Dun & Bradstreet continues to invest in their D&B Hoovers platform with a set of content and functionality enhancements. Since the beginning of the year, Dun & Bradstreet expanded its prospecting selects, added deeper technology and company coverage, tightened its Microsoft Dynamics integration, and increased the number of fields available for export to connectors.
Dun & Bradstreet added a series of new display and screening variables including Employees 1-Year Growth, Area Code Exclusions, and Employee Counts at the company or site level. D&B Hoovers now supports over 175 prospecting variables.
Three additional domestic location filters were also added. The Domestic Ultimate D-U-N-S Number identifies the top location within a country, helping with territory expansion and cross-selling. Related variables include Is Domestic Ultimate (Select for the top national offices) and Domestic Ultimate Company (all children of the Domestic Ultimate Company).
The new selects are generally not available in competitor products.
Avention (now D&B Hoovers) platforms have long supported variables for screening by ultimate parent country and ultimate parent. The new Domestic Ultimate D-U-N-S Number selects expand the options for sales and marketing to target accounts at the country level. Thus, if a company is looking to enter a new market, they can evaluate their ABM account presence within that market and focus sales and marketing campaigns around those prospects.
The Technologies premium offering was also enhanced with coverage expanded to 195 countries, 2.7 million companies, and over 20 million tracked technologies. Technologies are screenable at the vendor and product level and viewable as part of the Technologies in Use report. Dun & Bradstreet did not indicate whether they gathered the data or licensed it from a third-party.
Microsoft Dynamics admins can now set D&B Hoovers to automatically use D-U-N-S Numbers populated by the D&B Optimizer for Microsoft enrichment service.
“This feature eliminates the need for the manual match and selection step that is used to populate records in D&B Hoovers. Once D-U-N-S Numbers are attached, the records become automatically eligible for de-duplication when sending to CRM.”
Phil McWade, Dun & Bradstreet Director of Product Management
D&B Hoovers added 15 additional CRM and MAP export fields including D&B Prescreen score, Franchise Status, Import/Export Status, Manufacturing Status, Owns/Rents, 8 Digit SIC and Description, Latitude and Longitude, Tradestyle, and Square Footage. Most of these variables were added to D&B Hoovers over the past year and are also available for display, screening, and download.
In March, D&B Hoovers added over seven million companies including 6.8 million from Brazil, 360,000 from Argentina, 210,000 from India, and 78,000 from Australia. The Russian Federation and Vietnam also added over 50,000 company profiles. D&B Hoovers now covers 21 million active companies in South America and nearly 129 million global entities.
Last week, Dun & Bradstreet CEO Robert Carrigan resigned as CEO, board member, and Chairman. In his absence, Thomas Manning has been appointed Chairman and interim CEO. Manning has been a board member since 2013 and Lead Director since 2016. He previously served as the CEO of Cerberus Asia Operations & Advisory Limited, CEO of Capgemini Asia, and CEO of Ernst & Young Consulting Asia. He was also a senior partner with corporate strategy firm Bain & Company where he led the global IT practice in Silicon Valley and Asia.
No reason was given for Carrigan’s departure beyond that it was a mutual decision.
“Over the last four years we have made progress transforming this company. We’ve improved our data and analytics, developed solutions and capabilities to serve new customer use cases, and modernized our products and platforms. The Board is confident in the strategic direction of the Company, and fully believes that this business can deliver sustainable mid-single digit revenue growth and expanding margins. Our number one priority is accelerating value creation for shareholders.”
Dun & Bradstreet Chairman and interim CEO Thomas Manning
However, the company is not growing revenue and profits quickly enough. To address the slow growth, the firm engaged McKinsey & Company two months ago in a strategic and operational review “to help us find ways to speed up the time to realize value,” said Manning. “The first phase of their work validated our strategy and identified barriers to growth and cost opportunities. The next phase of their work will include a full portfolio and business assessment and we are open to considering all options for value creation that may be identified.”
