Sales Enablement vendor Seismic supports over one hundred technology vendor integrations. Seismic claims to have the “sales enablement industry’s largest partner ecosystem,” with multiple CRM, MAP, and sales engagement partnerships.
“Seismic is purpose-built to work with any application to enhance customer experiences, increase platform engagement, and add value throughout a company’s sales and marketing technology stack,” stated the firm.
Seismic published the following list of significant integrations by category:
Customer Intelligence: Gong, Introhive
CRM: Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, SugarCRM, Oracle, Pegasystems
Seismic has also partnered with over twenty global consulting partners that “are helping customers drive more value from their sales enablement investment, as well as offering local language and in-country support.”
Seismic offers an enterprise-grade content management system which recommends the next-best action for content. The platform employs analytics to recommend which content is most likely to resonate with a prospect based on buying stage, vertical, etc.
Seismic recently partnered with Industry intelligence vendor Vertical IQ.
LinkedIn is rolling out its third-quarter Sales Navigator release. The enhancements focus on “features that help you put your buyers first through intelligent action, simplified day-to-day activities, and consistent insight into keeping relationships warm.” The release theme is “listening to the buyer.”
LinkedIn is dipping its toes into intent data with Buyer Interest Alerts that signal when employees or corporate leaders from a saved account have visited the company’s LinkedIn Page or company website. Buyer Interest Alerts are available in conjunction with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions and delivered through the Sales Navigator Enterprise edition.
Marketers install a snippet of code to their website that drive the notifications. They can then track conversion rates, retarget visitors, and analyze visitor demographics. The code also powers Buyer Interest Alerts within Sales Navigator.
“With Buyer Interest Alerts, you have buying intent insights that help you to decide when to engage, allowing you to provide a timelier and more customized buyer experience,” blogged Lindsey Edwards, the Senior Director of Product Management at LinkedIn Sales Solutions. “As we strengthen our buyer intent models with the rich buyer insight that the LinkedIn network contains, we’ll continue to enhance our Interest Alerts to include more signals that will allow you to target the right buyer at the right time.”
Buyer Interest Alerts are anonymous. LinkedIn notifies the user if there is a visitor from the company but does not disclose details beyond account name, seniority level (i.e. Leadership or Employee), and geography. Users can then search for Linkedin Members that match these criteria. Anonymity ensures GDPR compliance.
While many vendors are now offering visitor intelligence, Sales Navigator is the only service that combines LinkedIn company profile views with visitor intelligence.
Account-Level Buyer Interest is not yet supported but is on the product roadmap.
LinkedIn, which has often suffered from spam alerts that overwhelm users, is employing predictive AI to surface the critical notifications for “building and maintaining the relationship with your buyer.” Users may filter alerts by Lead, Account, shared activity, and alert type with the “most urgent and timely” alerts displayed at the top of the list.
Sales Navigator is also improving its synchronization with Salesforce and MS Dynamics. Users can now bring their book of business into Sales Navigator through the automated syncing of Leads, Contacts, Accounts, and Opportunities. The syncing improves the delivery of people and company alerts and insights within Navigator. CRM synchronization is available as a feature of the Team and Enterprise Editions.
To improve relationships, LinkedIn is now reporting on LinkedIn outreach activity across all Sales Navigator editions. Lead Lists (followed members) now track LinkedIn engagement with additional columns for actions by the Sales Navigator user and subsequent responses:
InMail and Messages sent, responses received, and attachments clicked
Connection requests sent from Sales Navigator and LinkedIn and accepted requests
Smart Links sent and opened
Lead and Account List sizes were increased from 250 to 1,000, expanding the scope of contacts and companies tracked. Users may also take bulk actions on up to 25 Lead or Account records at a time, making it easier to remove them from lists or move them from one list to another.
Sales Navigator is well-positioned to assist sales reps during the pandemic as its messaging tools are not location or time-specific. Sales professionals can reach out with InMails and Connection Requests, and prospective buyers can respond asynchronously. SDRs and AEs don’t need to obtain (or guess at emails) or place direct dials that go unanswered at empty offices. Furthermore, Smart Links, launched earlier this year, provides a tool for sharing documents and multi-media with view tracking.
