6sense Acquires Slintel

Account Engagement Platform 6sense, which acquired Fortella at the end of August, is also bringing Slintel into the fold.  Slintel augments 6sense’s data with technographics, buyer and market insights, and contacts.

“The acquisition of Slintel reaffirms 6sense’s commitment to leading the RevTech Revolution by providing the foundational data sales and marketing teams need to achieve predictable revenue growth,” stated the firm.

Slintel expands 6sense’s marketing data for audience segmentation, AI-driven predictions, account prioritization, campaign outreach, and personalization.  Slintel insights also highlight business and market trends for sales reps, assisting with activity prioritization, outreach, and personalization.

Slintel’s technographics and renewal predictions improve rep timing and targeting.

Slintel’s account insights are gathered from historical data, verified data sources, natural language processing, and human validation. 

Slintel Account Intelligence includes Intent, Technographics, Firmographics, Events, and Decision Makers.

“Data has always been an essential component of the 6sense platform, and we continually look for ways to bring more actionable and accurate data into the platform,” said 6sense CTO Viral Bajaria. “After evaluating many data providers over the past year, we selected Slintel because of the way they capture data as well as the uniqueness and accuracy of the data provided in their platform, all of which will help 6sense customers outperform their competitors.”

Slintel gathers data for 100 million contacts and 15 million companies.  Half the contacts have business emails, and 15% include direct-dial numbers.

“Slintel amplifies 6sense across four critical dimensions adding: modern business contact data from verified sources; enhanced technographics, including AI-powered confidence scores and predictions; robust buyer insights powered by account and contact-level psychographic data; and deep market insights on account events, expansions, and other noteworthy changes. Collectively, these data-driven features deliver a unique intelligence layer that helps fuel 6sense’s powerful ability to uncover buyers both before and during their purchase journey.”

Slintel Press Release (October 5, 2021)

Slintel was enjoying rapid growth at the time of acquisition, with revenue up 500% year-over-year.

Slintel CEO Deepak Anchala noted he had been approached in the past about acquisition but passed on the opportunities as they wanted to continue developing the Slintel vision.  However, he viewed 6sense differently due to the alignment of the firms’ world views.

“Both teams strongly believe that the market is becoming more buyer-driven and that to succeed, revenue teams need to be smarter, more data-driven, and empathetic to the buyer’s interests,” blogged Anchala.  “Our offerings perfectly complement each other.  One is a market-leading GTM Intelligence product, while the other is a best-in-class GTM Orchestration product.  One has an inbound-heavy, product-led motion while the other is great at closing enterprise deals.”

“When thinking about extending the capabilities of the 6sense Platform, our philosophy is to seek companies that add competitive differentiation, maintain high customer satisfaction, and deliver superior customer value,” blogged 6sense CEO Jason Zintak.  “Slintel checks all of these boxes. What makes Slintel’s approach unique is how it captures and delivers data to customers, resulting in superior levels of data coverage, accuracy, and diversity. The combination of Slintel’s data intelligence with 6sense’s industry-leading insights and orchestration capabilities will deliver better outcomes, faster time to value, and a greater return on investment.”

Due to this alignment of vision, product, and GTM expertise, Anchala felt that both companies would be stronger together and “can power better experiences for our customers.”

Anchala was also impressed with 6sense as a “clear market leader” that is outpacing its competition and has “a near-perfect Glassdoor employee rating.”

“Together, we will enable organizations to:

1.Plan, uncover, prioritize, engage, measure, and forecast progress against revenue opportunities

2. Get technographic, firmographic, and business insights at the account level as well as modern contact data to drive more relevant, personalized, and timely campaigns

3. Receive market alerts about relevant changes captured from hundreds of attributes across millions of companies every week

4. Capture more intent signals to uncover revenue opportunities more accurately”

Slintel CEO Deepak Anchala

Anchala advised Slintel’s customers that the sale “isn’t an exit,” but “the beginning of bigger, better things together, and an opportunity for two phenomenal companies to join hands to realize our vision faster.”

6sense is on a roll with 114% revenue growth year-over-year.  Along with acquiring Fortella, it opened offices in London and Australia, expanding its footprint.  In March, it closed on a $125 million Series D.

Market Flash: Outreach Acquires Canopy and Launches Outreach Commit (Part II)

Continuing from yesterday’s post that discussed revenue innovation and the Sales Execution Gap. Today I am discussing their new Outreach Commit and Outreach Success Plans.


Outreach Commit, based on their Canopy acquisition, offers sales analytics and forecasting capabilities that augment Outreach’s AI-based buyer sentiment and Success Plans, providing Outreach customers with “true visibility across the entire revenue cycle.”

“The use of deep learning and big data has the potential to transform B2B forecasting in the same way it has transformed B2C forecasting. Such changes are shifting the emphasis on forecasting from predicting the number to beating the number…Reliable activity data allows sales leaders, for example, to drive more rigorous pipeline reviews and estimate forecasts with greater confidence.  It allows companies to discover and capture data about prospects and customers that previously lived in the realm of the ‘shadow pipeline’ — that murky world of secret selling that organizations have traditionally been blind to.”

