People.AI Acquires Hero and Releases Sales Solution for Salesforce

Revenue Operations and Sales Intelligence vendor People.AI acquired Hero Research, a Salesforce productivity app that simplifies CRM access.  The Hero service was immediately re-branded as PeopleGlass.  People.AI also announced a new Salesforce experience for sales reps and managers.

PeopleGlass is designed as an “interaction layer” to reduce the overhead and complexity of maintaining Salesforce content.  Glass refers to the “single pane of glass” metaphor often used for CRM cross-record reporting, a core feature of PeopleGlass.  People.AI argues that CRMs have become complex, full-stack solutions covering many use cases but are cumbersome due to their functional breadth.

“We believe that current CRM solutions are inadequate. Modern businesses are complex and full-stack solutions (platforms that offer many services) reflect the complexity of the many use cases that they need to cover as a one-size-fits-all solution.

Many CRMs today offer the whole gamut, addressing needs from pre-sales, post-sales, support, marketing, etc.,” argues People.AI.  “Furthermore, these companies are focused on selling large deals into small groups of decision makers who rarely interact with the products they purchase. It’s no wonder why many users feel they’ve been ignored by the people building the products they spend huge portions of their lives in.

In the meantime, most people have experience with iPhones, Gmail, and other great products. This only increases the frustration with legacy CRM tools.

PeopleGlass aims to solve this problem by focusing solely on the end user and leveraging learnings from the best modern consumer software.”

People.AI, “Why We Started People Glass

PeopleGlass supports custom sheets, forms, hotkeys, a command-line interface, and a “clean and versatile workspace to eliminate the pain points of using CRMs.”  PeopleGlass may be launched in the browser or added as a Chrome extension.

Custom Sheets provide a spreadsheet view across Salesforce records that supports filters, bulk record updates, searching, and inline updates.  Thus, reps can quickly update opportunity records before pipeline review meetings and then review the spreadsheet with managers.  Records are immediately updated in Salesforce.

PeopleGlass Opportunity viewing and updates

Users can create personal views or modify any of the included templates.  Adding columns, resizing columns, and moving columns are straightforward actions.  Users can also quickly view any record as a form or view the record in Salesforce.

PeopleGlass Forms provide custom layouts for creating and updating account, contact, leads, opportunities, notes or tasks.  Admins can set default fields for records.

A set of hotkeys expedite data entry, allowing users to quickly create records, log calls, and search records. PeopleGlass provides a customizable home page for displaying metrics, sharing and copying sheets or forms with colleagues.


Part II, which discusses the Hero Research acquisition and their Salesforce solution, continues here.

Seismic Aura AI Enhancements and SmartPlays

Seismic announced enhancements to its recently launched Aura AI platform.  Aura provides sales reps with “intelligent recommendations on how to effectively engage with buyers, advance deals, and uncover new opportunities.”

Aura AI is a personal assistant for sales reps delivered via a Chrome extension.  It suggests “personalized, relevant content recommendations” using data from similar customers and prospects.  This content can then be forwarded to customers and prospects or posted on social sites as a LiveSend Link that supports full tracking and analytics.

Seismic LiveSend Links support tracking and analytics

Aura also displays customer engagement history and engagement between the customer and colleagues.

“Artificial intelligence isn’t just about making sellers more productive, which is important.  It’s also about helping buyers solve their problems by connecting them with the right content,” blogged Seismic Senior Content Strategist Tony Smith.

Seismic also released CRM SmartPlays within Salesforce.  The new feature “removes the burden of identifying the best sales plays” and suggests higher-performing content and context. “The modern salesperson is constantly pulled in multiple directions, leading to information overload and decision fatigue on what to do next. Aura’s content recommendations act as the seller’s sidekick, helping them eliminate the noise and avoid missing the next important engagement moment,” said Seismic CEO Doug Winter.  “Our approach to AI combines the best of human and artificial intelligence to give sellers a competitive edge and more time back in their day to engage with buyers. I can’t wait for more Seismic customers to see what Aura will do for them.”

