ZoomInfo Launches Streaming Intent Based on Clickagy Acquisition

Last week, ZoomInfo picked up its most recent tuck-in, Clickagy, to expand its intent data capabilities. The real-time intent vendor is the basis for ZoomInfo’s new Streaming Intent offering.

Streaming Intent improves the timing and messaging around sales and marketing workflows such as

  • Prioritizing sales outreach to companies that are ready to buy
  • Interacting with prospects earlier in the buyer’s journey to build trust that won’t be present with later stage vendors
  • Triggering automated campaigns that warm-up prospects for your Sales team to call

Streaming Intent delivers real-time behavioral intent data that is “expansive and customizable.”  The Clickagy platform employs an NLP engine that identifies behavioral context in real-time.  Intent data is gathered from over 300,000 publisher domains and includes six trillion-plus new keyword-to-device pairings each month.  Intent data is sourced from over 91 percent of accessible devices in the United States.

Clickagy supports thousands of B2B topics and sub-topics spanning marketing, natural resources, entertainment, business services, government, healthcare, retail goods, and science and technology.

“Innovation in the B2B intent landscape has lagged behind the business-to-consumer landscape for much of the past decade.  Most B2B intent solutions today rely on the same set of underlying data generated by limited media cooperators and third-party cookie tracking.  Existing offerings only provide weekly batches of buyer intent on a finite number of topics because of heavy data processing that takes days to complete, negating opportunities to reach buyers at the opportune moment.  Other solutions offer late-stage intent, where vendors have already been identified, and it is too late for the addition of competing solutions.”

“ZoomInfo: Acquires Clickagy to Deliver Streaming Intent Data,” ZoomInfo Press Release, October 15, 2020.

Clickagy was founded in 2013 and based in Atlanta.  Clickagy CEO Harry Maugans has been named a VP of Product Management.

“Robust business data has always been the biggest hurdle keeping us from offering a transformative B2B product,” said Maugans.  “But now with ZoomInfo, we’re giving sellers and marketers the ability to further propel their go-to-market motions more effectively and efficiently.”

Actionability and usability have been significant issues that slowed the adoption and hampered the ROI of intent data.  Shuck laid out his vision of how Clickagy intent, tied to ZoomInfo company and contact data, will create significant customer value:

“The B2B world has been largely behind the B2C world with respect to using intent to activate go-to-market motions.  The primary reason for this lag is that B2B Intent offerings were never connected to the companies and the professionals at those companies in a way that would allow seamless activation.  By combining Clickagy’s powerful Intent with ZoomInfo’s robust database of companies and professionals, we unlock the power of intent for every B2B Go-to-Market organization…

Soon, go-to-market organizations will be able to build workflows that tell them instantly when Fintech companies in California, who have Snowflake in their tech stack, at least 100 employees, and $50M in funding, begin spiking on research for “cloud data platforms”.  That signal can simultaneously kick-off a workflow that captures the Vice Presidents, Directors, Managers, and other key stakeholders at those Fintech companies, check for open opportunities in CRM, and begin marketing automation, sales automation, and CRM campaigns against those decision makers…

Said another way, our customers will be able to create behavioral filters and overlay them across live web traffic, capture highly-refined intent signals in real time, and make them actionable within seconds.  This lets them engage prospects while they’re still in the research mode with a buying mentality—not weeks later when they’ve moved on to something else, or worse, after they’ve already made their decision.

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Shuck, “Why ZoomInfo is Acquiring Clickagy”

Intent data becomes more valuable when it can cast a wide net, gather and interpret signals with a high level of precision, and promptly deliver these signals.  It is in these dimensions that ZoomInfo has confidence in the breadth and heuristics of its acquisition.

Clickagy opens up the “black box” of intent data rules, offering a “robust and configurable technology that unlocks those algorithms and enables administrators to adjust the logical rules, keywords, inclusions, exclusions, and thresholds used to determine when a company is indeed exhibiting intent for a particular keyword or topic in order to reduce false positives.”  Transparency and configurability provide “unprecedented control” over the quality of intent signals.

