CX Cloud provides Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and Total Addressable Market
(TAM) modeling based on DataFox firmographics and signals spanning 3.5 million
companies. DataFox is adding 7,000 companies each day.
see B2B sales shifting from a field-first model to what we call a digital
selling model. By that we mean that increasingly organizations are moving
to inside sales teams that are aided by digital selling tools like Eloqua or
like Slack,” says Des Cahill, head CX evangelist at Oracle. “We believe
that a combination of data enrichment from DataFox and then AI and ML systems
to guide employees is the future of sales.”
integration with the Oracle Data Cloud and DataFox provides marketing with
improved intent and account behavior insights.
ERP integration supports supplier risk assessment with supplier scoring, risk
signals, and categorization.
more organizations apply machine learning to core business processes, the
quality of data being fed to algorithms is the single-most important factor
that determines the value of AI results,” said VP of Product Management for
Adaptive Intelligence Bastiaan Janmaat. “We built our smart data platform
for the AI era and will continue to extend the capabilities beyond sales and
marketing to include company-level data for use cases in finance, HR and supply
began as a dataset for investment banking, but “we just found a huge gaping
hole, in terms of the quality of B2B datasets that were available in the
market,” said Janmaat.
15 years ago it was difficult to find company information, there are now
filings, press releases, corporate websites, tweets, blogs, and other content
which make it difficult to collect and assess company intelligence.
“There’s gold to be mined, but it’s a small percentage of what’s out there in the public domain. And that is a perfect problem to apply artificial intelligence to.”
Former DataFox CEO Bastiaan Janmaat (Oracle VP of Product for Adaptive Intelligence)
“Stagnant data sitting unchanged in sales and marketing systems and low-quality public data sources threaten ROI and reduce the effectiveness of AI deployments,” said Clive Swan, SVP of Applications Development. “DataFox is a key element in Oracle’s AI strategy and will help customers gain more value from the AI embedded in Oracle Cloud Applications. We plan to include more integrations across the entire suite of cloud applications to further enhance AI capabilities across finance, human resources and supply chain.”
is now available as an Oracle data cleansing and enrichment service, but will
support three additional functions by mid-year:
Similar company identification based on the ICP
Providing “embedded dynamic signals” (talking points) to sales reps
Eloqua enhancements are planned.
DataFox is also touting its dynamic territory planning service which was launched prior to the acquisition. Territory planning combines DataFox intelligence with internal company data such as win rates to dynamically assign and maintain balanced territories.
“What’s most interesting though, is that when Oracle DataFox detects a new account, that for whatever reason newly satisfies certain criteria and to make it a great target, it will dynamically enter that territory,” said Janmaat. “Either sales ops or the account executive gets pinged for that opportunity. So instead of a once a year exercise, it dynamically updates territories. They’ve seen tremendous results in terms of conversion rates and in deal size.
If a US public company, look at its 10-K (annual report). Firms generally discuss their competitors. You can locate the 10-K on a company’s investor site, through sales intelligence vendors, or free Edgar sites.
If a private company, look at Owler, a free site (See below). This is crowdsourced so may include firms that aren’t true competitors.
Look at sales intelligence services such as D&B Hoovers or InsideView. Hoover’s competitors are editorially generated and include top three flags (see below)
Within IT, look at Forrester Wave reports. Another option is technology category searches in PE/VC databases such as DataFox, Crunchbase, Pitchbook, or CB Insights. Keep in mind that companies within the same segment may not be competitors, but partners, customers, etc.
Many industries have industry specific market research that includes competitors. A few general market research firms also provide competitors (e.g. MarketLine, Euromonitor, Global Data, and Freedonia). Top Competitors are also available in IBISWorld, Vertical IQ, and First Research.
Zoominfo and a few other vendors identify similar companies based upon proximity in articles. This finds competitors, but also customers and partners so should be carefully reviewed.
For new technologies or industries, D&B Hoovers offers Conceptual Search which identify companies associated with key phrases (e.g. Marcellus Shale, Obamacare). This is more of an associated companies list and will identify firms in a topical ecosystem. For example, “Harry Potter” identifies studios, publishers, toy makers, theme parks, and thematic tours. (See example below of conceptual search on Marcellus Shale). Conceptual Search lists may be refined by standard prospecting filters such as industry, geography, and size.
