Flash: Demandbase Acquires InsideView and DemandMatrix

ABX Platform vendor Demandbase acquired InsideView and DemandMatrix, providing it with an established and well-regarded Sales Intelligence platform, company and contact data, technographics, and data hygiene capabilities.  The acquisitions follow on last year’s acquisition of ABM Platform Engagio, which was unified with Demandbase as part of the Q4 Demandbase One platform release.

“It’s a feeling of expansion, born of learning so much from our customers, and born of the digital transformation that has happened in the last year,” said Demandbase CEO Gabe Rogol.  “This is an intentional step for us beyond being solely an ABM leader and into broader B2B go-to-market. That’s important because ABM is just a part of the go-to-market challenges that B2B companies face.”

The new services are packaged as an ABM Suite consisting of four clouds: ABX, Advertising, Sales Intelligence, and Data.  Customers will have the flexibility to order various elements of the suite, selecting the clouds and services that fit their needs.

“Our focus has been on building the most complete ABM solution (we call it ABX, because it’s not just marketing),” said Rogol, “and that was the impetus behind acquiring Engagio, putting a lot of the top of funnel and lower funnel stuff together.  That will still be important.”

While some may view this as Demandbase growing beyond ABX, it is an opportunity for them to complete the ABX vision.  I have long been critical of Demandbase’s limited framing of ABM within the marketing department.  While they acquired Spiderbook, a small sales intelligence vendor, a few years ago, it withered on the vine and is no longer mentioned by the firm.  InsideView provides them with an opportunity to realize ABX as a complete customer lifecycle solution.  There are still missing elements such as sales engagement tools and chatbots, but they are now working on a much wider canvas.

Demandbase is in a sprint to establish the ABX platform space against vendors such as Terminus, 6Sense, and Dun & Bradstreet.  It has been using the ABM three-letter acronym for a dozen years and was a lonely voice extolling ABM for half of that time, arguing for a shift from demand generation marketing to account-based strategies.  Earlier this year, it shifted from ABM to ABX (Account Based Experience), which places a greater emphasis on long-term relationships with customers and the broader revenue team (sales, marketing, customer success).

“We’re proud to join forces with these two great companies. Our vision is bold. We are transforming how B2B companies go to market, helping them deliver great experiences at every stage of the account journey. This requires great data — and we now have the premium B2B data and intelligence solutions to help companies identify, understand, and engage their customers and prospects. With this move, Demandbase moves from being ‘just’ a leader in account-based programs to being the definitive leader in B2B go-to-market…

These new offerings let us work even more flexibly with our customers. Customers can mix and match to focus on the areas most important for them, whether that’s data embedded to their existing systems, or advertising, or sales intelligence, or a full account-based transformation. We are moving aggressively to deliver on this mission, and no company will move faster than us to achieve it.”

Demandbase CEO Gabe Rogol

Acquiring InsideView and DemandMatrix strengthens its position in both marketing and sales.  Furthermore, InsideView’s sales triggers provide Demandbase customers with a rich set of talking points for account managers and customer success teams, letting them know if there are executive changes, M&A events, new partnerships, etc.

Demandbase One added the Sales Intelligence and Data Clouds with this week’s acquisitions.

Demandbase, which offers an ABX Cloud and an Advertising Cloud, now supports a Data Cloud and Sales Intelligence Cloud.  The Sales Intelligence Cloud is based upon InsideView and supports:

  • Prospect Finder – A traditional list-building feature for company and contact data.  Along with firmographic and biographic data, the InsideView prospect finder includes connection variables (Who Know Who “six degrees”), sales triggers (17 + custom variables), data availability (e.g., LinkedIn Connections, Email), and suppression lists.
  • Browser Extension – A Chrome extension for quick lookup and prospecting.  The extension displays InsideView company and contact profiles from LinkedIn, company websites, and CRMs.  Records may be sent to the CRM or Sales Engagement Platforms.
  • News and Social Insights – InsideView publishes daily email alerts based upon their sales triggers.  As these are event-based, most company noise (e.g., stock price fluctuations, scores for teams playing at branded stadia) is removed and duplicates suppressed.  They also support inline social media viewing for Facebook, Twitter, and Company Blogs.  Inline viewing helps account managers and customer success teams stay abreast of key accounts.  It also assists marketing and CI professionals in monitoring key partners and competitors.
  • Corporate Hierarchies – Family trees assist with lead-to-account mapping, selling deeper into an organization, and ensuring that leads are accurately scored and routed.

The Data Cloud consists of Demandbase, InsideView, and DemandMatrix assets.  InsideView contributes close to 100 million global contacts and 17 million companies.  DemandMatrix supports technographics (current tech stack, future technology needs, technology-based skill set trends, cloud consumption revenue, and IT Spend). 

Other Data Cloud services include Demandbase Account Identification, InsideView Apex (ICP Discovery and Expansion), InsideView Data Integrity hygiene tools, and the InsideView API.

“For the last 15 years, we’ve been focused on empowering our customers to experience rapid revenue growth through the power of data.  InsideView’s leadership in sales intelligence made it clear to us years ago that stronger ties between sales and marketing lead to more revenue—and data is the key. By joining forces with Demandbase, we’re combining our legacy and leadership in sales, and the industry’s freshest, most reliable data, with leading marketing technology. Our customers will be able to do more with data across more B2B revenue channels from sales, to advertising, to account-based campaigns. We’re taking the convergence of data and workflow to the next level.”

InsideView CEO Umberto Milletti

InsideView was highly rated in The Forrester Wave B2B Marketing Data Providers Q2 2021 report, scoring a five (highest score) across 14 of Forrester’s 24 evaluation criteria.  Among the categories in which they excelled were data management, data coverage, and customer support.