Compliance

ZoomInfo Intent complies with privacy rules.  Clickagy does not collect any personally identifiable information.  Information is collected in the aggregate at the account level.  Instead of revealing who is conducting the research, Zoominfo identifies “functional decision-makers” at the account who are likely involved in purchasing decisions related to the intent signal.

Clickagy does not use cookies but instead relies on “privacy clusters” that are “persistent micro-groupings” of approximately 3 to 8 individuals who are “mathematically bound together to act as a single, trackable and targetable entity.”  As no PII is gathered, privacy clusters are consistent with GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, and COPPA.  According to Clickagy, “As they’re not privacy invasive on a 1-to-1 level, Privacy Clusters do not require notice or opt-in consent for tracking.  Privacy Clusters allow brands to maintain the advertising efficacy they are used to while maintaining compliance with constantly changing worldwide privacy legislation.”

Clickagy also offers audience targeting and activation across 300 DMPs and DSPs.  ZoomInfo already supports website visitor intelligence.

Deal terms were not disclosed.  ZoomInfo said the deal would have a non-material impact on their fourth-quarter financial results.  

No company size data was provided, but LinkedIn lists 26 employees at Clickagy.

ZoomInfo Acquires Clickagy

Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor ZoomInfo acquired real-time intent vendor Clickagy, “a leading provider of artificial intelligence-powered buyer intent data.”

Along with the acquisition, ZoomInfo announced the launch of Streaming Intent, which alerts customers when companies display above-average B2B topic search activity.

The acquisition is DiscoverOrg/ZoomInfo’s fourth over the past two years but the first since ZoomInfo went public in June.  In 2019, DiscoverOrg acquired rival sales and marketing intelligence vendor ZoomInfo before rebranding itself as ZoomInfo Technologies.  It also had two tuck-ins last year: NeverBounce, an email verification vendor that it was already using for data verification, and Komiko, the underpinnings of its Inbox AI service.

There are six major categories of B2B intelligence, and ZoomInfo is a significant player in four of them: Contacts, Technographics, Sales Triggers, and Intent Data.  They also provide firmographics, but this remains an area for future growth and development.  The category where they do not offer datasets is financial services intelligence, including company financials, filings (e.g. SEC EDGAR, UCC, UK Companies House), and risk reports (credit and supplier).

Deal Rationale

“In the last year alone, we’ve had literally hundreds of thousands of conversations with customers and prospects and one thing is clear—they want intent data to live at the core of how they go to market,” blogged CEO Henry Schuck about the rationale for acquiring Clickagy.  “And over the course of those calls it’s easy to see intent data taking a seat right alongside the two most important pieces of business information—account and contact data.  The three together, driving account identification, targeting, and segmentation will soon be table stakes for how sellers and marketers identify their next best customers.”

Schuck emphasized that product design at ZoomInfo is iterative with plans for improving a product in place before each release goes to production.  Shuck called their previous intent offerings good, but not good enough.  This drive to improve their intent services led them to investigate best-of-breed intent data solutions to enhance their offering.  Their research led them to Clickagy.

“Clickagy had built a robust data processing engine that looks at billions of key data points across millions of websites and then uses robust natural language processing and artificial intelligence to categorize and make sense of those data points.  Their technology, approach to data collection, privacy-first perspective, and focus on intent data made it clear that we not only wanted Clickagy to be a part of our intent product, but we needed Clickagy to be a part of ZoomInfo.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck

ZoomInfo Intent will continue to provide “good keywords, quality-focused data science, [and] industry-leading account data,” but now “casts a wider net” and delivers actionable intent throughout the day.  Combining the companies will “dramatically shorten the path from data, to decision, to action,” blogged Shuck.

“B2B intent data is becoming core to the way modern go-to-market organizations prioritize their outreach to prospects and customers,” wrote Schuck.  “Our acquisition of Clickagy enables us to scale intent to provide what will soon be the market’s most predictive and complete B2B intent data set for sellers and marketers.  We believe this acquisition both exemplifies our mission to continuously innovate and cements our position as the pacesetter for data-driven sales and marketing outreach.”


Tomorrow I will wrap up my discussion of the acquisition with an overview of Streaming Intent and Clickagy’s approach to data privacy.