If none of these work, use peer list searches (industry code lists) or keyword searches in sales intelligence vendors.
Oracle recently acquired DataFox, providing them with access to 2.8 million company profiles, including funding and M&A data. DataFox “gives customers real-time insight to know when a business exhibits noteworthy behaviors.”
“The combination of Oracle and DataFox will enhance Oracle Cloud Applications with an extensive set of trusted company-level data and signals, enabling customers to reach even better decisions and business outcomes,” wrote Oracle’s EVP of Applications Development Steve Miranda to customers and partners.
Oracle provides the following deal shorthand:
Oracle Cloud Applications + DataFox = Even Smarter Decisions
DataFox is growing its database at 1.2 million companies annually. The database will deliver real-time insights into its cloud-based ERP, CX, HCM and SCM platforms.
In a bit of extreme puffery, Oracle described DataFox as the “the most current, precise and expansive set of company-level information and insightful data.” Bureau van Dijk and Dun & Bradstreet have 50X the active company coverage including detailed global linkage, risk models, and multi-year financial data. Bureau van Dijk also offers the Zephyr database, an M&A and funding dataset with over twenty years of closed, pending, and rumored deals. Where DataFox may have an advantage is in their focus on mid-size and emerging companies which have been recently funded, but this is a small subset of the company universe.
DataFox will continue to sell and support its products. However, the DataFox roadmap and product line are fluid:
“Oracle is currently reviewing the existing DataFox product roadmap and will be providing guidance to customers in accordance with Oracle’s standard product communication policies. Any resulting features and timing of release of such features as determined by Oracle’s review of DataFox’s product roadmap are at the sole discretion of Oracle. All product roadmap information, whether communicated by DataFox or by Oracle, does not represent a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract.”
Along with AI insights, Oracle called out the needs for quality data to back data maintenance, artificial intelligence, and business signals.
DataFox has over 275 customers including Goldman Sachs, Bain & Company, Outreach, Live Ramp, and Twilio.
DataFox raised $19 million in funding. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. In January 2017, DataFox was valued at $33 million by Pitchbook.
Oracle should study Salesforce’s acquisition of Jigsaw (later renamed Data.com) as a cautionary tale. Software companies struggle in selling data files as company and contact data decays rapidly and it is difficult to push data quality above 90% absent large editorial investments. Furthermore, Jigsaw never represented more than 1% of Salesforce revenue so quickly fell off of the company’s internal radar. The firm is now looking to decommission Data.com and asking its AppExchange partners to fill the sales intelligence and data hygiene gap left in its absence. Coincidentally, DataFox is one of Salesforce’s Lightning Data partners.
On the positive side, LinkedIn hit $1.3 billion last quarter and has thrived under Microsoft’s ownership. However, LinkedIn was a much more mature company at acquisition than DataFox with multiple revenue streams and a unique user generated content model. Microsoft has provided LinkedIn with development capital and allowed it to maintain its independence. It has also looked to leverage LinkedIn and Microsoft strengths when building sales and marketing products, instead of simply copying other vendors. For example, Sales Navigator continues to respect the privacy of its members while using aggregated data to provide hiring and employment insights that other companies cannot deliver. Navigator has also added strong messaging tools (chat, InMail, and PointDrive) which work around its lack of company emails. Other innovations include SNAP workflow connectors, its new Pipeline CRM updating tool, and Buyer’s Circle for identifying the buying committee at large firms.
Salesforce has yet to provide a roadmap for Data.com, so we will likely have to wait until Dreamforce for details. While legacy customers continue to receive Dun & Bradstreet content, new customers are limited to the Salesforce / Jigsaw company and contact file. However, the firm announced a set of Lightning Data partners that will support ongoing account enrichment as native Salesforce Apps.
InsideView was an original partner on the AppExchange but was disinvited after Data.com rolled out. While hidden from AppExchange searches, the InsideView for Sales solution continued to be available to joint customers as a private solution. Furthermore, the firm built additional AppExchange marketing products to supplement InsideView for Sales. These services included Target, a company and contact prospecting platform, and Refresh, a data hygiene service that matched and enriched account records with InsideView intelligence. The two companies share over one thousand joint clients.
