BuzzBoard Graph of 100M Global SMBs (Part II)

Yesterday, I began my profile of SMB Sales Intelligence vendor BuzzBoard which supports a global company graph of 100 million SMBs. Part II discusses several BuzzBoard reports titled Competition, Category Insights, and Recommendations.

The Competition tab compares a company against three local peers, allowing reps to take a value-added discussion approach to customer and prospect meetings.  This benchmarking can be performed as early as the first call, helping to differentiate the sales rep.  Should the prospect wish to see other competitors, the representative can quickly remove one of the competitors and add a requested company to the analysis.  The competitive benchmark supports three tabs: Digital Marketing, HR & Organization, and Communications.

BuzzBoard recommends that reps not go through the competitive report line-by-line, but focus on two or three categories where the vendor “has solutions.” Going line-by-line is “the digital equivalent to the PowerPoint presentation,” warns BuzzBoard Director of Community & Training Phillip Cortez.

Category Insights include local advertising intelligence from Borrell Associates.  Borrell data includes industry-specific ad budgets for local markets.  Local data is available for both digital advertising, non-digital advertising, and their sub-categories (e.g. General Paid Search, Targeted Display, Listings Paid Search, Newspapers, Local Broadcast TV, Radio).  There is also a section on Audience Targeting Opportunities for the industry, providing fodder for sales conversations.  This intelligence would also be valuable for the marketing communications team in developing blog and social content that targets top segments.  Other sections include technology trends, threats and opportunities, top products and services, and “know their customers.”

The Recommendations tab provides a set of recommendations and talking points based on gaps in a firm’s digital marketing presence.

BuzzBoard is well-positioned for firms that target SMBs, particularly if they provide digital services of some form.  This focus, however, makes them ill-suited for enterprise sales.  The database does not offer company linkages, long business descriptions, tickers (for quickly looking up the HQ of a firm), filings, financials, etc.  However, they are clear in their positioning as a B2SMB database.

BuzzBoard is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Lyndhurst, New Jersey and Hyderabad (engineering).  The firm has 85 employees with open positions in sales, customer success, engineering, and product management.

COVID-19 has “not really impacted us substantially,” said CEO Umesh Tibrewal.

D&B Hoover’s Enhancements

D&B Hoovers released a set of enhancements to its sales intelligence service.  New content and features include expanded company identifiers, company identifier searching, additional URLs, and a COVID-19 Impact Index.

D&B Hoovers has improved the scope and display of global registration numbers (AKA Regnos) within their service, with identifiers available for more than 129 million companies spanning more than 500 different National Identification Numbering Schema.  Regnos are now more prominent in Company Profiles and searchable in the “Company Identifiers” section of “Search & Build a List.”

Identifiers include US Federal Tax IDs (EINs), VATs, and French Siret Numbers.  Up to four identifiers are displayed in company profiles.  While the service has long supported Dun & Bradstreet’s D-U-N-S Numbers, stock tickers, and registration numbers, the expanded scope assists with company lookup and research.

Dun & Bradstreet cautioned that not all registration numbers are unique, and multiple family members may share a Regno.

Users may search for a single identifier or upload a list of up to 1,000 ids.

“This new presentation of global registration numbers with Company Profiles and the Search & Build a List Form better aligns with the display of this information across Dun & Bradstreet products, providing a more consistent data experience for users who have multiple offerings.”

Senior Product Director Phil McWade

D&B Hoovers added 3.5 million additional URLs to their service, bringing the global count to 24 million.

D&B Hoovers continues to expand its company and executive coverage, with nearly 180 million active companies and 160 million active contacts.

Another new feature is a Coronavirus trigger for reps looking to monitor prospects and accounts along with a set of COVID-19 Impact Indices.  The new Impact Index is available as an optional add-on, priced per seat.

The new COVID-19 Impact Index will be covered in tomorrow’s blog.

GrowFlare V2.0

GrowFlare rolled out version 2.0 of its sales and marketing intelligence solution.  Enhancements include a revised Prospector tool for similar company searching, a Chrome connector for quick profiling and prospecting against a company website, HubSpot CRM imports, keyword searching, and customer fit scoring for HubSpot.

