Bombora is one of the leading sources of third-party intent data gathered from B2B Media sources, with over 5,000 media websites contributing to its Company Surge intelligence. It has chosen to remain independent and broadly partner with RevTech Companies, including six of the seven vendors that were listed in Gartner’s 2022 Magic Quadrant for ABM Platforms: 6sense, Demandbase, Terminus, Madison Logic, RollWorks, and Triblio (Foundry).
“Gartner weighs Intent data as its single-most critical capability for new account acquisition and a driving force in both customer retention and expansion,” blogged Bombora Senior Product Marketing Manager Ryan Moline. “This full-funnel visibility into what’s important to your prospects and customers empowers your go-to-market teams with the data needed to create hyper-personalized, omnichannel buying experiences that result in more meetings booked, accelerated deal cycles, and opportunities for long-term growth. This is just one reason why many of the companies recognized in this year’s Gartner Magic Quadrant partner with Bombora for their Intent data needs.”
Both ABX platforms and direct customers rely on Bombora to identify in-market demand, allowing them to reach out to accounts in their ICP when they are actively researching solutions. Company Surge data can also be deployed for identifying churn risk accounts and upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
“Bombora’s content consumption model has become the de facto standard in B2B marketing for third-party behavioral data to indicate intent,” stated Forrester.
This month, Bombora announced an integration with HubSpot and an enhanced integration with Salesforce.
“Bombora has prioritized direct integrations and partnerships in order to make it easier for sales and marketing teams to access our insights without changing their workflows,” said Bombora CEO Erik Matlick. “HubSpot is one of the most well-known marketing, sales, and service software companies in the world, and we’re thrilled for our app to be in the spotlight as they look to help B2B brands with their business challenges.”
Zylotech CTO Abhi Yadav will be Terminus’ Head of Platform Development. Yadav is also a Guest Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management.
The deal is Terminus’ fifth acquisition, backing up Gartner’s SalesTech Mayhem thesis that a handful of companies are quickly grabbing market share through strategic acquisitions and high levels of internal investment that fill missing capabilities.
Terminus’ acquisitions have focused on expanding the core capabilities of the company, not taking out competitors. The other acquisitions were
While CDPs are generally deployed to create a single view of the customer, David Raab, Founder of CDP Institute, commented that the Terminus CDP “will tie together the data silos that would otherwise result” from the acquisitions.
“CDP is becoming more widely adopted in B2B, as companies recognize their marketing automation and CRM systems are not enough to provide true data unification and sharing,” said Raab. “By acquiring Zylotech, Terminus positions itself – and its clients – to take full advantage of the capabilities that a CDP provides.”
While data usage and spending are rapidly increasing, few marketers trust their data. A 2017 Forrester survey found that only 12% of B2B marketers have high confidence in their data accuracy, and 84% identified data management as a top-five weakness.
“The key to a successful CDP is trust,” blogged Zylotech Director of Revenue Marketing Alex Bistran in August. “Sales, marketing, and customer experience teams need to trust the data stored in their CDP to drive decisions, whether it’s deciding which accounts require immediate attention or which campaign messaging is most likely to resonate with a particular customer. By constantly refreshing data from your own customer interactions and combining it with validated, third-party B2B data to accurately reflect your contacts and accounts, a CDP provides a clean stream of actionable data that can be operationalized to flow through your marketing, sales, and customer service channels. And, importantly, that can lead to a healthier revenue stream too.”
“B2B CRM data is painfully inaccurate and incomplete, and manual efforts to clean, deduplicate, and activate are slow and expensive. This leads to poor conversion rates, an incomplete view of buying committees, and misleading ROI,” stated the firm.
“Bad data in equals bad data out. Period. We’re entering a marketing revolution – data really is the new oil, and Terminus is sitting on a gold mine. Under Matt’s leadership, Terminus CDP is poised to change the game for our customers. This level of data accuracy is critical for B2B GTM teams looking for a unified view into their customers. I’ve never been more excited about the future of marketing.”
