When conducting account based (ABM) research, it is necessary to develop a broad view of your customers and prospects which includes company, contact, and industry research. Unfortunately, open web research is quite time-consuming and your sales reps are unlikely to consistently engage in general research, so consider Sales Intelligence vendors with editorial research teams.
Executive research should go beyond the Leadership page and LinkedIn profiles. One option is Boardroom Insiders which gathers rich executive profiles on CxOs written by business journalists.
For industry research, look at Vertical IQ, IBISWorld, or First Research. Vertical IQ and First Research are strong offerings for sales teams that sell broadly across many segments but are not verticalized. They are written in plain English and include Q&A sections. The content in IBISWorld is more formal but better suited for verticalized teams.
At the company level, consider Dun & Bradstreet Hoovers, InsideView, or DiscoverOrg. All three provide company and contact profiles, list building, and sales triggers. D&B Hoovers goes deeper on global coverage, family trees, and industry profiles, DiscoverOrg offers the deepest set of technographics and rich bios, and InsideView provides excellent sales triggers and social media intelligence.
Human-verified contact vendor DealSignal added Bombora intent to its B2B marketing data service. The combined solution offers intent-based leads with verified emails and direct dials “so that marketing and sales teams can reach out to ideal buyers directly and drive more conversions.” DealSignal applies Bombora intent data to an Ideal Buyers Profile. Users will be able to identify net-new, surging accounts with accompanying contacts and buying teams.
excited to partner with Bombora to help marketing and sales teams finally
answer the most elusive question: Who is out there actively looking for what we
sell and how can we reach them before our competitors,” said DealSignal CEO,
Rob Weedn. ”The integration of Bombora intent data and DealSignal’s
verified contact and account data means that revenue-driving teams can now see
which companies are actively in-market, plus get complete, accurate contact
data for ideal buyers at those companies, so they can reach out and convert
that intent into a purchase.”
begin by defining their target buyer personas on the DealSignal platform and
then select up to 50 Bombora intent topics. DealSignal identifies
accounts that match buyer profiles along with surging intent and delivers a set
of accounts with contacts and firmographics. By tying together intent,
firmographics, and human-verified contacts, DealSignal delivers a set of leads
that are more likely to close than with traditional firmographic prospecting.
“Intent-based leads help B2B marketers uncover accounts that are actively in-market — even if they’re not already on their target account/ABM lists. We then deliver complete, enriched and verified contact and account data that helps marketing & sales teams reach out to prospective target buyers with highly personalized messages, to help them convert more intent into a purchase,” said Weedn.
Third-party Intent data from Bombora and The Big Willow has suffered from poor actionability as intent scores lack context and clear next steps. Several vendors have begun to address this issue by combining intent with company and contact intelligence, turning an intent number into an ABM lead. DealSignal ties together Ideal Buyers, Personas, Bombora Intent Data, and Human-verified contacts to indicate which ABM targets are in market and who should be contacted.
DiscoverOrg redesigned its OppAlerts service to identify companies with surging interest in key topics, rank companies by purchase intent, route high-intent prospects to sales reps, and synch intent data with Salesforce for key topics.
By converting intent signals into leads or opportunities, firms are beginning to translate billions of weekly datapoints (thousands of intent topics across millions of companies) into actionable intelligence for sales and marketing teams.
In December, Aberdeen acquired The Big Willow to deliver Intent Qualified Opportunities which combined third-party intent with technographics, firmographics, content, and research.
“Intent data has been trapped in marketing tools as just another score,” said Aberdeen CEO Marc Osofsky, Aberdeen’s CEO. “Aberdeen Intent for Salesforce delivers what sales wants – accounts looking to buy that are fed directly into Salesforce for sales to engage and increase pipeline.”
I am pleased to announce that the first in a series of sales and marketing intelligence profiles is available through this website and my partners at Tenbound. These reports are written to assist with the purchasing decision. InsideView is the first purchasing profile to be completed, but additional reports for D&B Hoovers, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and DiscoverOrg are planned for release.
