On its earnings call last week, ZoomInfo announced a pair of acquisitions that closed on April 1: Comparably (discussed yesterday) and Dogpatch Advisors.
Dogpatch Advisors is a “modern sales advisory consultancy that helps enterprises scale revenue operations, build sales playbooks, use data and insights to create and refine sales, and build outbound operations functions.” In addition, Dogpatch will “enable ZoomInfo to further drive Enterprise and Strategic revenue through expanded customer playbooks that utilize more data and product categories.”
Dogpatch was immediately rebranded as ZoomInfo Labs, providing a “new go-to-market thought leadership team” that “drives go-to-market data analysis, product enhancements, and strategy for our enterprise customers.”
Dogpatch CEO Ben Salzman will be heading up ZoomInfo Labs.
“This will immediately expand our capabilities for enterprises and drive enhancements across our suite of products,” stated Schuck. “Over time, we expect ZoomInfo Labs to put the modern go-to-market playbook within reach of every company.”
“Dogpatch Advisors is professional services and consultancy firm that helps enterprises build out their go-to-market efforts using data and insights and software to make those go-to-market efforts incredibly effective and efficient. And when we talk with our customers and our prospects…they want a world where their go-to-market motions are driven by data, where our software is interconnected seamlessly, where they have the ability to run innovative sales playbooks, but they don’t have a pathway to get there.
What we’re hoping to do with ZoomInfo Labs is to provide a mechanism to help our customers see a future that’s innovative, that’s data-driven, where systems are integrated and talk to each other, where our data cloud sits at the foundation of that, and our application layer drives the interconnectivity of that motion… [ZoomInfo Labs] is designed to help our customers not only see that vision but then also achieve that.”
ZoomInfo CFO Cameron Hyzer
Both acquisitions closed on April 1 but were announced on May 2. Individual deal terms were not disclosed, but the two firms were acquired for “approximately $145 million, inclusive of the purchase of a convertible promissory note and cash, net of cash acquired, subject to adjustments for working capital, transaction-related equity awards, and other customary adjustments.”
ZoomInfo also agreed to pay up to $28 million in equity awards “subject to continued employment and/or attainment of certain financial metrics.”
“We expect these acquisitions to contribute revenue in the low teens millions of dollars in 2022 and create a modest drag on margins of one to two points for the remaining quarters this year,” said Hyzer.
CEO Cameron Hyzer said that Dogpatch was more than an acquihire deal. While it has a small employee base, Dogpatch has “relationships and a history of really delivering great go-to-market consulting engagements for large clients.”
“It’s a handful of people, but I think that they very much box outside of [its weight] class in terms of the value they’re able to deliver,” continued Hyzer. “And we think that by bringing that on and being able to deliver those engagements that we’ll be able to further accelerate the solutions that we’re offering as well.”
At its earnings call last week, ZoomInfo announced a pair of acquisitions: Comparably and Dogpatch Advisors (rebranded as ZoomInfo Labs). Comparably builds out ZoomInfo’s capabilities and content in the recruitment space while Dogpatch provides ZoomInfo with professional services capabilities around data deployment and playbook development.
Comparably is a SaaS provider of employer branding, recruitment marketing, and an employee review platform. Comparably surveys and collects culture insights and compensation data directly from verified employees. It also publishes the “Best Places to Work Awards.” Comparably serves “a large portion” of the Fortune 500 and had over 20 million global visitors last year. Comparably helps syndicate awards across major business and news outlets.
“ZoomInfo’s acquisition of Comparably represents a pitch-perfect response to these changes,” blogged Senior Content Manager Sailee Sarangdhar. “Comparably, a leading employee review website and the only platform showcasing workplace culture, salary, and corporate brand reputation data, attracts more than 3 million people per month who rely on its comprehensive data about companies of all sizes. Comparably, combined with ZoomInfo’s already formidable data and software tools, gives talent leaders and companies of all sizes more powerful ways to activate their employer brand, helping to better influence prospects and convert candidates in their pipeline.”
Comparably assists with a company’s career site, Google Search placement, featured articles, media and press, social content, and video testimonials, helping amplify employee sentiment to promote the company and its culture.
“Millions of visitors come to our website to better understand company cultures, access salary data, and get employee insights. We’ve also built a popular set of software solutions to help companies enhance their employer brand and recruitment marketing,” explained Comparably CEO Jason Nazar.
Comparably recognizes that candidates prefer to work for firms with strong leadership and healthy cultures aligned with their values.
“Simply reaching out to these candidates is no longer enough — to succeed, employers need to showcase why their workplace is one that job seekers would be proud to join,” explained Sarangdhar.
The Comparably acquisition augments RecruitingOS, which the firm is rebranding as TalentOS, and positions it as “a superior talent platform that enriches the talent search experience for recruiters.” Recruiters will also benefit from enhanced talent data fed into ZoomInfo’s “Likely to Listen” score.
Employer branded content will be integrated into ZoomInfo Engage, “enabling recruiters to leverage statistics, awards, testimonials, videos, and more in their talent sourcing efforts.”