Terminus CEO Tim Kopp
The Terminus CDP addresses the issues of bad data with auditing, cleansing, enrichment, and data management capabilities “backed by the industry’s largest global network of decision-makers and Buying Committees.” Furthermore, Terminus CDP “dramatically” improves data accuracy, campaign effectiveness, and “wasted sales cycles.”
“We are in the golden age of marketing. The breadth of technologies helping us create great experiences has never been so impressive. But, what are all those customer experiences predicated on? Data,” blogged Kopp. “With Terminus CDP, our customers will have their most important account and contact data continuously cleansed and enriched. The result: our customers will be able to put their trust in their data, unleashing their go-to-market teams to accurately engage buying committees every time.”
Continued Kopp, “We’re entering a marketing revolution. A time when sales and marketing teams don’t have to worry about data and can dedicate their energy to create phenomenal experiences that turn into pipeline. I have never been more excited about the future of marketing.”
“Since our early days as an MIT spinout, Zylotech has been focused on delivering the data and intelligence go-to-market teams can trust and take action on,” said Yadav. “Upon meeting Terminus, it was obvious that we shared a common vision. We are proud to join Terminus and this incredible team to jointly improve the accuracy of B2B data.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Kopp described it as a “big deal” that is a “really, really important acquisition.” The Indianapolis Business Journal said that Zylotech was its largest deal to date. The transaction was financed with funds from a $90 February venture round.
Enterprise clients include Google, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Dell, and Rimini Street.
Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter suggested that the answer to overwhelmed sales reps is not more technology and data but better-designed tools and workflows that address the “Revenue Performance Gap.” Salesloft’s Modern Revenue Workspace offers
“Proper insights at the right time
The ability to take action
The ability to communicate
The coachable moment”
Instead of a series of tools, Salesloft is positioning itself as one of Gartner’s “alpha platforms” that broadly ties together sales workflows and channels. Gartner noted a set of attributes of these platforms:
– “Alpha Platforms are hyper-aggressive vendors who are broadening capabilities at a breakneck speed.
– It’s not just M&A, some companies will evolve into alpha platforms by building capabilities. This is totally doable, they just have to be able to work fast.
– Alpha platforms aren’t necessarily buying competitors in the same category – they are buying into adjacent categories.”
“It’s a time to tell a new story about sales and provide you with a complete, digital go-to-market solutions your sellers and sales teams need,” said Porter.
According to Salesloft Chief Product Officer Ellie Fields, this advanced sales platform is “built for sellers.” It reduces workflow friction, allowing reps to “take faster action” and prioritize their time. The platform also serves as a centralized engagement hub with the “most critical tools for digital selling,” including email, phone, SMS, meetings, social, etc.
The Modern Revenue Workspace deploys data and AI within the workflow, delivering insights such as the most engaged prospects, deals at risk, and “trends that improve outcomes.”
The Salesloft platform acts as a hub for digital selling, driving alignment across the revenue team. Along with Deals, Conversations, and Cadences, the platform synchronizes data with a system of record (Salesforce, MS Dynamics, or HubSpot) and supports sales intelligence and workflows with over 115 ecosystem partners.
The new release is based on a set of advanced objectives:
Take Action Anywhere – Communications channels are available throughout the platform. For example, reps can call, email, book a meeting, or send an SMS message within the Deals view. Digital communications are then captured and analyzed, helping identify “the most engaged prospects, stalled but winnable deals, and trends that help revenue teams adjust course to improve performance.”
Know What Changed in Your Deal – Reports identify which opportunities were updated, how long the deal is in the current stage, and whether the close date or amount changed. For example, progression indicators are now displayed in Pipeline Review and Deals reports.
Enterprise Ready Conversations – Salesloft continues to enhance its communications channels with support for Microsoft Teams, native Zoom and WebEx support, improved transcription, and governance enhancements. The native Zoom support is more reliable than the previous bot tool. Salesloft also added Consent to Record for MS Teams and will be adding it for other platforms and its dialer. They also added English language recording announcements with additional language announcements in development.