Rogol emphasized the value of technographics for enterprise technology companies, saying that “for technology companies, the number one feature in a data science model is what technologies your prospect owns.”

“B2B data is complex, and customers consistently ask us for help with their data stack,” said DemandMatrix CEO Meetul Shah. “We started with further innovating technographic data to give customers valuable insights into their prospects and what other technologies they might buy. By now being part of the Demandbase Data Cloud, we’ll be able to provide customers access throughout the B2B data stack to help them realize their revenue goals.”

Both Milletti and Shah will continue running their respective businesses and join the Demandbase executive team as general managers.  The two subsidiaries will operate separately, but the firm will consolidate the data across the offerings.

Acquisition prices for the two firms were not disclosed.  The InsideView service lists its revenue at $30.5 million and 275 employees, which has remained stable over the past few years.  DemandMatrix is listed at $3.0 million in revenue with 90 employees.

InsideView’s self-profile (May 4, 2021)

“At Demandbase, our vision is bold. We are transforming how B2B companies go to market, helping them deliver great experiences at every stage of the account journey.  This requires great data,” said Demandbase.  “We now have the premium B2B data and intelligence solutions to help companies identify, understand, and engage their customers and prospects. With this move, Demandbase goes from being ‘just’ a leader in account-based programs to being the definitive leader in B2B go-to-market.”

InsideView and DemandMatrix customers benefit from the more extensive go-to-market capabilities of their parent.  The DemandMatrix suite helps customers:

  • Design and orchestrate their entire buyer’s journey across marketing and sales
  • Personalize their website experience, track account-level engagement, and attribute revenue
  • Deliver account-based display, native, and social media advertising that is brand safe for B2B
  • Target and segment their market

Rogol admitted that the integration work would not be easy.  “Obviously, we still have a lot of the execution work ahead. One thing to point out is that these are different types of acquisitions than Engagio. With Engagio, the goal was to get to the most comprehensive ABM platform. These are adjacent expansions, so they’re going to operate as standalone businesses pretty much.”

Barb Mosher Zinck of Diginomica was bullish on the transactions, calling it a “smart move” to consolidate the data from three companies under a single platform.  “It’s essentially a Customer Data Platform (CDP) without the CDP name (and some CDP capabilities), providing all the critical information sales and marketing need to find the right accounts and contacts within those accounts. The intelligence DemandMatrix brings on technology is key, as is the ability from InsideView to see when things are changing in a company.”

“I also like that Demandbase has broadened its offering from only account-based marketing to sales intelligence because the two groups are tightly aligned,” continued Mosher Zinck.  “These two solutions can operate separately but bringing them together under the same umbrella with access to the same data is key to ensuring a company-wide focus on customer experience.”


The following Market Flash published on May 4th to my newsletter subscribers. I also offer a detailed InsideView product review for purchase ($349).

RevenueBase Launched

RevenueBase, which describes itself as a Revenue Database as a Service (RDaaS), formally launched on Tuesday as a “one-stop data solution” that recognizes data as a “strategic asset for a business.” 

According to 2016 research by SiriusDecisions, marketing databases are riddled with critical errors with bad data ranging from ten to twenty-five percent of records.  SiriusDecisions noted that the firms with higher data quality have shifted from periodic data cleansing projects with discrete completion dates to data maintenance processes with “ongoing policies and procedures to maintain data quality.”

RevenueBase was founded by industry veteran Mark Feldman, the VP of Marketing at NetProspex prior to its acquisition by Dun & Bradstreet.  As a marketing head at Backupify, Motion Recruitment, and Localytics, Feldman became frustrated with B2B data issues, including misalignment with the sales and marketing team’s go-to-market strategy, data decay, difficulty acquiring data, and managing disparate vendors and formats.  His stint as a B2B data customer led him to return to the B2B data space and create an RDaaS company that broadly aggregates company, contact, and technographic data that aligns 1:1 with customers’ go-to-market strategies.  It then builds a custom database for clients that it calls a Revenue Database, which is updated on an ongoing basis.

“When I was hired to run growth operations at Localytics, a web and mobile app analytics company, my first directive from the CEO was to put together a list of target accounts to assign to our new enterprise account executives. It was my first week and my reputation was on the line. I started by going to our data vendor and asking them to help me build a list of all of the companies in the world that were focused on mobile monetization strategies across millions of monthly active users. Seems like a slam dunk, right? Nope.

My list for Localytics was full of bad data. There was no way to confirm the companies listed had the mobile monetization opportunities that our software could solve, or that mobile monetization opportunities would be high up on their list of priorities. I quickly realized that, in the B2B world, not all data is created equal. Right then and there, I saw an opportunity to change the B2B data game by solving the major growth impediment challenges facing revenue leaders—acquiring, integrating and maintaining the quality of their data—by building the world’s first Revenue Database as a Service.”

RevenueBase CEO Mark Feldman

“Like so many B2B marketers, I was frustrated with the inadequacies of traditional list providers,” wrote Feldman.  “I saw an opportunity to revolutionize the B2B data game and solve the greatest challenges facing revenue leaders today. Our all-in-one Revenue Database as a Service solution provides next-level data quality, expediency, and accuracy.  We transform your data stack from a constant struggle into your greatest asset.”

RevenueBase takes a white-glove approach to serve its customers.  Revenue Archetypes are defined during customer workshops and consist of an ICP, market segmentation, pains addressed, buyer personas, sales showstoppers, and “jobs to be done.”  The Jobs-to-be-Done descriptor is a bit misleading as it is account, not persona-based.  Jobs-to-be-Done describes the core functional “job” that an organization is trying to accomplish.

