Outreach Guide

Outreach announced the general availability of Outreach Guide, its new revenue intelligence and deal management solution.  Guide provides real-time conversation intelligence, best practice action plans, and “deal health at a glance.”  Outreach also announced administrative enhancements to its Engage product and a “deep integration” with ABX Platform 6sense.

Outreach Guide, Engage, and Commit act as the “foundation” of Outreach’s sales execution platform, supporting revenue organizations across the full customer sales cycle “from prospecting for new business opportunities to deal management to sales forecasting.”

Outreach’s Customer Lifecycle loop.

Outreach aims to create a “single system of execution” that helps revenue organizations meet their full potential and address issues with prospecting, deal management, and forecasting.

To help address this “sales execution gap,” Machine learning models “learn from the actions taken in our platform and generate data-driven, predictive, real-time insights that recommend actions for users to take to improve their sales execution,” said CEO Manny Medina.

Outreach Guide supports three core capabilities:

  • Deal Health Scores: The Deal Health Score employs machine learning to predict deal health.  It also provides deal insights, recommended actions, and where to focus.  In addition, deal Health displays positive and negative indicators (e.g., stuck in current stage, no recent inbound emails, recent executive engagement). 

    Deal Health signals deals at risk to both the sales rep and sales management, providing an opportunity to address problems and adjust forecasts.

    Deal Health scores can be viewed in the aggregate as well, providing a neutral perspective on how each deal is proceeding versus comparable opportunities.

    Deal Health scores are currently in beta.
  • Kaia Real-time assistance and conversation intelligence: Kaia offers real-time call transcription, content cards, and context-based rep enablement during Zoom and Microsoft teams meetings.  After meetings, Kaia streamlines meeting summaries with AI-captured action items and follow-ups.  As a result, Outreach claims rep productivity increases by nearly 30%, and the likelihood of scheduling a follow-up meeting jumps by 36%.

    Kaia is linguistically customized for each client, capturing product names and competitors as keywords.  During a call, content cards display real-time sales aides, such as product summaries or technical notes.  Content cards provide quick cheat sheets on product value, pricing, or integrations (see the example on the right).

    By removing notetaking and displaying content cards, Kaia allows sales reps to be more present during calls and pitch with greater confidence;  instead of pausing a meeting to jot down notes, sales reps can quickly add a bookmark or short meeting note.
  • Automated and collaborative purchasing through Success Plans: Success Plans foster collaboration between buyers and sellers with detailed online purchase action plans that include a timeline, success criteria, resources, and team views.  Collaborative action plans align stakeholders, build buyer trust, ensure timely stakeholder engagement, and provide internal stakeholders with prospect engagement and deal progress.  Outreach claims that reps who closely monitor Success Plans enjoy a 13% bump in close rates.

“The buying team has all the information related to the deal in a central place, and all teams are aligned to clearly understand each other’s goals, interactions, and requirements essential for driving long-term success, delivering an unparalleled buying experience throughout the entire selling process,” stated Director of Product Marketing Elizabeth Dailing.

Furthermore, Success Plans are available to Customer Success teams when onboarding new customers, helping streamline handoffs.

The Team view helps track who is involved from the buying team and how engaged they are, how recently they were engaged, and what content they viewed.

Outreach Guide is designed to address the “Sales Execution Gap.”

Outreach also announced a set of administrative and data privacy enhancements to its Engage service:

  1. Trigger Enhancements – A streamlined trigger builder improves the creation, management, and discovery of triggers.  The refreshed trigger builder is aligned with traditional CRM language and supports multiple values per condition, drag-and-drop action reordering, and simplified condition group creation.
  2. New Outlook-Add In – A native integration lets reps ‘Send’ emails from Outlook and send and sync “relevant emails to Outreach, as well as insert their available times or add a link to their calendar.”  Outreach will also flag opted-out communications in Outlook and prevent them from being sent or added to a sequence.
  3. Microsoft Graph Integration
  4. Data Retention in Outreach Voice Recordings – Admins can configure data retention policies such as deleting data as a one-time event or setting up regular data deletions for Outreach Voice Recordings.

