Sales and Marketing intelligence vendor DiscoverOrg announced their latest database earlier today. The new Startup and SMB dataset covers more than 60,000 small and mid-size businesses and 400,000 executives. The initial North American coverage profiles companies with between 50 and 1,000 employees.
All of the contacts are editorially verified and will be maintained via the same sixty-day review cycles as their other contacts. Executives cover “all key departments, including IT, Engineering, Marketing, Sales, Finance, HR, and Operations.”
“DiscoverOrg’s data difference is its team of 250+ researchers who constantly augment and verify the data in our platform,” notes Henry Schuck, DiscoverOrg CEO. “Unlike other vendors that provide SMB lists with thousands of irrelevant contacts, companies, and incomplete and duplicate records, the DiscoverOrg Startup & SMB dataset is as rich and accurate as our enterprise data.”
CMO Katie Bullard said that DiscoverOrg has “aggressive plans” to invest in SMB dataset development due to customer benefits.
With more companies, our researchers won’t have to skip over Triggers that they find through their research. We’re able to return a greater number of companies that use a certain technology, and our predictive tools like AccountView and DealPredict have larger reach with more matched accounts.
DiscoverOrg CMO Katie Bullard
The initial dataset is limited to North America as that is where they have the greatest current demand, but DiscoverOrg plans to internationalize the Startup and SMB dataset in the future. While the goal is to cover all firms with at least 50 employees, the initial dataset consists of firms requested by their customers.
The press release noted how difficult it is to find reliable, actionable intelligence for SMB sales teams. Along with company and executive profiles, the database provides 6,000 “research verified buying triggers” per month.
In smaller businesses without media coverage or press releases, almost none of the buying intent triggers that DiscoverOrg gathers – including planned investments, key projects, personnel moves, and internal spending budgets – is made available to the public. This is where DiscoverOrg’s team of researchers provides a clear advantage: While there are millions of registered companies in the US, the difficulty is identifying and gathering intelligence on the small percentage of these companies who are 1) legitimate entities and 2) have true spend / budget. By continuously verifying contact info, conducting interviews, and engaging in research activities, DiscoverOrg overcomes the shortcomings of web-scraping for hard-to-find data on the SMB space, ensuring the intelligence customers receive is highly relevant and immediately useful.
DiscoverOrg Press Release
“Sales and marketing teams that want to reach the SMB market have had a very difficult go of it,” said Nancy Nardin, President of advisory firm Smart Selling Tools. “There’s been a real dearth of verified, accurate data on SMBs, quite simply because it’s harder for data companies to get. DiscoverOrg is solving for this very real pain point by bringing their best-in-class research verification model to the SMB space. You can expect the same high-quality data you get from DiscoverOrg’s broad datasets. ”
Across all databases, DiscoverOrg now covers 1.5 million executives and 90,000 companies. Customers may purchase access to the full database or various databases by job function, company size, or region.
Sales Trainer Steve W. Martin recently ran an independent study of DiscoverOrg contact data quality which found that the vendor lives up to its high quality data claims and SLA. According to Martin, “DiscoverOrg had no foreknowledge that I was measuring their data accuracy and no influence over the sample data set I used.”
Martin randomly selected 100 contacts from a file of 10,000 and conducted the study himself. He evaluated seven fields and found very high data quality levels:
Full Name Accuracy was 99%, including spelling.
Contact Company name was 98%
Title Accuracy was 96%
LinkedIn URL accuracy was 97%. The three contacts that lacked LinkedIn URLs confirmed that they did not have LinkedIn profiles.
Seniority Level accuracy was 100%
97% of the emails were deliverable with only a 3% bounce rate. As contacts decay at a 2% rate per month, 97% is at the upper end of expectations.
Twitter Handles were correct 100% of the time, but only 10% of the contacts had the field populated.
With the exception of Twitter handles where there is likely a significant underpopulation of the field, the dataset lived up to its 95% SLA and data quality claims. It should be noted that Martin did not evaluate DiscoverOrg’s technographics, org chart relationships, responsibility data, or event alerts. These are other areas where their editorial data distinguishes the firm.