Personas cover function, level, titles, buying unit members, demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.

RevenueBase then builds a revenue database for its clients and supplements it with custom data collected by its overseas team of fifty editorial researchers.

“A revenue archetype is a model of what your ideal customer looks like, i.e., one you can derive revenue from,” said Feldman.  “It’s where there is a mutual benefit.  They need your product/service and will pay a fair price for it.  They also will favor you over the competition because your solution will result in the best cost-benefit tradeoff for the customer.“

Conversely, the Revenue Archetype also defines companies that are not good fits (e.g., industries or geographies that require a standard not met by a firm’s offerings, such as HIPAA or GDPR).  It also identifies roles not involved in purchasing a company’s products or services.  These individuals may be too junior in the organization or not work in functions that use a company’s products or services.


Coverage continues with a discussion of RevenueBase’s ICP modeling and database.

Cognism Growth

UK Sales Intelligence vendor Cognism continues its rapid growth with $11.5 million in 2020 revenue.  CEO James Isilay anticipates 2021 revenue of $20 million.  ACV is around $14,000 with over 1,000 customers.

Cognism had an initial one-month hiccup due to COVID as customers in the recruitment and events space were hit hard, and the firm needed to transition to a WFH sales environment.  However, the firm is back to growing “and hitting its targets every month.”

“COVID helped us get way more efficient.  We didn’t need an office anymore, it slowed our headcount growth,” said Isilay.” We really have an engine now where we can just put more money into headcount in terms of SDRs or into marketing and then get more growth.  So it’s really just a question of how much we want to put the foot down on the pedal.”

Cognism CEO James Isilay

By the end of October, employment hit 179 with sixty headcount in Croatia and Macedonia.

When the firm acquired email signature marketing vendor Mailtastic back in May, they paid roughly $4 million for the company in a stock and cash deal.

Mailtastic’s net retention is around 110%, and the prospecting service is approaching 90%.  However, there is a high percentage of returning customers post-churn.  The company started in the SMB space and has moved up-market, so net retention should improve.

While the firm has a negative cash flow, it burns only $200K per month with six to seven million from the last raise sitting in the bank.  The August funding round valued the firm at a bit under $100 million.

Cognism offers sales intelligence, B2B DaaS, and sales engagement services. It maintains over 55 million European company profiles.

Leadspace – ZoomInfo Partnership

Leadspace and ZoomInfo inked a strategic partnership to distribute ZoomInfo data through the Leadspace Customer Data Platform.  The platform-level integration lets customers activate ZoomInfo data and intelligence from within Leadspace.  The Leadspace CDP is a data-agnostic platform that supports predictive scoring, ICP analytics, look-a-like modeling, intent signaling, and custom buyer personas and scores.

The partnership is Generally Available to joint customers.

Leadspace also offers robust data hygiene and enrichment based upon the Reachforce platform it acquired several years ago.  Other tools include web forms, marketing automation and SFDC enrichment, and custom audiences for programmatic marketing.

“We talk to many B2B companies that work with ZoomInfo and see tremendous value in their intelligence solutions,” said Leadspace CTO Amnon Mishor. “We’ve partnered with ZoomInfo on some strategic clients and proven the added benefits of the Leadspace platform in being able to unify other data and intelligence with the ZoomInfo data, then activate it across channels. It’s really the best of all worlds for our customers.”

While both companies have strong matching capabilities, Leadspace is performing real-time matching between the two platforms.  Initially, the partnership supports company and contact enrichment, but additional datasets such as technographics and intent are planned.

“Every B2B enterprise can benefit from the new Leadspace and ZoomInfo integration,” said ZoomInfo CRO Chris Hays. “We believe making our data available through a leading customer data platform (CDP) for unification and activation is the new frontier for B2B sales and marketing, and it’s a great way for customers to see even greater return on their investment in data.”

Both companies have performed well during the pandemic.  ZoomInfo IPO’d in June and has had several strong quarters since going public, growing revenue 62% last year.

Leadspace closed on a $46 million Series D earlier this month.  It doubled its customer base over the past two years and grew revenue 151% between 2016 and 2019, placing the firm at 2,681 on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list.

2020 Sales & Marketing Trends

With the pandemic and recession, the sales intelligence and B2B data space held up well.  Most of the vendors I speak with indicate an increasing demand for sales and marketing intelligence and B2B DaaS offerings.  In January and February, I’ll be reporting on those numbers.

As part of my annual trends analysis, I put together a list of the top events and trends in our space this year:

  1. COVID: Sales & Marketing Intelligence continued to grow during the pandemic as sales and marketing needed to pivot to new verticals, reach the buying team working from home, and double down on segments that benefited from or had limited impact from the pandemic.
  2. Zoominfo: $ZI had a very successful June IPO and acquired Clickagy (intent) and Everstring (firmographics).
  3. Dun & Bradstreet: $DNB was taken public 18 months after being taken private.  The firm has regained some swagger through acquisitions.  They began the year with Orb Intelligence (firmographics) and closed it with Bisnode (Central European partner).  Dun & Bradstreet also launched several new B2B S&M offerings (D&B Intent, D&B Connect, D&B ABM, D&B Analytics) and expanded its contact acquisition process with the Outlook-based D&B Email IQ.
  4. Intent Data: Intent data has become the hottest content set in the B2B space as firms move to integrate multiple categories of intent within sales and marketing workflows.  Zoominfo, Dun & Bradstreet, and TechTarget all enhanced or announced integrated intent data offerings with custom models.  TechTarget’s acquisition of BrightTALK and Spiceworks Ziff Davis of Aberdeen are also partially motivated by intent datasets.
  5. European Vendors: The European market is growing rapidly, with UK vendors extending their services across the EU (e.g., Global Database, Rhetorik) and Continental vendors entering the UK (e.g., Echobot, Vainu).
  6. Consolidation: Market consolidation stalled in H1, but by Q4, there were weekly M&A announcements with several other deals rumored to be in the works in Q1.
  7. Data Privacy: CCPA was implemented in California, and the EU Court of Justice struck down the EU-US Safe Harbor (Privacy Shield) agreement, forcing companies to restrict EU data flows into the US.
  8. Spiceworks Ziff Davis: SWZD acquired Aberdeen, positioning it as a competitor in both intent data and technographics.  Spiceworks Ziff Davis has the potential to copy TechTarget’s model.