Finally, Insights from Comparably will be deployed to ZoomInfo MarketingOS for executing targeted ad campaigns for specific roles. Sarangdhar argues that “combining the power of awareness-generating ads with website visitor insights has the potential to be a game-changer for HR and recruitment teams.”
“Job seekers are more educated and discerning than ever before, and companies are going to unseen lengths to recruit candidates of all backgrounds and skillsets,” said Nazar. “Comparably has distinguished our brand as a unique data asset reflecting fair and accurate company cultures and the most popular SaaS platform for employer branding and recruitment marketing solutions. Partnering with ZoomInfo is an incredible opportunity to continue to support millions of employees and thousands of businesses and to help revolutionize how the modern challenges of recruiting are solved.”
TalentOS, which was launched in June 2021, has been deployed by over 1,000 companies. Product customer counts and ACV grew 50% quarter-over-quarter in Q1.
New user functionality includes a guided onboarding journey and a new experience for launching initial email automation campaigns. In addition, power users can leverage an advanced Boolean search capability and a redesigned AI-powered similar companies recommendation engine for recruiting.
“With Comparably, TalentOS gives companies the ability to engage and hire candidates with much more sophistication and influence,” stated CEO Henry Schuck. TalentOS plus Comparably is a must-have combination for any company recruiting in today’s competitive work environment. As an enterprise go-to-market, we know that the best-performing enterprise companies are leveraging data, insights, and software for their revenue operations, and they are significantly outperforming go-to-market teams early on in their digitization journey. Access to high-quality, relevant data provides significant competitive advantages for all sales and marketing organizations.”
Chorus, which was acquired by ZoomInfo last summer, rolled out a mobile app for its conversational sales service. The app supports core Chorus features on Android and iOS phones. Users can listen to calls, speed them up, and pause them. They can also share key moments with colleagues via Slack, email, and text. Hashtags and @ mentions assist with tagging and sharing.
Managers and trainers can assign listening and provide feedback, which can be reviewed during walks, commutes, or downtime. Users also have access to a library of best practices spanning various topics, including objection handling, pitching to specific verticals, or value discussions.
“With Chorus, reps can review top performers’ recordings on their own schedule,” said Alyson Baber, commercial sales leader at Zoom. “They can also focus on keywords, such as a competitor’s name or pricing information, and go directly to those parts of the discussion instead of having to sit through the entire call.”
Customer Success and Account Teams can review preceding conversations, review conversations before quarterly business reviews, and share the voice of the customer or product feedback with other teams.
ZoomInfo continued its rapid growth, posting GAAP revenue of $222.3 million, up 59% year-over-year. Growth was both organic (52%) and via acquisitions (7%), with a net retention rate of 116%, up from 108% in 2020. Revenue grew 13% on a sequential basis.
Roughly half the increase in net retention was due to new functionality, and half was due to improvements in gross retention and lower down-sell rates associated with the initial shock of COVID in 2020.
CEO Henry Schuck is bullish about their new MarketingOS offering as part of RevOS. Since acquiring Clickagy 16 months ago, the firm has been building out ABM expertise in its engineering, product, strategy, and customer success teams to bring the new marketing suite to market.
“In all of our prelaunch diligence, we heard over and over again that the applications that marketers were leveraging to do account-based marketing were falling short for one main reason,” detailed Schuck. “The data being leveraged in those platforms was both inaccurate and incomplete. And that’s no surprise. Today’s ABM platforms were all designed to leverage a company’s own first-party data that exists in their CRM or marketing automation system.”
“And in 15 years of running ZoomInfo, I’ve never heard a rep manager or revenue leader describe that type of data as either complete or accurate. Yet without accurate and complete data, marketers aim advertising dollars at the wrong company and target the wrong people at those companies. They deliver fruitless leads to sales, which erodes confidence and fails to build alignment between sales and marketing. So, we built MarketingOS the same way we build every application with our best-in-class data at the foundation of the application layer…
For today’s B2B revenue teams, data, insights, technology, and orchestration are core to the motion they use to market and sell their products. But these capabilities are siloed. Some can be found in marketing tech or revenue operations, while others are in the sales tech stack.”
ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck
MarketingOS also benefits from ZoomInfo’s longstanding presence among sales teams, improving the credibility of marketing data and removing channel conflict induced by sales and marketing standardizing on different third-party reference databases.
According to Schuck, the RevOS positioning helps reps better explain ZoomInfo’s broad value proposition:
“What RevOS does for us, and what the different platform and product pillars do for us, is it gives us a cohesive story that we can tell all across our business from our enterprise business to our mid-market business to our SMB business. And we believe that the products that we’ve put together have applicability across customers of all sizes…What it does from an enablement perspective is it gives our sellers the ability to go into those conversations in a way that allows them to articulate the broad spectrum of the platform in a way that our customers are understanding much more clearly.”
ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck
It test-marketed the RevOS positioning in December and January and found that the updated messaging raised both the win rate and average sales price. RevOS messaging helps reps position Chorus, RingLead, and Engage at the beginning of conversations.