Additionally, Outreach announced an Irish Datacenter for Outreach Engage, meeting EU data residency requirements for GDPR compliance. “The EU Datacenter for Outreach Engage allows an organization’s data to be stored in a specific geographic location,” blogged Caroline Shin, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Outreach.  “This means customer-owned data associated with those Outreach instances including prospects, accounts, organizations, and workflow data such as sequences and meetings will be stored and contained within the EU infrastructure.”

LinkedIn Q4 Sales Navigator Release (Part II)

LinkedIn also addressed the lack of sharing of Sales Navigator Account Maps in its Q4 release.  The value of maps is much greater if they can be shared across the sales and customer success teams.  Sales reps will skip activities that do not have a clear return on investment (i.e., they expedite the sales process, increase the odds of a win, reduce bureaucratic steps, etc.)  Sharing account maps across the team dramatically increases their value and encourages reps to invest the necessary time mapping out the account.  Sharing also assists with account handoffs between SDRs to Account Reps and later to Customer Success teams.

“Selling is a team sport, and we know that team members need to be in the loop and connected on key accounts, especially as changes to the buying committee may be greater and more frequent right now,” wrote Senior Director of Product for LinkedIn Sales Solutions Mitali Pattnaik.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Account Maps

Account Maps are available to Team and Enterprise licensors.  However, Account Maps may only be shared with co-workers on the same Sales Navigator contract; thus, partners or co-workers with separate Sales Navigator agreements still lack map sharing. 

When others update a shared Account Map, everybody is notified of the update.

Those with CRM sync turned on (Advanced + CRM in January) will enjoy additional CRM features.  Users will be able to create new leads or contacts “in more places within Sales Navigator to better match up with their workflows” and display additional context.  New features include

  • New CRM Cards within Sales Navigator Lead Pages
  • New CRM Badges that notify reps when an account or lead is matched against the CRM
  • Clicking on the CRM Badge provides additional context on Sales Navigator Leads and Accounts from the matched CRM record. For Sales Navigator Leads not found in CRM, a user can create a CRM Contact or Lead.
  • CRM Badges are now displayed in the InMail and Messaging Flow.

LinkedIn will be rolling out Q4 enhancements to customers in the coming weeks, as with other quarterly releases.

LinkedIn also announced updates to LinkedIn Sales Intelligence (LSI), its data service for Sales Operations.  LSI leverages the power of LinkedIn data to “help sales target the right companies and accelerate revenue.”  Launched earlier this year, LSI supports report building, account recommendations, and Account data enrichment.

Sales Operations now has access to industry codes aligned with the NAICS industry taxonomy used in the US, Canada, and Mexico.  Other enhancements include a new welcome flow and access to saved reports on the home page.

LinkedIn Sales Intelligence Report Builder

To assist with report building, a set of LSI Tool-Tips assist with defining Sources, Personas, Market Insights, and Exports.

LinkedIn Q4 Sales Navigator Release

The new Sales Navigator home page.

LinkedIn began rolling out its Q4 Sales Navigator release last month.  New functionality includes a reimagined home page, Priority Accounts, and Account Map sharing.  According to LinkedIn, the revised home page helps address the “moving target” that is buying team discovery during The Great Reshuffle.

“We’re in the middle of The Great Reshuffle, and 80% of salespeople have delayed or lost a deal because of a job change within an account. Selling right now is a moving target. This means, maybe more than ever, that quality data is non-negotiable, real-time alerts are critical, and knowing your buyers and what’s important to them is essential.”

Mitali Pattnaik, Senior Director of Product for LinkedIn Sales Solutions

Not only are buying committees becoming larger, but the movement of professionals increases the likelihood that key members of the demand unit depart during the sales cycle.  Reps that are blind to such changes are likely to have lost or delayed deals.

