Compliance and social selling vendor Artesian Solutions announced its best quarter yet with Q1 (April – June) new business bookings up 290% year-over-year. The firm also posted a 95% retention rate and an average net promoter score of +50. The firm benefited from “strong growth” in its ENGAGE sales acceleration service and its ARCH compliance service released in June. ARCH moves onboarding processing to front-line relationship managers with credit risk monitoring and Know Your Customer data sources. ARCH is designed for banks and insurance companies and allows them to build compliance models which reflect institutional policies.
closed on a multi-year ARCH deal with Metro Bank along with several other financial
“We are off
to an incredible start this year,” announced CEO Andrew Yates. “Our
strong Q1 performance is a continuation of the momentum that began a decade ago
when we launched the first iteration of our award-winning insight and
intelligence platform. The growth in new business bookings and high
retention rate of existing customers highlights the exceptional value Artesian
brings to frontline teams, which was boosted further by the launch of ARCH, a
revolution in front-line initial credit and risk decisioning. Building on
these results we will continue to invest in both ENGAGE and ARCH and have some
exciting new enhancements which will soon be announced, extending our product
and feature set and the overall Artesian experience.”
selling platform Artesian ENGAGE is available for the UK and US markets.
Along with company profiles, ENGAGE supports a broad set of high
precision sales triggers and news stories. ENGAGE intelligence is
available through Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, browsers, and the Ready
mobile app for news alerts and meeting planning and notes. While Artesian
continues to sign US clients, its strength is in the UK market.
is English only gathered from global sites. News coverage is particularly
strong for the US, UK, Canada, and Singapore.
“The entire B2B landscape is undergoing a massive shift, where, increasingly, the key point of differentiation between competing brands is how they sell, not what they sell,” said Director of Marketing Stuart Newton. “The companies that understand this and act quickly to change how they approach customer engagement will be the ones that reap the biggest rewards. Potential buyers are spending more and more time conducting research at arm’s length through digital channels and via word of mouth – front line teams have less time to create an impactful first-impression and when buyers do engage, they expect sellers to deliver value at every touchpoint instead of focusing on features and price alone.”
Artesian Solutions, the UK Sales Intelligence vendor, has been teasing its Artesian Risk and Compliance Hub (ARCH) compliance service for over a year. The new offering, now Generally Available, “enables relationship managers, underwriters and frontline teams within banks, insurance companies, and other financially regulated industries to quickly assess and better understand their corporate clients at the start of the customer journey and throughout the life of the customer.”
Financial services generally perform KYC / AML (Know Your Customer / Anti-Money Laundering) processing during onboarding, but ARCH moves initial processing to frontline staff at the top of the sales funnel before a client is signed. This “distributed compliance,” helps expedite the process, sets client expectations when processing may take longer than normal, and allows relationship managers to avoid prospects that will have arduous compliance processing or which may not meet the institution’s “appetite.”
flags risks which may require additional information from the client. By
flagging them at the outset, the RM can request the missing data before it delays
ARCH performs event-driven reviews which begin before onboarding and continue through the life of the loan or policy. Thus, KYC is no longer subject to periodic reviews but is performed dynamically as new information about the client is ingested by ARCH. Instead of client reviews determined by the calendar, events can trigger full client reviews as needed.
ARCH supports commercial insurance policy writing “with a combination of data and sophisticated rules, bringing efficiency, consistency, and accuracy so that underwriters can focus on underwriting. Decisions can be recorded whilst both justified in the future and used for decision analysis and pricing optimisation.” Artesian’s fine-grained taxonomy and assisted machine learning help to identify potential underwriting risks “according to the predetermined definitions of an insurer.”
moving compliance reviews to front-line workers, commercial insurers can
perform a KYC check and risk evaluation prior to quoting a policy. “One
reason for using it is that they might want to look at what gets declared to
them by the new customer compared to what they can see from ARCH,” said
Artesian VP of Risk Solutions Matt Elsom. “To do that they can have a
look at some of the fraud-focused data sources and financial data.”
survey by Fenergo of global financial services executives found that poor
onboarding negatively impacts client experience and reduces the lifetime value
(LTV) of clients. 36% acknowledged losing customers due to onboarding
issues and 84% tied the onboarding experience to reduced LTV.