As an initial partner in Lightning Data, InsideView is offering two services: Append account record maintenance toward the end of Q4 and Discovery account prospecting in Q1 2018. Both are native Salesforce applications. Unfortunately, Lightning Data only supports Account record enrichment and prospecting. Thus, InsideView clients looking for prospecting against InsideView’s 13 million global companies and 33 million contacts may wish to evaluate InsideView Target instead of InsideView Discovery.
InsideView positions itself as a leader in Targeting Intelligence due to their capabilities across three dimensions: company and people intelligence (Who), business triggers sourced from the news and social feeds (Why), and network connections which support warm introductions (How).
With the launch of their new Lightning Data solutions, InsideView will have strategic relationships with the two most important CRMs: Saleforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics.
InsideView CMO Tracy Eiler will be speaking at one of the Lightning Data sessions at this year’s Dreamforce as will other Lightning Data partners.
DataFox is offering twenty-two curated data points and five proprietary fields for DaaS enrichment. Amongst the curated fields are standard firmographics, tech stack, and funding data including investors, total funding raise, and last funding round details. Proprietary data includes signal count over the past year, industry keywords, and similar companies. Datafox’s “AI-sourced, human-audited company data” covers over two million companies. Pricing starts at $3,500 per year.
MCH enriches accounts with medical facility details. Institutions include hospitals; medical practices; dental practices; nursing homes; home health and hospice; ambulatory surgery; diagnostic imaging; community health; urgent care; and public health departments. Data is updated via a team of researchers annually who populate over seventy attributes across 636,000 facilities. Pricing starts at $500 per year.
MCH has a broader sales intelligence solution in development which will support prospecting and access to two million medical practitioners and support staff.
Clearbit enriches accounts with over forty fields including firmographics, Alexa Rank, Social Accounts, and Technology. The service also includes company news. Pricing starts at $499 per month.
HG Data populates technology product, vendor, and product category information across account, contact, and opportunity records. Also included is an account ranking score based upon deployed technology and workflows based upon complementary or competitive products. Pricing starts at $5,000 per year.
There are multiple reasons to enrich records with third-party reference data sets. These include shorter web forms with lower abandonment rates, improving segmentation via standardized data with fewer data gaps, ongoing data maintenance, and enhanced targeting.
Sales rep benefits from enrichment include reduced data entry, improved lead scoring and routing, and improved intelligence for account qualification, planning, and messaging. By enriching company information within the CRM workflow, sales reps have accurate, on demand account intelligence.
Salesforce announced the launch of two new AppExchange partnership categories offering native Lighting functionality: Lightning Bolts and Lightning Data. Bolts are Lightning Components which offer customer data and business logic.
Lightning Data provides new Data as a Service (DaaS) partnerships in the wake of the non-renewal of the Dun & Bradstreet – Data.com licensing partnership. Three of the partners were announced as Data.com Exchange partners at last year’s Dreamforce:
Initially, Lightning Data only supports ongoing match and enrichment services for Account records. As many AppExchange partners offer batch and continuous services for Account, Contact, and Lead records, Lightning Data will need to round out its enrichment capabilities for it to become a full hygiene and enrichment solution.
Lightning Data is an indication that Salesforce never really bought into the idea of being a DaaS company. Since August 2011, they have promoted Data.com, but never fully committed to the data ecosystem they promised when they launched Data.com. The original idea was to take the Jigsaw file they purchased in April 2010 for $142 million and integrate it with the D&B WorldBase company file. They were then going to partner with other leading data companies to integrate third-party data matched to either Data.com contact intelligence or D&B Account intelligence. These data sets were to be delivered via Data.com Prospector sales intelligence and the Data.com Clean match and append service.