Furthermore, buyers have been inundated with messages, making it more challenging to rise above the din.  According to LinkedIn Associate Product Marketing Manager Angel Gonzalez, reps need to personalize their outreach as there is a 30% decline in buyer response rates compared to pre-COVID.

“Our new Sales Navigator home page showcases customized insights for key accounts that you need to focus on right now,” posted LinkedIn Senior Director for Product Mitali Pattnaik.   “Alongside a new look and feel for the home page, the refreshed Alerts Feed helps you filter to the most relevant, timely, and accurate updates, pinpointing alerts that need immediate action. And, for those updates you want to keep an eye on, a newly created ‘Bookmarked Alerts’ tab allows you to save alerts so you can revisit at any time.”

The new home page was redesigned to present “what’s most important to each individual seller at that moment,” including intelligence on priority accounts, direct access to Account Maps, and better alert filters.

Other new features include upgraded typeahead searching and alert bookmarking.

A few features have been downgraded in scope or removed, including Sales Navigator Coach and Recommended Leads and Accounts.

The new home page is available to all users.

Reps can flag priority accounts with recent engagement and growth metrics on the home page.

Priority Accounts allows sellers with large books of business such as territory or industry reps to flag their key accounts, helping ensure critical accounts receive greater attention.  Users simply “star” accounts in their saved account list for priority display.  Account activity is then displayed in a new home page section labeled Priority Accounts that summarizes headcount growth, employee count, open opportunities, and Buyer Intent.  Users can also click directly to Account Maps.


Continue to Part II which discusses Sales Navigator Account Map sharing and LinkedIn Sales Intelligence enhancements.

TechTarget: Priority Engine Enhancements

TechTarget announced a set of enhancements to its Priority Engine Sales Intelligence platform, including second-party intent data from its BrightTALK digital event platform and a refreshed user experience. As a result, TechTarget now provides intent data for 32 million opted-in technology researchers and purchasers across twice as many accounts.

Millions of BrightTALK contacts are fully integrated into Priority Engine, providing intelligence around individuals actively researching technology purchases at BrightTALK webinars, virtual events, and videos.  The expanded content provides richer intent data with additional messaging hooks for sales reps.

Prospect-level insights include content preferences, recently viewed content, and each buying committee member’s top interests.

Prospect Insights provide rich details for messaging.

BrightTALK was acquired twelve months ago.  BrightTALK hosts 30,000 new webinars and videos each year, providing multi-media content that complements TechTarget’s text-based research content.  Prospect-level BrightTALK intent data and buyer contact intelligence are now being combined with second-party intent data from TechTarget’s 140+ enterprise technology media sites, bringing the combined pool of buyers and influencers to 32 million.  As these individuals are opted-in, intent data can be tied to the individual instead of the account, allowing for improved messaging and targeting.  Not only is the enterprise software topic collected, but TechTarget gathers competitors under consideration and buying journey stage.  Furthermore, opted-in contact data ensures that the shared contact intelligence is GDPR and CCPA compliant.

BrightTALK Prospect Insights include webinar registrations, views, view times, webinar types, and titles.

BrightTALK Intent data indicates which content was viewed and the duration the demand unit member spent viewing the content.

TechTarget noted that buyers and influencers have distinct digital research styles, with some preferring multi-media content and others opting for white papers and related text-based reports and articles.  Thus, bringing in BrightTALK significantly expanded TechTarget’s ability to identify buyer intent based on different learning preferences.

“Despite strong similarities in overall audience makeup (company size, industry, and job title/function are remarkably consistent), there’s only a 10%-20% overlap in members between the databases, depending on geo,” wrote TechTarget SVP of Products Andrew Briney in April.

