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 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 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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
do not need to log into both offerings. A handshake between the firms
ensures that jointly registered users receive access to both platforms.
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.
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.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator has been rolling out its Q1 release to users over the past few weeks. I already covered Contact Creation and Smart Links. Part III of this blog covers Saved Lead and Account Searches, Accounts Preparing to Grow alerts, UI and mobile enhancements, and an InsightSquared SNAP Connector.
now share a Saved Lead Search, allowing them to put together dynamic prospect
lists and share them across the account team. Reps simply select who
receives the shared search and include a note. The recipients can then view
the saved search with values pre-populated.
feature is Saved Account Searches, which allow reps to set up a search with
scheduled update alerts. Users control the update notification period.
“Search is a newer area for us in Sales Navigator. We’re finding more than ever that sales teams are looking at things collaboratively, so we introduced the idea that we need Sales Navigator to work across teams in order to allow that collaboration to happen.”
Account Preparing to Grow alert notifies sales reps when the number of postings
at a saved account has grown.
Navigator mobile app (Android and iOS) now supports all seven European
languages available in the desktop application. Another new app feature
lets the rep set custom alert filters for accounts, leads, and relationships.
always been an area of focus and growth for us,” said Edwards. “We are
seeing more use on mobile than ever before, and we want desktop and mobile
users to have an equal experience. People want the full breadth of
functionality on mobile.”
UI now supports a slide-in panel for viewing Account Funding News without
leaving Sales Navigator. The slide-in panel also supports CTAs, such as
include a usage reporting refresh and an opt-out for usage report tracking.
LinkedIn released a SNAP integration with BI vendor InsightSquared. The integration analyzes Sales Navigator usage and supports seven out-of-the-box workbook templates.
Edwards emphasized that the goal of Sales Navigator product updates is to promote simplicity by “simplifying the seller’s life and workflow. We focus on sellers as end-users, but we want buyers to have a great experience, as well.”
Finnish sales intelligence vendor Vainu announced the immediate availability of their new Vainu for CRM connectors. The new service supports data viewing, synchronization, prospecting, and triggered alerting in Salesforce, MS Dynamics 365, HubSpot, and Pipedrive. Additional CRM integrations are planned.
Vainu launched its original prospecting service in 2014 but is looking to make its data more consumable by embedding it into user workflows. According to Vainu Head of Marketing Mikko Luhtava, Vainu’s retention rate is much higher when there is a clear user workflow. Thus, the goal was to make the sales rep’s experience as “frictionless as possible.”
“Since we founded Vainu, we’ve known that in addition to the who, when, what, and why of sales, the other challenge is to get people to actually use that information. We realized that the key to success there is removing friction; making data as easy as possible to consume. With Vainu for CRM, we’ve done exactly that—embedded into everything you do in the CRM, real-time company data will be hard to avoid.”
CEO Mikko Honkanen
initially updates account and opportunity records, but additional record types
will be supported in the future. Custom field mapping and update /
overlay rules are also planned.
is asynchronous and bi-directional. “Any time you add a record to the
CRM, it will search Vainu to fill in data, and any time Vainu receives an
update on a company, it will push the update to CRMs with that entity in the
database in a matter of minutes,” said Luhtava.
fuzzy matching logic is employed with match confidence scores. Vainu also
supports auto-match functionality for new records and Send to CRM from the
Vainu browser service. Additional features include duplicate record
checking and “stare and compare” updates by sales reps.
with a CRM requires an excellent matching tool, and ours is world-class,” said
CTO Tuomas Rasila. “Instead of merely matching based on global unique
identifiers, it compares the full extent of a company record to our database to
increase our confidence rating in the match. Once connected, our platform
learns from everything salespeople are doing in the CRM to deliver information
that’s as relevant as possible. And since everything is automated, the
data-driven experience won’t require endless effort on our customers’ end.”
Vainu for CRM includes two advanced features: CRM-Vainu joint-variable prospecting and triggered workflows. Joint-variable prospecting allows sales or marketing to build lists using both CRM and Vainu variables. For example, a targeted prospecting list can be built for a territory which excludes current accounts or for which there was no recent activity. Over 100 joint selects are available. The only other vendor that provides such a feature is D&B Hoovers.
