Artesian Opportunity View

Social Selling vendor Artesian Solutions added a novel Opportunity feature which combines Artesian’s company intelligence with Salesforce’s Opportunity Stages. Available both within the AppExchange and via browsers, the tool assists with pipeline analysis and forecasting.

To date, most sales intelligence firms have focused on displaying their company and contact information within CRMs. Few have looked at enriching their content with CRM account intelligence to create browser mashups between the CRM and Sales Intelligence content (an exception is D&B Hoover’s CRM Watchlist). I’m not aware of any other vendor leveraging Salesforce stage data.

According to Artesian, “Sales leaders can interrogate each team member’s open pipeline and facilitate proactive conversations about key developments within individual accounts. The result is an improvement in forecast accuracy and more meaningful sales engagements.”

Artesian is the first sales intelligence vendor to combine Sales Intelligence into an Opportunity stage view. Users can quickly create Leads, Tasks, and Opportunities from the browser edition.
Artesian is the first sales intelligence vendor to combine Sales Intelligence into an Opportunity stage view. Users can quickly create Leads, Tasks, and Opportunities from the browser edition.

Users can quickly create Leads, Tasks, and Opportunities from the browser edition.

The Opportunity View allows reps and managers to focus on specific topics such as risk triggers for their most important deals. Managers see an aggregated view of the deals for the people in their teams or can filter by sales rep and stage. Artesian’s Head of US Operations Mike Blackadder listed the features benefits as “more accurate forecasting, deal acceleration, and improved stickiness.”

Users can add Salesforce Leads, Tasks, and Opportunities from within the browser version. They also have a quick navigation option to the CRM Account view.

Additional Opportunities View enhancements are planned for early summer.

2016 in Review: New Sales Intelligence Products

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Artesian opened an office in Boston and launched a US / Canadian edition of their Social Selling service.

Over the past week, I’ve been discussing how the fourteen vendors in my new 2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors have improved their products.  I broke this discussion into four categories:

  • Content: What are the inputs to these offerings?
  • Functionality: How are the sales and marketing functions able to leverage the content within these offerings?
  • User Interface: What have the firms done to improve the presentation and workflow of their products?
  • Connectors: Which integrations were updated? Which ones were launched?  These spanned CRMs, MAPs, Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) platforms, APIs, and Google Chrome.

So far, this framework has only looked at existing products and services.  This blog addresses the final question: What new Sales Intelligence products and services were launched in 2016?

Sales Focused Products

Artesian launched the US edition of their sales intelligence offering in 2016.  The firm also opened an office in Boston.

DiscoverOrg launched the TiLT certification program for sales development reps and marketers.  The program is available at no charge to current clients and provides “microburst” learning with videos, curated content, and challenge tasks.

In early 2016 they announced their Technology, Engineering, Development, and Design (TEDD) offering which focuses on product management and engineering.  In H2 2016, DiscoverOrg rolled out datasets for Sales (50,000 new contacts), Fortune 1000 CxOs (30,000 new contacts), and HR (80,000 new contacts) bringing the overall database coverage to one million executives at the end of Q3.

RainKing rolled out a global enterprises dataset with coverage of AsiaPac, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

InsideView launched Tech Profiler in 2016.  This add-on dataset provides technology profiles within InsideView Sales and can be used as a filter when building lists with Target.  The technology information is also available via API and InsideView’s Professional Services.  The API offers two new calls: retrieve technology implemented at a company and retrieve companies that have deployed specific technologies.

The dataset provides information about technologies used by InsideView’s top 525,000 global companies.  It covers more than 2,600 front-end and back-end technologies in more than 100 categories.  InsideView did not disclose whether they collected the technology file themselves or licensed it from another vendor.

Salesgenie Team provides a set of team tools to Salesgenie.  New features include lead assignment rules, add messages to leads, customer cloning, and tracking and reporting tools.  A new My Leads list displays assigned leads while a Sales Pipeline report provides team member analytics.

Infofree introduced a lower priced version of its service called SalesFlower which removes several features including background checks, business credit reports, CustomerCloner, and the CRM101 SFA platform.

