BuzzBoard Graph of 100M Global SMBs

Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor BuzzBoard has built a graph of global SMB organizations spanning 100 million companies, 20 million in the US.  The seven-year-old firm supports advanced segmentation and prospecting based upon a deep set of technographic and digital marketing variables.  During the pandemic, they added COVID prospecting and recommendation tools to help customers target segments and personas that are doing well during the recession.

It is their focus on SMBs and their digital signals that they describe as their competitive advantage. “Anyone who sells to SMBs should have deep knowledge of the prospect’s digital footprint, their needs, attitudes, triggers, and ability to pay.  These are reflected in the SMB’s operations stack and in their external presence.”

BuzzBoard assigns a Buzz Score to each of the companies in its database.  The Buzz Score is a digital marketing score that grades a company’s digital presence based on a 0 to 100 scale.  Users may drill into the score to see the underlying components.  Thus, a web design company can determine whether a prospect has multi-screen compatibility.  Initially, an estimated score is provided, which is +/- 10 points of the probable score.  When adding a profile, BuzzBoard automatically regenerates the Buzz Score and digital profile, though the process takes 60 to 90 seconds.

Prospecting variables include firmographics, technographics, website, SEO, advertising, social, estimated spend, etc.  A new set of COVID-19 risk filters let users select companies based on location, industry, operational status, ongoing Google Ad spend, and recent technology investments.  For example, restaurants may be filtered operationally by Temporarily Closed, Dine-in, Delivery, and Take-out.

On the user home page, they added two recommendation cards.  The “COVID-19 – Categories to work on now!” card highlights verticals that are growing and “need marketing support during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The “COVID-19 – Recommendations” card contains personas and segments defined by BuzzBoard’s data scientists “based on target locations that need marketing support during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The homepage consists of a customizable set of cards for training videos, COVID recommendations, Knowledge Base, Favorite Signals, etc.

The fixed search bar at the top of each screen lets users search by location combined with business name, URL, category, or keywords.  A left-handed filter bar lets users revise the prospecting list.  For example, a user can quickly search for roofers within 40 miles of Los Angeles with websites and Google ad spend, but a poor mobile experience (e.g. slow loading, not responsive).  Lists are displayed via a card-view or plotted map.  List parameters may be saved for future re-use.

Prospects may be added as profiles.  When added, BuzzBoard goes out and re-evaluates the Buzz Score based upon its current digital footprint.  Profiles contain a summary view along with tabs for Detailed view, Competition, Category Insights, and Recommendations.

Beyond prospecting lists, users may also quickly research a company from a BuzzBoard Connect Chrome extension or via a file upload.  When visiting a web page in Chrome, users click on the BuzzBoard icon in the right corner of the Chrome bar, and BuzzBoard opens a window with company details including firmographics, Buzz Score, Website and SEO details, technographics, social media, competition, communications, and recommendations.

Up to 300 records may be uploaded at a time.  The file must contain either name and URL or name and address for matching.


Part II continues tomorrow with a discussion of their Competition, Category, and Recommendation tabs.

LeadSift Growing Despite Pandemic

Just before the pandemic hit, Canadian behavioral intent vendor LeadSift hit $1 million in revenue with a 6% per month growth rate.  As the firm began to absorb the recession, CEO Tukan Das adopted a policy of radical transparency with his team, providing them with daily updates on the company’s status and letting them know they had cash in the bank to avoid layoffs.

“I would say we have navigated COVID pretty well. Fortunately, we were in a position where there’s more of a tailwind in our industry, with more data needed, and data specifically for helping other B2B companies identify their buyers.”

LeadSift CEO Tukan Das

The firm did take an initial 8% revenue hit, but it is now growing at a 5% a month, bringing their run rate above pre-pandemic levels.

“When COVID hit…a lot of companies just went into a little bit of a freeze,” said Das.  “Some of our customers were B2B companies in the travel and event management space, and some of them, their whole marketing teams were fired.  So they obviously had to pause any other spend.”