Seismic Spring Enhancements

Sales Enablement vendor Seismic rolled out a set of platform enhancements last month that are “designed to help organizations capture every revenue moment and drive effective, efficient buyer engagement across all digital channels.”  The release included Seismic Aura, their new AI Engine for sales content.

Seismic Aura employs AI and machine learning to surface “new business opportunities and increase seller efficacy.”

“Over the last year, we’ve witnessed an incredible shift to all-digital buyer engagements. At Seismic, we’ve anticipated this change for some time now.  Our platform exists to make go-to-market teams more effective, whether their buyers are face-to-face or remote,” said Chief Product Officer Krish Mantripragada.  “The next challenge for technology leaders like Seismic will be to enable businesses to thrive in this new era of digital-first selling.  The innovations we’re launching at [Seismic’s virtual conference] Shift, along with the product updates we have coming later this year, bring sales and marketing teams closer together, helping them reach new customers and engage with existing customers in a compelling manner regardless of where they are.”

Continued Mantripragada, “humans can analyze only so much. Buried inside data are patterns, behavior, and insights that will hold keys to your questions and undiscovered opportunities. We are combining human intelligence and machine intelligence to harness the power of this data.”

Other Spring 2021 release features include

  • CRM SmartPlays employ predictive intelligence to recommend the most effective sales plays at any moment.  SmartPlays are delivered within the rep’s CRM workflow.
  • Seismic Sidekick, a Chrome extension powered by Aura, delivers guided selling and content recommendations “based on past engagement, similar buyers, and interests specific to each contact.” Sidekick helps surface engagement opportunities and reduces time spent searching for content.
  • Dynamic Email Templates
  • Global Privacy Management supports GDPR and country-specific, multi-lingual privacy requirements and notifications.
  • Groove and Seismic announced an integration partnership to “deliver relevant, approved, [and] compliant” Seismic content and LiveSend links within the Groove Sales Engagement Platform. The integration delivers relevant content and CRM data within the Groove workflow and assists with intelligent content discovery.

Along with announcing new features, Seismic boasted about its ongoing momentum.  Their net retention rate stands at 111%.  They have over one million users at over 700 enterprise clients, including deep penetration in the financial services sector.  Seismic claims that 22 of the top 25 global asset management companies are customers, along with 7 of the top 10 US banks and 4 of the top 5 North American wealth management firms. Seismic added over 200 employees last year and opened its first Canadian office with the December Grapevine6 acquisition.  They now have more than 1000 workers across fifteen offices.


Continue to Groove – Seismic Integration.

Cognism Acquires Ricochet

UK-based Sales Intelligence vendor Cognism acquired Ricochet, an outbound sales Chrome extension that displays company profiles from company pages, Twitter profiles, LinkedIn pages, Gmail, and Google search.  Ricochet brings with it 1,200 global customers.  Ricochet employs data aggregation to profile and qualify businesses in real-time.

“We’ve admired Cognism’s approach and success since the early days of Ricochet, with both teams dedicated to empowering sales teams with actionable and accurate B2B data,” said Ricochet CEO Paul Smith. “We’re thrilled to be working with [Cognism CEO] James [Isilay] and the team, and look forward to Ricochet’s technology helping Cognism’s customers improve efficiency and streamline their sales development activity.”

Ricochet claims to reduce research and qualification time by 60%, showing employee size, investment information, similar companies, industries, markets, locations, and Companies House data.  A second tab surfaces company blogs.  

HubSpot and Pipedrive integrations indicate which accounts have been added and when they were last updated.  Users have one-click access to the CRM records.

“I am delighted to welcome Ricochet to the Cognism family,” said Isilay. “Paul [Smith] and his team have built a very impressive tool that is trusted by thousands of sales professionals in the B2B space. They solve a very difficult problem. Their focus on data quality makes them an easy fit for us at Cognism, being a world-leader in providing compliant business data. I am looking forward to working with everyone at Ricochet and helping our customers find and deliver new revenue opportunities in 2021 and beyond.”

