PersistIQ Sales Engagement Platform

The PersistIQ Activity Feed provides a real-time stream of prospect actions from within PersistIQ, Salesforce, Gmail, and Chrome.
The PersistIQ Activity Feed provides a real-time stream of prospect actions from within PersistIQ, Salesforce, Gmail, and Chrome.

Sales engagement service PersistIQ recently partnered with Lead411 to provide integrated contact prospecting. Unlike other sales engagement platforms, prospecting is built directly into PersistIQ. Content includes name, company, title, city/state, address, email, LinkedIn profile, URL, and phone. A maximum daily records feature pulls records into PersistIQ without overloading sales reps with too many prospects.

“Our powerful technology gives sales teams the perfect balance between sales automation and the human touch.  Providing our customers access to high-quality data inside their workflow is a natural next step as we further align tools with strategies that have been winning sales for decades.”

  • Pouyan Salehi, founder of PersistIQ

PersistIQ provides salespeople with communication campaigns that include emails, calls, and tasks (i.e. Cadences or Sequences). PersistIQ also executes a set of safety checks to eliminate mistakes commonly made by salespeople. Soft checks, such as whether a contact is already in another campaign, may be overridden while hard checks block email transmission. Hard checks include do not contact domains, bounced emails, and opted out emails. When sending emails, the system also provides smart variable checks to ensure emails aren’t sent with missing fields (e.g. {{first_name}} ) or misformatted HTML.

PersistIQ supports Gmail, Office 365, and Exchange email accounts. A throttle feature sends emails over a period of time instead of via large batches. Throttling helps maintain their customers’ email sender reputation scores.

Both outgoing and incoming emails are logged. The system also supports out of office management, recipient activity detection (e.g. read, click through, bounce), and time zone detection.

Sales reps can use the built-in dialer or their own phones while recording call notes.

An Activity Feed provides real-time access to prospect actions such as email opens and link clicks. The feed is available from within PersistIQ, Salesforce, Gmail, and Chrome. Activities that happen in quick succession are grouped together. A badge number in the system banner indicates new activity and number of events. Users can click from a feed item directly to the underlying campaign or prospect profile and activity.

PersistIQ provides bi-synchronous connectivity with leads, contacts, accounts, and campaigns. PersistIQ content passed to Salesforce includes emails, call activity with notes, dispositions, and tasks.

Marketers and sales ops can upload Excel or CSV files with up to 2,000 contacts. A copy/paste feature may be used in lieu of file imports. PersistIQ employs fuzzy matching logic to prevent duplicates from being created.

A Chrome connector provide email detection, user notes, add to Salesforce or PersistIQ, and searching across PersistIQ and Salesforce.

The Chrome Connector provides lead intelligence and quick transfer to PersistIQ and SFDC.
The Chrome Connector provides lead intelligence and quick transfer to PersistIQ and SFDC.

Analytics include daily actions, best time to send, response time, team reports, and campaign reports.

Pricing begins at $40 per month for the Lite service (billed annually). Features include multi-touch campaigns with email, phone, and task steps; reply to previous email threads; response detection; call scripts and outlines; master and step email templates; rolling campaigns; the live activity feed; email open alerts; and individual campaign reporting. A Starter Edition is priced at $60 per month (billed annually) and adds sending windows; A/B testing; email CRM logging; prospect activity history; campaign summery reporting; custom fields; shared email templates; and API access.

The Pro edition is priced at $450 per month for five seats. Features include Salesforce synchronization; send emails on behalf of others; VOIP or Bridge sales dialer; team reporting; best time to send analytics; time zone detection; custom statuses and call dispositions; shared campaigns; roles and dispositions; and custom onboarding.

Lead411 contacts are available in four plans ranging between 50 and 80 cents per record:

  • 250 monthly contacts for $200 per month
  • 750 monthly contacts for $500 per month
  • 1,250 monthly contacts for $800 per month
  • 3,000 monthly contacts for $1,500 per month

Annual subscriptions allow users to roll over unused credits.

“Combining prospecting data and sales communication into one system that is easy to use is a big win for sales reps and teams,” said Salehi. This is the first step in what we view as the next evolution in sales technology; where data and workflow become more closely connected.”

DemandBase Revenue Growth

One of Demandbase's core technologies is real-time visitor intelligence for ABM.
One of Demandbase’s core technologies is real-time account-level visitor intelligence for ABM.

