Outreach announced that it is selling the Sales Hacker community back to its founder Max Altschuler and the GTMfund. Outreach acquired the site five years ago, and Altschuler served as the company’s CMO for several years.
Altschuler noted that sales has changed significantly over the past few years and is no longer a standalone function but part of a much expansive view of the customer relationship and go-to-market processes. Thus, the vision of Sales Hacker is being expanded to encompass the broader set of customer-facing teams.
Recognizing this change, Sales Hacker will be rebranded as GTMnow and operate as an extension of the GTMfund. The broader vision will encompass sales, marketing, customer success, operations, and product.
“Sales Hacker had an amazing, decade-long run, but sales is no longer siloed, and we saw an opportunity to transform it into something geared toward the broader GTM space,” Altschuler explained to GZ Consulting.
The new GTMnow website launched yesterday. The site offers a weekly newsletter, podcast, videos, and articles.
“Sales Hacker has been such a great vehicle, a great platform, for educating sellers at scale,” said Outreach CEO Manny Medina. “Sales [reps] learn from other salespeople. Sales is such an art that you always can learn a tip or trick or a move from other sales folks that are deploying this in their own shops.”
“We’ll be sharing the playbooks from our experienced GTM leaders as well as the experiments we’re conducting across our 100+ portfolio companies so that you can run them too,” posted Altschuler on LinkedIn. “We’ll stay focused on producing super high-quality content showcasing the ongoing innovation happening industry-wide.”
GTMfund is an early-stage VC fund “focused on investing in the most exciting, up-and-coming B2B SaaS companies across the world.” Its LP network of over 350 VP and C-level revenue leaders come from leading SaaS companies, including DocuSign, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Snowflake, Okta, and Zoom.
“This network acts as 350+ scouts as well as an expert network for conducting due diligence on companies. Our unique value add gives us access to the deal,” states GTMfund. “We help startups with distribution. With a network of proven go-to-market leaders, startups should never have to go at it alone again. We find the best companies and support them with revenue-generating playbooks, top-tier candidates, and all-around GTM support.”
B2B Data and Intelligence vendor LeadGenius announced its expansion into the APAC region with “substantial” coverage of Japan, South Korea, Australia, and India. The firm also touts “emerging” coverage of China, Vietnam, and Uzbekistan. Simultaneously, the firm announced its new LeadGenius Plays and Rapid Enrich offerings.
“By leveraging top-performing campaigns from exceptional marketers, we help businesses launch complex data requests in seconds,” said VP of Sales and Customer Success Zeb Couch. “We are continuing to work with our clients around the world to build global B2B data aimed at increasing growth through custom signals and account insights. With over 80% of B2B data undiscovered or underutilized, we want to give our clients every tool possible for targeting and differentiation.”
LeadGenius Plays simplifies custom data campaigns and look-a-like audiences based on non-standard data characteristics. Plays also enriches files and appends missing fields.
LeadGenius employs artificial intelligence, robotic process automation (RPA), human intelligence, and curation when collecting its data.
LeadGenius also announced its Rapid Enrich real-time DaaS product this week, with coverage of enterprise, SMB, and global data.
“In the fast-paced world of B2B data, the need for a solution that offers agility, precision, and comprehensive insights was evident,” stated LeadGenius CEO Mark Godley. “With the unveiling of Rapid Enrich, we are setting a new standard for data enrichment technology, enabling our clients to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive landscape. We are thrilled to introduce Rapid Enrich as our latest innovation in providing agile, comprehensive, and industry-leading data solutions. Our relentless pursuit of excellence and commitment to our clients’ success remains our guiding principles as we continuously push the boundaries of what’s possible in the B2B data sector.”
LeadGenius emphasized its data security and privacy management. Rapid Enrich includes “contractual assurances of responsible data handling, coupled with transparent audit trails that enable businesses to maintain an unquestionable record of their data management activities.”
ABX PlatformDemandbase announced a Smarter Sales Intelligence solution that combines Demandbase Sales Intelligence with additional tools, data, and prescriptive insights. UX enhancements include prescriptive dashboards with personalized account and contact recommendations.