“Learning preference and behavior is quite different for members of BrightTALK,” continued Briney.  “While the content topics, focus, and quality is [SIC] very similar to what’s offered on the TechTarget network, BrightTALK members prefer the immersive, interactive learning experiences delivered by webinars (85%) and videos (61%) over downloadable PDF content like whitepapers (47%) and e-Books (42%). Given this preference, it’s not surprising BrightTALK members average more than 30 minutes in view-time per webinar/video.”

Priority Engine Personalized Rankings view

The enhancements also provide insights into “overall buyer content preferences (content type and topic), and interactions with customer content across multiple channels help inform more personalized sales outreach and marketing engagement strategies.”

“Priority Engine delivers the actionable purchase intent data our customers need to drive superior performance.  This new release gets exponentially more data into their hands and gives them the ability to deliver customized experiences their marketers and sellers need to thrive.”

TechTarget CEO Michael Cotoia

UI enhancements include a new view that calls out “untapped, high potential accounts” for initial engagement in a rep’s territory.  There is also a new timeline for viewing account journeys and recent engagement.  The new timeline helps reps “easily monitor buying changes to better optimize pipeline, identify cross-sell/upsell opportunities and grow revenue.”

Other UI changes include a set of shortcuts located in the left-side navigation bar.  The shortcuts display the following user views:

  • Top Accounts – The 500 most active accounts and prospects (default view)
  • Untapped Potential – Accounts or prospects with whom the rep has not yet interacted in Priority Engine
  • Viewed your Content – Accounts or prospects that have viewed or downloaded company content syndicated through TechTarget’s content syndication program
  • Visited your Website – Accounts that have visited the company’s website (Inbound Converter)
  • Confirmed Projects – Any projects that TechTarget has confirmed are active in the rep’s territory based on direct outreach
  • Favorites – Accounts or prospects that you have selected to favorite in Priority Engine

Finally, the platform now contains separate modules that support sales and marketing use cases.

The Highlights view provides buying journey interactions and new contacts at top accounts.

The Great Reshuffle

According to LinkedIn, “The Great Reshuffle” has increased turnover amongst buyers and sellers, leading to greater deal risk.  Over the past three months, executive departures (Director and above) have increased by 31% globally.  Among sales reps, the rate is up 39%.  Thus, the likelihood of a deal being delayed due to a key member of the demand unit or sales team leaving has grown sharply.

Before the pandemic, the standard decay rate of contact records was between 25 and 30%.  If the rate has jumped by one-third, then the likelihood of a specific member of the buying committee departing over a three-month sales cycle is approaching ten percent.  Thus, a demand unit with six members will likely have one departure every three months, increasing the need for executive change alerts, multithreading of deals, and a deeper understanding of the demand unit.

If the deal is more complex, the odds of delays and stalled deals due to executive changes increase rapidly.  A six-month deal cycle with a dozen members of the demand unit (financial, technical, and functional decision-makers, purchasers, influencers, lawyers, compliance, etc.) could lose two or three members.  And that doesn’t even factor in the risk of churn on the vendor side.  What’s worse, single-threaded sales reps have close to a 20% risk that their champion leaves the company or assumes a different role over the deal lifecycle.

The renewal math becomes scary as well.  If the customer success team regularly interfaces with four individuals on the customer side, one or two of them may depart over the year, increasing churn risk.  Furthermore, a higher churn rate among customers necessitates greater administrative and training tasks.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that 80% of sales reps have had a deal delayed or lost due to departures.

LinkedIn Senior Director of Global Sales James Burnette argued that multithreading is key to managing deal risk.  “Multithreading – i.e., forming relationships with multiple people on the buying committee at an account – is always a best practice.”  Burnette noted that sellers with at least four connections at an account are “16% more likely to close a deal with that company, compared to sellers who have less than four connections.”

“The most beneficial thing you can do right now is to learn how to master multithreading,” JB Sales Training Director Morgan Ingram said. “Gathering champions, influencers, and talking directly to the decision-makers is the key to success when it comes to closing deals faster in a difficult environment.”

