GrowFlare Doubles Coverage

GrowFlare, which I profiled a few weeks ago, doubled its coverage of US active companies to 250,000.  While a few additional large firms were included, the bulk of the growth was at the SMB end of the market.  GrowFlare nearly doubled the number of companies with $10 million to $50 Million, bringing that set to 50,000.  The coverage of firms with less than $10 million in revenue quadrupled to 170,000 SMBs.  Profiles include firmographics and psychographics, the common phrases that firms use to describe themselves and their markets.

GrowFlare employs a Fit Score, which is the level of similarity between a company and one or multiple companies provided to GrowFlare.  When the new set of companies was added, they were immediately included in the Active Lists (dynamic company lists of prospects) as Alerts.  The new companies are also available for prospecting and research via a Chrome extension.

“We’re continuing to grow organically and invest 100% of revenue into the platform,” wrote CEO Matt Belkin.

Upcoming GrowFlare development is focused on expanded partnerships.  GrowFlare is looking to add contacts from vendors such as InsideView and deepen its integrations with HubSpot and Salesforce.

GrowFlare V2.0 (Part II)

Continuing my profile of GrowFlare (Part I)…

While many companies offer keyword searching, it is usually against a mined business description.  Only a few products, such as D&B Hoover’s Conceptual Searching, provide broader topical searching to build company lists.

GrowFlare includes a free Chrome extension that “overlays the power of prospector right over the website,” HubSpot, or Salesforce.  “This is invaluable for anyone from an SDR to an executive that wants a quick ten-second snapshot of a company before engaging,” said Belkin.  The Chrome connector detects the account, displays firmographics, trending topics, psychographics, and Next Best Prospect.

Prospector Bulk and GoldMiner support HubSpot append and enrichment, including Fit Scores.  Salesforce support is a roadmap item.  Belkin said that HubSpot support was a “strategic decision because HubSpot is more readily accessible, cheaper to develop for, more startup-focused, and we can build adoption faster.”

The user interface is clean and well laid out, with the ability to quickly sort prospecting tables and view additional details.  The company universe is limited to 130,000 US companies with ten or more employees “that have meaningful purchasing power.” Thus, GrowFlare is best suited for US account based marketers and strategic teams.  However, the service is still in its early stages of development.  It does not offer any contacts, and the firmographic intelligence, beyond the psychographics and trends, is limited.  There are some novel ideas and tools in this service, many of which are not found in more mature ICP offerings from the established players (e.g. DiscoverOrg AccountView, InsideView Apex, D&B DataVision).  These ICP / TAM tools were built for the marketing department, while GrowFlare is looking to serve both the sales and marketing departments with some competitive intelligence functionality as well.

GrowFlare is a freemium offering, with three free prospects provided with each search.  The Basic offering is priced at $2,950 per annum and includes ten prospects per list.  Growth offers 25 prospects per list for $4,950, and Unlimited offers the maximum number of relevant prospects per list for $9,950.  The paid offerings all include all of the features discussed in this profile along with 24/7 support.

The 2.0 release has helped the firm gain traction in the marketplace with revenue up 600% monthly (on a small base).  The average deal size is greater than $10,000. Upcoming GrowFlare development is focused on expanded partnerships.  GrowFlare is looking to add contacts from vendors such as InsideView and deepen its integrations with HubSpot and Salesforce.

GrowFlare V2.0

GrowFlare rolled out version 2.0 of its sales and marketing intelligence solution.  Enhancements include a revised Prospector tool for similar company searching, a Chrome connector for quick profiling and prospecting against a company website, HubSpot CRM imports, keyword searching, and customer fit scoring for HubSpot.

The enhanced Prospector tool identifies 100 companies similar to a target company based on psychographics, which are the common phrases and interests companies share.  This approach differs from most vendors that employ firmographics and technographics in their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) modeling.  For the target company, the trending topics are displayed as a spider chart with new topics called out.  Reps can drill on trending topics to see an example from the firm.  Topical analysis is derived from websites, social media, government filings, and job listings.