Owler introduced an enterprise API service for calling corporate firmographics, competitors, and news.

Marketing Focused Products

Hoover’s added a trio of Concierge Services to its Hoover’s product line which target SMBs with revenue up to $250 million.  Hoover’s is providing three related services:

  • Targeted List Building – Identifies prospects similar to a client’s best customers.
  • Effective Email Marketing – Delivers email services including messaging, design, email coding, blasting, and testing.  Dun & Bradstreet also supports email verification, analytics, and unsubscribe / bounce management.  Landing site hosting is provided via an undisclosed partner.
  • Optimized Customer Data – Supports data cleansing, standardization, and data enrichment for customer company and contact files.

Avention’s OneSource DataVision is a hosted platform which consolidates and cleanses multiple customer data sources, integrating internal and external customer intelligence.  By matching Avention company and contact data against customer and prospect files, Avention improves the accuracy and firmographic fill rates of marketing databases.  The result is a unified view of customer data for accurate customer segmentation and targeting based upon enriched data from Avention’s Global Content Live database.

OneSource DataVision also provides analytics and visualization tools for marketers.  “As a result, you will be able to identify and leverage key customer and prospect segments to make more informed decisions, identify cross-sell opportunities, key industries, verticals and much more,” states Avention.

OneSource DataVision includes a gap analysis tool which assesses the total addressable market in order to identify underserved markets and growth potential.  After enriching and segmenting the data, OneSource DataVision users can prospect for similar companies.

OneSource DataVision, along with the flagship OneSource platform, form the OneSource ABM Solution, also launched in 2016.    This solution ensures sales and marketing teams are aligned around the right accounts to target, then provides the deep insights needed to create account plans, and targeted sales messages and content.

Zoominfo repackaged its service as the Zoominfo Growth Acceleration Platform for sales and marketing effectiveness.  The new platform helps sales and marketing teams “identify, connect, and engage with qualified prospects and replicate success.” The Growth Acceleration Platform is a cross-product branding that supports company and executive searching, list building, file enrichment, and data Insights (segmentation analysis and persona identification).  Other tools include a Salesforce.com connector, web form enrichment (FormComplete), and a new Google Chrome Extension called ReachOut which provides quick access to contact information from Zoominfo and LinkedIn contact profiles.

InsideView Refresh was launched as a new product in 2016. Refresh provides automated account cleansing within CRM. It’s currently available for Salesforce CRM.

InsideView also launched an ABM solution in partnership with Marketo. It’s a bundle that includes products and data services to enable targeted account and contact selection, campaign execution, and measurement.

In H2 2016, DiscoverOrg launched an Enhanced ABM Toolkit which builds an ideal customer profile and then identifies similar companies.  Users upload a file of their best customers which is matched against the DiscoverOrg database.  The system then performs firmographic and technographic segmentation analysis and then suggests similar companies.

Net

In 2016, the focus of the established sales intelligence companies was on extending their services into the marketing department and aligning their positioning around Account Based Marketing.  On the sales side, their were fewer new products or major functional enhancements.  Instead, they focused on expanded content and workflow improvements.  This strategy was best exemplified by Avention and InsideView.  Both firms doubled their company and contact universes, improved their user interfaces, and launched additional marketing products and connectors.  However, they added little new functionality to their sales products.

Five years ago, the sales intelligence services were firmly planted in the sales department with some also providing services for analysts.  Now, however, the marketing department is receiving equal or greater capital investment as firms look to support “sales and marketing alignment” with CRM and MAP connectors which leverage a common reference data set.

In 2017 I anticipate additional product announcements with ABM positioning across the revenue lifecycle.  The Sales Intelligence companies realize that if they establish themselves in the marketing department with a broad set of services, then their position within the sales department will be less subject to churn.

2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Now Available

I am proud to announce that I released the second edition of my book, 2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors yesterday.  It has been a long process of updating and expanding the original eleven profiles, adding three new profiles for the UK (Bureau van Dijk, Artesian Solutions, and DueDil), and adding four profiles for Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) vendors with ecosystems (KiteDesk, Outreach, Quota Factory, SalesLoft).

