LinkedIn Sales Navigator Q2 2022 Release

The new Sales Navigator search UI dynamically updates the results list as soon as a filter is added or removed.

LinkedIn began rolling out its Q2 Sales Navigator release to users earlier this month.  As with previous releases, admins receive the release first, with general users following a few weeks later.  New features include expanded data validation, a new SNAP integration with conversation intelligence leader Gong, and the continued rollout of Sales Navigator’s new Search and Lead Page experiences.

Companies have responded to the pandemic and Great Reshuffle by increasing channel noise, hoping to break through the din, but this strategy is flawed.  Top-performing reps who heavily exceed their quota are “spending less time selling in the traditional sense — smiling-and-dialing and sending out mass outreach,” explained LinkedIn VP of Global Sales Solutions Alyssa Merwin Henderson.  They aren’t increasing the volume but carefully targeting their prospecting and messaging, conducting buyer research, and focusing on skill development.

“In today’s virtual world, where there’s more noise than ever, the recipe for winning is clear – fewer things done better,” concluded Henderson.

LinkedIn Head of Product and Solutions Marketing Nicole Desjardins highlighted three problems facing sales reps that LinkedIn is working to address:

  1. More virtual selling than ever, leading to more virtual noise than ever, with buyers being overwhelmed by irrelevant and generic outreach.
  2. Job switching continues to be higher than normal, making a mess of CRM data and putting deals at risk.
  3. A plethora of new sales tools have hit the market, many of which don’t integrate with each other, making it more confusing to choose the right tech stack.

Desjardins argued that the solution to these problems comes from real-time data fed into the CRM and “meaningful sales intelligence that helps you connect with and nurture the right buyers at the right time.”

The Great Reshuffle continues to create a “mess” of CRM data, resulting in inaccurate forecasts and irrelevant messaging.  According to LinkedIn’s upcoming “State of Sales” report, 41% of sales reps said their biggest problem was inaccurate, out-of-date CRM data.  To help address this issue, Sales Navigator now flags out-of-date contact and lead records and allows reps to update the CRM from Navigator to address this problem.

Sales Navigator Data Validation displays Update CRM badges and syncs updates to Leads and Contacts.

Data Validation displays an Update CRM badge on Sales Navigator member pages who have recently changed jobs, titles, or locations.  After clicking on the badge, reps are shown the new title, account, location, contact owner, and most recent opportunity.  Updates are made to matched Lead and Contact records, with the user controlling which fields are to be updated.  Reps are also shown which open opportunities are linked to the executive, allowing them to quickly remove departed execs from live opportunities.

“Clearly, this will save you time.  Instead of having to toggle back and forth between your CRM and Sales Navigator, you can do it all in our platform,” blogged Product Marketing Manager Austin Gray.  “More importantly, because updating your CRM is now easier to do, you’ll have more accurate data within it.  LinkedIn’s real-time first-party data means that you can have confidence that your CRM will have access to the most accurate and up-to-date information available.”

Data Validation is available for Sales Navigator Advanced Plus and supports record updates in Salesforce and MS Dynamics 365.  The functionality was released to customers with fewer than 15 seats this week and will be rolled out to large customers on June 22.

The New Search and Lead Page Experiences were rolled out to accounts with fewer than fifty seats last quarter.  The largest accounts will receive the updates this quarter.

The search feature has been streamlined to improve the time to “successful results.”  In addition, the search includes a “larger collapsible, intuitive grouped view of filters” that improves search filter discovery.  New and updated filters include TeamLink Connections of, Saved Leads, Saved Accounts, Previously Viewed, Current Company, Past Company, and Company Headquarter.

The search interface updates dynamically, providing results as each filter is added or removed.

The updated Sales Navigator Leads (Contact) Page

The new Lead Page (contacts) is designed for rapid lead qualification with “the most important info front and center,” including the most recent touchpoint, current role, and description.  Other features include a sticky action bar, conversation starters, and introduction paths.

The Conversation Starter section displays recent posts for comments and commonalities.

The Get Introduced section has been redesigned and expanded.

The TeamLink section is now organized by seniority level so that reps can find “their best path in.”  In addition, the section supports a pre-populated InMail to save reps time writing messages.

