B2B data vendor Clearbit posted a demonstration video of its ChatGPT plugin that supports Reveal (visitor intelligence), Enrich, and Prospector API calls, helping marketers build free-form queries against Clearbit’s intelligence. For example, marketers can ask for lists of companies or contacts that match their ICP and demonstrate clear intent. They can also identify firms displaying clear purchase intent over the past week by analyzing Clearbit’s Weekly Visitor Report data.
In the demo, ChatGPT-4 queries are executed against Clearbit to identify three large companies in Japan. No coding knowledge is required, with ChatGPT leveraging Clearbit’s business intelligence API and Whimsical’s account mapping service.
A follow-on query displays a Whimsical account map of Rakuten execs sourced from Clearbit.
“With this plugin, anyone—be it a marketer, sales professional, or even a curious individual—can now create and utilize the same complex sales and marketing workflows that were once reserved for the most highly technical growth teams. It breaks down the walls that have long separated the technical growth hackers from the rest of the business world.”
Clearbit Group Product Manager Zachary Swetz
By grounding ChatGPT with business intelligence, Clearbit addresses the issues of data latency and hallucinations related to firmographic and contact queries. Furthermore, when third-party plugins are deployed, ChatGPT cites them, addressing the problem of attribution and GDPR compliance (as Clearbit is compliant). ChatGPT also displays which plugins are enabled within the model.
“While ChatGPT is extremely powerful, go-to-market teams currently can’t fully capitalize on its potential due to its out-of-date data—ChatGPT’s current knowledge cutoff is March 23rd, and it has limited knowledge of the world and events after 2021. And, it has a tendency to hallucinate, producing answers that seem accurate, but are incorrect,” wrote Swetz. “To remedy this, we’re bringing Clearbit’s reliable and accurate data to ChatGPT to make it an incredibly valuable tool for sales, marketing, and operations professionals.”
B2B data vendor Clearbit is the latest firm to announce a partnership with G2 to deliver G2’s second-party technology intent data. The G2 feed will be available alongside Clearbit’s firmographics, contacts, and Reveal visitor intelligence.
“For any company that shows up in your defined Audiences, Capture automatically creates new accounts and key contacts (from our database of marketable and verified contacts) directly in Salesforce,” blogged Clearbit CMO Kevin Tate. “This way, your marketing and sales teams can focus on engaging the right people, based on role and title, from the companies you care about.”
“Marketers know that engaging the right companies at the right time is key, but with increased pressure to build high-quality pipeline, it’s never been more critical. With G2 and Clearbit, teams can now leverage the powerful combination of company fit and buyer intent to focus their funnel – and even use Clearbit Capture to discover key buyers and contacts at their best-fit, high-intent prospects.”
Clearbit CTO Harlow Ward
G2 Buyer Intent Signals include
Companies viewing G2 Product Profiles and Sponsored Content
Companies viewing G2 Categories, Comparison Products, and Alternative & Competitor Pages
G2 Buyer Intent Scores for every visiting company
“Buyer intent data is a secret weapon for leading B2B marketers,” said Christine Li, VP of Growth & Enablement at G2. “Clearbit’s integration with G2 helps marketers take that data even further — driving more streamlined actions for sales, intent-based revenue, and realizing the full potential of account-based marketing.”
The combined first and second-party intent datasets help identify the optimal time to reach out to customers and prospects. By integrating intent data with a firm’s ICP, marketing can determine which ideal customers are in-market.
As G2 also identifies accounts that are viewing alternatives or running product comparisons, it assists with identifying competitive threats at current customers. Risk flags allow Account Executives and Customer Success Managers to reach out proactively to wobbly renewals and reduce churn risk.
Clearbit Audience and Capture combine first and second-party intelligence for building and activating campaigns across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google. Admins can also set up automated Slack alerts when intent scores are met, helping ensure that sales reps focus on target accounts while they are in-market.