“In what continues to be a unique and challenging moment in history, buyers and sellers, alike, are adjusting to a new normal. Just like you, they’re juggling the pressures of succeeding in their day-jobs, while also managing their personal lives — homeschooling, daycare, elder care, multiple people working from home, and/or reduced income. The hurdles might look different from buyer to buyer, but one thing is consistent — they need to feel confident that you understand their challenges and goals. In the end, you aren’t necessarily selling a product or service, you’re selling a trusted relationship, and the person at the center of that relationship is the buyer.”
Lindsey Edwards, Senior Director of Product Management at LinkedIn Sales Solutions
By the end of the year, the Deals functionality will be integrated directly into the Sales Navigator workflow. This enhancement will improve relationship status and pipeline visibility.
Revenue Operations vendor Clari announced Account Engagement, a set of AI insights focused on account relationships and activity “to help leaders strategically identify risk and opportunity and deploy resources against the accounts that matter most.”
Account Engagement takes real-time CRM, email, calendar, and partner engagement data to display a full view of touchpoints across each account. “Revenue leaders can understand how reps are engaging with accounts, what accounts are at risk, and what the whitespace potential is,” helping managers allocate resources, reduce churn, and expand new account penetration.
With Account Engagement, revenue leaders can analyze how their remote sales teams are performing via Account Heatmaps, Engagement KPIs, Territory Coverage, and Account Whitespace.
Engagement KPIs let managers assess meeting, email, and other engagement metrics across accounts. Account Managers and Customer Success Management touches are also tracked, helping ensure that all accounts are receiving proper attention. Managers can quickly filter the accounts to review only non-engaged accounts or drill down on any account to reveal next steps, notes, account priority, and opportunity size.
Being able to view accounts in aggregate and then drill into the details of individual accounts supports engagement-informed account review and strategy sessions.
Managers can also step back and view activity across a team with individual rep summaries over an extended time period. Managers can click on any rep’s name to view their engagement data graphed over the period. This view is particularly valuable for recently onboarded reps or reps that are on performance plans.
“The revenue process does not end with sales and marketing. Account managers and customer success teams also need to track customer and activity engagement data and insights. Without this knowledge, you can’t effectively manage your account relationships.
Visibility into account engagement ensures your team is focusing on key customer relationships to proactively mitigate churn risk. With this information, you can guarantee your account managers and customer success team are engaging with the right stakeholders and avoiding last-minute fire drills before renewals.”
Stephane Glass, Director of Product Marketing at Clari.
Territory Coverage analytics help track rep engagement across their accounts.
The Account Whitespace report identifies accounts that are lacking attention.
“Our mission is to give teams more control over their revenue from the point of initial engagement to closed business and expansion, especially at times when teams are switching to remote selling,” said Andy Byrne CEO of Clari. “With this launch we’re providing complete visibility into customer engagement to drive higher effectiveness of GTM strategies across all stages of the revenue process.”
Account Engagement gathers engagement data from Dialpad, Drift, Highspot, Marketo, Outreach, and RingCentral. “The ability to quickly track the success of GTM strategies is critical for any revenue organization and especially in the current market environment,” said Craig Rosenberg, chief analyst and co-founder of TOPO Research. “Visibility into engagement of target accounts and where teams are spending their time provides insights into how strategy changes are performing. Revenue teams need this insight not in 6 or 12 months but in real-time, so they can see what’s working and make the necessary adjustments to stay on track to achieve their goals.”
Industry Profiler Vertical IQ released a credit underwriting solution to assist lenders’ credit decisioning. Vertical IQ has long served financial institutions with a set of plain-English industry overviews for relationship managers. The new service expands its Industry Risks tab and renames it “Credit Underwriting and Risks.” A new industry brief is also available.
The new Credit Underwriting and Risks content includes a proprietary Industry Risk Rating based on account financial risk, exit rates, industry performance during downturns, barriers to entry, and the industry outlook. Other new content includes key industry and economic performance metrics, a Financial Comparison Toolkit that performs custom benchmarking against key financial metrics, and industry-specific credit decisioning considerations. The Financial Comparison metrics are downloadable for sharing with clients and prospects.