The firm had a little fun with its press release, publishing a semi-tongue twister headline, “Demandbase Saves Stressed Sellers by Simplifying Sales with Smarter Sales Intelligence.” But wait! There’s More! Demandbase also released a 90-second infomercial touting their Sales Intelligence solution that “consolidates sales intelligence tools in both first and third-party data, and all in one place. It’s like having a superpower for smarter selling! Get easy access to insights, best-in-class predictive models, and contact recommendations integrated within your existing tools.”
Many of the UX changes were based on customer feedback, with the critical account information at the top. Content includes the journey stage, top intent keywords, people, predictive scores, and firmographics.
“The idea is that we’re bringing all the information that sellers care about and then presenting it on one screen so that they don’t have to go places to find it,” explained Demandbase Senior Product Marketing Manager Travis Breier to GZ Consulting. “It’s a unification of the data.”
Sellers “don’t enjoy the research aspect” of account-based selling, continued Breier. “They just want to be doing outreach.” Therefore, Demandbase is “meeting the sales reps “wherever there’s spending time, whether that is their browser, CRM, or SEP.”
Prescriptive Sales Dashboards proactively inform sellers where they should direct their attention, when they should reach out, and what they should say. Both accounts and contacts are recommended, with suggestions specific to each rep’s territory. The Dashboard calls out the top accounts and contacts for outreach based on activity and intent; that is, which leads have the highest probability of converting into opportunities.
The Sales Dashboard offers multiple filters, identifying accounts that:
“I should reach out this week.”
“have been in the news recently.”
“are most engaged.”
“have the highest intent.”
“have a high likelihood to become an opportunity.”
And contacts that
“I should reach out this week.”
“Are not in my CRM.”
“Are part of the buying group and from Top Accounts.”
“Are former buyers.”
“Are trending on my website.”
High engagement lists are likely to be compelling for reps. In many cases, they will be aware of the engagement as they are directly involved. Still, there will also be situations where they are unaware of the engagement (e.g., Customer Success set up a trial at the account or individuals attended a webinar or responded to a marketing campaign) and missing an opportunity for outreach.
Recommendations are not black-boxed but include engagement data and known contacts in the buying group. If a rep disagrees with a recommendation, a feedback button helps train the model.
“One of the biggest risks when you’re trying to get adoption from the sales persona on something like this, is losing their trust,” explained Breier. “We want to give some context and qualify the recommendation that we’re making.”
Demandbase also identifies and recommends contacts for outreach, even if they aren’t currently in the CRM. Along with names and titles, Demandbase feeds emails, mobile phones, technographics, intent signals, and persona-based messaging. New fields include Demandbase’s predictive scores:
Pipeline Predict Score: How likely an account will become a pipeline opportunity.
Qualification Score: Likelihood an account will ever become a customer, regardless of where it is in the buyer journey.
Demandbase continues to build out its data coverage, with 83 million companies, 147 million contacts, 87 million emails, and 40 million direct dials. Much of its third-party content was integrated after they acquired InsideView and DemandMatrix two years ago.
Furthermore, Demandbase simplified its user interface to display the most important information about prospects and customers.
Next Quarter, an AI-based Account Planning solution, partnered with Bombora to deliver third-party intent data to its Fortune 500 Clients. Next Quarter licensed Bombora’s Company Surge data to power its White Space offering. Next Quarter recommends the next best product to sell, “along with a guided path to uncover new growth opportunities.”
Bombora’s intent file helps identify in-market customers, including upsell and cross-sell opportunities, inside of Salesforce. Churn risk is also assessed.
Engagement (activity) data is gathered from Salesforce, so Next Quarter offers recommendations based on Bombora intent and account conversations.
Features include Account Chatter, Whitespace Analysis, Relationship Maps, Competitor Assessment, Target Setting, Scenario Planning & Gap Mitigation.
Next Quarter emphasizes white space opportunities at current accounts for B2B and B2G sales. Target industries include technology, pharma, management consulting, manufacturing, and Aerospace & Defense.
“Sales reps can uncover potential white space opportunities and develop tailored solutions to meet their needs by building strong relationships with current customers and understanding their business goals,” blogged the firm. “Next Quarter gathers data from your historical sales trends for similar customers. Using AI algorithms, we provide a score (NQ Score) by combining historical sales data with intent data that identifies the top recommended products or services to sell.”
