Demandbase Unified CRM View

ABX Platform Demandbase announced that it is the first sales intelligence and account engagement platform to integrate both services jointly into CRM.  Demandbase offers a single view that combines first-party and behavioral data from the Demandbase ABX cloud and third-party datasets (firmographics, technographics, contact data, and news & social insights) from the Demandbase Sales Intelligence Cloud.

“Doing so gives B2B sellers access to all the information they need to spot and close larger deals faster,” stated the firm.  “This first of its kind application guides sales teams to know where and when to engage with the right accounts and decision-makers, leading to higher win rates, shorter sales cycles, and bigger deals — boosting CRM adoption in the process.”

Demandbase brought firmographic, contact, and technographics databases in-house following the May 2021 acquisitions of InsideView and DemandMatrixIntent data includes first and third-party intelligence, including Surging Intent, Demandbase Keyword Intent, Campaign Response, and Web Page Visits.

Revenue Operations can also select intent data from Bombora and G2, which are processed through the ABX platform’s predictive models.

The Demandbase Timeline provides current and historical intent data.

The Demandbase platform also supports activity timelines, product and competitor intent datasets, and persona-based engagement heatmaps, helping revenue teams assess account potential and determine where accounts stand in the buyer’s journey.

Heatmaps may be viewed by engagement, people, or journeys.  Both preset and custom options are available.  In addition, users can drill down to details by clicking on a row or column header.

The SFDC Heatmap is presented at the Account level with Engagement Minutes (Demandbase’s contact engagement model) displayed within the heatmap matrix.

Sales users can utilize this heatmap to find champions at an org via the highest engagement and understand with which roles they need to communicate.

The Demandbase Heatmap is available with both preset and customizable views.

The platform also supports long-running InsideView for Salesforce functionality, including

  • Company and contact profiles
  • Prospect list building for companies and contacts
  • Contact searching at accounts
  • A news viewer that combines company news, social posts, and blogs
  • Corporate family trees
  • Add to CRM with duplicate checking
  • CRM “stare and compare” updates

According to Demandbase, the unified UI lets customers “consolidate their tech stack, replacing ABM, sales intelligence, advertising, and other vendors with Demandbase One, the Smarter Go-To-Market solution.”

“The beauty of this unified sales UI is that all the data a salesperson needs is readily accessible, right in the CRM where they’re already working.  It’s revolutionary for sales teams,” said Demandbase CRO Allison Metcalfe.  “No more toggling between systems or wasting time in generic outreach that doesn’t drive sales.  Instead, they’ll have deeper insights and greater visibility into prospective deals, gaining knowledge about what buyers are doing around the web, what they engage with, who to contact (and how), and what the most relevant messaging is.  The actionability, productivity, and efficacy of such functionality is practically limitless.”

In other news, Demandbase was named to the Fast Company “100 Best Workplaces for Innovators.” The magazine noted that Demandbase reinvests 20% of its revenue in R&D.

Salesforce Expands Its CRM Market Leadership

Salesforce continues to outpace its competitors in the CRM space, growing to 23.8% market share (2021) in IDC’s “Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker, April 2022.” 

Salesforce is now five times the size of its closest competitors: SAP at 5.4% and Microsoft at 5.3%.  Among the top five, only Microsoft and Salesforce have consistently been growing their market share over the past four years.

Salesforce is the leading CRM for sales applications, customer service applications, marketing applications, model-driven application platforms, and enterprise community applications.

Salesforce also leads across most of the major geographic markets: Asia-Pacific (including Japan), Latin America, North America, and Western Europe.

“In this digital work-from-anywhere era, companies need to adapt their business models to address customers’ evolving needs,” said David Schmaier, President and Chief Product Officer, Salesforce.  “We are grateful to be recognized as the #1 CRM by IDC, underpinning how companies across every industry continue to engage Salesforce as a trusted digital advisor who can help accelerate their efforts to build direct relationships with their customers, employees, partners, and more.”

Salesforce positions itself as a digital transformation solution, with multi-year contracts commonplace.  The firm takes a “land-and-expand” strategy where one cloud solution leads to multiple cloud licenses.  “This quickly makes Salesforce a ‘sticky’ product, solidifying them as a key partner for their customers,” observed Ben McCarthy of Salesforce Ben.