TechTarget Prospect-Level Intent (Part II)

Continuing my coverage on TechTarget’s Prospect-Level Intent from yesterday

Prospects are scored and ranked within accounts and across all accounts based on “their recent research activity across the TechTarget network as well as their direct engagement with the customer’s content, website, and advertising.”

To assist with account planning and messaging, Priority Engine added Entry Points, a set of user-defined talking points based upon “a prospect’s recent technology and vendor interests mapped to the particular company’s strengths.”  Entry Points are also delivered at the account-level. They are defined by client teams to call out the topics most salient to company positioning and capabilities.  Client-defined Entry Points are visible within Priority Engine, Salesforce, and export files and are reflected in both the account and prospect rankings.

Prospect-Level Intent is also available within Priority Engine’s Connected App for Salesforce.  Sales reps can quickly fill sales cadences and call lists with high-priority prospects and focused prescriptive insights.  With a single click, Sales reps can add new prospect names to Salesforce, providing a direct path from buyer intent to active leads and contacts.  Prospect and account-level insights, including Entry Points and behavioral intelligence, are displayed within Salesforce Account, Contact, and Lead records.

When uploading Accounts, domains are used for account matching and duplicate prevention.  If a Prospect cannot be associated with an account record, it is uploaded as a Lead.

Account-level fields include account rank, domain, employees, industry, revenue, account address, and up to ten account entry points.  Other account insights include five account signals (e.g. Widespread, Sustained, Late Stage, Stakeholder, Cross-Vendor), an account active this week flag, and behavioral flags for marketing (e.g. visited website, engaged with content, clicked banner), ICP match flag, and their Account Star Ranking.

Contact-level fields include name, title, email, content downloaded, a prospect active this week flag, up to ten Prospect Entry Points, contact address, contact phone, LinkedIn URL, and Priority Engine Contact URL.

Ongoing Salesforce enrichment is not yet available but is on the Priority Engine roadmap.

Priority Engine also supports Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot, and HubSpot out-of-the-box, with custom support for other platforms.

Prospect-Level Intent is available in both Priority Engine and the SMB Priority Engine Express subscriptions.  The Salesforce connector is included as part of a standard Priority Engine license.

TechTarget Prospect-Level Intent

TechTarget announced Prospect-Level Intent within its Priority Engine technology sales and marketing intelligence platform.  Prospect-Level Intent builds on the inherent strength of its second-party intent dataset.  The intent data is collected from over 140 enterprise technology media sites owned by TechTarget.  Because its readers have opted into the platform, intent data is associated with buyers and influencers at target accounts and derived from content carefully tagged by topic, buying stage, competitors, etc.

Unlike third-party intent, which is both anonymous and limited to account-level buying patterns, second-party intent identifies account-level activity and surfaces active members of buying teams, including technology decision-makers, economic decision-makers, administrators, or influencers.  Selected via TechTarget algorithms, Priority Engine prospects – individuals intensely engaged in specific research – are likely members of an active purchase decision.

TechTarget’s Prospect-Level Intent informs sales and marketing professionals when prospects are active in their market category or have downloaded content related to the company or its competitors, regardless of whether they are current or net-new contacts.

“Account-level surges do tell you what’s popular with a set of personas right now, but tell you relatively little about who might actually be making a purchase,” blogged Rebecca Kitchens, SVP of Market Development.  “News-based surges tell us something about the mood of the market, but explain very little about impending purchases except in the macro sense.  They may give you something to talk about with accounts, but they don’t tell you enough about actual buying motions to warrant aggressive prioritization.”

Kitchens warned against weak intent signals.  “Most content is designed to be broadly appealing to maximize eyeballs but provides only weak purchase intent at best.   Real-purchase intent is generated by high-quality content that applies to the research task at hand.”

Adds Andy Briney, TechTarget SVP of Products, “Many in the intent market have been wrongly focused only on accounts, when it is the people and teams at those accounts who actually buy…while TechTarget has always provided named, active prospects within accounts, these new enhancements empower revenue organizations with unmatched visibility into opted-in buyers in active buyers’ journeys to accelerate engagements.”