Users can perform scenario analyses that identify and present next best product recommendations based on similar customer groupings.
“Next Quarter is committed to helping customers increase revenue,” said Next Quarter CEO Rahul Shah. “By combining our account planning solution with Bombora’s Intent data, we can offer a unique competitive edge to help drive account growth through AI-based recommendations leveraging intent. Next Quarter’s Account Growth module is an AI-based account planning solution that identifies new opportunities, finds decision-makers and influencers, and suggests guided next steps for sales teams to grow existing accounts.”
Next Quarter, formerly ForecastEra, received $7.3 million in seed and equity funding in 2021. It supports over 5,000 users and expects to quintuple its base over the next year.
Named accounts include Boeing, BASF, Bloomberg BNA, Dell, and NTT Data.
Revenue Intelligence vendor Revenue Grid announced its Spring 2023 release, with a new Revenue Leaks Funnel headlining the announcement. Other features include Forecast Evolution Reports, Signals Builder enhancements, sequence management enhancements, and custom calendaring fields.
The Revenue Leaks Funnel is available as a Salesforce-native, out-of-the-box report that helps revenue teams “magically spot invisible revenue leaks, understand where they occur during the selected period, and measure the magnitude of the leaks happening across the pipeline.”
The Revenue Leaks Funnel displays how opportunities progress between stages with the average stage time. Slipped deals can be spotted and brought back on track. Leaks are called out by stage, helping management identify where deals are being lost and address stage-related issues. Revenue Ops and managers can view funnel dynamics for the previous week, month, quarter, or year.
A new Forecast Evolution Report compares different fiscal periods and tracks forecast changes. Changes over the past week are displayed, with viewing at the team or rep level. In addition, users can “see the patterns across the forecast categories over time and detect any trends in revenue leakage.”
The Signals Builder defines custom signals of specific types and assigns them to specific recipients. Revenue Grid provided the following examples:
Custom Recipient: Account Executive assigns webinar leads to BDR (custom recipient) who has to process them first and add leads to the specific post-event sequence.
Sales Leader: An opportunity was created with a value exceeding $50,000.
Sales Manager: An opportunity is less than 15 days away from the close date and is at the “Proposal Price Quote.”
Sales Representative: A Lead was created more than 30 days ago but has not been contacted yet.
A new sequence-related productivity report helps sales managers monitor sales rep action items (e.g., replies, to-do lists, notifications) and coordinate their performance. Managers can view and compare activity across their sales team.
Other sequence enhancements include searching and adding prospects to sequences from Salesforce, sequence pausing, and adding a prospect owner as a step owner in a sequence. Operations teams can add custom fields to booking confirmation forms, including text fields, labels, and checkboxes. Forms automatically fill in the email and name on Book Me confirmation pages for recurring events.
Offline Engagement Platform Postal announced the general availability of Postal ABM, its offline engagement feature for one-to-many programmatic ABM campaigns. The new capability helps marketers programmatically target and engage valued accounts and audiences in a one-to-many approach based on intent and CRM data to “personalize content at scale.” Marketers can also execute Strategic ABM campaigns that target high-priority ABM accounts.
Postal ABM is “designed to make it easy to programmatically target and engage key accounts and audiences with offline campaigns,” Postal VP of Marketing Lauren Alt-Kishpaugh explained to GZ Consulting. “It’s designed for marketers running enterprise playbooks who need to scale offline engagement across their go-to-market strategy.”
Postal ABM supports built-in engagement and ROI dashboards that help sales and marketing teams “make informed decisions during the campaign and throughout the lifecycle of target accounts,” blogged Postal Product Marketing Manager Amy Schwartz.
The new Postal Engage feature triggers items and experiences to a group of contacts based on ABM signals in Salesforce. Marketers can set budgets and timelines for campaigns and track campaign success (e.g., accounts engaged, revenue generated) in Postal and Salesforce. Postal syncs its Account Engagement data with Salesforce for “better target discovery and ROI tracking.”
Postal also supports integrating physical touchpoints for virtual events. Postal claims an 80% attendance rate by automating offline marketing activities after events. For example, gifts can be sent to virtual event attendees, tradeshow badge swipers, or free trial participants. Postal also proposed sending a congratulations gift when champions change jobs.
