ZoomInfo Workflows Enhanced (Part II)

Continuation from yesterday’s article about ZoomInfo Workflows.

For over a decade, Sales Intelligence vendors such as Dun & Bradstreet, InsideView, Artesian Solutions, and ZoomInfo have offered sales triggers based upon executive changes, funding events, M&A, etc..  D&B Hoovers, along with many European vendors that process registered filings data, includes data change alerts (e.g., credit score change, revenue growth) and registered filings.  As vendors are now adding in visitor intelligence and intent signals, there is the risk of quickly overwhelming sales reps with alerts.  And since most vendors do not yet offer workflow solutions for filtering and automating sales activities, there is a strong likelihood that reps begin to view these alerts as noise instead of actionable signals.  The more generalized the signal (e.g., website visits), the greater the possibility of signals being considered spam. 

To further confuse things, Sales Engagement Platforms (SEPs) have emerged as sales automation platforms, but they are only loosely tied to a few of the sales intelligence vendors.  In many cases, the functionality is simply Send to SEP functionality.

ZoomInfo and Vainu (see 3/21 issue) now tie together triggers and actions subject to filters.  While there is still a risk that reps are overwhelmed (e.g., too many automated cadences being sent to SEPs), the filters help mitigate the risk and ensure that activity is focused on an organization’s best prospects and tied to event-specific messaging. 

For technology sales, ZoomInfo offers technographic changes and Scoops.  The Scoops dataset is gathered from official data (e.g., public filings, PPP loans), surveys, and in-house research teams.  Daily, ZoomInfo reaches out to contacts in its database to gather market intelligence about projects and the challenges they face in their department.  As an incentive, ZoomInfo offers an Amazon gift card or charitable donation to each respondent.  The responses are the basis of many of their Scoops.

“We are constantly evaluating new sources and pieces of information that can provide value to our customers in the form of Scoops.  Last year, our Scoop number increased greatly because of new processes and expanded information coverage, including the addition of Scoops directly related to PPP loan recipients. Through continued innovation and expansion, we anticipate that our Scoops volume will continue to increase over time.  We have several in-house research teams dedicated to various types of Scoop coverage, and we utilize many of the same sources to gather Scoops that are laid out on our B2B Data Sources webpage, including updates from leadership webpages, news monitoring, public filings, and company-issued announcements.”

ZoomInfo Communications Director Steve Vittorioso

The Scoop volume doubled to 917,000 events in 2020.

While the primary Workflows use cases are focused on revenue acceleration, Workflows may also be used for executive recruitment.

Admins have an approval queue for workflows created by non-admins.

Admins can edit, clone, run, or delete Workflows.  They can also create workflows for non-admins or permit non-admins to create workflows subject to admin approval. 

Non-admins have access to fewer integrations, cannot assign workflows to peers, and are subject to lower export limits.

Workflows do not support FormComplete, ZoomInfo’s webform, but the functionality is on the product roadmap.


Continue to Part III.

ZoomInfo Workflows Enhanced

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

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

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

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

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

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

ZoomInfo Product Marketing Director Thad Peterson

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

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

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

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

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


Continue to Part II.

Demandbase ABX Personalization

Demandbase, which reframed itself as an Account Based Experience platform last month, announced a pair of enhancements to its service: Site Customization and Form Enrichment.  Site Customization lets marketers display “unique site experiences for their target account” based upon more granular segmentation (e.g., firmographics, intent, website activity).

Other customization enhancements include

  • Preview links for stakeholder review before release
  • Account list targeting with personalized ads
  • Tailored landing pages based upon the stage of the buying journey

The website can be personalized based upon industry, stage, geography, company size, or other variables.  Messaging, CTAs, collateral, and creative elements can be customized based upon the visitor.

“The creative elements and the experience you want to give to your customer or prospect are up to you,” blogged Demandbase Director of Product Marketing Ruth Juni.  “One thing is for sure: Taking the time to think through the messaging from the consumer’s perspective will ensure you’re delivering the right message to the consumer at the right time.”