Conversely, departures can foster relationships at new accounts, so knowing that a key demand unit member has departed is important for both risk mitigation at current opportunities and accounts and building relationships at new organizations.  LinkedIn can both flag executive departures and maintain an open line of communications with a champion after he or she has settled into a new position.

“Resources are scant with so many people exiting key roles, so there are opportunities where they might not have been opportunities in the past,” Assist You CEO Robert Knop said. “Look through your connections – there are uncovered sales there.”

Lori Wizdo, Principal Analyst at Forrester, predicts that the Great Resignation will also impact marketing teams, with CMOs assembling more virtual teams consisting of freelance talent, fractional executives, and agency partners.

“We’re seeing clients in places like the Midwest having trouble keeping the talent they’ve built because their team members can get 25% more by working remotely for a New York agency. The distance and untethering from our geographies give people a lot more options, and they will minimize their pain and maximize their gain.  So, there will be some stress on those internal competencies.”

Job turnover is likely to continue in the near term. The labor market remains out of balance with 100 open jobs for every 75 unemployed professionals, driving the quit rate to 4.4 million in September, a record high.

“You’re essentially seeing demand continuing to increase without an offsetting increase in talent,” Ryan Sutton, a district director at staffing company Robert Half International. “Until some new talent comes in, until we get employees who are on the sidelines back into the market, it’s very likely this is going to continue.”

Chili Events

The name of the game in Revenue Acceleration is Digital Engagement. There are many forms of engagement that are now being captured (emails, chat, meetings, webinars, etc.), but offline events seemed to be beyond the scope of capture; however, Chili Piper, the calendaring company, has designed tools for scheduling meetings at trade shows and from trade show floors.

The new Chili Events service offers an “all-in-one Event Meetings Management solution for generating more meetings and maximizing ROI from in-person conferences and trade shows.”  In short, Chili is looking to facilitate meetings and gather engagement data from in-person events.

As in-person events return, it is vital to gather registration data as event attendees are likely to be part of the demand unit.  According to Chili Piper, “81% of conference and trade show attendees have buying authority.”

“In-person events are hugely important for B2B revenue teams,” said Chili Piper CEO Nicolas Vandenberghe.  “With Chili Events, we’re making it possible for marketing and sales to not just automate booking conference and trade show meetings with key prospects and customers, but to treat those meetings like any other digital touchpoint in the customer journey, with quantifiable results and data.”

Chili Event Reminders support a rescheduling link.

Chili Events features include URLs to pre-book meetings, meeting space availability, unified meeting calendars, automated reminders and rescheduling via email and SMS, and an event management dashboard.  Chili Events are integrated with GSuite and Outlook365. Additionally, check-ins and no-shows are synced to Salesforce Campaigns.

Chili Events also supports meeting scheduling from trade booth floors via QR codes for mobile phones, computers at the booth, or register on the prospect’s behalf via Chili’s Instant Booker Scheduler.

Engagement intelligence supports multiple revenue acceleration features including engagement scoring, deal health signals, and deal risk alerts. It can also be used to identify and upload missing contacts in the CRM and build out the buying committee.

Terminus Acquires Zylotech

Terminus acquired Boston-based B2B Customer Data Platform (CDP) Zylotech and immediately launched the rebranded Terminus CDP as part of its ABM Platform. 

Terminus CDP will be led by Matt Belkin, who has “25 years of experience in building and scaling data and technology companies.”  Belkin joined Terminus last year when it acquired Sales Intelligence vendor GrowFlare.

Zylotech CTO Abhi Yadav will be Terminus’ Head of Platform Development.  Yadav is also a Guest Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management.

The deal is Terminus’ fifth acquisition, backing up Gartner’s SalesTech Mayhem thesis that a handful of companies are quickly grabbing market share through strategic acquisitions and high levels of internal investment that fill missing capabilities.

