Consolidation in the Technology Sales Intelligence Space

Technographics, which were a relatively small segment five years ago, have grown rapidly and are in the midst of a consolidation phase.  Three years ago, DiscoverOrg acquired iProfile and then picked up RainKing last August.  This week, HG Data acquired London-based Pivotal iQ, Zoominfo acquired Datanyze, and DiscoverOrg rebranded.

Both acquisitions expand the scope of coverage of the acquiring firms.  Zoominfo had limited technographics prior to the Datanyze deal and now holds a deeper set of technographics along with analytics and visualization tools.  HG Data has expanded beyond product / vendor data to include contract and spend intelligence.

By my research, the IT sub-sector represents 18% of the sales intelligence space with DiscoverOrg in the pole position.  Overall, the IT sub-sector is $170 million and it is growing faster than the overall Sales Intelligence market.

“The recent acquisition activity shows the value and appetite for technology data enrichment,” said HG Data VP of Product and Marketing Kineon Walker.  “This consolidation cycle is happening as new companies continue to enter the space. As technology data continues to evolve and become more valuable to businesses of all sizes, we expect this sector to continue to grow and flourish.”

What we are seeing is the transition of technographic intelligence from a delighter five years ago to a must have content set for sales and marketing intelligence products.  Ten years ago, it was contacts and SMBs that made this transition. Eight years ago it was sales triggers.  Four years ago it was emails and direct dials.  Now it is technographics.

Next up it may be third-party intent data and the integration of first-party visitor intelligence into more sophisticated lead scoring and prioritization.

I will be covering both acquisitions over the next few days.

2017 North American Market Size

 

 

North American Sales Intelligence Market Sizing Model (Excel)

The 2017 Market Size of North American Sales Intelligence Vendors. Includes vendor product features, market share, and notes. GZ Consulting Copyright 2018.

$750.00

For the past few years, I have been sizing the North American Sales Intelligence Market.  This is the largest of the markets as Europe and AsiaPac are more fragmented (the UK is the only other mature market).

In 2017, I estimated the market at $950 million with LinkedIn Sales Navigator as the top vendor.  While new firms continue to enter, the top four vendors earn two of every three dollars in the industry.  The top four  concentration increased 7% last year, mostly due to the acquisitions of Avention and RainKing.

LI SN Market Share
The LinkedIn Market Share Section of the 2017 North American Sales Intelligence Market Sizing

The industry grew 17% over the past year with the majority of this growth being captured by LinkedIn Sales Navigator, DiscoverOrg, and ZoominfoTechTarget, which was off my radar in 2016, has also seen rapid growth in 2017 and 2018.

DiscoverOrg acquired RainKing at the end of August 2017 so two-thirds of its revenue was recognized as RainKing and one-third as part of DiscoverOrg.  Combined, the two firms earned around $118 million least year with DiscoverOrg ending the year with a $130 million plus ARR.  DiscoverOrg raked in two of every three dollars within the technology sales intelligence sub-segment.

LinkedIn holds a nearly 30% market share.  It has grown rapidly while remaining under the radar of its peers as it is often used as a complementary service to other sales and marketing intelligence services.

Data.com’s 2017 revenue was stable but Dun & Bradstreet forecasted a 30% drop in 2018 (D&B is a revenue share partner on the service).  I anticipate that much of this revenue will shift to other vendors in 2018 and 2019.  Dun & Bradstreet is in a strong position to take much of this share, but other vendors are pushing hard to acquire Data.com clients.

Zoominfo was ahead of the other sales intelligence vendors in recognizing the value of adding marketing functionality alongside their sales tools.  This has put them in a strong position for data services.  They also built the deepest set of global contacts with emails and direct dials and were early to build out connectors (CRM, MAP, Sales Engagement, and Chrome).

I am making my market model available for license (See PayPal button at top) as an Excel spreadsheet.  It includes revenue numbers by company along with market share, key features, and notes.

DiscoverOrg: 8 Years on the Inc. 5000

DiscoverOrg Revenue.png
DiscoverOrg continued its blistering growth.  It acquired RainKing at the end of August 2017 so only four months ($13 million est.) of RainKing revenue was included in DiscoverOrg’s 2017 revenue.  Another $26 million (est.) will show up in DiscoverOrg’s 2018 revenue.  The CAGR and revenue data was sourced from the 2014 through 2018 Inc. 5000 lists.

DiscoverOrg made the Inc 5000 list for the eighth straight year with three-year revenue growth of 184%.  The revenue was boosted by the acquisition of RainKing last August, but the firm would have made the list even without the acquisition.  Over the past six years, DiscoverOrg posted a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 60%, growing revenue from $5.5 million in 2011 to $91.9 million in 2017.

