Vainu Workflow Triggers

Sales Intelligence vendor Vainu has added a set of Workflow Triggers that take automated actions based upon CRM data updates.  As Vainu enriches CRMs with financial data mined from European registered data filings, it has raw, current data for triggering activities.  Admins set up the trigger rules, and Vainu creates “smart actions” such as creating CRM Tasks, adding a row in Google Sheets, or sending a Slack notice.

For example, a Workflow Trigger may be set up to look for SaaS companies that meet the “Rule of 40” condition (revenue growth plus profitability margin).

Vainu CEO Mikko Honkanen notes that trigger rules and ratios will vary by industry and may include custom rules specific to each of Vainu’s customers.  Thus, the Rule of 40 “is typical of the software industry but isn’t that critical for other businesses.  For being truly data-driven, each company has its own magic numbers based on the data points of their interest.”

Vainu claims that it supports thousands of data points for triggered workflows, kicking off both sales notifications and custom marketing messages associated with each trigger.

“Some people might want to know when a company starts using lead capture forms on its website.  Someone else might want to be alerted as soon as a company adds a new environmental standard to their corporate social responsibility web page.  Or when a company appoints a new CEO. Or when it adds an auxiliary name that includes the word ‘restaurant’ in it.  The most valuable trigger event is often a change in that specific event.”

Vainu CEO Mikko Honkanen

Along with data changes, actions may be based upon any of seventy event triggers or new accounts meeting ICP criteria.

Vainu, headquartered in Helsinki, emphasizes the value of dynamic data fed into enterprise platforms.  Dynamic data ensures that decision-making is based upon timely and accurate data.  It also allows salespeople to be customer-centric.

“By having access to data that informs them of the current situation of an organization, as well as what recent changes the organization has undergone, salespeople are able to tailor their messaging and offer a personalized experience,” blogged Vainu marketer Nikolai Bang. Vainu covers nearly thirty million companies across Scandinavia, the Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom.  Triggers are based upon the licensed countries.

Vainu Sales Triggers support automated Workflows.

Echobot Company Profile Now Available

Echobot Company Profile Report Cover Page

I am pleased to announce that my latest Sales Intelligence company profile is available for those looking to purchase a solution for the UK or D-A-CH region. I used the same methodology for Echobot that I employed when I wrote my book “2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors.”  The idea was to write an objective analysis (hence sections on weaknesses and competitors), not simply a puff piece.  I work closely with the vendor to describe content, functionality, connectors, roadmap, strengths, and weaknesses.

As Echobot is based in Germany, I also wrote about their GDPR compliance steps.

While vendors have input, I retain editorial control. I believe that retaining objectivity makes these reports more valuable for vendors as it both provides a roadmap for their future product evolution and provides prospects with a realistic view of a product’s strengths and weaknesses.

Echobot is making the profile available from their website.


Here is my summary from the report:

UK vendors have been launching sales intelligence and B2B DaaS solutions for the European market over the past several years. It is a welcome sign that European vendors now have the confidence to compete in the UK market. One of these vendors is Germany-based Echobot. Echobot is a promising new sales intelligence and B2B DaaS entrant to the UK market. It is the leading sales and marketing intelligence service in the D-A-CH region and enters the UK with a broad set of sales and marketing services. Echobot offers deep coverage of UK and D-A-CH companies, GDPR-compliant contacts, and signals (event triggers), delivered via web browser applications and extensions, mobile apps, Salesforce, and Zapier webhooks.

Along with company profiles, Echobot offers contacts, emails, news, social media mentions, and signals.

CONNECT (sales intelligence) and TARGET (list building) were recently launched in the UK market, but have been available as German-language solutions for the D-A-CH market for several years. As such, the company should move quickly to address any V1.0 bugs and fill content gaps. Since launching in September 2020, Echobot has integrated Google Translate into its platform for free-form text translation and refined its sales trigger precision.

DATACARE provides B2B DaaS hygiene services that verify, enrich, and append company and contact data. DATACARE flags duplicates, verifies emails, updates company names and addresses, and appends missing fields. DATACARE was launched in December.

Michael Levy, GZ Consulting Principal, “Echobot Company Profile,” 2021.

ZoomInfo Acquires EverString (Part III)

Company counts will hit 100M once the Everstring Business Graph is incorporated into their coverage.

Last week, ZoomInfo announced that it was acquiring Business Graph vendor EverString to grow its company coverage five-fold.


ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck noted that large enterprises license and integrate a broad set of content from many vendors.  They struggle to “stitch” all these disparate content sets together via “a complicated system relying on data analysts, engineers, and product managers.”  Furthermore, different analysts manage datasets for other countries, further complicating the situation.  “Each one restarts a process of understanding the nuances and integrating, normalizing, matching, managing, and maintaining that unique data source.”

This data sourcing and loading process is “inefficient, costly, and introduces a complex web of operational challenges and compliance vulnerabilities.”  Data ends up being siloed and fragmented, reducing its value to the organization.  “It has to be integrated, unified, validated, cleansed, enriched, deduplicated, and delivered to the right people and systems, at the right time, in the right form for it to unlock the value it was intended to create.”

Shuck argues that other vendors overly complicate data projects and offer expensive consultations and complex solutions.  ZoomInfo’s vision is to be the “first unified, single source of truth for sales, marketing, and all other go-to-market functions.”

“With the data from EverString, ZoomInfo will provide data on virtually every high-level parent company, local parent company, franchise, and satellite office in America.  This broader data set enables better search, scoring, and account assignment, and provides greater access to buyers and buying centers.”

CEO Henry Schuck

“The combined ZoomInfo and EverString data asset will be unparalleled in the marketplace,” said EverString CEO J.J. Kardwell.  “We’re excited to join ZoomInfo and work together to bring sellers and marketers the most extensive company and professional data that will help make their go-to-market motions even more effective and efficient.”

Kardwell will serve as an advisor to ZoomInfo and will remain with ZoomInfo through the transition.

ZoomInfo is moving to combine the two databases quickly.  As it has a track record of acquiring and rapidly integrating datasets, the merged database should be available soon (ZoomInfo declined to provide a target date).  In the meantime, customers can already enrich data via a superset of the EverString and ZoomInfo databases. Financial terms were not disclosed, but ZoomInfo indicated the deal was not expected to have a material effect on the fourth quarter.

ZoomInfo Acquires EverString (Part II)

On Friday, I began coverage of ZoomInfo’s acquisition of EverString. Continuing with part II…


Over the past few years, ZoomInfo has been rapidly building its go-to-market intelligence through acquisitions and capital investment.  Initially, ZoomInfo (then called DiscoverOrg) rolled up competitors iProfile and RainKing, but in February 2019, they acquired ZoomInfo, a leading global contact information source.  The firm also managed two tuck-ins last year: NeverBounce email validation and Komiko Inbox AI.

After going public in June, ZoomInfo acquired intent data service Clickagy in October before acquiring Everstring.

ZoomInfo is exceptionally strong across many of the core B2B data categories, including

  • Global contacts (e.g. emails, direct dials, phone numbers, bios, social links, job function, and job level)
  • Technographics (e.g. vendors, products, projects, IT professionals)
  • Intent data (1st Party IP-matching and the recently acquired Clickagy real-time intent signals)
  • Sales Triggers (e.g. M&A, Exec Changes, Partnerships)
  • Org Charts (human-verified and modeled)

However, ZoomInfo has lagged behind other vendors in firmographics and linkage.  The Everstring acquisition plugs this gap across core firmographics, SMBs, and company linkages, putting the firm in a stronger sales intelligence, digital marketing, and B2B DaaS position.  The expanded company universe will significantly improve ZoomInfo’s match rates for batch, real-time, and continuous data enrichment.

In a multinational telecom provider test, the match rate doubled to 98% due to three factors: M/L-powered matching, historical matching against outdated records, and record completeness.

“EverString’s machine learning powered entity resolution (aka matching) algorithms are designed to accept and process multiple identifying inputs from a customer’s file, such as phone number and address, alongside the company name and website, improving the likelihood of returning a matching record.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck

Maintaining a historical file of inactive and out of date records provides significant value when batch processing enterprise records sitting in CRMs and MAPs.  Much of this legacy data is bad, but without a reference file with historical data (e.g. inactive and closed companies, former addresses, FKAs), operations teams don’t know which records are defunct businesses.

Everstring has nearly 100% fill rates on core firmographic fields such as employee count, revenue, and industry codes. The expanded firmographics improve field fill rates, lead scoring, lead routing, and analytics (e.g. ICP, TAM, segmentation).

Nevertheless, ZoomInfo has a few remaining gaps around public company financials and filings (e.g. SEC, Companies House, UCC) that would hold them back at financial services companies and European firms.  Everstring does ingest filing data (e.g. Secretary of State incorporations, UCC liens, 5500 ERISA filings with the Department of Labor, federal contract bids, OSHA, fleet data, UK Companies House) when building its business graph, but source data viewing is often required.