McKinsey validated the basic DaaS strategy around premium company, contact, and risk data. McKinsey’s primary concern was the “breadth of our offerings and distribution channels” which increased the level of operational complexity. The updated strategy will look to “simplify and streamline the business.”
Dun & Bradstreet is also looking to “apply more specialization to our selling activities as we go deeper into the sales and marketing space,” said Manning. “As we expand our sales and marketing value proposition from being primarily a static data supplier to becoming a dynamic player in the digital sales, marketing and advertising space, we are working to make sure that our organization, go-to-market strategy and processes are aligned with that goal.”
The firm hired David Godfrey, who previously ran Global Sales at Gartner, to oversee go-to-market strategy and execution. He will be reporting into Manning.
James Fernandez, new Lead Director of the Board, said, “As Dun & Bradstreet continues its work to drive sustainable growth, the Board believes now is the right time to transition the Company’s leadership. We are pleased to have a leader of Tom’s caliber and experience to step in as interim CEO. The Board will continue to support the Company, and lend our expertise to the organization and Tom during this transition period as we conduct our search for a permanent successor.”
Q4 earnings increased 3%, but only 1% organically, to $527 million. Total revenue hit $1.75 billion in 2017 with 83% in the Americas. The firm maintained expense discipline resulting in a ten-basis point improvement in margins while investing $40 million on initiatives which “transform our technology platforms in order to meet our customers’ modern-day needs,” said CFO Richard Veldran. “Modernizing delivery of our solutions is a critical component of our strategy.”
Data-as-a-service delivery continues to increase. Nearly 30% of Americas revenue came via as-a-service solutions “which makes our data stickier and more useful for our customers and drives higher-value revenue.”
Amongst the 2017 initiatives were upgrades to D&B Credit and new D&B Optimizer solutions for Salesforce and Microsoft.
Deferred revenue was up 3% year over year before M&A activity and currency adjustments. Growth was attributed to D&B Credit, D&B Hoovers Q4, and the D&B Direct API. President and COO Josh Peirez noted that the D&B Credit Suite revenues were no longer declining and that the company is well-positioned in D&B Credit, D&B Hoovers, and D&B Direct.
“We think we’re well-positioned to address the competitive challenges. We’re also pleased that McKinsey has validated that opportunity and that strategy and helping us to make sure that we are packaging and bundling these things properly.”
Dun & Bradstreet President & COO Josh Peirez
Taxes, which were 31.4% in 2017, are expected to drop to the mid-20s due to the US corporate tax reforms. The reforms will also allow the firm to repatriate $265 million to reduce debt levels.
No guidance was provided as the firm is beginning their operational review. Veldran promised more details on the Q1 call.
Dun & Bradstreet raised its quarterly dividend by two cents to $0.5225 per share.
The market reacted very positively to the announcements, driving Dun & Bradstreet’s stock price up nearly 8% after the earnings call.
Sales & Marketing Solutions (S&MS) rose 4% in the Americas to $240.1 million in Q4. Growth was led by Sales Acceleration products which rose 9% to $84.3 million. For the full year, Sales Acceleration grew 10% to $288.4 million in the Americas with the Avention acquisition contributing twelve points of growth. Legacy Hoover’s drove down organic Sales Acceleration revenue with traditional Hoovers revenue declining by mid-single digits.
Revenue for the new D&B Hoovers service (Dun & Bradstreet content delivered through the Avention platform) increased in 2017. However, the decline in revenue from the Data.com partnership will result in a decline in 2018 Sales Acceleration revenue. Data.com generated around $50 million in revenue in 2017 with the firm continuing to sell through August 2017, resulting in a flat year. Veldran projects a $15 million decline in Data.com revenue. Dun & Bradstreet is looking to recapture some of that decline as new D&B Hoovers and D&B Optimizer for Salesforce contracts.