“Our focus is on helping you put our Clearbit + G2 audiences to work across your existing stack and apps (with our flexible integrations & webhooks),” remarked Tate to GZ Consulting. “It’ll be interesting to see how these changes in the economy continue to affect how companies spend on MarTech – but we’re seeing more companies currently looking for flexible solutions to ‘upgrade the stack they already have’ vs. ‘rip-and-replace with a walled-garden suite.’”
Clearbit announced the general availability of its Data Activation Platform. The new service helps B2B marketing teams “focus on creating demand, capturing intent, and optimizing their pipeline.”
The Data Activation Platform addresses the “business imperative for companies to have real-time intelligence about their target market, ideal customers, and engaged prospects.” It then applies this intelligence across all stages of the customer’s journey.
The Data Activation Platform offers Clearbit customers a user interface for many of the features that were previously only supported as APIs.
“Data activation is specifically around the next step of how we’re helping companies put data to work,” explained CRO Kevin Tate to GZ Consulting. “We started with the data. How do you collect data and make it available so that companies can be smart as they engage your customers in the market? And then, over the last three years, four years, what we’ve gotten to see is how these very fast-growing companies and their growth engineering teams and go-to-market teams have put our data to work in all these different customer touchpoints. Until this Data Activation Platform, the way they put that data to work was through APIs and integrations that they stitch together.”
“We’ve been fortunate to work with many of the most innovative B2B growth teams in the world, and they’ve taught us that it’s not just about having good data. It’s about activating that data to improve your funnel from top to bottom,” said Ross Moser, CEO of Clearbit. “The ability to apply real-time intelligence to each step of the customer journey – and optimize experiences in real-time – is what’s driving success for Clearbit’s customers.”
The Data Activation Platform leverages Clearbit’s heritage as a data company. Its database spans 44 million companies with over 100 firmographic and demographic attributes. Clearbit also maintains data on 350 million contacts. Marketers can target audiences, enrich their CRMs and MAPs, and personalize their website and customer experience apps. Capabilities include
Clearbit Reveal visitor intelligence for tying anonymous users to firms and detecting website visitor intent
Audience management and segmentation based on data ingested from a company’s CRM, MAP, or CDP. Alerts may be triggered to activate audiences across systems.
Real-time enrichment for short webforms.
Real-time integrations and APIs
Audiences can be targeted in multiple ways. For example, marketers can deploy audiences on Facebook and Google:
Prospect Audiences target employees across the complete ICP, including account expansion to new prospects outside the CRM. Targeting may be filtered by role and seniority, providing persona-level targeting across the ICP.
Contact Audiences that sync all matches to a contacts audience for retargeting on Facebook and Google
Site Visitor Audiences that retarget web visitors when they match on Facebook and Google.
Data syncing includes “Audience inclusion attributes” or “smart attributes” that are calculated, such as a Boolean ICP or current customer flags that can be pushed downstream to Salesforce and other platforms. The refreshed value is automatically pushed to downstream systems if the calculation is modified. Smart attributes are updated every fifteen minutes.
Clearbit partners include Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot, Segment, Drift, Intercom, Chili Piper, Slack, Zapier, Qualified, and Clari. Personalization partners that leverage Clearbit Reveal include Uberflip, Optimizely, and Mutiny.
Clearbit is coming off a “big, big growth year” but does not disclose any sizing or growth details. LinkedIn lists it with 177 employees, up 90% over the past year. Business Development and Sales grew at a 150% pace. While Clearbit originally targeted B2B Internet service companies, it is gaining traction in financial services, retail services, and investments, businesses that are “looking for data, to power their intelligence, their go-to-market motions,” said Tate.
B2B Marketing Data vendor Clearbit partnered with Revenue Operations Platform Clari to deliver enriched contacts into CRMs. Clari identifies external contacts from emails and meeting activity, helping fill out the buying committee. According to Clari, only 30% of sales-engaged contacts are entered into the CRM. By automating the contact identification process, sales reps have a clearer view of the full demand unit, allowing them to target messaging by function and recognize potential gaps in their knowledge of the buying committee.