The enhanced Prospector tool identifies 100 companies similar to a target company based on psychographics, which are the common phrases and interests companies share.  This approach differs from most vendors that employ firmographics and technographics in their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) modeling.  For the target company, the trending topics are displayed as a spider chart with new topics called out.  Reps can drill on trending topics to see an example from the firm.  Topical analysis is derived from websites, social media, government filings, and job listings.

When users click on a trending psychographic, they are presented with in-context examples of the phrasing with the term highlighted.  The trending topics and psychographics are “invaluable for marketing and sales personalization,” said Founder & CEO Matt Belkin.

The similar companies New Prospects list includes a Fit Score, which gauges the level of similarity to the target company along with the shared psychographics.  So if a rep just closed a deal at the target, he or she can be confident that the high fit scores are similar in their market positioning.  Fit Scores are exportable to lead scoring models.  A quick view magnifying glass icon displays the trending topics for any of the prospects.

Below the Prospects list are additional graphics and analytics, including a shared psychographics word cloud, top 10 shared psychographics, locations of the prospects, and sizing ranges (employee and revenue).  As these analytics are based on the prospecting list, they assist with campaign messaging.

Searches are auto-saved to Active Lists, which identify new prospects.  Company profiles are scanned and rebuilt each week with companies compared and ranked within the list.

“NEW means they are new to the list and is usually a great signal to reach out [to] now because something strategic has changed with that prospect, bringing them closer to your ICP.  Your window of opportunity is now,” said Belkin.  “For example, they launched a new campaign, rebranding, business model shift, product launch, leadership change, etc. – all of these can cause this change.”

Any Keyword Search or Prospector Active List is automatically setup for alerts, whereby GrowFlare notifies the customer each week of meaningful changes and new prospect opportunities.  When viewed, the table of new prospects includes a Trend score, which is the change in rank position from the prior week.  An Active List focused on competitors will notify sales and marketing when competitor positioning shifts.  This tool would also be valuable for competitive intelligence analysts and business development reps looking to track a narrow universe of competitors or partners.

GrowFlare recommends that firms run Prospector against themselves to see “where your messaging shines” as well as competitors to understand their current positioning.

”Everywhere you look sales and marketing teams are wasting millions of dollars trying to acquire the wrong customers and saying the wrong things.  It’s crazy and the whole approach is broken.  We started GrowFlare to fix it.  You already know your best customers, GrowFlare helps you find 100 more just like them based on their shared interests.  It’s easy to see how focusing on what buyers care about – their psychographics – is far more effective when marketing and selling to them.  It sounds fancy, but it’s the same magic that powers recommendations for Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify in the consumer world.  We just built it for B2B.”

­GrowFlare CEO Matt Belkin

The Prospector Bulk feature is similar to Prospector but executes against a full customer list.  According to Belkin, “The resulting output averages between 25x-100x more high-fit prospects that sales and marketing teams can target with account-based outbound campaigns.”

GoldMiner CRM compares a customer list against open CRM leads and opportunities.  CRM accounts may be uploaded from HubSpot or entered as a domain list. 

The results are similar to Prospector, with GoldMiner listing the best prospects based upon Fit Score and the best reference customer.  GoldMiner also displays

  • The most valuable reference customers – Which accounts are the top referenced customers for the prospect list
  • Match rates
  • CRM Growth Multiplier – The CRM Growth Multiplier compares the number of high priority prospects in the prospect list to the number of customers in the CRM.
  • CRM Efficiency – The number of CRM high-priority prospects versus the total leads in your CRM.  CRM efficiency indicates the percentage of high value accounts in the CRM vs. weak fit accounts as determined by GrowFlare.

Belkin suggests that the new leads list should be run through GoldMiner “every day or week” as “this can be very valuable in quickly prioritizing third-party list buys, webinar lists, partner lists, technographic lists, and much more.”


Part II of my GrowFlare coverage continues tomorrow with a discussion of Keyword Searching, the Chrome Extension, and pricing.

