It has been 4½ years since Infogroup sued its former CEO Vinod Gupta and Database101 for infringing Infogroup’s database copyright and trademarks, unfair competition, false advertising and breach of various contracts. After leaving Infogroup, Gupta founded a set of competing companies with similar features and content as Infogroup. These include Infofree, DatabaseUSA, and AtoZDatabases. Database101 was held liable by a jury for $43.6 million and Gupta for $10 million.
According to Infogroup, the court held that “(i) Infogroup’s extensive processes of compiling its databases (data selection, refinement, verification, updating and user-friendly arrangement) were so sophisticated and value-enhancing, that the databases qualified for copyright protection and (ii) Gupta and DB101 had unlawfully passed Infogroup’s proprietary database off as their own.”
“The jury agreed that Infogroup’s industry leading techniques of database management qualified Infogroup’s database for protection under federal copyright law,” said Greg Scaglione of Koley Jessen, who litigated the case. “These verdicts are a testament to the extraordinary quality of Infogroup’s databases, and the company’s tenacity in protecting its databases, copyrights, trademarks and the market place from competitors’ misconduct.”
In 2008, Gupta was fired from Infogroup for leading a lavish lifestyle paid for by the then-public company. Soon after, Gupta founded Database101 and hired thirty employees away from Infogroup. Infogroup charged that Database101 stole the Infogroup database along with trade secrets. They also held that Database101 infringed on Infogroup copyrights and marks, mimicked Infogroup products, and implied that the two companies were affiliated in their marketing.
Scaglione told Law360 that “Infogroup has successfully protected our database copyright and have established legal precedent that a database compiled from facts is protectable under federal copyright if the compiler uses selection, arrangement or coordination of the facts during the compilation process.”
Disclosure: I was the Manager of Strategy and Competition at Infogroup from 2010 through 2012. Prior to that, I was a Product Marketing Manager at OneSource Information Services, an Infogroup subsidiary.
Functionality: How are the sales and marketing functions able to leverage the content within these offerings?
User Interface: What have the firms done to improve the presentation and workflow of their products?
Connectors: Which integrations were updated? Which ones were launched? These spanned CRMs, MAPs, Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) platforms, APIs, and Google Chrome.
So far, this framework has only looked at existing products and services. This blog addresses the final question: What new Sales Intelligence products and services were launched in 2016?
Sales Focused Products
Artesian launched the US edition of their sales intelligence offering in 2016. The firm also opened an office in Boston.
DiscoverOrg launched the TiLT certification program for sales development reps and marketers. The program is available at no charge to current clients and provides “microburst” learning with videos, curated content, and challenge tasks.
In early 2016 they announced their Technology, Engineering, Development, and Design (TEDD) offering which focuses on product management and engineering. In H2 2016, DiscoverOrg rolled out datasets for Sales (50,000 new contacts), Fortune 1000 CxOs (30,000 new contacts), and HR (80,000 new contacts) bringing the overall database coverage to one million executives at the end of Q3.
InsideView launched Tech Profiler in 2016. This add-on dataset provides technology profiles within InsideView Sales and can be used as a filter when building lists with Target. The technology information is also available via API and InsideView’s Professional Services. The API offers two new calls: retrieve technology implemented at a company and retrieve companies that have deployed specific technologies.
The dataset provides information about technologies used by InsideView’s top 525,000 global companies. It covers more than 2,600 front-end and back-end technologies in more than 100 categories. InsideView did not disclose whether they collected the technology file themselves or licensed it from another vendor.
Salesgenie Team provides a set of team tools to Salesgenie. New features include lead assignment rules, add messages to leads, customer cloning, and tracking and reporting tools. A new My Leads list displays assigned leads while a Sales Pipeline report provides team member analytics.
Infofree introduced a lower priced version of its service called SalesFlower which removes several features including background checks, business credit reports, CustomerCloner, and the CRM101 SFA platform.
Owler introduced an enterprise API service for calling corporate firmographics, competitors, and news.
Marketing Focused Products
Hoover’s added a trio of Concierge Services to its Hoover’s product line which target SMBs with revenue up to $250 million. Hoover’s is providing three related services:
Targeted List Building – Identifies prospects similar to a client’s best customers.
Effective Email Marketing – Delivers email services including messaging, design, email coding, blasting, and testing. Dun & Bradstreet also supports email verification, analytics, and unsubscribe / bounce management. Landing site hosting is provided via an undisclosed partner.
Optimized Customer Data – Supports data cleansing, standardization, and data enrichment for customer company and contact files.
Avention’sOneSource DataVision is a hosted platform which consolidates and cleanses multiple customer data sources, integrating internal and external customer intelligence. By matching Avention company and contact data against customer and prospect files, Avention improves the accuracy and firmographic fill rates of marketing databases. The result is a unified view of customer data for accurate customer segmentation and targeting based upon enriched data from Avention’s Global Content Live database.