Figure 2: “The Cost of Poor CX,” Fenergo, January 2019. N=250 global Financial Services executives (Source: Artesian Solutions)
noted that KYC compliance team workloads have “grown beyond all expectations”
due to the availability of international ownership linkages and ultimate
beneficial ownership data. “The overall effect of this is an MLRO [Money
Laundering Reporting Officer] and board being put under pressure to reduce
onboarding delays whilst maintaining adherence to regulation – and the only
effective solution has been to recruit more compliance analysts. The cost
associated with this approach has become unsustainable as the work queue
continues to grow simply to maintain current levels of new business.”
to Artesian, “ARCH is not only an innovative new technology, but a huge leap
forward in the drive for ‘distributed compliance’ – the ability for central
teams to distribute KYC and AML tasks to their frontline colleagues who are
best placed to engage with the client and solve issues in the fastest, most
productive way. It places compliance and powerful risk data at the heart
of the business – front of mind for every member of staff, informing every
decision, instructing every interaction and shaping every relationship from
pre-screening prospective new customers through to ongoing tracking and
long-standing client development.”
“configurable decision engine” monitors real-time credit risk and KYC data sets
and applies bank or insurer policies to the compliance decisions. Each
client determines which data sources to ingest and “applies custom policies to
that combined data in the form of multi-dimensional rules” which are screened
and interpreted based upon institutional policies. Flagged issues are
delivered through a browser interface or loaded into other compliance systems
via an API.
“We have the great privilege of serving 80% of the UK’s major banking institutions, providing powerful sales engagement insights to relationship managers. We asked what we could do to make our software even more useful and the answer was ARCH. Almost two years of engineering and millions of pounds later we’re announcing ARCH’s general availability for customers. We believe this puts Artesian in a unique position to be able to combine customer engagement capabilities together with credit and risk in one single application delivered through a browser or mobile device.”
We’ve built a strong team of specialists to extend our core competencies and have worked closely with our key partners at Experian, LexisNexis, and Refinitiv (Thompson Reuters) with more partnerships to come. This allows our customers to select the data sources they already rely upon and trust and easily integrate them into ARCH”
Artesian Solutions CEO Andrew Yates
a beta test with a top UK bank, ARCH decisioning was fully consistent with
existing bank processing while flagging 14% more “critical risk” issues than
current bank processes. ARCH also reduced average case time from two
hundred minutes to eight, “allowing relationship managers to know more, know
sooner and save time – enabling them to focus on delivering a better customer
recently added ARCH to its eleven-week incubator program Scale InsureTech which
is “aimed at identifying and developing fast-growth technology companies in the
financial services clients include RBS, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, EY, and
North American sales intelligence firms do not normally support client onboarding and risk assessment, but UK and European firms support these functions due to a richer set of registry data. European vendors such as DueDil, Bureau van Dijk, and Artesian support sales, marketing, and regulatory compliance.
UK social selling vendor Artesian Solutions recognized significant growth in the technology sector in 2018, with tech sector revenue up 255% in 2018. Artesian attributed the growth to the “vast return on investment that can be achieved by leveraging millions of data points to create new relationships, establish credibility, address individual pain points and wider market challenges, and create new opportunities.”
social selling platform provides users with a rich set of sales triggers
combined with company intelligence.
companies are increasingly investing much of their valuable brain power into
crafting long-term, powerful relationships from the start of the customer
journey,” said CEO Andrew Yates. “By harnessing technologies such as
Artesian they’re uncovering opportunities to act in more contextually aware,
empathetic and personalised ways and in turn are seizing opportunities to
differentiate in an entirely different way, rather than focusing on features,
benefits and brand reputation alone.”
describing Artesian’s value proposition to technology sales reps:
“Harnessing the most valuable company information, market data and customer insights means Artesian’s technology customers can build innovative propositions for their products and services, prioritising ideas based on solving actual business challenges in each customer segment they serve. The sheer pace of change in the technology sector, including new entrant disruption, means enterprise providers can quickly fall behind if they’re not able establish deep, value-based relationships, especially when they may not be able to react as quickly within product development as their smaller competitors. Artesian’s growth in the sector highlights a shift in focus towards customer experience and value-based selling. Our technology customers are great examples of how to stay relevant and grow, even in a challenging political and economic environment.”