By expanding knowledge of the demand unit, Clari can identify the broader set of decision-makers and reduce deal risk through multi-threaded relationship building. Relying on one or two contacts has multiple risks:
The sales rep may not be messaging to the full demand unit
Their point of contact may be sidelined or leave the firm
Multiple points of contact may be set up dealing with different vendors, each providing a siloed perspective on the deal.
Post-sale, if users and administrators weren’t involved in the decision, adoption rates might be low, leading to higher churn rates.
The project champion may depart before renewal, forcing the rep to scramble to re-establish relationships at renewal time.
The expanded knowledge also helps marketing teams identify the key personas involved in deals and customize content and messaging.
“Now all the contacts that showed up for a sales meeting, even the ones that were added to the invite by the prospect, are automatically associated with the opportunity without your rep needing to lift a finger.”
Clari Marketing Programs Manager Maggie Kullman
Clearbit enriches the contacts with title, job function, and level. Firmographic and technographic details are also appended.
“As budgets get tighter and operating plans are reworked, having your prospects’ finance team involved early on is critical to accelerating the deal toward close,” wrote Clari Marketing Programs Manager Maggie Kullman. “With the combination of Clari, Clearbit, and a little bit of automation, you can trigger an update to an opportunity field any time a CFO gets added to a meeting with the sales rep. Now you can easily track which of your deals are missing a critical decision-maker and take actions to drive that relationship.”
Demand Units are a term coined by SiriusDecisions a few years ago when they updated their Demand Waterfall model for B2B sales and marketing. Each opportunity is associated with a set of decision-makers (e.g. technical, financial, functional directors) and influencers (e.g. users, admins). Demand Unit discovery is still in the early stages of development, but looking at email headers, out of office messages, and meeting attendees is a promising approach for organically identifying buying committee members.
Data vendor Clearbit officially launched Clearbit X, their new marketing and sales “growth engine.” The new service provides digital marketing and demand generation functionality with first and third-party intent data enrichment. The Clearbit X platform consolidates data from CRM systems, activity data such as web events, visitor intelligence enriched with IP and domain information, and Clearbit’s third-party business data on companies and employees (e.g., company size, industry, contact information, etc.).
“Never before has a company created a growth suite built from the ground up to be data-first and focused on B2B buyers. And what’s more, X is the only platform to natively combine both data the customer owns with our popular Clearbit data. I’m looking forward to a future where marketing data is democratized, data-enabled, and smart. Clearbit X is a big step towards this future.”
Clearbit CEO Alex MacCaw.
include Facebook and Google targeting, Slack and email alerts highlighting
active opportunities based on intent, and Clearbit’s visitor intelligence which
matches visitor activity to account intelligence via IP addresses. Visitor
intelligence assists with dynamic chat and website personalization.
is positioning X as the “center of your data universe.“ According to the
firm, “The power supply of any great growth engine is real-time access to what
we call your entire dataverse – all your user data, activity data, and
enrichment data. Clearbit X brings all of that together in one place.”
able to layer Clearbit firmographic data onto our existing data in Salesforce
is really powerful,” said Yuri Daniels, director of performance marketing at
Zenefits. “X has helped ensure that we are targeting customers in our
ideal customer profile as well as being able to exclude people already inside
of our funnel to make new leads. We can target very specific lists on
Facebook with much more efficiency and LinkedIn-level specificity.”
is focused on onboarding their first twenty-five customers and will release
more product details towards the end of the year.
Ringlead was a pioneer in the B2B DaaS space and continues to support batch and on-demand company and contact intelligence. They began building matching algorithms for duplicate cleansing and prevention in 2004 and joined Salesforce’s AppExchange as an early partner. RingLead’s algorithms are used to connect third-party databases for data appends. The firm now provides a broad set of B2B DaaS hygiene and enrichment services including data cleansing, standardization, normalization, de-duping, segmentation, routing, and appending services. Users can upload lists to their cloud service or perform ongoing updates to enterprise software platforms.
