D&B Hoovers Internationalizes

The Siemens Company Profile as it would display in German.

D&B Hoovers, a global sales intelligence solution that has long been English-only, began a multi-phase process towards becoming a truly global, multi-lingual solution.  Most sales intelligence vendors support only a single language, but European vendors Vainu and Echobot support multiple languages for their regional coverage.  Last year, when Dun & Bradstreet bought Bisnode, a firm that serves Central Europe and the Nordics, it declared that it would be sunsetting Bisnode solutions.  Internationalizing D&B Hoover’s then became a priority.

The D&B Hoovers’ UX already supports 17 languages:

  • European: Croatian, Czech, Danish, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Swedish
  • Asian: Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Japanese

Adding international languages transforms D&B Hoovers from an Anglo-centric solution for multinationals and companies based in Anglophone countries to a localized version.

“In terms of personalization, we’re trying to switch this from being a US product that is sold globally to a fully local version of a global product,” explained International Product Development & Strategy VP Adam Leslie to GZ Consulting.  D&B Hoovers needs to be a “local product” that supports sales reps selling to local customers, regardless of language.  “Historically, it’s been a US product sold in the local market only where the local market user sells to the US and internationally.  If the local market user only sells domestically, they haven’t bought Hoovers.”

D&B Hoovers greatly expanded its industry code standards, allowing users to filter companies by global taxonomies (e.g., ISIC), regional (e.g., NAICS, NACE 2.0, ANZ SIC), or national standards:

D&B Hoover’s also supports two proprietary taxonomies: Hoover’s industry codes and eight-digit SICs.

Country-specific industry code descriptions will be displayed in either English or the local language.

D&B Hoover’s Localization Options

Along with expanded taxonomies, D&B Hoovers recently added website searching to identify companies based on their self-descriptions across one hundred languages.  Website search has gathered 247 million rows of structured data across 30 million websites and 300 million web pages.

This feature helps identify companies with emerging technologies or positioning (i.e., the evolving three-letter acronyms that firms use for classifying themselves).  The feature echoes its Conceptual Search, but instead of identifying companies based on topical references in news articles, it searches global corporate websites.

D&B Hoovers and its predecessor service, OneSource Global Business Browser (GBB), have supported English-speaking multinational teams for two decades.  Their content and functionality have always been the deepest for the US, UK, and Canada.  Yet, they also provided a robust set of international content:

  • Global Public (Quoted) Company Financials, Segment Reports, Executive Bios, and Long Business Descriptions.
  • Financial statements for 15 European countries and global publics.  The reports may be viewed in USD, EUR, GBP, and the As Reported currency, with currency conversion rates based upon the period or statement date.  Thus, revenue from a 2020 income statement (a flow statement) would be based upon the average conversion rate for the year, while assets from the balance sheet would be based upon the applicable rate for the statement date.
  • Global family trees
  • Industry Codes, including US SIC, NAICS, EU NACE, UK SIC, ANZ SIC, and UN ISIC.
  • Regional screening, including city, postal code, and sub-regions (e.g., state, province, county)
  • Regional customization for distances (KM vs. miles) and numeric formats

D&B Hoovers expanded its company coverage to 180 million active firms and 216 million active contacts as part of its internationalization.  Most of the new firms have between one and five employees.  It also increased the number of countries with sub-divisional regions (e.g., counties, provinces), having recently added sub-divisional filtering for the Nordic countries, Denmark, Hungary, etc.  Additional countries are planned.

Several enhancements came from local customer research.  In many European countries, departmental emails are employed in sales and marketing outreach.  These emails lack any personally identifiable information, so they are GDPR compliant.  Dun & Bradstreet is adding over seven million “entity-level emails” for European countries, including over three million entity-level emails for the D-A-CH region, 1½ million for the Nordics, and 2½ million for Eastern Europe.

Text searching was enhanced to recognize accents and diacritical marks (e.g., when performing location searches).  Leslie called synonymous search with or without special characters a “major ticket to the game.”  While it “sounds like a simple fix,” it was “extremely complex.”

As Dun & Bradstreet began its localization research, it realized the importance of small companies and informational depth in the context of national sales vs. international sales.