“For 10 years, our singular focus has been on how to fuel our customers’ pipeline and revenue growth with the best B2B data available anywhere,” said Henry Schuck, DiscoverOrg CEO. “Being named to the Inc. 5000 list for the eighth consecutive year–and especially at the size and scale we are now–demonstrates our continued unwillingness to settle for anything less than excellence.”

Last year, DiscoverOrg more than doubled its database and increased its headcount by 50%.  DiscoverOrg’s Annualized Recurring Revenue (ARR) was over $130 million at the end of the year, indicating the firm was in a strong position to make the list again in 2019.  DiscoverOrg only recognized around $13 million in 2017 RainKing revenue over the final four months, so approximately $26 million in additional subscription revenue will hit their books in 2018.

2017 organic revenue growth was around $19 million.

“Out of the nearly seven million private companies moving the economy forward every day, only a tiny fraction have demonstrated such remarkably consistent high growth.  DiscoverOrg’s eighth Inc. 5000 honor truly puts the organization in rarefied company.”

  • James Ledbetter, Inc. Editor-in-chief

What is even more impressive is that DiscoverOrg passed InsideView and Avention (now D&B Hoovers) in revenue with a service that focused on the technology space while the broader sales and marketing intelligence services target the technology space, business services, professional services, and financial services.

DiscoverOrg has distinguished itself through

  • High quality data collected by its large editorial team
  • High fill rates on emails and direct dials
  • Technology and general sales triggers (Scoops)
  • Org charts at both the C-level and along functional lines
  • Biographies with technical skills and responsibilities
  • AI recommendations around both similar companies and recommended executives (AccountView)
  • OppAlerts Intent data (three-premium)
  • A broad set of CRM, MAP, Sales Engagement, and Browser connectors.

“Great data is magic,” tweeted the firm.

Or course, DiscoverOrg wasn’t the only B2B Sales Intelligence, Sales Engagement, or DaaS company to make the list.  I will cover Zoominfo, SalesLoft, and these other firms tomorrow.

DiscoverOrg: Next Generation OppAlerts

DiscoverOrg announced the next generation of its OppAlerts intent-driven technology intelligence service.  The premium service now delivers ten-times as many OppAlerts as before and integrates the alerts into its Build-a List-prospecting.  Only surging companies with Bombora Surge scores of at least 75 are flagged.

Surge scores are early indicators of intent to purchase based upon B2B media site activity.  A 75 signifies companies in the top five to ten percent of interest in a topic as compared to their baseline level of interest in that topic.  As much of the buyers’ journey takes place before purchasers contact a firm, reaching out to prospects during the early stages of the journey provides sales reps with an early movers’ advantage.

“The holy grail of the B2B marketing and sales world is to know when customers are actively researching your product or service,” said DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Schuck. “The DiscoverOrg – Bombora partnership allows our customers to know specifically what their prospects are researching and then which decision-makers to connect with, all in one place.”

The OppAlerts Surge score view allows users to see other topics currently surging at an account.
The OppAlerts Surge score view allows users to see other topics currently surging at an account.

DiscoverOrg switched from the Bombora firehose API, which delivered bulk raw data, to Bombora’s processed surge feed.  The upgraded service allows DiscoverOrg users to identify companies with surging interest in key topics, rank companies by purchase intent, route high-intent prospects to sales reps, and synch intent data with Salesforce for key topics.

Marketers can load a ListMatch file and have it immediately enriched with OppAlerts Surge scores by selected topics.  They can then filter by topic, review trends, and assess week-over-week changes in scores.  As the list is loaded into their prospecting engine, marketers can further refine the list by firmographics, technographics, biographics, and recent Scoops (sales triggers). DiscoverOrg has mapped all 4,100 topics to related job functions, allowing sales and marketing reps to quickly build targeted contact lists most likely to be interested in surging topics at key accounts.

OppAlerts identifies the contacts most likely to be buyers of products related to the intent topic.
OppAlerts identifies the contacts most likely to be buyers of products related to the intent topic.

The OppAlerts Build a List view displays current and historical intent data by company.  Users see the week-by-week score changes along with other surging topics at companies.  Lists may be saved for ongoing monitoring within the platform or via a weekly alert.  Thus, sales reps can monitor their ABM accounts and place calls when intent spikes at them.

The email alert highlights New OppAlerts, Biggest Gains, and OppAlerts by Topic.

Bombora OppAlerts are delivered to sales reps for stored alert lists.
Bombora OppAlerts are delivered to sales reps for stored alert lists.

“Bombora is the only provider of Company Surge data. Combining our insights about which businesses are more actively researching specific products and services with DiscoverOrg’s best-in-class firmographic and contact data brings the most actionable form of Intent data to B2B sales teams,” said Erik Matlick, Bombora Founder and CEO.