Continue to Part III.

ZoomInfo Acquires EverString

ZoomInfo continues building up its data assets with the acquisition of EverString, expanding Zoominfo’s coverage of companies and contacts.  EverString employs machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing to build profiles on 100 million companies, 120 million locations, and 70 million business professionals. Data are ingested from both online and offline content.  The expanded company universe is five-times larger than ZoomInfo’s current company universe, with roughly 30 million international profiles.

EverString also provides ZoomInfo with over one million linkages.  “This additional data gives sellers and marketers across all verticals better access and visibility to their total addressable markets, more complete enrichment results, and additional points of contact at their target accounts.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck described the combined EverString and ZoomInfo data cloud as the “first-ever business identity graph of its size with a level of accuracy and completeness purpose-built to help go-to-market teams identify actual buying centers rather than legal entities with no purchasing power.”

Along with corporate hierarchies, EverString expands ZoomInfo’s intelligence concerning website redirects, legal entities, and aliases.  Firmographics include sizing data, URLs, social links, contact information, year founded, DBAs, FKAs, and long-tail industry keywords.

“The acquisition of EverString gives ZoomInfo a comprehensive business data graph, providing the foundation needed for enterprises to identify their total universe of customers and prospects, define their ideal profiles, leverage granular keywords and attributes to predict success, and focus their go-to-market motions.”

Director of Communications Steve Vittorioso.

Headquartered in San Mateo, EverString was founded in 2012 and has 50 employees.  It made the 2020 Inc. 5000 list with three-year revenue growth of 112%. Customers include Snowflake, FedEx, Nokia, Seagate, and Staples. 

EverString’s DaaS platform delivers firmographics, technographics, contacts, machine learning insights, and intent signals.  

EverString also offers predictive analytics which will be incorporated into the ZoomInfo platform.  Other functionality includes similar companies, ICP modeling, and TAM modeling.


Continue to Part II.

D&B Connect Data Management Platform

Dun & Bradstreet launched D&B Connect, a self-service data management platform that “intuitively connects, manages and visualizes critical data across an organization using the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud.”  D&B Connect helps users benchmark, access, clean, enrich, and monitor their customer and contact data.

D&B Connect provides an “easy-to-use portal for managing sales and marketing data.”  The service enriches and unifies data for a “complete view of the customer.”  Along with Dun & Bradstreet firmographics, linkages, and contacts, D&B Connect enriches customer files with over 2,500 insights and supports custom data layouts.

D&B Connect builds on Dun & Bradstreet’s data management solutions for sales and marketing platforms and leverages Dun & Bradstreet’s global WorldBase file, D-U-N-S Numbers, and DUNSMatch capabilities.  These assets support identity resolution, including corporate linkages, to tie together account hierarchies, providing a unified customer view that spans regions, product lines, multiple company names, and enterprise software platforms.

D&B Connect acts as a centralized hub to manage and report on data quality in enterprise platforms, including CRMs, MAPs, ERPs, data lakes, and CDPs.  A machine learning engine normalizes input records, removing manual file preparation steps.

Users can set match quality rules and thresholds based on D&B Confidence Code, Match Grade String, and the number of match candidates to be returned.

Other features include embedded intelligence, “simplified workflows,” and “team-based controls and dashboards to improve collaboration across departments.”

D&B Connect can process millions of records “in a SOC 2 certified, CCPA, and GDPR-ready environment.”

“With D&B Connect, we put the power to manage data quality in the user’s hands, enabling our clients to reduce time spent on data management from weeks to hours,” said Michael Bird, President of Sales and Marketing Solutions at Dun & Bradstreet.  “We will continue to innovate across our sales and marketing portfolio to reduce MarTech complexity by integrating directly into the workflows of our clients so they can focus on growing their businesses.”

D&B Connect is supported by a team of 28 data advisors, each with at least ten years of experience.

In 2021, D&B Connect will be extended into finance and risk use cases.

Dun & Bradstreet has had a strong 2020 that included an IPO, the acquisitions of European partner Bisnode and firmographics vendor Orb Intelligence, and the launch of several products and services (COVID-19 Risk Data, Pipeline Risk Analysis, D&B ABM Platform, and D&B Analytics Studio).

TechTarget Prospect-Level Intent (Part II)

Continuing my coverage on TechTarget’s Prospect-Level Intent from yesterday

Prospects are scored and ranked within accounts and across all accounts based on “their recent research activity across the TechTarget network as well as their direct engagement with the customer’s content, website, and advertising.”