In other news, Postal also announced that it partnered with ZoomInfo to support GTM Plays. Use cases include turning an abandoned chat follow-up into a booked meeting, welcoming a prospect back from OOO, congratulating a champion or decision maker on a promotion, and strategic prospecting campaigns.
“In today’s digital economy, it can be easy to forget the importance of offline and physical sales strategies…think back to in-person experiences such as steak dinners and golf outings with prospects,” blogged Postal Content Marketing Manager Rich Pusateri. “That was the standard practice. Now, in the world of remote selling, using custom branded kits or personalized gifts with handwritten notes in tandem with digital engagement is a proven way to make a positive impact on your bottom line.”
ABX PlatformDemandbase, which also offers a data cloud and sales intelligence solution, rolled out its keyword intent dataset for third-party platforms. Demandbase Intent is available both inside the Demandbase One platform (embedded) and delivered to other platforms (standalone). Demandbase Intent joins Demandbase’s other Data Cloud assets, including firmographics, technographics, and contacts.
Standalone Intent, which supports 375,000 keywords and ingests 18 billion daily signals, provides buying signals for predictive models, data stores, and analytics. Data is delivered via API, cloud delivery, or CSV flat files.
New keywords are added weekly, with historical intent maintained for twelve months.
Demandbase Intent helps marketing teams target in-market accounts and refine their messaging. Furthermore, Demandbase Intent can trigger campaigns, avoid churn, and expand accounts.
“Our intent takes multiple sources into account, providing a much stronger and more accurate signals than others in the space,” said Demandbase VP of Product and Industry Marketing Jackie Palmer. “By using Demandbase Intent, data scientists, corporate strategists, and sales and marketing analytics professionals can build and improve their predictive models, helping them to better understand buyers’ goals and navigate the anonymous buying journey. As they identify patterns, trends, and opportunities, they can be more precise in prioritizing accounts and gaining deeper insight into their revenue potential.”
Demandbase claims that its keyword library provides superior targeting compared to taxonomically-based intent datasets, allowing vendors to target niche industries and segments, track competitor offerings, and dovetail on partners’ intent. Furthermore, customers can add new keywords “to fit their needs, whereas other intent providers limit customers to a finite, predefined list of topics.” They can then feed keyword intent to their data lakes, data warehouses, or business intelligence platforms, making the intent data available to data scientists for propensity-to-buy models.
Palmer told data scientists, “What you can do is build your…propensity-to-buy models, all the different things you need for predictive analytics around your account intent activities. You can stream that directly into your CRM systems, marketing automation systems, or any go-to-market systems that you need to.”
Demandbase Intent can be used alongside other intent datasets. Demandbase One also supports Bombora’s third-party intent, G2 second-party technology research intent, website visitor intelligence, and other datasets licensed by its Demandbase customers.
“Our mantra is the more intent data, the better,” Palmer explained to GZ Consulting. “So, that’s why within the platform, we always integrate with Bombora, G2, etc. But this is now for standalone people that may not want the Demandbase platform but also want to add additional concepts of intent into their data lakes [and] data warehouses.”
Furthermore, keyword intent is “totally complementary” to taxonomic intent data sources.
The Demandbase AI assesses keyword usage and the age of the article (older articles provide higher relevance), related articles the user has read, and “rare and hyper-qualifying keywords and themes to identify personas and buying committee roles.”
“We track the relevant articles,” explained Demandbase Data Cloud Product Marketer Imran Ahmed to GZ Consulting. “If you want to look at how the market does it, they do it through co-ops. They do it through metatags. We’re doing it through articles that help us identify not only the keywords but help us gather all the users looking at those keywords across the web. That brings up signal relevance and helps us get more granular and more exposure.”
Demandbase Intent does not look at Google search terms but looks a layer deeper at which articles are being viewed.
“Demandbase intent data is based on years of AI research and delivers more breadth and relevance than any you’ll find anywhere else. Why? Because we own the technology to identify anonymous accounts and pair that with our direct access to the bidstream — the source for the most intent signals. Then we beef up the relevance of those signals using a combination of AI and natural language processing.”
Standalone intent is priced per keyword.
Standalone intent has been generally available since December and already has several clients. However, due to the calendar, the firm held off on announcing the service until late January.