D&B Hoovers Gooses Its Content for Current Users

Spend Capacity is one of three new risk metrics available through D&B Hoovers.

D&B Hoover’s customers are enjoying additional risk scores and industry content through the end of May.  This benefit is perfect timing for adding value to their offering on a short-term basis as it allows customers to test out additional content and functionality for two months at no charge. Sales reps are under great pressure to build and maintain their pipeline through improved targeting and messaging.

Likewise, Relationship Managers at banks are under immense pressure to process CARES PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) across a broad set of pandemic-impacted industries.

Supplementary material includes

  • First Research industry overviews
  • DecisionHQ flags (does the location have purchasing authority?)
  • Spend Capacity (A spend ranking score versus other companies)
  • Growth Trajectory (Will the company grow, shrink, or remain stable over the next 12 to 18 months?)

In Family Trees, a star icon flags locations with purchasing authority.  All three predictive scores are available as search filters in Build a List.

First Research reports [sample] are a set of plain-English industry overviews which help sales reps, Customer Success Managers, and relationship managers who sell and service across a broad set of industries quickly understand industry basics and trends. Core content includes

  • Industry Description: Competitive Landscape; Products, Operations, & Technology; Sales & Marketing; Finance & Regulation; Regional & International Issues; and Human Resources.
  • Top Companies
  • Financials: Industry statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US International Trade Commission. Also includes valuation multiples.
  • Industry Forecast: Inforum Forecast
  • Industry Growth Rating
  • Trends & Opportunities
  • Executive Insight: Key Topics by C-level job Function
  • Business Challenges
  • Call Prep Questions: Conversation Starters; Operations, Products, & Facilities; Customers, Marketing, Pricing, & Competition; Regulations, R&D, Imports, & Exports; Organization & Management; Financial Analysis; and Business & Technology Strategies.
  • Industry Indicators
  • Industry Websites
  • Fast Facts

The Call Prep Questions and Executive Insights offer great value to non-experts. If you are a relationship manager or territory rep, you are likely speaking to individuals across many industries on a daily basis. It would be impossible to develop true expertise in all of those industries. These sections help professionals ask intelligent questions and tailor their conversations at the account and persona level.

First Research reports are available as an integrated service in D&B Hoovers, via the D&B Direct API, as a standalone service, and as individual reports.

First Research reports are written at the eight-digit Dun & Bradstreet SIC-code level and associated with company profiles by these codes. They are also available through the Research and Reports module.


Dun & Bradstreet is also offering risk solutions for business and government during the Covid pandemic:

Dun & Bradstreet: Business Insights for Business & Government in the Age of COVID-19

Dun & Bradstreet launched a free COVID-19 Business Impact Research Platform for government agencies.  The service provides data, analytics, and insights to government decision-makers to assist with

  • Risk mitigation and risk initiatives
  • Prioritizing emergency management and economic support programs
  • Determining workforce disruptions and supply chain risks.

British and Canadian versions of the service are in development.

Dun & Bradstreet is also providing services to FEMA, the US Small Business Administration, and the National Economic Council at the White House to assist with CARES Act funding and administration.

Small businesses may review and update business information at no charge before applying for CARES Act funding.  They can then monitor their Dun & Bradstreet scores and ratings.

“We recognize that communities are managing through unprecedented circumstances.  Our team of data scientists are lending their skills and analytics capabilities to help organizations across public and private sectors as they face the economic downturn resulting from this global pandemic. We are all in this together and consider it our duty as a trusted advisor to find ways to use our insights and mission-critical data and analytics to help businesses manage risk and turn uncertainty of the moment into confidence in the future.”

Dun & Bradstreet President Stephen C. Daffron

Dun & Bradstreet is also offering free health scan tools for supply chains, portfolios, and pipeline risk.

Emissary Expands Services

Emissary is expanding its set of consultative information services to deliver holistic solutions that accelerate enterprise deals across all stages of the sales cycle.  Their new solutions include propensityto buy surveys, custom industry and account planning reports, and qualified introductions.  These services leverage their private network of Emissaries to help enterprise sales and marketing teams align on their target accounts and create actionable strategies to accelerate deals.  