The enhanced Conversations transcription engine offers “improved accuracy, searchability, and filtering” that helps managers and sellers “easily identify buyer and market trends and coaching opportunities to set more meetings, build more pipeline, speed deal cycles, and improve the chances of winning more deals.”
A new Conversations Summary is delivered to inboxes.
Unify Communications across Channels – Conversations in Activity Feed provide updates on important meetings.
Understand Outcomes across the Platform – Outcomes in Step Analytics identify which steps are working, helping improve Cadences.
Insights Anywhere – A Meetings panel on the home page summarizes pending meetings to assist with call prep.
Automate No-Show Workflows – New cadence workflows help reps reschedule missed meetings. A “partial show” workflow also provides the call hyperlink and summary to those who missed a meeting.
At a high level, the goal is to remove friction in the sales process by reducing the need to jump from app to app. Instead, reps can engage with shareholders and obtain insights from anywhere in Salesloft.
Future items include SHAKEN/STIRRED registration, native Google Meeting support, and Salesforce Event field logging.
At this month’s Salesloft Virtual Customer Summit, CEO Kyle Porter and CMO Sydney Sloan unveiled the “Modern Revenue Workspace” to their customers and prospects. Porter described the Modern Revenue Workspace as “a system where sellers and sales teams come together to collaborate, execute, and serve their customers more than ever before.”
Echoing Gartner’s recent discussion of SalesTech Mayhem, Porter noted that “Sellers and sales teams are moving from lots of tools they HAVE to use to one workspace they LOVE to use.”
“We continue to see a world where sellers are loved by the buyers they serve. And we’re here to equip these sellers to maximize revenue while delivering their customers with an incredible experience. This is the mission and vision of Salesloft, and they have not changed one bit, but what has changed is sales is that sales is now digital first, team oriented and about solving problems. Sales excellence has shifted from being well connected to being well informed and enabled.”
Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter
Salesloft also updated its marketing with new colors (Hunter green, lime, and white), logos, and a simplification of the name from SalesLoft to Salesloft without the capital L. The company has also begun using a chartreuse period at the end of the logo to emphasize that “All you need is Salesloft. Period.”
“Our new look shares a story bigger than a sales transaction, and our new wordmark tells that story in a single word. No matter who you serve or what you sell, Salesloft empowers you with everything you need to succeed — full stop,” explains the new site. “The new fully custom wordmark is a technically sound serif at its core with flashes of humanity in the way the letters connect. Within its forms, each of our brand attributes is exemplified: best-in-class, energetic, and sincere.”
“Helping sellers and sales teams is at the heart of everything we do,” said Sloan. “We have a new look, and we’re telling a new story about sales. We know to reach their highest potential, sellers need a partner that cares about their aspirations and helps them achieve something greater. That is Salesloft.”
The new color palette and logos are reflected in a refreshed UX the firm has dubbed the “Modern Revenue Workspace.” The workspace includes a simplified search bar and icons and greater integration of core functionality across reports and views. In addition, the Activity Feed “has been optimized with advanced filtering, quick actions, pinned notes, and review content directly from your Person and Account pages.”
With more than ninety percent of selling activities now digital, sellers are overwhelmed with too many tools and disconnected platforms, channels, and data sets. There are now over ten thousand SalesTech and MarTech offerings, yet sales reps continue to struggle to meet quotas and manage all of the demand on their time. As a result, they spend the typical day struggling with the basics:
With all of this platform and channel switching, reps are hard-pressed to be value-added professionals, finding it difficult to properly research prospects, dig into buyer pains, research the industry, eat, and spend time with family.
“The speed and complexity of digital sales is creating chaos,” commented Salesloft VP of Product Management Frank Dale. Companies have two options for addressing digital chaos: more of the same or adopting a unified Modern Revenue Workspace such as Salesloft.
Dale argued that more of the same is not sustainable. Instead, it requires ever more disconnected tools and additional hours.