“We speak to local markets and say, ‘Well, what is it that will help you sell your products and use our products?’” explained Leslie.  Dun & Bradstreet’s research found that many customers and prospects sell locally to organizations with five or fewer employees.  “That becomes really important now that you can reach them.”

Leslie listed other findings and subsequent upgrades: “We capped the number of contacts at eleven.  That’s been changed.  We were missing the middle name.  That has been changed.”

When I was a product marketing manager at OneSource (2001 – 2010), I explained that we delivered the top N companies in each European country because “you aren’t selling to Polish abattoirs.”  That logic made sense when selling to multinationals and exporters based in English-speaking countries.  After all, they weren’t selling to Polish slaughterhouses.  But this approach fails to meet the needs of sales reps based in Poland, EU industrial manufacturers, or logistics companies. 

Localization requires local language support, content depth, national standards support (e.g., industry codes, geographic districts, GDPR), in-language news and triggers (coming in phase II), market knowledge, and in-market sales and support. Dun & Bradstreet also simplified the UI and improved its dynamic display for various screen sizes and devices.  The new UI was implemented in September, and 96% of browser users and 98% of CRM users have switched to the updated format.

D&B Hoover’s old and new company profiles.

In-product tutorials also enhance the user experience.  For example, if a user utilizes a feature inefficiently or has not used core functionality, the tutorial will provide on-demand coaching.  This feedback is also provided to account representatives to provide guidance.  The in-product tutorials were launched last summer, and Dun & Bradstreet continues to collect data for honing its training recommendations.

There is also a new onboarding virtual assistant for providing on-demand training.  Tutorial translations should be available to users in Q2.  Expanded in-product training and virtual onboarding are consistent with the emerging Work from Anywhere expectation of business professionals.

Dun & Bradstreet provided its internationalization roadmap through the end of the year.  The firm intends to extend local content, expand time-dependent sales triggers, and support multi-lingual news.  New content includes more digitally sourced data, detailed financials, and country-specific datasets such as country export data for Chinese companies, product codes, and expanded tech data for India.

Ostensibly, Phase I, which completed at the end of March, serves as a minimal viable product for localized products (or what Leslie called a “ticket to the game”), and Phase II continues internationalizing the content and expanding localized content. 

“We are working with each local market to collect these [data requirements], source the data, transfer to D&B, and load into the product,” said Leslie. Finally, D&B Hoovers will continue to expand its email and direct dial coverage.

Cognism $87.5M Series C

London-based Sales Intelligence vendor Cognism closed on an $87.5 million (£64m) Series C.  The round was led by Viking Global Investors and Blue Cloud Ventures, with follow-on investors AXA Venture Partners, Swisscom Ventures, and Volution.

Total funding is just shy of $130 million.

The funds will be deployed for European expansion and strengthening Cognism’s position in the United States.  Growth will be a “combination of organic growth and acquisitions.”

“The funding will help us empower many more businesses with international sales intelligence over the coming years, setting a new standard in data quality and compliance,” explained CEO James Isilay.  “It will accelerate our growth and global expansion plans as the leading provider of intelligent B2B sales data.”

“We will be organically expanding in the United States this year and have just hired new sales leadership (Mark Sparaco) to accelerate our growth,” Isilay told GZ Consulting.  “Europe remains our primary focus, but we see significant differentiation to other providers in our US and International data that we see significant growth opportunities.”

The firm will remain focused on improving its global data coverage and Sales Intelligence capabilities in 2022.  Roadmap features include marketing enhancements and localization in non-English speaking countries.

Cognism is coming off another strong year, with ARR growth hitting 100%.  They have over 1,000 customers, located in over forty countries.

Isilay is targeting another year of 100%+ growth and stated that Cognism is off to a good start in January with a “record revenue month.”

2021 data improvements include Diamond Data and the addition of Bombora’s intent data set as a premium offering.  Diamond data provides “the most accurate, GDPR & CCPA compliant phone-verified contacts for business development teams internationally, setting a new standard in data quality,” boasted the firm.