I have written blog articles on almost all of the seventeen profiled vendors in the past year.  So if you’ve found my blog useful, the book will be invaluable for procurement decisions or staying abreast of the key vendors in the SI space.

As sales teams and procurement departments may have gone through vendor demos or trials back in 2015 or early 2016, I have added sections which detail product changes over the past year.  These include new product launches, vendor changes, enhancements, and pricing changes.

I have also added or expanded discussions on Account Based Marketing (ABM), Account Based Sales Development (ABSD), Marketing Automation connectors, and the UK market.

You will even find a new Glossary.

Feel free to contact me at 978-692-0170 or MLevy@GZConsulting.org.  I am offering a 20% licensing discount during the month of January.

2017-field-guide-toc12017-field-guide-toc2

2016 in Review: Sales Intelligence Functionality

InMail 2.0 provides full profile access, a signature block, attachment support, shared connections, icebreakers, and synch to CRM.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator InMail 2.0 provides full profile access, a signature block, attachment support, shared connections, icebreakers, and synch to CRM.

In yesterday’s blog, I discussed how expanded content is a common path for adding value to sales intelligence services.  Today, I am looking at how functionality, which usually leverages new or existing content, added significant value to product offerings in 2016.

Many of the vendors covered in my new 2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors added new feature functionality to their service:

  1. LinkedIn Sales Navigator: LinkedIn rolled out a series of enhancements to their service:
    1. Sales Navigator introduced InMail 2.0 with support for signatures, attachments, and conversational insights.
    2. Sales Navigator updated its prospecting user interface and added additional searching tools and screening variables. Sales Spotlights are LinkedIn specific variables that are displayed on top of screening results allowing for additional filtering:
      • Accounts with senior leadership changes in the last three months
      • Lead changed jobs in past 90 days
      • Leads with TeamLink Intro
      • Lead mentioned in the news the past 30 days
      • Lead posted on LinkedIn in past 30 days
      • Lead shares an experience with the sales rep
      • Leads that follow rep’s company on LinkedIn

       

    3. New prospecting filters include
      • Department [Job Function] employee ranges
      • Department [Job Function] employee growth (plus or minus 100%)
    4. Lead search results have been expanded to include a previously viewed flag, tenure at current company, and a quick drill down to TeamLink introductions.
    5. The Sales Navigator app added a new Discover tab which acts as a “Tinder for leads.” The tab provides five daily new lead and account recommendations.
    6. Sales reps may now add tags (e.g. Qualified) and notes to leads and accounts. Tags are searchable and synch with Salesforce.
    7. The Sales Navigator Android and iOS apps now display up to ten daily account or lead recommendations based upon user preferences. Recommendations will expire after 24 hours and be replaced with fresh recommendations.
  2. Artesian Solutions: Artesian rolled out V14 and V15 of its platform. New features include
    • Salesforce Opportunity rollup information in Artesian and Artesian intelligence within SFDC Opportunity records.
    • Improved Company Searching rolls up companies into a group
    • Improved de-duplication logic reduces news duplicates and rolls similar articles into a group.
    • Added North American prospecting filters for counties, business type, and the presence of specific job functions at a company.
    • A redesigned CRM connector for SFDC and MS Dynamics
    • Full sales trigger customization
    • Market sector alerts
    • An updated employees page which supports executive filtering by job role and seniority.

    Artesian rolled out version 3.0 of the Artesian Ready mobile app which provides company and executive insights synched with the mobile calendar. Ready also supports collaborative note taking and a “360° comprehensive profile of customers and prospects.”  New Ready features include company searching, company add to Watchlists, Twitter timelines and Twitter sharing, social links (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, AngelList, Crunchbase), job information, and a data quality form for reporting incorrect information.