TechTarget has over 20 million opted-in technology decision-makers and influencers.  Depending on the category, around 70% hold technology titles, with the remainder being buying committee members from other departments also engaged in technology decision-related research.   With rapidly evolving changes in tech decision making, TechTarget data capture prospect functions and roles reflecting a wide range of players often not predicted by historically focused models.

TechTarget is so confident in the value of its intent data that it now labels Priority Engine as “The industry’s only opt-in, Prospect-Level Intent™ data.”

“At the end of the ABM process, it is all about having stronger relationships with the customer.  And delivering improved customer experience is achieved in two ways: By caring to do so and then having the insights necessary to cut away noise and speak directly to customer’s needs.  Prospect-Level Intent is the best way to do this.  In study after study we’ve done, we find that when the properly trained salesperson or whoever’s doing the outreach uses the insights successfully, they will get better response and conversions — ultimately leading to more pipeline.”

John Steinert, TechTarget CMO

A redesigned Priority Engine user interface “provides faster access to buying team contacts within the context of their buyer journey, making it easier for sellers, marketers, and ABM teams to act on Prospect-Level Intent.”  The UI also offers a customized view of top prospects based upon a firm’s ICP and research activity, helping define account rating and list ranking.

“You have to make it easy for [sales] to be able to quickly assess what they need to do in order to take the next best action with the accounts and prospects that they’re going after in their territory – it’s all about enablement,” said TechTarget CMO John Steinert.  “Having that [data-based] connection with marketing allows sales to easily do this and take the easiest, fastest path to revenue easily leveraging precise data and intelligence.”


Continue to Part II

Sales Navigator Q3 2020: Listening to the Buyer

LinkedIn is rolling out its third-quarter Sales Navigator release.  The enhancements focus on “features that help you put your buyers first through intelligent action, simplified day-to-day activities, and consistent insight into keeping relationships warm.”  The release theme is “listening to the buyer.”

LinkedIn is dipping its toes into intent data with Buyer Interest Alerts that signal when employees or corporate leaders from a saved account have visited the company’s LinkedIn Page or company website.  Buyer Interest Alerts are available in conjunction with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions and delivered through the Sales Navigator Enterprise edition.  

Marketers install a snippet of code to their website that drive the notifications.  They can then track conversion rates, retarget visitors, and analyze visitor demographics.  The code also powers Buyer Interest Alerts within Sales Navigator.

“With Buyer Interest Alerts, you have buying intent insights that help you to decide when to engage, allowing you to provide a timelier and more customized buyer experience,” blogged Lindsey Edwards, the Senior Director of Product Management at LinkedIn Sales Solutions.  “As we strengthen our buyer intent models with the rich buyer insight that the LinkedIn network contains, we’ll continue to enhance our Interest Alerts to include more signals that will allow you to target the right buyer at the right time.”

Buyer Interest Alerts are anonymous.  LinkedIn notifies the user if there is a visitor from the company but does not disclose details beyond account name, seniority level (i.e. Leadership or Employee), and geography.  Users can then search for Linkedin Members that match these criteria.  Anonymity ensures GDPR compliance.

While many vendors are now offering visitor intelligence, Sales Navigator is the only service that combines LinkedIn company profile views with visitor intelligence.

Account-Level Buyer Interest is not yet supported but is on the product roadmap.

LinkedIn, which has often suffered from spam alerts that overwhelm users, is employing predictive AI to surface the critical notifications for “building and maintaining the relationship with your buyer.”  Users may filter alerts by Lead, Account, shared activity, and alert type with the “most urgent and timely” alerts displayed at the top of the list.

Sales Navigator is also improving its synchronization with Salesforce and MS Dynamics.  Users can now bring their book of business into Sales Navigator through the automated syncing of Leads, Contacts, Accounts, and Opportunities.  The syncing improves the delivery of people and company alerts and insights within Navigator.  CRM synchronization is available as a feature of the Team and Enterprise Editions.

To improve relationships, LinkedIn is now reporting on LinkedIn outreach activity across all Sales Navigator editions.  Lead Lists (followed members) now track LinkedIn engagement with additional columns for actions by the Sales Navigator user and subsequent responses:

  • InMail and Messages sent, responses received, and attachments clicked
  • Connection requests sent from Sales Navigator and LinkedIn and accepted requests
  • Smart Links sent and opened

Lead and Account List sizes were increased from 250 to 1,000, expanding the scope of contacts and companies tracked.  Users may also take bulk actions on up to 25 Lead or Account records at a time, making it easier to remove them from lists or move them from one list to another.