My Trends Analysis runs over 100 slides. It includes a 90-minute phone consult and is available for purchase.

Zoominfo IPO

Zoominfo had a successful IPO on Thursday after raising its initial price from $16 – $18 to $21.  Shares opened at $40 and closed the day at $34, an increase of 62% over the IPO price.  Friday, goosed by the market rise following positive unemployment figures, Zoominfo rose to $38.89.  

Zoominfo raised nearly $935 million on the IPO and has a market capitalization of $14.8 billion.  It is trading on the NASDAQ under ticker ZI.

Zoominfo (FKA DiscoverOrg) has been a rocket ship, growing revenue both organically and inorganically.  DiscoverOrg made the Inc 5000 list for the past nine years (and would easily qualify for the 2020 list), and Zoominfo was on the list for seven years before being acquired by DiscoverOrg.

The firm began as a hand-crafted profiler of top companies.  When I first met CEO Henry Schuck over a dozen years ago, DiscoverOrg covered 1,300 companies and 20,000 contacts.  While the coverage was limited, the profiles contained rich information for named account reps, including emails, direct-dial phones, org charts, technographics, and biographies.  All of this intelligence was hand-researched and reverified every 90 days.  Users could download the profiles as PDFs and build exportable prospecting lists.  Over the next few years, they grew the data set, added Inside Scoops, and a wide set of enterprise software connectors.

DiscoverOrg grew organically until three years ago when it began acquiring competitors.  The first acquisition was iProfile, a firm where Schuck worked in college, followed by RainKing a year later.  The iProfile deal was small, but RainKing was their top competitor in the technology sales intelligence space.  The RainKing and iProfile datasets were quickly reverified by the editorial team and merged into the DiscoverOrg database.  RainKing provided DiscoverOrg with additional sales reps, around $35 million in additional revenue, and an expanded editorial team.

In February 2019, DiscoverOrg acquired Zoominfo, a contact-centric vendor with a deep set of emails and direct-dial phones.  The acquisition greatly increased DiscoverOrg’s coverage of companies and contacts and provided additional data collection tools (signature-block mining, NLP data gathering, and Datanyze technographics) to supplement the editorial team.

DiscoverOrg quickly moved to merge the two companies and launched a new platform only seven months later.  Not only did it support much of the key content and functionality of the legacy platforms, but it also served as the basis of new capabilities such as Workflows (trigger-based campaign deployment) and WebSights (visitor intelligence).  

Bringing that much functionality to the market on a new platform in under a year was quite impressive.  Based upon new product launches and re-platforming at competitors, I would have anticipated over a year for just the initial consolidated platform launch and another year of “fit-and-finish” work where missing features are supported but few new capabilities are addressed.  The firm even completed two tuck-ins in 2019 (NeverBounce email verification and Komiko Inbox AI).

Zoominfo now covers 14 million global businesses and 120 million business professionals.  “We’ve built a robust engine of millions of unique sources that come into a machine learning and artificial intelligence engine that’s making decisions every day about what to publish or not publish in our platform,” Schuck explained to Jim Cramer before the market opening.  The data is “constantly changing” as companies grow and shrink, hire new employees, upgrade their technology, open new locations, and launch new products.  

“That machine learning engine that we’ve built, that artificial intelligence, is keeping track of all of those changes across billions of data points in real-time and at scale.  And that is how we’re able to bring those insights to our 15,000 customers.”

CEO Henry Schuck on CNBC

When the new platform was rolled out in September, DiscoverOrg chose to rebrand as Zoominfo after the firm determined that it was easier to build brand perception than brand presence.

“I feel really good about the IPO,” said co-founder and CEO Henry Schuck.  “I feel even better about the company we built.  If we can continue on the foundation we’ve built, we can be a successful foundation stock for our shareholders.”

Due to the pandemic, the traditional stock market bell-ringing event was not held.  Instead, a virtual livestream bell ringing was displayed in Times Square.

“You expect to be in New York City at the Nasdaq building with the 60 people who helped you build the company,” said Schuck.  “We took an event that 60 people would be part of and made it an event that all 1,300 employees could be a part of.”

The Times Square screen also displayed, “Together, We Stand.  Divided, We Fall.  Stop the Hate.  Zoominfo.”

NASDAQ Building on June 4, 2020 marking the Zoominfo IPO.

The successful IPO “gives our company a bigger brand name and voice,” said Schuck.

According to the Oregonian, Zoominfo is now the second-highest valued firm in the Portland, Oregon area, trailing only Nike.

Manoj Ramnani, CEO of competitor SalesIntel, called the successful IPO both a market and product validation, noting that Zoominfo owns only 2% of its $24 billion TAM.  It also demonstrates the power of persistence.

“ZoomInfo has been in the market for a while.  They have gone through numerous acquisitions and have painstakingly scaled their business.  I know firsthand what it takes to build and scale a B2B data company, kudos to them.  The point is, success doesn’t come overnight. They have worked hard, and it has paid off,” complimented Ramnani.