Artesian Solutions CEO Andrew Yates
Artesian’s technology customers include Oracle, Amazon Web Services, SAP, BT, Infinity Tracking, and Canon.
Artesian Solutions has also shown strength selling to British banks and insurance companies. Another 2019 object is the infusion of artificial intelligence into financial services onboarding and compliance tools. The firm has 30,000 users located in the United Kingdom and United States.
Artesian Solutions CEO Andrew Yates published a year-in-review blog and a preview of their upcoming Artesian Risk and Compliance Hub (ARCH). The new ARCH capabilities will extend their social selling platform into Know Your Client (KYC) reviews at UK banks. ARCH is in early testing.
ARCH leverages Artesian capabilities around interpreting structured and unstructured data ”to create useful flags and to drive appropriate actions.” Artesian already is on the desktop of relationship managers (RMs) at most of the major UK banks. “This puts us in a unique position to make insights regarding financial and KYC risks available to the front-line as a pre-screen, to ensure that corporate banking relationships begin with an appropriate understanding of risk.”
supports an automated audit trail and storage of evidence. Early tests
found ARCH to be “100% accurate in reflecting policy in pre-screening.” Arch
also reduced the time spent in gathering risk assessment data by 90% and
identified 14% more risk issues compared with manual processing.
a pre-screen at the front-end of client discussions, RMs can focus on new
clients that will pass muster during the onboarding review process. This
process makes both relationship managers and compliance professionals more
effective. RMs will no longer be spending time with prospective clients
that won’t pass compliance review while compliance professionals can focus
their attention on more complex reviews which require their skill and
“ARCH gives companies control of a sophisticated decision engine to enable data being accessed to have rules applied and flags created. It means that Relationship Managers can see a summarised view of what their central risk teams assessment of a potential client would be, before spending time and money engaging with them. The automation aspect of this is fundamental as it brings efficiency, consistency and control to the areas it transforms.
But more than that, it places compliance at the heart of the business – front of mind for every member of staff, informing every decision, instructing every interaction and shaping every relationship from pre-screens for new customer prospecting through to long-standing client development.”
Artesian CEO Andrew Yates
McKinsey research which notes that the risk function at financial institutions
is being transformed “with the detection, assessment, and mitigation of risk” being
transferred to all employees by 2025.
Risk and Compliance tools are a greater focus amongst European sales intelligence firms due to the availability of private company registry data. While US private companies provide only minimalist filings with Secretaries of State offices (with a few exceptions in insurance, banking, and nonprofits), UK company registration data includes directors, shareholders, and financials. Other UK compliance data includes sanctions lists, Politically Exposed Persons (global government officials and relatives), disqualified directors, gazettes (shuttered business and those in receivership), and traditional credit reports. Vendors such as Artesian, DueDil, and Bureau van Dijk have recently emphasized compliance and risk tool development over sales intelligence offerings.
reached 30,000 users in 2018 with their user base tracking over 800,000
companies. According to Yates, Artesian customers “have received 12.5
million actionable insights, 2.5m unique computational matches each week,
automated the equivalent of 2 trillion Google searches per week (13bn per
hour), and have made 523,813 useful connections using Artesian data.”
staff provided over 350 training sessions, webinars, and workshops to more than
3,000 users in 2018. Artesian Academy delivered an additional 1,200
multi-media tutorials, certification modules, role-based tips, and social media
best practices overviews.
Artesian Solutions implemented a set of technological upgrades to its sales intelligence service which provide speedier searches, more accurate sales triggers, and improved capacity. Artesian now employs Elasticsearch for its news and social media storage. According to the firm, “This has enabled it to dramatically scale up server capacity, boost the performance of its advanced architecture, and provided the ability to analyse, filter and deliver results from raw unstructured data. Search results that previously took 10 seconds now take just 10 milliseconds.”