  3. DueDil: Along with entering the US market, DueDil implemented a series of product enhancements.
    • Export Custom Company reports in PDF format.
    • DueDil Connect helps users identify and connect to decision makers, map and understand their network connections, and alert users on company news related to their contact network. Users can also filter by colleague connections within Advanced Search.
    • An ownership tab which makes it easier for users to perform due diligence (e.g. Know Your Customer compliance) and assess a firm’s governance structure. Ownership content includes directorship information, shareholders, and portfolio companies. The new tab also contains a Related Companies widget which identifies companies which are not formally linked but which have a high likelihood of sharing an economic interest. Related Companies may be registered at the same location, share several directors, have a set of similar investments, or have name similarities.
    • Dynamic company lists automatically update allowing firms to keep tabs on customers, prospects, partners, and competitors.
    • Alerts are provided on lists, with notifications displayed in a new DueDil dashboard which breaks events into news, opportunities, and risk sections. DueDil event alerts include changes in leadership or ownership, recent news, updates to budget windows, changes of address, changes in employee number, company blog posts and changes in credit score.
    • Upload a file into a list for matching, deduplication, and enrichment.
    • Custom list formats may be downloaded as CSV files.
    • Segment reporting on uploaded lists
    • Match and enrich functionality against uploaded files.
  4. Avention: Avention had a series of enhancements including content, UI, new products, and new connectors.  As each of these categories is being covered under a different blog, the number of strict functional enhancements is more limited.  These included
    1. New list management features including rename, pin to desktop, delete, modify criteria, and clone list.
    2. When lists are uploaded for match and append, improved matching heuristics and a larger reference database result in significantly higher match rates. The system now also tracks unmatched records.
    3. Expanded notification functionality which allows reps to manage new company and sales trigger alerts from a centralized location. This Watchlist supports filtering by read/unread notices, priority flag, trigger type, and list. A new flag allows users to mark notifications as important.
  5. Data.com: Salesforce began offering a two-part account record data assessment report. The new Lightning report analyzes both data quality and segmentation. The data quality section begins with a Data Health overview score which assesses account data quality across three factors: Matchability vs. Dun & Bradstreet WorldBase data in Data.com, Accuracy vs. WorldBase, and Uniqueness (lack of duplicates).  In Data.com Clean, Lead records are now enriched with the Dun & Bradstreet WorldBase file.  Finally, Data.com announced a new Data Exchange with three partners: HG Data, Bombora, and MCH.  Bombora released their integrated intent file service just before the end of the year.
  6. DiscoverOrg: In September, DiscoverOrg launched Deal Predict which ranks prospects on a one to five-star scale based upon a set of firmographic, technographic, and biographic variables defined by marketing or sales operations. Deal Predict scores are displayed in both DiscoverOrg and CRMs.
  7. Dun & Bradstreet: Hoover’s doubled the Build a List download size to 10,000 records.  Meanwhile, the NetProspex Workbench data hygiene platform added company record enrichment. The service also added profile discovery and TAM analysis to its set of marketing capabilities.
  8. Infofree:  Infofree added support for text-only email templates to its CRM101 platform. Users may send up to 25 emails in a single blast and up to 250 emails per day from Infofree’s SMTP server.  Infofree also now lets users integrate their Outlook or Google calendar accounts with CRM101.
  9. Zoominfo: Zoominfo released a set of enhancements to its service in March 2016 including a country select field in its List Builder. Other new features include contact Send to Salesforce and email an electronic business card to the user’s inbox.
  10. Owler: Owler implemented a set of advanced heuristics that help personalize the service. Stories are displayed according to interest in a topic and frequency of stories for tracked companies (i.e. rarely covered companies are given higher priority).
  11. Salesgenie: Salesgenie launched a Custom Fields service which provides scoring and custom analytics models. Infogroup builds custom models for cross-sell, upsell, acquisition, and at risk accounts. Scores are based on deciles and available for screening within Build a List.

So it was a busy year on the functionality front.  As I have broken out integration connectors and the user interface as separate topics, you should view this as a sub-list of product enhancements.  Thus, even though Bureau van Dijk did not make this list, they introduced a new user interface for Orbis (Global) and Fame (UK) this spring.  Likewise, InsideView rolled out additional connectors and refreshed their CRM connector user interfaces.

2016 in Review: Sales Intelligence Content

InsideView Coverage as of April 2016.
InsideView Coverage as of April 2016.