When users click on a trending psychographic, they are presented with in-context examples of the phrasing with the term highlighted.  The trending topics and psychographics are “invaluable for marketing and sales personalization,” said Founder & CEO Matt Belkin.

The similar companies New Prospects list includes a Fit Score, which gauges the level of similarity to the target company along with the shared psychographics.  So if a rep just closed a deal at the target, he or she can be confident that the high fit scores are similar in their market positioning.  Fit Scores are exportable to lead scoring models.  A quick view magnifying glass icon displays the trending topics for any of the prospects.

Below the Prospects list are additional graphics and analytics, including a shared psychographics word cloud, top 10 shared psychographics, locations of the prospects, and sizing ranges (employee and revenue).  As these analytics are based on the prospecting list, they assist with campaign messaging.

Searches are auto-saved to Active Lists, which identify new prospects.  Company profiles are scanned and rebuilt each week with companies compared and ranked within the list.

“NEW means they are new to the list and is usually a great signal to reach out [to] now because something strategic has changed with that prospect, bringing them closer to your ICP.  Your window of opportunity is now,” said Belkin.  “For example, they launched a new campaign, rebranding, business model shift, product launch, leadership change, etc. – all of these can cause this change.”

Any Keyword Search or Prospector Active List is automatically setup for alerts, whereby GrowFlare notifies the customer each week of meaningful changes and new prospect opportunities.  When viewed, the table of new prospects includes a Trend score, which is the change in rank position from the prior week.  An Active List focused on competitors will notify sales and marketing when competitor positioning shifts.  This tool would also be valuable for competitive intelligence analysts and business development reps looking to track a narrow universe of competitors or partners.

GrowFlare recommends that firms run Prospector against themselves to see “where your messaging shines” as well as competitors to understand their current positioning.

”Everywhere you look sales and marketing teams are wasting millions of dollars trying to acquire the wrong customers and saying the wrong things.  It’s crazy and the whole approach is broken.  We started GrowFlare to fix it.  You already know your best customers, GrowFlare helps you find 100 more just like them based on their shared interests.  It’s easy to see how focusing on what buyers care about – their psychographics – is far more effective when marketing and selling to them.  It sounds fancy, but it’s the same magic that powers recommendations for Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify in the consumer world.  We just built it for B2B.”

­GrowFlare CEO Matt Belkin

The Prospector Bulk feature is similar to Prospector but executes against a full customer list.  According to Belkin, “The resulting output averages between 25x-100x more high-fit prospects that sales and marketing teams can target with account-based outbound campaigns.”

GoldMiner CRM compares a customer list against open CRM leads and opportunities.  CRM accounts may be uploaded from HubSpot or entered as a domain list. 

The results are similar to Prospector, with GoldMiner listing the best prospects based upon Fit Score and the best reference customer.  GoldMiner also displays

  • The most valuable reference customers – Which accounts are the top referenced customers for the prospect list
  • Match rates
  • CRM Growth Multiplier – The CRM Growth Multiplier compares the number of high priority prospects in the prospect list to the number of customers in the CRM.
  • CRM Efficiency – The number of CRM high-priority prospects versus the total leads in your CRM.  CRM efficiency indicates the percentage of high value accounts in the CRM vs. weak fit accounts as determined by GrowFlare.

Belkin suggests that the new leads list should be run through GoldMiner “every day or week” as “this can be very valuable in quickly prioritizing third-party list buys, webinar lists, partner lists, technographic lists, and much more.”


Part II of my GrowFlare coverage continues tomorrow with a discussion of Keyword Searching, the Chrome Extension, and pricing.

Zoominfo Health Scan Analysis

Zoominfo, which is readying to IPO, launched a Health Scan Analysis to help firms identify “key segments for opportunities” within their Total Addressable Market (TAM).  The service identifies targetable market segments that are less impacted by COVID along with which segments to avoid.  Firms can then “quickly pivot their go-to-market strategy and focus their efforts on worthwhile prospects ready to buy.”