Sales Navigator is also adding a new Lead Panel for researching contacts in a prospecting list without having to open multiple windows.

“Prospecting in Sales Navigator often means using our powerful search to find your target buyer,” wrote Desjardins.”  Once you’ve found that list of potential buyers, we’re betting you then open a tab for each individual, which can mean a lot of open tabs and a lot of switching back and forth.  The new Lead Panel streamlines this process and keeps you on the same page the entire time.”

The new Lead Panel streamlines qualification and messaging from lead (contact) prospect lists.

The Lead Panel displays job title, job description, and conversation starters to assist with quick qualification and messaging.

The Lead Panel will be rolling out to accounts with fewer than fifty seats this quarter and enterprise accounts next quarter.


LinkedIn also added a Gong SNAP integration for viewing LinkedIn intelligence within Gong’s conversational intelligence platform.

Groove Conversations and Groove+

Groove Conversations

Sales Engagement Platform Groove announced the general availability of Groove Conversations, the “first conversational intelligence product that enables revenue teams to access call recording and insights directly from the inbox and calendar instead of a separate platform.”  The firm also announced the Groove+ mobile app for iOS that helps remote and hybrid teams prepare for meetings and manage post-meeting follow-up (Android will be available later this year).  Groove+ also displays Salesforce and key meeting insights.

Groove is natively built in Salesforce.  Unlike its competitors, Groove does not sync data between a separate database and Salesforce but stores and accesses it natively in Salesforce.  Thus, conversational insights and Salesforce updates are directly managed by Groove inside Salesforce.

Groove Conversations offers call recording, transcription, and analysis without leaving the Inbox.  Additionally, insights are associated with Salesforce Activities and Opportunities.

Conversations initially supports Zoom and Groove’s OmniDialer, with Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, WebEx, and other services in development.

Conversations are fully searchable, with users able to listen to the searched term or keyword-related discussion.

Analytics include talk time, keyword mentions, sentiment analysis, and talk timelines for each attendee.  In Q3, the firm plans on adding “deeper analytics and AI-driven insights.”

Additional features include

  • Picture-in-picture viewing capabilities to support multi-tasking
  • Recording, transcript, and keyword access from email, calendar, Salesforce, or the Groove app
  • Internal sharing of meetings for review and team coaching
  • Custom keywords and keyword categories (e.g., product names, competitors, feature sets)
  • Internal and external sharing of calls, with the ability to extract and share a snippet of a meeting available soon

Groove+ delivers meeting alerts powered by Salesforce data to reduce deal time.  Users can easily access deal history, account information, meeting attendees, and activity history.  In addition, meeting notes may be logged to Salesforce with voice-to-text functionality.  Reps can also update meetings, accounts, contacts, opportunities, custom fields, or unique Salesforce configurations.

“The value of Groove+ goes beyond sales to include all revenue team members,” explained Groove Director of Communications Jason Klein to GZ Consulting.  “Essentially, anyone interfacing with clients should find value from Groove+.”

Groove conducted a survey in December and January of 1040 B2B sales reps which determined that 46% of companies are not planning a total return to the office.  Thus, managing remote and hybrid sales teams will remain a top issue for the CRO.  Top concerns for remote sales reps include updating CRM platforms (48%), inputting account notes (46%), and scheduling follow-up meetings (45%).

“Now that most reps are working in a hybrid role permanently, revenue teams need to focus on maximizing the value of their CRM.  Extending the power of CRM to remote teams makes them productive and effective while also providing leaders with the visibility and insight needed to manage them effectively.”

Groove CEO Chris Rothstein

Groove Conversations and Groove+ provide remote, hybrid, and inside sales reps with immediate access to sales productivity tools, conversational analytics, and deal insights.  Additionally, sales reps can update SFDC from Groove+ and access call recordings and insights from anywhere, providing centralized call coaching, next steps, and follow-up.

Groove Conversations and Groove+ are separate offerings but will be integrated later this year.  Groove+ is available with any Groove core license.  Groove Conversations is available as a premium add-on. “When we founded Groove, we knew that building for the seller first was the key to driving widespread adoption and seller productivity,” said Rothstein.  “As a result, we are the only platform that is just as easy to use and relevant for field sales as it is for sellers working from home or in the office.  Our customers typically see over 90% adoption rates of Groove and Salesforce, realizing as much as 83% seller productivity improvements as a result.”