Terminus’ acquisitions have focused on expanding the core capabilities of the company, not taking out competitors.  The other acquisitions were

Terminus Acquisition History

While CDPs are generally deployed to create a single view of the customer, David Raab, Founder of CDP Institute, commented that the Terminus CDP “will tie together the data silos that would otherwise result” from the acquisitions.

“CDP is becoming more widely adopted in B2B, as companies recognize their marketing automation and CRM systems are not enough to provide true data unification and sharing,” said Raab.  “By acquiring Zylotech, Terminus positions itself – and its clients – to take full advantage of the capabilities that a CDP provides.”

While data usage and spending are rapidly increasing, few marketers trust their data.  A 2017 Forrester survey found that only 12% of B2B marketers have high confidence in their data accuracy, and 84% identified data management as a top-five weakness.

“The key to a successful CDP is trust,” blogged Zylotech Director of Revenue Marketing Alex Bistran in August.  “Sales, marketing, and customer experience teams need to trust the data stored in their CDP to drive decisions, whether it’s deciding which accounts require immediate attention or which campaign messaging is most likely to resonate with a particular customer. By constantly refreshing data from your own customer interactions and combining it with validated, third-party B2B data to accurately reflect your contacts and accounts, a CDP provides a clean stream of actionable data that can be operationalized to flow through your marketing, sales, and customer service channels.  And, importantly, that can lead to a healthier revenue stream too.”

“B2B CRM data is painfully inaccurate and incomplete, and manual efforts to clean, deduplicate, and activate are slow and expensive.  This leads to poor conversion rates, an incomplete view of buying committees, and misleading ROI,” stated the firm.

“Bad data in equals bad data out. Period. We’re entering a marketing revolution – data really is the new oil, and Terminus is sitting on a gold mine. Under Matt’s leadership, Terminus CDP is poised to change the game for our customers. This level of data accuracy is critical for B2B GTM teams looking for a unified view into their customers. I’ve never been more excited about the future of marketing.”

Terminus CEO Tim Kopp

The Terminus CDP addresses the issues of bad data with auditing, cleansing, enrichment, and data management capabilities “backed by the industry’s largest global network of decision-makers and Buying Committees.”  Furthermore, Terminus CDP “dramatically” improves data accuracy, campaign effectiveness, and “wasted sales cycles.”

Buying Committee discovery is a novel UVP for a CDP but fits well within a broader ABM Platform umbrella. 

“We are in the golden age of marketing.  The breadth of technologies helping us create great experiences has never been so impressive.  But, what are all those customer experiences predicated on?  Data,” blogged Kopp.  “With Terminus CDP, our customers will have their most important account and contact data continuously cleansed and enriched. The result: our customers will be able to put their trust in their data, unleashing their go-to-market teams to accurately engage buying committees every time.”

Continued Kopp, “We’re entering a marketing revolution.  A time when sales and marketing teams don’t have to worry about data and can dedicate their energy to create phenomenal experiences that turn into pipeline.  I have never been more excited about the future of marketing.”

“Since our early days as an MIT spinout, Zylotech has been focused on delivering the data and intelligence go-to-market teams can trust and take action on,” said Yadav.  “Upon meeting Terminus, it was obvious that we shared a common vision. We are proud to join Terminus and this incredible team to jointly improve the accuracy of B2B data.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Kopp described it as a “big deal” that is a “really, really important acquisition.”  The Indianapolis Business Journal said that Zylotech was its largest deal to date.  The transaction was financed with funds from a $90 February venture round.

Enterprise clients include Google, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Dell, and Rimini Street.

Groove Auto Contact Capture

Sales Engagement Platform Groove announced a new Auto Contact Capture feature that identifies missing Salesforce contacts cc’d on emails or meeting invitations.  Groove helps fill out the buying committee, capturing intelligence around members at the periphery of deals while reducing rep data entry overhead.

Beyond demand unit identification, Auto Contact Capture monitors engagement across the buying committee.  “This ensures that every contact involved in the buying process receives a consistent, timely, and relevant experience from their first engagement,” wrote Groove.