Sales Navigator is well-positioned to assist sales reps during the pandemic as its messaging tools are not location or time-specific.  Sales professionals can reach out with InMails and Connection Requests, and prospective buyers can respond asynchronously.  SDRs and AEs don’t need to obtain (or guess at emails) or place direct dials that go unanswered at empty offices.  Furthermore, Smart Links, launched earlier this year, provides a tool for sharing documents and multi-media with view tracking.

“In what continues to be a unique and challenging moment in history, buyers and sellers, alike, are adjusting to a new normal.  Just like you, they’re juggling the pressures of succeeding in their day-jobs, while also managing their personal lives — homeschooling, daycare, elder care, multiple people working from home, and/or reduced income.  The hurdles might look different from buyer to buyer, but one thing is consistent — they need to feel confident that you understand their challenges and goals.  In the end, you aren’t necessarily selling a product or service, you’re selling a trusted relationship, and the person at the center of that relationship is the buyer.”

Lindsey Edwards, Senior Director of Product Management at LinkedIn Sales Solutions

By the end of the year, the Deals functionality will be integrated directly into the Sales Navigator workflow.  This enhancement will improve relationship status and pipeline visibility.

LeadSift Growing Despite Pandemic

Just before the pandemic hit, Canadian behavioral intent vendor LeadSift hit $1 million in revenue with a 6% per month growth rate.  As the firm began to absorb the recession, CEO Tukan Das adopted a policy of radical transparency with his team, providing them with daily updates on the company’s status and letting them know they had cash in the bank to avoid layoffs.

“I would say we have navigated COVID pretty well. Fortunately, we were in a position where there’s more of a tailwind in our industry, with more data needed, and data specifically for helping other B2B companies identify their buyers.”

LeadSift CEO Tukan Das

The firm did take an initial 8% revenue hit, but it is now growing at a 5% a month, bringing their run rate above pre-pandemic levels.

“When COVID hit…a lot of companies just went into a little bit of a freeze,” said Das.  “Some of our customers were B2B companies in the travel and event management space, and some of them, their whole marketing teams were fired.  So they obviously had to pause any other spend.”

The end of trade shows meant the loss of some customers, but they went on the offensive and added technographics as an alternative source of technology-specific leads.  LeadSift also added a full-time marketing manager and part-time social media manager, bringing their headcount to 14 (two part-time).  The firm is profitable.

LeadSift also worked a deal with Halifax-based Innovacorp to deliver six months of intent data to Nova Scotian firms at no charge, with Innovacorp picking up half the foregone revenue.

LeadSift is developing a new control panel for delivering intent data and technographics to its customers.  The new platform will support additional analytics and customization.  The Q4 platform release will be more scalable and will provide administrators with greater control over which companies and topics are to be tracked.

LeadSift generates intent data via web scraping across company websites, blogs, job boards, social channels, SEC filings, etc.  LeadSift looks for public actions such as likes, comments, job postings, executive hires, and technology implementations.  It then associates these events with contacts.

The LeadSift company universe spans 40 million contacts associated with 8 million companies and domains.  Contacts include emails with twenty percent also providing direct-dial phones.  LeadSift contacts are GDPR compliant.  The company universe focuses on English-speaking countries.

LeadSift Head of Growth Alex Field views their event intent data as complementary to other intent data sources, with LeadSift helping verify other intent signals such as visitor intelligence or third-party media site visits.  LeadSift scores accounts based on persona (who is active), event type, event recency, and size of the company.  These scores can be combined with other intent scores to provide greater confidence around buyer intent.

Leads are fed daily to CRMs and MAPs, including Salesforce, Pardot, HubSpot, Marketo, and Eloqua.  Pricing begins at $1,000 per month for company-level intent and $1,500 per month for contact-level intent. Das is not looking for his next funding round but isn’t ruling it out.  “We are going to be opportunistic.  If we continue to grow at the rate we are, even during COVID, if we see an opportunity and the terms are right, we would certainly consider raising capital. But it’s not something where I’m saying, ‘We need to raise capital or we are going to run out of money.’”