The acquisition is IP-only, with no employees joining Cognism.

The free Ricochet Chrome extension launched this summer and has quickly been iterating, adding new functionality through the summer and fall.

Ricochet is Cognism’s second acquisition this year.  In May, Cognism picked up signature marketing firm Mailtastic.  

GrowFlare Doubles Coverage

GrowFlare, which I profiled a few weeks ago, doubled its coverage of US active companies to 250,000.  While a few additional large firms were included, the bulk of the growth was at the SMB end of the market.  GrowFlare nearly doubled the number of companies with $10 million to $50 Million, bringing that set to 50,000.  The coverage of firms with less than $10 million in revenue quadrupled to 170,000 SMBs.  Profiles include firmographics and psychographics, the common phrases that firms use to describe themselves and their markets.

GrowFlare employs a Fit Score, which is the level of similarity between a company and one or multiple companies provided to GrowFlare.  When the new set of companies was added, they were immediately included in the Active Lists (dynamic company lists of prospects) as Alerts.  The new companies are also available for prospecting and research via a Chrome extension.

“We’re continuing to grow organically and invest 100% of revenue into the platform,” wrote CEO Matt Belkin.

Upcoming GrowFlare development is focused on expanded partnerships.  GrowFlare is looking to add contacts from vendors such as InsideView and deepen its integrations with HubSpot and Salesforce.

GrowFlare V2.0 (Part II)

Continuing my profile of GrowFlare (Part I)…

While many companies offer keyword searching, it is usually against a mined business description.  Only a few products, such as D&B Hoover’s Conceptual Searching, provide broader topical searching to build company lists.

GrowFlare includes a free Chrome extension that “overlays the power of prospector right over the website,” HubSpot, or Salesforce.  “This is invaluable for anyone from an SDR to an executive that wants a quick ten-second snapshot of a company before engaging,” said Belkin.  The Chrome connector detects the account, displays firmographics, trending topics, psychographics, and Next Best Prospect.

Prospector Bulk and GoldMiner support HubSpot append and enrichment, including Fit Scores.  Salesforce support is a roadmap item.  Belkin said that HubSpot support was a “strategic decision because HubSpot is more readily accessible, cheaper to develop for, more startup-focused, and we can build adoption faster.”

The user interface is clean and well laid out, with the ability to quickly sort prospecting tables and view additional details.  The company universe is limited to 130,000 US companies with ten or more employees “that have meaningful purchasing power.” Thus, GrowFlare is best suited for US account based marketers and strategic teams.  However, the service is still in its early stages of development.  It does not offer any contacts, and the firmographic intelligence, beyond the psychographics and trends, is limited.  There are some novel ideas and tools in this service, many of which are not found in more mature ICP offerings from the established players (e.g. DiscoverOrg AccountView, InsideView Apex, D&B DataVision).  These ICP / TAM tools were built for the marketing department, while GrowFlare is looking to serve both the sales and marketing departments with some competitive intelligence functionality as well.

GrowFlare is a freemium offering, with three free prospects provided with each search.  The Basic offering is priced at $2,950 per annum and includes ten prospects per list.  Growth offers 25 prospects per list for $4,950, and Unlimited offers the maximum number of relevant prospects per list for $9,950.  The paid offerings all include all of the features discussed in this profile along with 24/7 support.

The 2.0 release has helped the firm gain traction in the marketplace with revenue up 600% monthly (on a small base).  The average deal size is greater than $10,000. Upcoming GrowFlare development is focused on expanded partnerships.  GrowFlare is looking to add contacts from vendors such as InsideView and deepen its integrations with HubSpot and Salesforce.

Hippo Video for Outreach

Hippo Video is now offering personalized video to Outreach customers.  The integration helps sales reps include video into their sales process, which in turn increases conversion rates and accelerates the sales cycle.  Sales reps can create, share, and track personalized video content embedded in Outreach sequences, templates, snippets, and one-to-one emails.  Heatmap analytics track user interaction.  Hippo Video also supports a video library.