Marketers can also display unique web form designs with minimal field display.  Demandbase then enriches the submitted form with additional prospect details.

“ABX is rooted in an intense focus on the customer at every stage of the buying cycle, using intelligent insights to know when and how to engage, and what to say to each account,” said Jon Miller, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Demandbase.  “Your website is one of the most important interactions a customer or prospect can have with your brand, which is why it’s critical that your website experience should be as personalized as email or other channels.  Our new features for Demandbase Personalization make it easy to deliver the right website experience and elevate the entire journey.”

According to Gartner, 98% of marketers argue that personalization enhances customer relationships. “Gartner is predicting that smart personalization engines used to recognize customer intent will enable digital businesses to increase their profits by up to 25% by 2023,” said Demandbase Product VP Seth Myers.  “Personalization is taking center stage in business today.  This makes the case even more for our enhanced Personalization product and its industry-leading features that treat personalization as seriously as it should be treated. We’re bound and determined to keep anticipating what our customers want and need, in order to continue to elevate ABX.”

A screenshot of the Demandbase One Dashboard showing the top trending Intent keywords over 12 weeks.

6sense Reaches Unicorn Status

6sense Funding Rounds (Source: Crunchbase)

Sales Engagement vendor 6sense closed on a $125 million Series D that valued the firm at $2.1 billion.  The round was led by D1 Capital, with Sapphire Ventures and Tiger Global joining.  Existing investor Insight Partners participated as well.

A few years ago, 6sense described itself as a predictive analytics company.  When the predictive analytics segment failed to gain significant traction, it rebranded as an ABM Orchestration Platform.  The other predictive analytics companies rebranded as CDPs or were acquired for their technology.

Repositioning as an ABM platform proved prescient as 6sense now competes head-to-head with Terminus and Demandbase, two other very successful ABM Platforms.  Terminus closed on a $90 million Series C in February, and Demandbase is also well funded, setting up a market share land grab for ABM Platforms.

6sense has doubled in size each of the past three years, setting the stage for its unicorn round.  Forrester named them a leader in its Q2 2020 Wave Report on ABM Platforms, where 6Sense scored highest on current offering and tied with Terminus on strategy.

“6sense has made significant progress since our first evaluation of this market in 2018 — and now offers a comprehensive solution, matched by an aggressive vision, roadmap, and market approach,” wrote Forrester Principal Analyst Steven Casey.

Customer conversations are a critical part of our due diligence process, and the feedback from 6sense customers is among the best we’ve heard.  Improving revenue results is a goal for every business, but it’s easier said than done. The way 6sense consistently creates value for customers made it clear that they deliver a unique, must-have solution for B2B revenue teams.”

Dan Sundheim, Chief Investment Officer at D1 Capital Partners

6sense will invest the funds in market growth and product development, including its data layer, machine learning-based next best action recommendations, and scaling its “AI-based orchestration capabilities to deliver ideal customer journeys based on data and insights.”

The round comes 15 months after a $40 million Series C led by Insight Partners.  Pitchbook indicates that the firm was valued at only $300 million in January 2020.  6sense is on track for another year of 100% plus growth after inking deals with 100 new customers in Q4.

“We’re doubling down on our investment because we’ve seen the 6sense team consistently execute against their plans for the past year and a half, and we witness firsthand the results the platform delivers every day for our portfolio of high growth companies,” said Jeff Lieberman, Managing Director at Insight Partners. “Being the leader in account-based sales and marketing technology ideally positions 6sense to unlock additional market opportunities, and we’re confident that they have the vision and track record to forge the future of revenue technology.”

CEO Jason Zintak sees a broader vision for the company than SalesTech, MarTech, or AdTech, describing his firm as a RevTech company.

“Our AI is focused on signal, identifying companies that are in the market to buy something,” Zintak told TechCrunch. “Once you have that, you can sell to them.”