“We’re seeing a new class of sales leaders who are choosing to rise up and beat back the chaos and simplify their sellers’ lives – one where they stop just providing more tools to use and focus on giving them the right ones. They know their teams will do more, win more, and ultimately serve their customers better if they give their sellers the tools and experience to thrive.
These sales leaders realize that winning isn’t enough. They know the way you win matters. Success isn’t just hitting your number. It means having a fulfilled life. It means not living in chaos. The selling experience matters – not just to sales people, but also to their buyers.”
Salesloft Product Marketing VP Chris Mills
Continue to Part II with an additional discussion of Gartner’s “SalesTech Mayhem” and Salesloft’s new release.
In its recently published State of Sales 2021 survey, LinkedIn stated that “Virtual selling is good for sellers and even better for buyers.” 50% of buyers say that “working remotely has made the purchasing process easier.” Buyers have benefited from the greater acceptance of sales intelligence and sales enablement services.
Furthermore, 70% of buyers want to retain remote work at least half of the time. 48% of buyers do not expect to be meeting face-to-face until H2 201, and 17% anticipate waiting until 2022.
“The bottom line is this situation requiring virtual selling skills won’t be changing anytime soon,” commented LinkedIn.
59% of buyers do not anticipate attending live events until H2 2021. While 90% of the surveyed buyers have previously attended events, 48% of sales reps have now closed deals above a half-million dollars without meeting the buyer in person.
“Sellers will go back to face-to-face meetings but not remotely close to pre-pandemic levels. Digital transformation was coming no matter what. COVID-19 just accelerated everything. In other words, digital transformation is here to stay.”
Gartner VP-Analyst Craig Rosenberg
Sales Managers recognize the acceleration of change and digitization, with 86% agreeing that “the ability to cope with change is more important than it was five years ago,” up 16% over the past year.
“Generally speaking, sales is slow to adapt,” opined Gartner VP-Analyst Craig Rosenberg. “If the way sellers are doing things works, then they will keep doing it. This drastic event is driving change. Also, when the buyer changes, sales is forced to change. We often think of ‘sales’ as having to move virtual as the driver, but actually our buyers moved virtual. Ultimately, sales is going to gravitate to the buyer’s preference. In other words, it is much easier to adapt to change when you have to.”
The top three sources of change cited by sales managers are measuring sales processes and outcomes in different ways (51%), adding new technologies (50%), and instituting new hiring policies (50%).
Remote sales job postings increased five-fold in Q3 2020 year-over-year, with remote positions growing 8.8X in Canada and 4.5X in the United States. The transition hasn’t been easy. 67% of sales managers said that managing remote teams is more challenging than expected, and 65% of sales reps found it more difficult than anticipated.
Sales Operations and Customer Success roles proliferated between 2018 and 2020. LinkedIn captured a 38% increase in Sales Operations roles over this period, 4.8X the growth of sales titles.
Customer Success positions trebled between 2018 and 2020.
Continue to Part II, which discusses diversity effort in sales, SalesTech, and Sales Navigator.
Demandbase, which reframed itself as an Account Based Experience platform last month, announced a pair of enhancements to its service: Site Customization and Form Enrichment. Site Customization lets marketers display “unique site experiences for their target account” based upon more granular segmentation (e.g., firmographics, intent, website activity).
Other customization enhancements include
Preview links for stakeholder review before release
Account list targeting with personalized ads
Tailored landing pages based upon the stage of the buying journey
The website can be personalized based upon industry, stage, geography, company size, or other variables. Messaging, CTAs, collateral, and creative elements can be customized based upon the visitor.
“The creative elements and the experience you want to give to your customer or prospect are up to you,” blogged Demandbase Director of Product Marketing Ruth Juni. “One thing is for sure: Taking the time to think through the messaging from the consumer’s perspective will ensure you’re delivering the right message to the consumer at the right time.”
Marketers can also display unique web form designs with minimal field display. Demandbase then enriches the submitted form with additional prospect details.