D&B Connect for Salesforce

Dun & Bradstreet announced its spring releases and enhancements at Forrester’s B2B Data conference in Austin.  Dun & Bradstreet launched D&B Connect for Salesforce, its new data management service, and expanded D&B Rev.Up ABX functionality.

“With more accurate, actionable CRM data, businesses can make more confident decisions, identify more cross-sell and upsell opportunities, and target with greater precision,” blogged North American Sales & Marketing GM Stacy Greiner.  “That’s the foundation for strong account-based strategies and digitalization.  It’s the foundation for a stronger business, period.”

D&B Connect for Salesforce is the next generation of Salesforce hygiene products, superseding D&B Optimizer for Salesforce.  Users have broader control over matching logic.  They can employ easy matching based on Dun & Bradstreet Confidence Codes or customize the match logic by leveraging Confidence Codes alongside country/region selects and match quality. 

The operations manager can set the importance of individual match grades by field (e.g., street number, name, etc.).  Admins can also set match inclusion criteria, defining which fields should be excluded from matching (e.g., Non-Headquarter locations, Out-of-Business locations, Non-Marketable locations, or Undeliverable/Unreachable locations).

Connect for Salesforce has dramatically expanded the data sets available for enrichment, providing access to over 1,600 data elements based upon subscribed data blocks. Admins also have control over refresh frequency and rematch rules.  Data may be refreshed every 14 days with the option of rematching unmatched records.  Transactional matching is also supported, allowing real-time match and append for newly created records.

D&B Connect match logic administration

Other features include data health reports, field-level mapping, out-of-business flags, and duplicate management.  In addition, Dun & Bradstreet offers 37 million subsidiary and branch linkages, ensuring proper territory management and lead assignment.

“What is preventing our marketing campaigns and sales plays from firing on all cylinders? asked Dun & Bradstreet Greiner.  “Quite simply, bad data that is outdated, incorrect, duplicate, improperly formatted, or just outright missing.  Let’s face it — we’re all to blame.  We’re just not good about keeping our data up to date and refreshed.  We don’t even do a good job entering the right data in the first place.  This may be due in part to subjectivity, in part to laziness, and in part because there’s just not enough time in our day to be thorough enough.”

D&B Connect for Salesforce starts at $5,000 per company per year.

VanillaSoft Announces a Trio of Integrations

VanillaSoft announced a trio of new or upgraded integrations for its Sales Engagement Platform.  First, VanillaSoft upgraded its integration with Salesforce, providing synchronization of accounts, contacts, leads, activities (e.g., Tasks, Events, History), and opportunities.  Custom Object syncing is coming soon.  VanillaSoft also announced new technology partnerships with Chorus (ZoomInfo) and Zapier

The Salesforce integration is bi-directional with instant updates.  Prospects from VanillaSoft’s AutoKlose subsidiary are fed to VanillaSoft and uploaded to Salesforce.  The integration also supports improved Salesforce reporting and dashboards, providing a unified reporting interface for all sales activities.  Salesforce reporting “accurately shows conversion ratios and funnel math from stage-to-stage and team-to-team.”

“In most cases, organizations use SFDC as the primary hub for all their lead and account information,” noted Product Marketing Director Bergen Wilde during a demo to GZ Consulting.  “Leads coming in from outside sources, such as marketing automation, would be immediately shared with VanillaSoft.”  For example, “marketing may examine old leads or accounts in SFDC and create a new campaign for these, sending them back into VanillaSoft for pursuit by SDRs.”

The upgraded integration “empowers a sales team with immediate information updates across both platforms so agents using either system can take action without delay.”

Updates to Salesforce are always real-time and triggered by VanillaSoft result codes.  Updates from Salesforce can be either real-time or performed in batch.  For example, Sales Operations can set up real-time synchronization for web form submissions fed into SFDC.  Web leads are then synced with VanillaSoft, providing immediate routing of web leads to SDRs, with both platforms tracking submissions and responses.

