Lead assignment details are synced with Salesforce, and users are notified via Slack or email. In addition, a broad set of Salesforce record types are supported, including leads, contacts, accounts, cases, and opportunities.
Features include lead-to-account mapping, rule and trigger-based assignments, round-robin distribution, meeting reminders, and automated rescheduling. The Distro Log provides a detailed breakdown of triggers, actions, and routes.
“Now more than ever, it’s crucial that high-growth companies optimize for efficiency in their marketing and sales processes without sacrificing on customer experience,” said Co-CEO Nicolas Vandenberghe. “With Distro, revenue teams can effectively cover all of their routing and assignment needs while accelerating speed to lead.”
Chili Piper claims that it doubles top-of-the-funnel conversion rates.
A March 2011 article in The Harvard Business Review (“The Short Life of Online Sales Leads”) argued that speed to lead is critical for inbound leads. Last year, XANT replicated the study las year and found that 57.1% of first call attempts took place after a week or more, and only 0.1% of inbound leads were responded to within five minutes. However, firms that responded within those first five minutes had an 8X conversion rate versus later returned calls.
A Lead Connect study found that 78% of companies that respond first to a demo request end up winning the deal. Thus, firms that act immediately by returning a call or scheduling a meeting have a clear market advantage over firms with scheduling/call-back friction.
Chili Piper conducted a study earlier this year and found that 28.1% of demo requests submitted via chatbots or webforms to tech firms received no response after a week, and only 45% of requests were responded to within one hour.
“In the past, marketers at leading organizations such as HubSpot and Vendasta have preached five minutes to two hours as the sweet spot for follow-up. We, however, disagree,” blogged Chili Piper Content Marketing Manager Kelli Diffenderfer. “In this day and age, responses should be instant. And there’s absolutely no reason they can’t be. If you’re not responding immediately, you’re losing out on a significant amount of revenue.”
Automated lead distribution and routing allows prospects to go from buyer research to an inbound inquiry to a scheduled meeting with a few clicks on a landing page or the corporate website, bypassing the delays inherent to traditional lead routing.
Yet, eleven years after the HBR first published its research, inbound response rates remain slow, with 26.8% of tech firms taking one to twenty-four hours to respond and 28.1% failing to respond.
“Distro for Salesforce is a welcome addition to AppExchange, as they power digital transformation for customers by simplifying lead management, improving conversion rates, and accelerating speed to lead,” said Woodson Martin, GM of Salesforce AppExchange. “AppExchange is constantly evolving to connect customers with the right apps and experts for their business needs.”
Distro is priced at $20 per user per month. Chili Piper does not offer any discounts.
Clearbit announced the general availability of its Data Activation Platform. The new service helps B2B marketing teams “focus on creating demand, capturing intent, and optimizing their pipeline.”
The Data Activation Platform addresses the “business imperative for companies to have real-time intelligence about their target market, ideal customers, and engaged prospects.” It then applies this intelligence across all stages of the customer’s journey.
The Data Activation Platform offers Clearbit customers a user interface for many of the features that were previously only supported as APIs.
“Data activation is specifically around the next step of how we’re helping companies put data to work,” explained CRO Kevin Tate to GZ Consulting. “We started with the data. How do you collect data and make it available so that companies can be smart as they engage your customers in the market? And then, over the last three years, four years, what we’ve gotten to see is how these very fast-growing companies and their growth engineering teams and go-to-market teams have put our data to work in all these different customer touchpoints. Until this Data Activation Platform, the way they put that data to work was through APIs and integrations that they stitch together.”
“We’ve been fortunate to work with many of the most innovative B2B growth teams in the world, and they’ve taught us that it’s not just about having good data. It’s about activating that data to improve your funnel from top to bottom,” said Ross Moser, CEO of Clearbit. “The ability to apply real-time intelligence to each step of the customer journey – and optimize experiences in real-time – is what’s driving success for Clearbit’s customers.”