The Diamonds-on-Demand request feature supports on-demand phone verification from both the web application and the Cognism Chrome extension.  Users click on a Diamond Verify button to initiate the verification process, which is completed within 48 hours.  In addition, users can track the status on the platform.

“No other software company offers a truly global sales intelligence platform like Cognism. “By pairing our premium quality contact data with advanced contextual data points like technographics and buyer intent signals, we help modern revenue teams connect with confidence and exceed targets. We enable them to build a meaningful connection with their next best customer in the most predictable, efficient, and cost-effective way.”

Cognism CEO James Isilay

Cognism has grown to over 250 employees in seven countries: the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, South Africa, Croatia, Macedonia, and Germany.

Cognism did not state its market valuation.

Cognism also announced that it is SOC II Type 2 compliant.  The designation confirms that Cognism meets AICPA’s Trust Services Criteria for Security, Availability, Confidentiality, Processing Integrity, and Privacy with regards to data.

“We live and breathe security and compliance at Cognism as we handle large amounts of company data that help our customers reach new target audiences,” blogged Cognism CTO Stjepan Buljat. “Most companies, when they start their SOC 2 compliance journey, choose to select type 1 qualification, whereas we’ve selected the more complex type 2 route – often described as the difference between a balance sheet audit and a full audit of financial operations.  Type 2 looks at the information security controls we have in action and confirms that we’re organised to handle the data privacy concerns of the largest companies on the planet.”

Cognism Funding History (Source: Owler)

Echobot European Expansion

German Sales Intelligence vendor Echobot closed another successful year of product enhancements and revenue growth.  Echobot offers deep sales intelligence and data hygiene services for Germany, Austria, Switzerland (D-A-CH), and the UK.

In late 2020, Echobot launched its UK database and English language UI, providing a secondary market beyond the DACH region.  The firm grew MRR over 70% this year and hit 1,500 clients.  New business rose 80%, and the firm hired its 100th employee (up 44% this year).  Echobot continues to be EBITDA and Cash Flow positive.  Echobot is self-financed, not having taken any funding since 2013.

The firm also moved into a larger headquarters office in Karlsruhe with 16,000 square feet.

Along with fit-and-finish work on their UK services, the firm rolled out version 2.0 of their TARGET prospecting database.  TARGET offers a refreshed UI, improved data quality, and AI tools for ICP and segmentation analysis.

Users no longer need to build company and contact lists separately.  Instead, build-a-list results are displayed as tabs, allowing users to analyze both company and contact results without requiring them to rekey their query.

Echobot’s product vision is based on its “first principles of data” delivered through its service.  “For data to be useful, it has to be high quality, connected, and fully compliant,” said CEO Bastiaan Karweg.

Data improvements include an Email Validation Engine (EVA) and a “True Compliance” process for GDPR.  EVA “eliminates stale records” and implements mail server and pattern checking to improve data quality.  The EVA reduces bounce rates by up to thirty percent.

“For your outreach to be truly GDPR compliant, you not only need a Legitimate Interest but also be mindful of the preferences of the people you are trying to contact,” stated Karweg.  “Using Echobot, each contact record comes with a public source URL so you can be 100% confident when a prospect asks you, ‘Hey, where did you get my data from?’” Also new is a subject taxonomy that covers over 100,000 topics and industry keywords.

Echobot offers data for DACH, the UK, and the EU. A French dataset will be available in Q1.

Echobot is launching an EU Data pack that “covers the most important companies from all of Europe,” Karweg informed GZ Consulting.  “It’s not as deep data as with DACH, UK, or France, but it will give clients access to essential brands and contacts in each market.”

All four regions (DACH, UK, France, and EU) will be available in all three products (TARGET prospecting, CONNECT Sales Intelligence, and DATACARE hygiene) and the API in any combination.  However, the EU Data Pack omits company and contact data for the DACH countries, France, and the UK.

A French dataset, spanning six million companies, will be launched in Q1 with a French UI and localization.  French sales will be managed from the Karlsruhe office as it is only three miles from the French border.

Finally, Echobot expanded its sales triggers to 33 English-language event categories spanning the full UK universe.  French triggers are in development.