The Health Scan begins with a consultation where customers share details about their pipeline and business challenges.  Zoominfo’s data solutions team then analyzes the company’s pipeline and win-rate trends before and during the downturn.  The analysis includes “benchmarks to pinpoint where any pipeline degradation may have occurred.”

The Data Solutions team conducts a market assessment that identifies opportunities and sizes their TAM.  The report also includes a market segmentation analysis and a “hand-selected list” of targets from Zoominfo’s database of companies and contacts.

“Recognizing that current market conditions are extraordinarily challenging, it’s more important than ever to ensure that our customers are generating high-quality contacts for their pipeline.  We discovered valuable takeaways when examining our own position in this same manner.  As a result, we’re offering our clients these data-driven insights on how to optimize their go-to-market strategies so they can continue to hit their numbers and thrive in a changing market.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck

From the initial interview through report delivery [Sample PDF], Zoominfo promises a five business-day turnaround.

Zoominfo is not the only firm that provides pipeline analyses. Dun & Bradstreet offers a similar analytics service which combines firmographics with industry risk data and InsideView offers Apex.

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.

6Sense Round C

Account Based Orchestration platform 6Sense closed a $40 million Series C round with growth equity firm Insight Partners, raising its total funding to $105 million.  Previous investors include Salesforce Ventures, Venrock, Battery Ventures, and Bain Capital Ventures.  The market cap was not disclosed.

6Sense doubled its revenue in both 2018 and 2019.  Last year, it added Box, Cisco, Dell, Zendesk, Sumo Logic, NetApp, Domo, Motorola, Cumulus, Symantec, and Tableau to its list of named customers.

“As a startup, a company can sell via personal relationships and word of mouth.  In the scaleup growth phase, the equivalent is Account-Based Marketing and Sales,” said Jeff Lieberman, Managing Director at Insight Partners.  “After an exhaustive review process, we were blown away by the data-focused sophistication of 6sense’s technology and firmly believe it is the best solution for B2B companies who need to scale their go-to-market efficiency and grow revenue.  The company’s account-based solution should be a core part of every scaleup company’s growth strategy.  We’re excited to invest in 6sense as the market-leading solution.”

“An investment is a sign that we’ve done something over the past 2 ½ years,” said 6Sense CEO Jason Zintak.  “Investing is confidence, and it’s just so incredibly humbling that we as a team, as a company, have gotten to the point where people want to trust us and hand over money.”

Zintak attributed the firm’s success to the belief that AI and Big Data are at the core of the MarTech stack:

Our strategy has always been to lead in those areas, specifically 6sense’s ability to

    – Process large amounts of data and deliver actionable insights
   – Segment micro-audiences based on these data insights
   – Uncover anonymous buyer intent and identify accounts
   – Predict which accounts are an Ideal Customer fit, and when they are “in market,” allowing organizations to focus engagement on accounts most likely to buy

6sense has evolved from delivering predictive scores to providing customers with a robust Account-Based platform for the entire revenue operations team.

6Sense CEO Jason Zintak

The investment will be dedicated to accelerating its product roadmap, “both organically and inorganically.”  Zintak listed three roadmap objectives:

  1. Improved orchestration, which moves from rules-based engagement to “true AI-based orchestration of tactics.”
  2. Expanding intent and predictive data use cases beyond email to include website personalization, content experiences, advertising, conversational marketing, etc.
  3. Delivering insights to all revenue operations functions, including marketing and customer success.

The firm lists 37 open positions across customer success, engineering, data science, administrative, marketing, sales, and product.  6Sense has shown steady employment growth over the past two years.  Roughly half of the employees are in revenue generation roles (Sales, Support, Marketing, and Business Development).