Videos can be created for each objective across the full sales cycle, allowing sales and marketing to send targeted videos for each stage.  For example, reps can send introductory videos to establish rapport with the prospect and later send a product demo once the prospect has shown interest.

“Videos will go a long way in establishing a personal connection and trust with the recipient as against insipid text-heavy emails,” said Hippo Video CEO Karthi Mariappan.

Hippo Video claims a 300% lift in response rates from embedded videos.  Other firms, such as Vidyard, have found similar lift rates from personalized videos.

Users can also add actionable calls to action (CTAs) within videos, which are then embedded within sequenced emails in Outreach.  CTAs include meeting links, custom polls, annotations, and lead gen forms.  CTAs can be inserted in the middle or at the end of the video.

Integration is described as straightforward:

  1. Sign up for Hippo Video;
  2. Install the Hippo Video Chrome extension;
  3. Turn on Hippo Video in Outreach.  

Reps can then record personalized videos via their webcam and embed them within email templates, snippets, and direct emails.

By seamlessly integrating videos in your sales outreach, your prospects are sure to experience highly personalized, engaging content that will humanize the entire sales process, which would have otherwise been possible only within a face-to-face meeting.

[The] Sales process is spontaneous.  Therefore, integrating sales with video to build a relationship of trust with the prospect should not leave you flustered.  Tracking their interaction [and] qualifying them should be reasonably straightforward as well.

Santhoshi Natarajan, Hippo Video Content Strategist

Prospect behavior is also tracked, allowing reps to prioritize their follow-ups based on views and watch interaction percentage, providing additional intent metrics beyond email open and response rates.

Videos may be analyzed by viewing and drop off points.  “When a prospect drops off the video at a certain point, it’s perhaps time [to] rework your message or focus on a different pain point,” said Natarajan.  “This feature is an added layer on top of your existing metrics and will help you prioritize the prospect who is at the bottom of the sales funnel.”

Hippo Video is a freemium offering.  The free edition provides unlimited hosting but limits bandwidth to 100 GB per month and does not support video emails.  The Pro version ($29 / user / month) provides integrations with Outreach, Gmail, Outlook, and HubSpot.  Other features include professional video editing, custom branding, video cloning, in-video CTAs, contact imports from CRM, and SEO.

Hippo Video allows reps to quickly record a video and send it to prospects via Outreach.

Quora: How Accurate are Zoominfo Direct Dials?

My answer to the question: How Accurate are Zoominfo Direct Dials?

This post has been updated and can be found here. I removed the outdated content from this post.

Zoominfo provides a deep set of sales and marketing tools including ICP/TAM, visitor intelligence, intent-based alerts, enterprise software connectors, and trigger-based workflows.

I have not conducted a recent study of Tier 2 data vs. other contact data sources, so cannot speak to its quality.

Two other vendors directly collect and verify contact direct phones and emails. If direct-dial accuracy is a key concern, also evaluate DealSignal and SalesIntel.io. DealSignal performs overnight reverification so is better for marketing than sales. SalesIntel performs 90-day reverification cycles and claims to be significantly less expensive than Zoominfo. Both companies offer contact enrichment, contact prospecting, and enterprise software connectors (CRM, MAP, Sales Engagement, Chrome).


Continue to updated post.

ReachOut 2.0 identifies LinkedIn pages and URLs and maps them to ZoomInfo Intelligence. Profiles, which include firmographics, emails, and direct dials, may then be quickly uploaded to CRMs or sales engagement platforms..
ReachOut 2.0 identifies LinkedIn pages and URLs and maps them to ZoomInfo Intelligence. Profiles, which include firmographics, emails, and direct dials, may then be quickly uploaded to CRMs or sales engagement platforms.

SalesIntel at 18 Months

Sales Intelligence vendor SalesIntel closed out a successful second year on the market with growth in content, staff, and functionality.  In Q1, SalesIntel will be formally rolling out a new data enrichment service along with Salesforce and Marketo connectors. The firm added over 150 new clients in 2019.