Artesian Solutions enhanced their sales triggers with improved scoring and ranking algorithms while improved caching and load balancing allow the firm to expand concurrent users ten-fold without a degradation in performance.
The net result of these architectural enhancements is a 25X increase in historical content available for analysis and research and a five-fold increase in the speed of news query engines.
“We constantly feed back into our engineering team the learnings, preferences and needs of our customers, and in return they always deliver robust, superior performance enhancements that not only accelerate our R&D programme, but solidify our position as the market leader in sales intelligence software,” said Artesian CTO Steve Borthwick. “We’ve boosted the performance and accuracy of the Artesian platform across the board, improving raw speed and our ability to handle a significant number of simultaneous users, as well as optimising their ability to uncover those all-important golden nuggets of sales insight.”
Artesian CEO Andrew Yates recently discussed Artesian Solutions with Sudipto Ghosh as part of the MarTech Interview Series. Artesian was founded to help resolve the disparity between B2B buyer and seller tools. “We saw that businesses had transformed the way they buy, but that sellers had not adapted. This mismatch led us to create a vision of better B2B sales engagement that is customer-centric at its heart, and to develop the world’s most powerful customer intelligence application to support it.”
Yates described technology as “the biggest disruptive force in the world” and his entrepreneurship as “a desire to disrupt the status quo, solve problems, remove complexity and make a difference.” He sees Artesian Solutions as a “disruptive force for good in our sector, providing engagement smarts for companies and markets in the same way that LinkedIn has done for people insights.”
Artesian is incorporating new AI technologies into its platform including the Arti chatbot based upon IBM Watson. As they are doing so, they are repositioning from Social Selling to “A.I.-powered sales intelligence.”
Yates warns that businesses look for CRM platforms to help customer facing departments build customer-centric businesses and a full customer view. Often, though, they become frustrated when CRMs do not provide the desired customer experience and engagement. But CRMs are only as good as the data entered into them and are subject to ongoing data decay. Further compounding this issue is
“the sheer volume of data businesses need to grapple with. Often unstructured, this data is increasingly hard to find, rationalize and interpret. Inaccurate or out-of-date data has several inevitable consequences. Take-up and enthusiasm for CRM input wanes as the volume of data increases, and time spent just keeping up-to-date with existing customer data impacts negatively on time spent researching and acquiring new ones. Opportunities to respond to real-time customer news and market insight are missed, and customers looking for instant action and results are left disappointed. Likewise, deals are lost through mistakes, and errors in messaging and targeting become more frequent. Forecasting accuracy diminishes as emerging trends go unnoticed.”
Yates recommends working with a data partner that provides a full view of customers and contacts, including contextualized customer insight; news, market trends and social media monitoring; real-time intelligence; and single sourced company and contact profiles with “social profiles, opinions, and expectations.”
British sales intelligence vendor Artesian Solutions announced that it received £3.5M in expansion capital from Columbia Lake partners. The funds will be used to refinance current debt obligations and provide working capital for “further growth and expansion.” The refinancing also provides better terms and business flexibility after the firm reached a profitability milestone in July.
Artesian has begun integrating artificial intelligence into its tools. Earlier this year, it launched Insight Agent, “the first step in a series of intelligent chat bots aimed at automating many of the tasks carried out by B2B professionals” along with Arti, the firm’s interactive digital assistant.
“This is an exciting milestone in our company’s history and positively reinforces the leadership position we have attained. We are constantly looking at the ‘what next’ scenario, pushing boundaries to establish our business as one of the leading innovators in B2B software for commercial teams, this has paved the way for our new risk mitigation capabilities which will be released in the New Year.”
Artesian Solutions CEO Andrew Yates
The firm has recently shifted its positioning from social selling to “A.I. powered sales intelligence.”