OneSource DataVision also provides analytics and visualization tools for marketers. “As a result, you will be able to identify and leverage key customer and prospect segments to make more informed decisions, identify cross-sell opportunities, key industries, verticals and much more,” states Avention.
OneSource DataVision includes a gap analysis tool which assesses the total addressable market in order to identify underserved markets and growth potential. After enriching and segmenting the data, OneSource DataVision users can prospect for similar companies.
OneSource DataVision, along with the flagship OneSource platform, form the OneSource ABM Solution, also launched in 2016. This solution ensures sales and marketing teams are aligned around the right accounts to target, then provides the deep insights needed to create account plans, and targeted sales messages and content.
Zoominfo repackaged its service as the Zoominfo Growth Acceleration Platform for sales and marketing effectiveness. The new platform helps sales and marketing teams “identify, connect, and engage with qualified prospects and replicate success.” The Growth Acceleration Platform is a cross-product branding that supports company and executive searching, list building, file enrichment, and data Insights (segmentation analysis and persona identification). Other tools include a Salesforce.com connector, web form enrichment (FormComplete), and a new Google Chrome Extension called ReachOut which provides quick access to contact information from Zoominfo and LinkedIn contact profiles.
InsideView Refresh was launched as a new product in 2016. Refresh provides automated account cleansing within CRM. It’s currently available for Salesforce CRM.
InsideView also launched an ABM solution in partnership with Marketo. It’s a bundle that includes products and data services to enable targeted account and contact selection, campaign execution, and measurement.
In H2 2016, DiscoverOrg launched an Enhanced ABM Toolkit which builds an ideal customer profile and then identifies similar companies. Users upload a file of their best customers which is matched against the DiscoverOrg database. The system then performs firmographic and technographic segmentation analysis and then suggests similar companies.
In 2016, the focus of the established sales intelligence companies was on extending their services into the marketing department and aligning their positioning around Account Based Marketing. On the sales side, their were fewer new products or major functional enhancements. Instead, they focused on expanded content and workflow improvements. This strategy was best exemplified by Avention and InsideView. Both firms doubled their company and contact universes, improved their user interfaces, and launched additional marketing products and connectors. However, they added little new functionality to their sales products.
Five years ago, the sales intelligence services were firmly planted in the sales department with some also providing services for analysts. Now, however, the marketing department is receiving equal or greater capital investment as firms look to support “sales and marketing alignment” with CRM and MAP connectors which leverage a common reference data set.
In 2017 I anticipate additional product announcements with ABM positioning across the revenue lifecycle. The Sales Intelligence companies realize that if they establish themselves in the marketing department with a broad set of services, then their position within the sales department will be less subject to churn.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator: LinkedIn rolled out a series of enhancements to their service:
Sales Navigator introduced InMail 2.0 with support for signatures, attachments, and conversational insights.
Sales Navigator updated its prospecting user interface and added additional searching tools and screening variables. Sales Spotlights are LinkedIn specific variables that are displayed on top of screening results allowing for additional filtering:
Accounts with senior leadership changes in the last three months
Lead changed jobs in past 90 days
Leads with TeamLink Intro
Lead mentioned in the news the past 30 days
Lead posted on LinkedIn in past 30 days
Lead shares an experience with the sales rep
Leads that follow rep’s company on LinkedIn
New prospecting filters include
Department [Job Function] employee ranges
Department [Job Function] employee growth (plus or minus 100%)
Lead search results have been expanded to include a previously viewed flag, tenure at current company, and a quick drill down to TeamLink introductions.
The Sales Navigator app added a new Discover tab which acts as a “Tinder for leads.” The tab provides five daily new lead and account recommendations.
Sales reps may now add tags (e.g. Qualified) and notes to leads and accounts. Tags are searchable and synch with Salesforce.
The Sales Navigator Android and iOS apps now display up to ten daily account or lead recommendations based upon user preferences. Recommendations will expire after 24 hours and be replaced with fresh recommendations.
Artesian Solutions: Artesian rolled out V14 and V15 of its platform. New features include
Salesforce Opportunity rollup information in Artesian and Artesian intelligence within SFDC Opportunity records.
Improved Company Searching rolls up companies into a group
Improved de-duplication logic reduces news duplicates and rolls similar articles into a group.
Added North American prospecting filters for counties, business type, and the presence of specific job functions at a company.
A redesigned CRM connector for SFDC and MS Dynamics
Full sales trigger customization
Market sector alerts
An updated employees page which supports executive filtering by job role and seniority.
Artesian rolled out version 3.0 of the Artesian Ready mobile app which provides company and executive insights synched with the mobile calendar. Ready also supports collaborative note taking and a “360° comprehensive profile of customers and prospects.” New Ready features include company searching, company add to Watchlists, Twitter timelines and Twitter sharing, social links (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, AngelList, Crunchbase), job information, and a data quality form for reporting incorrect information.
