2016 in Review: Sales Intelligence Connectors

Avention offers OneSource for CRM connectors for SFDC, MS Dynamics, and Oracle for Sales Cloud (Oracle connector shown)
Avention offers OneSource for CRM connectors for SFDC, MS Dynamics, and Oracle for Sales Cloud (Oracle connector shown)

Continuing on my discussion of Sales Intelligence enhancements in 2016, my next area of coverage is connectors which extend functionality into CRMs, MAPs, Google Chrome, etc.

Almost all Sales Intelligence vendors offer Salesforce.com connectivity as a baseline offering.  Some have limited functionality while others provide a fully integrated offering encompassing virtually all of their website features along with update features (e.g. Batch, continuous, “stare and compare”).

The following vendors launched or enhanced their CRM connectors:

  • Zoominfo released a new version of Zoominfo for Salesforce in February 2016. Features include on-demand updating, new contact matching, segmentation analysis, and new targeted contacts. Zoominfo stresses that all enrichment, analysis, and targeting are done via “one easy-to-use interface” without the need to export files to Excel.  Zoominfo for Salesforce also added integrated prospecting. Data may be shared bi-directionally between the services so users can check for duplicates before uploading prospects to SFDC.  Zoominfo also added custom mappings for all fields into its Salesforce connector and improved the company and contact lookup workflows.
  • Avention released OneSource for MS Dynamics and OneSource for Oracle Sales Cloud connectors which integrate Avention functionality into the Microsoft and Oracle CRMs. Features include I-frame display, “stare and compare” updates, custom variables, prospecting, and the Avention Journal.  Avention also rolled a series of enhancements into its CRM connectors. These include:
    • The automatic population of matched records, bypassing the “stare and compare” step for new accounts
    • Avention Journal filtering
    • Avention Journal list views (the default view is calendared)
    • Modify the Avention Journal viewing period
    • Contact filtering by job function, level, title, keyword, etc.
    • News filtering
    • DataVision tab (if licensed)
    • Salesforce Lightning support providing improved tablet usability and dynamic resizing.
    • Batch duplicate management on bulk uploads (ignore, create, update)
  • Data.com added a Prospect Insights view which can be accessed from Opportunity and Account Detail pages. A “See More Insights” button takes the user to additional business and financial details from Dun & Bradstreet. Company intelligence includes D&B WorldBase firmographics and linkage, Hoover’s top company descriptions and competitors, and First Research industry overviews including call prep questions and industry summaries.  Data.com also upgraded the Dun & Bradstreet company family view to the Lightning platform.
  • DiscoverOrg released CRM connectors for Talent Rover, Zoho, and Bullhorn. They also enhanced their Salesforce connector.
  • InsideView redesigned its Salesforce.com AppExchange user interface and launched Refresh which provides automated account cleansing within Salesforce.com.
  • RainKing improved Salesforce.com synchronization.
  • To improve the Salesforce experience, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is no longer requiring sales reps to manually identify which contacts should be downloaded from SFDC to Sales Navigator. Synchronization can be managed at the administrator level. While SFDC describes this as improved synchronization, it basically downloads leads and accounts to Sales Navigator. No LinkedIn member account or lead intelligence is uploaded or available for updating SFDC records. However, the system does flag which records are in SFDC so that reps can manually key information from LinkedIn to SFDC.  For example, sales reps may add tags (e.g. Qualified) and notes to leads and accounts with this information then synched with Salesforce.
  • Artesian redesigned its Salesforce and MS Dynamics connectors.  Among the new features are sales trigger filtering by topic and trigger sharing by email, social media, and Chatter.

One of the major trends in 2016 was the continued expansion of sales intelligence vendors into the marketing department.  Most commonly, this involved Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) connectors with Marketo and Eloqua (Oracle Marketing Cloud), though some vendors support other MAPs as well.

  • InsideView released an ABM solution in partnership with Marketo. The ABM solution is a bundle that includes products and data services to enable targeted account and contact selection, campaign execution, and measurement.
  • RainKing released connectors for Pardot and NetSuite
  • Avention released connectors for Oracle Marketing (Eloqua) and Marketo which support data enrichment, account insights, and predictive analytics. The new MAP connectors support three marketing use cases: web form enrichment, uploaded list matching via the OneSource platform, and prospect list building within OneSource. Lists built and enriched within OneSource are then fed to Eloqua or Marketo.