Emissary hosts a private sales and marketing intelligence network that leverages the insights of former Fortune 1000 executives to drive deals forward.  What differentiates Emissary from traditional sales intelligence firms is their ability to deliver tacit knowledge that is locked up in people’s heads but not available in traditional company profiles or via web searches.  Tacit knowledge is only available through direct conversations and interviews.  Tacit knowledge includes topics such as biases of key decision-makers, roadblocks in the purchasing process, messaging that is likely to resonate, planned initiatives, internal concerns, and hidden influencers.  Emissary sales and marketing services tap this tacit knowledge and deliver it via direct interviews, researched profiles, and recommendations.

Emissary’s primary customer base is comprised of technology firms that are looking to sharpen their ABM strategies, increase their deal size, and improve their close rates.  Their services are sold in annual packages with bespoke pricing.

“The goal of Emissary is to give sellers and marketers the information they need to have inspiring and thought-provoking conversations at the executive level.  This helps elevate the relationship instead of just pitching a value proposition.”

Emissary CRO Eric Rosenthal

Enterprise sales teams leverage Emissary knowledge across all stages of their sales cycle.  Emissary’s sales packages give sellers the insights they need to prioritize their accounts, pitch to the c-level, close deals faster, and hit their annual bookings numbers.  These solutions include propensity to buy surveys and industry reports gathered through analyst interviews with their Emissaries.  These bespoke reports generally run six to ten pages and are customized for each client.  As multiple Emissaries are interviewed for each report, the report is informed by diverse functional perspectives. 

Emissary’s account prioritization service helps sales and marketing teams align on their ABM targets.  ABM accounts are distributed amongst their Emissaries to score propensity to buy.  This prioritization helps sales and marketing teams focus on accounts with the greatest near-term potential. 

Prioritization services also include recommending the best contacts to reach out to at an account.  Once the Emissary has provided one-to-one deal coaching with the sales rep, they may also provide qualified introductions to their contacts inside the target account.

Other marketing services include consultations around product marketing, industry positioning, messaging, case studies, and campaigns.  Emissaries in a targeted segment can evaluate and help create specific industry and account messaging that speaks to C-level buyers and breaks through the noise of traditional product and solution-based selling.


Emissary is offering members of Market Insights free access to their sales podcast, Emissary Live.  New company, industry, and persona-based (e.g. Procurement, CISO) content is added weekly.

Artesian Business Categories and Company Buzzwords

Business Categories expand the set of synonyms associated with UK SICs
Business Categories expand the set of synonyms associated with UK SICs

Artesian Solutions announced the availability of Artesian Business Categories and Company Buzzwords functionality to its Artesian Engage sales intelligence service.  Company Buzzwords are a set of common product and service descriptors not found in standard industry taxonomies.  The buzzwords are mined from company websites.  For example, firms manufacturing or selling craft beer can be targeted within Artesian’s Prospector module.  Likewise, technologies such as blockchain and the Internet of Things, which span many industries, may also be targeted.

Artesian Business Categories expand the categories and synonyms associated with existing UK SIC codes.  Artesian gives the example of Drink Production as a synonym of Manufacture of Beverages with the word Drink returning industries such as Drink Retail and Drink Wholesale.

“As a business, we constantly aim to exceed customer expectations, so in response to their feedback, we not only improved the way they use SIC codes (with Artesian Business Categories), but also created a whole new way of finding companies in niche or highly specialised industries,” said Richard Clark Artesian’s VP of Product Management.  “These two new features will help our users get hyper-specific when searching for companies using Artesian’s prospecting tools, thereby enabling them to uncover new opportunities that may otherwise have been missed, and keeping them one step ahead of the competition.”

Artesian Business Categories are available for the UK SIC taxonomy, but not other industry code structures (e.g. NACE 2.0, NAICS).  When multiple codes are employed, Boolean AND / OR operators are supported.

“The SIC code system of categorising a company’s primary activities was first introduced in the UK in 1948 and although it has since been revised, the most recent update was back in 2007.  It is widely criticised for excluding categories to cover the latest sectors and for misrepresenting the activities of many businesses.  For example, Google UK Ltd is listed on Companies House as ‘82990 – Other business support service activities not elsewhere classified’ (a generic category for companies struggling to identify a suitable alternative).”