Nathan Latka interviewed Demandbase CEO Chris Golec back in Q4. Demandbase is growing rapidly and now employs 300. In November, Golec said the firm was likely to achieve 50% or greater growth in 2017. 2016 revenue was around $75 million and the firm was above a $100 million run rate in November. Average revenue per customer is around $20,000 per month. Small customers may select a single module for $2K to $3K per month but then add multiple solutions as they grow. Net revenue retention is around 110%.

The firm has between 50 and 60 quota carrying reps, 20 to 25 marketers, and 10 to 15 administrative staff, with two thirds of the company focused on data, R&D, engineering, and other functions

The firm has 400 to 600 customers with top customers spending a couple million dollars per annum.

Golec expects the firm to be cash flow break-even during the first half of this year.

Demandbase, founded in 2007, was an early and forceful proponent of Account Based Marketing. For several years, they had a monopoly on the positioning, but ABM caught fire as a B2B sales and marketing process with several enterprise software firms including Marketo and Salesforce now offering ABM solutions.

“ABM as a category – the interest level has reached the investment community and so as investors do their research they discovered that Demandbase is the largest and pioneered the category itself.  So we had a lot of inbound interest.  At the same time, we started developing some new innovations using AI and massive data that we’re sitting on. So it really unfolded into a whole new level of innovation.”

  • DemandBase CEO Chris Golec

DemandBase has already received $156 million in funding, including a $65 million round last May. Both Salesforce and Adobe have taken investment stakes in Demandbase.

While some MarTech firms are struggling with revenue growth and churn, that has not been an issue at Demandbase. “ABM is more of a business process and our position is much more of a platform where we’re helping customers throughout the whole lifecycle of attracting, updating, engaging, converting, and upselling them.”

The firm has ten staff in London helping grow European sales. “ABM adoption in the UK and Western Europe is really starting to pick up.”

Source: Nathan Latka SoundCloud Interview of Chris Golec

TechTarget Priority Engine: Strong Q4 and Product Enhancements

Priority Engine combines Intent data with predictive analytics, technographics, and contacts.
Priority Engine combines Intent data with predictive analytics, technographics, and contacts.

Technology media company TechTarget announced strong Q4 growth for their Sales Intelligence Priority Engine service.  The firm added over 40 new Priority Engine and Deal Data customers in Q4 with revenues more than doubling year-over-year.  Priority Engine benefited from the addition of DiscoverOrg technographic and contact intelligence during the quarter.  The service combines intent, predictive, and contacts intelligence into a single solution.  Intent data is sourced from their 140 B2B media tech web sites containing 550,000 indexed content pages, many of which make the first page of Google technology searches.  Each day, the firm has one million buyer interactions tied to its 17 million members which it then tags to 10,000 technology topics.  The majority of members have technology titles, but TechTarget also supports five million non-IT members.

Content is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese.

TechTarget claims that its hand-indexed, technology-focused editorial content results in a better indication of technology intent than machine-indexed intent files built across a broader set of B2B media sites.  Furthermore, because TechTarget has member ids associated with site activity, they know who at each company is researching specific topics, providing surge data tied to specific individuals.  Other intent vendors provide anonymous intent.

“Real purchase intent insight is actually made, not scraped from general-purpose websites.  It begins with relevant, useful content that provides critical value to professionals as they look to solve business challenges and make buying decisions. By observing and learning from their content consumption patterns as they happen, marketers can market and sellers can sell at the right time with greater relevance. Our ability to deliver real purchase intent starts with our extensive content footprint and the hyper-relevant audiences that we’ve built.”

  • TechTarget CMO John Steinert

Priority Engine identifies “vendors actively influencing this deal,” core and related topics, and products and vendors.  Installed product and vendor data is licensed from HG Data and viewable by category.  Users can also search installed technology at an account by product, vendor, and category.

Accounts are ranked on a weekly basis with the service providing “an early radar on who’s buying from your named account lists.”  TechTarget provides real-time analysis of the “most active accounts and named prospects conducting purchase research” and ranks those accounts by “likelihood to engage.”  Prospects are segmented by geography and hundreds of marketing segments.  The solution “creates a world-class ABM solution that combines breadth of reach, purchase power insights, and the ability to pinpoint and influence key prospects in one place.”