Peirez is quite pleased with the trajectory of the D&B Hoovers business. “We think our products are far better than anything else in market. We continue to see the overwhelming majority of customers that are buying our D&B Hoovers product buying the higher level of the product with the integrations to CRM, so that’s extremely encouraging for us.”
The firm is also moving to migrate its Hoover’s customer base over to D&B Hoovers. In Q4, more than ten percent of the legacy base moved to the new platform as Dun & Bradstreet “started to move very aggressively in getting the customers upgraded,” said Peirez. While the D&B Hoovers Suite grew low-single digits in its first year, Peirez expects growth to accelerate in year two. The company has told users that the legacy platform will be phased out at the end of the year.
Advanced Marketing Solutions grew 2% in Q4 to $155.8 million in the Americas. For the full year, growth was 2% to $383.9 million. While revenue was up mid-single digits in H2, the product line was weighed down by H1 weakness.
Outside the Americas, S&MS grew 17% to $16.9 million in Q4. For the year, S&MS non-Americas revenue rose 18% to $60.4 million. Growth was driven by Sales Acceleration products, including the acquired Avention product line. Sales Acceleration products jumped up 24% to $7.5 million in the quarter and 39% to $27.7 million for the year.
The D&B Hoovers Suite rose 26% to $42.6 million in the Americas in Q4 and 22% to $166.5 million. Outside of the Americas, D&B Hoovers Suite rose from $0.6 million to $5.3 million in Q4 and $3.1 million to $16 million. While the classic Hoover’s product line had little overseas sales, the new D&B Hoovers product line, built on the Avention platform, benefited from a longstanding presence in the UK, Singapore, Australia, and India.
As we are one month away from the new year, it is a good time to think about budgeting for data quality in 2018.
I know it isn’t glamorous, but that doesn’t mean it is unnecessary.
Data Quality software is markedly improved over the past few years. No longer is it necessary to download and forward a file to a vendor and wait for them to process your marketing file. Sales and Marketing Operations can now setup automated cloud cleansing that works within Marketo, Eloqua, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and other enterprise applications. B2B vendors to consider include Dun & Bradstreet, InsideView, Zoominfo, and ReachForce.
These platforms perform both initial batch match & append and ongoing enrichment, ensuring that your sales and marketing files have both accurate and complete data. These services also support company and contact prospecting, data health reports, suppression lists, and segmentation reporting. A few even offer free data quality reports, deduplication, technographic enrichment, nixie files (defunct companies and departed exec files), web form support, sales intelligence services, and contact verification and standardization (e.g. address, phone, and email) for non-matched records.
As these services reside in the cloud and offer cloud connectors for the major MAPs and CRMs, the operational overhead is minimal allowing operations to focus on ABM look-a-likes, segmentation, and improved targeting instead of file management.
What’s more, data quality improvements benefit sales, marketing, and downstream systems. A record cleansed and verified as it is created costs much less than a bad record passed down to other enterprise platforms. Beyond direct cost reduction (storing bad data, marketing to departed execs, sales calls to abandoned voicemails, reduced time keying and updating records manually), there are improvements to segmentation, targeting, lead scoring, lead routing, and messaging.
So budget for data quality in 2018. It isn’t glamorous, but it is effective.
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.
Openprise launched a Data Marketplace to assist with ingesting and normalizing third-party B2B and B2C data. Amongst the platforms supported are Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua, and Pardot. The Data Marketplace, part of the Openprise Data Orchestration platform, includes built-in rules to ensure data is properly onboarded. Users can set primary, secondary, and tertiary providers with multi-vendor data normalization rules.
“We’re excited to make ZoomInfo’s 210 million businesspeople and 11 million businesses available on the Openprise Data Marketplace,” said Phil Garlick, VP Corporate Development at ZoomInfo. “Openprise’s data cleansing and unification capabilities, combined with ZoomInfo’s data accuracy, provides marketing and sales teams with an unparalleled solution to run more effective campaigns.”
Other B2B Partners include InsideView, Orb Intelligence, Synthio (FKA Social123), and Dun & Bradstreet. Additional vendors are in the final certification stages. Openprise claims that new data providers can be setup in minutes.