“We are excited to start 2022 with our new product and data assets,” said Karweg.  “Our goal is to continue on our strong growth trajectory and gain more market share in other EU countries.”

Global Database Adds Sales Engagement

London-based Sales and Credit Intelligence vendor Global Database added Sales Engagement features to its service.  Sales reps can automate their outbound campaigns with sequences of emails, phone calls, and other tasks.  Other features include A/B testing and analytics.

CEO Nicolae Buldumac demoed the new service to GZ Consulting, which is generally available but undergoing a soft launch with a formal release in early Q1.

“We want our customers to succeed in their outreach campaigns,” explained Buldumac.  However, “having access to data is not enough.  You need to have the necessary tools that will save you time and make your campaigns more effective.”

The Sales Engagement Platform adds an activation platform for sales reps, allowing them to reach out to prospects in a structured manner.

“We already see a lot of positive responses from our existing customers that have started using the platform, and many new features will be released in the coming weeks.”  Among the pending features are a phone dialer, Chrome extension, and Global Academy, “a series with educational material, where we will communicate the best practices to set up your campaigns, with specific examples that are working for us.”

The new Sales Engagement Platform is included as a new module at no extra charge.  The platform supports email templates, sequences, and analytics, but a dialer will not be available until Q1.

Sales reps can select one or multiple contacts from the Prospector module and assign them to a sequence.  Global Database may be licensed regionally or globally, with pricing based on the selected region and number of users.

Sales Engagement Platform provides Send to CRM support for Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, with HubSpot planned; however, the service does not yet sync activities between the engagement service and CRMs.

Email templates support dynamic variables, signature blocks, and rich text.  Templates are shareable, so marketing or sales ops can create email messages and share them with the sales team.

Email reports track emails sent, replies received, tasks completed, and deliverability, helping reps and sales operations “make informed decisions on future campaigns.”  Email analytics include top engagement by title, industry, country, and employment levels.

Global Database Email Engagement Analytics

Other email features include out-of-office detection, unsubscribe support, and manual send.

Separately, Global Database announced a data request feature that lets sales reps request similar contacts.

“Once such a request has been received, our system will automatically search in multiple sources,” explained CEO Nicolae Buldumac.  “If there are limited results, this request will be passed to our in-house data enrichment team for manual review.”

Global Database supports Similar Contact prospecting. Global Database editors will research additional prospects if the returned set is small.

Global Database maintains a global collection of company, contact, credit, tenders, and filings data spanning:

  • 120 million companies
  • 118 million contacts
  • 6 million emails
  • 1.2 million direct dials
  • 20 million general numbers

Global Database contacts are GDPR compliant and employ a Legitimate Interest basis for data collection.  Global Database is registered with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office.

“The lawful basis that we rely on for processing personal information in our public records register is that the processing is necessary for our legitimate interests which are not outweighed by the rights and freedoms of the individual (Article 6(1)(f) of the UK GDPR),” explained Buldumac.  “Our legitimate interests include the fulfillment of our mission as set out above; namely, to increase and promote transparency of the corporate and business world, including the existence, ownership, activities, entities, and people connected with them, by maintaining our public register.”

Most Sales Engagement vendors do not own a database (the major exception is VanillaSoft which acquired AutoKlose), but several database vendors have added sales engagement capabilities to their platforms, including ZoomInfo, Cognism, and Data Axle Genie.  Adding sales engagement features is a logical market extension for B2B database companies as it provides workflow and activation tools for their data, increasing the value of the underlying database.

Global Database is profitable, and revenues are growing, but Buldumac chose not to disclose the firm’s growth rate.

Cognism a Future Fifty Company in UK

UK Sales Intelligence vendor Cognism was named to Tech Nation’s Future Fifty 2021 list.  CEO James Isilay called the past year “a year of incredible transformation” for Cognism as it grew revenue by 90% and closed in on $20 million ARR. 2021 is the second consecutive year that Cognism made the exclusive Future Fifty list.