Artesian Solutions Press Release

Other new features include a news topic search (previously, users had to navigate menus) and expanded prospecting selects for Export Turnover (Export Revenue), Location Type, TPS (UK Telephony blocking), and roles.  Users can also exclude companies with estimative turnover, employee counts, or net worth values instead of actuals.

Vainu Rebrands

Finnish sales intelligence vendor Vainu rebranded earlier this week. The goal was to provide a unified view of the company.  Vainu is focused on company intelligence but includes registered contact/director details and mined data. The firm also offers CRM and MAP data enrichment and hygiene services.

Unlike most sales intelligence databases, Vainu is available in English, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch, Danish and French.  Country datasets include Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and The Netherlands with detailed financial data available for Norway, Sweden, and Finland.  Beta datasets are available for France, the UK, and the US with additional countries being developed.

Core UK data is gathered from Companies House.  US data is aggregated from state filings.

I’ve been planning on covering Vainu for the past six months but was waiting for an event.  Rebranding is as good a reason any.

Vainu was launched in 2014 and crowdsourced its initial dog nose logo (Vainu is a Finnish word for the scent picked up by an animal).  The website design and other branding aspects were inconsistent.

“Everything else was pretty much put together ad hoc after that: color schemes and supporting visuals for our first website layout, stock photos for our first slide decks, different messages to cater to the situations at hand.  The end result has been just as fragmented or ad hoc as our strategy: we’ve looked and felt different and sounded different in any situation.”

Mikko Luhtava, Vainu Head of Communications

Now that the firm has 2,000 customers and 180 employees, they felt it was time to formalize their brand with a new logo, tagline, and website with real images and black, white, and yellow text.

Vainu argues that B2B Sales is still stuck in the era of spam emails and cold calling lists.  “While buyers are looking for a real conversation, one where they’re engaged and understood, salespeople are looking at activity targets and sales quota, merely treating buyers as numbers,” blogged Luhtava.

Thus, the firm offers “real-time B2B sales.”  It is akin to SalesLoft’s call for authenticity in sales.  “While buyers are looking for a real conversation, one where they’re engaged and understood, salespeople are looking at activity targets and sales quota, merely treating buyers as numbers,” stated Luhtava.  “At Vainu, we believe there’s a right way of doing B2B sales—a way that is personalized, a way that uses data, a way that focuses on the buyer.  And we’ve made it our mission to make salespeople better at their jobs, by bringing real-time company data to every customer interaction.  We call this real-time sales.

Vainu supports company list building.  Selects include firmographics, technographics, buying signals (sales triggers), and account intelligence from the company’s CRM.  Trigger alerts cover company announcements, personnel changes, technology updates, and new additions to a prospect list.

The Vainu database covers nearly 60 million active companies and includes company profiles, technology stacks, corporate financials, and recent company news.

CRM admins can setup data syncing and enrichment with Salesforce, MS Dynamics, HubSpot, Pipedrive, Upsales, and SuperOffice.  Zapier is available for other platforms.  The firm also supports an API.

Vainu enriches leads before they are loaded into MAPs assisting with lead scoring and routing.

Vainu also offers bulk data for data modeling including business registry data, website information, and open and web-crawled intelligence.  Applications include churn prediction, account scoring, and financial services risk calculations.

Pricing begins at €6,600 (£6,000 or $7,250) per year for five reps plus a one-time onboarding fee of €600 for a single country database.  Each additional country dataset is priced at €3,000.  At 25 seats, the service is priced at €30,600 (£28,000 or $33,650) with a one-time onboarding fee of €2,100.  Each additional country dataset is priced at €3,000.  Nordic financial data adds €2,400.

Mattermark Returns

The Mattermark Account I-Frame in the Salesforce AppExchange supports both company news and an account overview with over 80 fields. The service is reasonably priced at $49 / user / month.
The Mattermark Account I-Frame in the Salesforce AppExchange supports both company news and an account overview with over 80 fields. The service is reasonably priced at $49 / user / month.