Customers can extend pre-existing vendor contracts or take advantage of pre-negotiated discounts.
“Earlier this year, we surveyed 175 marketing professionals to identify data marketplace trends and published our findings in the B2B Data Market Industry Report,” said CEO Ed King. “We found that companies that worked with multiple data providers were much more likely to be satisfied with their third-party data, but those same companies expressed how much they struggled with pulling multiple providers’ data into their marketing and sales system of record while maintaining a consistent set of standards. Openprise Data Marketplaces solves this problem.”
The B2B Data Market Industry Report also asked which vendors were being deployed. The survey of 175 B2B marketers at firms with at least 200 employees found the top three vendors were Zoominfo (40%), InfoUSA (36%), and Data.com (35%). Surprisingly Sales Genie matched D&B/Hoovers amongst all of the surveyed marketers and exceeded it amongst enterprises. InfoUSA rates were likely higher than the other firms as it offers both business and consumer data while Dun & Bradstreet/Hoovers and many of the other vendors offer strictly B2B data.
The most common use case for B2B data vendors is identifying additional contacts at target companies (62%). Marketers also looked to B2B companies to identify additional target accounts (52%) and append missing fields (50%). Only 37% were looking to B2B data vendors to cleanse their database.
The survey participants were well distributed across B2B industries with an over weighting to advertising / marketing.
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.
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 with Bureau van Dijk, Avention UK, Artesian Solutions, and DueDil offering full solutions).
In 2016, I estimated the market at $770 million with LinkedIn Sales Navigator as the top vendor. While new firms continue to enter, the top ten firms (now eight following the 2017 acquisitions of Avention and RainKing) earn seven of every eight dollars in the industry.
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.
I have also broken out two sub-categories: Predictive Analytics and Tech Sales Intelligence. Predictive Analytics vendors continue to scuffle in the marketplace. Last September, Gartner sized the global market at between $100 and $150 million. I have gone back and forth on whether to include them in the larger sales intelligence space, but several of the sales intelligence vendors have added light predictive tools (e.g. Avention, DiscoverOrg, RainKing) while the predictive analytics companies have moved to add enrichment and provide more insights to sales reps. As such, I see the two product categories moving towards each other so chose to include Lattice Engines, Leadspace, and similar firms.
The Tech Sales Intelligence category (e.g. DiscoverOrg, RainKing, Aberdeen, Corporate360) continues to show strong growth and makes up just over 15% of the market. Both DiscoverOrg and RainKing have posted remarkable growth over the past few years and merged their efforts last month. Post acquisition, they are the number three vendor in the space and may hit $120 million in 2017 revenue. The new powerhouse has 4,000 customers and is looking to expand beyond technology sales to become a general purpose sales intelligence solution.
Acquiring RainKing should move DiscoverOrg well past Data.com (Salesforce) which will likely see declining 2017 revenue. Salesforce has dropped the ball on Data.com. They overpromised and under-delivered for years, relying on their ability to bundle the offering with other SFDC products. As of last month, they are no longer able to deliver Dun & Bradstreet content (D&B WorldBase, Hoovers, and First Research) to new customers (legacy customers retain access). Unless Data.com has a major content partner announcement at Dreamforce, it is likely to see significant revenue declines in 2017 and 2018 as customers switch to D&B Hoovers for Salesforce and other offerings.
Dun & Bradstreet re-established itself as the #2 vendor in the space with the January 2017 acquisition of Avention and the rebranding of Avention OneSource as D&B Hoovers. Both companies have struggled to grow revenue with Avention growing slowly over the past few years and Hoovers declining. However, infusing Avention products with Dun & Bradstreet content both reduces the underlying cost structure of Avention offerings and improves the depth and quality of the content. Furthermore, Dun & Bradstreet has a much larger sales force which previously has lacked a credible global sales intelligence offering. Hoovers classic generated nearly all of its revenue in the United States. Over the next two years, expect to see significant revenue shift from Hoovers Classic to D&B Hoovers.