RevTech looks to unify the marketing, sales, RevOps, and customer success groups within the revenue team and align them behind selling to the right buyers at the right time.  Firms still struggle with identifying prospects that are the ideal fit, much less properly timing their prospect outreach.

“This is both a data and execution problem. One can’t be untethered from the other,” blogged Zintak.  “I’ve long believed there is a tremendous opportunity to solve this problem and move the sales and marketing technology world away from outdated tools, and usher in a new era of B2B platforms that will fundamentally change the way companies go to market. We’re already seeing account-based tech, sales tech, and legacy marketing tech categories beginning to converge into a massive market that will only continue to grow. I also believe 6sense is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this opportunity and deliver the transformation our industry is so hungry for.”

Thus, 6Sense looks to provide the go-to-market platform that delivers a “comprehensive B2B go-to-market with data, insights, and orchestration capabilities at the core.”

6Sense identifies the best-fit accounts and supports prospect timing via intent-based prediction models.  6sense claims that its customers:

  • Raise their average deal size by 35%.
  • Increase their opportunity conversion rate by 20%.
  • Reduce deal-cycle time by 20%.

Zintak argues that the alignment problem is exacerbated by multiple tech stacks with data and functional silos that “optimize” around subsets of the revenue problem.

The MarTech landscape is teeming with micro-solutions for every nagging problem the marketing automation platform vendors aren’t able to solve (or they themselves created). SalesTech is no different. Your CRM wasn’t built to facilitate decision-making; it was built to store records. Add RevOps and customer success teams into the mix, and the people, process, and technology alignment challenges grow exponentially, as more data becomes siloed and disconnected from execution.”

6Sense CEO Jason Zintak

“AI generally is a buzzword, but here it is a key part of the solution, the brand behind the platform,” said Teddie Ward of Insight Partners.  “Instead of having massive funnels, 6sense switches the whole thing around. Catching the right person at the right time and in the right context make sales and marketing more effective.  And the AI piece is what really powers it. It uses signals to construct the buyer journey and tell the salesperson when it is the right time to engage.”

“We invest heavily in sales and marketing technology, and 6sense is truly one-of-a-kind,” said Sapphire Ventures partner Rajeev Dham.  “We’ve always viewed 6sense as a market leader with the ability to execute on their bold vision of transforming sales and marketing with data-driven insights and orchestration capabilities.  6sense is already the leading account-based sales and marketing platform, and they are poised to define and deliver the future of revenue technology that every B2B organization needs.”

Brainshark Growth and Training Partnerships

Once again, I’m writing about a SalesTech or B2B MarTech firm that had strong growth during the pandemic.  Simply, B2B firms sped up their digitization and looked for online methods for internal and external communications.  With WFH and the recognition of subscription revenues over the life of contracts, it is highly likely that 2020 strength will continue into 2021.  In the case of Brainshark, they increased both their new business contracts and multi-year renewal rates.  Brainshark also announced off-the-shelf learning content from a pair of training companies: ValueSelling Associates and 2Win!.

Sales Readiness vendor Brainshark posted sixty percent growth in platform usage last year with a 38% increase in new business.  71% of the new contracts were multi-year, with multi-year renewals up 40% year over year.

“Companies across the globe had to completely rewrite their playbook when the pandemic began disrupting business one year ago,” said CEO Greg Flynn.  “Many realized improving their sales readiness was a way to gain a competitive advantage.  They also realized Brainshark’s proven, award-winning platform was just the tool they needed.  We’re especially thrilled to see our customers utilizing our coaching solution more than ever because we’ve seen first-hand the impact it can have on an organization’s bottom line.”

Citing a CSO Insights study that found that firms with dedicated sales enablement teams had a 15.3% higher win rate on forecasted deals, the firm stated, “Brainshark can be the foundation of a successful sales readiness strategy, helping organizations equip sales reps with the knowledge and skills they need, measure preparedness, and connect readiness to revenue.”