“In today’s volatile market, loan credit underwriters are understandably cautious about their lending decisions. The Credit Underwriting and Risks Chapter and Industry Brief are quick ways for bankers and credit professionals to get up to speed on the lending environment for a client’s or prospect’s particular industry.”
Vertical IQ CEO Bobby Martin
The new industry brief contains an industry summary, industry risk rating, key performance metrics, financial ratios, important credit underwriting-related considerations, common industry-related risks, and the Financial Comparison Toolkit.
The new Credit Underwriting content is delivered through the desktop application with an API upgrade before the end of the month. The original content will be extended to additional apps and partners in the coming months.
“Great decisions are made by taking something that is complicated and simplifying it to its primary moving parts. When a banker can do that, he or she offers a more clear understanding and a more fluid and productive conversation. Vertical IQ has simplified the process of analyzing industry risks for the commercial banking world. It is long overdue.”
David Nicholson, Founder of Credit Training, Inc.
Industry-specific financing topics that were already available in the service include discussions of working capital, capital financing, business valuation, and financial benchmarks.
The new content is available within the core service at no additional charge. However, by extending the value for credit underwriting at banking and commercial finance, Vertical IQ will be improving its seat penetration within those segments.
Just before the pandemic hit, Canadian behavioral intent vendor LeadSift hit $1 million in revenue with a 6% per month growth rate. As the firm began to absorb the recession, CEO Tukan Das adopted a policy of radical transparency with his team, providing them with daily updates on the company’s status and letting them know they had cash in the bank to avoid layoffs.
“I would say we have navigated COVID pretty well. Fortunately, we were in a position where there’s more of a tailwind in our industry, with more data needed, and data specifically for helping other B2B companies identify their buyers.”
LeadSift CEO Tukan Das
The firm did take an initial 8% revenue hit, but it is now growing at a 5% a month, bringing their run rate above pre-pandemic levels.
“When COVID hit…a lot of companies just went into a little bit of a freeze,” said Das. “Some of our customers were B2B companies in the travel and event management space, and some of them, their whole marketing teams were fired. So they obviously had to pause any other spend.”
The end of trade shows meant the loss of some customers, but they went on the offensive and added technographics as an alternative source of technology-specific leads. LeadSift also added a full-time marketing manager and part-time social media manager, bringing their headcount to 14 (two part-time). The firm is profitable.
LeadSift also worked a deal with Halifax-based Innovacorp to deliver six months of intent data to Nova Scotian firms at no charge, with Innovacorp picking up half the foregone revenue.
LeadSift is developing a new control panel for delivering intent data and technographics to its customers. The new platform will support additional analytics and customization. The Q4 platform release will be more scalable and will provide administrators with greater control over which companies and topics are to be tracked.
LeadSift generates intent data via web scraping across company websites, blogs, job boards, social channels, SEC filings, etc. LeadSift looks for public actions such as likes, comments, job postings, executive hires, and technology implementations. It then associates these events with contacts.
The LeadSift company universe spans 40 million contacts associated with 8 million companies and domains. Contacts include emails with twenty percent also providing direct-dial phones. LeadSift contacts are GDPR compliant. The company universe focuses on English-speaking countries.
LeadSift Head of Growth Alex Field views their event intent data as complementary to other intent data sources, with LeadSift helping verify other intent signals such as visitor intelligence or third-party media site visits. LeadSift scores accounts based on persona (who is active), event type, event recency, and size of the company. These scores can be combined with other intent scores to provide greater confidence around buyer intent.
Leads are fed daily to CRMs and MAPs, including Salesforce, Pardot, HubSpot, Marketo, and Eloqua. Pricing begins at $1,000 per month for company-level intent and $1,500 per month for contact-level intent. Das is not looking for his next funding round but isn’t ruling it out. “We are going to be opportunistic. If we continue to grow at the rate we are, even during COVID, if we see an opportunity and the terms are right, we would certainly consider raising capital. But it’s not something where I’m saying, ‘We need to raise capital or we are going to run out of money.’”