“Social Selling sits at the heart of Artesian’s founding principles,” explained Yates. “But as sales best practice has evolved, so has Artesian. Our goal is to be at the forefront of technology evolution for enterprise B2B, delivering a suite of A.I.-powered tools to make prospecting, engaging and closing deals easier. As our forthcoming risk mitigation capabilities demonstrate, we will continue to evolve to ensure we remain a trusted partner of our enterprise customers and to maximise the impact of their business relationships”
Artesian offers products for both the British and American markets.
British social selling service Artesian Solutions launched their new Arti chatbot (artesian.ai) this month. According to their press release, “Arti enables intuitive customer interaction in a relatively human-like way, answering questions about Artesian’s capabilities and providing expertise in real time. No longer do customers need to search through content on the company’s website, instead they can now interact directly with Arti and uncover the information they need in an instant.”
The Arti screen is split into two with the user keying questions on the left. A text response is displayed alongside the question as a British voice reads the answer. If there is ancillary content or videos, it is displayed in the right window.
“Our business is all about pushing the boundaries of web-based technology to deliver commercially valuable and immediately actionable insights for our customers,” said CEO Andrew Yates. “Telling the user what they need to know and the action they need to take, at the right time, means client facing teams can capitalise from every business moment. Arti is a great example of how the application of AI can be a significant enabler of productivity, lead generation and importantly enhanced customer experiences.”
A quick test proved disappointing with Arti misunderstanding basic questions such as “Which countries do you cover?” or “do you publish financials?” Many of the responses are tangential answers usually suggesting a “meeting with the team.” Of course, AI tools are able to learn and the content and response sets should improve over time. Thus, Arti users are likely to have better results in the future.
And as evidence of learning, the system has been updated to provide the following answer to “do you publish financials?”
We provide access to Experian credit ratings directly within Artesian, along with lots of other valuable information such as corporate family tree, shareholdings and detailed financial information.
“Arti is more than just a bit of fun, although we’ve certainly had fun building it,” said Director of Marketing Stuart Newton. “It has the potential to be an incredibly powerful marketing tool for us. Arti will continue to get smarter the more our customers engage with it, learning from previous conversations to become more effective and valuable to our web visitors. I am delighted to place Artesian amongst some of the leading brands in the world, leveraging chat bots to connect with customers. It will change the customer experience by replacing clicks with sustained conversations and personalised interactions.”
This is the last of a series of blog posts containing interview transcripts between Artesian Solutions CEO Andrew Yates and me. This excerpt discusses how Artesian drives high engagements rates across their multi-platform social selling service.
Michael: You quote an 89% daily user engagement rate for your platform.
Michael: Having looked at competitors, nobody is close to that rate.
Andrew: I know, that’s true. It’s because we go beyond the 80/20 rule*. We work really, really hard to make sure that the interdependency with Artesian isn’t limited to a desktop or web app-based user interaction. We’ve invested a ton in things like optimization for mobile devices, smart calendar apps, real-time alerting, actionable insights from an alert and an action center that sits midway between the web app and the mobile app. Consequently, we keep people interested in using the service on a daily basis because there’s so many different ways to interact with it.
Also, our philosophy is a key differentiator. Others talk about this, but I don’t see them doing it. When we’re teaching users what to do with Artesian, we say, “If all you do is consume, then we’ve not done our job, and you’ve wasted your opportunity.” What we are encouraging you to do is think about how you can drive actions from the insight. If you drive action, good things will happen. Not only will we make it easy for you to drive actions, but we’ll also measure the outcome.
Everything you do in Artesian is tracked, as is everything you output. When you share a link or you share a piece of insight, not only does it come in a nice condensed form, but it’s fully trackable.
I know you’ve opened it. I know you’ve shared it. I can do the same thing on social media for posts to LinkedIn. I know how many people have clicked on it, how many people have viewed it. We give you all that feedback plus an influence score to really gratify you that you’ve done something great, and it’s working. That’s the big difference from just providing access to a service. What we are about is not force feeding the patient, but encouraging the user to interact with the service and really do something with the insight.
Michael: What percentage of your users have installed your Ready mobile app?
