Hybrid Engagement Platforms

Cognism Intelligence within Salesforce. Hybrid Engagement Platforms Continuously update CRMs and MAPs.

The market 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

Future functionality will include Next Best Actions, Embedded 1:1 Video, SNAP (Sales Navigator) Integrations, and Programmatic Advertising.

No vendor provides all of these services and some provide them as separate offerings, but firms such as Dun & Bradstreet, Zoominfo, Infogroup (Salesgenie), Lead411, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and Cognism have all taken steps over the past two years to meet the emerging requirements of the CRO.

For the moment, I’m calling these emerging offerings Hybrid Engage Platforms, but that is a placeholder name as the market evolves.

Ringlead B2B DaaS

Ringlead was a pioneer in the B2B DaaS space and continues to support batch and on-demand company and contact intelligence.  They began building matching algorithms for duplicate cleansing and prevention in 2004 and joined Salesforce’s AppExchange as an early partner.  RingLead’s algorithms are used to connect third-party databases for data appends.  The firm now provides a broad set of B2B DaaS hygiene and enrichment services including data cleansing, standardization, normalization, de-duping, segmentation, routing, and appending services.  Users can upload lists to their cloud service or perform ongoing updates to enterprise software platforms.

Prior to enriching records, RingLead performs a set of validation and standardization steps which both enhance the data and improve match rates.  Names and addresses are standardized, emails are validated, and customer-specific mapping logic such as revenue bands and industry sectors are applied.

Sales Ops and Marketing also have control over duplicate matching logic and data consolidation rules.  Field-level rules help determine which fields are retained when records are merged or whether fields should be concatenated.  When records are enriched, admins can set fields to always be overlaid or enriched only when null.  Over 100 company and contact fields are supported.

RingLead provides enterprise software connectors for Salesforce, Eloqua, and Marketo.  Several others are in development.  For marketing automation platforms, they provide JavaScript which is dropped into lead forms and which provides company suggest logic for immediate matching.  Records are validated upon submission and immediately enriched.  Duplicate checking is also performed.

In Salesforce, duplicate logic is employed during record creation and as a batch process.  RingLead supports Account, Contact, Lead, and Custom record data enrichment and I-frame display.

When routing leads, sales operations can distribute by name, industry, geographic territory, size, or other field-based logic.  Leads are assigned to current account owners.  If a lead is new and does not match any pre-defined assignment rules, round-robin assignment is employed.

Ringlead Capture
Ringlead Capture

RingLead offers both its own master database of companies and contacts and API access to data from other B2B and B2C vendors with admin-defined waterfall rules.  Cascade selection provides a broader set of fields as well as secondary and tertiary vendors which can be called if the primary is unable to enrich a record.  Third-party records are standardized so that data is normalized and displayed consistently across all record sources.  Custom segmentation rules are also employed and duplicate prevention logic is applied across all of the vendors.  Marketing can even prospect against multiple vendors in RingLead with records de-duped and standardized.

RingLead is shifting its focus from being a data vendor to facilitating a data ecosystem.  “There is no company that should use a single data provider,” said RingLead Chief Product Officer John Kosturos.  “We are giving customers the ability to get the best data all the time.”

Data partners include

  • Company – Owler, DatabaseUSA, LexisNexis, NetWise, KickFire, and Dun & Bradstreet resellers
  • Contact – Google, Bing, FullContact, NetWise, PIPL, StatSocial, Informatica, Oceanos (TechTarget), and Clearbit
  • Technographics – HG Insights and Clearbit

A customer may have a license with a data vendor, but choose to pull the data through RingLead enrichment or prospecting.  Customers pay the data vendor for the data license and are charged only for API calls by RingLead.  Cleanse and Enrich have volume-based pricing based on the number of supported records.

Pricing begins at $2,000 per month, “far less than it would cost to hire a person to try to manage these processes manually,” said Kosturos.

While the core functionality is designed for marketing and sales operations, the DMS Capture Chrome extension (see image on right) allows sales reps to conduct real-time company and contact research from LinkedIn, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Google, or company pages.  Capture sends records to over twenty platforms including CRM and Sales Engagement vendors.  Standardized records can be sent to Salesforce as Accounts, Contacts, or Leads.  Duplicate records are flagged.  Over 75 standardized fields are available including emails, direct dials, LinkedIn hyperlinks, Twitter handles, firmographics, and technographics.  When performed against Google search results, LinkedIn lists, or Executive Pages, a list of matched contact profiles is displayed and may be uploaded selectively or in bulk.

Customers include CA Technologies, HP, Uber, Capital One, BNY Mellon, and the New York Stock Exchange.

SalesWings Website Tracking & Predictive Lead Scoring

SalesWings is a Swiss lead website tracking and predictive lead scoring DaaS startup with a twist – it not only includes real-time website traffic details helping to define which leads are actively reviewing company content and which pages are of interest, but it also enriches lead and company profiles.  SalesWings intelligence helps frame conversations by indicating which pages were visited, the recency of the views, and the frequency of views.  For example, if a sales rep knows that the Salesforce AppExchange page was viewed, she can infer that the company either has SFDC or is considering it, then share related sales materials or case studies.  SalesWings can be deployed within a day by upgrading existing email marketing tools.