Cognism was also named one of the top 15 UK Startups by LinkedIn.  The firm continued hiring through the pandemic, with LinkedIn listing 277 employees in the UK, US, and Europe.  Cognism has been rapidly building out its sales team, growing it 165% over the past year to 90 headcount.  Its support team grew 58% over the past year to 40 CSMs.  Cognism also doubled its product management and IT teams.

London-based Cognism grew its headcount 63% over the past year and 115% over the past two. It’s ARR is nearing $20M.

Cognism plans to retain a flexible working environment and recruit talent outside of its primary office locations.  LinkedIn lists 23 positions in London, Boston, New York, Germany, Croatia, and South Africa.

On Monday, Cognism announced Diamond Data, “a new standard in B2B data quality.”  It emphasized that its contacts are accurate, compliant, and phone-verified.  Mobile numbers are phone-verified and checked against global do not call (DNC) lists. Cognism contacts are GDPR and CCPA compliant.

Cognism promises to “minimise inefficiencies due to inaccurate job titles and incorrect / misdialed numbers and create a leaner, faster sales process.”  Cognism offers revenue teams “unrestricted access to prospect data” available through its platform and via CRM and SEP connectors.

A new Diamonds-on-Demand request feature supports on-demand phone verification.  Users simply click on a Diamond Verify button to initiation validation.  A diamond appears on headshots of verified contacts.

“As a company we are constantly researching and identifying new opportunities and partnerships to ensure our platform delivers the best possible results for the highly competitive B2B market landscape. Diamond Data is just that – the best you can get. It is always evolving, and we want to assure our clients that they can target their prospects in confidence, leaving the compliance and data accuracy to us.”

Cognism CEO James Isilay

Diamond Data is immediately available.

Cognism is also delivering Bombora’s intent dataset for identifying in-market buyers and related contact information.  Intent data is available as a screening select and displayed as a build-a-list Heat Map.

Cognism’s new Diamond Data offering.

Finally, Cognism announced that industry veteran Phil Garlick joined their board.  Garlick served as the VP of Corporate Development at DiscoverOrg and President of OneSource Information Services.

Echobot TARGET 2.0

German Sales Intelligence vendor Echobot released version 2.0 of its TARGET prospecting service with a refreshed UI, improved data quality, and AI tools for ICP and segmentation analysis.

“If you want to digitize your sales processes and save a lot of time, money, and nerves, you can’t ignore Echobot,” said CEO Bastian Karweg.  “TARGET 2.0 inspires the everyday sales life of our customers – the new version is fast, intuitive to use, and simply fun.”

Echobot has set its product vision based on the “first principles of data” delivered through its service.  “For data to be useful, it has to be high quality, connected, and fully compliant,” said Karweg.

The first step was unifying their database across regions and datatype and removing data silos within the platform.  Echobot implemented a “unified, nested data index” that improved query times up to ten-fold and allowed for enhanced switching between company and contact results.

Users no longer need to build company and contact lists separately. Instead, build-a-list results are displayed as tabs, allowing users to analyze both company and contact results without requiring them to rekey their query.

Echobot also implemented a new Email Validation Engine (EVA) that “eliminates stale records” and implements mail server and pattern checking to improve data quality.  The EVA reduces bounce rates by up to thirty percent.

Echobot licensed company records directly from trade registers and implemented a “True Compliance” process.

“For your outreach to be truly GDPR compliant, you not only need a Legitimate Interest but also be mindful of the preferences of the people you are trying to contact,” stated Karweg.  “Using Echobot, each contact record comes with a public source URL so you can be 100% confident when a prospect asks you, ‘Hey, where did you get my data from?’”

Echobot Job Title Suggestions

Echobot implemented AI to assist users, building a subject taxonomy that covers over 100,000 topics and industry keywords.  TARGET 2.0 sports a keyword type-ahead tool that “guides you towards the right queries and also intelligently suggests alternative keywords or job titles you also might want to include in your search.”

The firm’s new segmentation analysis is their “most advanced AI” that builds a company vector model for clustered analysis of highly similar companies from uploaded files.  The clusters identify similar companies for downloading to the desktop or uploading to the CRM.  Thus, users can upload their Ideal Customer Profile and expand it with similar companies.  The ICP is also used to score prospects and sort them by priority.

