At last month’s Growth Acceleration Summit, ZoomInfo previewed a lead scoring feature which will be available later this year. Users will build models for ideal customers and the associated scores will be displayed across the product including in lists, profiles, and enriched web leads. The goal is to “customize ZoomInfo to each and every one of you,” said CMO Hila Nir at her Product Roadmap presentation. Customization also includes routing and territory management. ZoomInfo will continue to offer tools which foster sales and marketing alignment and look to “take noise out of sales and marketing organizations.”
The company hinted at email templating and territory dashboards, but did not provide details on these future product concepts beyond conference screenshots. Email templating is most commonly found in Sales Engagement services such as Outreach, SalesLoft, and ConnectLeader.
While Zoominfo has not released financials, Garlick indicated that the firm had a strong 2017 marked by “really fast revenue growth.” The firm also added over 100 staff and 2,000 customers in the past year. He attributed the firm’s success to hard work, teamwork, sweat, and tears.
ZoomInfo pricing is a hybrid between number of seats and number of records licensed. While the firm used to be transparent about its pricing, they stopped posting such details a few years ago.
Zoominfo held its third annual Growth Acceleration Summit in Boston last month. The event projected increasing marketing confidence by the firm, with Earvin “Magic” Johnson keynoting and lectures by many of the top sales and marketing thought leaders including Jay Baer, Convince & Convert; Tiffani Bova, Salesforce; and Keenan, A Sales Guy, Inc. Analyst sessions included Sirius Decisions, Heinz Marketing, and Forrester.
The event also provided a forum for announcing ZoomInfo’s latest Growth Acceleration Platform features. New capabilities include a revamped ReachOut 2.0 Chrome Connector and a HubSpot Connector.
Magic, who has a long history of success in business and team ownership, provided personal anecdotes about his basketball and business career. Key pointers includied hiring self-motivated staff that are smarter than you so as to continuously renew the organization; make sure you over deliver on customer expectations; and reward your staff, not just executives, as it is the staff that will ensure your ability to continuously over deliver; Finally, he said that there are too many competitors out there to ever relax – both businesses and athletes need to continuously improve.
The new Hubspot connector allows users to upload Accounts and Contacts to Hubspot with a click of a button from either a browser or the ReachOut Chrome connector. The HubSpot integration also supports ZoomInfo Complete which provides on demand enrichment at record creation. ZoomInfo Complete for HubSpot is currently in beta.
ReachOut 2.0 streamlines account and contact research from within Chrome, providing instant access to ZoomInfo intelligence while browsing. The service is context sensitive, providing company and contact profiles based upon the current LinkedIn record, URL, or CRM record being viewed. The service also supports quick export to Salesforce, Hubspot, Microsoft Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft. When expanded into an 80% screen view, full company and contact intelligence is displayed. Company insights include location, firmographics, people at company by job function, company locations with contacts and location counts per geography, technologies used (licensed from HG Data), and competitors (licensed from Owler). Contact data includes company intelligence along with an expanded set of social links and contact details.
The 80% ReachOut expanded view supports full prospecting both across companies and within a single firm. Users can quickly select records and share them to CRM (Salesforce, MS Dynamics, HubSpot) or Sales Engagement platforms (Outreach, SalesLoft). Being able to enlarge to the 80% view allows Zoominfo to pack a full-featured offering into ReachOut, helping it expand from a tool to a full-service product.
ReachOut now supports user tagging allowing users to store campaigns, lead source, etc.
“If you combine your own intelligence with Big Data, you create for yourself a crystal ball that gives you the ability to focus your attention on the most important things that need to get done,” said CEO and Chief Scientist Yonatan Stern. “When you focus, it doesn’t cost you more money, but you can increase productivity and profitability.”
“Over the last year, we have doubled down on our strategy of making ZoomInfo’s contact and company data available on the platforms where our customers live,” said Phil Garlick, VP of corporate development. “In keeping with that strategy, we have released two new products that integrate seamlessly with a host of platforms and systems our customers use.”
Also unveiled at the Summit was ZoomInfo’s new ZoomInfo University certification program, “a comprehensive, hands-on certification program that enables B2B professionals to fully leverage its B2B contact and account database for business results.”
The new training program teaches best practices around persona development, lead scoring and routing, market segmentation and territory management, campaign strategies, and data management.