It was the right idea at the right time. They were playing catch up with OneSource for Salesforce, InsideView for Salesforce, and Access Hoovers, but had the technical and financial resources to quickly leapfrog these offerings (Access Hoovers was phased out as part of the D&B deal). Furthermore, they had a first mover advantage in cross-selling Data.com to their customer base. It could have been a home run, but they rarely hit the ball out of the infield. What’s worse:
The Jigsaw file was never truly internationalized. It remained a U.S. contact file with underwhelming executive coverage for nine other countries.
The Data.com contact counts increased, but only because they were adding contacts at the same rate as they were decaying. Meanwhile, their top two contacts competitors, NetProspex and Zoominfo, continued to expand both their active and inactive coverage in the U.S. and internationally.
They never added biographic details or social links to the contacts file
Prospector features remained underwhelming. They would add small features such as improved industry and geographic screening, but not anything significant until 2016.
They quickly dropped all discussion about an ecosystem.
Then at Dreamforce 2015 and 2016 they seemed to have found their mojo, addressing key weaknesses such as pricing, sales intelligence (Hoovers profiles, First Research industry overviews), and a data ecosystem.
Data.com hit a few doubles and outlined an aggressive 2017 and 2018 roadmap. It looked good. It sounded good. But then Salesforce severed their partnership with Dun & Bradstreet and now only legacy customers have access to Dun & Bradstreet content. For everybody else, there were nine months of deafening silence until yesterday’s announcement of Lightning Data.
The devolution of Data.com will not have a significant effect on Salesforce’s bottom line as it represents perhaps one percent of company revenue (hence, the lack of urgency in replacing Dun & Bradstreet content). Furthermore, the legacy offering will continue to be supported for several more years so the revenue decline will have little material impact. Perhaps we’ll hear about replacement content at Dreamforce, but Lightning Data suggests they are leaving B2B DaaS to partner companies.
DataFox released its Company Intelligence & CRM Orchestration for Salesforce service this week. The new Lightning app supports company research and firmographic enrichment within Account, Contact, and Lead I-frames. The service includes DataFox signals, contacts, lists, and similar companies.
Company and contact enrichment includes business descriptions, DataFox scores, investors, funding stage, year founded, social links, technographics, conferences attending, and revenue estimates. When contacts are listed, the system identifies which names have already been synched and which names can be uploaded as new contacts or leads. Duplicate checking on upload provides management options. For example, a duplicate contact can simply be synched or the user can create a new contact or lead.
Lookups can be performed against keywords, companies, conferences, or DataFox lists such as the Inc 5000 by sector. Lists can be further filtered by DataFox variables as well as whether the company has been synched with Salesforce. Companies in lists can be uploaded individually or via batch to SFDC. Within DataFox lists, Salesforce account data may be displayed and used as filter variables. For example, prospecting lists can suppress current Salesforce accounts.
Trigger events may be filtered by topic so that only the most relevant categories are displayed. DataFox collects 100,000 signals every week and maps them to 68 topics.
DataFox offers both an initial data cleanse and daily data maintenance. A data integrity report provides statistics on verified records, duplicates, incompletes, and incorrect records.
Along with SFDC, DataFox supports integrations with Chrome, Marketo, and Slack.
DataFox grew its year-over-year annual recurring revenue by 150% and trebled its presence at Fortune 500 companies. According to the firm, “Its exceptional growth has sparked a major hiring initiative as well as plans to secure a larger San Francisco headquarters office to accommodate a growing team of engineers and data scientists.”
The DataFox CRM Orchestration service provides company profiles and insights for two million companies. The firm collects 100,000 signals each week across seventy signal categories. DataFox supports both an initial batch enrichment and ongoing data refreshes.
A unique feature is their coverage of conferences which helps marketing departments identify which conferences to attend and assemble conference based prospecting lists. The service also captures major lists such as the Inc 5000 and Fast 500 along with niche lists.
“This is an incredible acceleration point. Customers are seeing the immediate benefits of investing in our solutions that automate grunt work and help guide better, faster decision-making,” said DataFox CEO Bastiaan Janmaat. “DataFox has been able to improve the way people approach their jobs in sales, marketing, and other growth functions by helping them find, orchestrate, and leverage CRM data so they can focus on what matters most – building relationships and growing their business.”
Along with Salesforce, DataFox provides integrations with Marketo, Google Chrome, and Slack.