One of the most straightforward ways to increase the value-add of a Sales Intelligence Service is to expand the content it delivers to its users.  Generally, a vendor can license additional content within the same general category (e.g. more contacts) or expand coverage into new content categories not previously supported by the product.  The first approach is usually faster and less expensive as there is limited development involved in adding additional coverage within a currently supported category (assuming the vendor is not hitting up against platform limits), but there are still costs involved with licensing, de-duping, and merging content sets.  As such, it is much more common for firms to increase the scope of current data sets than to add entirely new content categories to their services.

So which of the fourteen sales intelligence vendors discussed in my new Sales Intelligence book invested in increasing their depth of coverage?  Basically, all of them.  Of course, the scope of content investment varied greatly:

  1. Avention roughly doubled their global company, contact, and email coverage.  Their product now spans sixty million companies, eighty million contacts, and twenty million emails (US and UK).  I previously discussed their AsiaPac expansion, but the coverage expansion was global with most of the new content outside of the US, UK, and Canada where they already had significant depth.
  2. DiscoverOrg also greatly increased its coverage as it grew to 60,000 editorially researched company profiles and one million researched contacts.  Over the past twelve months, DiscoverOrg had a 91% increase in company coverage, 134% increase in contact coverage, and a 371% increase in non-IT contact coverage (numbers supplied by DiscoverOrg). The non-IT increase was due to an expansion of their job functions datasets to include Product Management (TEDD), Sales, CxO, and HR.  The firm also continued to invest in their marketing dataset.  CMO Katie Bullard noted that “the Marketing budget has begun to meet or exceed the IT department budget in many companies and vendors” while “service providers selling into marketing continue to proliferate.”
  3. RainKing continues to build out its company and contact coverage and expects to hit one million executives by the end of 2016. The firm roughly doubled the number of decision makers in its database while extending its international coverage. They also have increased the number of marketing, finance, and HR decision makers.
  4. InsideView’s executive coverage grew to 17 million US contacts and 8 million European contacts. Total global contacts more than doubled to 31 million and global emails grew by 10 million to 17 million.
  5. Bureau van Dijk added RepRisk environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk reports to their service while continuing to build out their company database.  At the end of the year, Bureau van Dijk provided close to 210 million active and inactive company profiles
  6. DueDil rolled out enhanced financials for UK and Irish registered companies. Along with performance and growth metrics such as EBITDA and multiple CAGRs (compounded annual growth rates), DueDil is providing historical graphs for key metrics. In total, six new metrics and 12 key performance indicators (KPIs) have been added.
  7. Data.com expanded the Dun & Bradstreet content displayed in a new Prospect Insights view.  Extended company intelligence includes D&B WorldBase firmographics and linkage, Hoover’s top company descriptions and competitors, and First Research industry overviews with call prep questions and industry summaries.
  8. Infofree grew its executive email file to 26 million.
  9. Salesgenie raised its business email count to 58 million US contacts.
  10. Owler’s primary focus in 2016 was to expand their Competitive Graph and gather additional company intelligence. The Competitive Graph improved as the user base has grown and the firm has implemented a set of data cards (simple user queries such as is company X a competitor of company Y) which help refine sizing data, competitors, and a few other firmographic topics.  Revenue and employee figures have grown to 2.7 million companies.
  11. Zoominfo expanded its set of company enrichment variables with the addition of 200 new Company Attributes in October 2016.
  12. LinkedIn continues to add two members per second.  At the end of the year, they delivered 467 million global profiles across ten million companies.
  13. Dun & Bradstreet grew its WorldBase file of global companies to 265 million active and inactive firms.  Over the past few years, they have also focused on improving the depth and accuracy of their international file.

So who did I omit?  Technically Artesian Solutions did not make the content list, but that is simply because their new US edition will be discussed in the new product category.  Likewise, InsideView’s Tech Profiler Premium is also being discussed as a new product.

Artesian Solutions’ Social Selling Enhancements

Artesian Solutions combines company and market (industry) Watchlists with a broad set of social sharing, emailing, and bookmarking tools.
Artesian Solutions combines company and market (industry) Watchlists with a broad set of social sharing (Twitter, LinkedIn, Chatter), emailing, calendaring, and bookmarking tools.