“ZoomInfo University is designed to strengthen your knowledge of the industry and usage of the entire ZoomInfo Product Suite,” said Garlick. “It’s both a deep dive of capabilities and the beginning of a lasting growth acceleration journey.”
ZoomInfo continues to be confident in their data quality due to their Community product which provides them with access to email signature blocks. According to a sales rep, records updated within the past year have a 90% deliverability rate. He noted, however, that deliverability will vary by industry and function due to the underlying contact decay rates of various segments. For high decay functions (e.g. sales) and industries (e.g. high tech), he suggested using the six-month update select to ensure receiving the highest quality leads.
I had the distinct pleasure of attending a keynote by Earvin “Magic” Johnson at Zoominfo’s Growth Acceleration Summit. As the summit was held in Boston, there were numerous anecdotes about Celtic great Larry Bird and their rivalry, but the key business-related anecdote was that you have to continuously improve. Bird was a great competitor that forced Magic to up his game. They were great rivals that made each other better and raised the quality of the game.
There were also a set of business insights as Johnson has taken his game discipline to business. A few of his tips:
Find underserved markets and tailor your product to those markets — For Magic, the biggest underserved market was the inner cities. He knew that there were few movie theaters in urban America even though the per capita theater spend of African Americans was high. His first theater in LA had the 10th highest gross in the country. He then convinced Starbucks that they should open coffee shops in marginalized inner city communities (and opened the first non-Starbucks owned shops). Magic tailored the music and food to the community (e.g. sweet potato pie) and his stores had a higher gross than Starbucks owned locations. The key to business success is “you have to know your customer.”
Out deliver — It’s not enough in today’s market to meet your customer’s expectations, you need to out deliver. There is no lack of competition. If you want customer retention, you need to out deliver. If you want brand ambassadors, you must out deliver. Magic Sodexho (food service) passed on its first Disney RFP and waited three years before bidding on the Disney Land contract. His firm realized that due to the size of the park, many employees had little time to eat. To support the contract, they developed kiosks and carts to bring food to the staff during their breaks. This example of out delivering helped them win the larger Disney World contract when it came up a few later.
Culture is important — Magic emphasized the value of a winning culture whether helping bring back teamwork to basketball or encouraging principles such as everybody gets onboard, no hidden agendas, and do your job. Furthermore, employees are better motivated if their company has a social mission such as bringing jobs and opportunities to Urban America.
Hire self starters and reward them — Look for young employees that come in early, leave late, and ask a lot of questions. Then give them opportunities to grow with your company. His COO began as a secretary and proved herself at each level. He also emphasized the value of rewarding all employees and not falling into the trap of rewarding only the executives. You can win the big contract, but if you only reward the execs for the victory, then you won’t have a team ready to out deliver.
Not many people have the pleasure of excelling in one field of battle. Magic has had great success in both Basketball (Hall of Fame, 5 NBA Championships, 12 All Star Teams, NCAA championship, Olympic champion) and business.
I attended the Salesforce World Tour Event in Boston yesterday and came away a bit underwhelmed. I’ve attended it for the past four or five years, so that may be part of the reason I didn’t stay for the full day.
In attending, I had several topics top of mind:
What is the future of Data.com? Will it be phased out and when? If they are attriting 30% of their revenue this year (a Dun & Bradstreet estimate), how are they guiding their customers to AppExchange solutions in lieu of Data.com?
How is Einstein being infused into their Sales Cloud? How are they ensuring that Einstein Insights are based on accurate and timely data?
What is the future of SalesforceIQ CRM technology (it is being decommissioned in 23 months)?
Meeting with Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendors on the floor.
I stopped by several of their sales and platform booths, but nobody had any answers on Data.com. This is the second year in a row in which there was no mention of data or the future of B2B prospecting, data enrichment, or sales intelligence at the event. Salesforce has never been much of a data company. They botched Data.com from Jigsaw acquisition through decommission. A few months after announcing a detailed roadmap at Dreamforce, they cancelled their Dun & Bradstreet content partnership in early 2017.
But if you are going to build analytics into your platform, license the iconic Einstein name for it, and tout it as an enabling technology for all of your clouds, then maybe you should have a strategy for ensuring that Einstein Insights are based upon quality data.