The Sales Intelligence (SI) space has been undergoing some rapid change over the past year. This evolution in functional scope and content sets has resulted in an expansion in the number of companies I cover as well as the categories (ABSD services, PE/VC funding databases). There is also a movement of sales intelligence vendors into marketing intelligence as the traditional SIs look for additional revenue opportunities and a broader value proposition.
A year ago, Account Based Marketing (ABM) was discussed mostly by DemandBase, a top of the funnel programmatic marketing vendor, but the predictive analytics vendors and Zoominfo began discussing the methodology. Thus, a year ago, ABM meant anti-ballistic missile or activity based management to all but the most well-versed marketers. Now the term is commonly found in corporate blogs and collateral and has spawned ABSD (Account Based Software Development) which follows ABM down to the middle of the funnel in the sales development function. There are now several ABSD vendors which I have begun to include in my newsletter including SalesLoft and QuotaFactory. ABSD shifts the sales development focus away from “smile and dial” calling towards targeted messaging into a set of top prospects. Since the prospecting activities are targeting higher value opportunities, there is a benefit to personalizing calls and emails. SalesLoft refers to this activity as “sincerity at scale.”
What is even more impressive about SalesLoft and QuotaFactory is that they are both less than two years old and yet they have already grown in commercial stature to the point where they are building out partner ecosystems with traditional SIs and other vendors. SalesLoft rolled out their Sales Development Cloud at their customer conference last month with nine partners including DiscoverOrg, InsideView, Datanyze, and Owler. At the same time, QuotaFactory announced partnerships with Bedrock Data, Ambition, HG Data, and InsideView.
A second area of rapid growth is the technology sales intelligence vendors. DiscoverOrg and RainKing have grown revenue and capabilities, transforming what was historically a sleepy niche into a significant sub-category. Both vendors have posted high multi-year growth rates, internationalized their datasets, expanded their technology trigger events, and developed CRM and marketing automation connectors. While they continue to gather rich profiles of IT execs, they are broadening their functional coverage to include non-IT functions that are significantly investing in IT cloud solutions such as marketing and finance. DiscoverOrg is continuing this functional expansion with product management (the recently released TEDD dataset), HR, and Sales. Furthermore, their databases, which once focused on the Fortune 1000, now cover nearly 50,000 top global companies and 700,000 executives. Both firms announced significant funding events in the past six months.
Aberdeen Group, which was spun off of Harte-Hanks last year, has begun to invest in the AccessCI database. Once the leading source of technology profiles and leads, the AccessCI (aka CiTDB and CITDS) dataset had received little investment from Harte-Hanks over the prior decade. Under new ownership, the product is once again receiving management attention.
The SIs have also increased their coverage of technographics. Avention acquired SalesQuest two years ago and integrated their Crush profiles into their products while other vendors have licensed vendor/product data from HG Data or mined technographic intelligence. HG Data has become so adept at collecting vendor/product data that DiscoverOrg and Aberdeen Group have begun licensing content from them.
Several firms that began as fundings databases found that Business Development was a logical extension of their value proposition and have since repositioned themselves as sales intelligence solutions. Firms such as DataFox and Mattermark are focusing more on sales intelligence functionality while CB Insights has launched a sales intelligence solution (with technographics) while retaining its focus on the PE/VC space.
For the most part, the SIs have avoided the predictive analytics space. The exceptions are Avention, which supports business signals and ideal profiles, and Radius which morphed from an SMB SI into a predictive analytics company. Meanwhile, the predictive analytics companies are beginning to offer a subset of SI features such as net-new leads.
Instead, the SIs have focused more on marketing analytics, data enrichment, and data hygiene which allows them to leverage their databases without investing in data scientists. Dun & Bradstreet acquired NetProspex last year for its contact database and the Workbench cloud data hygiene platform. They have also begun to offer Hoover’s concierge services including enrichment, segmentation reporting, and email delivery. Avention launched its DataVision customer data platform earlier this year while Zoominfo, Data.com, and InsideView have placed equal weight upon marketing services and sales intelligence services.