Brainshark Sales Readiness Scorecards include CRM data

Last year, the firm launched Sales Readiness Scorecards, which “provide more powerful, instant, and comprehensive visibility into whether reps and their teams are prepared to engage with clients and prospects.”  Scorecard data is pulled from Salesforce, providing firms with pipeline and performance KPIs.  In 2021, Brainshark plans to deepen CRM integrations for expanded metrics and coaching tools.

“The questions sales enablement professionals need to answer go beyond ‘Are our reps ready?’ The more important question is, ’Are our readiness and enablement programs working?  Scorecards provide that clarity.  Enablement leaders can discover which reps need help with certain parts of the sales process, and then build learning programs to address those areas for maximum impact.  At the same time, sales managers have critical performance data at their fingertips that allows them to be better, more strategic coaches.”

Brainshark Chief Product Officer Greg Keshian

2Win! training “helps sales professionals master demo, presentation, client success, and storytelling skills, especially in a virtual world.”

Julie Thomas, CEO of ValueSelling Associates, said, “Our eValueSelling Fundamentals is a fast track for those who want to learn value-based selling.  By blending real-world examples with interactive exercises and quizzes, users learn how to prepare for a sales call, assess the health of opportunities, and ask questions that engage prospects.  This program makes for a perfect integration into Brainshark’s platform, allowing sales enablement leaders a simple and convenient way to build their training content and accelerate their results.” Brainshark lists BCI and go1 as additional training content partners.

Groove Revenue Intelligence

Sales Engagement Platform Groove expanded its analytics with new revenue intelligence capabilities that support real-time opportunity and pipeline management and expanded ROI reporting.  The new capabilities support pipeline reviews with a single pane of glass workspace populated with real-time Salesforce data.

In its 2020 State of Sales Report, Salesforce stated that “High-performing sales teams are 1.5 times more likely to base forecasts on data-driven insights.” Ensuring that data is accurate, timely, and complete has long been an issue with CRMs, requiring sales reps to spend hours each week recording their activities and updating account, contact, lead, and opportunity data.

Sales Intelligence platforms have picked up the slack around CRM data, offering DaaS prospecting and enrichment services.  Likewise, SEPs capture most sales rep activity data, reducing activity tracking overhead; however, updating opportunity data and evaluating opportunity risk remain a significant automation gap.  

Maintaining Opportunity data, which is critical for pipeline reviews and forecasting, is made more difficult by the data structure of CRMs.  One common complaint about Salesforce is the difficulty of viewing and updating opportunity data, which is fragmented across accounts.  Revenue Intelligence tools from Clari, Revenue Grid, SalesLoft, and Groove simplify the data update and review process by providing a centralized interface for updating the pipeline and reviewing it with managers.  Updates are immediately written back to Salesforce, simplifying the pipeline management process and ensuring that current opportunity data is instantly synced in Salesforce.

While Clari and Revenue Grid focus on Revenue Intelligence, Groove and SalesLoft attack the issue from a Sales Engagement perspective.  This functional overlap between categories has been evident since SalesLoft acquired Costello in 2019 and integrated Costello’s revenue intelligence capabilities.  While Sales Engagement Platforms began as multi-channel messaging services for SDRs, they have significantly broadened their scope to include Analytics, Guided Selling, Engagement Metrics, Meeting Management, and Revenue Intelligence.

Anthony McPartin, Forrester Principal Analyst in Sales Operations, described the widening scope of these categories.  “This notion of the sales engagement platform as a cockpit for sellers is likely to continue to drive further integrations between other sales tech categories and these platforms as the advantages of bringing everything to the seller where they sell (the original vision for CRM technology) become more widely recognized.”

Revenue Intelligence Platforms have also expanded their scope, assisting with opportunity risk assessment, deal forecasting, conversational intelligence, and buying team discovery.