“This study confirms what I have personally heard from a wide cross-section of the technology companies I work with,” said Martin. “DiscoverOrg provides highly accurate contact data. In addition, this study was based on a small subset of the data that DiscoverOrg provides. Of primary importance to my clients are the detailed IT organization charts, the identification of the different technologies installed, recent trigger events such as personnel changes, and the direct phone numbers of contacts.”
These types of studies are often expensive to conduct and difficult to construct when comparing vendors. I performed similar studies as internal benchmarks when I worked at OneSource (now D&B Hoovers) and for clients since becoming a consultant and no vendors approach this level of data quality (Note: I have never evaluated RainKing which utilizes similar data collection methods). What is clear is that the smaller universe, editorially-crafted DiscoverOrg file of 60,000 companies and 1 1/2 million contacts clearly has higher contact data quality than other vendors (again, excluding RainKing). When discussing DiscoverOrg and RainKing with clients, I describe them as using traditional artisanal research methods which entail focusing on a smaller universe of companies and contacts at these companies. This approach makes for a strong fit for firms employing an ABM approach to target large accounts, but may be insufficient for more transactional marketing approaches which are more sales development and demand generation focused. Both cost and lack of coverage of SMBs would be issues at those firms.
“Bad data is costly and can be the single point of failure in an otherwise successful campaign,” says the firm on their website. “We don’t just pay lip-service to the quality of our data. We contractually guarantee it. We know that success in every sales and marketing effort begins with highly accurate, verified data that your team can trust.”
What is clear is that this quality-centric approach to gathering data has proven successful. Both RainKing and DiscoverOrg have high growth rates and regular Inc. 5000 membership. DiscoverOrg closed last year with $71 million in annualized recurring revenue so is almost assured of making the Inc. list for the seventh year in a row.
DiscoverOrg released its latest Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) connector with the rollout of a Tellwise integration. Joint customers will be able to pass DiscoverOrg intelligence to Tellwise. The Tellwise service supports a broad set of ABSD features along with Salesforce, MS Dynamics, Chrome, Outlook, and Gmail integrations. DiscoverOrg is their first content provider integration, but they plan to add others in the future.
Tellwise was founded four years ago by former Microsoft engineers. According to their CEO Conrad Bayer, their goal is to unify sales communications across channels with respect to user experience, flow, data synchronization, and analytics. The long term mission is to create an omni-channel platform designed for the seller that makes them more effective through higher volume and better insights.
Much of the activity within Tellwise is managed through a Google Chrome extension. This allows users to operate within other platforms for most of the service’s functionality. Features include a phone dialer, email templates, prospect chat, presentation tools, and an activity feed. The system creates personal landing pages for each linked document, allowing Tellwise to track attachments. These links also provide a mechanism for sending an on-demand chat message to a prospect or for presenting materials. The system notifies sales reps when documents are being read, providing an opportunity to chat with the prospect or share a presentation.
“Productivity for outbound sales reps is driven by their ability to get accurate contact data and an effective way to communicate and measure activity with those contacts. That is what is so exciting about this partnership between DiscoverOrg and Tellwise. We are solving two of the most challenging sales problems at the same time. DO provides world class data and Tellwise provides a world class communication platform right from within DiscoverOrg. So far, we have seen this new integration double the effectiveness of our mutual customers,” said Bayer.
Tellwise has a novel mechanism for transferring data from DiscoverOrg to its platform and CRMs. Instead of downloading a file or running a batch synch, Tellwise users open up the Chrome Browser extension and the current prospecting list is automatically populated as a list within the Chrome extension. Users can then act on individual leads or take group actions. It is only when one or multiple records have an action taken (e.g. Place call, Send batch email) that records are synched between DiscoverOrg, Tellwise, and the CRM.
The combination of Tellwise and DiscoverOrg’s technologies enables SDRs to have access to highly accurate contact information and intelligence on their prospects at exactly the right moment they need to engage with them – allowing for more meaningful connections to occur, in the most appropriate forums, and before competitors can get their foot in the door
DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Schuck
Unlike other ABSD vendors, Tellwise does not have a full service cadence/sequence tool, but it has a Tasks tool in beta which provides multi-platform scheduled activities. The service also lacks a transcription service for calls, but they are working on transcription and sentiment analysis for later this year.
Tellwise pricing ranges between $29 and $79 per month.