According to Atlanta Inno, ABX Platform Terminus has completed all but $1.5 million of a $24 million raise. The round was smaller than its $90 million March 2021 round. Twenty-eight investors participated.
The round follows a May restructuring. At the time, the staffing cuts were estimated at 15% of its workforce.
In total, the firm has raised $140 million. It also closed on a $50 million debt facility with CIBC in Q4 2021 around the time it acquired CDP Zylotech.
The funding round has not been press released, and Terminus did not provide any comments to Atlanta Inno or GZ Consulting on the round.
Gartner recently named Terminus a Leader in its Q4 2022 Magic Quadrant for Account-Based Marketing Platforms. Terminus offers a “full range of ABM capabilities, including “broad support for channels including display advertising, retargeting, social advertising, website personalization, website chat, and tracking for email with personalized dynamic signatures.”
Gartner called out Terminus’ “strong and broad native channel support that includes advertising (display, retargeting, video, connected TV, and audio), site personalization, chat, and email tracking.
Gartner also praised Terminus’ “industry-specific playbooks” that “help customers implement use cases such as brand awareness, pipeline building, and acceleration, retention, and expansion.”
Sales Intelligence vendor Databook unveiled a Salesforce connector that helps “sales teams translate financial data and business insights into sales strategy and execution.” The AppExchange solution provides access to “personalized, real-world insights and recommendations” concerning which accounts are in-market, whom to contact, and how to message their offerings.
Databook employs AI and NLP to generate account and solution-specific insights “with the same level of relevancy and value provided by professional consulting firms.” Custom content supports “account planning, executive preparation, value architecture, ABM, and customer presentations.”
Databook Score (propensity-to-buy scoring)
Recommended use cases
Financial case for change
Buying cycle history and trends
Account insights highlight customer priorities and pain points, helping reps hone messaging and identify risks and opportunities. Databook insights are displayed in account and opportunity tabs and include strategic insights, recommendations, and “downloadable executive decks and point-of-views that align to corporate priorities, market conditions, fiscal year timing, and financial case for change.” Databook also notifies reps about key account changes.
Opportunity recommendations include tips/steps such as “select an economic buyer for this opportunity,” “review management changes at <account>,” “read <account>’s latest earnings transcript.”
Sales reps can download a set of overviews and tools, including executive point-of-view decks, sales presentations, executive briefings, company profiles, and an account worksheet offering a step-by-step account strategy.
Sales reps can link from the CRM dashboard to Databook to identify deal expansion opportunities. Databook highlights use cases deployed at similar companies that may be relevant. Use cases are highlighted with “relevant proof of success and value-driven vision for the future to create the strongest possible pitch that resonates with executive buyers.”
Databook presents financial and business data sourced from over a dozen vendors.
During the beta period, early adopters increased company research by 157% when accessing Databook insights from both the web and Salesforce vs. simply conducting research via the browser. The firm claims that sales teams using Databook average 3X more pipeline, 2.5X larger deals, and 1.5X faster cycle times.
“Now, more than ever, sales reps need to hone strategic acumen to drive executive relationships and effective sales execution,” said Databook CEO Anand Shah. “Databook’s new CRM application combines essential external context about a company’s business objectives, financials, and budget cycles with the internal account and opportunity information within Sales Cloud to create a new level of intelligence and customer understanding. Now any rep can have an executive-level conversation aimed directly at the business problem they solve in order to repeatedly grow and close deals.”
Databook closed on a $50 million Series B in March led by Bessemer Venture Partners and joined by DFJ Growth, Threshold, Microsoft’s Venture Fund M12, Salesforce Ventures, and Haystack.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator unveiled its Q4 release this month with new account and relationship intelligence lists, improvements to buyer intent, refined searching, expanded revenue and technology data, and a more streamlined ability to upload a sales rep’s book of business.
The new My Current Accounts homepage prompt lets sales reps load their book of business as a CSV list matched against LinkedIn company profiles. In addition, LinkedIn offers a quick field mapper to ensure the CSV is properly ingested and matched to the correct LinkedIn company profiles.