The Data Activation Platform leverages Clearbit’s heritage as a data company. Its database spans 44 million companies with over 100 firmographic and demographic attributes. Clearbit also maintains data on 350 million contacts. Marketers can target audiences, enrich their CRMs and MAPs, and personalize their website and customer experience apps. Capabilities include
Clearbit Reveal visitor intelligence for tying anonymous users to firms and detecting website visitor intent
Audience management and segmentation based on data ingested from a company’s CRM, MAP, or CDP. Alerts may be triggered to activate audiences across systems.
Real-time enrichment for short webforms.
Real-time integrations and APIs
Audiences can be targeted in multiple ways. For example, marketers can deploy audiences on Facebook and Google:
Prospect Audiences target employees across the complete ICP, including account expansion to new prospects outside the CRM. Targeting may be filtered by role and seniority, providing persona-level targeting across the ICP.
Contact Audiences that sync all matches to a contacts audience for retargeting on Facebook and Google
Site Visitor Audiences that retarget web visitors when they match on Facebook and Google.
Data syncing includes “Audience inclusion attributes” or “smart attributes” that are calculated, such as a Boolean ICP or current customer flags that can be pushed downstream to Salesforce and other platforms. The refreshed value is automatically pushed to downstream systems if the calculation is modified. Smart attributes are updated every fifteen minutes.
Clearbit partners include Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot, Segment, Drift, Intercom, Chili Piper, Slack, Zapier, Qualified, and Clari. Personalization partners that leverage Clearbit Reveal include Uberflip, Optimizely, and Mutiny.
Clearbit is coming off a “big, big growth year” but does not disclose any sizing or growth details. LinkedIn lists it with 177 employees, up 90% over the past year. Business Development and Sales grew at a 150% pace. While Clearbit originally targeted B2B Internet service companies, it is gaining traction in financial services, retail services, and investments, businesses that are “looking for data, to power their intelligence, their go-to-market motions,” said Tate.
RevOps Automation Platform Openprise closed on an oversubscribed Series A last month. The $16 million round was led by SIG Asia Investment, an affiliate of the Susquehanna International Group, with new investments from Banyan Pacific and Citta Capital. Existing investors Alumni Venture Group and AI List also participated.
Funding will accelerate development on the Openprise RevOps Automation Platform and scale up the sales and marketing teams.
Openprise cited a recent Gartner forecast that 75% of high-growth companies will deploy a RevOps model by 2025. “A move from sales enablement to revenue enablement is needed in today’s rapidly shifting buying and selling dynamic to support this RevOps imperative.”
“Openprise is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the momentum in companies moving to a RevOps model,” stated Anne Marie McCallion, its PR rep.
“When companies move to a RevOps model in order to better align marketing and sales, they soon identify huge gaps in their joint processes and data that aren’t addressed by traditional marketing and sales automation solutions like Marketo, Salesforce, and Salesloft,” said Openprise CEO Ed King. “Openprise is fueling the RevOps revolution by providing a single, no-code platform that can automate hundreds of RevOps processes and deliver go-to-market-ready data for the entire RevTech stack.”
Openprise customers include UI Path, Vimeo, Zendesk, Okta, Nutanix, Freshworks, Splunk, and Zscaler.
Openprise will face stiffer competition from RingLead, which was acquired by ZoomInfo in September.
Last week I wrote about Chili Events, the new event calendaring service from Chili Piper. Today, I am profiling their new Distro service which acts as a “one-stop-shop for lead qualification, routing, distribution, and booking.” Distro routes and assigns multiple Salesforce objects in real-time, including leads, contacts, opportunities, cases, and accounts.
Distro expedites the inbound lead process by immediately routing prospects and customers to the correct sales rep. In addition, Distro supports lead-to-account matching so that inbound prospects are assigned to the proper account owner when applicable.
“Whether a lead comes through your organization’s web form or from an offline source, routing can get quite tedious,” explained Chili Piper in the product announcement. “With the launch of Distro, teams can create intelligent rules to decide which lead gets routed to which rep (or group of reps) on the team. With this intuitive technology, hand-raisers will have the ability to book a meeting instantly, while buyers who need more nurturing are automatically assigned to the appropriate sales rep for follow-up.”