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.”

CCPA Now in Effect

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into force this week, but enforcement will be delayed for six months.  “We’re going to help folks understand our interpretation of the law,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.  “And once we’ve done those things, our job is to make sure there’s compliance, so we’ll enforce.”

Microsoft indicated that CCPA will be used as a national standard. Microsoft has already extended EU GDPR compliance globally and called privacy “a fundamental human right.”

“CCPA marks an important step toward providing people with more robust control over their data in the United States,” wrote Microsoft’s Chief Privacy Officer Julie Brill.  “It also shows that we can make progress to strengthen privacy protections in this country at the state level even when Congress can’t or won’t act.”

CCPA requires firms to be transparent in how they collect and use consumer data.  Individuals also have the option to block sales of personal data.  However, “Exactly what will be required under CCPA to accomplish these goals is still developing,” wrote Brill.

Microsoft supports a national privacy law which cover “more robust accountability requirements” including minimizing data collection, transparency around how data is being used, and “making them more responsible for analyzing and improving data systems to ensure that they use personal data appropriately.”

Facebook is hedging, saying “we do not sell people’s data” without acknowledging that its business is based on monetizing member data and that it has a poor history of controlling partner data collection on its platform.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff called Facebook the “new cigarettes for our society,” which undermines societal trust.  On CNN’s Reliable Sources, Benioff called for Facebook to be regulated or split up.  “They’re certainly not exactly about truth in advertising.  Even they have said that.  That’s why we’re really in squarely a crisis of trust, when the core vendor themselves cannot say that trust is our most important value.  Look, we’re at a moment in time where each one of us in every company has to ask a question: What is our highest value?”

“I expect a fundamental reconceptualization of what Facebook’s role is in the world,” continued Benioff.  “When you have an entity that large with that much potential impact, and not fundamentally doing good things to improve the state of the world, well, then I think everyone is going to have it in its crosshairs.”

Einstein Call Coaching

Einstein Call Coaching Dashboard

Salesforce has been teasing voice services since the last Dreamforce when they launched Einstein Voice Assistant which supports routine Salesforce CRM functions such as creating or updating customer records, getting personalized daily briefings, and exploring dashboards.  This year, they announced Einstein Call Coaching, Service Cloud Voice for transcription and AI-powered recommendation services, and Einstein Voice Skills.

Einstein Call Coaching is currently in pilot and should be generally available as a Sales Cloud High Velocity Sales (SEP) service in June.  Call Coaching utilizes natural language processing against call transcripts.  Managers view “insights and trends within conversational data.”  NLP tags keywords, alerts managers about spikes in competitor mentions, and monitors pricing discussions and objection handling.  Managers can then focus their coaching based upon individual rep needs.

“Companies with dynamic sales coaching programs see 28% higher win rates, unbelievable results.  And Einstein call coaching is your coach.  This is an AI feature that can process audio clips to serve up those key moments for this type of coaching,” said Sarah Patterson, SVP of Product Marketing.  

Being able to track keywords, discussion topics, and competitors should prove highly valuable for one-on-one and team coaching sessions and broader analytics.  Sales reps often fail to record competitor and objection details (or they are trapped in notes).  Even when custom fields are set up to capture these details, they are often weakly populated. Being able to track objections and competitor discussions provides improved coaching and product road mapping input.  This is far better than querying sales reps to be told that they lost on price or aren’t sure who won the deal.

Product tracking and objections also assist with gathering early intelligence following a product launch.  Are the sales reps balking at discussing the new offering, unable to handle objections for which they weren’t trained, or tripping on a missing feature that should have been included in the MVP?

“You launch a new product, but you have no idea whether your reps are actually comfortable selling it,” said Patterson.  “Well, now you are getting the insight you need to know if they are.  And if they’re not, you can lean in to guide them, to coach them, to help them.  More than this, you can even customize this to look for things that matter to your business.”

Call Coaching provides “management-level visibility into key moments during a sales call” allowing the coach to listen to those moments and how the rep handled them.  Those moments are then immediately available for one-on-one review or group coaching.

Call Coaching Insights include tabs for objection mentions, product mentions, talk / listen ratios, and custom topics.  For State Farm Insurance (the Dreamforce demo), this includes life events.