Prior to enriching records, RingLead performs a set of validation
and standardization steps which both enhance the data and improve match
rates. Names and addresses are standardized, emails are validated, and
customer-specific mapping logic such as revenue bands and industry sectors are
Sales Ops and Marketing also have control over duplicate matching
logic and data consolidation rules. Field-level rules help determine
which fields are retained when records are merged or whether fields should be
concatenated. When records are enriched, admins can set fields to always
be overlaid or enriched only when null. Over 100 company and contact
fields are supported.
RingLead provides enterprise software connectors for Salesforce,
Eloqua, and Marketo. Several others are in development. For
lead forms and which provides company suggest logic for immediate
matching. Records are validated upon submission and immediately
enriched. Duplicate checking is also performed.
In Salesforce, duplicate logic is employed during record creation
and as a batch process. RingLead supports Account, Contact, Lead, and
Custom record data enrichment and I-frame display.
When routing leads, sales operations can distribute by name,
industry, geographic territory, size, or other field-based logic. Leads
are assigned to current account owners. If a lead is new and does not
match any pre-defined assignment rules, round-robin assignment is employed.
offers both its own master database of companies and contacts and API access to
data from other B2B and B2C vendors with admin-defined waterfall rules. Cascade
selection provides a broader set of fields as well as secondary and tertiary
vendors which can be called if the primary is unable to enrich a record. Third-party
records are standardized so that data is normalized and displayed consistently
across all record sources. Custom segmentation rules are also employed
and duplicate prevention logic is applied across all of the vendors. Marketing
can even prospect against multiple vendors in RingLead with records de-duped
is shifting its focus from being a data vendor to facilitating a data ecosystem.
“There is no company that should use a single data provider,” said
RingLead Chief Product Officer John Kosturos. “We are giving customers
the ability to get the best data all the time.”
Company – Owler, DatabaseUSA, LexisNexis, NetWise, KickFire, and Dun & Bradstreet resellers
customer may have a license with a data vendor, but choose to pull the data
through RingLead enrichment or prospecting. Customers pay the data vendor
for the data license and are charged only for API calls by RingLead. Cleanse
and Enrich have volume-based pricing based on the number of supported records.
begins at $2,000 per month, “far less than it would cost to hire a person to
try to manage these processes manually,” said Kosturos.
the core functionality is designed for marketing and sales operations, the DMS
Capture Chrome extension (see image on right) allows sales reps to conduct
real-time company and contact research from LinkedIn, LinkedIn Sales Navigator,
Google, or company pages. Capture sends records to over twenty platforms
including CRM and Sales Engagement vendors. Standardized records can be
sent to Salesforce as Accounts, Contacts, or Leads. Duplicate records are
flagged. Over 75 standardized fields are available including emails,
direct dials, LinkedIn hyperlinks, Twitter handles, firmographics, and
technographics. When performed against Google search results, LinkedIn
lists, or Executive Pages, a list of matched contact profiles is displayed and
may be uploaded selectively or in bulk.
include CA Technologies, HP, Uber, Capital One, BNY Mellon, and the New York
Conversational marketing vendor Drift released Drift Intel, a real-time enrichment service which maps anonymous leads to accounts using IP addresses. The firm calls their Clearbit-powered account intelligence “x-ray vision for qualified leads.” Clearbit firmographics drive the messaging flow, sales conversations, and lead routing; thus, prospect interactions are personalized to the account and directed to the proper sales rep or team.
Account matching is global, with a 40% to 60% IP-to-account match rate. If the bot acquires an email address, then contact intelligence is also provided from Clearbit.