The end of trade shows meant the loss of some customers, but they went on the offensive and added technographics as an alternative source of technology-specific leads.  LeadSift also added a full-time marketing manager and part-time social media manager, bringing their headcount to 14 (two part-time).  The firm is profitable.

LeadSift also worked a deal with Halifax-based Innovacorp to deliver six months of intent data to Nova Scotian firms at no charge, with Innovacorp picking up half the foregone revenue.

LeadSift is developing a new control panel for delivering intent data and technographics to its customers.  The new platform will support additional analytics and customization.  The Q4 platform release will be more scalable and will provide administrators with greater control over which companies and topics are to be tracked.

LeadSift generates intent data via web scraping across company websites, blogs, job boards, social channels, SEC filings, etc.  LeadSift looks for public actions such as likes, comments, job postings, executive hires, and technology implementations.  It then associates these events with contacts.

The LeadSift company universe spans 40 million contacts associated with 8 million companies and domains.  Contacts include emails with twenty percent also providing direct-dial phones.  LeadSift contacts are GDPR compliant.  The company universe focuses on English-speaking countries.

LeadSift Head of Growth Alex Field views their event intent data as complementary to other intent data sources, with LeadSift helping verify other intent signals such as visitor intelligence or third-party media site visits.  LeadSift scores accounts based on persona (who is active), event type, event recency, and size of the company.  These scores can be combined with other intent scores to provide greater confidence around buyer intent.

Leads are fed daily to CRMs and MAPs, including Salesforce, Pardot, HubSpot, Marketo, and Eloqua.  Pricing begins at $1,000 per month for company-level intent and $1,500 per month for contact-level intent. Das is not looking for his next funding round but isn’t ruling it out.  “We are going to be opportunistic.  If we continue to grow at the rate we are, even during COVID, if we see an opportunity and the terms are right, we would certainly consider raising capital. But it’s not something where I’m saying, ‘We need to raise capital or we are going to run out of money.’”

D&B Hoover’s Enhancements: COVID-19 Impact Index

Soon after the pandemic began, Dun & Bradstreet developed a COVID-19 index which allowed companies to assess the pandemic risk to their loan portfolio, suppliers, and customer base. The firm moved to further enable analysis by implementing the scores within their D&B Hoovers sales and marketing intelligence platform.

“The COVID-19 Impact Index provides insight into how the Coronavirus pandemic is impacting a company’s location, industry, and financial strength,” wrote VP of Product Management McWade.  “This data can help you actively monitor the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on accounts and prospects and refine targeting strategies accordingly.”

“The Index assesses impacts to a business based on the proximity of corporate locations to the pandemic, as well as the level of disruption to the company’s network due to site suppliers and business customers impacted by the pandemic.  Each week, the company and network situation are assessed, and a score ranging from highest to low is assigned to five key impact areas to provide visibility into the level of disruption that may be impacting the account.”

D&B VP of Product Management Phil McWade

The new index is displayed in the Company Summary with simple Green / Yellow / Red indexing.  The five variables have also been added to the Advanced Insights section of Search & Build a List.

The COVID-19 Impact Index Variables are

  1. Financial Impact – Leverages Dun & Bradstreet’s trade credit and risk data to understand financial health by assessing a company’s ability to meet payment obligations, as well as the probability of declaring bankruptcy, experiencing significant financial distress, engaging in M&A activity, and other high-risk activities.
  2. Location Impact – Reviews business site and corporate family locations subject to lockdown, stay-at-home, and shelter-in-place orders and weighs this information by the number of confirmed cases and growth in cases by location.  Country, state, county, and city-level location restrictions are assessed.  Local hospitalization rates are also factored into the variables.
  3. Industry Impact – Looks at industry impact signals to understand industry-associated risk by identifying essential businesses, which can operate remotely, require the physical presence of customers, and need employees to be at a central location.
  4. Overall Impact without Network Effects – Combines the financial, location, and industry impact indicators to determine the overall risk of the business.
  5. Overall Impacts with Network Effects – Reviews business connections with other organizations, such as customers, suppliers, or other third parties, to understand impacts on the company’s network.  This score provides the most comprehensive view of the current situation by adding network impacts to the company’s financial, location, and industry elements.