To assist with account planning and messaging, Priority Engine added Entry Points, a set of user-defined talking points based upon “a prospect’s recent technology and vendor interests mapped to the particular company’s strengths.”  Entry Points are also delivered at the account-level. They are defined by client teams to call out the topics most salient to company positioning and capabilities.  Client-defined Entry Points are visible within Priority Engine, Salesforce, and export files and are reflected in both the account and prospect rankings.

Prospect-Level Intent is also available within Priority Engine’s Connected App for Salesforce.  Sales reps can quickly fill sales cadences and call lists with high-priority prospects and focused prescriptive insights.  With a single click, Sales reps can add new prospect names to Salesforce, providing a direct path from buyer intent to active leads and contacts.  Prospect and account-level insights, including Entry Points and behavioral intelligence, are displayed within Salesforce Account, Contact, and Lead records.

When uploading Accounts, domains are used for account matching and duplicate prevention.  If a Prospect cannot be associated with an account record, it is uploaded as a Lead.

Account-level fields include account rank, domain, employees, industry, revenue, account address, and up to ten account entry points.  Other account insights include five account signals (e.g. Widespread, Sustained, Late Stage, Stakeholder, Cross-Vendor), an account active this week flag, and behavioral flags for marketing (e.g. visited website, engaged with content, clicked banner), ICP match flag, and their Account Star Ranking.

Contact-level fields include name, title, email, content downloaded, a prospect active this week flag, up to ten Prospect Entry Points, contact address, contact phone, LinkedIn URL, and Priority Engine Contact URL.

Ongoing Salesforce enrichment is not yet available but is on the Priority Engine roadmap.

Priority Engine also supports Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot, and HubSpot out-of-the-box, with custom support for other platforms.

Prospect-Level Intent is available in both Priority Engine and the SMB Priority Engine Express subscriptions.  The Salesforce connector is included as part of a standard Priority Engine license.

Openprise Agile CDP

B2B data hygiene vendor Openprise announced the availability of Openprise Agile CDP, the “first and only B2B Customer Data Platform (CDP) built on a data orchestration platform.”  As a data orchestration platform, Openprise offers a single customer view combined with no-code business rules, third-party data, and business process automation.

Openprise emphasizes the advantage of being a data orchestration platform with a B2B CDP.  “Because it’s built on the Openprise Data Orchestration Platform, Openprise Agile CDP includes all the capabilities Openprise has developed over the years to improve data quality in tools like Salesforce and Marketo—including lead routing, account scoring, and attribution—advanced features not typically found in traditional CDPs.”

Openprise supports data unification, data enrichment, normalization, deduplication, lead-to-account matching, and lead-to-contact conversion.  Analytical tools include advanced segmentation, lead and account scoring, ABM activity analysis, campaign attribution, lead routing, and account assignment.

“One of the biggest challenges marketers face is making sure their systems of record deliver accurate, high-quality data to drive marketing initiatives.   A CDP solution that automates all the critical business processes required to make the data work gives marketers high confidence in the accuracy and quality of the data they manage.”

Julian Archer, VP, Principal Analyst in the Marketing Operations Research Service at SiriusDecisions

Openprise claims it can be up and running within ninety-days, much faster than its competitors.  Firms can build custom apps with automated business processes, package them as an API, and create web-based UIs and Chrome extensions for end-users.  Openprise no-code app use cases include advanced segmentation, attribution, upsell, and cross-sell.

The Openprise data marketplace supports data enrichment from leading B2B and B2C vendors, including Zoominfo, Dun & Bradstreet, InsideView, Sales Genie (Infogroup), Cognism, Bombora, KickFire, Synthio, Oceanos (TechTarget), Acxiom, Bing, and Google Places.  Once enriched, data is normalized based upon customer-defined and Openprise taxonomic rules.  Normalization ensures that key values such as addresses, industry codes, job functions, and job levels follow a standard set of rules and taxonomic codes.

InsideView: Enhanced Corporate Family Tree Display

InsideView enhanced its corporate family tree UX.  Along with an improved display, users may search and filter the tree, allowing them to home in on key subsidiaries for sales targeting.  

Search and filtering help reps identify best prospect locations for establishing a beachhead, expand to similar locations, extend into new markets, or leverage an MSA to identify locations within a sales territory.

The tree is now keyword searchable and filterable by location, size (both employees and revenue), industry, site status (e.g. operating, inactive/closed), and site type (e.g. Retail, Manufacturing, Distribution Center, etc.).  Filtering allows reps to focus on locations in their territory or locations in targeted verticals.  If a parent node is de-selected by a filter, but a subsidiary is selected, the parent location is grayed out but still displayed, providing operational context to the sales rep.