“ABX is rooted in an intense focus on the customer at every stage of the buying cycle, using intelligent insights to know when and how to engage, and what to say to each account,” said Jon Miller, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Demandbase. “Your website is one of the most important interactions a customer or prospect can have with your brand, which is why it’s critical that your website experience should be as personalized as email or other channels. Our new features for Demandbase Personalization make it easy to deliver the right website experience and elevate the entire journey.”
According to Gartner, 98% of marketers argue that personalization enhances customer relationships. “Gartner is predicting that smart personalization engines used to recognize customer intent will enable digital businesses to increase their profits by up to 25% by 2023,” said Demandbase Product VP Seth Myers. “Personalization is taking center stage in business today. This makes the case even more for our enhanced Personalization product and its industry-leading features that treat personalization as seriously as it should be treated. We’re bound and determined to keep anticipating what our customers want and need, in order to continue to elevate ABX.”
Gartner forecasted 3.2% growth in global IT spend in 2019, with turnover hitting $3.8 trillion. Growth will be driven by Enterprise Software (up 8.5% this year and 8.2% next year) and IT Services (up 4.7% this year and 4.8% next year). Slower growth segments include Devices (1.6% growth in 2019), Communications Services (up 1.3% in 2019), and Data Center Systems (growing in 2019 but retreating in 2020).
“Despite uncertainty fueled by recession rumors, Brexit, and trade wars and tariffs, the likely scenario for IT spending in 2019 is growth,” said John-David Lovelock, research VP at Gartner. “However, there are a lot of dynamic changes happening in regards to which segments will be driving growth in the future. Spending is moving from saturated segments such as mobile phones, PCs and on-premises data center infrastructure to cloud services and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. IoT devices, in particular, are starting to pick up the slack from devices. Where the devices segment is saturated, IoT is not.”
“IT is no longer just a platform that enables organizations to run their business on. It is becoming the engine that moves the business. As digital business and digital business ecosystems move forward, IT will be the thing that binds the business together.”
David Lovelock, Gartner Research VP
shift to the cloud and SaaS will continue to benefit Enterprise Software spend
with global expenditures hitting $466 billion in 2020.
shift is not just about cloud. As organizations pursue new IT
architectures and operating philosophies, they put in place a foundation for
new opportunities in digital business, including next-generation IT solutions
such as the Internet of Things (IoT),” said VP Ed Anderson earlier this year.
“Organizations embracing dynamic, cloud-based operating models position
themselves for cost optimization and increased competitiveness.”
warned that companies are failing to upskill their internal staff quickly
enough to support newer technologies such as IoT, AI, machine learning, data
science, APIs and services platform design. Gartner was concerned that
“nearly half” of the IT workforce is in “urgent need” of upskilling to “support
their digital business initiatives.” The risk for businesses is that
emerging technologies “are changing faster than we’ve ever seen before.”
Gartner forecasted continued growth of global public cloud services. The analyst firm projected 17.5% growth in 2019 to $214.3 billion. The fastest growth rate will be in Infrastructure as a Service which will jump 27.5% to $38.9 billion. Platform as a Service is expected to rise by 21.8% this year.
services are definitely shaking up the industry,” said Gartner Research VP Sid
Nag. “At Gartner, we know of no vendor or service provider today whose
business model offerings and revenue growth are not influenced by the
increasing adoption of cloud-first strategies in organizations. What we
see now is only the beginning, though. Through 2022, Gartner projects the
market size and growth of the cloud services industry at nearly three time the
growth of overall IT services.”
research found that a third of organizations listed cloud investments as a top
three investment priority. Thirty percent of technology providers new
software investments are shifting from cloud-first to cloud only. Thus,
SaaS and subscription cloud models will continue to replace license-based
Todd Berkowitz, Research Vice President at Gartner, sees Account Based Marketing (ABM) as increasing tensions between sales and marketing in the short-term. While ABM has long been advocated as a facilitator of departmental alignment, he sees ABM as disrupting sales processes and generating friction:
“Between ABM and adoption of various new technologies and data types, there is a lot of disruption that is happening with regards to sales teams. Even if these changes are going to be beneficial to tech companies in the medium-term, and some of the “A sellers” get on board quickly with the changes, there are many sales reps that will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the new world. (This is why I always advise trying an ABM pilot with a select set of reps). So even if there is pretty good alignment and agreement between CMOs and sales leaders, don’t expect all reps to magically do what they are being asked to do. There needs to be an adjustment period, along with good sales enablement, before everyone plays nicely.”