By combining DiscoverOrg contacts with member search data, Priority Engine provides “direct access” to the demand units of named active researchers and key influencers.  Joint customers will have full access to DiscoverOrg’s editorially verified decision makers alongside TechTarget contacts that are conducting active research.  The partnership displays the “Target Buying Team within a single dashboard.”  Priority Engine customers that have not licensed DiscoverOrg will be limited to ten names per account.

TechTarget announced a set of enhancements last month which includes weekly contact updates, Marketo integration, regional subscriptions (North America, EMEA, United Kingdom/Ireland, APAC, ASEAN and India), and integration with internal datasets such as sales territories and web site visitors.

“We’ve moved beyond company-level insights; Priority Engine gives you access to ranked accounts AND the actual buyers researching purchases at those accounts,” said TechTarget SVP of Products Andrew Briney. “The unique purchase intent insight available within Priority Engine helps marketers generate demand more efficiently, accelerate ABM effectiveness, and deliver a more substantive contribution to sales.”

DiscoverOrg Legal & Compliance Dataset

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

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

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

  • Chief Growth Officer Katie Bullard

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

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

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

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

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

Boardroom Insiders Adds List Building

Boardroom Insiders can now build lists of C-level Executives.
Boardroom Insiders can now build lists of C-level Executives.

Boardroom Insiders, an editorially driven executive profile company, added build a list prospecting to its subscription service. The new feature supports firmographic and biographic selections against their 15,000 executive profiles. Users can download one or multiple executives from the list as a PDF.

“After a decade of researching C-Level executives, we have built an extremely robust repository of executive insight—both personal and business-related.  Our new search tool unlocks the power of that insight in a very significant way.  Subscribers can now easily execute these very specific searches in seconds. You simply will not find this capability anywhere else—and to replicate this type of research from scratch on your own would be both cost- and time-prohibitive.”

  • Boardroom Insiders CEO Sharon Gillenwater

Boardroom Insiders provides very rich executive profiles that go beyond those found in other executive sources such as LinkedIn. “Our forte is in providing deep insight on a relatively small group of C-level executives to support very important opportunities, CXO meetings, events, and large account ABM efforts,” said Gillenwater. Profiles may run a few thousand words and include an Executive Summary, Personal Attributes and Interests, Current Focus, Biographical Highlights, Other Boards and Organizations. Users also have access to a headshot, social media links, and contact information.

All of the bios are maintained by editors with a minimum of ten years of business journalism or management consulting experience. If a bio has not been updated in the past six months, a user can request a refresh. Boardroom Insiders also maintains bios for executives in transition and then updates them when executives land at new organizations.

While LinkedIn is often seen as the go to source of biographies, a DiscoverOrg survey found that 25% of top-level executives do not maintain LinkedIn bios. “LinkedIn is an essential tool, but the profiles are unpredictable, limited in strategic insight, and biased,” said Gillenwater. “Boardroom Insiders is rich with strategic insight, unbiased, and provides the full professional story of the key decision maker you are calling on.”

Gartner Predicts Increasing Sales & Marketing Tension Due to ABM

Todd Berkowitz, Research Vice President at Gartner, sees Account Based Marketing (ABM) as increasing tensions between sales and marketing in the short-term.  While ABM has long been advocated as a facilitator of departmental alignment, he sees ABM as disrupting sales processes and generating friction:

“Between ABM and adoption of various new technologies and data types, there is a lot of disruption that is happening with regards to sales teams. Even if these changes are going to be beneficial to tech companies in the medium-term, and some of the “A sellers” get on board quickly with the changes, there are many sales reps that will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the new world. (This is why I always advise trying an ABM pilot with a select set of reps). So even if there is pretty good alignment and agreement between CMOs and sales leaders, don’t expect all reps to magically do what they are being asked to do. There needs to be an adjustment period, along with good sales enablement, before everyone plays nicely.”

So, while ABM will facilitate agreements in process, messaging, and metrics in the medium-term, it will generate resistance amongst sales reps unwilling to adopt new processes and tools or unconvinced of its value.  This friction is probably exacerbated by predictions of sales force reductions due to the implementation of AI and other information and workflow technologies.