I did get to see a quick demo of Einstein Insights for the Sales Cloud. It provides lead scoring with recommendations so a sales rep can see whether a lead is likely to convert (or other goals) and review the top reasons for the score. It even goes so far as to recommend additional contacts but fails to justify those names. It appeared the names were mined using the SalesforceIQ technology, but all that was demonstrated was the name — no title, level, or reason to reach out to that individual. Salesforce is on the right track here but needs to expand its explanations for lead scores to its contact recommendations.
As to sales and marketing intelligence, there was only one vendor on the floor — Zoominfo. They were demonstrating their new Clean and Complete services for Salesforce. Clean provides batch account, contact, and lead record enrichment while Complete provides account, contact, and lead record appends during data entry and batch upload. Due to the depth of the Zoominfo database, the Complete service has an 80% account match rate and a 65% contact match rate.
Both services support custom mapping. Pricing is based upon record volume.
The keynote lacked the energy of prior years when Keith Block, COO, performed the duties. While Sarah Franklin, EVP of Developer Relations did a fine job, Block is from Boston and made sure the event was localized. Missing this year were sports heroes (e.g. Tom Brady, Bill Belichick) and the Drop Kick Murphys. If you want to wake up a 10:00 AM keynote, the Drop Kicks and their Irish punk are a great way to do so.
I’m a sailor peg
And I’ve lost my leg
Climbing up the top sails
I’ve lost my leg!
I’m shipping up to Boston, whoa…
“I’m Shipping up to Boston,” Drop Kick Murphys
There was a presentation on Year Up (an inner city business training program) with a local success story, but the 75 minutes were basically rehashed Dreamforce partner videos and content with a focus on B2C. Even the B2B example, 21st Century Fox, was equally a promo for “Dead Pool 2” and other Fox properties as it was a demo of Quip and its marketing and project management tools. The distributor relations aspect of the story was a bit light.
So let’s bring back Keith Block next year and expand the exhibition space. The Hynes Exhibitor Floor was too crowded, too hot, and too noisy.
I don’t mean to grouse. Salesforce is a terrific company. They have a strong social mission, a market leading product, and an ability to keep things fun. It’s just that this year didn’t match prior Boston events, and the company has diversified into so many clouds and capabilities that the Sales Cloud and Sales Partner solutions get crowded out.
Poor data quality is a disease which slowly destroys the value of your marketing database. Quality is damaged through incomplete information, poor data entry, and data decay. A traditional response is to purchase new records, but this only provides a temporary (and expensive) respite from your data quality issues.
The data I’ve seen indicates that contacts decay at a 25 to 30 percent annual rate. This means that a prospect list that is 90 percent accurate today will be little more than 50% accurate two years later. Thus, a prospect list purchase strategy is like steroids, it makes your marketing database look healthier on the day the list is purchased, but it simply masks the growing disease within your database. Treating one or two symptoms does not address the underlying problem — a lack of a broad, continuous data strategy.
However, if you take a holistic view around data quality which includes continuous DaaS validation, ABM look-a-likes, web form enrichment, lead-to-account mapping, duplicate management, data standardization, and reference database appends, you will have a healthy database that ensures your MAP and CRM platforms contain the richest, most accurate data.
Vendors that support holistic data quality include ReachForce, D&B Optimizer (FKA Workbench), Zoominfo, InsideView, Oceanos, and Openprise. So if you are concerned about your ability to target, segment, pass quality leads to sales, score leads, or build predictive models, then begin with a holistic data strategy. Symptoms of poor data quality include high email bounce rates, declining email sender scores, returned direct mail, duplicate records, incomplete records, accelerating unsubscribe rates, and sales reps that ignore your marketing qualified leads.
Any firm that is adopting ABM, advanced lead scoring, a single view of the customer, or predictive analytics, should begin with a holistic data quality strategy. Otherwise, these advanced marketing strategies are bound to fail.
As we are one month away from the new year, it is a good time to think about budgeting for data quality in 2018.
I know it isn’t glamorous, but that doesn’t mean it is unnecessary.
Data Quality software is markedly improved over the past few years. No longer is it necessary to download and forward a file to a vendor and wait for them to process your marketing file. Sales and Marketing Operations can now setup automated cloud cleansing that works within Marketo, Eloqua, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and other enterprise applications. B2B vendors to consider include Dun & Bradstreet, InsideView, Zoominfo, and ReachForce.