UK Social Selling vendor Artesian Solutions announced a set of enhancements to its social selling platform.  Amongst the improvements are an improved CRM connector, “fully customisable” triggers, market sector alerts, employee display filters, and an update to their Ready mobile app.  They are also in the midst of soft launching a US edition with a comparable set of social selling features.

The enhanced CRM connectors for Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics “drive a more dynamic connection between interaction information, business information and market insight for more intuitive and contextualised sales and marketing.”  Among the features are sales trigger filtering by topic and trigger sharing by email, social media, and Chatter.

A new employees page allows users to filter employees by job function and level and set priorities by executive role and level.  The firm has also expanded the depth of executive content including executive overviews and social media links.

Along with market alerts, Artesian has increased the granularity of its market views.  Market alerts may be filtered by industry and country and are delivered weekly.

AS TW R
Artesian Ready Twitter Feed

Artesian also rolled out version 2.3 of its Ready mobile app which provides company and executive insights synched with the mobile calendar.  The service also supports collaborative note taking and a “360° comprehensive profile of customers and prospects.”

New Ready features include Twitter timelines and Twitter sharing (see image on left), social links (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, AngelList, Crunchbase, Klout), job information, and a data quality form for reporting incorrect information.

Rachel Oldroyd, Artesian Product Manager for Mobile commented that Ready “delivers the latest social profile insight straight to users’ fingertips, right up to the very second they go through the meeting room door, for the ultimate in readiness and customer engagement. Its summer launch is very timely, offering a real opportunity to brush off the dust, re-invigorate meetings with new ideas and fresh thinking, and get back into gear ahead of September.”

Ready is available for both Android and iOS devices.

Artesian is priced at $99 per user per month in the US and £89 per user per month in the UK with volume discounting available at higher seat counts.  This pricing is in line with other social selling products such as InsideView and LinkedIn Sales Navigator.  Ready and CRM integrations are included as part of the core service offering along with onboarding, training, and social selling scores.  The firm strongly believes that sales training is key to user adoption so does not charge for custom training sessions.

Social Selling Scores are similar to LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index.  These scores introduce a gamification element to the service helping encourage best practices and ongoing use by sales reps.  Artesian bases its scores on targeting, connecting, and sharing.

Artesian Solutions provides a Social Selling Score Dashboard on the home page to encourage broad usage of their service.
Artesian Solutions provides a Social Selling Score Dashboard on the home page to encourage broad usage of their service.

Artesian opened a Boston office at the beginning of this year and recently soft launched their US edition.  The firm has not disclosed their primary US vendor but it is a credible source of company and contact information.  The US version supports 4.2 million companies and 400,000 Canadian firms.  Social Selling functionality is similar to the UK product with the exception of filed data not available in the US (e.g. registered company financials; directors and shareholders; mortgages and charges; and Companies House images).  Key features in both services include social selling alerts and sharing, company prospecting, watchlists, and social selling scores.

Evolution of Sales Intelligence

Darwin's_finchesThe Sales Intelligence (SI) space has been undergoing some rapid change over the past year.  This evolution in functional scope and content sets has resulted in an expansion in the number of companies I cover as well as the categories (ABSD services, PE/VC funding databases).  There is also a movement of sales intelligence vendors into marketing intelligence as the traditional SIs look for additional revenue opportunities and a broader value proposition.

A year ago, Account Based Marketing (ABM) was discussed mostly by DemandBase, a top of the funnel programmatic marketing vendor, but the predictive analytics vendors and Zoominfo began discussing the methodology.  Thus, a year ago, ABM meant anti-ballistic missile or activity based management to all but the most well-versed marketers.  Now the term is commonly found in corporate blogs and collateral and has spawned ABSD (Account Based Software Development) which follows ABM down to the middle of the funnel in the sales development function.  There are now several ABSD vendors which I have begun to include in my newsletter including SalesLoft and QuotaFactory.  ABSD shifts the sales development focus away from “smile and dial” calling towards targeted messaging into a set of top prospects.  Since the prospecting activities are targeting higher value opportunities, there is a benefit to personalizing calls and emails.  SalesLoft refers to this activity as “sincerity at scale.”