Pricing was not released, but the service is sold in both light and unlimited tiers.  Light tiers provide up to 100 surging companies per topic per month for 12, 25, or 50 topics.  Joint subscribers only pay a small fee for delivery of Bombora data from within DiscoverOrg.

DiscoverOrg has been working to build out its datasets.  They now cover 3.7 million contacts across 150,000 companies.

Openprise Expanded Data Marketplace

Data Orchestration vendor Openprise expanded its Data Marketplace with the addition of seven new vendors: Dun & Bradstreet, Oceanos, DiscoverOrg, KickFire, Acxiom, Cognism and People Data Labs.  The Openprise Data Marketplace is a third-party data mart which assists with “onboarding, ingesting and normalizing data” into major platforms such as Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua, Microsoft Dynamics 365.

“Our customers benefit from having access to accurate and complete B2B marketing data – from verified account and contact data to organization charts to intent signals and buying scoops,” said Katie Bullard, DiscoverOrg Chief Growth Officer.  “The depth of our data gives sales and marketers a 360-degree view of target accounts and contacts, and our integrations ensure that data is always fresh, complete and up-to-date.”

“Openprise users can now incorporate Oceanos‘ contact hygiene and provisioning solutions directly within their automated processes to improve their demand generation and Account-Based Marketing initiatives,” said Oceanos’ CEO Brian P. Hession.  “Our API wraps five leading hygiene vendors into a single solution, further amplifying the benefits marketers realize.”

Openprise Content Partner Network
Openprise Content Partner Network

Openprise assists with cleaning and normalizing customer data, assesses match rates, recommends new data providers, coordinates data processing, and unifies data across systems.

John Donlon, Senior Director of Marketing Operations Strategies at SiriusDecisions, called acquiring and standardizing high quality prospect data as “one of the biggest challenges marketers face” and “critical” to implementing the SiriusDecisions Demand Unit Waterfall.  “Any technology that can facilitate that will give organizations a huge leg up not just in understanding their target audience, but in driving meaningful interactions throughout the buyer’s journey.”

Openprise claims that no single data vendor can provide superior data than their platform.  They also warned that a multiple vendor strategy is often ineffective due to industry content white labeling, resulting in little incremental value.  “With our Multi-Vendor Enrichment Strategy Service, our customers know quantitatively how each incremental vendor’s data will improve their database and they have the processes in place to easily integrate new data in a way that conforms with their existing data policies.”

The Openprise platform supports data onboarding, data cleansing and enrichment, data unification across systems, and data delivery.

Other members of the marketplace include ZoomInfo, InsideView, Salesgenie (Infogroup), Orb Intelligence and Synthio.

DiscoverOrg Releases Operations Dataset

The Operations Dataset includes headshots, bios, responsibilities, org charts, emails, direct dials, and social links.
The Operations Dataset includes headshots, bios, responsibilities, org charts, emails, direct dials, exec changes, and social links.

DiscoverOrg continues to build out its functional datasets to assist firms in targeting specific departments.  The newest dataset, Operations, joins functional coverage of IT, Product Management (TEDD), Sales, Marketing, HR, and Legal/Compliance.  The Legal/Compliance dataset was released in January.

The new dataset covers 250,000 operations professionals and is divided into twelve sub-functions: Operations (including COOs), Customer Service, Supply Chain, Facilities Management, Logistics, Corporate Strategy, Office/Store Management, Safety, Real Estate, Physical Security, Quality Management, and Construction.

“Operations teams are rapidly transforming; in response, there has been an explosion in technology and service providers serving their needs,” said DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Schuck. “Our new operations dataset makes it easy for these companies to find and connect to the right decision-maker, nail their pitch, and save hours of grind.”

DiscoverOrg projects that operations will be the next function transformed by technology.  “Operations, which has historically have had to rely on trickle-down budget from IT or other departments, now has a budget of its own,” said Justin Stanley, VP of Data and Research at DiscoverOrg.  “Historically, sales to the operations function has been based on long-standing vendor relationships, making it difficult for startups, newcomers, and disruptors to get a piece of the pie. The democratization of data has made it much easier to contact buyers directly (if you can find them) – and beat out older incumbent vendors.”

Furthermore, the budget is “huge” and includes “smart” buildings, security, infrastructure, transportation, insurance, planning, and facilities management.

Stanley noted that operations buyers are focused on efficiency, digitization, automation, and efficiency. They also have a significant role in purchasing and implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) at their facilities.  Forbes sized process automation and digitization at $157 billion in 2016 growing to $457 billion by 2020.