DiscoverOrg also offers ABSD partnerships with SalesLoft and Outreach. According to DiscoverOrg, Sales Development Reps can “build highly-segmented prospect lists based on their list of target accounts and buyer personas and push those contacts into streamlined and automated sequences of interactions with their prospects.”
Intelligence vendor DiscoverOrg announced a new Account Based Marketing (ABM) tool called AccountView which helps marketers identify the attributes of their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). The new feature analyzes an account file which it calls a portfolio, enriches it with firmographics and technographics, and then provides a portfolio visualization dashboard of the accounts. The service also identifies similar companies to the top accounts, prioritizes them, and identifies best fit decision-makers at the net-new accounts.
The portfolio segmentation dashboard tiles include
Size: Revenue and Employee Bar Charts
Industry: Primary Industry Pie Chart; SIC and NAICS top frequency lists
Technology: Technology lists
Ownership: Ownership Structure Pie Chart
Companies: Portfolio companies with employee and revenue data. Company names are hyperlinked to their DiscoverOrg profiles.
Although geographic segmentation is not yet available, it is on the product roadmap.
Within the list tiles, users can search for specific elements (i.e. SIC, NAICS, technology, or company name).
Proposed contacts are shown within org charts with direct dial phones and emails to assist with organizational context and reach out. DiscoverOrg also provides detailed platform information and a set of sales triggers.
Marketing and sales teams can drill into specific bars or wedges to further research segments. To quickly refine models, customers can remove outliers to focus the ICP around high frequency variables.
Portfolios may be uploaded as CSV files, bulk matched within DiscoverOrg, or generated via DiscoverOrg prospecting. Result lists may be saved as lists, viewed as searches, or exported to CSV files. Models may also be loaded into DealPredict where company lists are displayed with Deal Predict scores of zero to five stars. Next to DealPredict scores, DiscoverOrg displays a lightning bolt icon if the company has a Sales Trigger or OppAlerts in the past sixty days. OppAlerts are intent based triggers which have been researched by DiscoverOrg editors or gathered through B2B publishers’ online content consumption data. By clicking on the lightning bolt, reps are shown the related events.
Within DealPredict, company lists are dynamically maintained to reflect the current firmographic and technographic lists of companies. If there is a change in company size or implemented technology, the DealPredict scores are automatically updated every time a search is conducted. Likewise, companies which are added to the DiscoverOrg database are automatically scored.
The very foundation of successful sales and marketing is figuring out who your best customers are, understanding why they are the best, and finding more prospects just like them. What could be a painful analytical exercise is made simple and straightforward with DiscoverOrg’s account-based marketing features, and the result is faster growth for customers who can more effectively identify, understand, and engage with their ideal buyer.
DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Schuck
DiscoverOrg suggests a number of account list categories that can be analyzed including the full customer list, high or low spend customers, renewing or non-renewing customers, high or low profitability customers, competitor customer lists, and prospect accounts. For example, running a competitor’s customer profile through AccountView helps you “determine ways to improve your product, messaging, or positioning. Likewise, running the non-renewed customer list through AccountView will help identify high-churn candidates for special programs.
Although DiscoverOrg recommends sets of strong and weak account lists, AccountView does not have the ability to discriminate between the two categories. Thus, marketers would need to separately run the paired lists, compare the portfolio results, and adjust the models for overlapping variables. For example, knowing that Microsoft Office is heavily used by both strong and weak accounts would indicate that MS Office is a frequently occurring, but non-predictive variable.
Future features include support for multiple models, grouping tech functions by category, sharing models across all users, geographic segmentation reports, and uploading contact information to assist with defining job functions and levels.
AccountView is the latest capability within DiscoverOrg’s ABM Toolkit. Other features include DiscoverOrg’s DealPredict predictive rankings for companies and contacts, OppAlerts intent-based opportunities, and sales triggers.
DealPredict provides predictive scores similar to those provided by predictive analytics companies. DiscoverOrg CMO Katie Bullard noted that unlike some black-box predictive platforms, AccountView analysis and DealPredict models are fully visible to sales and marketing users.
The AccountView analytics and net-new account service is included as part of the DiscoverOrg service. Firms license access to specific DiscoverOrg datasets and a set number of seats. Licensed users then have unlimited access to the licensed content for viewing, uploading, or downloading.