Out of date and incomplete information is a significant issue for B2B decision-makers.  According to a July 2020 Forrester study, two-thirds of B2B decision-makers are hampered by stale, distorted, or limited CRM data.

“From incomplete sales activity data to out-of-date information stored in shadow CRMs, there are many challenges that prevent sales organizations from trusting their pipeline and conducting comprehensive reviews. Today’s release solves a critical usability challenge that Salesforce users have faced since the platform’s inception, in a way that establishes transparency and trust between the rep and the seller.”

Groove CEO Chris Rothstein

“We had major issues with getting our sales teams to document what they were doing in Gmail, and this is where Groove really shines,” said Bart Johnson, Director of User Engagement & Training at Aquent. “Groove isn’t just a huge timer saver for our reps, it also gives them ‘cross-vision’ into the different orgs and groups selling into [each] account.”

SalesLoft Deal Engagement Scores

Sales Engagement vendor SalesLoft announced Deal Engagement scores, a “machine-learning capability [that] gives frontline managers an unbiased way to prioritize deals based on the calculation of over 30 data elements captured across Cadence, Conversations, and Deals.”

Instead of a black-boxed score, SalesLoft provides recommendations and an explanation of the score, helping sales managers identify opportunity issues and risks and take actions to improve close rates.  Thus, Deal Engagement Scores serve as early warning signs that deals may be going south, allowing them to take proactive actions that improve close rates.

Deal Engagement Scores are shown over time and include a set of stage progression indicators such as days since the last meeting, days until the next meeting, and close date pushes.  A seven-day summary details recent engagement activity and deal progression.

“It’s not enough to have just a Cadence product,” said Frank Dale, SalesLoft’s SVP of Product Development. “With Cadence, Conversations, and Deals on one platform, we collect data across the full buying cycle, from the first email, every call, meeting, and communication, through to deal closure and renewal.  Only SalesLoft can analyze all of this data to predict revenue outcomes.  No other Sales Engagement provider can offer this.”

SalesLoft published the 35 metrics that feed into their Deal Engagement Scores.

35 data elements are fed into their machine-learning model to prioritize and identify opportunity issues and risks. Engagement is measured across emails, phone calls, and meetings, with interactions measured by level.  Over 120 million customer interactions were fed into the machine-learning model. As a machine-learning capability, the model continues to improve and adapt. 

“Having this capability allows front-line sales managers an instant gut check on specific health for deals in flight,” posted CEO Kyle Porter on LinkedIn.

Deal Engagement Scores are available to early access customers with Deals functionality in the Enterprise and Sell plans.  It will GA by June.

Demandbase ABX

Demandbase, which pushed Account Based Marketing (ABM) as a business strategy a half-decade before other firms picked up the terminology, is now positioning Account-Based Experience (ABX) as the next generation ABM strategy.  ABX supports buyers across the full customer lifecycle and emphasizes messaging timing and an improved customer experience.

“Account-Based Experience takes the same principles as good CX — trust, empathy, and relevance at every stage of the journey — and applies them to the account-based world,” states Demandbase. “One of the fundamental principles of ABX is recognizing that our buyers live in a world of information abundance and attention scarcity, making any form of interruption marketing ineffective.  Instead, companies need to build trust with potential buyers, identify the ‘magic moments’ when customers are open to engaging, and then orchestrate the perfect interactions across Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success teams.”

By broadening the scope of ABM, “it keeps the customer where they should be, at the center of your go-to-market strategy, whether you are in marketing, sales, an SDR, or part of the customer success team,” said Demandbase VP and ABX Evangelist Beki Scarbrough. “In many ways, ABX simply takes the best practices that have emerged around ABM and applies them across your customer experience.”

According to a 2021 ABM Benchmark Study by Demandbase and RevOps Squared, “53% of businesses say that Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success are equally responsible for their account-based customer expansion strategy.”

