler user base demographics

Owler is also available through its API partners including CrunchBase, SalesLoft, SugarCRM, and Salesforce Lightning Data.

Owler collects data on over 11 million companies including four million full profiles.

Artesian Tweaks Platform Performance & News Storage

The Artesian Watchlist
The Artesian Watchlist

Artesian Solutions implemented a set of technological upgrades to its sales intelligence service which provide speedier searches, more accurate sales triggers, and improved capacity. Artesian now employs Elasticsearch for its news and social media storage. According to the firm, “This has enabled it to dramatically scale up server capacity, boost the performance of its advanced architecture, and provided the ability to analyse, filter and deliver results from raw unstructured data. Search results that previously took 10 seconds now take just 10 milliseconds.”

Artesian Solutions enhanced their sales triggers with improved scoring and ranking algorithms while improved caching and load balancing allow the firm to expand concurrent users ten-fold without a degradation in performance.

The net result of these architectural enhancements is a 25X increase in historical content available for analysis and research and a five-fold increase in the speed of news query engines.

“We constantly feed back into our engineering team the learnings, preferences and needs of our customers, and in return they always deliver robust, superior performance enhancements that not only accelerate our R&D programme, but solidify our position as the market leader in sales intelligence software,” said Artesian CTO Steve Borthwick. “We’ve boosted the performance and accuracy of the Artesian platform across the board, improving raw speed and our ability to handle a significant number of simultaneous users, as well as optimising their ability to uncover those all-important golden nuggets of sales insight.”