Other sales intelligence companies that have developed AccountView-like functionality include Dun & Bradstreet (Workbench), Avention (DataVision), and Zoominfo (Growth Acceleration Platform).
DiscoverOrg, which hit $71 million in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) at the end of 2016, has expanded its customer base beyond technology companies. Over 15% of revenues now come from marketing agencies, staffing firms, and consultancies.
Five years ago, Sales Intelligence vendors avoided selling into the marketing department. While there were a few enrichment projects for CRMs, these were driven by Sales Ops, not marketing departments. Furthermore, SalesTech products are sold on a per seat basis for sales reps while marketing revenue is generally volume based (e.g. number of prospecting records sold or records enriched). This made pricing of services difficult.
But MarTech was receiving heavy investments and several firms shifted their focus from sales to marketing. Zoominfo began discussing Sales and Marketing Alignment and developed a set of marketing tools. The firm, which had been struggling to grow revenue for several years, is again on a growth trajectory and made the two most recent Inc. 5000 lists.
InsideView also began developing marketing functionality and now treats the two departments equally. Most of InsideView’s recent investment has been in building out marketing solutions or expanding their company and contact coverage (which benefits sales and marketing equally).
At the beginning of 2015, Dun & Bradstreet acquired NetProspex for its contact database and Workbench hygiene platform. The firm also used NetProspex as the basis for their Audience Solutions programmatic marketing service which was launched in 2015.
In 2016, the Sales Intelligence vendors continued to move upstream into marketing intelligence and hygiene. InsideView continues to enhance its Target, Enrich, and Refresh marketing tools while Avention launched OneSource DataVision for web form enrichment, continuous enrichment, segmentation, look-a-like prospecting, and TAM analysis. Avention also launched Marketo and Eloqua connectors for their OneSource service.
“OneSource DataVision naturally extends the sales and marketing benefits our customers can gain from OneSource Solutions by being even more targeted with campaigns and programmes – including account-based,” said Avention SVP of Product Lauren Bakewell. “Better qualified leads and more targeted account-based approaches should bring better sales results, which should in turn strengthen sales and marketing alignment; we feel alignment happens best when sales forecasts are being met and exceeded!”
Zoominfo has repositioned itself as a MarTech company with a rebranding of their platform as the Zoominfo Growth Acceleration Platform. While sales reps are still supported, the emphasis is on data enrichment, segmentation analysis, cluster analysis, and look-a-like prospecting against clusters.
DiscoverOrg and RainKing also placed greater emphasis upon marketing and ABM capabilities. Both services support predictive rankings of accounts and contacts, MAP and CRM enrichment, and new opportunities (Inside Scoops from RainKing and OppAlerts and sales triggers from DiscoverOrg).
In 2017 and 2018, expect the walls between SalesTech and MarTech to crumble. The opportunity to offer a solution for both departments via a shared reference database will continue to drive strategy at these firms. As MarTech begins to consolidate, expect M&A activity within the sector and vertically with SalesTech vendors.
Sales Intelligence vendors have key assets that benefit marketing departments including large company and contact datasets for prospecting and enrichment; firmographic data for lead scoring, targeting, segmentation, and routing; and the growing ability to tie leads to accounts in real-time. They are also well positioned to support ABM functionality with profiling, analytics (segmentation, Total Addressable Market analysis), and look-a-like prospecting.
Of course, MarTech is also beginning to eye SalesTech. Last spring, Demandbase acquired Spiderbook and leveraged its capabilities to launch their DemandGraph relationship dataset. The expanded content set employs semantic mining and machine learning to assemble the “entire business network of a company” which helps “identify which companies and buying committees are in-market for particular solutions.” The DemandGraph helps users target in-market accounts, identify key buyers, uncover meaningful insights, and deliver personalized content. While they have not announced specific predictive tools or capabilities, they are hinting at such tools.
Meanwhile, the predictive analytics companies, which originally focused on lead scoring, are now building sales functionality including net-new contacts at accounts, account prioritization, flagging churn candidates, and providing recommendations for sales reps.