“In the old days, forms were the only way to get the info you need to qualify visitors,” states the firm. “With Drift Intel, you’ll get a full company profile in Drift the moment they land on your site. That means you’ll know the visitor on your pricing page isn’t just a random person—it’s someone at a software company in NYC with 500 employees and $25-50m in annual revenue.”
Furthermore, because the intelligence is provided in real-time, leads can be properly routed to sales reps by account, region, size, etc. If the account owner is not available, the AI chatbot automatically sets up an appointment for the rep. The chatbot also personalizes the message based upon the account intelligence.
“The last decade in B2B sales and marketing was all about the business following up later. But today, B2B sales and marketing have to be about now. The internet has changed everything and put customers in control of the buying process, not the business. As a result, people won’t put up with waiting days and weeks to get a response — they want answers now.”
Drift CEO David Cancel
Drift Customer Marketing Team Lead Chris Handy blogged about the cost and foolishness of investing in inbound marketing and then making prospects wait for marketing tools or sales reps. “We asked them for information before we’d let them send us a simple question about our product. We lost what might have been our best accounts—sometimes by making them wait days or weeks for someone to follow up—even when they were ready to buy right then. This wasn’t the way we liked to buy. We had to change the way we sold to match the way we bought.”
Drift’s goal is to “remove friction,” shorten the sales cycle, and connect businesses with their customers at peak interest.
In a quick test of the bot on the Drift website, it accurately identified my company name and location, but lacked industry and sizing data. As I am a one-person company, the lack of richer firmographics is common. I was quickly chatting with a sales rep and she offered three days for a product demo within the chatbot (see image on top).
Drift Intel is available as part of their Company ($1,500 / month) and Enterprise (starting at $5,000 / month) plans. Unlimited company matches are supported.
I am beginning a monthly series entitled What Is where I provide an overview of one of the underlying sales and marketing intelligence technologies or processes being deployed at B2B firms. I will begin with Intent Data.
Intent Data is one of the three informational elements of B2B Lead scoring (the other two are Fit and Opportunity). Intent data consists of first, second, and third-party elements and identifies when companies are actively researching specific product categories. First-party data is captured in your marketing automation systems and web logs. Typical first-party intent data includes
Trade Show Booth Visits
In short, if somebody is viewing your website, reading your collateral, meeting with you at a tradeshow booth, or attending your webinars, then he or she is displaying purchase intent. Of course, not everybody doing so is a potential purchaser, but a high percentage of individuals digitally interacting with your firm are somewhere in the buyer’s journey for your products and services.
“The case for intent data is clear. If only 3 percent of the potential buyers for any given product or service are in the market at any given time (while 40 percent are poised to begin and 56 percent aren’t interested), identifying and focusing on those buyers, and those close behind them, is the key to efficiency and effectiveness in revenue growth. That’s been the Holy Grail of marketing and sales for years. After all, how many times have you heard a sales rep say, ‘If I’m sitting at the table, I win more than my fair share of deals. Just get me to the table!’
That’s the promise of intent data. And practice shows it’s more than just a theory. Fifty-percent increase in close rates and an 82 percent reduction in sell-cycle have been attained.”
Unfortunately, intent data is often anonymous. Unless the individual submits a web form, you are most likely limited to an IP address. As B2B visitors are usually accessing your platform from a corporate IP address, it is possible to tie the IP address to the company and at least associate the activity with a company. Companies such as DemandBase, Bombora, KickFire, Clearbit, IntentData.io, Zoominfo, and Dun & Bradstreet offer Visitor Intelligence services to map IP addresses to companies. Along with the company name, they enrich the visitor intelligence with firmographics such as location, size, and industry. Some vendors include technographics as well.
Real-time visitor intelligence can assist with the user experience. By providing immediate firmographics, websites can be immediately customized based upon size, location, or industry.
As visitor intelligence is beginning to feed chatbots, it is possible to prioritize customer support and sales queries. As bots become more intelligent, they will digest the firmographics and customize the conversation. Likewise, ABM customers and prospects can be given priority over non-targeted prospects. If these teams are verticalized, chats can be routed to specialized teams.