Zoominfo Reaffirms IPO Plans

I have put together a detailed analysis of Zoominfo as it prepares for its IPO. The analysis is based upon twenty years of experience in the Sales & Marketing Intelligence Space, the past eight as an independent analyst.

Topics include an Overview, COVID Impact, Risks, Market Overview, Key Industry Trends, Content & Functionality, Growth Strategy Analysis, SWOT Analysis, and Key Events. The 100+ slide presentation is bundled with a phone consult. If you are interested in licensing the analysis, please contact me.

I also publish a weekly subscription newsletter which covers Sales & Marketing, B2B DaaS, and B2B Data. Here is my article on the planned IPO:


Zoominfo reaffirmed its plans to IPO, possibly launching a virtual roadshow next month.  In Q1 2020, revenue nearly doubled to $102 million year-over-year.  The firm also significantly reduced its losses to $5.9 million in Q1 compared to $40.2 million in Q1 2019.  

Losses were driven by debt, much of it associated with the Zoom Information acquisition in February 2019.  EBITDA rose 55%, year-over-year, to $51 million in Q1.  At the end of Q1, long-term debt stood at $1,238.8 million.

Zoominfo included Annualized Contract Value (ACV) data in its amended prospectus.  They likely wanted to emphasize that they are doing well during the recession, and revenue figures, which are a trailing indicator of sales success at subscription services, were not going to make that case as strongly as the ACV data.

ACV grew 87% year-over-year in April, with the customer base now above 15,000.  As revenue is recognized over the life of a subscription contract, ACV increases precede revenue growth.  Prepaid subscription revenue is displayed as a Balance Sheet liability that is reversed over the lifetime of each deal.  

Paid users rose to 202,000.

Net ACV growth remains strong, with ACV increasing $9.9 million in March and $10.4 million in April.  The April growth was their best first month of any quarter, surpassing October 2019 by ten percent.

The number of customers with ACV greater than or equal to $100,000 grew from 580 on December 31, 2019, to 630 on March 31, 2020.  Over 25% of ACV is tied to multi-year contracts.

The size and date of the IPO were not disclosed.  In February, a placeholder value of $500 million was provided.  The Zoominfo NASDAQ ticker will be ZI.

“Because of our largely subscription-based business model, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic may not be fully reflected in our results of operations and overall financial condition until future periods, if at all.”

Zoominfo Amended S-1, May 11, 2020

As the original S-1 was released before COVID-19 hit the US, this week’s amended prospectus contained the first mention of COVID as a business risk.  The pandemic has disrupted global business and could negatively impact Zoominfo’s stock price.  Zoominfo listed retail, restaurants, hospitality, airlines, oil, and gas as affected industries.  While none of these segments are part of their ICP (except for possibly their NeverBounce email verification subsidiary), they will be negatively impacted in recruitment (roughly ten percent of revenue) and event management.  Zoominfo lists recruitment as a targeted job function for ongoing development.

Furthermore, Zoominfo’s strategy is to expand beyond its moat of technology firms into broader sales intelligence and marketing services.  The recession reduces the number of favorable segments for executing this expansion strategy.

Zoominfo lists its Total Addressable Market (TAM) at $24 billion with a 2% penetration rate.

“As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we expect we will experience slowed growth or decline in new customer demand for our platform and lower demand from our existing customers for upgrades within our platform, as well as existing and potential customers reducing or delaying purchasing decisions.”

Zoominfo Amended S-1, May 11, 2020

A secondary impact of the pandemic and subsequent recession is increased buyer negotiating power.  Customers are expecting more significant discounts and more favorable contract terms.  They are also asking for early contract terminations and waivers of payment obligations.

However, Zoominfo’s core business is reasonably well protected from the recession.  In 2019, 39% of their ACV was generated in the software industry and 29% in business services.  These segments are less exposed than retail, travel, hospitality, and energy.  Software has heavily shifted to subscription models over the past few years, making revenue less volatile.  While their core industries are subject to layoffs in revenue operations, Zoominfo offers multiple features that make sales and marketing more efficient and effective in reaching WFH buying committee members.  Features and content sets that support WFH outreach include direct-dial and mobile numbers, org charts, deep contacts across the organization, data as a service for enriching and updating enterprise software platforms, the ReachOut Chrome plug-in, ICP/TAM tools, technographics, Scoops (sales triggers), Bombora intent data, and executive change alerts.  

New services such as Form Complete (web forms), WebSights (visitor intelligence), Komiko InboxAI (email insights), and Workflows (triggered sequences) help with collecting and enriching activity data.

Zoominfo, which has significant operations in Washington, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Israel, has fully transitioned to remote employment.  They have also implemented travel restrictions and shifted to virtual event marketing.


Continue on to a post-IPO follow-up article.

No Tradeshows, No Site Visits — Ideas to Maintain & Grow Pipeline

I had four tradeshows canceled this month and next. They were opportunities for me to meet with customers and prospects (and conduct research for my industry newsletters). At this point, I’m assuming that at least two more will fall by the wayside in H1. I’m sure many of you are in a similar boat. Your marketing calendar is in a shambles, your field and inside sales reps are cloistered at home, and you are uncertain about how to manage remote workers.

Here are some ideas about how to retain momentum and deploy technology to mitigate pipeline and operational risks:

Video Meetings

If you haven’t deployed video widely across your workforce, due so ASAP. Vendors such as Zoom, WebEx, BlueJeans, Join.Me, and GoToMeeting provide reliable video conferencing solutions for multi-party meetings, demos, and document sharing. Video Meetings are a do not pass Go, do not collect $200 requirement. Every customer-facing, development, management, and planning employee should be able to join meetings from home or the office.