InsideView Buyer’s Guide
Buyer's Profile of InsideView Sales and Marketing Intelligence (Single License)
InsideView, based in San Francisco, provides a set of sales and marketing tools for browsers, CRMs, Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs), and mobile devices. Key tools support sales research and account monitoring, list building, sales connections (“six degrees”), CRM viewing and hygiene, company and contact enrichment, web form enrichment, Ideal Customer Profiling (ICP), Total Addressable Market (TAM) sizing, and marketing automation hygiene.
InsideView targets technology, finance, corporate/consulting services, manufacturing, commercial real estate, etc.
Firms of all sizes license InsideView solutions.
This 22-page report covers the following topics:
Content Coverage Numbers
InsideView for Sales
InsideView for CRM
InsideView Append (Lightning Data)
InsideView Open API
Expert and Data Services
Competitors by Category
GZ Consulting / Tenbound reports are independently written and not sponsored by any of the profiled vendors.
InsideView is adding Direct Dials to its Sales product. The lack of direct dials is a long-standing gap in its service as competitors have provided these numbers for several years. InsideView for CRM supports uploading and syncing of direct dials.
The new field is currently in beta. InsideView expects to have around two million direct dials in its service by the end of this quarter and is targeting ten million by the end of the year. The majority of the direct dials will be for US execs and mid-level managers.
InsideView currently provides 32 million global contacts with 15 million emails. The contacts span 14 million companies.
InsideView also announced Salesforce encryption support for adding and updating Account, Contact, and Lead records. The firm provided the following caveat, “If you are using deterministic encryption, InsideView will attempt to find existing duplicates as part of the ‘Update CRM” data sync/export. If you are using probabilistic encryption, InsideView won’t be able to query Salesforce for potential duplicates in Salesforce, but your users can still use the “Update CRM” feature.
If a US public company, look at its 10-K (annual report). Firms generally discuss their competitors. You can locate the 10-K on a company’s investor site, through sales intelligence vendors, or free Edgar sites.
If a private company, look at Owler, a free site (See below). This is crowdsourced so may include firms that aren’t true competitors.
Look at sales intelligence services such as D&B Hoovers or InsideView. Hoover’s competitors are editorially generated and include top three flags (see below)
Within IT, look at Forrester Wave reports. Another option is technology category searches in PE/VC databases such as DataFox, Crunchbase, Pitchbook, or CB Insights. Keep in mind that companies within the same segment may not be competitors, but partners, customers, etc.
Many industries have industry specific market research that includes competitors. A few general market research firms also provide competitors (e.g. MarketLine, Euromonitor, Global Data, and Freedonia). Top Competitors are also available in IBISWorld, Vertical IQ, and First Research.
Zoominfo and a few other vendors identify similar companies based upon proximity in articles. This finds competitors, but also customers and partners so should be carefully reviewed.
For new technologies or industries, D&B Hoovers offers Conceptual Search which identify companies associated with key phrases (e.g. Marcellus Shale, Obamacare). This is more of an associated companies list and will identify firms in a topical ecosystem. For example, “Harry Potter” identifies studios, publishers, toy makers, theme parks, and thematic tours. (See example below of conceptual search on Marcellus Shale). Conceptual Search lists may be refined by standard prospecting filters such as industry, geography, and size.
If none of these work, use peer list searches (industry code lists) or keyword searches in sales intelligence vendors. If cost is a concern, go to your public library and see if they have ReferenceUSA, AtoZDatabases, or Mergent Online. Each of these allows you to build peer lists based on industry codes, company size, and geography. If you need help, ask for the business or reference librarian to assist.
Microsoft announced that InsideView Insights, it’s OEM integration for Microsoft Dynamics, will no longer be available as a free service. Current users will continue to receive the integrated sales solution through August 15th at no charge. Customers may continue to use Insights, without disruption, simply by signing a license agreement directly with InsideView. To expedite the contracting process, InsideView is offering early bird pricing as low as $16 per user per month through the end of March. Licensors would then begin paying for the service after the August deadline. New user bundles are initially available for $399 per month for up to ten seats. After March 31, the new user bundle price rises to $499 per month for up to ten seats.
c“Our goal is
to make it easy to switch,” said VP of Global Alliances, Heidi Tucker.
“All they [customers] have to do is make a decision, there’s no need to
reinstall the software.”