Gong, which closed on a $200 million Series D round earlier this month, is in one of the SalesTech segments that has benefited from remote working. Demand for conversational AI tools from vendors like Gong and Chorus that record, transcribe, and analyze meetings and calls accelerated with the pandemic.
“With global sales teams switching to remote work and field sales teams grounded for the foreseeable future, we are seeing substantial demand for Gong’s solution even in a challenging business environment,” said Gong CEO Amit Bendov.
“Gong’s Web site is like a direct view into the subconscious of those hyper-enthusiastic salespeople who make the rest of us nuts but get the job done. The actual product is AI technology that captures video, phone, email, and face-to-face interactions and extracts insights about people, deals, and market events. It must work: they just raised a $200 million Series D, bringing total funding to $334 million. Did I mention their chatbot is a bulldog?”
David Raab, CDP Institute
Carl Eschenbach, a partner at Sequoia Capital, argued that firms benefiting from COVID fall into two classes, those that are enjoying a temporary lift and those that will enjoy long-term benefits due to social and technological shifts.
“There will be less [SIC] field sales reps than ever before. Said Eschenbach. “People will be working remotely and selling over digital mechanisms like we’re using Zoom.”
While Gong did not disclose their revenue, they said it has trebled over the past year. Forbes lists their 2019 revenue at $30 million so 2020 revenue should clock in around $90 million.
Gong has over 1,300 customers, including Autodesk, HubSpot, LinkedIn, MuleSoft, Outreach, PayPal, Shopify, Slack, Twilio, Zillow, GE, and Zoominfo.
Over 64,000 sales and support professionals use the Gong platform, up from 45,000 in December.
They recently launched a Deal intelligence module which provides deal pipeline visibility and “deal at risk” alerts to sales reps (see the image at the top of this blog).
Gong Partners include
Conference: Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, BlueJeans, WebEx, GoToMeeting, JoinMe
“We made a bold prediction in 2016 that Gong’s technology would become the most significant innovation for sales since the invention of CRM,” said Bendov. “The market has proven that prediction was correct. With global sales teams switching to remote work and field sales teams grounded for the foreseeable future, we are seeing substantial demand for Gong’s solution even in a challenging business environment. There is a new way to win in sales, and the best sales teams are turning to Gong’s Revenue Intelligence Platform to guide them down that path.”
Last month, Gong competitor Chorus closed on a $45 million Series C. The round was led by Georgian Partners, with participation from Emergence Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and Sozo Ventures. Five-year-old Chorus has raised $85.2 million to date. Georgian also led the $33 million Series B in December 2018.
The new funds will be deployed for product innovation and expanding its go-to-market team. CEO Jim Benton said that they would continue to develop their interaction signal capture capabilities, particularly those tied to relationships and driving deals to close.
“The insights provided by conversation intelligence can be a lifeline, identifying risks as well as what is working so that they can replicate best practices across the revenue team,” said Benton. “Sales floors in the office may be empty, but through the use of conversation intelligence, managers can still walk the floor virtually and offer coaching and a helping hand when needed.”
Chorus records, transcribes, and analyzes business calls. Transcripts include time-stamped notes and a call summary with risk factors and upsell opportunities. The Chorus platform helps reps capture and analyze interactions from calls, meetings, and emails. Chorus looks for keywords and topics such as pricing, competitors, and next steps.
“We want to make sure each person says, ‘I was just watching the call, and here is where we left off,’ or ‘I noticed this theme in your conversation, so let’s get started there.’ We are putting the ‘R’ in customer relationship management. There is a lot with the ‘customer’ and ‘management’ aspects, but in terms of ‘relationship,’ that does not always make it back into the CRM, and we think it should.”
Chorus.AI CEO Jim Benton
“We are continuing to make sure we are understanding these interactions for teams and leadership to see what works, so they bring their best,” continued Benton. “You want to make sure you represent the best of your team, give feedback, coaching, have the right messaging and which interactions drive the best close rates–all the science behind what success looks like.”
The firm doubled its headcount to 100 and trebled its revenue in 2019. Chorus has over 200 customers, including GitLab, Zoom, Adobe, MongoDB, and Qualtrics. It is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Boston and Tel Aviv.
Correction: I originally transposed the digits on Chorus’ Total Funding. The correct value is $85.2 million.