“Now more than ever, businesses need to be able to get a complete picture of their sales pipeline in order to maximize revenue,” said Groove CEO Chris Rothstein.  “By consolidating revenue intelligence and advanced activity capture into one unified sales engagement platform, Groove empowers businesses to close more deals and intelligently refine their sales processes.”

Groove captures and logs revenue intelligence from emails, calendars, meetings, and LinkedIn communications.  Users control which categories are captured and logged to leads, contacts, accounts, opportunities, and cases.  While Groove does not offer direct contact enrichment, records can be enriched through subscription partners such as ZoomInfo.

To ensure data integrity, Groove performs duplicate checking that begins with the email but includes additional heuristics.  Groove will not create a contact if the email does not match a domain already existing as an account in Salesforce.  Groove also maintains user and domain-level blocklists to ensure that only relevant business contacts are created via Auto Contact Capture.

Groove does not provide user alerts concerning captured records, but “it’s easy for reps to identify contacts that have been automatically added to Salesforce,” Groove Director of Communications Jason Klein wrote to GZ Consulting.  “Each contact created through Auto Contact Capture has a custom Groove field that is marked as true (Is Created by Groove), allowing for quick analysis and reporting on all contacts created through this new feature.” 

Groove has focused on expanding its revenue intelligence capabilities over the past year.  Recent enhancements include activity sync, reporting, and analytics features.  In March, the firm rolled out real-time opportunity and pipeline management and enhanced ROI reporting.

“Through this expanded capability set, Groove enables revenue leaders to make real-time, data-driven business decisions based on real campaign results at both the individual and team level,” stated Groove. Groove is built natively in Salesforce and uses SFDC as its data store, acting as an engagement layer on top of Salesforce.  Thus, there is no data sync process between Groove and Salesforce.

Groove Activity Capture

Drift Sales Seat

Drift Sales Seat can activate SEP sequences in Outreach.

Revenue Acceleration vendor Drift announced a pair of new services last week. I covered Fastlane, its new webforms/chatbot hybrid service yesterday. Today I’ll be discussing Sales Seat, Drift’s entry into SalesTech.

Sales Seat alerts reps when intent and engagement signals have exhibited buying activity.  Drift monitors the website, SEPs, MAPs, and CRMs for buying intent.  Sales Seat is Drift’s first sales product and helps reps with timing, messaging, and discovering the buying committee.  Sales professionals can reach out with personalized messages via chat, email, or video, based on intent and engagement.

Sales Seat is integrated with Outreach, letting reps create sequences from the service.

A mobile app notifies reps, supports conversations, and lets reps record and send Drift videos.

A Chrome extension displays all conversations happening in Drift, monitor engagement (e.g. email opens and clickthroughs, page visits), and drop calendar information in Gmails. Reps can optionally bcc Gmails to their CRM for tracking.

Drift Profile Page

The Drift Profile acts as an online business card with a link that can be dropped into emails and social media messages. Recipients can chat with the rep or book a meeting. The profile contains the rep’s title, location, a short bio, headshot, phone, and social links. The chat supports default messages to display when the rep is available and when not.

“Sales success is all about engaging today’s buyers on their terms: Digitally and immediately when they express interest,” said Drift Chief Product Officer Leo Teneblat.  “With Fastlane and Sales Seat, Drift customers can ensure their best buyers and highest intent visitors receive express treatment without overloading the sales team. Not only that, but sellers have context to engage buyers with a personalized experience on the exact topics they care about in the moment they’re expressing interest.”

Here’s How to 6x Your Chance of Booking a Meeting,” Gauri Iyengar, Drift Blog (April 13, 2021).

According to Drift, reps are six-fold more likely to book a meeting if they engage with a buyer during the first hour.  Thus, immediately transitioning webform submissions into chats and notifying reps that high-scoring prospects are engaging with the company dramatically increases the likelihood of converting a lead into a meeting.