Insights is a fully featured sales intelligence service delivered as a native application within Dynamics 365. It is equivalent to InsideView for Sales and available on AppSource. Key features include
Build-a-list Account and Contact
Integrated viewing of Account,
Contact, and Lead records
“Stare and compare” record updates
and “add contact” to CRM
Account profiles with family tree
hierarchies, competitors, SEC filings, and income statements
Alerting and watchlists (daily
Connections (six degrees tool)
VP of Product and Solution Marketing Joe Andrews described the six-year
Microsoft relationship as a “long, fruitful OEM partnership” which resulted in
more than 2,000 joint customers and more than 100,000 users.
actively transitioning customers to a direct relationship and making sure they
have no disruption for their sellers,” said InsideView CMO Tracy Eiler.
“The product experience is the same; this is a licensing change where now
they will contract directly with InsideView. We’re set up to help them with
on-boarding new users and continuing to make current users successful.”
Once customers transition to an InsideView license, they will be assigned a Customer Success Manager and have improved access to training programs. A direct license also improves InsideView’s ability to cross-sell its DaaS and Marketing Services including Apex (ICP/TAM), Refresh (Automated Data Hygiene), Enrich (Real-Time Match & Append), and Target (Prospecting).
InsideView, continuing to license Insights is seamless, with customers simply
needing to sign a contract directly with InsideView “InsideView Insights
looks and acts like the Insights you’re familiar with and comes with
InsideView’s excellent customer support,” wrote the firm in an FAQ. “When
you switch to a direct license, you will not notice any change and all your
data, watchlists, and previous preferences will remain the same.“
deals provide a set of new customers and income, they often leave the OEM partner
disintermediated. The platform maintains the relationship with the end
users and it is more difficult to conduct user research, provide training,
support users, or improve the workflow and user experience.
Insights no longer holding a preferred position within Dynamics, customers must
choose whether to license Insights or transition to competitive offerings from
LinkedIn (a Microsoft subsidiary), Dun & Bradstreet, Zoominfo, DiscoverOrg,
or other partners.
InsideView described LinkedIn Sales Navigator as a complementary service. Sales Navigator is part of the Relationship Sales bundle for Microsoft Dynamics. InsideView listed the following reasons to license Insights alongside Relationship Sales:
Deeper account research and has broader account coverage
Find and research executives who are not on LinkedIn
Access a broader connections network that includes LinkedIn, email
contacts, partners, alumni, work colleagues, and other social networks all in
Find direct email addresses
Add company and contact data to Dynamics 365
Update your CRM accounts and contacts for higher data quality
Keeps users in CRM to boost usage
Minimizes extra training – fully integrated into Dynamics with an
intuitive user experience
InsideView did not provide a reason for the end of the OEM deal, but it is likely due to Microsoft looking to expand the number of partner solutions it offers including its own LinkedIn SNAP integration. When the OEM deal was originally signed, Dynamics CRM had a smaller market share and fewer partners. Since then, Microsoft has been the second fastest growing CRM behind Salesforce and has added most of the key sales intelligence and B2B DaaS vendors as partners.
InsideView rolled out a pair of enhancements to its CRM Refresh product. Along with Accounts, Refresh now cleanses and enriches Contact records, matching both record types against its reference database of 13 million companies and 33 million contacts.
Refresh also supports email validation, an important function for maintaining data quality. Both matched and unmatched records are processed on a semi-annual basis. Email validation is performed by StrikeIron, an Informatica company.
The Refresh dashboard (on right) provides match and field-level fill rates for both account and contact records.
“Valid email addresses lower bounce rates and increase deliverability of marketing campaigns, resulting in greater response rates and higher ABM program success,” wrote the Customer Success Team to its customers. “Successful sales outreach also depends on accurate contact information, including whether anexisting contact has moved on to another job.”
“Employees just don’t stay in one job at one company any more, and keeping up with all that job shifting is a nightmare of CRM management. Today we’re giving sales and marketing ops one more weapon in the battle against stale CRM data. Other cleansing solutions only clean the contacts that exist in their systems, but email validation allows InsideView Refresh to add value to any contact with an email address.”