DueDil: Along with entering the US market, DueDil implemented a series of product enhancements.
Export Custom Company reports in PDF format.
DueDil Connect helps users identify and connect to decision makers, map and understand their network connections, and alert users on company news related to their contact network. Users can also filter by colleague connections within Advanced Search.
An ownership tab which makes it easier for users to perform due diligence (e.g. Know Your Customer compliance) and assess a firm’s governance structure. Ownership content includes directorship information, shareholders, and portfolio companies. The new tab also contains a Related Companies widget which identifies companies which are not formally linked but which have a high likelihood of sharing an economic interest. Related Companies may be registered at the same location, share several directors, have a set of similar investments, or have name similarities.
Dynamic company lists automatically update allowing firms to keep tabs on customers, prospects, partners, and competitors.
Alerts are provided on lists, with notifications displayed in a new DueDil dashboard which breaks events into news, opportunities, and risk sections. DueDil event alerts include changes in leadership or ownership, recent news, updates to budget windows, changes of address, changes in employee number, company blog posts and changes in credit score.
Upload a file into a list for matching, deduplication, and enrichment.
Custom list formats may be downloaded as CSV files.
Segment reporting on uploaded lists
Match and enrich functionality against uploaded files.
Avention: Avention had a series of enhancements including content, UI, new products, and new connectors. As each of these categories is being covered under a different blog, the number of strict functional enhancements is more limited. These included
New list management features including rename, pin to desktop, delete, modify criteria, and clone list.
When lists are uploaded for match and append, improved matching heuristics and a larger reference database result in significantly higher match rates. The system now also tracks unmatched records.
Expanded notification functionality which allows reps to manage new company and sales trigger alerts from a centralized location. This Watchlist supports filtering by read/unread notices, priority flag, trigger type, and list. A new flag allows users to mark notifications as important.
Data.com: Salesforce began offering a two-part account record data assessment report. The new Lightning report analyzes both data quality and segmentation. The data quality section begins with a Data Health overview score which assesses account data quality across three factors: Matchability vs. Dun & Bradstreet WorldBase data in Data.com, Accuracy vs. WorldBase, and Uniqueness (lack of duplicates). In Data.com Clean, Lead records are now enriched with the Dun & Bradstreet WorldBase file. Finally, Data.com announced a new Data Exchange with three partners: HG Data, Bombora, and MCH. Bombora released their integrated intent file service just before the end of the year.
DiscoverOrg: In September, DiscoverOrg launched Deal Predict which ranks prospects on a one to five-star scale based upon a set of firmographic, technographic, and biographic variables defined by marketing or sales operations. Deal Predict scores are displayed in both DiscoverOrg and CRMs.
Dun & Bradstreet: Hoover’s doubled the Build a List download size to 10,000 records. Meanwhile, the NetProspex Workbench data hygiene platform added company record enrichment. The service also added profile discovery and TAM analysis to its set of marketing capabilities.
Infofree: Infofree added support for text-only email templates to its CRM101 platform. Users may send up to 25 emails in a single blast and up to 250 emails per day from Infofree’s SMTP server. Infofree also now lets users integrate their Outlook or Google calendar accounts with CRM101.
Zoominfo: Zoominfo released a set of enhancements to its service in March 2016 including a country select field in its List Builder. Other new features include contact Send to Salesforce and email an electronic business card to the user’s inbox.
Owler: Owler implemented a set of advanced heuristics that help personalize the service. Stories are displayed according to interest in a topic and frequency of stories for tracked companies (i.e. rarely covered companies are given higher priority).
Salesgenie: Salesgenie launched a Custom Fields service which provides scoring and custom analytics models. Infogroup builds custom models for cross-sell, upsell, acquisition, and at risk accounts. Scores are based on deciles and available for screening within Build a List.
So it was a busy year on the functionality front. As I have broken out integration connectors and the user interface as separate topics, you should view this as a sub-list of product enhancements. Thus, even though Bureau van Dijk did not make this list, they introduced a new user interface for Orbis (Global) and Fame (UK) this spring. Likewise, InsideView rolled out additional connectors and refreshed their CRM connector user interfaces.
One of the most straightforward ways to increase the value-add of a Sales Intelligence Service is to expand the content it delivers to its users. Generally, a vendor can license additional content within the same general category (e.g. more contacts) or expand coverage into new content categories not previously supported by the product. The first approach is usually faster and less expensive as there is limited development involved in adding additional coverage within a currently supported category (assuming the vendor is not hitting up against platform limits), but there are still costs involved with licensing, de-duping, and merging content sets. As such, it is much more common for firms to increase the scope of current data sets than to add entirely new content categories to their services.