WWII Era Poster (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)
WWII Era Poster (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)

Resistance to technological change has long been an issue.  Early in the Industrial Revolution, The Luddites sabotaged British plants, particularly cotton and wool mills.  While sales reps are unlikely to sabotage initiatives (or their careers), they may hesitate to learn new platforms or adopt new processes.  As such, the problem may be more akin to soldiering, the assembly line equivalent of reducing individual productivity to the level of the laggards on the line.  Frederick Taylor, the father of time and motion studies, was very concerned about soldiering and recommended piece work rates to create productivity incentives.  But sales reps are very attuned to incentives.  While they may be hesitant to adopt new technologies, they will do so if they help make them more efficient and effective at selling.  So long as sales reps are paid on a commission basis and long-term employment is tied to making quota, the level of soldiering should be minimal.

This isn’t to say that sales reps won’t resist learning new tools.  If they believe the time invested in such training is less than the incremental revenue for the lost selling time spent in training, then they will avoid training and learning new tools.  However, if they see others on their team benefiting from the new tools, they will not hold out long term.  Thus, tool training needs to be visibly supported by management with an emphasis upon the benefits to sales reps (e.g. less time spent on non-sales tasks and more time interacting with customers and prospects, improved account intelligence, improved account targeting and message timing).  With the proper incentives and information, resistance should be minimal.

To help ensure adoption, vendors should be looking to integrate solutions into CRMs, email, and mobile devices so that new tools are integrated into current workflows.  They should also be providing inline tool tips, initial training focused on their capabilities which provide high levels of efficiency and efficacy improvements, tool-based win stories, and usage tools for tracking training, usage, and ROI.  A few gamification elements may also be in order, but they should be organic to the product and not hokey.

Leadspace: Series C, AI, and ABM

LeadSpace Use Cases
LeadSpace Use Cases

Predictive Analytics and Audience Management vendor Leadspace completed its Series C.  The funding round was led by Arrowroot Capital and joined by JVP.  The $21 million round will be used “to grow our customer team in San Francisco and Denver, and our AI and data management product teams in Israel.”

The firm is assessing additional locations, including possible offices on the East Coast and Europe, “perhaps” London.

Arrowroot has taken a seat on Leadspace’s Board.  The firm wanted growth equity advisors instead of traditional VCs for Round C.  “At this point the investment is not just in the idea and the team, but also the underlying metrics and performance of the business,” said CEO Doug Bewsher.  “Once you have “Product/Market fit”, the kinds of questions investors ask are whether you are ready to scale; what are the opportunities for further growth; and apart from additional investment can we be an investment partner that can help you address these opportunities?”

Bewsher noted that marketing has been transformed over the past seven years since Leadspace was founded.  Firms are switching from tactical demand generation programs to targeted Account Based Marketing (ABM) communications.  “No longer is it OK to just send out blanket “nurture” emails to everyone and hope that will generate positive customer engagements. No longer can you rely on a single data source as the basis to know your customer. No longer is it enough for marketers to just think of leads — they need to market to accounts, and teams of people. Neither can marketers afford to ignore intelligence and information from external parties, and simply rely on the limited info they gather internally.”

Not only has the nature of B2B marketing been transformed, but “world class B2B sales and marketing organizations” need to become more like consumer companies with a deep understanding of the account at multiple levels.  Echoing Sirius Decisions, Bewsher said that B2B marketers need to “really know your customer at the account, demand unit and individual level, and then target and personalize your messaging to cut through the noise. And think customer-first.”

As an analytics company, Bewsher talks up the value of AI for sales and marketing as it begins to address specific problems and workflows:

AI is everywhere. While there is no doubt that it is going to change every corner of our life, both as private users and business people, I think we will start to move from the promise to the reality in 2018. In business-to-business sales and marketing in 2017, it was enough to say: “We have a ton of great data scientists who are working on new ways to better engage your customers.”

But in 2018 customers will look to see actual results — like the 90 percent increase in email connection rates we have seen from the deployment of AI to recommend the right way to engage a specific user. This will require a maniacal focus on specific use cases from the emerging area of AI.

One area where AI will improve revenue generation effectiveness is in ABM programs which has been limited by the human ability to consume information and the historical lack of data availability.  However, “AI is changing all this, with the ability to consume and understand unprecedented amounts of information and turn this into action at scale and in real time. So sales and marketing teams now have the opportunity to drive much more relevant and effective engagement programs for their entire potential target audience.”

According to Leadspace, they are trusted by over 130 B2B brands and seven of the top ten enterprise software companies.  Clients include Microsoft, Marketo, Oracle, and RingCentral.