Setup scheduled video meetings for the next three months so they are blocked out on team calendars. This could be a 15-minute corporate call every few weeks, weekly team calls, and one-on-ones. Standing meetings should all be web-based. Office-based employees are going to feel disconnected socially, so build in some social fun at the team level (e.g. recognizing birthdays and work anniversaries, celebrating wins and releases, etc.)

I would also build training time into video meetings. It shouldn’t be all top-down. Give your staff the opportunity to cross-train peers. A sales rep could discuss her latest victory with lessons learned or provide insights into a target vertical. Marketing can review the latest product positioning and new collateral. Product Management can train on new products, review the product roadmap, and discuss the competitive landscape. The goal is to provide training, communications, coordination, and social interaction.

Record meetings and make them available to those who miss meetings with Slack or Team links. Expect that meetings will be missed due to illness, parenting requirements, and meeting conflicts.

Marketing Work-Arounds

As event marketing is off the table, marketers will need to be flexible in how they deploy their budgets. For those that planned on hosting events, they should at least proceed with their Keynote as a webinar. For H2, a roadshow in September or October can be planned, but mitigate risk in your contracting and through joint shows (shared cost and risk).

Marketers will need to deploy or expand their use of other channels including webinars, press releases, analyst outreach, blogging, social, and video. Direct mail is problematic as prospects are likely to be working from home, but e-gifting is a viable option. Look at e-gifting vendors that are supported by your Sales Engagement platform (e.g. Sendoso, PFL, Alyce)

Here is an opportunity to test additional channels and provide your event marketing team with some cross-channel development.

Canceled shows are also a reason for re-engagement campaigns. You can restart the marketing nurture process with a message around “not being able to talk to you this season.” Keep the message short and serious. You don’t know if your prospect is worried about his or her job, family members, or personal health. Also, don’t appear to be taking advantage of the situation. Be empathetic, not opportunistic.

Also, make sure to reschedule meetings from those cancelled conferences. These are likely to be phone or video calls, but reps and executives should reconfirm calls now.

Conversation Intelligence

Once you have standardized meetings, make sure they are recorded and transcribed. This is particularly true for sales meetings. Conversation Intelligence vendors such as Gong, ExecVision, and Chorus record calls, transcribe them, and perform NLP/AI processing on the conversations. Conversation Intelligence allows sales reps to be more present during calls as they no longer need to focus on note-taking.

Transcriptions and analytics have multiple benefits:

  • Sales Reps can quickly review calls and return to key topics and issues (e.g. pricing, next steps).
  • Sales Managers can review calls related to accounts and opportunities at risk to provide coaching tips to reps.
  • Analytics identify both the strengths and weaknesses of reps versus their peers. They also flag missed actions (e.g. discussing next steps), customer concerns, and competitors. To assist with training and opportunity scoring, Conversation Intelligence vendors identify filler word frequency, monologue length, and conversational engagement.
  • Reps can forward snippets to peers for questions and help. If there is a question about a bug or support issue, the snippet can be forwarded to support personnel for an update. If a sales rep feels that they handled a question or issue poorly, a snippet can be forwarded to sales management or training for advice on how to better handle the issue next time. Snippets allow peers to hear the voice of the customer.
  • Snippets can be stored in a library for training purposes. These would include exemplars for objection handling, competitor parrying, value discussions, etc.
  • Product Managers can perform bulk analysis of sales calls to identify requested features, competitor discussions, and product issues. Vendors allow for keyword customization and analytics.

Sales Engagement Platforms

Sales Engagement Platforms (SEPs) have come a long way over the past five years. Originally, they focused on the SDR role, but now include tools for all sales roles. Vendors include SalesLoft, Outreach, Xant (FKA InsideSales), VanillaSoft, ConnectLeader, SFDC High Velocity Sales, Groove, and Yesware.

Sales Cadences, also called sequences, are at the core of Sales Engagement. Cadences set up a structured set of multi-channel outbound communications supported by email templates, dialers, social, and SMS text. Cadences improve sales efficiency by eliminating follow up tasks, recording activities to CRMs, and deploying A/B tested content (emails, attachments, cadences, call scripts). While most commonly used for SDR outreach, cadences can also be used for meeting reminders, setting up quarterly account reviews, and training follow up.

SEP vendors understand that authenticity is the key to sales success. Simply blasting mindless emails at prospects is futile. Cadences can be customized by target role, industry, company size, technographics, and stage in the buyer journey. Furthermore, reps are expected to personalize emails before sending them out (SalesLoft says 20% is the optimal level). Most of the vendors now support 1-1 embedded videos from Vidyard, Hippo Video, or Videolicious.

SEP Vendors also provide a deep set of analytics. Initially, these focused on communication efficacy (e.g. open and click-through rates, best time of day to call), but now analytics assess conversations, call out deal risks, prioritize accounts, and suggest next best actions.

SEPs are now commonly deployed amongst SDRs and Inside Sales, but may still be foreign to field sales reps; however, field sales reps will be operating more like inside sales reps for the next quarter, so deploying SEPs to field sales makes sense.

Beyond outbound communications, SEP vendors are beginning to support meeting management (setting up calls), conversational intelligence, and opportunity management. SalesLoft and Outreach are the farthest along in supporting these emerging feature sets. SalesLoft acquired and integrated NoteNinja (meeting management) and Costello (opportunity management) into its platform.

SEP Vendors have taken two approaches to partnering. SalesLoft, Outreach, and Xant have partner App Directories while the other vendors integrate key vendors (e.g. Vidyard, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Zoominfo) into their offerings without a formal partner ecosystem directory.