A novel VanillaSoft use case is multi-client synchronization between VanillaSoft and client Salesforce instances.  The VanillaSoft project code acts as a “top-level, self-contained database in VanillaSoft,” which signals the relevant client instance, allowing lead generation companies and agencies to support multiple clients. “Lead generation has always been a consistent market for us because we keep the data segmentation.  That’s been since day one – we’ve kept our projects separate,” explained Director of Customer Success Daniel Sims to GZ Consulting.  “Tied to that, we have some pretty cool appointment setting functionality that tends to make us attractive to most lead gen companies.”

Lead Companies can manage prospecting in VanillaSoft and sync activity and lead data with multiple client Salesforce instances.

Other use cases include

  • Managing SDR to AE handoffs: As SDRs book meetings, the information and task are posted in Salesforce for the AE.  If the client is a no-show, the lead can be passed back to the SDR for rescheduling.
  • Upselling: A customer success agent identifies an upsell opportunity and enters it in SFDC.  The record then syncs with VanillaSoft, which notifies the SDR to schedule an appointment for the AE.
  • Triggered Alerts: Salesforce alerts (e.g., overdue payments, deviations from volume commitments, or new opportunities) are routed to SDRs for follow-up.
Salesforce can trigger activity in VanillaSoft.

VanillaSoft noted that it can store raw MQLs until they are sales qualified, at which time the data is synced with Salesforce.  This flow reduces storage fees for low-yield prospects.  Thus, contact records can be purchased from AutoKlose and enabled in VanillaSoft, only becoming Salesforce records once they are sales qualified.

VanillaSoft supports both the Salesforce Lightning and Classic user experiences.  Integration management is performed within SFDC, so admins do not require a VanillaSoft license.

The Chorus partnership is supported for joint customers, providing access to Chorus recordings and transcripts from VanillaSoft.  Similar functionality for Gong is planned for the end of this quarter.

Chorus transcription and analytics are triggered by VanillaSoft result codes, with recordings immediately passed from VanillaSoft to Chorus for processing.  A Chorus logo is then displayed within VanillaSoft, providing a hyperlink to the recording, transcript, and analysis.

Chorus in VanillaSoft

Zapier provides broad integration with other enterprise software platforms.  Sales operations can bi-directionally connect VanillaSoft to hundreds of other applications via a “simple, graphical user interface.”

Zapier is often deployed by SMBs for connecting platforms and triggering workflows.

“VanillaSoft helps SMB sales teams in real-world industries to enhance their sales capabilities and productivity – enabling them to increase their outreach and close more deals,” said VanillaSoft CEO David Hood.  “By establishing relationships and enhancing integrations with other key technologies that our customers rely on within their sales organizations, we are working to make their sales processes more seamless, and ultimately are helping them to ensure their sales success.”

Chili Distro

Last week I wrote about Chili Events, the new event calendaring service from Chili Piper. Today, I am profiling their new Distro service which acts as a “one-stop-shop for lead qualification, routing, distribution, and booking.”  Distro routes and assigns multiple Salesforce objects in real-time, including leads, contacts, opportunities, cases, and accounts.

Distro expedites the inbound lead process by immediately routing prospects and customers to the correct sales rep. In addition, Distro supports lead-to-account matching so that inbound prospects are assigned to the proper account owner when applicable.

“Whether a lead comes through your organization’s web form or from an offline source, routing can get quite tedious,” explained Chili Piper in the product announcement.  “With the launch of Distro, teams can create intelligent rules to decide which lead gets routed to which rep (or group of reps) on the team. With this intuitive technology, hand-raisers will have the ability to book a meeting instantly, while buyers who need more nurturing are automatically assigned to the appropriate sales rep for follow-up.”

Chili Piper Distro qualifies, routes, and schedules meetings.

If rules do not assign a lead, round-robin assignments ensure that reps receive an equal number of leads.

Chili Piper has been busy with new product releases.  A few weeks ago, Chili Piper announced Chili Events, an Event Meetings Management solution for in-person conferences and trade shows.  The product lets Chili gather engagement data from events and manage pre-conference meetings on the floor as well as post-event meetings with reps. 

The firm also announced a HubSpot integration earlier this month.