“Echobot uses a new company vector model for the first time in addition to rigid industry codes. The technology is based on machine learning and makes it possible to select companies in a fine-grained manner according to thousands of specialist areas. The assignment takes place automatically on the basis of text content that is associated with the respective company. This means that if you are looking for industries, Echobot now offers an immense wealth of detail and can thus easily find even high-precision target groups. With the help of so-called cross joins, filters of different data areas can be combined with each other in real-time. This completely eliminates the time-consuming storage of interim results.”

Echobot Press Release (Translated from German)

TARGET 2.0 supports a broad set of screening variables:

  • Industry – Industry codes or keywords.
  • Keyword
  • Contacts – Department, Level, Title
  • Trigger Events
  • Location – Region and Radius
  • Company Size
  • Financials
  • Technographics – Software and Systems
  • Firmographics
  • Data Completeness

Their instant access to data allows for complete data visibility without slowing down users with credits to display contact details. In addition, the contract includes a minimum of 10,000 monthly record uploads or downloads with a FLAT-RATE Guarantee that provides an additional 5,000 monthly data records after consuming the EXPORT quota. The guarantee ensures budgeting stability while providing export flexibility should the marketing department consume their entire download quota mid-year.

Echobot pricing starts at €999 per month for up to three users.  This price is introductory and will increase for new customers in 2022.

Echobot supports four countries – Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the UK – and two languages – German and English.  The Echobot roadmap includes “intelligent” email alerts, “helpful” trigger events, and “smart” campaign management.  Additional languages and countries are also in development.

ZoomInfo Business Contact Preference Registry

ZoomInfo launched its Business Contact Preference Registry (BCPR), a centralized registry for recording B2B opt-out requests which will be shared across the industry.  The BCPR is ZoomInfo’s latest step in burnishing its data privacy positioning.

“The collection of data is central to businesses in the B2B data industry, but the responsibility of ethical data stewardship falls onto the shoulders of each individual company,” wrote the firm.  “As industry leaders in data privacy, ZoomInfo has made it easier for businesses in the B2B data marketplace to address the preferences of consumers by building, maintaining, and sharing access to the BCPR.”

“It’s critical for data-focused companies to prioritize privacy. The Business Contact Preference Registry offers businesses a convenient way to prioritize privacy by supplying the entire B2B data industry with a ready-made list of consumer opt-outs. We’re proactively sharing our opt-outs as an invitation to B2B companies to join us in putting privacy first.”

Bubba Nunnery, ZoomInfo’s Senior Director of Privacy and Public Policy

I had been flagging data privacy as a weakness in ZoomInfo’s model, which could slow their entry to the European market post-COVID, but they have been actively working to shore up their data privacy practices and demonstrate that they are respectful of the data they hold. 

ZoomInfo developed a proactive data compliance program based upon “notice and choice” that notifies business professionals about ZoomInfo’s data.  The program is global in scope, so not limited to countries that require notifications.  ZoomInfo also expanded its data privacy team earlier this year, naming Hannah Zimmerman, ZoomInfo’s Privacy Counsel and Bubba Nunnery, Senior Director, Privacy and Public Policy.

ZoomInfo data privacy certifications

“Our business is founded on the trust our customers have in our data,” said General Counsel Anthony Stark back in March. “Collecting data is central to all businesses, and it’s our job to be ethical stewards of the data we hold.  ZoomInfo adheres to its core privacy tenets of transparency and control, showcasing that we are respectful of the rights of consumers while providing critical service to our customers.”

In May, ZoomInfo announced that it received GDPR and CCPA Practices Validation from TrustArc, saying that its policies “are in line with the strictest privacy regulations in the world.”

“Organizations of all sizes must become privacy-forward to earn the trust of their customers,” said Chris Babel, CEO, TrustArc. “ZoomInfo understands that building trust requires an ongoing, scalable approach to data privacy. The organization has consistently prioritized privacy as the enabler of a better experience for its customers and their subscribers, and the TrustArc GDPR and CCPA Validations reinforce that standing.”

“ZoomInfo is leading the way in data privacy.  We are working to accept opt-outs from other vendors as part of our efforts to elevate privacy standards across the B2B data industry.”