SalesIntel Launches VisitorIntel

B2B DaaS vendor SalesIntel added visitor intelligence (first-party intent data) to its marketing capabilities.  VisitorIntel matches website traffic to companies and enriches the subsequent event records with firmographics, technographics, and contacts.  Visitor intelligence provides an early warning system that a company is being researched before anybody registers for a white paper or requests a callback.

SalesIntel also has a partnership with Bombora for their B2B intent data derived from a co-op of media sites.  Thus, SalesIntel users have access to both first and third-party intent intelligence.  The firm licenses IP and cookie to domain data, but most of the VisitorIntel intellectual property was developed internally.

Marketers insert a few lines of JavaScript into their corporate website to enable VisitorIntel.   SalesIntel then matches visitor activity to company domains and associated account intelligence.  While the visitors are anonymous, sales or marketing can reach out to targeted personas at the company, leveraging SalesIntel’s universe of recently verified contacts with emails, mobile numbers, and direct dials.  If relevant contacts are not available for the account, users may avail themselves of SalesIntel’s Research on Demand service.

Marketers may filter the visitor window (e.g. today, yesterday, this week, this month) to view recent site activity.  Site activity may be downloaded as a CSV or uploaded to Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo, Outreach, or SalesLoft.  When sent to SalesLoft or Outreach, a cadence / sequence can be initiated.

VisitorIntel should be viewed as a V1 release.  Activity is processed daily, with plans for real-time updates.  Its reporting is also fairly simple.

“It always helps our sales and marketing teams shorten sales cycles when we are able to target companies that have expressed interest in our products and services, and website visits are a terrific indicator of that interest.  If we can find the people who are checking us out on the web, and easily find the other people in that organization who we might want to reach out to, we are ahead of the game.  We believe our clients can similarly benefit, so we conceived and launched VisitorIntel within our SaaS product.”

SalesIntel CEO Manoj Ramnani

VisitorIntel is available as part of SalesIntel’s Pro premium package that also includes data enrichment and Bombora intent.  Pro pricing begins in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.

SalesIntel also added keyword searching to its list building.  SalesIntel filtered two million terms down to 70,000 searchable keywords.  Keywords let marketers identify prospects based on ideal buyer persona or targeted messaging.

“Good, clean, and insightful data is the true enabler for sales and marketing teams, and it is core to our mission to provide our clients with as much detail as we can so that they can truly know their target buyer,” said CEO Manoj Ramnani.  “Keywords will greatly benefit our user base by providing that extra level of detail.”

SalesIntel has trebled its customer base over the past year, benefiting from market consolidation and its high-quality data positioning.  Sales slowed during the first two months of the pandemic, but have picked up with a strong pipeline.

SalesIntel continues to build out its database of quarterly re-verified contacts, reaching 6.2 million this month.  They have begun to internationalize this dataset.

Drift Prospector

One of the new elements of Drift’s Revenue Acceleration Platform (discussed yesterday) is the just-launched Drift Prospector, which “helps your sales team accelerate revenue by knowing which accounts to focus on and what to say. ” Sales reps can home in on engaged accounts, determine members of the buying committee at those accounts, and reach out to prospects.

“Gathering all the touchpoints a prospect has with a company, Drift Prospector helps sellers see which of their accounts have the highest intent so they can connect with more of their buyers faster, helping to accelerate revenue for the business,” wrote the firm.

Drift Prospector analyzes customer touchpoints from Drift, 6Sense, Demandbase, Marketo, Pardot, Outreach, and Salesforce.  The service prioritizes target accounts, unifies behavioral insights across the buying committee, and supports outbound communications.  Buying signals are converted into engagement scores, which help prioritize accounts for outbound messaging.

Buyer intelligence includes contact name, title, number of activities, and when the contact was last active.   Deeper insights include “what the person was doing – including what pages they were on and which emails they opened, so [that] the seller can respond to each person on the buying committee in a personalized way.”