If rules do not assign a lead, round-robin assignments ensure that reps receive an equal number of leads.
Chili Piper has been busy with new product releases. A few weeks ago, Chili Piper announced Chili Events, an Event Meetings Management solution for in-person conferences and trade shows. The product lets Chili gather engagement data from events and manage pre-conference meetings on the floor as well as post-event meetings with reps.
The firm also announced a HubSpot integration earlier this month.
“Today, capturing existing demand for a product or service, in real-time, is vital; yet, ensuring each lead is routed and assigned correctly is way harder than it needs to be. With Distro, we can help B2B sales and marketing teams automate the first step in a meaningful engagement and prevent leads from falling out of the marketing funnel. This is a crucial step for increasing inbound conversion rates and boosting revenue generation.”
Chili Piper CEO Nicolas Vandenberghe
Inbound and event lead management address the issue of speed-to-lead with which many B2B organizations struggle. The average time for lead follow-up is 42 hours. Automating the process greatly increases the likelihood of scheduling a meeting and converting leads to subsequent stages.
“Chili Piper allows you to connect inbound leads with a rep at the moment they’re interested,” blogged Senior Marketing Manager Maggie Aland. “This increases your inbound conversion rates and prevents leads from falling out of the marketing funnel.”
Revenue Acceleration vendor Drift announced a pair of new services last week. I covered Fastlane, its new webforms/chatbot hybrid service yesterday. Today I’ll be discussing Sales Seat, Drift’s entry into SalesTech.
Sales Seat alerts reps when intent and engagement signals have exhibited buying activity. Drift monitors the website, SEPs, MAPs, and CRMs for buying intent. Sales Seat is Drift’s first sales product and helps reps with timing, messaging, and discovering the buying committee. Sales professionals can reach out with personalized messages via chat, email, or video, based on intent and engagement.
Sales Seat is integrated with Outreach, letting reps create sequences from the service.
A mobile app notifies reps, supports conversations, and lets reps record and send Drift videos.
A Chrome extension displays all conversations happening in Drift, monitor engagement (e.g. email opens and clickthroughs, page visits), and drop calendar information in Gmails. Reps can optionally bcc Gmails to their CRM for tracking.
The Drift Profile acts as an online business card with a link that can be dropped into emails and social media messages. Recipients can chat with the rep or book a meeting. The profile contains the rep’s title, location, a short bio, headshot, phone, and social links. The chat supports default messages to display when the rep is available and when not.
“Sales success is all about engaging today’s buyers on their terms: Digitally and immediately when they express interest,” said Drift Chief Product Officer Leo Teneblat. “With Fastlane and Sales Seat, Drift customers can ensure their best buyers and highest intent visitors receive express treatment without overloading the sales team. Not only that, but sellers have context to engage buyers with a personalized experience on the exact topics they care about in the moment they’re expressing interest.”
According to Drift, reps are six-fold more likely to book a meeting if they engage with a buyer during the first hour. Thus, immediately transitioning webform submissions into chats and notifying reps that high-scoring prospects are engaging with the company dramatically increases the likelihood of converting a lead into a meeting.
“Not all accounts are created equal. Your target accounts should receive the most personalized and high-touch buying experiences. Account-based marketing lets you create this experience while engaging with VIP buyers and connecting them to sales. By cutting through the noise, you can close more deals – faster,” blogged Drift Product Education Marketer Gauri Iyengar. “When it comes to booking meetings, there is literally no time to waste. Speed is essential to not just set up a meeting but to turn that meeting into revenue.”
The pair of services was released to early adopters that enjoyed an 82% increase in meetings booked, a 77% jump in opportunities created, and a 67% rise in pipeline influenced.
ZoomInfo announced that it acquired Conversational Marketing firm Insent.AI this morning. The new offering was immediately rebranded as ZoomInfo Chat. Insent, ZoomInfo’s latest post-IPO tuck-in, follows acquisitions of Everstring (firmographics) and Clickagy (intent data) in late 2020. In total, ZoomInfo (FKA DiscoverOrg) has acquired eight companies over the past four years.