External third-party intent data is provided by vendors such as Bombora, The Big Willow, and True Influence. External intent data is gathered from B2B Media websites that evaluate topics of interest across their network and determine which topics are of interest to companies. Interest is gauged by articles viewed, white papers downloaded, searches performed, case studies read, etc. Generally, each company is baselined by topic with interest determined with respect to the baseline. A surge of interest takes place when short-term interest in a topic is well above the baseline for the company. Intent data is generally delivered as a numeric score by topic with companies licensing the topics of interest. As intent is determined at the corporate level, it works best in lead scoring. One limitation of third-party data is you don’t know which individuals are researching specific topics, but this ensures that the data is GDPR- compliant.
TechTarget Priority Engine provides technology-specific second-party intent at the individual level along with contact information, buying stage (early or late based upon content viewed and downloaded), and key influencers (companies of interest). TechTarget is focused on Technology topics across its 140 media sites and its BrightTALK webinars and virtual event service. TechTarget is considered second-party intelligence because it owns the content directly, and contacts have opted in, making them GDPR-compliant. It also offers first-party intent data through KickFire.
G2.com (FKA G2Crowd) is another well-known source of second-party intent data. G2.com is a technology review site, so site traffic is highly associated with company and product research, making it a very strong source of early-stage demand intent. Competitors include TrustRadius and PeerSpot.
Salesforce has yet to provide a roadmap for Data.com, so we will likely have to wait until Dreamforce for details. While legacy customers continue to receive Dun & Bradstreet content, new customers are limited to the Salesforce / Jigsaw company and contact file. However, the firm announced a set of Lightning Data partners that will support ongoing account enrichment as native Salesforce Apps.
InsideView was an original partner on the AppExchange but was disinvited after Data.com rolled out. While hidden from AppExchange searches, the InsideView for Sales solution continued to be available to joint customers as a private solution. Furthermore, the firm built additional AppExchange marketing products to supplement InsideView for Sales. These services included Target, a company and contact prospecting platform, and Refresh, a data hygiene service that matched and enriched account records with InsideView intelligence. The two companies share over one thousand joint clients.
As an initial partner in Lightning Data, InsideView is offering two services: Append account record maintenance toward the end of Q4 and Discovery account prospecting in Q1 2018. Both are native Salesforce applications. Unfortunately, Lightning Data only supports Account record enrichment and prospecting. Thus, InsideView clients looking for prospecting against InsideView’s 13 million global companies and 33 million contacts may wish to evaluate InsideView Target instead of InsideView Discovery.
InsideView positions itself as a leader in Targeting Intelligence due to their capabilities across three dimensions: company and people intelligence (Who), business triggers sourced from the news and social feeds (Why), and network connections which support warm introductions (How).
With the launch of their new Lightning Data solutions, InsideView will have strategic relationships with the two most important CRMs: Saleforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics.
InsideView CMO Tracy Eiler will be speaking at one of the Lightning Data sessions at this year’s Dreamforce as will other Lightning Data partners.
DataFox is offering twenty-two curated data points and five proprietary fields for DaaS enrichment. Amongst the curated fields are standard firmographics, tech stack, and funding data including investors, total funding raise, and last funding round details. Proprietary data includes signal count over the past year, industry keywords, and similar companies. Datafox’s “AI-sourced, human-audited company data” covers over two million companies. Pricing starts at $3,500 per year.
MCH enriches accounts with medical facility details. Institutions include hospitals; medical practices; dental practices; nursing homes; home health and hospice; ambulatory surgery; diagnostic imaging; community health; urgent care; and public health departments. Data is updated via a team of researchers annually who populate over seventy attributes across 636,000 facilities. Pricing starts at $500 per year.
MCH has a broader sales intelligence solution in development which will support prospecting and access to two million medical practitioners and support staff.