Account Lists provide several benefits to sales reps. Sales Navigator users can
Review real-time alerts around sales triggers such as funding events, leadership changes, and headcount growth/decline
Streamline search and prospecting efforts by spotlighting specific saved searches based a user’s book of business
“Yes, it’s great on its own,” blogged LinkedIn Product Marketing Manager Austin Gray. “But it reaches a whole new level of capability when you can manage your entire book of business in Sales Navigator – insights surfaced via features like Buyer Intent are more actionable, searching becomes more powerful, and it’s that much easier to stay on top of what’s happening at your most important accounts.”
LinkedIn already aggregated Buyer Intent scores spanning 180 different intent signals, and it added four isolated visible Buyer Intent activities as part of an early beta in Q3. LinkedIn plans to release additional Buyer Intent activities in future releases. These specific activities are displayed with the associated account. Furthermore, when the intent activity is public-facing, the individual completing the activity is also presented to the sales rep.
The four isolated Buyer Intent activities are
Who’s followed a company
Who’s visited your profile
Who’s a new connection to yourself
Who’s filled out a lead gen form
LinkedIn contends that its intent insights differ from other intent data sets across multiple dimensions, beginning with its identity-based intelligence. Because LinkedIn users are opted-in, the intent data is tied to the individual conducting research on LinkedIn, not the broader account. Thus, users know “whether it’s the actual person, groups of people, or if they’re a decision maker.”
Sales Navigator said that it will offer a full-funnel view across the buyers’ journey “from the top of the funnel with ad engagement, to the middle with product page engagement, and to the bottom of the funnel with InMail Engagement.”
Finally, LinkedIn positions activity transparency as a differentiator that goes beyond a signal score to activity detail, which will expand in scope.
Current Account Lists and Buyer Intent are available in Advanced and Advanced Plus (CRM) editions of Sales Navigator.
LinkedIn did not expand the Buyer Intent categories in Q4 but added two new features: Filtering for Buyer Activities and new Buyer Intent account hover cards. On Account Pages, sales reps can filter for activities by time range and level of decision-making ability.
Reps can also hover over accounts on Alerts, Lists, and Lead Pages to better evaluate an opportunity and refine account messaging. The hover popup displays the level of buyer interest, recent news, and decision-makers changes “so sellers can easily double check any account’s level of intent as the work through Sales Navigator, without disrupting the current workflow.”
The New Executives at Saved Accounts List is an auto-generated list based on the saved accounts list. The list identifies VP and CxO executives hired by tracked accounts. While the executive view restricts the report to top-level executives, it doesn’t yet support filtering by function, a valuable report extension.
I’ve long extolled the value of identifying new executives at companies. Fortunately, sales intelligence solutions are doing a better job of leveraging executive change insights in their products:
D&B Hoovers supports exec change alerts and triggers by job function.
ZoomInfo offers executive tracking of champions to new companies along with backfill contact recommendations at their old employer.
LinkedIn identifies new execs at saved accounts.
“We’ve found a lot of success internally being able to see when a new executive comes in,” LinkedIn Sales Solutions Head of Product Marketing Neil Khare explained to GZ Consulting during a briefing. “They’re generally more willing to think about new vendors or have a mandate to change things up a little bit. It’s a great time to capitalize on it, and we find that we’ve had some success internally on it, so we wanted to bring this up externally as well.”
LinkedIn also released a Recently Accepted Connections and InMails List highlighting individuals who responded to connection requests or InMails over the past thirty days.
The lists are available online from the list tab or via a weekly email digest.
“These are people that you are going to want to follow up with,” stated Khare.
Users can access two updated filters when building lists: Technology Used and Revenue. Both filters have been improved with new data licensing agreements from undisclosed data partners.
Accounts may be filtered by preset revenue ranges (vs. discrete values determined by the end-user). All revenue data is in US Dollars.
To improve regional screening, users can paste a set of postal codes.
LinkedIn Sales Insights, LinkedIn’s DaaS enrichment service for sales ops, also benefited from expanded revenue data sourced from LinkedIn members, third-party vendors, and AI models. 95% of Fortune 500 and 75% of publicly traded companies display discrete revenue data. More broadly, 60% of companies have at least a modeled revenue range.
To improve the Sales Insights workflow, LSI added exclusion filters for companies and personas, helping Sales Operations “focus on industries and geographies that are relevant to your business.”