Andrew: Artesian Ready has about 25% penetration. That’s pretty good considering we mainly work with large enterprises, many of which place limitations on what you can do with your mobile device. The very fact that it’s an app is a barrier. That’s why in [the recently released version] 16.1 we’ve done a fully mobile-optimized version of the web app for the mobile phone. It’s not an app. You don’t need to download anything to use it and we don’t hit the buffers in terms of corporate [security].
Michael: And what percentage of your users are accessing Artesian through Salesforce?
Andrew: About 25%, which might surprise you, because what we found in the larger corporates is, we’ve introduced Artesian as an integrated part of our concept but people have said there’s a backlog, like a queue of apps that they want to get approved and installed. We tend to say to the customer, “Well, get going with Artesian standalone, then integrate it with Salesforce later.” That said, with the release of 16.0 which had the first Opportunity View integration, we’ve seen our Salesforce pipeline opportunities go from 20/80 to 80/20.
This is the last of four blogs derived from an interview of Artesian CEO Andrew Yates. The previous blogs covered:
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Artesian Solutions CEO Andrew Yates and discuss topics including how they fit into the sales intelligence space and being “customer curious.” Artesian provides a social selling solution for the UK, US, and Canada. Their sales intelligence is delivered via a web browser, Salesforce.com, and their Ready mobile app.
Michael: How do you view yourself versus firms in the sales intelligence space?
Andrew: I had a chat with [CEO] Henry [Schuck] from DiscoverOrg just recently. It took us a while to realize that we didn’t really compete with DiscoverOrg. We might compete for share of wallet. Certainly, some of the words on the website are saying [similar things]. Fundamentally, we’re two different types of organizations.
I think there are companies that make data, curate data, sell access to curated data. I would include in addition to DiscoverOrg, RainKing and InsideView.
I talked to Henry. I said, “Somebody would buy your service because they would want to get the inside track on when the projects are coming up, on particular types of initiatives. Who’s who in the zoo? What’s their phone number and email address?” The stimulus would be, “I’m contacting you to talk to you about this project on which I can help you.” [That’s] The bit where we take over guiding the conversations which follow over the remainder of the sales cycle, we can do that.
We use natural language processing, machine-based learning and AI to take data from people who already aggregate it. Then we take it through our own process because there isn’t anything out there that has anything like the superior capabilities we’ve got around topic classification, tagging, and all the things that go with our value proposition. As I said to Henry, “We’re never really going to compete directly because we’ve got no intention of hiring a bunch of people to build various specific data.”
I think he’s on fire at the moment…In the States, there’s a real shortage of quality contact insight. Where we take over is where DiscoverOrg leaves off. At the point where you’ve identified an opportunity in a customer and then you want to build that relationship and keep that relationship going over time not just maybe sell them one product or service but sell them multiple products or services and keep going back. That’s the area we’re really, really good at.
Michael: Okay. Right, so basically being aware of what’s going on in that organization and maintaining the relationship.
Andrew: Yes. That’s why we look for organizations, customers that we sell to who have a relationship management model at their heart. This “customer curious” concept came from one of our customers, NetApp. The chap that was running Europe came up with the phrase. He drew me this picture and said, “There’s three ways we can differentiate ourselves in the market. We can differentiate ourselves with products,” he said. “And NetApp’s got the same product that three or four other companies have got. We can do it with price, but that’s a race to the bottom or we can do it with service. We want to do it with service, and we want to be the best. The best company in this space. We can have a product that is good or better than anyone else’s, but we’ll differentiate ourselves by being customer curious.”
There’s nothing like getting inspiration for where your headed from a customer.
Michael: This topic is near and dear to Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff: being customer obsessed.
Andrew: Yes. Being customer obsessed is where we try to complement Mark Benioff’s vision. The Salesforce platform is an excellent system of record, and I think people buy CRM expecting it to help them sell, and it does. It helps them sell by getting more organized and orchestrated with the customer at the center, but it’s not a system of engagement. That’s really where we feel we come in as a complement and supplement to that system of record.
The interview will wrap up on Monday with a discussion of how Artesian maintains a very high engagement rate amongst its users.