Sales Acceleration Platform Cognism closed on a $10 million Series B from PeakSpan, bringing total funding to $16.5 million. Previous investors included Oliver Wyman, South Central Ventures, LCIF, and Newable Ventures Limited. The firm, founded in 2016, grew ARR over 4x last year.
will be deployed for opening local offices in Singapore and New York City as
well as growing its machine learning team. According to CEO James Isilay,
the firm has already “won significant business remotely” in both regions.
Isilay called Asian expansion “particularly interesting” due to SaaS being relatively young in the market. Cognism has already leveraged its partnership with investor Oliver Wyman to acquire two “blue-chip financial clients” in Asia. “Investment here looks to be a promising tonic to the barriers to trade growth that are disrupting business in Europe and America.”
granted our first machine learning patent in December 2018, Cognism is now
building a portfolio of IP which will drive the next evolution of sales and
marketing technology,” said Isilay.
“Sales and marketing technology has been a core focus of ours for many years, arming us with a long-term perspective on the segment and a nuanced understanding of market trends and buyer dynamics that drive strategic value. With such a proliferation of tools and technologies emerging across the marketing and sales landscape over the last decade, it’s no secret that go-to-market leaders today aren’t asking for more software tools – they’re demanding better outcomes. Cognism’s pragmatic application of AI, which underpins the whole solution suite, is paving the way for a new category focused on turning disparate data points into coordinated insights to drive predictive and prescriptive lead generation and improve conversion across all engagements.”
▪ Matt Melymuka, Co-Founder and Partner at PeakSpan
database spans 400 million contacts and 10 million businesses. Cognism’s
products support Prospecting, Sales Triggers, and CRM Enrichments.
CRM Connectors are available for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics,
HubSpot, and PipeDrive. A cadence tool sends templated emails through
Gmail and Outlook.
Marketing Features include A/B testing, Personas, ICP and TAM Analyses, and webform enrichment.
TechTarget Priority Engine has begun integrating first-party intent data with its proprietary third-party intent intelligence. First-party intent data enhances account rankings and insights. According to TechTarget, “Marketing and sales teams will now be able to leverage this new intelligence to get to the right accounts and prospects faster, increasing conversions and accelerating pipeline.”
Priority Engine launched three years ago with TechTarget’s firmographics and third-party intent derived from its 140 enterprise technology media sites. The new data includes Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) matching, vendor website engagement, and customer content and advertising across the TechTarget network.
First-party website intent is available through a partnership with KickFire.
account intelligence and tools include
Personalized account rankings based on first and third-party intent data
ICP definition and filtering
Enhanced qualification intelligence including buying stage, ICP match, and confirmed projects
Improved engagement signals such as account website visits, content downloads, and banner clicks
Recent activity indicators.
has always focused on delivering ROI,” said Michael Cotoia, CEO, TechTarget.
“These new updates now make it even easier for our customers to close
deals faster by helping them find the prospects that are directly in their
recent product enhancements include opted-in “Project Insiders” and “Confirmed
Project Details” that have been validated by project insiders.
Priority Engine has been deployed at over 400 customers including Oracle, Citrix, IBM, HPE, and AWS.
People.AI announced availability of The Wire, their new artificial intelligence service for sales reps which suggests next best actions. According to the firm, “Like a brilliant personal assistant who’s always on top of his game, The Wire uses AI intelligence to remind you when to follow up on key accounts, suggest next-best-actions, warn you when a rep or account is falling behind, let you know when customer champions switch jobs, and ensure you’re always prepped for every meeting.”
suggests emerging opportunities, opportunities requiring attention, and
champions that have departed to other companies.
alerted when sales reps are falling behind targets. A Rep Ramp Alert “helps you
move from data-aware to data-driven, proactively leveraging industry data to
guide and coach your teams.”
The Wire also supports meeting intelligence with meeting prep reminders and post-meeting note capture and CRM sync.
Your ideal customer profile (ICP) defines who are your best customers and prospects. It is defined by firmographics, intent data, technographics, business signals, etc. ICPs are focused on Accounts.
Your question implies that the firm has a single decision maker. But that is generally only the case at small firms. Generally, B2B mid-sized and larger procurement decisions are made by a buying team which can consist of multiple individuals at different levels and functions / departments. For these, you should define a set of personas that cover economic decision makers, users, influencers, reviewers (e.g. technology gatekeepers).
Many of the ICP vendors support contact searching for ABM accounts. Once the ABM list is defined, they allow users to prospect for contacts by persona (job function/level/title) at ABM accounts.
These vendors include emails and direct dials for contacts along with company profiles, sales triggers, financials, technographics, family trees, filings, etc.