Sales Engagement vendor XANT has found similar numbers from rapid response times while noting that companies are slow in delivering and prioritizing inbound leads.

“Not all accounts are created equal. Your target accounts should receive the most personalized and high-touch buying experiences. Account-based marketing lets you create this experience while engaging with VIP buyers and connecting them to sales. By cutting through the noise, you can close more deals – faster,” blogged Drift Product Education Marketer Gauri Iyengar.  “When it comes to booking meetings, there is literally no time to waste. Speed is essential to not just set up a meeting but to turn that meeting into revenue.”

The pair of services was released to early adopters that enjoyed an 82% increase in meetings booked, a 77% jump in opportunities created, and a 67% rise in pipeline influenced.

Outreach Closes $200M Round

Sales Engagement Platform vendor Outreach closed on a $200 million financing round that values the firm at $4.4 billion and brings total funding to $489 million.  The round trebled its market cap over the past year.

Premji Invest and STEADFAST Capital Ventures led the round.  Other new investors include Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Vista Public Strategies, and one of the largest U.S. asset managers based on the West Coast.  Existing Outreach investors, including Salesforce Ventures, Lone Pine Capital, Sands Capital, Mayfield Fund, DFJ Growth, and Trinity Ventures, also participated in the round.

Outreach continued its rapid growth during the pandemic, with B2B firms looking to operationalize their sales outreach, improve remote coaching, refine forecasts, and monitor sales activities and engagement. 

The firm more than doubled Q1 ARR year-over-year and has signed 18 of the top 24 fastest-growing public software companies.  ARR is around $125 million, according to Nathan Latka.  LinkedIn shows them adding sixty employees a month over the past three months.

Outreach has grown to more than 871 global employees, with recently opened offices in Prague and London.  The firm is based in Seattle and has a San Francisco office.

Data Collected by Nathan Latka based on a June 1, 2021, interview of Manny Medina.

At their Unleash user conference last month, they released their real-time conversational intelligence platform Outreach Kaia along with Outreach Insights, their buyer emotive signals and sentiment service.

Outreach Success Plans, which is currently in beta, was also unveiled at Unleash.  Success Plans align buyers and sellers to improve action and predictability.  They act as a buying hub that allows buyers and sellers to agree on shared success criteria, objectives, and timelines.  Success Plans also support shared access to project resources, allowing new demand unit members to quickly access project documents.

“This past year represents a true moment of maturity for Outreach – we are now a mission-critical part of the revenue tech stack for customers. The bets we made years ago, including significant investments in artificial intelligence combined with prospecting, closing, and customer success capabilities integrated into one holistic platform, are what revenue organizations need most right now to be successful. We continue to lead and expand the vision for sales engagement. Now, we are poised to deliver more meaningful business outcomes for our customers than ever before – from the rep to the CRO and from small businesses to the enterprise.”

Outreach CEO Manny Medina

Outreach will deploy the additional funds to expand its sales and marketing functions to meet “the growing demand” for its Sales Engagement Platform.  Funds will also be used to build, acquire, and deliver “new revolutionary technologies.”  Finally, the funds will support expansion plans and new market investments.

“Over the past five years as I’ve served on the board, Outreach emerged as a definitive standard for sales and customer engagement – proven by thousands of companies that use Outreach every day as a critical component of their workflow and their tech stack,” said Karan Mehandru, Managing Director of STEADFAST and Outreach board member. “Companies across every industry are reaccelerating growth and hiring post-pandemic and embracing intelligent automation to power their revenue teams.”

Mehandru told Bloomberg that he expects to see multiple sales software startups succeed with “multiple winners in the category.”  Mehandru likened Outreach to a modern-day Salesforce.

“If (Salesforce CEO) Benioff were to start a sales company today, it would look a lot more like Outreach,” stated Mehandru. Mehandru did not forecast when an IPO would take place but said, “We do think going public is an important event in the company’s cycle.”

Manny Medina LinkedIn Post (June 2, 2021)