Call Coaching conversation trends help identify market shifts, opportunities for bundled offerings, and emerging competitors.

“73% of managers spend less than 5% of their time coaching their reps, and we wanted to make the most of that time. Einstein Call Coaching helps managers more effectively coach individuals, provides the ability to scale those learnings across teams and gain deeper insights into customer needs and experiences.”

Efrat Rapoport, Director of Product Management, Salesforce Sales Cloud

“Just like athletes can sit down with their coaches and look at video clips, now sales reps can sit down and listen to audio clips,” said Patterson.

Call Coaching also supports a library of best-practice call excerpts for new hire training and sales refreshers.


Tomorrow, I will discuss the other voice tools launched at Dreamforce.

Technology Training Trends

LinkedIn Learning course catalog
LinkedIn Learning course catalog

LinkedIn told CNBC that the top three tech skills in demand are artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing.  However, they noted that many technology skills have a market value of only six years, so soft skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving should also be honed.  In order for workers to keep up, they should avail themselves of courses from LinkedIn Learning or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

“It’s important for companies to continue to invest in their people so that they are upskilling and reskilling their people to keep up with the roles that are in demand,” said Feon Ang, LinkedIn Vice President for Talent and Learning Solutions, Asia Pacific.  “But, at the same time, people need to continue to invest in themselves and have a growth mindset,” said Ang.

At last month’s Tenbound Conference Mark Dean, Head of Sales Development-Americas for LinkedIn, noted that soft skills are becoming increasingly critical for employees.  LinkedIn research found that 57% of leaders weighed soft skills over hard skills.  In demand skills include creativity, persuasion, and collaboration.  In short, he asked, “Can they tell a story?”

“In the age of continuous change, global competition, and the use of AI, the employees who will become leaders and visionaries are the ones who can communicate effectively and create connection within the organization.  It is only when employees have a sense of shared purpose and connection that they will do what it takes to help the organization succeed.  The best way to build this connection is through authenticity, vulnerability, and storytelling.  Soft, human-focused skills are the currency of the future.  Employees need to take it upon themselves to grow and learn on a continual basis, whether it’s finding a mentor or continually investing in their growth to hone these skills.”  

Lynne Levy of Arena Consulting

For Salesforce skills, there is Trailhead which the firm promotes at both public forums and on earnings calls.

Salesforce: Trust is the Key Value for Tech Companies

Salesforce: Trust is the Key Value for Tech Companies

Speaking to Jim Cramer on Mad Money, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff argued that for technology companies, the key value is no longer the great idea, but trust:

In technology over the last two decades, the most important thing has been the idea. That is, the best idea wins.   That has been what gets you funded, that’s how you grow your company, that’s been your highest value: the best idea wins. No longer true.

The current highest value is trust, and if trust is not your highest value, if the most important thing to you and your company is not trust, you need to look again, and that’s what’s happening with these companies today.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

Benioff observed that a lack of trust is eroding Silicon Valley companies such as Facebook.  “Their executives are walking out, employees are walking out,and that happens with a lot of companies in tech right now. We’ve had a lot of walkouts this quarter.  And the reason why is because it’s kind of amessage to the executives: it’s time to transform.”

“Every company has to hold themselves to a new level of trust, and if your brand is not about trust, you’re going to have customer issues, and you can see that in that brand,” observed Benioff.

And trust has long been part of Salesforce’s value proposition.  The firm emphasizes it’s 1:1:1 philanthropy program (Donating 1% of technology, people, and resources) which has been adopted as a model by other companies.  Salesforce also promotes local nonprofits at Salesforce events, emphasizes Trailhead and meetups for skills advancement, embraced a San Francisco tech company tax to address homelessness, called for a US GDPR to protect privacy, raised womens’ wages to address a pay equity gap following a self-audit, and spoke out against anti-gay legislation.  Under a short-term profit-maximization model, these activities make little sense, but under a longer-term stakeholder’s approach, they make perfect sense.

Trust is based on a stakeholders approach to corporate governance.  It recognizes that Milton Friedman’s stance against social responsibility (“there is one and only one social responsibility of business to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays in the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition, without deception or fraud.”) is wrong.  A stakeholders approach recognizes that employees, customers, partners, investors, and the general public all place value on companies that take a long-term view of their role in society.  Simple profit maximization is a short-term approach which fails to recognize that you can’t attract the best employees or close multi-million dollar deals if you are not trusted.