While LinkedIn Sales Navigator does not offer an ICP tool, it includes a Buyer’s Circle which allow sales reps to quickly identify potential contacts at accounts and drag and drop them into their role. They can then review all open opportunities, including buying committees, via a single-pane Deal report which combines LinkedIn intelligence with Salesforce or MS Dynamics.
French Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor Sparklane released its Predictive Account Scoring Solution for B2B sales. Sparklane Predict now supports dynamic account scoring based upon Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP), sales feedback, and CRM win/loss data. The service is currently available in the UK and France with additional European markets in development.
According to the firm, Predict
supports a “human-in-the-loop” lead review process which “feeds lead decisions
back into the ICP model, providing additional intelligence towards distinguishing between good
and bad prospects.” Predict also collects CRM intelligence on opportunity
outcomes, providing an additional basis for model refinement.
supports bi-directional syncing with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Marketo,
and Eloqua. Sparklane uploads suggested accounts and leads to CRMs and
gathers historical outcomes for ICP modeling and dynamic scoring.
claims that it shortens sales cycles by 28%, increases contract volume by 25%,
and improves the business conversion rate by 70%.
Sparklane Predict leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools such as machine learning and natural language processing to dramatically improve sales productivity and customer insights. Sales rep attention is directed towards accounts and leads most likely to close based on both fit (company attributes) and need (sales triggers such as international expansion, employee growth, or product launches). Furthermore, automated data enrichment ensures that reps are working with accurate, complete, and current data.
Sparklane Press Release
When building Sparklane models, both win and loss scenarios are employed, providing a more robust model than current customer lists. Along with win/loss scenarios, Sparklane supports other binary outcome scenarios:
Account Renew vs. Account Drop
Account Upgrade vs. Account Downgrade
High Margin Profitable Accounts vs. Low Margin Unprofitable Accounts
also supports multi-product line upsell and cross-sell models.
many of the vendors now marketing ideal customer profile solutions (ICP) are
offering little more than basic prospecting or look-a-like lists under the ICP
banner,” said Sparklane CEO Frédéric Pichard. “A true ICP service begins
with both positive and negative accounts so the platform can distinguish
between accounts that closed and those that failed to close. A true model
also contains feedback loops from sales reps and the CRM. It is the
addition of feedback that refines the model over time, improving the predictive
precision of account scores.”
Sparklane supports nearly 250 customers out of offices in Paris, Nantes, and London. Last year, Sparklane grew its recurring revenue by 60%.
Technographics vendor HG Data officially rebranded as HG Insights, rolling out a new name, logo, and website. The rebrand coincides with the launch of their new HG Insights platform. They have retained HG (Holy Grail, not mercury) and shifted from being a data company to an insights company, moving up the knowledge pyramid.
Customers are asking them to “help us isolate on tech
insights farther down the funnel,” said VP of Product and Marketing Kineon
Outsell places information value along a five-level pyramid with raw data in the base and smart data (“normalized and standardized, categorized, linked, and indexed”) at level two. HG Data resided at level two with a highly regarded dataset of product / vendor data that was broadly licensed to sales intelligence vendors, customer data platforms, and predictive analytics companies. While a pure data licensing strategy can provide initial funds for a startup, it quickly caps the growth of the organization as much of the potential value add resides in licensor tools and insights, not the smart data. Thus, to continue growing, HG Data began developing customer-facing workflow tools (Outsell’s level three) a few years ago and expanded its content value with the September acquisition of London-based Pivotal IQ, a curator of IT contract and spend intelligence.
IQ acquisition provided HG Data with an “opportunity to redefine what
technographics means and what technographics is” said Walker at the time.
HG Insights is emphasizing ABM targeting and strategic account intelligence:
“HG Insights helps you ignite opportunity. Opportunity that helps your business accelerate growth by providing you with an unprecedented view of the global markets, industries, and companies you sell to. Intelligence that empowers your business to generate more revenue from your Account Based Marketing programs by scoring your accounts and leads to pinpoint the best prospects. Insights that enable you to increase deal sizes by identifying the company profiles with the highest revenue potential. Insights that help you build better account strategy plans so that your sales team can increase win rates and shorten sales cycles. HG Insights delivers strategic account intelligence that allows your business to remove subjectivity from sales territory management and ensure that your team is focused on the best prospects in every market. Insights you can use to gain market share and outperform your competition. Insights you can trust.”
“We wanted to elevate the look and feel of what has become an
extremely sophisticated company,” said Walker. “No one has the quality
technographics that we have, which include the most accurate technology spend
data available in the market. The new on-demand capabilities of our HG
Insights Platform are unmatched by any competitor. Our unique ability to
work proactively with customers to deliver the Holy Grail of business insights
is reflected in our new name, and we’re excited to see our new HG Insights
Platform drive growth for businesses around the world.”