So which of the fourteen sales intelligence vendors discussed in my new Sales Intelligence book invested in increasing their depth of coverage? Basically, all of them. Of course, the scope of content investment varied greatly:
Avention roughly doubled their global company, contact, and email coverage. Their product now spans sixty million companies, eighty million contacts, and twenty million emails (US and UK). I previously discussed their AsiaPac expansion, but the coverage expansion was global with most of the new content outside of the US, UK, and Canada where they already had significant depth.
DiscoverOrg also greatly increased its coverage as it grew to 60,000 editorially researched company profiles and one million researched contacts. Over the past twelve months, DiscoverOrg had a 91% increase in company coverage, 134% increase in contact coverage, and a 371% increase in non-IT contact coverage (numbers supplied by DiscoverOrg). The non-IT increase was due to an expansion of their job functions datasets to include Product Management (TEDD), Sales, CxO, and HR. The firm also continued to invest in their marketing dataset. CMO Katie Bullard noted that “the Marketing budget has begun to meet or exceed the IT department budget in many companies and vendors” while “service providers selling into marketing continue to proliferate.”
RainKing continues to build out its company and contact coverage and expects to hit one million executives by the end of 2016. The firm roughly doubled the number of decision makers in its database while extending its international coverage. They also have increased the number of marketing, finance, and HR decision makers.
InsideView’s executive coverage grew to 17 million US contacts and 8 million European contacts. Total global contacts more than doubled to 31 million and global emails grew by 10 million to 17 million.
Bureau van Dijk added RepRisk environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk reports to their service while continuing to build out their company database. At the end of the year, Bureau van Dijk provided close to 210 million active and inactive company profiles
DueDil rolled out enhanced financials for UK and Irish registered companies. Along with performance and growth metrics such as EBITDA and multiple CAGRs (compounded annual growth rates), DueDil is providing historical graphs for key metrics. In total, six new metrics and 12 key performance indicators (KPIs) have been added.
Data.com expanded the Dun & Bradstreet content displayed in a new Prospect Insights view. Extended company intelligence includes D&B WorldBase firmographics and linkage, Hoover’s top company descriptions and competitors, and First Research industry overviews with call prep questions and industry summaries.
Infofree grew its executive email file to 26 million.
Salesgenie raised its business email count to 58 million US contacts.
Owler’s primary focus in 2016 was to expand their Competitive Graph and gather additional company intelligence. The Competitive Graph improved as the user base has grown and the firm has implemented a set of data cards (simple user queries such as is company X a competitor of company Y) which help refine sizing data, competitors, and a few other firmographic topics. Revenue and employee figures have grown to 2.7 million companies.
Zoominfo expanded its set of company enrichment variables with the addition of 200 new Company Attributes in October 2016.
LinkedIn continues to add two members per second. At the end of the year, they delivered 467 million global profiles across ten million companies.
Dun & Bradstreet grew its WorldBase file of global companies to 265 million active and inactive firms. Over the past few years, they have also focused on improving the depth and accuracy of their international file.
So who did I omit? Technically Artesian Solutions did not make the content list, but that is simply because their new US edition will be discussed in the new product category. Likewise, InsideView’s Tech Profiler Premium is also being discussed as a new product.
Infofree, a sales intelligence company that focuses on the SMB segment, has launched a lower-priced, stripped-down, B2B-only version of its service under the brand name Salesflower.com. The new service supports list building, company and executive lookup, and new business searching.
“Lead Generation is the life blood of any business that wants to grow their sales. Salesflower.com is the only service that is offering triple-verified B2B sales leads at a very low price. For most businesses, if they get one sale from Salesflower.com it will pay for the service,” said CEO Rakesh Gupta.
The new service is priced at $595 per month and bundles in 5,000 downloads per annum with additional downloads available for ten cents per record. The service includes a thirty-day money-back guarantee and claims a 95% level of accuracy. Emails are cleaned monthly and have a claimed accuracy rate of 70%.
14 Million Triple Verified Businesses
12 Million Verified Business Executives
30 Thousand New Businesses Weekly
23 Million Executive Emails
6 Million Professionals (Doctors, Attorneys, etc.)
Screening variables are limited to basic firmographics along with County, Radius, and Bounding Box. While SICs are supported, NAICS are not mentioned. Yes, SICs are better known, but they have not been updated since 1987 and were replaced by the NAICS taxonomy two decades ago.
Unlike Infofree, the Salesflower service does not provide the CRM101 light SFA tool, consumer data, background checks, or light credit reports.
Over the past few years, the price for Infofree has been raised as it has added features. Infofree is one of the few sales intelligence products that supports businesses that sell broadly to both businesses and consumers (Sales Genie addresses a similar market). Infofree clients include business services, security companies, insurance agencies, etc.
Salesflower provides Infofree with a fighter brand at a lower price point which they can sell into firms that do not require consumer intelligence or CRM101.