Social Selling continues to be a core element of positioning for InsideView and LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Artesian Solutions, a UK vendor that is launching a US product later this year, also focuses on social selling. A significant product gap across the SIs is the lack of social tools built into their offering. I can understand why SIs have shied away from Who Knows Who tools (the exceptions are InsideView and DueDil), but it is perplexing why most SI vendors have only limited sets of social media links and little social media content displayed in their services. Only InsideView, Artesian, and Owler have put much emphasis upon social media content.
Europe is also becoming a home of new services. DueDil has evolved into a UK challenger to Avention and BvD Mint while IKO System and Sparklane (formerly Zebaz) have an established presence in France.
When I started my newsletter four years ago, many of the companies and products either had not been launched or weren’t on my radar. I mostly focused on Avention, Hoover’s, InsideView, DiscoverOrg, BvD, Sales Genie, Data.com, and RainKing. While these companies continue to innovate, much of the energy is coming from new entrants. The rapid growth and diversity of sales intelligence functionality has been exciting to observe.
Credit: Darwin’s Finches are in the public domain. Charles Darwin, 1845.
Over the next few days, I will be covering various Google Chrome integration tools for sales intelligence. Yesterday, I discussed the Zoominfo extension and today I’m covering DataFox’s implementation.
DataFox just launched a sales intelligence service after previously focusing on the PE/VC space. Thus, their underlying dataset covers fast growth companies. The Chrome integration, along with their SFDC implementation, is part of their value proposition.
The DataFox Chrome integration recognizes URLs and provides company profiles to subscribers. Content includes the DataFox Score, sizing data, URL, year founded, a business description, and ten similar companies. The tool is specific to company URLs and does not recognize companies in other contexts such as LinkedIn. If a company is unknown, the app allows the user to quickly request the company be added to the database.
The DataFox score is a composite score which assesses the firm’s financing, human resources, and momentum. According to DataFox, their score “uses machine learning to quantify hard-to-define traits like financial stability and management quality, and most importantly, how those traits can predict a company’s growth.”
Clicking on the company name takes the user to the DataFox company profile. From there, the user can send the company information to SFDC.
Similar companies are displayed with a similarity confidence score, logo, and DataFox Score. Users can click on similar company names to view the similar companies.
Similar companies are identified using a proprietary algorithm which finds peers based upon sector, size, news co-mentions, participation in conferences, and company keywords. According to DataFox, “out of the thousands of keywords in our database, any given company will list only about a dozen. To deal with this, we want to be able to harness a measure of similarity between keywords. After all, if company A lists ‘cloud storage’ as a keyword, then we should have more confidence they are related to a company listing ‘file sharing’ as a keyword than a company listing ‘mobile payments’ as a keyword.” Similar companies can be executed against both individual companies and lists. Thus, a sales rep can take their top client list and clone a set of comparables.
DataFox, which has focused heavily on providing investors with information about growing technology companies and financings, entered the sales intelligence space with the launch of DataFox for Sales. The move is reminiscent of CB Insights which launched a sales product last September. DataFox has been messaging about its sales and marketing use case since July and formally launched the sales service this week along with a Salesforce.com connector.
DataFox claims the following benefits for sales reps:
75% less time to discover a prospect’s needs and draft insightful emails
54% more companies reached with this increased productivity
34% increase in response rates
DataFox CEO Bastiaan Janmaat argues that executives are flooded with cold calls and irrelevant emails. “This is largely being driven by the universal adoption of marketing automation software and the sharp increase in inside sales reps over the past two years. It’s just too easy to send cold emails today, and most of them are not personalized. “We are changing the game when it comes to enhancing the sales and buying experience.”
DataFox for Sales’ primary information presentation model is lists. While companies can be viewed individually, the product focuses on company lists maintained by DataFox, marketing teams or sales reps.
The DataFox platform is, therefore, well positioned for Account Based Marketing (ABM) and Account Based Sales Development. It has strong list management tools for ABM targeting and sales alerts concerning ABM prospects and accounts.