Finally, LinkedIn Sales Navigator has established itself as the clear number one vendor in market revenue. The product didn’t exist five years ago and its competitors still tend to dismiss this gorilla in their midst. How can they be missing the #1 vendor in the space? Easy — the gorilla is well camouflaged and appears to be more of a three-toed sloth sleeping in the forest canopy. Sales reps all use the freemium version of LinkedIn so give little thought to delve further when they ask “how are you obtaining your account intelligence today?” and the response is LinkedIn. Thus, they enter LinkedIn as the competitor into their CRM, not Sales Navigator. A few months later when they lose the opportunity, the rep then enters “no decision” into the CRM instead of recognizing a competitive loss. I have been warning vendors in the space for years about this phenomenon, but they have failed to understand the threat of a gorilla that looks like a three-toed sloth.
N.B. Three-toed sloths inhabit Central and South America and gorillas Central Africa. This is a metaphor.
The best way to keep data clean is to use a globally known, unique identifier, or a “data backbone.” My company prefers to use URLs as identifiers. They’re free, globally recognizable, high-quality data points that enable you to efficiently gather information on a business’s industry, online activities, and functionality. For example, Cisco is a company that also goes by Cisco Systems, Inc. and Cisco Precision Tools. If sales containers required users to type in one unique URL, http://www.cisco.com/ for all those different branches, it’d be much more difficult to create duplicate accounts, which helps keep data clean. Perhaps more important, URLs facilitate communication between people, systems, and even departments. Whether it’s the customer relationship management platforms used by sales teams, enterprise resource planning software used by purchasing teams, or the account-based marketing technology employed by marketing teams, the business intelligence platform can recognize a unique URL and attach it to clean, usable data. Unique identifiers let you know you’re pulling from the sources and contacts you’ve intended to track.
I agree with 90% of what Fowler states, but disagree with his recommendation that URLs are the best unique identifier for his “data backbone”. There are a number of reasons that URLs fall short:
URLs are not persistent. If a company is acquired or renames itself, the old identifier (URL) is not retained. This creates a potential disconnect between the old and new name.
URLs have a many-to-one mapping which treats most subsidiary and branch locations the same as the headquarters. For some companies, mashing together all locations into a single record may be sufficient, but it is a highly flawed approach as it loses much of the nuance concerning companies that operate across multiple sectors and countries (e.g. General Electric). It also makes it very difficult for sales reps to sell deeper into an organization which lacks linkage data.
Conversely, companies with multiple URLs are not tied together. This could happen due to differing country identifiers (e.g. .UK, .FR), division names, brand names, and subsidiaries. Each of these scenarios treats companies as a separate business. Amazon has many distinct businesses including Amazon Web Services (aws.amazon.com), Zappos (www.zappos.com), Alexa Internet (www.alexa.com) Audible (www.audible.com), Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), and soon Whole Foods (www.wholefoods.com). URLs do not provide a consistent data backbone when subsidiaries, acquisitions, and branches have different domains.
When a division or facility is divested, there is no way to determine which locations have been spun off.
Franchises are treated as part of the parent company when they are separate legal entities.
Not all companies have websites.
URLs can be sold. They can also be reused if a company goes out of business or abandons a URL.
Finally, business decisions related to logistics, credit, supplier risk, and financing need to understand the underlying structure of companies. It is not just marketing and sales that are impacted by standardizing on a non-persistent, quasi-unique identifier.
I would therefore recommend looking at credit data companies as a better source of unique identifiers. Companies such as Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, Equifax, and Infogroup all offer location level detail and linkage associated with unique identifiers that have been developed over multiple decades. They offer sophisticated entity matching and enrichment tools such as Dun & Bradstreet’s Optimizer service. Furthermore, these firms support multiple functions across the organization helping assist with cross-platform entity linking and on-demand decisioning.