What is even more impressive about SalesLoft and QuotaFactory is that they are both less than two years old and yet they have already grown in commercial stature to the point where they are building out partner ecosystems with traditional SIs and other vendors.  SalesLoft rolled out their Sales Development Cloud at their customer conference last month with nine partners including DiscoverOrg, InsideView, Datanyze, and Owler.  At the same time, QuotaFactory announced partnerships with Bedrock Data, Ambition, HG Data, and InsideView.

A second area of rapid growth is the technology sales intelligence vendors.  DiscoverOrg and RainKing have grown revenue and capabilities, transforming what was historically a sleepy niche into a significant sub-category.  Both vendors have posted high multi-year growth rates, internationalized their datasets, expanded their technology trigger events, and developed CRM and marketing automation connectors.  While they continue to gather rich profiles of IT execs, they are broadening their functional coverage to include non-IT functions that are significantly investing in IT cloud solutions such as marketing and finance.  DiscoverOrg is continuing this functional expansion with product management (the recently released TEDD dataset), HR, and Sales.  Furthermore, their databases, which once focused on the Fortune 1000, now cover nearly 50,000 top global companies and 700,000 executives.  Both firms announced significant funding events in the past six months.

Aberdeen Group, which was spun off of Harte-Hanks last year, has begun to invest in the AccessCI database.  Once the leading source of technology profiles and leads, the AccessCI (aka CiTDB and CITDS) dataset had received little investment from Harte-Hanks over the prior decade.  Under new ownership, the product is once again receiving management attention.

The SIs have also increased their coverage of technographicsAvention acquired SalesQuest two years ago and integrated their Crush profiles into their products while other vendors have licensed vendor/product data from HG Data or mined technographic intelligence.  HG Data has become so adept at collecting vendor/product data that DiscoverOrg and Aberdeen Group have begun licensing content from them.

Several firms that began as fundings databases found that Business Development was a logical extension of their value proposition and have since repositioned themselves as sales intelligence solutions.  Firms such as DataFox and Mattermark are focusing more on sales intelligence functionality while CB Insights has launched a sales intelligence solution (with technographics) while retaining its focus on the PE/VC space.

For the most part, the SIs have avoided the predictive analytics space.  The exceptions are Avention, which supports business signals and ideal profiles, and Radius which morphed  from an SMB SI into a predictive analytics company.  Meanwhile, the predictive analytics companies are beginning to offer a subset of SI features such as net-new leads.

Instead, the SIs have focused more on marketing analytics, data enrichment, and data hygiene which allows them to leverage their databases without investing in data scientists.  Dun & Bradstreet acquired NetProspex last year for its contact database and the Workbench cloud data hygiene platform.  They have also begun to offer Hoover’s concierge services including enrichment, segmentation reporting, and email delivery.  Avention launched its DataVision customer data platform earlier this year while Zoominfo, Data.com, and InsideView have placed equal weight upon marketing services and sales intelligence services.

Social Selling continues to be a core element of positioning for InsideView and LinkedIn Sales NavigatorArtesian Solutions, a UK vendor that is launching a US product later this year, also focuses on social selling.  A significant product gap across the SIs is the lack of social tools built into their offering.  I can understand why SIs have shied away from Who Knows Who tools (the exceptions are InsideView and DueDil), but it is perplexing why most SI vendors have only limited sets of social media links and little social media content displayed in their services.  Only InsideView, Artesian, and Owler have put much emphasis upon social media content.

Europe is also becoming a home of new services.  DueDil has evolved into a UK challenger to Avention and BvD Mint while IKO System and Sparklane (formerly Zebaz) have an established presence in France.

When I started my newsletter four years ago, many of the companies and products either had not been launched or weren’t on my radar.  I mostly focused on Avention, Hoover’s, InsideView, DiscoverOrg, BvD, Sales Genie, Data.com, and RainKing.  While these companies continue to innovate, much of the energy is coming from new entrants.  The rapid growth and diversity of sales intelligence functionality has been exciting to observe.

Credit: Darwin’s Finches are in the public domain.  Charles Darwin, 1845.