“Today, capturing existing demand for a product or service, in real-time, is vital; yet, ensuring each lead is routed and assigned correctly is way harder than it needs to be. With Distro, we can help B2B sales and marketing teams automate the first step in a meaningful engagement and prevent leads from falling out of the marketing funnel. This is a crucial step for increasing inbound conversion rates and boosting revenue generation.”

Chili Piper CEO Nicolas Vandenberghe

Inbound and event lead management address the issue of speed-to-lead with which many B2B organizations struggle.  The average time for lead follow-up is 42 hours.  Automating the process greatly increases the likelihood of scheduling a meeting and converting leads to subsequent stages.

“Chili Piper allows you to connect inbound leads with a rep at the moment they’re interested,” blogged Senior Marketing Manager Maggie Aland.  “This increases your inbound conversion rates and prevents leads from falling out of the marketing funnel.”

Chili Distro is only available for Salesforce.

Global Database

Global Database Build a List supports expanded growth, ownership, and industry variables.

UK-based Sales Intelligence vendor Global Database continues to expand its content and functionality.  Recent platform enhancements include expanded prospecting variables, industry coding, and list enrichment.

New screening variables include

  • Annual Growth: Turnover, Headcount, EBITDA, Net Profit, Liabilities, and Exports
  • Ownership: Parents, Number of subsidiaries, Foreign parent, Number of shareholders
  • Industry: European and North American industry codes, Industry Keywords

International SIC and NACE codes are available across the full company universe.  Global Database also implemented an NLP tool that crawls company websites and identifies keywords and business descriptions.  This descriptive content is then mapped to over 100,000 industry keywords.

“The SIC code is outdated when it comes to new industry verticals, such as Big Data or E-commerce, and if you are looking for such companies by SIC Code, they will be classified as: 63990 – Other information service activities n.e.c., explained CEO Nicolae Buldumac to GZ Consulting.

Global Database now supports company and contact list enrichment for Salesforce and MS Dynamics.  Users upload a list that is matched against its reference database and enriched with over 80 variables and match score confidence.  Matching employs registration numbers, corporate names, domains, phone, postal codes, etc. 

Global Database also provides an interactive report with match rates and segmentation.  Enrichment analytics include match rates, list averages, company status distribution, turnover distribution, top five companies, and pie charts for employment, years in business, and industry.  A location map is also displayed.

Other data tools include CRM maintenance, APIs, and web forms with auto-population.

The Global Database universe now spans 130 million companies and 118 million contacts:

Global Database Counts as of October 2021.

Most of its data is from trade registries, publicly available sources, an in-house data research team, and a few data vendor partnerships.  Direct emails are available for 17 million contacts and mobile numbers for 1.6 million.  If a contact does not have an email or phone number, Global Database integrates with two data vendors, where this information is requested via API in real-time.

Global Database continues to expand its universe of credit reports, with instant Business Credit Reports now available for 350 million companies.  If a country does not support instant reports, customers may request a new investigation from on-the-ground resources.  These reports are delivered within five to seven business days.

Credit reports are priced between £19 and £80, with the UK and Irish reports at the low end.  Most continental European credit reports are priced between £35 and £40.  North American reports are also priced at £40.

Global Database Employee tab.

Flash: Groove Series B and Product Enhancements

Sales Engagement Platform Groove closed on a $45 million Series B led by Viking Global Investors.  Previous investors Capital One Ventures, Level Equity, Quest Venture Partners, and Uncork Capital also participated.  The funds will be deployed for international expansion and continued growth in the enterprise segment.

The round brings total funding to $61 million.  Groove did not disclose its market valuation following Round B.

“We’re experiencing explosive growth in the enterprise segment of the market,” Groove VP of Marketing Kristin Hersant told GZ Consulting.  “This latest round of funding will enable us to invest more heavily in R&D while expanding our operations in EMEA and doubling down on the sales and marketing engine that’s fueling this growth.”

Enterprise ARR is up 114% over the past years.  New enterprise clients include Activision, iHeartMedia, LexisNexis, New Relic, TIBCO, Veeva, and Wintrust.

Although Salesforce’s first cloud was the Sales Cloud, digital selling remains an issue for many Salesforce customers.  An August 2021 Forrester report on the “State of CRM” found that 57% of respondents struggled to offer solid customer experiences due to poor integration and accessibility.