But selling into this function is difficult.  “First, ‘operations’ is a pretty vague term. It doesn’t usually appear in an employee’s title, so it’s hard to identify exactly the role you’re looking for,” said Stanley.  “Second, Operations employees don’t often hold high-profile titles. These aren’t roles that are typically listed on a corporate website, and there aren’t a lot of operations ‘thought leaders’ on LinkedIn. So, they’re difficult to identify – and harder to find contact information for.”

A recent survey by BSG found that the two biggest problems for operations and facilities sales are prospecting and accessing the right decision makers.

“Customers and prospects repeatedly asked for it [an operations database],” said Senior VP of Data and Research Derek Smith.  “Over time, it became clear that plenty of people wanted to reach these types of contacts. But there was nowhere to get them.”

DiscoverOrg now covers over 3.6 million contacts across 140,000+ global companies.  Data is collected through direct research by their multi-lingual editorial team and refreshed every ninety days.  The dataset includes firmographics; contact details like direct dials and verified email addresses; org charts and reporting structures; installed technologies; and buying signals like planned projects, online research behavior, funding announcements and personnel moves.

“We are currently evaluating and prioritizing what our next dataset launch will be,” said Chief Growth Officer Katie Bullard.  The database will double in size again this year – some of that growth will be from new dataset launches and most from additional contacts in our existing datasets.”

E-Mail Guessing Strategies Work Poorly

I’ve long suspected that email guessing strategies based upon corporate email templates are risky.  If the hit rate is low, you can quickly undermine your sender score and hurt your firm’s ability to communicate with customers and prospects.

Almost every sales rep does it as a quick workaround.  Hell, I’ve done it.  But, as a strategy for building marketing datasets, it is a dead end.  When sales reps do it, there is a high probability that their well drafted email will bounce.  When marketing does it, they will kill their email deliverability.

Two companies provide evidence to the failure of this strategy — DiscoverOrg and SalesLoft.

SalesLoft offered the Prospector service in 2014. It was a gerry-rigged Google search of LinkedIn that employed an email guessing strategy. The service was discontinued when CEO Kyle Porter decided to focus on Sales Engagement.
SalesLoft offered the Prospector service in 2014. It was a jerry-rigged Google search of LinkedIn that employed an email guessing strategy. The service was discontinued when CEO Kyle Porter decided to focus on Sales Engagement.

SalesLoft began as a LinkedIn scraping service that employed Google to build lists and then utilized email guessing to enrich the lists with dubious quality emails.  SalesLoft Prospector grew into a multi-million dollar business, but CEO Kyle Porter saw the business as unsustainable.   Instead, Porter used revenues from Prospector as a financial bridge for building out a sales engagement Cadence service which has grown rapidly.  Porter describes their service as “sincerity at scale.”

Yesterday, they announced the acquisition of partner SalesNinja which provides integrated meeting analytics for their sales engagement platform.   The tool transcribes and tags meetings for sales coaching, new hire training, and meeting note searching.  The goal is to improve sales efficiency and efficacy while identifying best practices.  Instead of dubious lists, the firm is looking to build quality conversations between sales and prospects.

SalesLoft’s mission is to “enable salespeople to sell with true intent and sincerity,” said Porter several years ago.  “The concept of getting a good prospect list and pounding it to death is old, trite and has become a terrible strategy and drag on our customer’s brands. We have never intended to participate in that process. SalesLoft Cadence is a different process, creates a different relationship, much different results and is executed by professionals with professional solutions.”

DiscoverOrg was never tempted by such strategies and employs a large editorial team to research and maintain executive profiles.  In a recent test of 2,700 editorially gathered emails that were also SMTP verified, DiscoverOrg found that basic template guessing was only 62.4% accurate.  When nickname substitution was employed, the rate only rose to 66%.  When they analyzed the incorrect guesses, they came up with multiple reasons for failure:

  • Large companies have multiple email formulas
  • Brands and subsidiaries create complications
  • Subdomains are becoming more popular in email addresses
  • Some companies use multiple email domains for different roles
  • Nicknames are very common
  • Middle initials and middle names
  • Duplicate names
  • Foreign names
  • Secretive email formulas

“A lot of data providers offer ‘confidence levels’ or likelihoods that a specific email is good,” blogged DiscoverOrg SVP of Data and Research Derek Smith.  “They’re just peddling their own guesses. Anybody can pass along their best guess at an email. Real sales intelligence gives you accurate, actionable data that won’t result in a bounce of your carefully crafted prospecting message.”

In the end, prospecting shortcuts are problematic.  The best sales and marketing professionals employ accurate data and insights for their messaging.  Furthermore, in the era of GDPR (three days from now), you can’t have explicit consent to communicate with an EU citizen when you are guessing at how to contact her.


DiscoverOrg Study