“Our mission is to tackle the biggest challenges facing B2B sellers and marketers by helping brands reach the right accounts for their business at the right time, through the right channels, and with truly engaging experiences,” said Zintak.  “Our company growth has been fueled by the success of our customers, and our Series C funding will enable 6sense to further invest in AI-driven orchestration capabilities to help companies of all sizes build and scale account-based programs, uncover new opportunities, and efficiently create pipeline and revenue.”

6Sense competitors include Everstring, Demandbase, LeadSpace, and Lattice Engines (Dun & Bradstreet).

LeadSpace Fall Release

LeadSpace rolled out its Customer Data Platform (CPD) fall release with improved processing of first-party data, enhancements to their Salesforce app, and refinements to their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) modeling.  Automated ingestion of first-party data and custom data sources deliver unified customer profiles “for use across systems.”  Automated data onboarding assists with AI modeling, scoring and analytics, and enterprise software activation.

“Customers can use data on engagement, product use, relationship, and other information unique to their business to power real-time orchestration of activities and processes,” stated the firm.  “Decisions about how to route leads, assign nurture programs, segment for campaigns, and personalize interactions can now be made with all the intelligence of the CDP and a complete customer view.”

The fall release also supports data hygiene with the sunsetting of Data.com Clean in mid-2020.  Both real-time and on-demand matching and enrichment are supported.  Triggers automatically identify new or updated records and automatically look to match them against the LeadSpace CDP.  At the end of the year, a sync button will be displayed within individual records.

“Getting a complete view of the customer is critical to improving the customer experience for B2B.  Buyers no longer tolerate generic and impersonal content and interactions.  Our Customer Data Platform gives B2B marketers a real path to being able to orchestrate the ideal customer experience at scale.  Improving the ability to ingest 1st party data makes that even more powerful because it is unique to each of our client’s journey with their customers.”

LeadSpace CEO Doug Bewsher

Enhanced ICP Analytics help select the right accounts and personas for ABM targeting.  Interactive, filterable reports display account, contact, and intent data matched against conversion and revenue data to “uncover which categories and segments have performed well historically.”  

LeadSpace On-Demand look-a-like segment building now supports company suppression.

LeadSpace customers include Microsoft, HPE, SAP, Iron Mountain, IBM, and Symantec.

SalesTech Spend Continues to Increase

SalesTech adoption rates and spend continue to increase according to a recent SalesTech study of 268 B2B sales and marketing managers conducted by Smart Selling Tools.  Only 3% of respondents are planning on reducing their SalesTech spend in 2020 while 6% plan to spend significantly more in 2020 and 41% slightly more.  Expanded spending will be focused on the top and middle of the funnel followed by management and reporting.  Skills Development, Onboarding, and Bottom of the Funnel expenditures have a lower priority.

Over the past year, SalesTech spend per user has increased significantly.  In 2017, only one-third of respondents spent in excess of $150 per user, but two years later, 65% spend more than $150 per user.  As the average number of sales tools in use rose only modestly from 4.5 to 4.9 over the past two years, the spend per product has likely increased.  The number of applications that are used by a majority of respondents trebled to six (CRM, Online Meetings, Lead List/Database, Social Selling, Account Targeting, and Skills Training & Reinforcement) with an additional four at 47% or higher.  CRMs are used by 75% of respondents, lead/list databases by 65%, and social selling by 60%.  The one category that dropped in usage was online meetings.

Adoption rates of technologies were fairly even by company size with large firm (500+) employees more likely to have adopted Sales Enablement, Skills Training & Reinforcement, and Sales Performance & Compensation.  Conversely, firms with fewer than 500 employees were more likely to have adopted Prospect Engagement (Sales Engagement) solutions.

Account targeting tools for ideal customer prospecting grew from 4% to 51% over the past year, a clear indication that ABM strategies have been adopted.  Lead Engagement (communicating at scale with early-stage, unqualified leads) grew from 11% to 49%, while social selling grew from 10% to 60%.