ZoomInfo, which announced the RevOS ABM Platform last week, is positioning itself as a best-of-breed platform for revenue teams. ZoomInfo offers a unified platform for sales and marketing, removing the need to stitch together many point solutions that address individual workflows or problems. With over 10,000 MarTech solutions alone (according to Scott Brinker of ChiefMartec), selecting and integrating many services has become increasingly difficult. Conversely, go-to-market platforms such as ZoomInfo ABM Platform manage data, workflow, analytics, forecasting, and communications.
ZoomInfo is not looking to displace systems of record such as CRMs or MAPs but to synchronize with them and enrich their data. For the past few years, it has been growing beyond traditional sales intelligence (companies, contacts, technographics, event triggers) to workflow, data orchestration, and engagement tools (webforms, visitor intelligence, programmatic marketing, chat, triggered workflows, sales cadences, engagement analytics, conversational intelligence, pipeline forecasting, etc.). In 2021 it shifted from content acquisitions (e.g., Zoom Information contacts, Clickagy intent, Everstring business graphs) to orchestration (e.g., RingLead) and Engagement (e.g., Insent chat and Chorus Conversational Intelligence and forecasting) acquisitions.
Likewise, ZoomInfo’s expanded product offerings support Sales Engagement, Recruitment, and ABM.
“We significantly expanded our offering by developing an application layer on top of our best-in-class data assets and acquiring and quickly integrating chat conversation intelligence and orchestration technology into the platform,” explained Schuck. “These innovations enabled us to add more new customers than ever before and drove increasing levels of sales to existing customers and record net revenue retention of 116%, up from 108% in 2020.”
From a GTM perspective, ZoomInfo is not looking to verticalize its platform but focus more on functional specialization. As a result, the new RevOS platform positioning focuses on four functions: Marketing, Sales, Operations, and Recruitment.
“It’s more aligned around personas that we sell to,” explained Schuck. “The new packaging and models that we’re rolling out are aligned around persona, so a sales persona, a marketing persona, an operations persona, and a recruiter and talent acquisition persona. And that’s the way we really think about our offering and the way that we take them to market.”
ZoomInfo announced the immediate availability of its new MarketingOS ABM Platform. The service is part of a broader RevOS offering that supports marketing, sales, operations, and recruitment. MarketingOS consolidates ZoomInfo’s legacy marketing capabilities, bringing together two recent acquisitions, Insent and RingLead, with new programmatic and audience management functionality.
ZoomInfo also refined its positioning statement from Revenue Acceleration to Revenue Operating System. It stated that RevOS is “the World’s only revenue operating system of its kind.”
“Our comprehensive B2B database is the key differentiator that sets MarketingOS apart from other ABM solutions,” said ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck. “ZoomInfo’s unique data science algorithms allow marketers to connect with the right prospects at precisely the right time. No other solution on the market combines the power of data-driven insights and marketing-optimized workflows like ZoomInfo’s MarketingOS.”
“Marketers typically fail because the data in most ABM platforms is both inaccurate and incomplete. Current ABM solutions are designed to leverage companies’ own first-party data, which exists in their customer relationship management or marketing automation systems. Without quality data, marketers pour advertising dollars at the wrong prospects and companies, and, as a result, deliver fruitless leads to sales and waste time and resources. With ZoomInfo’s best-in-class data and intelligence at its foundation, MarketingOS enables marketers to effectively reach target accounts and drive qualified leads for sales.”
New functionality includes social and display advertising, abandoned from tracking, and audience targeting. Marketing can build audiences and track campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Marketing can also build campaigns and manage them programmatically through Clickagy DSP (ZoomInfo) or TradeDesk.
Marketing OS looks to address the “Funnel Famine” suffered by traditional marketing teams. Several issues cause Funnel Famine: crowded B2B advertising channels, dirty data, leaky black-box marketing campaigns, siloed data, and sales’ longtime distrust of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs).
“Most marketing programs begin with data, whether it’s for tailoring your communications, whether it’s for sending an email, whether it’s for sending a direct mail. It’s all about those accounts that you’re targeting and the professionals at those accounts,” explained ZoomInfo SVP of Product Strategy and Product Marketing Justin Withers to GZ Consulting. “And the reality is that a lot of data, especially if it’s pulled from the CRM or other systems, is outdated. It’s inaccurate. It’s incomplete, and that can actually pollute or even inhibit the lead flow at the top of the funnel, and [it] ultimately leads to poor conversion. It leads to leaks in the funnel, and all this hard work that marketers put in at every stage of the funnel ultimately spills out before it can even reach sales.”
The reality is that the sales and marketing funnels operate in parallel, not sequentially, as represented in traditional funnel diagrams. MarketingOS lets marketers run account-based programs in parallel with sales running account-based sales programs “so that everyone’s aligned at every step of the funnel.”
Under current processes, sales and marketing operate in parallel to each other with little coordination and a single point of handoff for MQLs, a situation that “really doesn’t set marketing up for success…and it leaves sales in a bind,” continued Withers. Thus, marketing complains that sales teams ignore its leads, and sales reps complain about the quality and quantity of marketing-sourced leads. As a result, there is an “acute misalignment between sales and marketing.”