LinkedIn

For B2B sales, there is no social platform more trusted than LinkedIn. Sales reps can leverage their networks by sharing marketing content (they should include some comments of their own) as well as writing their own content.

LinkedIn also offers an excellent Sales Intelligence product called Sales Navigator. It is available as both a desktop and mobile solution and provides additional communications channels:

  • InMail: An outbound email alternative, InMail allows you to message prospects for whom you lack emails and direct dial numbers.
  • Chat: A quick short-message way to keep in contact with members of the buying committee. It is also useful for quick reach out after establishing a LinkedIn connection with a prospect or to send a quick, congratulatory note. Chat messages are retained archivally, providing a conversational log. I have had success providing my Calendly link with initial chats, providing a mechanism for new connections to easily schedule a call (my Calendly includes my video meeting details so there is little friction).
  • Smart Links: Forward one or multiple attachments to a prospect via social, InMail, or email. Viewing and forwarding are tracked by LinkedIn, helping reps know which content was viewed and when. Forward tracking helps expand their understanding of the buying committee. Smart Links maintain corporate branding.

Sales Navigator provides several other high-value features:

  • SNAP connectors display LinkedIn content and Navigator functionality (e.g. icebreakers, mini-profiles, InMail) within Sales Engagement Platforms, CRMs, and other enterprise software.
  • TeamLinks allow you to leverage co-worker relationships for reaching out to prospects.
  • Build a List lets reps assemble Lead (contact) and Account lists within Sales Navigator. Lead and Account lists may also be synced from the CRM, allowing reps to track news and updates about key companies and contacts. While LinkedIn does not permit upload of account and contact data, they make exceptions for notes, tags, and messages entered by the rep in Sales Navigator. They also just added a thin record upload of contacts to CRM and the ability to flag execs that have left a company.
  • List Sharing — After building a list, users may share them with co-workers who have Sales Navigator licenses.

Sales Navigator can be a bit pricey, so running a test amongst your inside sales and field sales reps makes sense, particularly if you are concerned about H1 pipeline delays. Given the difficulty of reaching anybody by phone (made worse by prospects working at home) or email, adding additional sales communications channels is well worth testing out.

There are other LinkedIn services worth investigating or trialing. LinkedIn Marketing supports highly targeted B2B campaigns. Unlike other platforms, LinkedIn can target by company, job function, level, industry, geography, and education. LinkedIn provides campaign metrics and allows marketers to set daily budgets. Both CPM and CPC pricing are available. Pricing is based upon second-best auctions (you pay 1 cent above the second best bid price).

For larger companies, LinkedIn Elevate should also be considered, particularly with remote workers. Elevate provides a curated feed of content to company employees for social media distribution (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook). Elevate amplifies corporate messaging and reduces the level of effort for sales reps and other employees to share content through social networks.

LinkedIn Learning is offering sixteen courses at no charge covering topics related to working from home, remote management, tools, and mindset.

“In the coming days, we will make 16 LinkedIn Learning courses available for free including tips on how to: stay productive, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, use virtual meeting tools (Microsoft Teams, Skype, BlueJeans, Cisco Webex and Zoom), and balance family and work dynamics in a healthy way.”

Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn SVP of Product

Sales Intelligence

Sales Intelligence services help sales reps build prospecting lists, quality leads, refine account messaging, expand into new departments and locations, track accounts, and target additional buying committee members.

Many sales intelligence services also offer B2B DaaS services for updating CRMs and MAPs. Salesforce data hygiene is maintained through Lightning Data connectors, a sub-category on the AppExchange. Because data is synced with CRMs and MAPs, it is continuously updated, ensuring that firmographic data is accurate and that departed contacts are removed from sales and marketing activity (BTW — contacts decay at 30% per annum, so maintaining your enterprise software contact data is a valuable investment)

Sales Intelligence vendors also provide full workflow integrations into CRMs which allow reps to build lists; view and update accounts, contacts, and leads; and perform account qualification and account planning within CRM I-frames.

Sales Intelligence vendors include

  • Zoominfo: Deep contacts, emails, org charts, and technographic content. They are the leader in technology sales intelligence and recently added visitor intelligence, trigger-based workflows, and webforms. Zoominfo (FKA DiscoverOrg) also supports Ideal Customer Profiling (ICP), email verification, and B2B DaaS.
  • D&B Hoovers: The deepest set of global company intelligence for strategic sales reps. Includes full family trees, public company financials and filings, analyst reports, industry market research, SWOTs, European private company financials, and sales triggers. Dun & Bradstreet also supports ICP, B2B DaaS, Visitor Intelligence, Programmatic Marketing, and Customer Data Platforms.
  • InsideView: A global database with greater depth in North America and Europe, InsideView offers strong sales triggers and integrated social media viewing. InsideView also supports B2B DaaS and ICP.
  • Sales Genie: The best solution for reps that sell to both companies and individuals (e.g. insurance agencies, mobile, office supplies, landscaping). Features include light sales force automation for firms that have yet to implement a CRM, new businesses, new homeowners, email templates, integrated dialer, and marketing services (SEO, site design, direct mail).
  • RelPro: A specialist vendor targeting financial services companies.
  • Artesian Solutions: A UK-based social selling vendor with deep sales triggers and mobile-based meeting prep. They also offer a US solution.
  • Cognism: A UK-based sales intelligence vendor with sales engagement functionality, B2B DaaS services, and ICP tools.
  • Vainu: A Nordic-based sales intelligence vendor that also covers the Netherlands (France, US, and the UK are in beta). They also support B2B DaaS and trigger-based workflows.