CEO Henry Schuck focuses on acquiring complementary data assets that become significantly more valuable when combined with ZoomInfo’s data assets and are then cross-sold by its sales teams.
Last month Schuck told Yahoo! Finance:
“It [the size of the company] doesn’t really matter because the way that we evaluate M&A is, we look for opportunities where, number one, our data makes a big impact from a competitive differentiation perspective. And number two, which goes to the valuation piece, because we are seeing incredibly high valuations on M&A targets today.
But on that piece, we’re always looking to see, hey, if we buy this company and we integrate it into ZoomInfo, and we have all of our sellers selling that product or service and it’s integrated and it’s gotten better with the data asset that we have, how fast can we grow the business? It’s always much faster than that business is going to grow on its own.
And so, when we’re doing the analysis on what to buy and what to build, the buy equation has a lot to do with how much faster we can grow the business. And so while a valuation today might feel like a lot, when we look at what we’re going to be able to do with that asset over the next year and two years, we look for those assets to be accretive in the short term. And it really becomes a go-to-market exercise for us.”
Conversational Marketing is a rapidly emerging segment that provides value across the revenue team. Insent, which will be powered by ZoomInfo’s WebSights visitor identification and its global database, performs real-time routing of conversations to sales reps. Low-scoring prospects are managed by the chatbot, with high-scoring visitors routed to the appropriate sales reps. Insent, which competes against Intercom, Terminus, and Drift, calls itself a “human-first chatbot.”
“Marketers spend enormous amounts of time, money, and effort to drive traffic to their websites, but only convert less than two percent of visitors into leads – an incredible inefficiency for teams,” said Schuck. “The acquisition of Insent will combine chat with ZoomInfo’s dynamic IP-to-company graph and insights. Marketers will be able to instantly identify previously anonymous companies that are on their websites, route prospects to the right account owners, and arm them with ZoomInfo’s key intelligence about their buyers. As a result, they’ll initiate real-time conversations that can yield significant conversions.”
Insent also looks for website triggers such as page visits and scroll locations when launching the chatbot.
“As visitors engage in personalized conversations with a chatbot, the nature of the interaction can further inform and qualify visitors for a seamless transition to a live chat with a sales representative,” blogged Schuck. This interactive intelligence will be combined with firmographics and other account and contact intelligence related to the prospect. These insights then “trigger automated sales and marketing workflows, plays, and alerts to create informed, serendipitous, personalized engagement.”
The Insent chatbot supports inline meeting scheduling and additional information gathering for the rep. ZoomInfo will also support automated follow-up workflows and conversations.
Chatbots have an advantage over traditional web forms. Not only do they capture and enrich information, but they can engage with prospects when “your brand is top of mind” and selectively pass high-scoring visitors immediately to sales reps. If the sales rep is not available, the chatbot can schedule a call and collect additional intelligence for the meeting.
“And that opportunity extends beyond the lifetime of that visit,” added Schuck. “Leveraging the visit as a trigger event, ZoomInfo can expand the audience at an account by identifying other likely members of the buying committee and activating outreach to those professionals following a website visit by one or a number of their peers.”
Insent supports integrations with Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot, Slack, MS Teams, and Zendesk (customer support).
Real-time integrations between platforms and the chat engine, combined with real-time reference data are key to this deal. “Without tightly integrated, highly accurate data and timely insights, these systems are merely empty repositories that lack the intelligence to surface, prioritize, and trigger effective, personalized engagement at scale,” blogged Shuck. “At ZoomInfo, we are actively executing against our vision to build a go-to-market platform that combines our best-in-class data and insights with a tightly integrated engagement layer that activates those insights as they surface. Our system facilitates real-time connection with buyers in their time of need, alerts sales teams to meaningful activity, and feeds engagement activity data back into the system for better future profiling and targeting.”