Lists can be built via traditional prospecting, uploaded as CSV files containing the name and URL, or constructed from one of several lists or tools:
Conference Lists: Conference lists are a unique feature of DataFox. They can be used by sales reps for pre-conference / trade show planning to determine which competitors and partners are sponsoring the show, exhibiting, or presenting. They are also useful for trade show planners in evaluating potential shows (are our competitors and peers attending?), demand generation managers for assembling account based marketing (ABM) targets, and business development executives for identifying potential partners or licensors.
Similar Companies: Similar companies are identified using a proprietary algorithm which finds peers based upon sector, size, news co-mentions, participation in conferences, and company keywords. According to DataFox, “Out of the thousands of keywords in our database, any given company will list only about a dozen. To deal with this, we want to be able to harness a measure of similarity between keywords. After all, if company A lists cloud storage” as a keyword, then we should have more confidence they are related to a company listing ‘file sharing’ as a keyword than a company listing ‘mobile payments’ as a keyword.” Similar companies can be executed against both individual companies and lists. Thus, a sales rep can take their top client list and clone a set of comparables.
Curated Lists: Curated lists include published lists (e.g. Inc. 5000, Deloitte Fast 500), lists built by DataFox analysts, and lists shared by DataFox users. Because these lists are matched against the DataFox database, they contain additional firmographics and insights which may not be available in the source lists. Sales and Marketing can use these lists for ABM targeting, identifying growth companies, or extending into new verticals. Users may also share lists publicly or with team members. Users can even collaborate on a list with team members adding or deleting companies from a list.
Prospecting provides an unconventional but compelling list of variables:
Keywords: Keywords are employed in lieu of traditional industry coding. Keywords are quite granular. For example, adtech included eight options. DataFox should look at merging some of these codes. For example Push Notification, Push Notifications, and Push Notification Services provided different company lists.
Location: City, State, Postal Code, Country,Country, and International Region. While a few pre-canned metro areas are avalailable, MSA, County and Radius Search were not supported.
Investor: PE or VC investor
Exit Status: Checkboxes for Private, Public, Acquired, Subsidiary, Product, and Closed Down.
Headcount: Employee Range Finance: Revenue Estimate, Total Funding, Latest Funding Round Amount, Funding Stage, Latest Funding Round Date, Market Cap, P/E Ratio
Date Founded: Year Range
Scores: DataFox, Growth, Finance, Marketing, HR
Marketing: Twitter Followers
Uploaded company lists are automatically matched against their database and enriched. An Insights feature provides quick list segmentation analysis. This view includes top keywords, top investors, headcount distribution, funding distribution, and top locations. Thus, a marketer can quickly upload a list of or trade show booth or webinar attendees to assess the value of the tradeshow or for tweaking the messaging of a webinar.
List layouts are customizable so additional DataFox variables may be added including additional Datafox scores, web traffic time series data, twitter followers, awards, and funding data. Datafox even allows users to add editable columns (e.g. Notes, Follow up Actions and Dates, and calculated variables).
Any list may be filtered using DataFox’s standard prospecting variables. Lists can also be downloaded as CSV files. Unfortunately, CSV files do not maintain currency formatting and lose leading zeroes in ZIP codes. This is a common problem for vendors that support CSV but not XLS formatting.
It is this list-centric model that most differentiates DataFox for Sales from the traditional sales intelligence competitors.
When run against curated, user saved, and conference lists, the Insights Report includes Top Keywords, Top Investors, Top Locations (city), Quarter over Quarter Funding (Historical bar graph), Investor co-occurrence, and Top Five Companies (by DataFox score). There is also a bubble chart called Comparative Trajectory which graphs the DataFox score against the Year Founded with bubbles sized according to the number of employees.
DataFox does not provide company and executive counts, but they indicated that their company universe exceeds one million firms and that they are adding 500 companies daily. DataFox mines its data from
10 different funding databases
3,000 conference lists
10,000 curated lists such as Deloitte’s Fast 500 and the Inc 5000
40,000 News Sources
SEC (EDGAR) Filings
Online Profiles (Social Media, Websites, etc.)
Social Feeds (Twitter and AngelList)
Company data includes company descriptions, DataFox Score, location, employees, funding history, keywords, social media links (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Angellist), corporate blog link, news, executives, conferences, acquisitions, investments, similar companies, top public lists, and user lists. Much of this information is not available in traditional sales intelligence tools but is visible via a one page overview. Additional company views include people, news, and similar companies.