Adam Perry, InsideView director of product management
Pricing is available both on an à la carte volume basis and a seat-basedmodel similar to Data.com. The idea is to provide an “easy switch” fromData.com Clean and Prospector to InsideView. “We match allcapabilities and price to make it very easy for customers to switch,” said VPof Product and Solution Marketing Joe Andrews. “We’ve seen a significant growth in demand for this since it’s become more generally known that Data.comis being sunset.”
Few firms have integrated email validation into their cloud or CRM hygiene offerings, leaving firms with bad contact records which cannot be matched against reference datasets. Products such as D&B Optimizer, InsideView Refresh, and ReachForce SmartSuite are the exception, helping improve delivery rates and email sender scores by verifying emails, even for unmatched records.
Refresh is available for both Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.
InsideView added Bombora intent intelligence to its Apex “go-to-market” ICP/TAM service. InsideView highlighted two use cases: Refining a list of ideal prospects to focus on those showing intent and expanding a list of buyers to find additional prospects with similar intent and other characteristics.
Refining an ICP list helps marketers target their best prospects based upon open web research currently being performed at their ICP accounts. Thus, custom campaigns can be targeted to accounts likely in market for specific solutions. Instead of blanketing ICP accounts with general messages, a more refined approach can be taken with a higher likelihood of the message resonating.
Conversely, Intent data can be used to expand an ABM list.
“InsideView’s Targeting Intelligence platform provides a single point of access for all B2B data and targeting signals, from firmographics, contact details, news events, personal connections, technographics, and now intent data. Adding Bombora intent data makes go-to-market planning in Apex that much more powerful. Now you can discover even more ideal prospects, and home in on the specific accounts in your target market that are not only an ideal fit for what you sell but are also currently in-market.”
InsideView VP of Products Marc Perramond
I find the first use case, refining a list for targeted messaging, to be more compelling. Intent data is ephemeral. A firm that is researching a topic this month will have moved onto other topics a month or two later. Using intent data to message to these companies on intent-based topics today is powerful. It allows vendors to reach out to prospects before they have begun talking to prospective vendors. It is a powerful method to answer the questions whom to call (account-wise), when to call, and what to say.
However, vendors should be careful about using intent to expand their targets. Identifying the key intent topics is crucial, but building an ABM list based upon ephemeral intent signals risks adding firms that had surging interest over the past few weeks, but have already made purchasing decisions, chosen not to pursue a technology, or were simply performing due diligence. Surge scores simply mean that there was a recent peak in topical interest above the mean.
Defining who are your best candidates amongst your pool of ABM accounts for specific messages is a clear winner. Adding accounts to an ABM list based upon a short-term surge in interest is likely to result in wasted marketing dollars.
Until recently, Bombora has had more success selling their intent file to predictive analytics companies than sales intelligence firms. However, sales intelligence companies are now figuring out how to present intent data to sales reps and marketing professionals without having to provide sales training sessions on the nuances of intent data. For example, DiscoverOrg recently redesigned its OppAlerts to focus on the few key topics relevant to the client and then limited the intent signals to the top few percent of surging accounts. This level of refinement gives sales reps confidence that when they see a surging topic at an account, it is truly surging and not simply an anomaly. And because numeric surge scores have been removed, the rep merely needs to know that there is a high certainty that individuals at the account are actively researching the topic in question.
B2B tech media company TechTarget delivers intent data to sales reps from its Priority Engine service. While other intent services are at the company level, TechTarget has opted-in readers performing current research on a topic. Thus, TechTarget can identify company, executive, topic, and buying stage for its intent file.
InsideView announced a set of enhancements to its recently launched Apex Go to Market ABM platform. Apex provides ICP, TAM, and segmentation analysis along with similar company prospecting. New features include Lead Analytics and Enhanced Text Editing.
“Lead Analytics helps executives analyze leads coming into your CRM and Marketing Automation systems that are within your desired market segment(s). Gain insights into how market segments are performing in relation to each other so you know where to focus your energy.”
Lead Analytics provides a dashboard for tracking the performance of published market segments and leads over time or across market segments. “With the Lead Analytics Dashboard, a CMO, VP of Sales or C-Level executives can analyse leads coming into your CRM or MA system based on the market segment and visualize performance against their target segments in real time to optimize for success and focus resources on the targets with highest potential.”