“ZoomInfo is a trusted leader in go-to-market intelligence and orchestration that enterprises rely on to help them identify and close their ideal customers,” said Insent CEO Arjun Pillai. “ZoomInfo and Insent will help shape the future of chat by allowing teams to have data-centric, intelligent conversations that can expedite sales cycles.”
Insent isn’t “just building a chatbot that generates leads, but a collaborative platform that is going to help marketers create, nurture qualified opportunities, and shorten sales cycles,” said the firm earlier this year.
The goal is to remove “digital walls” between buyers and sellers by replacing web forms and follow-ups “with instant live conversations on websites” that schedule meetings and deliver “personalized content recommendations based on engagement history.”
Insent describes itself as an “integration first platform,” with MAPs, CRMs, and ABM Platforms “to help sales teams talk to engaged prospects while they’re on the website.”
According to Insent Digital Marketer Aatharsha Jey, “integrations should be planned and carried out in a way that does not ask people to change their behaviors in order to adopt a new tool.”
“By guiding their buyers at the right time and proactively alerting your salespeople, Insent generates new revenue opportunities and accelerates existing ones,” said Pillai.
Initially, the pandemic slowed Instent’s growth as marketing teams reduced budgets and delayed decisions, but chatbots are high on the list of MarTech digital acquisition solutions. Between May 2020 and January 2021, Insent revenue quadrupled.
Earlier this year, Insent was using 6Sense for visitor identification. “We go and task 6Sense through an API,” said Pillai in February. “We take that data, and we do further processing of that data. All of this happens in microseconds. Basically, the moment somebody lands on the website, boom, the API call comes back with the data based on that website, company visitor.”
Insent stress-tested various platforms before settling on MongoDB and AWS. Pillai contends that the platform gives them a five-year or six-year window before rearchitecting. The platform was designed with an account-based, versus lead-based, architecture that ties leads to accounts for account-based orchestration.
The new ZoomInfo Chat offering will be available to new and existing customers in Q3. Deal terms were not disclosed. The acquisition was deemed not to have a material impact on the firm’s 2021 financials.
Pillai will be joining ZoomInfo as the SVP of Strategic Growth.
GZ Consulting offers a detailed analysis of ZoomInfo which includes a one-hour Q&A session. Contact Michael Levy for licensing.
ZoomInfo hinted at an even broader vision of automated lead qualification and workflows in a recent blog that listed four categories of qualifying data:
ZoomInfo does not support programmatic advertising, chatbots, or Slack notifications, so there is significant running room for product development, particularly around expanded intent. For example, a recent study by XANT found that inbound lead response rates decay quickly, but reps fail to respond promptly, and many fall between the cracks. The study analyzed three years of inbound leads at over 400 companies. XANT looked at 5.7 million inbound leads and found that 57.1% of first call attempts took place after a week or more, and only 0.1% of inbound leads were responded to within five minutes. However, firms that responded within those first five minutes had an 8X conversion rate versus later return calls.
“Maybe we simply didn’t realize what we were leaving on the table,” wrote XANT. “Maybe we over-rotated on targeted ABM strategies at the expense of speed-to-lead. Marketing automation shouldn’t replace meaningful and quick sales engagement.”
XANT proposes a second problem that slows lead response times: the manual assignment of leads to individuals, resulting in two sets of delays – the lead routing process and the sales reps’ ability to respond quickly when a batch of leads is handed to them.
Tying inbound leads (emails, webforms, chatbots) to workflows is the next step beyond enrichment. It allows for immediate lead scoring, assignment, and routing decisions, speeding up the response rate while determining each lead’s best course of action. The Trigger / Filter / Action methodology for intent and event-based leads fits perfectly with these other inputs. Furthermore, Chatbots and FormComplete often gather a few extra qualifying details that would be filter inputs.
“There is perhaps no greater need than for sellers to be calling on the right people at the right time,” said SalesTech analyst Nancy Nardin. “Fortunately, the level of accuracy and timeliness of data has improved by leaps and bounds with the emergence of AI, and improved data collection, cleansing, and enrichment.”
Revenue Acceleration platform vendor Drift launched Drift for Salesforce, a new integration that creates and updates Salesforce Leads and Contacts then syncs chat conversations. Drift also offers the option to pass leads into Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua, or HubSpot.