Clearbit enriches accounts with over forty fields including firmographics, Alexa Rank, Social Accounts, and Technology. The service also includes company news. Pricing starts at $499 per month.
HG Data populates technology product, vendor, and product category information across account, contact, and opportunity records. Also included is an account ranking score based upon deployed technology and workflows based upon complementary or competitive products. Pricing starts at $5,000 per year.
There are multiple reasons to enrich records with third-party reference data sets. These include shorter web forms with lower abandonment rates, improving segmentation via standardized data with fewer data gaps, ongoing data maintenance, and enhanced targeting.
Sales rep benefits from enrichment include reduced data entry, improved lead scoring and routing, and improved intelligence for account qualification, planning, and messaging. By enriching company information within the CRM workflow, sales reps have accurate, on demand account intelligence.
Salesforce announced the launch of two new AppExchange partnership categories offering native Lighting functionality: Lightning Bolts and Lightning Data. Bolts are Lightning Components which offer customer data and business logic.
Lightning Data provides new Data as a Service (DaaS) partnerships in the wake of the non-renewal of the Dun & Bradstreet – Data.com licensing partnership. Three of the partners were announced as Data.com Exchange partners at last year’s Dreamforce:
Initially, Lightning Data only supports ongoing match and enrichment services for Account records. As many AppExchange partners offer batch and continuous services for Account, Contact, and Lead records, Lightning Data will need to round out its enrichment capabilities for it to become a full hygiene and enrichment solution.
Lightning Data is an indication that Salesforce never really bought into the idea of being a DaaS company. Since August 2011, they have promoted Data.com, but never fully committed to the data ecosystem they promised when they launched Data.com. The original idea was to take the Jigsaw file they purchased in April 2010 for $142 million and integrate it with the D&B WorldBase company file. They were then going to partner with other leading data companies to integrate third-party data matched to either Data.com contact intelligence or D&B Account intelligence. These data sets were to be delivered via Data.com Prospector sales intelligence and the Data.com Clean match and append service.
It was the right idea at the right time. They were playing catch up with OneSource for Salesforce, InsideView for Salesforce, and Access Hoovers, but had the technical and financial resources to quickly leapfrog these offerings (Access Hoovers was phased out as part of the D&B deal). Furthermore, they had a first mover advantage in cross-selling Data.com to their customer base. It could have been a home run, but they rarely hit the ball out of the infield. What’s worse:
The Jigsaw file was never truly internationalized. It remained a U.S. contact file with underwhelming executive coverage for nine other countries.
The Data.com contact counts increased, but only because they were adding contacts at the same rate as they were decaying. Meanwhile, their top two contacts competitors, NetProspex and Zoominfo, continued to expand both their active and inactive coverage in the U.S. and internationally.
They never added biographic details or social links to the contacts file
Prospector features remained underwhelming. They would add small features such as improved industry and geographic screening, but not anything significant until 2016.
They quickly dropped all discussion about an ecosystem.
Then at Dreamforce 2015 and 2016 they seemed to have found their mojo, addressing key weaknesses such as pricing, sales intelligence (Hoovers profiles, First Research industry overviews), and a data ecosystem.
Data.com hit a few doubles and outlined an aggressive 2017 and 2018 roadmap. It looked good. It sounded good. But then Salesforce severed their partnership with Dun & Bradstreet and now only legacy customers have access to Dun & Bradstreet content. For everybody else, there were nine months of deafening silence until yesterday’s announcement of Lightning Data.
The devolution of Data.com will not have a significant effect on Salesforce’s bottom line as it represents perhaps one percent of company revenue (hence, the lack of urgency in replacing Dun & Bradstreet content). Furthermore, the legacy offering will continue to be supported for several more years so the revenue decline will have little material impact. Perhaps we’ll hear about replacement content at Dreamforce, but Lightning Data suggests they are leaving B2B DaaS to partner companies.