With MarketingOS, handoffs can occur at different points along the marketing funnel, based on the channel and prospect response.
Sales and Marketing are aligned around a set of target accounts both within and beyond the ICP. Thus, an ICP account with spiking intent will be passed to sales, even if marketing has had limited conversations. Furthermore, the rep will know that multiple individuals from the firm have visited the website or that individuals have clicked through on ads or email campaigns.
Likewise, chatbot conversations with target companies can immediately route a chat to the sales rep or schedule a call.
New functionality for managing abandoned forms can revive a prospect. ZoomInfo claims a 60% increase in lead flow with its abandoned form tracking.
MarketingOS functionality includes
Expanded targeting that leverages the full set of ZoomInfo’s first and third-party intelligence for building and activating audiences. ZoomInfo selects include firmographics, technographics, biographics (e.g., Title, 192 Job Functions, Job Levels), web forms, and uploaded lists (e.g., tradeshow lists). Other selects include business events (e.g., funding data, executive changes, projects) and over 300 company attributes (advanced data-mined firmographics such as fleet size and company benefits). Targeting also ingests account, contact, and lead attributes from Salesforce, HubSpot, and Marketo.
First and third-party intent data time outreach while buyers are in-market, helping to improve marketing and sales efficacy. Marketers can track up to 500 intent topics, with up to 50 available at a time. In addition, chat-based targeting is coming soon.
An “in-market predictive score” that identifies each prospect’s buying stage, “informing how and when marketers should engage with prospects based on their ranking and helping them to prioritize their outbound efforts on prospects who are most likely to convert.”
Campaign Management and Analytics. Marketers upload their creative, build an audience, set the budget, and select their channels.
Webforms, infused with automated enrichment, support shorter forms with reduced abandonment rates
Abandoned form tracking, with Workflows passing the lead to sales or additional nurture steps
ZoomInfo Chat (FKA Insent), a conversational marketing chatbot that leverages ZoomInfo data to score and route leads. Chat immediately passes high-scoring, live leads to sales reps. The chatbot also automates meeting scheduling.
Visitor Intelligence, with pages scored differently (e.g., Product Pages are scored higher than Career or Investor Pages)
Automated workflows triggered by intent, custom intent, WebSights visitor intelligence, Scoops (e.g., business events, projects), Funding, Technologies, and FormComplete. Workflows can also be built to expand reach across the potential buying committee by persona.
RingLead data orchestration to dedupe, cleanse, enrich, and route leads
ZoomInfo Enrich, a set of DaaS enterprise platform integrations for data enrichment and hygiene.
MarketingOS is powered by ZoomInfo’s database spanning 100 million companies, 150 million executives, technographics, intent and engagement data, and event data.
“Marketing and sales funnels work in parallel, so everyone is aligned at every step of the funnel,” explained Justin Withers, SVP of Product Strategy and Product Marketing. With MarketingOS, “sales and marketing are working in lockstep at every stage of the journey.”
Tying together intent and engagement data and processing them through ZoomInfo Workflows is the future of ABM. Intent data is employed at the top of the funnel when buyers are in the initial research phase. Once prospects have begun interacting with a vendor, most buyer behavior research falls under the engagement category (e.g., web forms, email responses, chatbots, conversational intelligence, etc.). Finally, intent data helps identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities at the tail end of the customer lifecycle.
Engagement and intent data are also valuable churn risk indicators, helping customer success and account managers detect potential cancelations or defections well before decisions have been made. In addition, intent data can show a spike in research related to product-associated topics and competitors. Engagement monitoring widens to include customer success interactions, training participation, platform usage, and general account health indicators.
“We can support your new customer acquisition with these signals,” stated Withers. “We can support your opportunity acceleration with these signals. We can also support your renewal, upsell, cross-sell motions based on different types of signals that are happening at those accounts. So, it really is a full customer lifecycle marketing solution.”
MarketingOS will be available as a pair of SKUs:
ABM Elite+: The full ABM Platform package, including RingLead Cleanse, Enrich, and Route
ABM Advanced+: Package includes everything except RingLead
“The purpose behind the two distinct offerings is to simplify our primary offering for those focused on ABM engagement and marketing programs, as opposed to the more operationally focused data orchestration capabilities,” explained ZoomInfo Analyst Relations Director Michael Basilio to GZ Consulting.
MarketingOS includes ten marketing seats and three administrative seats for RingLead routing and ZoomInfo Chat.
The broader RevOS branding consists of MarketingOS, SalesOS, OperationsOS, and RecruitingOS. ZoomInfo calls RevOS the “world’s first integrated go-to-market platform.” All four RevOS services are generally available.
ZoomInfo’s data cloud, orchestration tools (e.g., RingLead, B2B DaaS, Workflows), and engagement tools (advertising, sales engagement, web forms, chat, and conversational intelligence) are at the heart of RevOS.