The HG Insights platform covers two million global company
locations with technographics and spending models. Technographic
intelligence spans 10,000 products across 4,500 vendors.
“We’ve always been an inventive company that finds new ways to help customers stay a step ahead. After seeing so many customers use our technology intelligence to make important strategic decisions, we knew it was time to define our company around the unique insights we deliver. Our new HG Insights Platform gives us an incredible opportunity to showcase our depth and expertise to new audiences with a fresh new image.”
LeadSpace is now including Bombora intent data in its Customer Data Platform. Bombora’s company surge data helps identify which companies are in market for products and solutions based upon surges in topical interest above historical baselines in the topic. “Customers can combine the resultant intent insights with Leadspace Predictive and Persona scores to accurately predict prospects’ readiness to buy in real time.”
LeadSpace customers can target
outreach based upon topical interest, prioritize sales and marketing activities
using intent data within predictive models, and personalize ad campaigns with
messaging and content around surging topics.
LeadSpace customers employing an ABM strategy enjoy improved account list building and engagement due to the partnership. They can also identify net-new prospects using look-a-like modelling and surge data.
“ABM succeeds when sales and marketing work closely toward the same goals. The easiest way to find that success is for both departments to start with insights from a single data source. Intent data that shows which target accounts are actively in-market helps sales and marketing tailor their efforts to the best prospects, and avoid those that are not engaged in the buying cycle. Working with Leadspace ensures the easy orchestration of Bombora’s insights across these departments.”
Erik Matlick, CEO and co-founder of Bombora
Intent data also assists with
sales-marketing alignment via harmonized messaging. According to David
Tam, Director of Marketing at OneLogin, “I’ve never worked anywhere before
where we could run a fully-integrated and aligned marketing campaign and sales
play, where the messaging matches. Our marketing emails are talking about the
same things that our sales reps are talking about. That alone is enough to get
brownie points with Sales!”
6Sense rolled out enhanced Sales Intelligence features to its ABM Orchestration platform. New features help track account engagement over time, visualize anonymous intent at key accounts, and display engagement status by personas. 6Sense also added ABM Alerts and updates to its reference company dataset.
According to 6Sense, “the Sales Intelligence enhancements change the way revenue generating teams create and drive pipeline with easy-to-consume insights designed to drive sales action in coordination with marketing.”
“ABM is not a marketing-only initiative – it is crucial that account managers, sales development reps and other members of the sales team are collaborating and aligned. Sharing critical target account insights such as recent topical interest and engagement history in a sales platform that the sales team is familiar with makes it easier for revenue teams to take action.”
Matt Senatore, Service Director of Account-Based Marketing, SiriusDecisions
6Sense Sales Intelligence is based upon CRM and marketing automation data, web engagement data, and 6sense’s anonymous intent data. Intelligence is displayed across three tabs:
Buying Stage, Top Branded and Generic Keywords, and Engagement Scores over
Map: Engagement levels by job and function with associated engagement
Insights: Firmographics, Technographics, Website Visitors by location, Top
pages viewed by account
ABM Alerts deliver weekly activity profiles on key accounts to sales reps. The email alerts include a spotlighted account “that has shown a significant volumeof relevant activity, making it especially interesting or urgent to act upon.” 6Sense spotlights firms that have not been recently contacted but are showing high-levels of engagement or intent.
The alert also provides up to five accounts which are newly engaged or reengaged, five accounts with multiple people engaging, and five accounts with declining engagement. ABM alerts provide direct links to account profiles in 6Sense and Salesforce.
ABM Alert account details include a summary of the top activities associated with that account over the past week, including keyword research, and web visits.
“This update was designed as a response to sales teams’ requests to be empowered with insight to prioritize their time better, make their outreach more relevant, and shed light on what their prospects really care about at any given time,” said VP of Product Amar Doshi. “For those who subscribe to the BANT qualification approach, getting an early advantage on learning about need and timing can make all the difference in deal outcomes.”
Back before the development of ICP / TAM tools and predictive analytics platforms, B2B marketers would simply describe their target market as the Global 2000 or Global 5000. The description was overly broad, but it generally meant global enterprises with revenue in excess of $1 billion.
Of course, you could easily refine the list with broad segmentation. For the sales intelligence vendors of 2005, it was the intersection of G5000 and (Professional Services, Financial Services, Tech firms).
So while there are now tools to refine your target universe, there remain companies that continue to focus on the G5000 concept. This includes startups and companies with expensive B2B solutions. It also includes Enterprise Sales groups.