CEO Henry Schuck

The BCPR is an excellent idea, but I’m not sure whether the registry should be hosted by one of the major vendors in the space.  ZoomInfo plans on accepting opt outs from other vendors, but It is unclear whether other vendors would promote ZoomInfo in the lead data collection role. Preferably, it would be hosted by a government agency such as the FTC, which manages the US Do Not Call Registry, or a neutral body similar to the ICANN domain registry.  DataGrail, a leader in data privacy compliance, could administer an independent database across businesses and consumers.

BNZSA Intent Activation Engine

B2B IT Marketing Agency BNZSA (pronounced BEN-zah) entered the intent data space with the BNZSA Intent Activation Engine product launch.  The new service identifies, tracks, and activates buyer intent.  BNZSA combines technographic, firmographic, intent, NLP, and B2B telemarketing data to deliver a set of intent-activated leads.

The new service “connects all the disparate tools available to deliver the most accurate buyer Intent data, with the highest possible lead qualification and industry-standard GDPR compliance.”

Madrid-based BNZSA supports buying committee identification; intent, firmographic and technographic insight; and prospect engagement.

“At the heart of the BNZSA Intent Activation Engine is a combination of data and digital capabilities with inter-personal engagement,” stated CEO Brahim Samhoud.  “No one else offers this. There are intent vendors, technographic vendors, firmographic vendors, contact vendors, digital agencies, and tele-agencies.  Some provide pieces of the puzzle, but none does everything – until now.  No other offering provides B2B sales and marketing leaders with so many different execution options.”

BNZSA describes itself as a customizable, full lifecycle intent data solution for B2B sales and marketing teams.  

“The BNZSA Intent Activation Engine realises an end-to-end value journey through information enrichment via broad-based Intent, firmographics, and technographics, to digital warming through social media, content syndication, email, display, and PR, to local language phone-based BANT qualification,” wrote the firm.

The BNZSA Intent Activation Engine supports the following processes:

  • BNZSA Intent Data Pool: An aggregated database of billions of global, weekly intent records.
  • BNZSA Tech-Lab: An AI, NLP platform that analyzes intent potential and selects relevant records.  The NLP supports twelve European languages and combines it with machine learning and knowledge graphs.  High-intent records are matched with “client TALs [tele-prospecting accepted leads] for advanced re-targeting and adapted nurture tracks” while “the remaining selected data is further filtered by criteria specific to clients’ needs.”
  • BNZSA OmniDatabase: A reference database holding millions of company records for firmographic and technographic enrichment.  The OmniDatabase gathers data from half a dozen third-party data sources and is enriched by BNZSA’s data research team.
  • BNZSA Pipeline: Local-language demand-generation teams engage with prospects to generate a “predetermined number of highly qualified, information-rich leads” that are delivered to client sales and marketing teams.  The demand-generation teams support fifteen languages and places 15,000 calls per day.

BNZSA does not publicly disclose its data partners, but they are all respected firmographic, technographic, and intent data sources.

Leads are fed to Marketo, Salesforce, PipeDrive, and Microsoft Dynamics.  They also support warm handovers to clients where the demand generation rep schedules the call and joins the first meeting.  Because leads are BANT qualified, 70% of leads convert to opportunities with a 35% faster lead-to-close window.         

UK Country Manager Paul Stacey argues that personalizing messaging through digital campaigns alone is difficult and that ABM campaigns should never be purely digital.  The need for a human touch is even more important during the pandemic when face-to-face meetings are no longer possible.

“If you read the ABM technology vendor’s marketing claims, you would be led to think that automation can overcome marketing and sales teams’ current challenge for intimacy with clients and do it all instead – identify, reach, and engage with your highest-value prospects – at the touch of a button.  But can these off-the-shelf solutions truly automate at scale while retaining key customer insights and preserving intimacy?  I think not.

There is a place for automation of course, but it’s worthless without high-quality data, and essentially, the intervention of people. 

I would argue that the human touch is necessary in at least one, if not multiple, touchpoints in any company’s ABM campaigns.  Demand generation must ultimately be powered by people.”