“There’s nothing more important in business than successfully executing your go-to-market strategy,” states ZoomInfo in its product collateral. “Get it right, and your business flourishes. Get it wrong, and you’re toast. That’s why having one integrated go-to-market platform is so crucial. You can think of it as your revenue operating system.”
SalesOS bundles together a set of new and legacy sales tools:
Chorus, the conversational sales platform the firm acquired in July
Sales and Marketing Alignment has been a stated goal of the two functions for at least a decade, but they have operated with different datasets, metrics, objectives, and platforms. Thus, alignment was more vision than reality. By aligning ABM on a common platform and reference database, alignment is no longer impaired by an organization’s tech stack and data foundation.
“Crucially, MarketingOS lets marketing teams work from a common data foundation. Only 39% of sales and marketing teams share buyer signals, and half say it’s because their sales and marketing systems don’t integrate. The shared data foundation of SalesOS and MarketingOS tightens key handoffs and unlocks true marketing and sales alignment, eliminating conflicting records, wasted effort, and missed opportunities.”
ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck, “Introducing RevOS: The future of modern go-to-market software,” (Feb 8, 2022)
OperationsOS contains RingLead data orchestration (i.e., match, unify, dedupe, normalize, cleanse, enrich, score, and route data) and B2B DaaS services (e.g., APIs, webhooks, cloud data warehouse integrations).
Finally, RecruitingOS contains ZoomInfo Recruit, its recently launched prospecting and engagement service for HR departments and recruiters. RecruitingOS also includes a set of Applicant Tracking Service connectors.
“Recruiters can filter and reach more good-fit candidates, use pipeline management tools to collaborate and organize the hiring process, and automate the candidate outreach process,” explains Zoominfo. “This helps you source and connect with candidates faster, reducing the time to find and hire talent.”
Along with new product positioning, RevOS sports new logos, color palettes, styles, and a “unified in-app experience to create a singular, cohesive go-to-market solution that spans the entire suite of ZoomInfo products.” There are also redesigned data dashboards and reports that “offer a faster, more responsive experience that allows your sales, marketing, and recruitment teams to visually demonstrate ROI and how their work aligns with broader organizational objectives.”
In short, RevOS unifies sales, marketing, revenue operations, and recruitment on the same set of data, providing “the same source of truth” and “one integrated platform for every stage of the marketing and sales funnel.” “If data is the lifeblood of the modern sales organization, then go-to-market teams must have the technology to act upon that data. RevOS’ unified data tech stack gives sales, marketing, operations, and recruiting teams a single source of truth from which to launch their campaigns and go-to-market motions, simplifying internal workflows, reducing costs, and maximizing interoperability between teams,” blogged Schuck. “RevOS is the next chapter in ZoomInfo’s journey as the world’s leading go-to-market platform.”
“Since announcing ZoomInfo’s acquisition of Chorus…our team has made great strides in seamlessly making key features of the Chorus platform available to our customers. These integrations will allow sales, marketing, and operations teams to instantly use both ZoomInfo and Chorus to expand their pipelines via a data-first approach that they can’t get with any other platform on the market.”
ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck
Conversational Sales functionality has also been added to ZoomInfo’s Engage SEP. Chorus transcribes and analyzes calls, helping them build strong customer and prospect relationships and be more present during calls. For example, ZoomInfo dialer calls are recorded and stored in Salesforce while Chorus transcribes and analyzes the conversation.
Momentum Insights are available in ZoomInfo, Chorus, and Salesforce, delivering call insights wherever the rep is working. “Combined Chorus and ZoomInfo users can now view conversation and relationship insights within the ZoomInfo platform for better visibility and management of their prospect and customer pipeline,” stated the firm.
The new Chorus tab in ZoomInfo lets revenue teams see with whom they’ve engaged across the account; whether the interactions were via inbound email, outbound email, or meeting; and the most recent interaction. The Momentum Insights chart shows touchpoints over time with the ability to search by participants and activity type. Users can drill down on any of the interactions for email or call details. Audio can be reviewed from within ZoomInfo’s account and contact views.
Users can also drill down on Quick Signals or search by keyword from the Chorus tab, allowing reps to research deal risks, wow moments, negative sentiment, next steps/to-dos, timeline discovery, etc. Chorus supports hundreds of topics that can be customized. For example, companies can filter by specific competitors or product feature capabilities.
While the primary use case for Signals is rep account review, managers can use the tool for deal discussions, skill review, and coaching. Likewise, product managers can broadly investigate customer calls to research specific topics (e.g., product complaints, competitors).
When the user clicks on a signal, a textual synopsis of the discussion is provided, along with the ability to review that part of the discussion. These tools are essential for reviewing negative sentiment, pricing discussions, competitors, etc. Also, call snippets can be extracted for training (e.g., objection handling, competitive parrying, value messaging) or forwarding questions in the voice of the customer to subject matter experts or service departments.
Chorus users also benefit from the integration, with ZoomInfo serving as the reference data set for customer contact intelligence. ZoomInfo claims that switching to ZoomInfo’s database and matching logic (from Clearbit) resulted in a 33% lift in match rates and a 10X faster load time for contact records in Chorus (150 MS). Enriched company and contact intelligence include department, job function, seniority level, business email, phones, industry, location, and company.