In Build a List, sales reps can filter for companies that are less impacted by COVID-19.  For territory reps located in hotspots, the location filter should be removed so they can identify companies that are better sheltered from the pandemic.  For example, both Carnival Cruises and Univision are headquartered in Miami, but Carnival would be a weak prospect due to COVID (all five indicators are highest) while Univision would be a good target (Location is highest, but the remaining variables are low).  Conversely, verticalized reps that sell into one or a few industries would omit the industry risk variable but include the location variable.  This strategy would identify firms that are otherwise low risk.

Lists can be saved as SmartLists of low-risk prospects that are updated weekly.

COVID-19 Index variables should not be employed as ABM variables for determining which companies to target strategically.  The variables are ephemeral and are unlikely to align with strategic fit.  However, they provide a valuable overlay to ABM lists for focusing on companies that are better sheltered from the economic and operational impacts of the pandemic.  They also provide a warning flag to Customer Success Managers and Account Executives around which firms may be looking to downgrade or churn, allowing sales to plan for one-time discounts, additional services, or alternative financing terms.

Variables are view-only in the desktop and CRM editions, but not downloadable to the desktop or synced with CRMs.  

The index variables are global.


Other recent enhancements to D&B Hoovers were discussed yesterday.

D&B Hoover’s Enhancements

D&B Hoovers released a set of enhancements to its sales intelligence service.  New content and features include expanded company identifiers, company identifier searching, additional URLs, and a COVID-19 Impact Index.

D&B Hoovers has improved the scope and display of global registration numbers (AKA Regnos) within their service, with identifiers available for more than 129 million companies spanning more than 500 different National Identification Numbering Schema.  Regnos are now more prominent in Company Profiles and searchable in the “Company Identifiers” section of “Search & Build a List.”

Identifiers include US Federal Tax IDs (EINs), VATs, and French Siret Numbers.  Up to four identifiers are displayed in company profiles.  While the service has long supported Dun & Bradstreet’s D-U-N-S Numbers, stock tickers, and registration numbers, the expanded scope assists with company lookup and research.

Dun & Bradstreet cautioned that not all registration numbers are unique, and multiple family members may share a Regno.

Users may search for a single identifier or upload a list of up to 1,000 ids.

“This new presentation of global registration numbers with Company Profiles and the Search & Build a List Form better aligns with the display of this information across Dun & Bradstreet products, providing a more consistent data experience for users who have multiple offerings.”

Senior Product Director Phil McWade

D&B Hoovers added 3.5 million additional URLs to their service, bringing the global count to 24 million.

D&B Hoovers continues to expand its company and executive coverage, with nearly 180 million active companies and 160 million active contacts.

Another new feature is a Coronavirus trigger for reps looking to monitor prospects and accounts along with a set of COVID-19 Impact Indices.  The new Impact Index is available as an optional add-on, priced per seat.

The new COVID-19 Impact Index will be covered in tomorrow’s blog.

RelPro – Introhive Partnership

Sales Intelligence vendors RelPro and Introhive announced a partnership to deliver extended relationship insights and workflow integrations to joint customers in the Professional and Financial Services sectors.  The combined solution is immediately available to joint customers.

RelPro integrates content from seventeen data sources to deliver sales insights and contacts across 7 million companies.  Introhive adds relationship insights, data automation, and data cleansing tools.  The partnership helps “clients achieve greater sales efficiency and productivity” during the pandemic and recession.

“Our clients use RelPro to identify new prospects and ensure the contact information they have for those prospects is accurate and reliable.  Being able to map relationships that may already exist within their organization boosts the productivity of their business development professionals and increases referral traffic and collaboration.  With Introhive’s advanced relationship intelligence automation technology and data automation capabilities combined with our rich data coverage and quality, our clients can marry two best-in-class solutions to support and enrich their business development activities with little to no disruption of their day-to-day.”