Users may also expand or collapse tree nodes and individually select locations of interest.  Branch locations may be added to the tree via a “site locations data available” slider.

The number of locations is displayed in the company overview.

Sales and marketing professionals can also download the tree for campaigns and analysis.  Filtered trees may be downloaded in Excel or CSV formats.  A map feature displays location density for the United States by state, for Canada by province, or globally by country.

The new family tree view is available in both the CRM and web views.  1.2 million locations are flagged as subsidiaries or acquired firms.

InsideView also recently released a set of small enhancements to InsideView Sales.  Admins can now sync a broader set of Account, Contact, and Lead fields with Salesforce.  New Account fields include Twitter handle, Facebook page, and blog page.  New Contact and Lead fields include city, state, country, job level, and job function.

Other Upgrades

InsideView released a number of additional enhancements to its product lines.  

InsideView for Sales users can unlink and rematch improperly linked Account and Contact records.

InsideView Refresh for Salesforce now offers real-time email verification for unmatched records.  Admins can also manage Salesforce contacts, enrich fields, and flag duplicates.

New InsideView Data Integrity dashboards display how many Account, Contact, or Lead records are updated over time.  The dashboards indicate the number of records processed, new records processed, duplicate records, match data, field fill rates, and segments.

InsideView Target added a filter for contacts with direct dial phones.

InsideView also added cross-product navigation.

The InsideView universe has grown to 15 million companies and 44 million contacts.

Zoominfo Data Quality

When Zoominfo launched its new platform in September, they focused on functionality, packaging, and new capabilities, but did not discuss how their databases were combined.  As the data collection methodologies of the two firms differed significantly, it was unclear how they unified the datasets.  Prior to the acquisition, DiscoverOrg created a second tranche of company and contact data that was labeled “technology-generated”  This data was not subject to their traditional human-verification methods and was segregated from human-verified data during prospecting under a secondary results tab.

When the databases were combined for the new platform, Zoominfo added data quality scores for each contact record.  Contacts are scored based on their predicted accuracy.  Thus, a contact record with a score of 95 has a 95% likelihood that the contact was at the company, and the email was valid.  Records were also assigned an alphabetical score: A+ records have a score of 95 or above, A records have scores between 85 and 94, and B records are scored between 75 and 84.  Contact records now display the numeric and alphabetical scores.  Quality scores are also included in file downloads and synced with enterprise software applications.

While the scores do not factor in direct dial accuracy, Derek Smith, SVP of Data and Research, indicated that direct dial accuracy generally lags the contact quality score by five points.

Data quality score thresholds can be adjusted based upon the user’s objectives.  When pulling contacts for an email campaign or starting a cadence through a sales engagement partner (Outreach or SalesLoft), setting a high-quality score ensures that the bounce rates are low.  This helps protect the firm’s sender score and prevents emails from being delayed or caught in a SPAM filter.  When setting up a dialing campaign, the quality score can be lower as there are fewer risks associated with bad phone calls (you might even get the contact’s replacement).  One can also selectively upload lower-quality contacts when there are only lower quality contacts that match a target persona at an ABM account.

Zoominfo data spans 100 million active global contacts across 20 million companies.  Of these, 73 million have emails, and 43 million have direct dials.  Zoominfo offers over a million contacts for seven countries:

  • The United States (64M)
  • Canada (6.1M)
  • Australia (4.2M)
  • India (3.7M)
  • The United Kingdom (2.0M)
  • South Africa (1.3M)
  • Brazil (1.1M)

Zoominfo employs several methods for contact verification.  NeverBounce, which they acquired last March, performs regular email verification tests.  They also send a set of email campaign tests to partners for monthly third-party testing.  Likewise, they send a test phone file to the Philippines for middle of the night phone testing.  These tests, along with regular data verification conducted by their human editors, help refine their data quality scoring model.

Data updates are driven by client feedback, editorial research, natural language processing of the open web, NeverBounce testing, and signature block analysis of emails from community members.

Zoominfo now provides mobile numbers alongside company and direct-dial phones.  Mobile numbers have been available from DiscoverOrg for several years, but Zoominfo did not collect them.  Zoominfo is now collecting them for all contacts.  Mobile numbers are not downloadable for most clients, but exceptions are made if there is a valid use case for mobile dialing.  For example, recruiters prefer to call mobile numbers versus direct dials, as mobile calling helps protect the privacy of the individuals being contacted.