Groove, a native Salesforce Sales Engagement application, “solves this accessibility problem by meeting sellers where they already work, increasing rep productivity while ensuring over 90% Salesforce adoption,” wrote Groove.

“This notion of the sales engagement platform as a cockpit for sellers is likely to continue to drive further integrations between other sales tech categories and these platforms as the advantages of bringing everything to the seller where they sell (the original vision for CRM technology) become more widely recognized,” said Anthony McPartlin, Principal Analyst for Forrester Research in a recent blog post.

“Our enterprise customers want to enable the modern seller while ensuring the highest levels of enterprise security and compliance.  We’re capturing a significant amount of enterprise market share from our competition because our platform was built for the needs of large, complex organizations that rely on Salesforce as their system of record.  We bring automation to the seller instead of requiring that they work out of a separate system. This flexibility ensures extremely high user adoption rates, even with technology averse sellers in non-tech industries.”

Groove CEO Chris Rothstein

Groove also announced a pair of product enhancements that meet “the unique needs of complex organizations.”  The first new feature is automatic logging to custom objects.  The second new capability, OmniActions, “enables reps to complete any sales action without leaving their workflows.”

Groove Custom Objects for Salesforce.

“By seamlessly integrating valuable CRM data into specialized workflows for different roles, teams, and industries, Groove drives CRM adoption and enables revenue teams to get a more complete picture of all sales activities.  The addition of automatic logging to custom objects and OmniActions provides customers even more flexibility for executing, capturing, and properly associating activities with both standard and custom Salesforce objects.  With these new features, Groove strengthens its position as the only sales engagement platform that can easily fit into an organization’s complex and dynamic sales workflows.”

“One of the great things about Groove is its ability to flex to any organization’s sales process, regardless of how much they have customized Salesforce.  Today, we’ve made it even easier for reps to complete, assign, and track their activities without having to leave their workflows.  That means more time for reps to sell, more complete data for managers to manage their teams, and more flexibility for admins to maintain established and successful processes.”

Groove VP of Product Sonia Sarao

Groove’s Advanced Activity Capture now automatically logs activity to custom objects, “minimizing the manual work required by sellers while ensuring complete visibility into account health and opportunities.”

Activity Capture may be configured by profile, allowing for customization at the functional or team level.

OmniActions lets reps manage or execute any activity outside of their regular Flows with automated real-time activity logging.  OmniActions is fully integrated with the Groove Omnibar, supporting actions in Google Workspace, Microsoft Outlook, Salesforce, or the Groove app.

Groove OmniActions

“This combination gives sellers a 360-degree view of their prospects’ and customers’ lifecycle from details and activity to actions – all in their workflow,” wrote the firm.  “OmniActions enables revenue organizations to associate all activities with open opportunities, whether they are part of a single action or multi-step Flow.  By accurately associating all types of activities, revenue teams can take advantage of more accurate reporting and insights into the sales process.”

Groove continues its rapid growth, making the Inc. 5000 for the past three years.  It has over 70,000 users.

Qualified Series B

Qualified closed on a $51M Series B which raised total funding to $68M (Source: Crunchbase).

Conversational Marketing Platform Qualified closed on a $51 million Series B round.  Salesforce Ventures led the round, with existing partners Redpoint Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners also joining.  Qualified has received $68 million in total funding.  It is “the only conversational sales and marketing platform purpose-built for Salesforce Sales Cloud,” stated the firm.

Qualified’s Salesforce roots “go deep.”  Along with the Salesforce Ventures funding, Salesforce CMO Sarah Franklin joined Qualified as a board observer, and former Salesforce SVP Dan Darcy joined as their Chief Customer Officer.  Multiple execs are former Salesforce employees including CEO Kraig Swensrud who worked on the development of Chatter and served as the firm’s CMO.

“Qualified represents an entirely new way for B2B companies to engage buyers,” said Bill Patterson, Salesforce EVP of CRM Applications.  “When marketing and inbound sales teams use this solution with Sales Cloud…they see a notable impact on pipeline. We are thrilled about our growing partnership with Qualified and their success within the Salesforce ecosystem.”