RelPro CEO Martin Wise

Introhive boosts CRM adoption through automated contact data enrichment and uploads.  Introhive claims that it uncovers 350 additional contacts per user.  “The AI engine then maps these contacts to identify relationships across prospects and customer accounts.”  By reducing research and data maintenance overhead, sales and business professionals can focus their activities on prospects and clients, therefore driving customer satisfaction and the bottom line.

“With Introhive, users gain back roughly an average of 12 hours per week that would otherwise be spent on data entry or preparing for meetings.  Our Pre-Meeting Digest removes the burden of gathering information to ensure prospect or customer-facing professionals are equipped with everything they need before meetings, while Post-Meeting Reports allow for notes, tasks, and activities to be added to CRM directly from the user’s email inbox.  When we add RelPro’s database with our relationship mapping and productivity tools, customers can begin uncovering contacts and opportunities that were previously hidden.”

Introhive CEO Jody Glidden

Several months ago, RelPro released an integration with Vertical IQ to deliver industry intelligence to joint customers.  This partnership is bearing fruit as the companies have been providing referrals to each other in the financial services space.  Of course, integration partnerships also improve the stickiness of both solutions.

RelPro’s revenue is up a bit during the first half of 2020, and Wise is confident about H2.  Their business slowed less due to the pandemic than due to banks focusing on PPP processing for about eight weeks.  The banking business has since recovered as they look to provide “on the couch business development” to relationship managers and business development professionals across all segments of the banking industry.

Showing agility, the firm loaded the SBA PPP loan data into their platform and made it screenable.  Bankers and advisors can search the 660k companies who received loans in excess of $150,000.  The new dataset provides additional banking relationship data that complements UCC (liens) loan data already available through their service.

Introhive has over 240 employees with offices in the US, Canada, the UK, and India.  The firm supports over 100,000 global users.  Introhive was founded in 2012 with an initial focus on the accounting market.  It has taken an industry-by-industry approach and now supports global systems integrators, law firms, finance, commercial real estate, and, most recently, technology firms.

Introhive placed tenth on Deloitte’s Fast 50 with revenue growth of 1,700 percent over four years.

CIO Concerns – July 2020

Boardroom Insiders CEO Sharon Gillenwater discussed the top of mind issues for CIOs due to the pandemic.  Initially, the CIOs’ focus was on transitioning to work from home along with tightened security.  There were also “stepped up initiatives around cloud, automation, and e-commerce in order to keep the business running.  In fact, COVID-19 did more to speed up their digital transformation plans than anything else in recent history.”

“You can’t speed up the culture of an organization. You can roll out technology maybe faster… You have to be careful about speed over perfection. Speed is one thing, but you have to make sure that you don’t introduce any security risks, so it’s sort of combining those two things together [that] I think is extremely important at this time.”

Box CIO Paul Chapman

The Boardroom Insiders research team spent two weeks reviewing recent CIO interviews and identified five positive by-products of the pandemic that are improving the resiliency and capabilities of the enterprise.  First off, tech leaders have emphasized upskilling and reskilling their teams to address skills gaps.  Tech vendors have rolled out “a whole host of free training and education programs.”  As these programs are virtual, CIOs are encouraging their staff to attend these sessions with zero travel costs and registration fees.

Likewise, CIOs are using the time at home to hone their leadership, communication, and team engagement skills.  CIOs have found their teams to be more productive, collaborative, and agile, with rising morale.

The third silver lining is the acceptance and integration of new tools into business workflows.  Many of these changes were a necessity due to operational dislocations, but these new tools are “driving new levels of productivity and employee self-service across the enterprise.”

The work from home experience has also served as a “future of work lab” which forced executives and managers to “rethink business processes.”  This rethinking has “driven a wave of innovation internally” and let management observe how a remote workforce behaves.  This forced experiment has helped CIOs “map out a vision of what the future of work should really look like at their companies.”

Finally, the pandemic has encouraged CIOs to test and revise their business continuity plans and enhance security tools and protocols, readying the firm for the next crisis.