Drift employs Contract Attribute mapping that derives contact attributes from chats, with both standard and custom attribute variables supported. Drift Admins map the variables between the two platforms and set overwrite rules at the field level.
When leads book sales meetings through Drift, the sales rep is assigned as the lead owner in Salesforce, a Salesforce event is created, and the chat transcript is stored as a live chat record once the chat has closed.
Drift also syncs with opportunity records, helping operations teams understand which Drift conversations impacted opportunities, the dollar value of the interactions, and which conversations influenced the deal. Thus, revenue operations teams can understand which conversations affected the bottom line, wherever they occurred across the buyers’ journey. Drift reports and dashboards assist with attribution.
“Drift’s pre-built reports and custom dashboards give you an at-a-glance view of your performance so you always have the information you and your stakeholders need – right at your fingertips. You can also use the app to analyze your performance across the business, by specific metric, or by teammate, so you can easily identify specific areas where you should double-down.”
Drift can also display customized welcome messages for target accounts and immediately route important contacts to sales reps.
Drift looks at the email and domain to map records. If a domain is new, then a new lead is created, but if the domain already exists, either a new contact record is created or the email is used to match the conversation to a current contact.
Drift for Salesforce is available for Enterprise, Unlimited, Developer, and Performance plans.
In other news, Drift ranked #6 on the Deloitte Fast 500 North American list, with 35,474% revenue growth between 2016 and 2019.
“We founded Drift because we recognized that we were going through a paradigm shift,” commented CEO David Cancel. “We were moving from a world where the company controlled the buying process — to one in which the buyer was in control. This is even more true now — and we’re just getting started. Our mission is to change the way businesses buy from businesses, and we’re thrilled that our customers have chosen us to create frictionless, more human experiences.”
B2B data hygiene vendor Openprise announced the availability of Openprise Agile CDP, the “first and only B2B Customer Data Platform (CDP) built on a data orchestration platform.” As a data orchestration platform, Openprise offers a single customer view combined with no-code business rules, third-party data, and business process automation.
Openprise emphasizes the advantage of being a data orchestration platform with a B2B CDP. “Because it’s built on the Openprise Data Orchestration Platform, Openprise Agile CDP includes all the capabilities Openprise has developed over the years to improve data quality in tools like Salesforce and Marketo—including lead routing, account scoring, and attribution—advanced features not typically found in traditional CDPs.”
Openprise supports data unification, data enrichment, normalization, deduplication, lead-to-account matching, and lead-to-contact conversion. Analytical tools include advanced segmentation, lead and account scoring, ABM activity analysis, campaign attribution, lead routing, and account assignment.
“One of the biggest challenges marketers face is making sure their systems of record deliver accurate, high-quality data to drive marketing initiatives. A CDP solution that automates all the critical business processes required to make the data work gives marketers high confidence in the accuracy and quality of the data they manage.”
Julian Archer, VP, Principal Analyst in the Marketing Operations Research Service at SiriusDecisions
Openprise claims it can be up and running within ninety-days, much faster than its competitors. Firms can build custom apps with automated business processes, package them as an API, and create web-based UIs and Chrome extensions for end-users. Openprise no-code app use cases include advanced segmentation, attribution, upsell, and cross-sell.
The Openprise data marketplace supports data enrichment from leading B2B and B2C vendors, including Zoominfo, Dun & Bradstreet, InsideView, Sales Genie (Infogroup), Cognism, Bombora, KickFire, Synthio, Oceanos (TechTarget), Acxiom, Bing, and Google Places. Once enriched, data is normalized based upon customer-defined and Openprise taxonomic rules. Normalization ensures that key values such as addresses, industry codes, job functions, and job levels follow a standard set of rules and taxonomic codes.
is beginning to evolve a set of hybrid engagement vendors that deliver a broad
set of sales and marketing services. The boundary between sales and
marketing is quickly crumbling. Hybrid engagement services manage both
data and workflows. Features include