A joint study by DiscoverOrg and Smart Selling Tools of 200 sales and marketing organizations found that high growth companies with at least 40% growth over the past three years are 2.5 times more likely to have adopted an Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy. Furthermore high growth companies are twice as likely to have successful cold calling programs and are more likely to have a dedicated outbound prospecting team. High growth firms are also more likely to hire sales reps based upon their “tech-savvy” than experience and have adopted twice as many sales technologies than their slower growth brethren. With respect to MarTech, high-growth companies have adopted 24% more marketing solutions.
The study also found that fast growth companies provide at least three hours of coaching or training per week to their sales teams. At slower growth companies, training appeared to have less of an effect. According to the report, “While an increase in training hours correlated with a rise in growth rates for the high growth group, it did not with low growth companies. This suggests that training may not in of itself cause growth, but it is critical in sustaining it. Fast growing organizations need to train constantly to maintain momentum and enable teams to perform at a high level. Companies that err on the side of less training and coaching do not appear to set their teams up for the same level of success.”
“The findings clearly demonstrate that achieving fast growth is not as simple as having a great product and hiring experienced sales reps. Sales and marketing teams that are true revenue-generating engines take risks and do the hard things – like cold calling, focusing on data quality, and heavily aligning sales and marketing teams across account-based strategies.”
– DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Schuck
“Technology proliferation in the sales and marketing industry is both a challenge and an opportunity,” added Nancy Nardin, CEO of Smart Selling Tools. “The fastest growing companies are investing in technologies that make their sales and marketing teams more productive and more insightful, while recognizing it is equally as important to have highly trained team members who know how to leverage that technology to its fullest power.”
The primary inhibitor of even faster growth at high growth companies was data quality issues concerning accounts and contacts.
The top technology available to sales reps were CRM (52%) and LinkedIn (free LinkedIn was deployed at 45% , premium LinkedIn at 33%, and Sales Navigator at 27% of sales teams). Pipeline and Opportunity Management software was third at 42%. Rounding out the top five were compensation/commission software and sales intelligence, both with a 38% deployment rate. Surprisingly, 37% of sales teams still employ account and contact data providers / list providers. As sales intelligence vendors support list building along with sales intelligence (and some also data hygiene), there are likely ongoing opportunities to move sales teams up the value chain from list purchases.
Predictive analytics / predictive intelligence placed 36th out of 37 technologies with only a 5% deployment rate. As Gartner estimated the total global market for predictive analytics technology to be between $100 and $150 million, this low penetration rate should not be overly surprising.
The study, conducted in November, used 40% growth between 2013 and 2016 (estimated) as the high growth cutoff as it is represents the recent growth floor for Inc. 5000 membership. Of the 200 firms studied, 17% fell into the high-growth category, 69% fell into the low-growth category (1-39%), 13% had flat revenue, and 1% had declining revenues. The survey was over weighted to technology companies with software, IT Services and Telco as the top three industries surveyed. 82% of the firms were B2B and 85% were headquartered in the US.
Functionality: How are the sales and marketing functions able to leverage the content within these offerings?
User Interface: What have the firms done to improve the presentation and workflow of their products?
Connectors: Which integrations were updated? Which ones were launched? These spanned CRMs, MAPs, Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) platforms, APIs, and Google Chrome.
So far, this framework has only looked at existing products and services. This blog addresses the final question: What new Sales Intelligence products and services were launched in 2016?
Sales Focused Products
Artesian launched the US edition of their sales intelligence offering in 2016. The firm also opened an office in Boston.
DiscoverOrg launched the TiLT certification program for sales development reps and marketers. The program is available at no charge to current clients and provides “microburst” learning with videos, curated content, and challenge tasks.
In early 2016 they announced their Technology, Engineering, Development, and Design (TEDD) offering which focuses on product management and engineering. In H2 2016, DiscoverOrg rolled out datasets for Sales (50,000 new contacts), Fortune 1000 CxOs (30,000 new contacts), and HR (80,000 new contacts) bringing the overall database coverage to one million executives at the end of Q3.
InsideView launched Tech Profiler in 2016. This add-on dataset provides technology profiles within InsideView Sales and can be used as a filter when building lists with Target. The technology information is also available via API and InsideView’s Professional Services. The API offers two new calls: retrieve technology implemented at a company and retrieve companies that have deployed specific technologies.