The DataFox Score is a proprietary score which sums four subscores: Financing, HR, Influence, and Growth. Here is how they describe the scores:
At DataFox, our mission is to provide data-driven business insights to salespeople, marketers, analysts, executives, and investors. One of our proprietary systems is the DataFox scoring system, which uses machine learning to quantify hard-to-define traits like financial stability and management quality, and most importantly, how those traits can predict a company’s growth.
Using the companies in our database, we’ve developed models to provide a leading indicator of success. This predictive method is particularly important when evaluating private companies, where traditional factors like revenue and past performance paint an inaccurate picture of future growth.
To accomplish this, we’ve built a series of algorithms to evaluate companies based on growth, influence, finance, management and overall quality. These scores allow DataFox users to quickly search our company database and identify the best or most suitable companies in any sector, location, or stage. Our scores identify the best companies, just as Google’s PageRank algorithm identifies the best webpages.
It should be noted that while the Datafox scores are valuable for qualification and prospecting, they are not predictive scores. Information is based upon historical data and not matched against a company’s ideal profile. Nevertheless, if a firm is targeting fast growth companies, particularly those that are funding candidates, the scores help identify firms on a growth trajectory.
Users may follow a company by clicking a track button and adding the firm to a current or new list. Users may also store private notes with profiles or share comments with their team.
Unfortunately, the company profile does not include an export feature for sharing with team members or reviewing when offline.
Contacts include title and a LinkedIn search button.. The LinkedIn searching was more effective than most simple name searches as DataFox passes the LinkedIn company number to assist with the search. Users may also purchase emails and direct dial phones using credits. No biographic information or executive news is provided.
News is categorized into the following categories:
Although the number of categories is limited, DataFox intends to expand the number and breadth of trigger categories. Triggers are identified by natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning. A subset are flagged as key articles and sent to their team of thirty editors for validation and summarization. Here is an example of the summarized news story (“curated highlight”) for Artesian Solution’s Series B:
Triggers and summarized profiles are viewable within the product and as email alerts. Users can email items to team members (or to clients and prospects) and post them to Twitter. The fox icon allows reps to share notes about the item to their team.
Product Marketing Director Arik Pelkey believes their sales triggers are an area of strength due to the quaility of their natural language processing. “Our supervised algorithms are improving all the time and our unique approach to sales triggers is a big differentiator for us.”
DataFox includes a Salesforce.com connector with I-frame viewing on account and contact pages along with “stare and compare” updates. Within the I-frame, reps can view the one-pager, people, news, and similar company tabs. DataFox also offers bulk de-duplication and cleansing of SFDC accounts.
If the CRM connector has been deployed, prospecting lists display filterable flags indicating current customers and prospects. Users may also send individual companies, company lists, and executives to SFDC. When uploaded, companies are added as accounts and execs as contacts or leads. There is also a two-click company add from company sites to SFDC. This feature requires users to install a Google Chrome Add-in.
Overall, the UI is clear and well laid out with fast site response. Key qualification variables are easy to identify and actions are clearly labeled. A search box provides type-ahead suggestions for keywords, companies, or lists. A dynamic left hand icon bar expands when the user mouses over the icons providing easy access to the home page, key features and lists, tutorials, and recently viewed items. When mousing over a company name, a baseball card profile is displayed.
Because DataFox is coming from the funding world and utilizes a different presentation metaphor, there are some significant differences between DataFox and traditional sales intelligence services:
DataFox offers fourteen day free trials. Pricing was not disclosed, but it is seat based and subject to volume discounts.
DataFox has released a very strong 1.0 release. They provide some compelling features not found in other products which make it a worthy offering for sales teams focused on fast growth companies and marketing teams looking to assemble ABM target lists. As with all 1.0 products, there are functionality and information gaps. In the case of DataFox, they lack public company financials, family trees, technology data, and executive screening.
However, with ongoing investment DataFox could become a credible competitor to the incumbent sales intelligence vendors. In the meantime, companies focused on fast growth companies and ABM sales and marketing should check DataFox out.