BNZSA UK Country Manager Paul Stacey

BNZSA is based in Europe, so it is well-positioned to conform to GDPR and country-specific data privacy regulations.  It was founded seven years ago as a marketing agency focused on tele-based demand generation.  It has steadily grown at 30% per annum since launch and employs 200 in Spain, the UK, France, and Morocco.  Last year, it grew revenue by 38%.

BNZSA has over 100 clients and a 95% client retention rate.

Dun & Bradstreet Launches D&B Email IQ

Dun & Bradstreet recently launched D&B Email IQ, which “allows clients to get some free data from us — a number of free data contacts per month,” said CEO Anthony Jabbour. The service is an automated data exchange with email signature blocks mined in exchange for access to Dun & Bradstreet’s company and contact intelligence.

D&B Email IQ is an Outlook plug-in that displays company and contact intelligence, contact and prospect recommendations, and related companies. Firmographics include address, phone, social links, sizing data, ultimate parent, and D-U-N-S Numbers.

D&B Email IQ users that share signature blocks receive 50 free leads (e.g. additional contacts at a company) per month.  Users that only share emails receive ten emails per month.  There is also a ten lead bonus for referrals.

D&B Email IQ appears to be a tool for collecting email signature blocks similar to Zoominfo’s Community edition.  According to their FAQ, “Business contact data collected via D&B Email IQ may be incorporated into the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud and be used to enhance and improve our products by enabling businesses to manage their financial risks, protect against fraud and dishonesty, know who they are doing business with, meet their compliance and regulatory obligations and better understand organizations, industries and markets.  Where permitted under applicable law, this information may also be used for sales and marketing purposes.”

Unlike the Zoominfo Community Edition, the Dun & Bradstreet contacts are integrated into the Outlook workflow.

Dun & Bradstreet states that collected data includes emails, meeting invitations, and signature blocks, including “name, job title and department, company name, email address, telephone number, fax number, company address, corporate URL, and social networking URL.”

Dun & Bradstreet is being careful to comply with data privacy rules including GDPR, CCPA, and CASL.  The plug-in is blocked in Europe and they are careful not to collect data about EU citizens.  To ensure GDPR compliance, records with European emails, phones, or addresses are filtered out of the database so not available for sharing.  As GDPR is extra-territorial, it is critical that private data concerning EU citizens not be collected and shared without opted-in permission, even if all of the parties sharing, collecting, and using the data are outside of the EU.

To comply with CCPA, no California mobile numbers are collected.  To comply with the Canadian CASL regulations, no Canadian emails are collected.

D&B Email IQ users are likely to be small businesses and job seekers.  Larger firms are less likely to permit sharing of emails and signature blocks.  Small firms with fewer resources would be more willing to trade signature block intelligence for fifty leads per month.  Assuming a value of $1 per record for detailed contact profiles at small firms, the potential market value of the leads is over $500 per user.

Rhetorik Expands European Coverage

Rhetorik expanded its technology sales intelligence coverage of Europe with the addition of ten Eastern and Central European countries to its NetFinder+ service.  The CEE expansion pack provides company profiles, technographics, and contacts for Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Ukraine.

NetFinder+ also supports enhanced install data on cloud, system software, middleware, enterprise, and vertical industry applications.

Earlier this year, Rhetorik rolled out the Rhetorik Technology Map, “a comprehensive new taxonomy for classifying key enterprise technologies” that “structures business technology assets, services, and products” from over 7,000 vendors.  The Rhetorik Technology map contains over 150 tech categories.

Rhetorik contacts are fully-GDPR compliant with name, title, email, and phone numbers that are “compliant with all relevant data privacy and data protection regulations.”

Back in August, Rhetorik opened a US sales hub in California.  The office will be led by John South, who was named the VP North America.

California is a logical location for US market entry (the firm already has a Canadian development office).  Not only is a high percentage of US enterprise software and cloud companies headquartered in California, but the CCPA data privacy regulations are akin to EU GDPR requirements, making marketing departments more sensitive to data privacy and regulatory compliance.


I profiled NetFinder+ when it launched in June.