Revenue Intelligence vendor Gong closed on a $200 million Series D, raising its valuation to $2.2 billion. The firm indicated that it didn’t need the funds as it is still operating with its Series B funds from February 2019 ($40 million). The $65 million Series C from December is also available, providing the firm with over $265 million in cash for growth and potential acquisitions. Total funding reached $334 million.
“We weren’t looking to raise another round, but a lot of funds were eager to invest in us,” said Gong CEO Amit Bendov, contending that it is better to raise funds when they are available than when they are needed.
“It gives us the ability to buy companies, make strategic investment, accelerate plans, and it also, especially since we cater to large enterprise customers, gives them confidence that this company is here to stay,” he said.
The additional funds will help the firm “fulfill strong market demand for its Revenue Intelligence Platform, reinforce its market leadership, and invest in its product, engineering, and go-to-market teams.”
While an IPO is in the plans, Bendov sees it two to three years out when revenue hits a few hundred million dollars.
Potential areas of acquisition include analytics, AI, communications, and other customer-facing technologies.
“Gong is building something that is bigger than CRM. Rather than rely on people to type in information, Gong automatically captures text, Zoom calls, etc., and improves sales forecasting, product, and market strategy, with zero effort. Ultimately, we are creating a big system. The product is successful today, but still, more is needed.”
Gong CEO Amit Bendov
In 2021, Gong plans to expand globally. It has 350 employees with plans to add “hundreds” more over the next year and at least 100 before the end of 2020. They are looking to expand across finance, human resources, sales, marketing, and IT. Most of their positions are in the Bay Area, with offices in Atlanta, New York, and Denver.
“A lot of our San Francisco employees wanted to move to Atlanta after we opened our hub there [in March], said Bendov. “It’s difficult to work from home in San Francisco, where you have five roommates, and you need to do a Zoom call.”
Coatue led the Series D round, with participation from Index Ventures, Thrive Capital, and Salesforce Ventures. Previous investors NextWorld Capital, Battery Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Wing Venture Capital also participated.
Part II of this blog delves further into Gong’s product offering and how they and competitor Chorus have navigated COVID.
B2B DaaS vendor SalesIntel added visitor intelligence (first-party intent data) to its marketing capabilities. VisitorIntel matches website traffic to companies and enriches the subsequent event records with firmographics, technographics, and contacts. Visitor intelligence provides an early warning system that a company is being researched before anybody registers for a white paper or requests a callback.
SalesIntel also has a partnership with Bombora for their B2B intent data derived from a co-op of media sites. Thus, SalesIntel users have access to both first and third-party intent intelligence. The firm licenses IP and cookie to domain data, but most of the VisitorIntel intellectual property was developed internally.
Marketers may filter the visitor window (e.g. today, yesterday, this week, this month) to view recent site activity. Site activity may be downloaded as a CSV or uploaded to Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo, Outreach, or SalesLoft. When sent to SalesLoft or Outreach, a cadence / sequence can be initiated.
VisitorIntel should be viewed as a V1 release. Activity is processed daily, with plans for real-time updates. Its reporting is also fairly simple.
“It always helps our sales and marketing teams shorten sales cycles when we are able to target companies that have expressed interest in our products and services, and website visits are a terrific indicator of that interest. If we can find the people who are checking us out on the web, and easily find the other people in that organization who we might want to reach out to, we are ahead of the game. We believe our clients can similarly benefit, so we conceived and launched VisitorIntel within our SaaS product.”
SalesIntel CEO Manoj Ramnani
VisitorIntel is available as part of SalesIntel’s Pro premium package that also includes data enrichment and Bombora intent. Pro pricing begins in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.
SalesIntel also added keyword searching to its list building. SalesIntel filtered two million terms down to 70,000 searchable keywords. Keywords let marketers identify prospects based on ideal buyer persona or targeted messaging.
“Good, clean, and insightful data is the true enabler for sales and marketing teams, and it is core to our mission to provide our clients with as much detail as we can so that they can truly know their target buyer,” said CEO Manoj Ramnani. “Keywords will greatly benefit our user base by providing that extra level of detail.”