“Our solution helps sales reps reduce lead qualification time by providing them with social insights into the nature of the leads’ interest based on their website activity, as well as enriched information about the lead’s profile and company key data.  This leads to better collaboration between marketing and sales, faster response rates, and an increase in deal closing rates.”

  • CEO Philip Schweizer

SalesWings is available as both a browser and integrated service. Users can view profiles and activity directly within Salesforce and Pipedrive. The service also offers Slack and Zapier integrations which ensure real-time notification when a lead turns hot and automated workflows which save valuable time. To begin tracking, a short tracking JavaScript is added to the website. The firm claims webmasters can add the JavaScript in fewer than seven minutes.

SalesWings Slack Notifications
SalesWings Slack Notifications

SalesWings users may filter lists by leads flagged as favorites, leads at risk (inactive), or hot leads (as determined by SalesWings).  Users can also filter for leads with to do items.  SalesWings includes a gamification element which assigns points for followed up leads.

Lead Heat is behaviorally scored and does not yet account for lead fitness based upon firmographics.  However, SalesWings is planning on rolling out real-time segmentation and a custom scoring system in Q1 which includes firmographic variables.

Contact intelligence includes job title, age location, place of work, social links (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, XING, Quora, Twitter), email, and Skype ID (if available).  Company intelligence covers URL, address, phone, employee count, year founded, LinkedIn hyperlink, and Twitter handle.  Because leads are enriched by SalesWings, web forms can be kept short, helping reduce form abandonment rates.  Company and contact data is licensed from a credible vendor, but the firm does not publicly disclose the name.

Currently, the full URL of page views is displayed, which slows the sales rep and makes it more difficult to determine which pages have been viewed.  However, the firm is working on an improved display of page titles in place of full URLs.  Demandbase, which rolled out similar reporting to its clients this week, also displays URLs instead of page titles.

SalesWings SFDC Connector
SalesWings provides company and contact profiles alongside visited page frequency and history (SFDC Connector I-Frame).

To prevent users from being overwhelmed by notifications, only one alert is delivered per day for followed contacts.  Interestingly, the firm suggests following leads only during the early stage of a deal.  Once an opportunity is moving forward, email and site visit notifications are less valuable so can be turned off.  However, if a lead is viewed as hot, notifications will be delivered even if the lead is no longer marked as a favorite.

“Think of SalesWings as a fully automated sales support assistant to get the sales timing right.  We see many of our clients who don’t log in very often into SalesWings because they’re too busy doing other things,” said Schweizer.  “That’s why we setup a notification engine which actually smartly distributes the notification to the right salesperson.”

SalesWings is gaining market traction with 1,000 clients at the end of 2017, a ten-fold increase over the year.  50% of their customer base is in Europe, 30% in North America, and 20% in other territories, with particular strength in Australia.

The Growth edition is priced at $99 per month and supports up to five users with web lead tracking, lead scoring, form tracking, and optional contact data enrichment.  The Growth Edition also supports Gmail, Outlook, Zapier, PipeDrive, and Slack Connectors. Additional users are priced at $19 per seat per month.

The Accelerate edition adds API Access and the Salesforce connector for $149 per month for up to five users.  Additional users are priced at $29 per seat.

The Enterprise edition is priced at $499 per month and includes Marketing Cloud and Eloqua integrations, premium training, and a dedicated server option.  Enterprise is aimed at firms with at least 30,000 monthly site visits.

Contracts are for six or twelve months and include onboarding and support.  The firm offers a 14-day free trial and 50 free credits for enriched contact data. Contact credits are purchased in bulk; Admins can purchase 50, 250, 500, 1000, 2500 or 5000 credits.  The most popular bulk purchase is 1000 credits for $99 (9.9¢  per record).  At 5,000 credits, the price drops to $219 (4.38¢ per record).  An auto-renew option allows for automated purchasing of additional credits.


Update (December) As with all DaaS vendors, pricing evolves over time.  While the described bundles are still available, the pricing has changed and SalesWings no longer posts its prices online.

“SalesWings offers flexible pricing plans based on the companies size, integration needs and feature requirements,” said Schweizer.


SalesWings targets SMBs with 10 to 100 employees in the SaaS and Technology industries, Digital Marketing Agencies, Finance, Insurance, Pharmaceutical, and Manufacturing sectors. While SalesWings can be used for high-value consumer products and services, they view their sweet spot as B2B.  Typical buyers include the heads of sales and marketing, startup founders, Salesforce consultants and admins, and email marketers.

SalesWings automatically assigns leads to reps who send a tracked email.  Reps can also claim them from a general pool of unassigned leads simply by clicking on the “not yet assigned” icon. For companies using the Salesforce or Pipedrive CRM integrations, lead or contact ownership is automatically synchronized.  The manual assignment process seems dicey as it is based upon a first-claimed basis instead of territory definitions.  A better method would be to support automated lead assignments based upon territory (industry, geographic, size) and named account definitions, a feature which is on SalesWings’ roadmap.

Leads are created when a sales rep sends a tracked email or traffic is driven to the site via marketing (for instance filling in a web form), but there are no tools for targeting prospects.  Nevertheless, the tracking of web traffic and marketing messages combined with lead enrichment is a compelling combination for identifying and scoring the most sales-ready leads. These are features not generally available to SMBs.