Prospector identifies additional contacts within the buying committee and tracks their engagement.  When buyers land on a customer’s website, the revenue organization can “capitalize” on buyer’s intent and notify the team that somebody is ready to “engage them in a real-time conversation.”  If there is nobody available to chat, the revenue organization can “easily send them an email, enroll them in an Outreach sequence, record them a Drift Video, or connect with them on LinkedIn.”

“There are a lot of tools out there that are focused on solving a single problem.  For example, there’s Salesforce to manage accounts and log activities, Outreach to orchestrate outbound prospecting, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator to research key contacts at target accounts, and so on. Don’t get me wrong, I think these tools are a step in the right direction.  But the reality is that your sellers still have to jump between them.  And none of these tools tell your team where they should be spending their time in order to deliver the best result – whether they’re goaled on meetings or bookings.”

Drift CRO Todd Barnett

Drift is offering a broad vision of digital marketing which includes intent monitoring, buying committee identification, chatbots, live chat, video, and meeting scheduling.  While they do not support all of the top of the funnel channels, partners 6Sense, Demandbase, and Marketo LaunchPoint can fill that gap; they are staking out a full customer lifecycle approach to marketing that moves beyond lead generation.  The vision includes tools for unifying sales and marketing activities, analyzing engagement, prioritizing accounts, and buying committee discovery.

Drift is based in Boston, with offices in San Francisco, Seattle, and Tampa.  They were founded in 2015 and claim over 50,000 customers.  The firm continues to grow with 35 open positions across sales, marketing, product, engineering, customer support, and customer success.

G2 – Bombora Partnership

Two of the leading intent data vendors, Bombora and G2 (FKA G2 Crowd), announced a partnership to provide an integrated data set to Pro, Power, Activate, and Accelerate G2 customers from within my.G2.  The combined offering mixes G2’s technology research intelligence with Bombora’s third-party intent data set gathered from dozens of B2B media companies spanning over 4,000 sites.  Thus, software vendors can determine both which companies are exploring solutions in their category and which topics are of interest.

Once activated, My.G2 customers will see Bombora’s topic scores next to G2 Buyer Intent accounts.  Admins configure the relevant Bombora topics for display.  Based on the product, the number of topics is capped at either ten or twenty-five, which should be sufficient for most technology companies.

The partnership is part of Bombora’s freemium strategy, where they license a subset of their content into partner workflows.  In the G2 partnership, they are “double verifying” the intent data for accounts showing activity in G2.  “The customers are not seeing new accounts that we see as showing intent if they are not also coming to the customer’s G2 page.  The goal would be to help prioritize the intent they are receiving in G2 in a light way,” said Bombora Partnerships VP Charles Crnoevich.  “In layman’s terms, they have been to your G2 crowd page or category page (similar to a company coming to your website) and Bombora sees them showing elevated levels of intent around the B2B web – our cooperative of B2B websites.  This data overlay is also only in G2 crowd, so if you wanted a big infusion of Company Surge data in SFDC, Terminus, RollWorks, Marketo, HubSpot, Outreach, etc., you would need a premium license of Company Surge data with us.”

Crnoevich said that there are only a limited number of “compliant and reliable intent data sources” on the market, including G2 and TechTarget, ”so we’re excited to form a partnership with them [G2] from a thought leadership perspective in the intent data community.”

G2’s intent data set complements Bombora’s and is sourced differently.  “G2 shows data across their network on a number of interactions and user level,” stated Crnoevich.  “Our data is across a huge network of sites and we normalize it against normal traffic to give a propensity score instead of a count of interactions.”  Users are shown both the number of relevant topics that are surging at an account and the specific topics and surge scores with surging intent.

Having both topic counts and individual topic surge scores are valuable.  One or two surging topics may be anomalous (particularly at SMBs), but a broad set of related topics that are surging indicate a significant growth in research.  Likewise, high scores above the baseline (50 is the baseline average, and 60 is used as the minimum surge score indicating increased intent), demonstrate a significant spike in interest as well as help shape a sales rep’s positioning.

Bombora’s surge data validate target buyer’s research behavior on G2, helping sales and marketing teams ”craft hyper-personalized outreach covering the products and topics they’re most interested in.”  Intent data from the two firms also assist in sales outreach timing and prioritization.