Several vendors built Chrome connectors in late 2015 or early 2016.  Chrome connectors build additional feature functionality into the Chrome browser, usually centering around the contextual display of company and contact information related to corporate websites and LinkedIn profiles.  Firms with Chrome Connectors include DataFox, MattermarkZoominfo, DiscoverOrg, and HG Data.

To assist with messaging, LinkedIn now offers a Chrome extension for Gmail. The extension provides integrated access to public LinkedIn profiles and social contact information as a right-handed information bar. If a contact is not in Sales Navigator, users can quickly add him or her as a lead without exiting the Inbox. Icebreakers such as shared connections, experiences, and interests help shape account or prospect messaging. TeamLink colleague connections are also displayed.

Finally, several Sales Intelligence vendors began supporting Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) vendors (there are also non-SI vendors participating in ABSD ecosystems providing coaching, transcription, analytics, and other services):

  • DiscoverOrg: SalesLoft, Outreach, Tellwise
  • Owler: Outreach, SalesLoft
  • InsideView: KiteDesk, Quota Factory, SalesLoft
  • Zoominfo: KiteDesk
  • D&B NetProspex: KiteDesk
The Owler news feed is now displayed within SaleLoft allowing sales development reps to quickly customize their messaging.
The Owler news feed is now displayed within SaleLoft allowing sales development reps to quickly customize their messaging.

 

Avention: Oracle Marketing Cloud Connector

Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor Avention announced availability of an Oracle Marketing Cloud (Eloqua) connector which infuses Eloqua with Avention account insights and predictive analytics.  The new connector supports three marketing use cases: web form enrichment, uploaded list matching via the OneSource platform, and prospect list building within OneSource.  Lists built and enriched within OneSource are then fed to Eloqua.

The service supports customized field mapping against 58 fields including revenue, assets, liabilities, and pre-tax profit across four currencies (USD, GBP, EUR, and As Reported); industry codes (US SIC, NAICS, UK SIC); corporate linkages; full address; and firmographics.

Avention continues to grow its Global Content Live Database with support for fifty million global companies and eighty million contacts.  Marketers can build lists from this database using a broad set of selection criteria including business signals, technographics, firmographics, corporate linkage, advanced financials, and contact variables.

Avention OneSource provides broad prospecting with direct export to Eloqua.
Avention OneSource provides broad prospecting with direct export to Eloqua.

“Our customers are finding that marketing and sales teams need to align their data more than ever to achieve account-based marketing success,” remarked Avention CEO Steve Pogorzelski. “The Oracle Marketing Cloud connector will offer our mutual customers the strength of the combined applications to help grow their businesses and achieve ROI from their ABM campaigns.”

Web form enrichment is a new capability from Avention.  Marketers can set up matches based upon company name and country, although additional fields are recommended to improve match accuracy.  Limiting the number of required fields and enriching the remaining fields from a standardized database is a best practice.  Short forms minimize the form abandonment rate, reduce the instance of bogus data entry, ensure that standardized fields are employed, and enrich records with fields not easily garnered from web forms (e.g. company linkage, revenue figures).

Avention is a Gold Level member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork and also offers a OneSource for Oracle Sales Cloud connector.

Note: I am a former OneSource employee and current blogger for Avention.

InsideView for Sales: Download Limits

InsideView’s new download limits take effect for all InsideView Sales customers on June 1st.  Going forward, users will only receive 500 company and 500 contact credits per month.  The maximum size of a download file remains 2,000 records.  These limits are well below those of their top two competitors, Hoover’s and Avention; InsideView now heavily targets the marketing function, so they are becoming miserly with respect to downloads in their flagship sales offering.

Customers looking for broader limits can license InsideView Target, their prospecting service for marketers.

InsideView also announced a set of enhancements, the most important of which was InsideView Target’s one-click list Send to Eloqua feature.  Target checks for duplicate contacts based on emails, ensuring that uploaded prospects are net-new.  Marketo connector functionality is also available.

InsideView Target now supports Eloqua synch with duplicate checking.
InsideView Target now supports Eloqua synch with duplicate checking.

Other May release announcements were fairly minor:

  • The mobile product displays 90 days of news instead of 30.
  • InsideView for CRM provides direct access to the full InsideView company or executive profile by clicking on the name.
  • InsideView Target added saved searches.