Gillenwater described the current situation as a balance between navigating COVID and growth-focused initiatives:

  • Evolving work-from-home into a long-term roadmap for the future-of-work
  • Enabling security everywhere and agile/mobile/digital/cloud everything
  • Scenario and business continuity planning, in an attempt to plan for future changes and challenges
  • Accelerating digital initiatives, at a pace that many say they’ve never seen before 
  • Cost cuts/expense management, an inevitability in an economically trying time 
  • Reprioritization and refocusing of IT investments and projects
  • eCommerce, as part of the rush to digitize
  • Innovation, to identify and capitalize on future opportunities 

Echobot Growing Quietly

Echobot, the German sales and marketing intelligence vendor, continues to do well during the pandemic.  It has over 1,000 clients and a growing ACV.  They added 15 employees this year, bringing their staff count to 65.  The firm was founded in 2011 and has posted a consistent 40% compound average growth rate.  It is internally funded.

Echobot offers multiple products: The Target prospect database of European B2B firms (UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria) and the Connect intelligence database with 11 million companies.  Content includes registered data, technographics, contacts, and news.  The firm also provides online and social print monitoring and DataCare DaaS Hygiene for CRMs and ERPs.

The Karlsruhe-headquartered firm is readying a new 18,000 square foot office, which it plans to move into in 2021.

“COVID-19 did not slow us down,” said CEO Bastiaan Karweg.  “In some cases it actually helped to put our agenda of digital sales intelligence front and center – mostly to compensate for missed trade shows and grounded field sales operations.”

Echobot Target supports firmographic and sales trigger (event) prospecting

I’ve followed the sales and marketing intelligence space for nearly two decades. The market developed in the United States with few European vendors (Bureau van Dijk being the exception). Often, it was US vendors such as OneSource, Factiva, and InsideView covering Europe as part of their global coverage . But over the past half decade, there has been a blossoming of European based sales and marketing intelligence solutions from

Not only are these vendors based in Europe, but they have a better understanding of the local datasets, regulatory requirements, and market nuances. Several are multi-lingual and carry local filings to serve financial services and compliance use cases.

HubSpot Sales & Marketing COVID Activity Metrics

HubSpot has measured aggregated sales and marketing platform activity across its 70,000 customers since the pandemic began and benchmarking this activity against the pre-COVID level (January through early March).  Looking back at Q2, CMO Kipp Bodnar noted that “the data shows steady and sustained growth in buyer engagement, and that businesses with an online presence were ready to capture that interest.”

Marketing teams have risen to the challenge of keeping prospects interested in a messy, chaotic crisis and met an audience of buyers who suddenly spend all day at their computer,” commented Bodnar.  “While email volume has risen significantly — typically a no-no for teams hoping to keep their open rates up — open rates have risen faster than volume has grown, demonstrating that teams have been successful at providing relevant and helpful content.”

Marketing email open rates are up ten to twenty percent above pre-COVID levels, with the last week of June running 18% above the baseline.

Sales teams have been less successful in their outbound communications.  While sales emails have risen 60% since mid-March, “response rates have been dismal. Marketing teams have been able to connect, but sales teams haven’t. This is a huge area of opportunity for businesses as they enter the next quarter of COVID-19.”

Sales email open rates are down 25 to 30%.  “As sales teams increased email sends, customers began to tune these messages out or even mark them as spam in their inboxes,” warned Bodnar.  “So far, it seems if email send rates remain this high, we can expect response rates to trend in the opposite direction.”

“Volume and quality is a tradeoff — the time a team saves by sending out email blasts is wasted if that outreach isn’t personalized, relevant, and helpful. These gaps are clear in the data. At this point, sales teams should be working closely with marketing to understand how they can improve their email engagement rates, and sending far less email.”

HubSpot CMO Kipp Bodnar

Website traffic increased during the pandemic as decisionmakers and influencers began working from home.  Global site traffic is up 16% in Q2 vs. Q1 with it peaking at 24% above the benchmark on April 20th.  Software industry site traffic is running at 40% above pre-pandemic levels.