Forrester Research Principal Analyst Anthony McPartlin, “Enabling B2B Interaction Visibility In A Converging Sales Tech Landscape” (June 2021)

Commit provides a flexible forecasting model with multi-level views, allowing managers to view a probabilistic model of outcomes for multiple periods and teams based upon prior win-loss histories, current pipeline, and adjustable assumptions.  Revenue forecasts are broken into Booked, Weighted Pipeline, and Intra-period high-velocity deals (i.e., projected new opportunities that are not in the pipeline but will close before the end of the period).  In addition, models can be adjusted to account for events external to the model (e.g., new product launches, tradeshow held earlier or late in the quarter, economic shocks).  The underlying KPIs that drive the models are selectable when setting them up, with the model updating every fifteen minutes.

Outreach Commit supports dynamic forecasting with bear, bull, and most likely outcomes.

Commit provides individualized rep scorecards based on company KPIs.  Managers can set targets, coach to outcomes, and level up their team.  Managerial note-taking helps them track 1:1’s, assign tasks, and track completion.

Commit supports active deal monitoring that flags deal risks and delivers insights.  “Signals notify leaders of the things they need to know today.  From opportunity risk identification to shifts in top of funnel metrics, Signals act as your eyes and ears–ensuring your frontline leaders are focused on what matters most to your business.”  Deal risk is significantly reduced when issues are flagged early to reps, and managers can provide on-demand coaching to address nascent problems.

Commit also supports Custom Signals.  Revenue Operations sets custom thresholds and unique parameters.

At a recent analyst briefing, Outreach management emphasized that they offer a tripartite value proposition: Engage (Sales Engagement), Guide (Kaia Conversation Intelligence), and Commit (Outreach Commit).

“To achieve predictable, efficient growth, every organization needs to engage with their buyers, guide their sellers through strong sales cycles, and then commit the number with confidence.”

Canopy deal terms were not disclosed.  All nine employees have joined Outreach. The startup, founded in 2019, had raised $2.1 million.

Outreach also provided updates on Outreach Kaia and Success Plans at its Unleash event.  Kaia, its Conversation Intelligence platform that was developed in-house, is adding real-time talk analytics, Comprehensive Search, Saved Search, and Outreach Voice Import.  The new capabilities will be available by the end of the month.

Call analytics provide real-time talk-time visibility, letting reps self-correct if they are speaking too much.

Comprehensive Search provides managers with access to notes, content cards, action items, and transcripts across the sales organization.  Additionally, both meeting platform intelligence and Outreach Voice cold calls are included.  Thus, “leaders can identify trends and risks across teams and at various stages of the sales cycle.”

Saved Search Alerts provide scheduled intelligence on key topics, allowing managers to track competitors, pricing, functional requests, etc.

Outreach Voice Import supports post-call analysis of Outreach Voice and Microsoft Teams.  Fully integrated support for Teams is scheduled for 2022.

Outreach warns RevOps not to trust the algorithm blindly. Instead, revenue teams should understand “the math behind every forecast to see what’s actually driving the number.”  Accordingly, Outreach maintains the fidelity of data signals such as engagement and sentiment through transparency that displays “every opportunity and signals where sellers should take action.”

“Canopy’s Augmented Revenue Analysis engine combines advanced statistical modeling with machine learning and artificial intelligence,” states the Canopy website.  “Simply put, we show our math.  Instead of black box predictions, we show you every trend and variable driving our predictions, ensuring you have access to every data point necessary to confidently call your business.”

Users can also review “where you started and where you finished,” providing a post-mortem period review that “pinpoints slippage, forecasting variance, and conversion rates across any data point from any time window.”  They can also generate “what if” scenarios with multiple assumptions.

Outreach Success Plans provide a shared portal for buyers and sellers to exchange timelines, success criteria, resources, and people.

Outreach Success Plans, which were announced back in May, will be generally available on October 27.  Success Plans align buyers and sellers to improve action and predictability in a shared deal room.  They act as a buying hub that allows buyers and sellers to agree on shared success criteria, objectives, and timelines.  Success Plans also support shared access to project resources, allowing new demand unit members to quickly access project documents.  Only invited individuals can participate in the Success Plans.

Success Plans provide an additional set of engagement intelligence for tracking deal risks and momentum.  The Opportunity View includes Success Plan views, comments, resource downloads, and shares, providing engagement insights specific to deal planning and document sharing.

Outreach Success Plans deliver “unparalleled visibility into pipeline opportunities and risks,” blogged VP of Product Marketing Victoria Grady.

Outreach claims that two-thirds of buyers have “stopped working with a company mid-deal, simply because the competitor provided a better buying experience.”  Thus, streamlining the document sharing process, framing the timeline, and agreeing on success criteria not only facilitates the process and improves deal visibility but improves the likelihood of winning each deal. Outreach supports 5,000 customers, including 19 of the 25 fastest-growing public companies and more than 60% of the Cloud 100.

Terminus Acquires Zylotech

Terminus acquired Boston-based B2B Customer Data Platform (CDP) Zylotech and immediately launched the rebranded Terminus CDP as part of its ABM Platform. 