SalesIntel has trebled its customer base over the past year, benefiting from market consolidation and its high-quality data positioning. Sales slowed during the first two months of the pandemic, but have picked up with a strong pipeline.
SalesIntel continues to build out its database of quarterly re-verified contacts, reaching 6.2 million this month. They have begun to internationalize this dataset.
European technology sales intelligence vendor Rhetorik opened a US sales hub in California. The office will be led by John South, who was named the VP North America.
“Our goal is to meet the needs of US companies seeking European data expertise,” said Rhetorik CEO Meredith Amdur. “It’s a very exciting prospect to be combining John’s experience and knowledge of the global data market with Rhetorik’s IT databases and data management services in order to achieve this.”
California is a logical location for US market entry (the firm already has a Canadian development office). Not only is a high percentage of US enterprise software and cloud companies headquartered in California, but the CCPA data privacy regulations are akin to EU GDPR requirements, making marketing departments more sensitive to data privacy and regulatory compliance.
Rhetorik recently expanded its technographics intelligence NetFinder+ service across the EMEA region with support of 17 European countries and Israel. The service provides “accuracy, completeness, and compliance across Europe,” said Amdur. Rhetorik emphasizes that contact data is collected subject to the location-level data privacy rules of each jurisdiction and subject to the “Robinson lists” of various jurisdictions (e.g. The CTPS phone opt-out list in the U.K., DNC in Ireland).
NetFinder+ includes a market analytics module that helps product management and competitive intelligence groups evaluate their market position by category and country. It can also be used to assess complementary partner market share (by installation).
Rhetorik separately offers a DataClinik hygiene and enrichment service.
South has a long history of new business development in the technographics space, having served as the VP of Sales at Datanyze (now owned by Zoominfo) and the head of Client Success and Sales at Aberdeen. He most recently was the Director of Business Development for Imperium.
South will be “responsible for driving sales, new business development, and planning strategies for the sales teams.”
ABM Platform vendor Terminus announced the immediate availability of the Terminus Engagement Hub, which applies data and attribution for advertising, email, web, and chat. The hub includes integration of RambleChat, its newly acquired account-based chat service. Other new capabilities include Trended ABM Scorecards and new target account list building rules.
Terminus’ Chat from Anywhere functionality allows sales and marketing to embed chat links in email, LinkedIn, Twitter, digital ads, QR codes, proposals, and other outbound communications and media. Chat from Anywhere moves beyond the company website and enables it contextually through a broad set of communications channels. Thus, chats are attached to the proper account, routed to the account owner, and attributed to the campaigns and actions which drove the engagement.
Chat from Anywhere is also integrated into SalesLoft and Salesforce, with employees responding via web browsers or mobile apps. Chat-based Leads are mapped to Salesforce. If the lead is not in Salesforce, then a new contact or lead is created by Terminus Chat.
The enhanced ABM Scorecards “help identify success across market segments over time, prove value, track win rates, and compare performance to prior periods.”
Terminus expanded its ABM Dashboards and custom views, including views of Engaged Accounts, ABM Win Rate, Opportunities Created, Revenue by Industry, and Pipeline by Program.
New Data Studio features include account filters ”based on advertising performance and engagement metrics for next best actions.”
New list building functionality “enables users to import and connect Salesforce Account IDs and push lists across engagement channels while also connecting those audiences to powerful measurement and attribution analytics.”
“We’ve taken our powerful data and attribution capabilities in Terminus and separated it into two parts – Data Studio and Measurement Studio. We’ve also integrated new marketing channels to help marketers create experiences for their prospects and customers. Advertising Experiences, Email Experiences, Web Experiences, and Chat Experiences are all now available in one place; all in the Terminus Engagement Hub. It’s never been easier to run coordinated, multi-channel marketing campaigns.”
Terminus Chief Product Officer Bryan Wade
“ABM is more than a marketing strategy, it’s a business strategy. And it’s more important than ever,” continued Wade. “Marketers are challenged to nurture an existing customer base while still driving quality top-of-funnel activity, all in a digital world. Now with the Terminus Engagement Hub, our customers can own every point of engagement with target audiences and track all activity at the account-level in a single platform. Full-funnel ABM is now easier than ever.”