Customer-initiated chat levels have also risen sharply during the pandemic.  Total volume is up 31% over the pre-pandemic baseline, with every measured industry seeing increased volume.  “Sales teams have pivoted to chat to grow their pipelines, while customer service teams are leveraging this medium to manage the increased demand for support,” observed Bodnar.

Call prospecting has dropped significantly during the pandemic as it has become more difficult to reach individuals who are now working at home.  Call prospecting fell as much as 27% below baseline the week of April 6th and now is down around 9%.  Before COVID, there was a rough balance between phone and email prospecting, but in Q2, email activity doubled that of phone calls.  “Sales teams will need to return to their pre-COVID balance in order to see improvements in response rates,” argued Bodnar.

Deal Creation has improved in eight of the eleven weeks since April 6th, with deal creation up the past four weeks.  APAC deal creation was down 5% in Q2, North America down 6%, EMEA down 12%, and LATAM down 12%.  Large companies have recovered deal creation activity faster than small firms.  Computer Software deal creation was down 3% in Q2.

Deal Won has improved ten of the last eleven weeks, after dropping to 36% below baseline the week of April 6th.  For the full quarter, deals won were down 11%.  Smaller firms did best at closing deals, with larger firms posting the weakest performance, likely due to large firms selling a greater percentage of high-dollar, strategic deals that would have stalled in their pipeline.  Computer software Q2 was 14% above baseline, but this probably overstates industry performance due to Q1 often being the slowest month of the year and the loss of many “hockey stick” end of quarter deals at the end of Q1 as the pandemic struck.  Some of these likely slipped into Q2.

Bodnar provided three suggestions for Q3: invest in chat, shift from quantity to quality in sales prospecting and communications, and invest in online discoverability.

D&B: Pipeline Health Analysis for Risk Reduction and Targeting Ideal Customers

Dun & Bradstreet, which has been running pipeline health analyses for its clients over the past three weeks, assessed over 35 million accounts across 125 pipelines.  They found that 21% of accounts were subject to high financial risk based on several factors: slow payment, bankruptcy, unpaid debt, and business viability, a statistic which VP of Product Marketing, Dun & Bradstreet Sales & Marketing Solutions Dennis Olcay called “jarring:”

“We continue to keep a close eye on this number, but that is a jarring statistic that demands attention as it relates to go-to-market strategies,” wrote Olcay.

“The dominant theme of our customer conversations today is how to be both sensitive and impactful in the new environment.  We have found the new environment has unleashed entirely new forms of sales and marketing campaigns – far less driven by self-positioning and more characterized by seeking to meet customers where they are.”

Digital Marketing Solutions CRO Michael McCarroll

Dun & Bradstreet offered a high-level risk segmentation based upon SIC codes and each industry’s risk profile (see chart on the right).  Industries were stratified across five categories: Essential businesses (e.g. food supply, hospitals), Supports Remote (i.e. businesses which were able to transition to WFH), requires contact (e.g. hospitality, entertainment), delivery-based retail (e-commerce, e-delivery, logistics), and central production (e.g. manufacturing, natural resource extraction). 

Dun & Bradstreet cautions that simple SIC analysis is only the first pass in performing a risk assessment.  Firms may be in the same industry but have different go-to-market and operational strategies that impact their risk profile.  Another factor is their exposure to supply chain and customer risk.

“Despite the promise of MarTech to enable speed and scale for your go-to-market strategy, this is a time to hit the pause button and rethink your go-to-market approach,” cautioned Olcay.  “Don’t sacrifice tailored messaging for the sake of scale and speed to market – the additional thought you put in now to think about fit, intent, and risk will pay dividends when your audiences notice you’re empathizing with them and offering real value that aligns to the specific challenges they are experiencing.”

And Dun & Bradstreet isn’t the only firm that is promoting pipeline analyses for its clients. Zoominfo is offering a similar service which I will cover in my next blog. If you don’t know where to find revenue in June and Q3, a pipeline analysis is an excellent place to start.