In 2019, SalesIntel increased its verified contact data by 80% to 4.5 million contacts.  Data is hand-verified by a team of over 200 full-time and 1,200 on-demand SalesIntel-trained researchers.  Due to human verification, the company claims a 95% accuracy level for its contacts and is now able to identify the exact locations of executives.

“For a company just 18 months old, 2019 was in many ways, a test of our grit, competence, and above all, the value we create for our clients. I can say with 100% confidence that we have passed with flying colors.  We plan to continue making significant investments across the board, the fruition of which you’ll see in the next year.”

SalesIntel CEO Manoj Ramnani

In 2020, SalesIntel intends to grow its coverage by millions of contacts and expand coverage internationally.  The firm also plans to extend its technographic coverage by “tens of millions” of values.  The roadmap includes integrations with Marketo and Bullhorn.

“As we continue to expand our data coverage, strengthen our platform and sign more clients, we’ll also continue to scale our team with more client success, data engineers, and researchers to maintain the highest standard of concierge data services that our clients appreciate and love,” said CEO Manoj Ramnani.

SalesIntel also began offering Account, Contact, and Lead record enrichment.  Technographic data, which is available in the prospecting service from HG Insights, is not included in the match and append service; however, SalesIntel noted that joint clients can obtain technographic data enrichment directly from HG Insights.  

The enrichment report details match rates, updated and enriched record counts, and the number of records that were appended (see Figure 1).

SalesIntel is selling enrichment processing as an add-on to the existing prospecting service.  Pricing starts at $5,000 per annum and is volume-based.

Enrichment is currently available via the SalesIntel portal and will be available as a Salesforce integration later this month.  A Marketo integration is scheduled for later in the quarter.

SalesIntel recently rebranded its Chrome plug-in as RevDriver.  Subscribers can export to CRM, MAP, SalesLoft, or Outreach.  A RevDriver Marketo connector will be available later this month.

SalesIntel’s New Data Enrichment Report

Quora: How can you export Linkedin leads/contacts into a database?

LinkedIn does not permit lead/contact downloading. This is part of the privacy agreement they have with their members.

That being said, there are some workarounds. The first is to license Salesforce Navigator which maintains a set of Accounts (companies) and Leads (contacts) within the product. While not downloadable, you receive alerts on those contacts along with messaging tools (InMail, messaging, and PointDrive).

You can also download accounts and contacts (called Leads within Sales Navigator) from Salesforce or MS Dynamics to LinkedIn Sales Navigator. While company and contact data is view only within CRMs, any data entered into LinkedIn (e.g. Notes, InMails) is uploaded to your CRM.

Sales Navigator includes a set of SNAP connectors for CRM, Sales Engagement, and other platforms. This tool provides a subset of Sales Navigator and Functionality within enterprise software. Features include profile viewing, InMail, connections, and icebreakers (talking points).

LinkedIn SNAP Connector within a Salesforce Opportunity Record (View Only).
LinkedIn SNAP Connector within a Salesforce Opportunity Record (View Only).

Option 2 is to license a chrome extension which recognizes domain names and LinkedIn profiles and matches them against their reference database. They then provide contact details and company firmographics within a right-handed side window. These databases usually include email and phone information not available in LinkedIn. Some include other details such as company technographics, news, and Alexa scores. Vendors with Chrome extensions include Zoominfo ReachOut, DiscoverOrg, HG Insights, DataFox, RingLead, Sigstr, PersistIQ, and Pitchbook.

The Zoominfo ReachOut Chrome extension supports contact prospecting at companies along with on-demand company and contact profiles based upon the current LinkedIn page or company domain.

Chrome extensions support send to Salesforce, MS Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft features. Thus, you can be researching a company or contact, click on the extension icon, and kick off a sales engagement cadence within a few seconds (longer if you pause to review the enhanced profiles). A few even include contact prospecting for companies so you can search for specific company roles and

  • Add them to your CRM as contacts or leads individually or in bulk
  • Be notified of contacts already in your CRM (to avoid duplicates)
  • Kick off a Sales Engagement cadence / sequence
  • Research employees