Demandbase notes that ABM focused on account fit, defining the Ideal Customer Profile as the most valuable accounts for targeting, but failing to account for timing.  Thus, many ABM accounts had a “poor experience” due to mistimed engagement.  When account outreach is mistimed, prospects are unable to engage “on their own terms and on their own schedule.”

Demandbase also recognized that ABM focused on the marketing department and not the broader revenue team.  While ABM starts in the marketing department, it has long been understood that ABM encompasses marketing, sales, and customer success management.

“Our belief in ABX positions us to expand the ABM category within the industry,” said Demandbase CEO Gabe Rogol, calling it a “powerful go-to-market strategy.”

“ABX uses data and insights to orchestrate relevant, trusted marketing and sales actions throughout the B2B customer lifecycle. It’s all about engaging business buyers with relevant messages delivered in a trusted way on their own terms.”

Demandbase CEO Gabe Rogol

One of my criticisms of Demandbase is that they were focused on the marketing department with few tools for other departments.  While they acquired Sales Intelligence vendor Spiderbook five years ago, the service withered.  Their technology partner list is heavily weighted to marketing with few sales-oriented partnerships beyond SalesLoft and Outreach.  Likewise, the ABM Leadership Council that they founded was marketing-centric and lacked vendors that supported other departments.  Conversely, the parallel Flip My Funnel movement, championed by rival Terminus, has long had a broader set of vendors and departments served.

Thus, Demandbase’s shift to ABX is a welcome update to their ABM vision and hopefully involves a broader functional scope of their offerings.  Unfortunately, Demandbase did not reveal any new functionality in support of ABX, so we’ll have to see how they plan to implement this broadened definition.  On April 7th, Jon Miller, Demandbase’s Chief Marketing and Product Officer, will provide additional ABX details at a webinar.

“I’ve always described Account-Based Marketing as ‘fishing with spears’,” said Miller. “It’s a great analogy, but you’ve got to realize that it doesn’t feel very good to get poked by a spear!  Similarly, B2B buyers today want to research potential solutions anonymously, on their own schedule, until the time when they actually do want to engage with a vendor.  ABX lets us work with modern buyers on their own terms: anonymously when they want to be, helpful and relevant when they are ready, and always based on trust. It’s a much better customer experience and it delivers much better long-term results.”

Vainu Workflow Triggers

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

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

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

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

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

Vainu CEO Mikko Honkanen

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

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

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

Vainu Sales Triggers support automated Workflows.

Cognism Funding Round

UK Sales Intelligence vendor Cognism closed on a $12.5 million funding round led by AXA Venture Partners and joined by Swisscom Ventures.  Existing investors Investiere and VentureFounders also participated.  Cognism will be deploying the funds to expand its presence in the UK and Europe, including additional functionality and solutions for the global market.

The firm is coming off a strong 2020, during which ARR rose 60% to $11 million.  In January, MRR passed $1 million for the first time.  Cognism supports over 1,000 customers spread across 30 countries.

“We continue to invest in making our data compliant in every one of the 30 countries in which we operate,” said CEO James Isilay. “Our patented AI technology solution makes the process of finding the right prospect faster, more accurate, and compliant, which is now a top priority for all businesses.”

Cognism attributed its success to the strong demand for compliant B2B prospecting data and “the company’s ongoing commitment to adhering to global regulations.”

“Sales intelligence is crucial for making sellers more productive, even more so when people are working from home. Cognism is well-positioned to become the leading company in Europe, and we are excited to be part of that journey.”

Stefan Kuentz, Partner at Swisscom Ventures

Isilay said that Cognism is “moving more upmarket towards enterprise” and hiring account executives and managers. “We’ve got a very strong revenue engine, and now we’re really planning out and getting our retention engine to the next level.”

Cognism, which completed acquired Mailtastic and Ricochet least year, has another in the works. “We really want to be that go-to-market intelligence leader in not just Europe, but the world, and I think we’re going in the right direction right now. Things are looking very positive at the moment.” London-based Cognism was founded in 2015 and grew its employment by 60% over the past year to 223 employees.