Mattermark is back as an independent company after being acquired by FullContact in late 2017.  Unfortunately, the acquisition announcement was mishandled with FullContact first saying the product was going away and later saying that it was still available.

The relaunched Mattermark attracted back much of its early staff including its founders Danielle and Kevin Morrill and Product Lead Paul Denya.  The firm has a “renewed focus on private deal intelligence.”  

“This transition has been in the works for the past few months without disruption to services. You have our assurance that will continue to be the case.”


Eric Milliken

To support the relaunch, Mattermark is adding headcount to their customer service, engineering, and data teams “to redouble our commitment to customer satisfaction and data excellence.”

Mattermark data coverage spans 4 million companies, company news, and funding data.  Users can leverage public lists or build shared lists.  Mattermark also supports an API, Salesforce integration, Chrome extension, Google Sheets, and lead and account enrichment.

DiscoverOrg Expands Coverage

DiscoverOrg now offers two classes of segregated companies and contacts.
DiscoverOrg now offers two classes of segregated companies and contacts.

DiscoverOrg, which has historically focused on decisionmakers at top companies, greatly increased its company and contact coverage last week.  The firm now collects data on 500,000 global companies, trebling its coverage.  With respect to contacts, coverage grew five-fold to 20 million decision makers.  All of the new companies are headquartered in the United States, but roughly 27% of the new contacts work outside of the United States.

The expanded company and contact data has long been captured by DiscoverOrg but not presented within their service.  Thus, adding a lower tier of records presented a problem which was solved by segregating the records into two categories: Research Verified and Technology Generated.  Research verified profiles are collected and audited editorially.  They are subject to DiscoverOrg’s 95% data quality SLA with 96% direct dial fill rates and 98% email fill rates.  The research verified dataset spans 4.35 million contacts across 163,000 global companies.  This dataset remains their primary universe.

The technology generated dataset is collected, validated, deduped, and categorized by DiscoverOrg’s platform.  The dataset spans 15.5 million contacts across 319,000 additional US companies.  As the dataset also includes technology generated contacts at research-verified companies, sales and marketing can utilize the technology-verified contacts when there are few eligible contacts with the desired titles within the human-verified dataset.  They can also drill down into a universe of smaller companies not subject to human verification.

“The dramatic growth of our database is due to rapid advancements in technology-enabled processes built on a decade of expertise with human-verified research. This human+technology approach has allowed us to develop unique assets for cleansing, verifying, and maintaining data that gives our customers the best advantage available: deep, accurate and complete data that fuels their growth.”

Derek Smith, DiscoverOrg Senior Vice President of Data

When prospecting, human-verified and technology-verified contacts are displayed as separate lists.  When viewing contacts in a company profile, the human-verified contacts are displayed by default, but the technology-verified contacts are accessible if needed.

DiscoverOrg built its reputation with a human-researched and verified database of top companies which includes org charts, real-time buying signals, sales triggers, and technographics.  The firm is now deploying “proprietary technology and human-in-the-loop automation” to deliver “a significantly broader universe with levels of accuracy not typically seen at these volumes.”

DiscoverOrg President Katie Bullard did not provide details on their technological verification processes, but stated, “We have a variety of proprietary tools and technologies that ensure the highest level of depth and quality available in the market.  Some of these include tools for retrieving and validating direct dial phone numbers, email verification tools, and tools that parse job descriptions to identify technologies used.”

The expansion provides deeper coverage of SMBs.  94% of covered companies have fewer than 1,000 employees and 75% have fewer than 100.

The new contacts have a minimum of a corporate phone, email, title, department, and company.  Approximately 27% of the new contacts include direct dial phones.  DiscoverOrg is confident that email accuracy is above the industry standard.

“With this launch, no other company in the industry offers the data quality and depth that smart go-to-market motions demand, AND the data quantity to reach entire addressable markets,” claimed DiscoverOrg.

While DiscoverOrg covers international companies in its human-verified dataset, they do not have an international office, “but we’re always considering our international strategy,” said Bullard.