Dun & Bradstreet and DueDil (UK) are offering industry barometers to help refine your targeting. Vertical IQ is offering industry-specific pandemic analysis as part of its industry overviews. Experian is providing a regional and industry analysis by risk level.

And on the marketing side, HubSpot has been publishing weekly marketing metrics for their 70,000 customers. Data includes deal open rates, deal close rates, email prospecting, site visit rates etc. Users can even drill down by segment and country to benchmark their sales and marketing performance against peers. The most recent analysis is for the week of May 18.

Outreach Preaches Strategic Pivoting

CEO Manny Medina used his Outreach Unleash virtual conference, which was rescheduled from an early April live event, to inspire and motivate leaders to pivot their businesses.  Noting that his company nearly failed before finding value in some internal sales engagement tools that saved his company, he discussed two strategies for companies: hunkering down or pivoting.  His recommendation was to pivot into new markets, products, and messaging.  For most companies, their “customer’s realities have changed, and the old value proposition won’t work.”  

Some will hunker down, pare employees, marketing, and spend, hoping to wait out the storm.  This is a survival strategy, but it leaves the company weakened when things improve and demand returns.  Hunkering down assumes that the current situation is temporary and won’t have a long-term impact on their markets.  Firms that hunker down may survive, but they cede market share, ongoing product development, and an understanding of evolving market requirements.  Bolder competitors continue to build their product, establish relationships, and prepare for the thaw.

There are a few companies in segments where demand is exploding.  These lucky firms need to manage explosive growth around e-commerce, e-delivery, or digital services.  To these firms, Outreach is asking how can we best meet your needs?  But most companies do not fall into those categories.

“A lot of customers are coming to us looking for guidance on how to get through this.  They want insight into how to manage their teams remotely and how to pivot their business.”

Outreach CEO Manny Medina

Medina recommends pivoting in search of new markets, products, and opportunities.  Doing so requires that firms carefully analyze their skills, assets, and messaging.  Firms need to “measure and iterate,” “be one with the customer,” and “act with urgency.”  Sales reps and management need to be doing more check-ins with clients.  The goal isn’t to be selling today, but sharing ideas, building trust, and empathetically discussing needs.  Sales reps need to be disciplined and ”listen to understand, not to respond,” while management must identify new markets, personas, and messaging.

Medina views the pandemic and subsequent crisis in demand as an opportunity to grow, become more efficient, and get closer to one’s customers.  In a shrinking market, the bold may not grow revenue; still, they will increase market share, investigate new opportunities, and build relationships, which will allow them to outperform when the market improves.

Outreach is “working hard to master the ability to create trusting relationships — at a distance,” said Medina.  “Only two months ago, it was religion that you needed to meet someone in person to build trust – now we are doing it all over video.”

Now, COVID has given everyone an excuse to come in below their number this year.  However, you have no excuse for not answering yes to the following questions.

– Did your teams become more efficient?
– Did you iterate and pivot until you found a sweet spot that worked?
– Did you level up your sales process to make WFH successful?

Now is the time to act on the things you CAN control.  To build for the future.

Outreach CMO Max Altschuler

Internally, Medina has emphasized communications, switching from weekly emails to weekly videos and weekly office hours via Zoom.  “It helps me be visible and showcase both a serious tone and an optimistic one.”

Outreach is also building loyalty amongst its staff.  It has retained all of its 550 employees.  To assist WFH parents, Outreach is providing $100 per week for educational materials, tutoring, tools, and supplies.   Outreach has also provided additional support beyond its healthcare plan to employee families impacted by COVID-19.

Outreach chose not to apply for PPP loans even though its investors suggested they do so.  The firm, however, continues to invest 40% of its revenue in product development, preparing for the next market inflection point.

Outreach also chose to continue its expansion. It opened a London EMEA office in February with plans to its first East Coast office in New York City later this year.  The firm has over 400 clients headquartered in NYC, nearly ten percent of its customer base.  The new office will be led by Regional VP David Rubenstein who has over fifteen years of industry experience, the past six years at Salesforce.