“Understanding the buyer’s journey so you can help them make informed decisions is one of the most important focus areas for every tech business.  This collaboration allows us to combine the power of G2 Buyer Intent data with Bombora’s Intent topics giving vendors a thorough and enhanced view of their buyers’ research behavior across G2 and the B2B web.  G2 customers will now not only have access to more insights but more context, too.  We’re excited to give businesses the opportunity to experience the value of Bombora’s Intent topics and scores right from within their my.G2 admin panel.”

G2 CRO Mike Weir

While intent data should not be used for defining Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) and ABM lists as it is ephemeral, it is quite valuable for determining which of your ABM firms are currently in-market for technology solutions.  Thus, intent helps decide which accounts should be nurtured by marketing and which should be actively targeted by sales reps.  Surging intent does not answer who, but it addresses “who now?”

“The integration of Bombora with G2 allows revenue teams to see valuable prospects’ activity across both G2.com and the greater B2B web,” said Mike Burton, SVP of Sales at Bombora.  “Combining these powerful intent signals provides a huge validation for account-based activities, arming folks with the information they need to have successful sales and marketing interactions.”

G2 intent data also identifies competitors being researched, which assists with both new opportunity messaging and churn reduction.

G2 has over five million unique monthly visitors researching software solutions.  Half are North American viewers, 20% European, and 20% Asian.

G2 displays both product profiles and user reviews, with products categorized.  Purchasers can even build side-by-side comparisons of software product reviews.

The pandemic has increased the demand for third-party product insights and reviews.  The loss of face-to-face meetings at tradeshows and in the office has moved most product research to the Internet.  The trend of independent purchasing research, which goes back at least a decade, has accelerated.  However, digital research is now being accompanied by intent datasets that are helping level the playing field and provide vendors with early, actionable intelligence about which firms are in-market.

“Seemingly overnight, the ‘digital first’ world [that] sellers once knew has evolved into a “digital-only” world – a world where the same marketers, compete for the same buyers, against the same solutions — across the same channels,” explained G2 Director of Product Marketing Yoni Solomon.  “That’s why incorporating intent data on buyer research, behavior, and online activity has never been more important for the success of B2B sales and marketing.”

Priority Engine Email Alerts

TechTarget, which gathers second-party, opted-in intent data, released IT Deal Alert Priority Engine Email Alerts.  The overly wordy offering helps “enterprise technology sales teams quickly identify and take action on the best opportunities in their territory.”

TechTarget research found that firms that “target active prospects with timely, relevant outreach generate twice as many opportunities.”  Active prospects are more likely to respond to sales rep outreach, accept meetings, attend meetings, and convert to opportunities (see TechTarget graphic on the bottom).

Priority Engine Email Alerts are delivered weekly and customized for each recipient.  Alerts may be set up by sales rep territory or ABM account lists to monitor “relevant buyer activity” at target accounts.  Sales reps can then click on the alerts to view account reports, contacts, and purchase intent insights (e.g. buying stage, competitors under consideration, relevant topics).  

TechTarget offers both first and second-party intent, so reps know about both technology research conducted on TechTarget’s 140 B2B Technology media sites and on their company’s website (first-party intent is supported via a KickFire OEM deal).

As TechTarget Account profiles include detailed intent data, reps are better able to qualify opportunities, tailor their message, and avoid landmines set by potential competitors.  Ideal Customer Profile Accounts are labeled, helping reps prioritize key Accounts.

“Sales reps are busier than ever and can easily miss opportunities, especially if they don’t have the right data in front of them,” said TechTarget SVP of Products Andrew Briney.  “Priority Engine Email Alerts deliver the best opportunities in their territory directly to their inbox with all the intelligence they need to close more deals faster.”

In their investor presentation in November, TechTarget laid out a series of future enhancements including timeline views of territory activity, contact-centered call lists, SFDC single sign-on, opportunity timelines, leveraging data on customer website visitors, and individual-level qualification and ranking.  Several items, including alerts, territories, and Salesforce syncing, have already been released.

TechTarget will also be launching a Priority Engine Express service for SMBs and resellers this quarter.