Ongoing Investment

Research has shown that firms that continue to invest during recessions come out of the downturns much better prepared to grow market share and revenue than those that stop investing. Marketing is an investment in your pipeline and brand. B2B Data-as-a-Service is an investment in your data quality and ability to target prospects effectively. It also reduces sales and marketing waste in efforts directed at weak prospects and departed contacts. SalesTech and MarTech purchases are investments in your revenue generation capabilities.

This is also an opportunity for your sales and marketing teams to cross-train, develop new skills, and test out new tools and processes.

When we come out of the backside of what, hopefully, is a short-term recession, you want to be better prepared to meet latent demand for your products and services. While cutting back on investment and cash burn may be necessary for survival at some companies, don’t cut back on your ability to serve the market in 2021 unless you have to do so. Let others sacrifice the future of their revenue generation operations out of short-term concerns. Bank your savings in travel expenses and event marketing, but don’t cut back in other areas unless necessary.

Terra Incognita

We are entering a terra incognita for the next three to six months, so steady, empathetic leadership should be your objective. On 9/11, our CEO pulled us into the room and talked to us. I don’t remember his words, but I remember that he was calm and understood that we were all upset and anxious. Business was the least of his concerns that day. He wanted to show a steady hand at the tiller and sent us home to be with family.

Our raison d’être is not to work, and sometimes we are jolted back into that reality. Family, friends, and health are a higher priority. COVID 19 is not the new normal, but simply a bad storm that will pass.

Market Insights Newsletter Splits in Half

This was one of the two weeks a year that I take off from writing my Market Insights Newsletter, but I wanted to let you know that I’m splitting the newsletter into two newsletters.  When I started writing the Market Insights Newsletter back in 2012, it focused on Sales Intelligence, Social Selling, and B2B DaaS.  Since then, B2B DaaS has increased greatly in importance, and I’ve added adjacent topics including Sales Engagement Platforms, data privacy / compliance, ABM, and Customer Data Platforms.  The result was a doubling in the length of the newsletter and an increase in the frequency that articles were bumped.  Some features are often bumped for a month or longer due to length.

In August, I took my summer vacation, but there was no August news break.  It took me a few months to catch up on announcements from that week.  This led me to the realization that I needed to split my newsletter in half to improve both topical focus and story currency.  The split will also allow me to profile more startups.

Most of my readers will continue to receive a Sales Intelligence (SI) newsletter which covers

  • Sales Intelligence
  • B2B DaaS
  • Data Hygiene
  • ABM
  • B2B Data (Companies, Contacts, Intent, Technographics, and Triggers)
  • Customer Data Platforms
  • Compliance (GDPR, CCPD, KYC, AML, PEP)

The SI edition of Market Insights will continue to publish on Sundays.

The new Sales Engagement (SE) newsletter covers

  • Sales Engagement Platforms
  • Hybrid Engagement Platforms (Sales Intelligence + ICP / TAM + Sales Engagement)
  • Sales Engagement Platform Ecosystem (e.g. Chat, Video, Attribution, Meeting Management, Analytics)
  • Sales Enablement

The SE edition will publish on Mondays.

Contact me if you’d like to be set up with a trial edition of either newsletter. I offer SMB pricing for startups, so don’t assume that I am unaffordable like other analyst services.

MarTech Industry Grows to 7,040

MarTech Growth Rate chart courtesy of Scott Brinker and Chief Martech
MarTech growth rate chart courtesy of Scott Brinker and Chief Martech

Scott Brinker published his 2019 Chief Martech eye chart and it now spans 7,040 companies, up 211 since last year.  While the industry continues to grow, the rate of growth appears to have moderated.  Between 2014 and 2018, the industry was adding over 1,000 companies each year with the biggest jump for the 2018 chart (1,800).  

The super-graphic is available to the public and may be reprinted at up to 1600 x 900.  Brinker has also made a spreadsheet available.

“That’s not so much a slowing down as a flattening out, a plateau,” said Brinker.  “At face value, it would seem that, indeed, we have achieved ‘peak martech.’ (pause for dramatic effect)”

While industry growth may have plateaued, Brinker admitted that 7,040 significantly underestimates the total number of Martech firms and joked that he may have hit “peak martech landscape.”  Brinker noted five areas where his chart is underweighted:

  • Regionally – When comparing to national MarTech landscapes, Brinker spotted hundreds of companies on the UK, Canadian, Chinese, German, Swedish, and Finnish country charts that were absent on the 2019 Chief Martech chart.
  • Vertical – Likewise, verticalized solutions are also underrepresented.
  • Apps built for specific MarTech platform ecosystems
  • Apps built by services companies (but packaged as products)
  • Apps built with low-code/no-code citizen developer platforms

“Each of these trends — the growth of platform ecosystems, the blending of software and services businesses, and the rise of citizen developer platforms — are birthing whole new galaxies of martech apps.

The major marketing suites have all embraced becoming true marketing platforms, with ever more open APIs and official marketplaces for third-party apps.”

Brinker lists Salesforce, Oracle, Adobe, Microsoft, and G Suite amongst the platform ecosystems, but one would also include browser extensions, mobile apps, and sales engagement platforms (technically, SalesTech, but there is a fair amount of overlap between MarTech and SalesTech these days) to the list.  Brinker noted that WordPress has 54,480 plugins.

Audience / Marketing Data & Data Enhancement (2018 MarTech Landscape)
Audience / Marketing Data & Data Enhancement (2018 MarTech Landscape)

Many of the DaaS and Sales Intelligence vendors covered in this newsletter are amongst the 204 vendors listed in the Audience / Marketing Data & Data Enrichment category and the 457 vendors listed in the Sales Automation Enablement & Intelligence grouping.