According to Chorus, ten percent of calls have attendees that were not announced, leaving the rep blind to the role and importance of the additional attendees. In other cases, a third party is mentioned, but that individual is not in attendance. In either case, ZoomInfo will surface contact information for these individuals, helping fill out the Buying Committee. ZoomInfo also recommends personas who are likely Buying Committee members, fostering multi-threaded discussions across the Demand Unit.
“In addition to helping you expand across your deals, you’ll gain a new understanding of which deals are more likely to close, helping improve your forecast accuracy and visibility across your pipeline,” blogged Senior Director of Customer & Product Marketing Sophie Cheng. “ZoomInfo’s rich company insights like noteworthy scoops (news and events), intent data, and reporting relationships, infused with Chorus’ new Momentum suite will help paint a clearer picture of the entire relationship context like who’s involved in each deal, what’s being discussed, and the likelihood to close.”
CEO Kyle Porter launched SalesLoft nearly ten years ago and the SEP Cadence product (its flagship) in late 2014. To recharge and reflect, he took a sabbatical earlier this summer to his family’s tangerine grove.
“One of my biggest conclusions was that I’m given this thing another ten years. So I’m committed to running this business and outlasting and out-executing and out-innovating others in the market.
Another one of those conclusions was [that] we don’t really compare ourselves to the competition. We focus entirely on our customers’ needs, and delivering them the best digital sales combination and workspaces that ever existed…I see all of these companies as different than SalesLoft. We’re very unique. We’re unique in the way that we show care for our customers and each other. We’re unique in the way we innovate and bring new ideas to market and trailblaze the path for digital sales. We’re unique in how we combine these multiple different new, impactful digital solutions into one workspace for our customers.”
SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter (GZ Consulting Interview 8/20/21)
Porter is “exploring multiple options” to remain an independent business and continue growing SalesLoft’s market presence. Doing so entails getting “better and better over time at serving our customers [and] at innovating in the marketplace.”
The firm is also preparing for a future IPO. “We’re going down the road to build a public business prior to being a public business,” commented Porter. “And so we’re putting that governance in place [and] those financial controls in place. You see the independent board member being added. We’ve got an opportunity to continue that with an audit committee chair and another independent board member.”
“I’d love this to be a public business,” continued Porter. “And if that’s what’s right for the company, that’s what will happen.”
Porter is also proud of his ownership structure, saying that SalesLoft has the “cleanest cap table” and fewest investors amongst companies in the space that have reached scale. The presence of Jason Green of Emergence Capital and Jeff Horing of Insight Capital also gives him confidence. Porter views them as “invest and hold” partners. Both serve on SalesLoft’s Board.
Porter has a great deal of respect for ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck, whom he met at Dreamforce in 2013. “It’s amazing to see what they’ve done. He’s an inspiration and role model for us, definitely a different business with data at the core. We no longer do data. And they’ve moved into the application space. But this is a giant market, and [in] some of the areas they play, we’ve got more experience and capabilities and history and lessons learned and edge case analysis that we’ve been through. And in some of the areas, primarily the data side, he’s got more experience and capabilities. So, we’re excited to see what they’re doing. I love reading his quarterly reports and learning what’s on his mind. He and I stay in touch regularly. It’s a joy to be in the category with people you love and respect.”
Porter would like to return to live conferences but expects to initially host “smaller, more intimate settings” such as a fifty-person CRM summit or a sales operations leader event. Later on, Porter looks forward to hosting large events again, such as their 2,000-person Atlanta Rainmaker conference held in 2019.
Last month’s InStereo acquisition is going “incredibly well.” The acquisition of one of its service partners brought SalesLoft “capabilities to serve our most critical enterprise customers.” The purchase was prompted by feedback from their joint customers who told Porter “how amazing” the InStereo team was in delivering “critical experiences to help them push the boundaries of modern revenue.”
Furthermore, “there were just such good relationships” between the companies that it allowed everybody to “hit the ground running once the transaction closed. SalesLoft employment has grown 50% since the beginning of the pandemic and now stands at 615 headcount.
ZoomInfo has been talking about its LTV/CAC (Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost) ratio for a few years and is now boasting about its sales efficiency ratio. For every dollar the firm invests in Sales and Marketing, it is growing $1.50 to $2.00 in revenue with even better results on the retention business side. These values are well above the SaaS industry average and indicate that the firm should increase its revenue operations investment.
“On the new business side, we aim for somewhere between one and a half to two X return for every dollar that we spend on a customer. And then on the retention and growth or account management side, we look for a six to eight X return for every dollar that we spend there. It’s a super-efficient go-to-market motion. Most software businesses, you put a dollar in, you get like 70 cents out in the first year. We’re putting a dollar in and getting one and a half to two X out.”
ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck
Schuck described their go-to-market efficiency as one of their “big strategic levers” when acquiring firms with less mature go-to-market motions. ”So when we find companies that don’t have a very sophisticated go-to-market motion, that aren’t truly optimized in the way that they get clients, they’re not doing one and a half to two X efficiency or a 15 X LTV to CAC. Those are great fits for us.”
ZoomInfo has a track record of improving sales efficiency, helping unlock value in acquired assets where the go-to-market motions are aligned. “In our big acquisitions – RainKing, ZoomInfo, and, most recently, Chorus.AI — we really felt like we could leverage the go-to-market motion to accelerate growth within those companies. That’s a key piece.”
When DiscoverOrg acquired RainKing, which had a $40 million ARR, he was convinced that DiscoverOrg could treble their EBITDA to $30 million and accelerate their top-line growth within six months. Within one year of acquiring RainKing, DiscoverOrg’s market valuation grew from roughly $600 million to $2 billion.
One of the inherent advantages of SalesTech is you don’t have to teach sales reps the value and use cases of your product. This shortens ZoomInfo’s ramp time for new reps from several quarters to four months. “it makes it way easier for you to be able to sell to your counterpart on the other end of the line. It’s a big difference for us,” said Schuck.
ZoomInfo heavily hires sales reps directly out of college or soon after and trains them as SDRs, responding to inbound leads and performing outbound prospecting. “In nine months, we start promoting them into the account executive role. So we got value out of them in that ramp time. Then four months after they’ve gone into the account executive role, they’re fully ramped. Thirteen months from when you’ve never sold something until you’re an account executive at one of the fastest-growing technology companies in the country, that’s a really fun promotion to see.”
And because ZoomInfo is hiring sales reps to sell sales and marketing solutions, Schuck does not consider complicated or technical product categories for acquisition. Instead, he looks for solutions that broadly meet the needs of his 20,000 customers and which are easy to understand. Chorus.AI, the Conversation Intelligence vendor that ZoomInfo acquired last month, fits the bill: “We use it, all of our sellers use it. It’s really simple to understand, ‘Hey, we’re going to record and transcribe all your calls, and then you can go do instant coaching on the key moments in those calls’,” remarked Schuck.
ZoomInfo has not been shy about acquiring companies in its bid to become a leading revenue acceleration company. This morning, they announced the acquisition of Chorus.AI, a leading Conversation Intelligence company. While most of its deals have been small, Chorus has the opportunity to leverage ZoomInfo’s company and contact intelligence with rich engagement data and analytics, placing the firm at the center of the rapidly growing Conversation Intelligence market.
Chorus employs machine learning and AI to “capture and analyze” calls, meetings, and emails, digitizing customer interactions, and capturing insights for revenue teams and sales management. As a result, sales reps can be more present during calls as they no longer need to capture action items and take notes while leading sales meetings. Automating insight capture allows them to be better engaged during the call, avoiding those awkward pauses for note-taking.
While not discussed in the press release, combining Chorus’ NLP with Insent should raise bot performance and become another leg of conversation intelligence at the top of the funnel.
The expanded ZoomInfo will support and assess a broad set of digital touchpoints for intent and engagement:
Chorus also assists with buying committee discovery. While ZoomInfo has long supported contact discovery at the account level, monitoring engagement to determine who is involved in deals and who is being referenced in conversations is the next major step in buying committee discovery, moving it from educated guesswork to a scientific approach. Once committee members are identified, Chorus monitors conversations for sentiments, motivations, and concerns, helping gauge deal health. ZoomInfo will supply Chorus with rich company and contact information fed to customer CRMs and continuously maintained by ZoomInfo’s APIs and connectors.
Chorus’ Momentum Insights, released in December, helps revenue teams understand customer relationships, improve their forecasting, identify which interactions propel deals forward, and flag deal risks.
“Momentum Insights will unlock learnings never before available from the CRM to harness the most valuable dataset available—conversations with customers,” said Chorus CEO Jim Benton at the time. “This will empower revenue teams to solve complex problems which require strong relationships, and relationships ultimately drive revenue. Reps get exactly what they need to engage and personalize their efforts, while leadership is able to trust the unbiased data aggregated from each opportunity to inform critical business decisions.”
“By integrating keyword trackers from Chorus into ZoomInfo, revenue teams will also be able to create audiences based on insights from conversations, flag deals and renewals that could be in jeopardy, and trigger alerts to address concerns in real-time,” stated ZoomInfo.
The deal added $18 billion to the company’s TAM, raising it to $70 billion. The acquisition is “expected to be accretive to growth immediately, generate adjusted operating profits within 12 months, and be accretive to cash flow in the second half of FY 2022.”
“ZoomInfo is the only company that can marry a best-in-class data layer with world-class go-to-market applications,” said CEO Henry Schuck. “The acquisition of Chorus will accelerate our vision to deliver a modern go-to-market platform that brings together best-in-class intelligence with comprehensive data management, workflow, and engagement software, empowering companies to effectively execute their revenue-generating strategies. With the largest Conversation Intelligence patent portfolio in the industry, Chorus will advance each aspect of our vision by surfacing a new category of insights, illuminating new workflows, and enabling more targeted engagement at scale.”