So, while ABM will facilitate agreements in process, messaging, and metrics in the medium-term, it will generate resistance amongst sales reps unwilling to adopt new processes and tools or unconvinced of its value. This friction is probably exacerbated by predictions of sales force reductions due to the implementation of AI and other information and workflow technologies.
Resistance to technological change has long been an issue. Early in the Industrial Revolution, The Luddites sabotaged British plants, particularly cotton and wool mills. While sales reps are unlikely to sabotage initiatives (or their careers), they may hesitate to learn new platforms or adopt new processes. As such, the problem may be more akin to soldiering, the assembly line equivalent of reducing individual productivity to the level of the laggards on the line. Frederick Taylor, the father of time and motion studies, was very concerned about soldiering and recommended piece work rates to create productivity incentives. But sales reps are very attuned to incentives. While they may be hesitant to adopt new technologies, they will do so if they help make them more efficient and effective at selling. So long as sales reps are paid on a commission basis and long-term employment is tied to making quota, the level of soldiering should be minimal.
This isn’t to say that sales reps won’t resist learning new tools. If they believe the time invested in such training is less than the incremental revenue for the lost selling time spent in training, then they will avoid training and learning new tools. However, if they see others on their team benefiting from the new tools, they will not hold out long term. Thus, tool training needs to be visibly supported by management with an emphasis upon the benefits to sales reps (e.g. less time spent on non-sales tasks and more time interacting with customers and prospects, improved account intelligence, improved account targeting and message timing). With the proper incentives and information, resistance should be minimal.
To help ensure adoption, vendors should be looking to integrate solutions into CRMs, email, and mobile devices so that new tools are integrated into current workflows. They should also be providing inline tool tips, initial training focused on their capabilities which provide high levels of efficiency and efficacy improvements, tool-based win stories, and usage tools for tracking training, usage, and ROI. A few gamification elements may also be in order, but they should be organic to the product and not hokey.
ESW Capital completed the acquisition of predictive analytics vendor Infer and will be rolling it into Ignite Technologies. Infer offers predictive lead and account scoring. Use cases include TAM identification, segmentation, account selection, demand generation, lead scoring, opportunity scoring, and upsell/cross-sell. In a September 2016 report, Gartner said that Infer pricing starts at $30,000 and increases based on the number of models. There are also charges for net-new contacts.
This summer, ESW also acquired company intelligence vendor FirstRain and rolled it into Ignite as well.
The Ignite Prime program offers clients access to additional enterprise technology once they have signed a contract for one of the Ignite Technology solutions. For example, Infer customers would have access to additional enterprise software solutions such as First Rain, ThinkVine, and Placeable equal to the value of their Infer contracts.
“We’ve been continually impressed by Ignite throughout this acquisition process. They have a strong leadership team and the right strategy that’s in line with where the future of sales and marketing solutions are going, where there’s a need to converge multiple products into a cohesive platform to drive true, full-circle customer intelligence. We’re confident this is the platform that our amazing customers will want to build on and grow, and are excited for the Infer solutions to be a part of Ignite’s Prime Program which will help customers drive 2x ROI.”
Vik Singh, Infer’s CEO
Infer was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Mountain View, California. Infer focuses on predictive solutions for the technology sector and lists AdRoll, Cloudera, New Relic, Tableau, Xactly and Zendesk as clients. As of Q3 last year, Infer reported over 140 customers. Deal size was not disclosed.