The dataset provides information about technologies used by InsideView’s top 525,000 global companies. It covers more than 2,600 front-end and back-end technologies in more than 100 categories. InsideView did not disclose whether they collected the technology file themselves or licensed it from another vendor.
Salesgenie Team provides a set of team tools to Salesgenie. New features include lead assignment rules, add messages to leads, customer cloning, and tracking and reporting tools. A new My Leads list displays assigned leads while a Sales Pipeline report provides team member analytics.
Infofree introduced a lower priced version of its service called SalesFlower which removes several features including background checks, business credit reports, CustomerCloner, and the CRM101 SFA platform.
Owler introduced an enterprise API service for calling corporate firmographics, competitors, and news.
Marketing Focused Products
Hoover’s added a trio of Concierge Services to its Hoover’s product line which target SMBs with revenue up to $250 million. Hoover’s is providing three related services:
Targeted List Building – Identifies prospects similar to a client’s best customers.
Effective Email Marketing – Delivers email services including messaging, design, email coding, blasting, and testing. Dun & Bradstreet also supports email verification, analytics, and unsubscribe / bounce management. Landing site hosting is provided via an undisclosed partner.
Optimized Customer Data – Supports data cleansing, standardization, and data enrichment for customer company and contact files.
Avention’sOneSource DataVision is a hosted platform which consolidates and cleanses multiple customer data sources, integrating internal and external customer intelligence. By matching Avention company and contact data against customer and prospect files, Avention improves the accuracy and firmographic fill rates of marketing databases. The result is a unified view of customer data for accurate customer segmentation and targeting based upon enriched data from Avention’s Global Content Live database.
OneSource DataVision also provides analytics and visualization tools for marketers. “As a result, you will be able to identify and leverage key customer and prospect segments to make more informed decisions, identify cross-sell opportunities, key industries, verticals and much more,” states Avention.
OneSource DataVision includes a gap analysis tool which assesses the total addressable market in order to identify underserved markets and growth potential. After enriching and segmenting the data, OneSource DataVision users can prospect for similar companies.
OneSource DataVision, along with the flagship OneSource platform, form the OneSource ABM Solution, also launched in 2016. This solution ensures sales and marketing teams are aligned around the right accounts to target, then provides the deep insights needed to create account plans, and targeted sales messages and content.
Zoominfo repackaged its service as the Zoominfo Growth Acceleration Platform for sales and marketing effectiveness. The new platform helps sales and marketing teams “identify, connect, and engage with qualified prospects and replicate success.” The Growth Acceleration Platform is a cross-product branding that supports company and executive searching, list building, file enrichment, and data Insights (segmentation analysis and persona identification). Other tools include a Salesforce.com connector, web form enrichment (FormComplete), and a new Google Chrome Extension called ReachOut which provides quick access to contact information from Zoominfo and LinkedIn contact profiles.
InsideView Refresh was launched as a new product in 2016. Refresh provides automated account cleansing within CRM. It’s currently available for Salesforce CRM.
InsideView also launched an ABM solution in partnership with Marketo. It’s a bundle that includes products and data services to enable targeted account and contact selection, campaign execution, and measurement.
In H2 2016, DiscoverOrg launched an Enhanced ABM Toolkit which builds an ideal customer profile and then identifies similar companies. Users upload a file of their best customers which is matched against the DiscoverOrg database. The system then performs firmographic and technographic segmentation analysis and then suggests similar companies.
In 2016, the focus of the established sales intelligence companies was on extending their services into the marketing department and aligning their positioning around Account Based Marketing. On the sales side, their were fewer new products or major functional enhancements. Instead, they focused on expanded content and workflow improvements. This strategy was best exemplified by Avention and InsideView. Both firms doubled their company and contact universes, improved their user interfaces, and launched additional marketing products and connectors. However, they added little new functionality to their sales products.
Five years ago, the sales intelligence services were firmly planted in the sales department with some also providing services for analysts. Now, however, the marketing department is receiving equal or greater capital investment as firms look to support “sales and marketing alignment” with CRM and MAP connectors which leverage a common reference data set.
In 2017 I anticipate additional product announcements with ABM positioning across the revenue lifecycle. The Sales Intelligence companies realize that if they establish themselves in the marketing department with a broad set of services, then their position within the sales department will be less subject to churn.