Customers must license both InsideView Enrich and InsideView Apex services to access the Leads Analytics dashboard.
Enhanced Text editing allows sales or marketing managers to publish rich text notes about customer segments which appear in other modules. The notes both identify the account as belonging to a key segment and provide advice on messaging to the account.
InsideView boasted about “great traction in the market” for Apex.
Sales and marketing intelligence vendor InsideView launched their Apex “go-to-market decision engine.” The new product combines InsideView and CRM data to assist with analyzing new market entry, identifying a firm’s Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), and assessing its Total Addressable Market (TAM).
“Smart B2B companies today are asking these questions: ‘Who are my best customers?’, ‘What are the new geographies and industries where I can expand?’, and ‘Are we going after the right customers and the right revenue?’,” said InsideView CEO Umberto Milletti. “We realized we had the technology, expertise, and data to help companies answer these questions quickly and with confidence so they never miss an opportunity. Business strategy shouldn’t be based on gut and guessing. And it shouldn’t require cumbersome data analysis. InsideView Apex uses cutting-edge technology and the best possible data so you can make the right decisions for your business.”
Go to market planning features include an ICP wizard, new/adjacent visualization tools with “what if” targeting analysis, TAM and market penetration analysis, new account and lead identification, and exporting of new ABM prospects to CRMs and MAPs.
“Revenue teams can use InsideView Apex to visualize performance against target segments in real time to optimize for success and focus resources on the targets with highest potential,” said Joe Andrews, VP of Product and Solution Marketing. “Marketing can see performance indicators at each stage of the funnel as leads convert to opportunities and won deals. Sales ops can identify where leads or opportunities may be getting stuck to course correct in real time.”
The Apex account score is based on an AI algorithm which correlates attributes from deep company profiles that are proprietary to the InsideView Platform. The account score is maintained and updated dynamically within Apex as customer ICP lists change. However, the account score is not currently pushed to CRM or InsideView for Sales.
If customers have also licensed InsideView Sales and Enrich products, ABM accounts are tagged.
Other visualization tools include a five-quarter historical view; market segmentation of leads, opportunities, and wins; and account whitespace (market penetration) analytics.
Apex integrates with Salesforce, MS Dynamics, Eloqua (Oracle Marketing), and Marketo.
Apex is licensed as an annual subscription and is priced in tiers based on company size which serves as a proxy for the number of market segments being targeted.
Apex is not the first tool in this category (e.g. D&B DataVision and DiscoverOrg AccountView), but it is emblematic of the expansion of sales intelligence vendors into market intelligence and strategic planning. When I started GZ Consulting six years ago, the sales intelligence firms were wary of entering the marketing realm, but the top sales intelligence firms are now offering ICP/TAM tools, marketing automation connectors, segmentation analysis, look-a-like prospecting, and data enrichment tools. This shift goes hand-in-hand with the blurring of the lines between sales and marketing. For example, sales engagement platforms provide cadence, analytics, and email marketing tools for sales reps alongside dialers and sales coaching. We are also seeing visitor intelligence and intent data being displayed within CRMs.
“Most B2B companies perform go-to-market planning and analysis in product silos and often fail to involve sales and marketing teams early in the process – those who must execute the strategy. Planning is a slow, manual process, based on limited information. Most firms have few ways to measure market performance reliably against strategy, making it nearly impossible to course correct in real time. It’s time to change this.”
Forrester Principal Analyst Laura Ramos
A 2018 InsideView survey of 500 American sales and marketing professionals found that TAM measurement was non-existent (25%) or ad hoc (28%) at surveyed organizations. Only 23% of respondents work at firms that regularly evaluate Target Demand. The remaining 24% of firms perform Target Demand analysis annually.
“All of the efficient and creative demand generation in the world will be wasted if the targeting is off,” wrote the firm in their 2018 Sales and Marketing Alignment report. “The shotgun approach to sales and marketing no longer works. There’s too much noise in the market and in prospects’ inboxes. The only way to stand out is to know who you’re targeting, and why and when they buy, and it can’t be done effectively unless both sales and marketing buy in it. Developing an ideal customer profile (ICP) and using it to determine your total addressable market (TAM) will help sales and marketing know exactly who to target, why they need your products, and when they need them.”