Workflows can be triggered by any of Vainu’s event triggers, which are derived from news, filings, and data changes. Vainu supports 55 triggers which can be combined with keywords. Both general company-level events (e.g. mergers, acquisitions, expansions, funding) and “very detailed, database-specific” triggers such as new vehicles, new website registrations, and new technology deployments are available.
“With the trigger-based approach, the likelihood of bringing in a new customer is more than two-times higher if there is an event within a prospect that triggers you to reach out to them.”
events are displayed within the CRM and Slack. They can also be sent as
email alerts and through Zapier connectors. Workflows are currently
available for Nordic companies and the Netherlands.
includes connectors as part of their standard subscription. Pricing
begins at €6,600 per year for one country and five seats.
Vainu has grown revenue to €15 million in five years. The firm supports
over 2,000 customers, including EY, Santander, Bridgestone, SAP, and Telia.
database covers Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands with
registry data matched against web mined intelligence and 55 business signals.
France, Britain, and the United States are currently in beta.
US data is
gathered from state Attorneys General filings supplemented with crawled
intelligence. At the moment, the US database is mostly being sold for
Vainu sells databases by country with both local language and English user interfaces.
If you sell into the technology space, then you need to plan for acquisitions and their impact on your revenue stream. M&A is both a threat and an opportunity. It is a Yin / Yang situation for sales reps.
There are several ways in which acquisitions can result in a customer drop or lost revenue:
If your customer is “acqhired” by a company in another industry, then their talent is often re-purposed, and they may no longer require your product or services.
The acquirer may be a customer of a competitor and not looking to change vendors. The acquirer may be tied into a long-term contract or they may be satisfied with their current solution.
Both companies are customers, but volume pricing results in revenue decline at renewal. This can be made worse if the firm is looking to obtain efficiencies through layoffs or process efficiencies.
Your key contacts are let go or assigned to other duties.
The acquiring company has lengthy and expensive procurement processes that delay renewals or cause a drop as your POC is unwilling to navigate the new purchasing system.
But it also presents opportunities to cross-sell into new divisions and creates a greater openness to new ideas and solutions. Likewise, the new parent may be a good fit for other products and services from your firm.
Thus, it is important to be present during these windows of opportunity and risk. Here are a few recommendations:
Reach out to your advocates and congratulate them on the transaction. Keep the note short and indicate you’ll reach out to them again in a few weeks once the dust has settled. Employees, particularly at acquired firms, are nervous and often initially in the dark about what it means to them and their department, so give them a little space to breathe while acknowledging their new reality. Then make sure to follow up a few weeks later as promised.
If your current advocates and influencers aren’t LinkedIn connections, then send out the connection requests. This is the easiest way to see if their titles or roles change.
Track any departures to new companies. They are likely to be your future advocates or deal influencers so keep the conversation going even if they don’t represent any near-term opportunities.
If key individuals depart, then move quickly to reestablish connections with their replacements or former departmental colleagues. Don’t leave gaps with the buying committee.
Ask for referrals into the new organization.
Be flexible in your contracts. Being intransigent and holding firms to current contracts when they wish to renegotiate ensures current revenue but increases the likelihood that you will be dropped in the future. Consider the impact on their LTV by being intransigent.
Honestly evaluate the impact on your pipeline and discuss it with your management. Opportunities may be pushed out and renewals put at risk. Update your account plan and work with your sales director to manage deal and broader account risk.
Remember that no customer is permanent. You need to both deepen and widen your relationships. The broader your set of relationships, the more stable your LTV and the greater your likelihood of withstanding acquisitions, changes in top leadership, and departures of your cheerleaders. The best way to prepare for an acquisition is to have established a broad set of relationships across your key accounts. Relying on one or two champions leaves you vulnerable.
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.”
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 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.”
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
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
“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.”
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.”
migrated 1,000 customers to its new platform.
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.”
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!”
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.
new alert categories were released
An account has had a funding event
A colleague shared a custom list
Pending actions in Sales Navigator Coach
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.”