These platforms perform both initial batch match & append and ongoing enrichment, ensuring that your sales and marketing files have both accurate and complete data. These services also support company and contact prospecting, data health reports, suppression lists, and segmentation reporting. A few even offer free data quality reports, deduplication, technographic enrichment, nixie files (defunct companies and departed exec files), web form support, sales intelligence services, and contact verification and standardization (e.g. address, phone, and email) for non-matched records.
As these services reside in the cloud and offer cloud connectors for the major MAPs and CRMs, the operational overhead is minimal allowing operations to focus on ABM look-a-likes, segmentation, and improved targeting instead of file management.
What’s more, data quality improvements benefit sales, marketing, and downstream systems. A record cleansed and verified as it is created costs much less than a bad record passed down to other enterprise platforms. Beyond direct cost reduction (storing bad data, marketing to departed execs, sales calls to abandoned voicemails, reduced time keying and updating records manually), there are improvements to segmentation, targeting, lead scoring, lead routing, and messaging.
So budget for data quality in 2018. It isn’t glamorous, but it is effective.
ZoomInfo unveiled the 2.0 version of its Growth Acceleration Platform to customers at its Growth Acceleration Summit in Boston this month. Amongst the new features are a refreshed user interface, email tools, and expanded prospecting variables including Product / Vendor technographic selects. The upgraded platform is currently in beta with general availability in Q4.
According to the firm, “ZoomInfo’s Growth Acceleration platform combines the most comprehensive and actionable B2B market intelligence with tools that help optimize sales and marketing effectiveness, jumpstart growth, and maximize proﬁtability.”
The new user interface is cleaner and supports dynamic display which adjusts by form factor. All of the pages, including company and contact profiles, employ a common look and feel. Prospecting was simplified with complex stacked queries being less prominent. However, they are still available to ZoomInfo’s data services team and power users.
Prospecting added product / vendor selects licensed from HG Data. Multiple products may be entered for screening with the system defaulting to a Boolean OR (AND is supported, but the user needs to enter a multi-product Boolean string with AND logic).
Prospect lists may be maintained as dynamic lists (saved searches) or as fixed saved lists. The system displays updated counts as each variable is selected. Zoominfo also allows users to suppress contacts purchased in lists in the past six months from search results and when building other lists.
Records may be uploaded from Outlook, Office 365, and Salesforce for enhancement and targeting. Enhanced list analytics include pre and post data quality scores along with segmentation analysis. The Enhance Preview provides an analysis of the input data quality file, as well as a detailed report on what information was added, corrected, or confirmed using ZoomInfo’s data. The Data Profile tool shows users a breakdown of information about the user’s list, including top industries, job titles, revenues, and employee count.
Users can also upload an ABM account list for key contact targeting.
Company profiles include an expanded set of social media links (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube), related companies (licensed from Owler), and technology data. Tech data is displayed as summary product counts by category. The rep clicks on the product category to expand it by product. Unfortunately, the service does not support customized filtering of products or categories by key competitors or complementary platforms. As HG Data supports thousands of products, it would be a nice enhancement to support pre-configured product categories and products. Otherwise, valuable account planning insights may be obscured.
Contact profiles now display more information about the company associated with the profile without the need to navigate to a separate profile.
The ReachOut Chrome connector, which provides on-demand company and executive intelligence from websites and LinkedIn, exports to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft. Users can also send emails from within LinkedIn.
A new Outlook connector provides contact profiles from within Outlook along with one-click add to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft. Salesforce duplicate checking is employed if it is turned on. Users can upload records from Zoominfo’s ReachOut Chrome connector or Outlook as either Leads or Contacts / Accounts (previously this was only available from the Growth Acceleration Platform). ZoomInfo will create Account records for Contacts if one does not exist in SFDC.
This feature helps with researching buying committee members and influencers.
While ZoomInfo partners with Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) vendors Outreach and SalesLoft, ZoomInfo has added light ABSD email features such as email templates and live email tracking. Templates include dynamic tags for information such as contact name and company name which fill in automatically with ZoomInfo data. Emails are sent from the user’s default email program.
The ZoomInfo global database has grown to 220 million professional profiles (both active and inactive) and 13 million companies. The dataset is updated continuously based upon web crawlers and a 300,000 user community that shares email signature data. Zoominfo offers one of the deepest sets of contacts with emails and direct dial numbers.