“The significant increase in usage of sales tools across the board indicates a trend (likely irreversible).  If your organization is slow to take up the use of sales tools, you could get left behind. Even so, we don’t recommend adding new sales tools without considering what’s required to keep them up to date and who will be responsible, having a plan for measuring success (what does “Good” look like?), and deciding what’s required to establish and grow user adoption.”

Smart Selling Tools founder Nancy Nardin.

The top three industries represented in the study were technology (42%), Financial Services (9.3%), and Manufacturing (8.7%).

Cognism Series B

Cognism logo

Sales Acceleration Platform Cognism closed on a $10 million Series B from PeakSpan, bringing total funding to $16.5 million.  Previous investors included Oliver Wyman, South Central Ventures, LCIF, and Newable Ventures Limited.  The firm, founded in 2016, grew ARR over 4x last year.  

The funds will be deployed for opening local offices in Singapore and New York City as well as growing its machine learning team.  According to CEO James Isilay, the firm has already “won significant business remotely” in both regions.

Isilay called Asian expansion “particularly interesting” due to SaaS being relatively young in the market.  Cognism has already leveraged its partnership with investor Oliver Wyman to acquire two “blue-chip financial clients” in Asia.  “Investment here looks to be a promising tonic to the barriers to trade growth that are disrupting business in Europe and America.”

“Having been granted our first machine learning patent in December 2018, Cognism is now building a portfolio of IP which will drive the next evolution of sales and marketing technology,” said Isilay.

“Sales and marketing technology has been a core focus of ours for many years, arming us with a long-term perspective on the segment and a nuanced understanding of market trends and buyer dynamics that drive strategic value.  With such a proliferation of tools and technologies emerging across the marketing and sales landscape over the last decade, it’s no secret that go-to-market leaders today aren’t asking for more software tools – they’re demanding better outcomes.  Cognism’s pragmatic application of AI, which underpins the whole solution suite, is paving the way for a new category focused on turning disparate data points into coordinated insights to drive predictive and prescriptive lead generation and improve conversion across all engagements.”

▪ Matt Melymuka, Co-Founder and Partner at PeakSpan

The Cognism database spans 400 million contacts and 10 million businesses.  Cognism’s products support Prospecting, Sales Triggers, and CRM Enrichments.   CRM Connectors are available for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, HubSpot, and PipeDrive.  A cadence tool sends templated emails through Gmail and Outlook.  

Marketing Features include A/B testing, Personas, ICP and TAM Analyses, and webform enrichment.

Cognism for Salesforce supports lead prospecting, contact enrichment, and ongoing data maintenance.

TechTarget Priority Engine Adds KickFire Visitor Intelligence

TechTarget Benefits
TechTarget Benefits

TechTarget Priority Engine has begun integrating first-party intent data with its proprietary third-party intent intelligence.  First-party intent data enhances account rankings and insights.  According to TechTarget, “Marketing and sales teams will now be able to leverage this new intelligence to get to the right accounts and prospects faster, increasing conversions and accelerating pipeline.”

Priority Engine launched three years ago with TechTarget’s firmographics and third-party intent derived from its 140 enterprise technology media sites.  The new data includes Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) matching, vendor website engagement, and customer content and advertising across the TechTarget network.

First-party website intent is available through a partnership with KickFire.

New account intelligence and tools include

  • Personalized account rankings based on first and third-party intent data
  • ICP definition and filtering
  • Enhanced qualification intelligence including buying stage, ICP match, and confirmed projects
  • Improved engagement signals such as account website visits, content downloads, and banner clicks
  • Recent activity indicators.

“TechTarget has always focused on delivering ROI,” said Michael Cotoia, CEO, TechTarget.  “These new updates now make it even easier for our customers to close deals faster by helping them find the prospects that are directly in their sweet spot.”

Other recent product enhancements include opted-in “Project Insiders” and “Confirmed Project Details” that have been validated by project insiders.

Priority Engine has been deployed at over 400 customers including Oracle, Citrix, IBM, HPE, and AWS.