Qualified will deploy the funds to “fuel product innovation;” build out key functions including engineering, sales, marketing, and customer success; and more than double its headcount before the end of the year.

“Conversational sales and marketing is no longer a ‘nice to have.’ It’s mission critical for fast-growing businesses, and table stakes for modern buyers.  The world’s top CMOs and demand gen leaders are turning to Qualified as a new way to meet with their most important buyers the moment they arrive on the website.  There’s no better partner than Salesforce Ventures to help us accelerate Qualified’s growth and bring this solution to Salesforce customers around the world.”

Qualified CEO Kraig Swensrud

Qualified addresses a “multi-billion problem for enterprise marketing and sales teams,” their inability to identify qualified buyers and message to them while they are on the website.  Thus, the $6 billion spent driving buyers to company websites is poorly converted into sales pipelines.

“In enterprise sales, speed matters: Waiting even five minutes after a lead leaves a website decreases the chances of making contact by 10x,” wrote the firm.  “However, it takes salespeople 38 hours on average to respond to qualified leads.  Studies show that 78% of B2B customers buy from the company that responds to them first.”

Qualified offers real-time visitor intelligence and routing based upon Salesforce.  Visitors may interact with chatbots or talk to reps via chat, voice, and screen sharing.  The service promises 99.9% uptime, GDPR compliance, SOC2 compliance, and Salesforce ISV certification.

“The conversational model is simply a better way to connect with new customers.  Buyers love the real-time engagement, sellers love the instant connections, and marketers have the confidence that every dollar spent on demand generation is maximized,” said Board Member Scott Beechuk.  “The multi-billion-dollar market for Salesforce automation software is going to adopt this new model, and Qualified is perfectly positioned to capture that demand.  If your company uses Salesforce, Qualified will be a multiplier on your sales and marketing investment.”

Qualified saves conversations to Salesforce, including a complete visual recording of the timeline, chat transcript, and screen recording.

Last year, Qualified grew revenue by 800% and posted a 175% customer revenue retention rate.  New customers include Adobe, Matterport, Poly, Sodexo, SurveyMonkey, Talend, Tech Data, and VMware.

According to LinkedIn, Qualified grew its headcount by 92% last year.

Conversational Marketing is hot, but the market is shifting from standalone chat to chat as a front-end to ABX Platforms. ZoomInfo acquired Insent last week and rebranded it ZoomInfo Chat, Drift expanded its product vision into Revenue Acceleration with additional channels, and Terminus acquired Ramble and integrated it into its ABX Platform.

Qualified Conversational Marketing Dashboard.

People.AI Acquires Hero and Releases Sales Solution for Salesforce (Part II)

People.AI Sales Solution for Salesforce

Continuing my discussion [Part 1] of PeopleGlass and Sales Solution for Salesforce….

“People.AI’s acquisition of Hero Research is changing the game for enterprise sales teams who use Salesforce,” said People.AI CEO Oleg Rogynskyy.  “Companies run sales on CRM, yet virtually every rep and manager we meet runs a shadow spreadsheet to manage what’s actually happening in their territories. Finally, we’re able to bring the two worlds together with People.ai and Hero Research’s best-in-class solution, so sales teams have the flexibility to manage their pipeline, territories, and activities in an optimal way, ultimately closing more deals.”

PeopleGlass simplifies CRM access to “a single pane of glass to do their job better than ever,” continued Rogynskyy.   There is “no more tab sprawl, no more cutting and pasting, no more shadow spreadsheets.”  Sales reps create a custom view with access to their CRM data without requiring admin or IT support.

“CRM is the place where most sales organizations want their reps and managers to spend their time. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a rep that isn’t trying to fill critical CRM gaps by stitching together a patchwork of other siloed sales tools without a cohesive workflow. With the People.ai experience available inside of Salesforce, sales teams gain access to all of the data and insights they love incorporated into their daily workflows in a simple and unified way. That has a massive impact on CRM adoption and utilization.”

Thomas Wyatt, Chief Product and Strategy Officer at People.ai

People.AI is bringing the full Hero team onboard, including founders Morgan Bender and Daniel Chen, who will be joining the product organization.  No deal terms were disclosed.