Harry Henry has built a business around the G5000 concept. For a long time, the Global5000 database consisted of a hand-researched list of billion dollar revenue companies; but, a few weeks ago he released a companion dataset of top US execs for G5000 with plans to sell international contacts in the future. Henry has partnered with Salutary Data to build his new offering.
Marketers can license the G5000 company set for $2,300. The accompanying US dataset of 25,000 executives spanning 2,100 firms is available for $3900. Fields include
First & Last name
Address (street, city, state & zip)
Email address — 100% fill rates
Phone number – Two possible phone numbers with a 35-50% direct dial fill rate.
The contact dataset focuses on Executive Management, Finance, HR/Personnel, Technology/IT, and Marketing.
“To provide you a sense of our vetting process, the contact records are aggregated from some 8 supplier sources and then tested using separate vendors who verify and score the accuracy of emails, phones, and name/title/company. The results of these tests are used to identify the most accurate data, which enables us to create a data stack. In addition, external and internal corroboration sources and techniques are also applied to further help identify the most current and accurate records.”
The contacts file is available with quarterly refreshes. Segmented versions by industry or job function are not available.
The G5000 database consists of over 5,000 active companies generating $60 trillion in annual revenue and employing 130 million employees. Revenue per employee of the G5000 firms is $397,000. The file includes five-year employee and revenue data along with recent events, business descriptions, year founded, industry, segment, market and ticker, and business contact details (e.g. address, phone, URL).
Last month, I discussed intent data, one of a trio of datasets that assist with lead scoring. This month I’m touching upon Fit data and next month I’ll be discussing Opportunity data.
Fitness data consists of firmographics, technographics, and verticalized datasets that help define whether a company is a good prospect. Biographic values such as Job Function, Level, Skills, and Responsibilities should also be employed when evaluating contacts or leads.
Firmographics are the basic variables that have long been used to define a good prospect. Firmographics include location, size (e.g. revenue, employees, assets, PE/VC funding, and market cap), industry, and year founded. Other commonly used dimensions include Ownership Flags (Minority Owned, Woman Owned, Veterans Owned, SOHO, Franchise), Ownership Type (Public, Private, Nonprofit, Government), and Parent/Sub/Branch.
Ownership flags are used for both inclusion and exclusion with SOHO and Franchise flags generally used to exclude small businesses and those with limited purchasing authority. Subsidiaries and Branches are often excluded as they also have more limited purchasing authority, but are included when looking for locations to sell into after an MSA is signed or when evaluating entry into overseas markets. In these cases, knowing all of the locations of current accounts and top prospects is quite valuable. Likewise, logistics companies look for companies with many locations.
Several vendors support radius searching around a ZIP code. This select is valuable for both event planning (e.g. 50 miles from a tradeshow) or for sales reps when traveling and looking to include additional accounts and prospects on a trip.
A recent study by Dun & Bradstreet found that three of the top five dimensions used when targeting B2B accounts are firmographic (Location, Industry, and Company Size).
Furthermore, Account specific lists for ABM generally employ firmographic criteria when building or extending ABM lists. (Online activity is an intent variable which was discussed in my last What Is.)
Technographics are an example of a verticalized dataset. Generally they consist of vendors, products, and product categories. Originally, such data was only available from technology sales intelligence vendors such as DiscoverOrg and HHMI (now Aberdeen Services), but HG Data built and licensed a technographics dataset which is now widely available in data marketplaces, predictive analytics, and sales intelligence platforms. Aberdeen followed suite in licensing their dataset as well.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator offers a set of unique selects for targeting departments, department headcount growth, and employment growth. Unfortunately, this data is not downloadable or available for lead scoring.
Biographic variables are also important when determining fit. Job function and level help determine whether a lead is likely to be a decision maker, influencer, or noise. Most vendors map job titles to taxonomies of between 8 and 60 job functions and 4 to 8 levels. Other biographic variables include education, years at company, former companies, and interests.
Data availability and currency may also play into Fit both directly and indirectly. If a select is weakly populated (e.g. Education, Skills), then many potential targets will be omitted from lists or given low scores. In some cases, lowering the lead score due to a missing field makes sense. Lead scores should incorporate the availability of emails, direct dials, and LinkedIn handles because this information increases the likelihood of successfully communicating with a prospect.
TIP: When evaluating vendors, ask about the fill rates on key fields you anticipate using in your lead scoring or prospecting.
In a similar vein, last update dates should also be used as a filter. Data from SHRM indicates a 2016 average contact decay rate of 27% when accounting for job departures, lateral moves, and title changes. And this is only at the contact level. The rate is even higher when including company name changes, relocations, and bankruptcies / facility closures. Thus, the last update field is a relevant fitness variable for prospecting but not inbound lead scoring.
In short, lead fitness can be defined by a broad set of who, what, and where variables related to companies and contacts.