CEO Henry Shuck has been open to both large and small deals, so long as the combination of ZoomInfo and the acquired company drives significant growth in revenue at the acquisition. A few decades ago, the term was synergy, but that phrase was used so often to describe failed deals that it is now verboten when describing acquisitions. However, ZoomInfo with Chorus has the opportunity to grow significantly faster than as a standalone organization.
As with the recently acquired Insent.AI and Clickagy, Chorus will benefit from access to the breadth, depth, and quality of ZoomInfo’s B2B dataset and access to ZoomInfo’s Go To Market strategy and efficient sales processes. With an LTV / CAC ratio greater than ten, ZoomInfo should be able to efficiently cross-sell and upsell Chorus’ analytics across its 20,000 customers.
Chorus also sets up ZoomInfo’s new Engage platform to challenge market leaders SalesLoft and Outreach. Chorus is one of the leading Conversation Intelligence firms.
“We are thrilled about the opportunity to join forces with ZoomInfo and bring Conversation Intelligence to every revenue team,” said Jim Benton, Chorus.ai CEO, who will join ZoomInfo as SVP, Emerging Products. “ZoomInfo has a bold vision of delivering a world-class go-to-market platform that empowers companies to drive better execution and more revenue. Chorus will play a vital role in helping deliver on that promise with deep, A.I.-driven insights based on real interactions with prospects and customers, a previously untapped source of crucial data about their relationships.”
Frost & Sullivan named Chorus a 2021 Customer Value Leader in Conversation Intelligence. “Frost & Sullivan finds Chorus’ value proposition is multi-faceted as it offers vital benefits for various personnel, including sales, customer success, sales development, and frontline managers, as well as long-term solutions designed to promote employee skill growth,” wrote Samantha Fisher, Best Practices Research Analyst.
The deal was priced about $575 million in cash. The purchase price includes a cash tax benefit related to the asset purchase of more than $100 million, ZoomInfo said. The transaction will be funded with cash on hand and $500 million in additional financing.
ZoomInfo launched its Business Contact Preference Registry (BCPR), a centralized registry for recording B2B opt-out requests which will be shared across the industry. The BCPR is ZoomInfo’s latest step in burnishing its data privacy positioning.
“The collection of data is central to businesses in the B2B data industry, but the responsibility of ethical data stewardship falls onto the shoulders of each individual company,” wrote the firm. “As industry leaders in data privacy, ZoomInfo has made it easier for businesses in the B2B data marketplace to address the preferences of consumers by building, maintaining, and sharing access to the BCPR.”
“It’s critical for data-focused companies to prioritize privacy. The Business Contact Preference Registry offers businesses a convenient way to prioritize privacy by supplying the entire B2B data industry with a ready-made list of consumer opt-outs. We’re proactively sharing our opt-outs as an invitation to B2B companies to join us in putting privacy first.”
Bubba Nunnery, ZoomInfo’s Senior Director of Privacy and Public Policy
I had been flagging data privacy as a weakness in ZoomInfo’s model, which could slow their entry to the European market post-COVID, but they have been actively working to shore up their data privacy practices and demonstrate that they are respectful of the data they hold.
ZoomInfo developed a proactive data compliance program based upon “notice and choice” that notifies business professionals about ZoomInfo’s data. The program is global in scope, so not limited to countries that require notifications. ZoomInfo also expanded its data privacy team earlier this year, naming Hannah Zimmerman, ZoomInfo’s Privacy Counsel and Bubba Nunnery, Senior Director, Privacy and Public Policy.
“Our business is founded on the trust our customers have in our data,” said General Counsel Anthony Stark back in March. “Collecting data is central to all businesses, and it’s our job to be ethical stewards of the data we hold. ZoomInfo adheres to its core privacy tenets of transparency and control, showcasing that we are respectful of the rights of consumers while providing critical service to our customers.”
In May, ZoomInfo announced that it received GDPR and CCPA Practices Validation from TrustArc, saying that its policies “are in line with the strictest privacy regulations in the world.”
“Organizations of all sizes must become privacy-forward to earn the trust of their customers,” said Chris Babel, CEO, TrustArc. “ZoomInfo understands that building trust requires an ongoing, scalable approach to data privacy. The organization has consistently prioritized privacy as the enabler of a better experience for its customers and their subscribers, and the TrustArc GDPR and CCPA Validations reinforce that standing.”
“ZoomInfo is leading the way in data privacy. We are working to accept opt-outs from other vendors as part of our efforts to elevate privacy standards across the B2B data industry.”
CEO Henry Schuck
The BCPR is an excellent idea, but I’m not sure whether the registry should be hosted by one of the major vendors in the space. ZoomInfo plans on accepting opt outs from other vendors, but It is unclear whether other vendors would promote ZoomInfo in the lead data collection role. Preferably, it would be hosted by a government agency such as the FTC, which manages the US Do Not Call Registry, or a neutral body similar to the ICANN domain registry. DataGrail, a leader in data privacy compliance, could administer an independent database across businesses and consumers.