“Combining our unique dataset with People.AI’s AI-driven insights creates a sales productivity solution unlike any other vendor in the market. Customers who have used the solution are reporting an increase of up to 25% in selling time,” commented Bender.

PeopleGlass is available on a freemium basis, sold both as a standalone offering and bundled with People.AI solutions.  According to COO Art Harding, the firm is still defining pricing and packaging following the acquisition.

While People.AI has simplified data access and update, reps will continue to access Salesforce for the “mission-critical workflows that can only be accessed within the solution.”  The new embedded Salesforce experience integrates “the power of People.AI’s benchmarks, leading indicators and sales insights with Salesforce’s native pipeline, account, and opportunity views.”  The integration also supports People.AI tools such as auto-populated relationship maps, deal scorecards, and digital playbooks.

The Sales Solution for Salesforce includes People.AI’s org chart tool built on their October 2020 ClosePlan acquisition.  The Sales Solution for Salesforce also displays engagement insights, peer benchmarks, and next-step recommendations for sales reps.

Sales Managers can track account health, opportunity execution, and rep performance through the Sales Solution.

“People.ai does the heavy lifting by bringing the tools and the data into Salesforce, allowing sales ops to deliver a better end-user experience to their teams and giving reps new tools to accelerate bookings,” explained Rogynskyy.  “Customers who have deployed the product tell me that in a few weeks, this solution has had a bigger impact on Salesforce adoption than years of serving up other carrots and sticks.”

People.AI employs over 200 and has revenue “well into the double digits.”

People.AI Employment (Source: LinkedIn)

People.AI Acquires Hero and Releases Sales Solution for Salesforce

Revenue Operations and Sales Intelligence vendor People.AI acquired Hero Research, a Salesforce productivity app that simplifies CRM access.  The Hero service was immediately re-branded as PeopleGlass.  People.AI also announced a new Salesforce experience for sales reps and managers.

PeopleGlass is designed as an “interaction layer” to reduce the overhead and complexity of maintaining Salesforce content.  Glass refers to the “single pane of glass” metaphor often used for CRM cross-record reporting, a core feature of PeopleGlass.  People.AI argues that CRMs have become complex, full-stack solutions covering many use cases but are cumbersome due to their functional breadth.

“We believe that current CRM solutions are inadequate. Modern businesses are complex and full-stack solutions (platforms that offer many services) reflect the complexity of the many use cases that they need to cover as a one-size-fits-all solution.

Many CRMs today offer the whole gamut, addressing needs from pre-sales, post-sales, support, marketing, etc.,” argues People.AI.  “Furthermore, these companies are focused on selling large deals into small groups of decision makers who rarely interact with the products they purchase. It’s no wonder why many users feel they’ve been ignored by the people building the products they spend huge portions of their lives in.

In the meantime, most people have experience with iPhones, Gmail, and other great products. This only increases the frustration with legacy CRM tools.

PeopleGlass aims to solve this problem by focusing solely on the end user and leveraging learnings from the best modern consumer software.”

People.AI, “Why We Started People Glass

PeopleGlass supports custom sheets, forms, hotkeys, a command-line interface, and a “clean and versatile workspace to eliminate the pain points of using CRMs.”  PeopleGlass may be launched in the browser or added as a Chrome extension.

Custom Sheets provide a spreadsheet view across Salesforce records that supports filters, bulk record updates, searching, and inline updates.  Thus, reps can quickly update opportunity records before pipeline review meetings and then review the spreadsheet with managers.  Records are immediately updated in Salesforce.

PeopleGlass Opportunity viewing and updates

Users can create personal views or modify any of the included templates.  Adding columns, resizing columns, and moving columns are straightforward actions.  Users can also quickly view any record as a form or view the record in Salesforce.

PeopleGlass Forms provide custom layouts for creating and updating account, contact, leads, opportunities, notes or tasks.  Admins can set default fields for records.

A set of hotkeys expedite data entry, allowing users to quickly create records, log calls, and search records. PeopleGlass provides a customizable home page for displaying metrics, sharing and copying sheets or forms with colleagues.


Part II, which discusses the Hero Research acquisition and their Salesforce solution, continues here.