And you can see this in the stock price growth of Facebook and Salesforce over the past five years.  Facebook’s stock price outpaced Salesforce for the past five years, but once Facebook lost trust, its stock price declined.

Salesforce and Facebook both had strong stock price growth over the past five years, but Facebook retreated this year after it lost trust amongst stakeholders.
Salesforce and Facebook both had strong stock price growth over the past five years, but Facebook retreated this year after it lost trust amongst stakeholders.

Oracle Acquires DataFox

Oracle recently acquired DataFox, providing them with access to 2.8 million company profiles, including funding and M&A data.  DataFox “gives customers real-time insight to know when a business exhibits noteworthy behaviors.”

“The combination of Oracle and DataFox will enhance Oracle Cloud Applications with an extensive set of trusted company-level data and signals, enabling customers to reach even better decisions and business outcomes,” wrote Oracle’s EVP of Applications Development Steve Miranda to customers and partners.

Oracle provides the following deal shorthand:

Oracle Cloud Applications + DataFox = Even Smarter Decisions

DataFox is growing its database at 1.2 million companies annually.  The database will deliver real-time insights into its cloud-based ERP, CX, HCM and SCM platforms.

DataFox Data Engine Overview (Oracle Presentation, October 23, 2018)
DataFox Data Engine Overview (Oracle Presentation, October 23, 2018)

In a bit of extreme puffery, Oracle described DataFox as the “the most current, precise and expansive set of company-level information and insightful data.”  Bureau van Dijk and Dun & Bradstreet have 50X the active company coverage including detailed global linkage, risk models, and multi-year financial data.  Bureau van Dijk also offers the Zephyr database, an M&A and funding dataset with over twenty years of closed, pending, and rumored deals.  Where DataFox may have an advantage is in their focus on mid-size and emerging companies which have been recently funded, but this is a small subset of the company universe.

DataFox will continue to sell and support its products.  However, the DataFox roadmap and product line are fluid:

“Oracle is currently reviewing the existing DataFox product roadmap and will be providing guidance to customers in accordance with Oracle’s standard product communication policies. Any resulting features and timing of release of such features as determined by Oracle’s review of DataFox’s product roadmap are at the sole discretion of Oracle. All product roadmap information, whether communicated by DataFox or by Oracle, does not represent a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract.”

Along with AI insights, Oracle called out the needs for quality data to back data maintenance, artificial intelligence, and business signals.

Customer Data Challenges (Oracle Presentation, October 23, 2018)
Customer Data Challenges (Oracle Presentation, October 23, 2018)

DataFox has over 275 customers including Goldman Sachs, Bain & Company, Outreach, Live Ramp, and Twilio.

DataFox raised $19 million in funding.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.  In January 2017, DataFox was valued at $33 million by Pitchbook.

Oracle should study Salesforce’s acquisition of Jigsaw (later renamed Data.com) as a cautionary tale.  Software companies struggle in selling data files as company and contact data decays rapidly and it is difficult to push data quality above 90% absent large editorial investments.  Furthermore, Jigsaw never represented more than 1% of Salesforce revenue so quickly fell off of the company’s internal radar.  The firm is now looking to decommission Data.com and asking its AppExchange partners to fill the sales intelligence and data hygiene gap left in its absence.  Coincidentally, DataFox is one of Salesforce’s Lightning Data partners.

On the positive side, LinkedIn hit $1.3 billion last quarter and has thrived under Microsoft’s ownership.  However, LinkedIn was a much more mature company at acquisition than DataFox with multiple revenue streams and a unique user generated content model.  Microsoft has provided LinkedIn with development capital and allowed it to maintain its independence.  It has also looked to leverage LinkedIn and Microsoft strengths when building sales and marketing products, instead of simply copying other vendors.  For example, Sales Navigator continues to respect the privacy of its members while using aggregated data to provide hiring and employment insights that other companies cannot deliver.  Navigator has also added strong messaging tools (chat, InMail, and PointDrive) which work around its lack of company emails.  Other innovations include SNAP workflow connectors, its new Pipeline CRM updating tool, and Buyer’s Circle for identifying the buying committee at large firms.