Terminus CDP will be led by Matt Belkin, who has “25 years of experience in building and scaling data and technology companies.”  Belkin joined Terminus last year when it acquired Sales Intelligence vendor GrowFlare.

Zylotech CTO Abhi Yadav will be Terminus’ Head of Platform Development.  Yadav is also a Guest Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management.

The deal is Terminus’ fifth acquisition, backing up Gartner’s SalesTech Mayhem thesis that a handful of companies are quickly grabbing market share through strategic acquisitions and high levels of internal investment that fill missing capabilities.

Terminus’ acquisitions have focused on expanding the core capabilities of the company, not taking out competitors.  The other acquisitions were

Terminus Acquisition History

While CDPs are generally deployed to create a single view of the customer, David Raab, Founder of CDP Institute, commented that the Terminus CDP “will tie together the data silos that would otherwise result” from the acquisitions.

“CDP is becoming more widely adopted in B2B, as companies recognize their marketing automation and CRM systems are not enough to provide true data unification and sharing,” said Raab.  “By acquiring Zylotech, Terminus positions itself – and its clients – to take full advantage of the capabilities that a CDP provides.”

While data usage and spending are rapidly increasing, few marketers trust their data.  A 2017 Forrester survey found that only 12% of B2B marketers have high confidence in their data accuracy, and 84% identified data management as a top-five weakness.

“The key to a successful CDP is trust,” blogged Zylotech Director of Revenue Marketing Alex Bistran in August.  “Sales, marketing, and customer experience teams need to trust the data stored in their CDP to drive decisions, whether it’s deciding which accounts require immediate attention or which campaign messaging is most likely to resonate with a particular customer. By constantly refreshing data from your own customer interactions and combining it with validated, third-party B2B data to accurately reflect your contacts and accounts, a CDP provides a clean stream of actionable data that can be operationalized to flow through your marketing, sales, and customer service channels.  And, importantly, that can lead to a healthier revenue stream too.”

“B2B CRM data is painfully inaccurate and incomplete, and manual efforts to clean, deduplicate, and activate are slow and expensive.  This leads to poor conversion rates, an incomplete view of buying committees, and misleading ROI,” stated the firm.

“Bad data in equals bad data out. Period. We’re entering a marketing revolution – data really is the new oil, and Terminus is sitting on a gold mine. Under Matt’s leadership, Terminus CDP is poised to change the game for our customers. This level of data accuracy is critical for B2B GTM teams looking for a unified view into their customers. I’ve never been more excited about the future of marketing.”

Terminus CEO Tim Kopp

The Terminus CDP addresses the issues of bad data with auditing, cleansing, enrichment, and data management capabilities “backed by the industry’s largest global network of decision-makers and Buying Committees.”  Furthermore, Terminus CDP “dramatically” improves data accuracy, campaign effectiveness, and “wasted sales cycles.”

Buying Committee discovery is a novel UVP for a CDP but fits well within a broader ABM Platform umbrella. 

“We are in the golden age of marketing.  The breadth of technologies helping us create great experiences has never been so impressive.  But, what are all those customer experiences predicated on?  Data,” blogged Kopp.  “With Terminus CDP, our customers will have their most important account and contact data continuously cleansed and enriched. The result: our customers will be able to put their trust in their data, unleashing their go-to-market teams to accurately engage buying committees every time.”

Continued Kopp, “We’re entering a marketing revolution.  A time when sales and marketing teams don’t have to worry about data and can dedicate their energy to create phenomenal experiences that turn into pipeline.  I have never been more excited about the future of marketing.”

“Since our early days as an MIT spinout, Zylotech has been focused on delivering the data and intelligence go-to-market teams can trust and take action on,” said Yadav.  “Upon meeting Terminus, it was obvious that we shared a common vision. We are proud to join Terminus and this incredible team to jointly improve the accuracy of B2B data.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Kopp described it as a “big deal” that is a “really, really important acquisition.”  The Indianapolis Business Journal said that Zylotech was its largest deal to date.  The transaction was financed with funds from a $90 February venture round.

Enterprise clients include Google, Palo Alto Networks, Cisco, Dell, and Rimini Street.

Clari Acquires DealPoint

DealPoint Collaboration Flow

Revenue Intelligence platform Clari announced the acquisition of DealPoint.  DealPoint supports deal management and collaboration by enabling “new visibility for sales teams into the connections and agreements between buyers and sellers.” In addition, DealPoint supports deal rooms and Mutual Action Plans (MAPs), helping reduce friction between buyers and sellers and fostering deal alignment.

“With mutual action plans, sales teams can improve alignment with buyers, drive scalable process and rigor, and improve win rates,” said Clari CEO Andy Byrne. “Our acquisition of DealPoint gives Clari customers a new insight they have never had — a view into what buyers are thinking. Combined with our new execution insights, managers and reps will have comprehensive visibility and new inspection capabilities in one unified workspace.”

At the front end of the collaboration, workflow is deal qualification, including defining the pains, processes, and priorities. Next, the teams develop a joint interactive timeline, team maps, and shared team resources (e.g., case studies, requirements, proposals).  Finally, engagement metrics help reps quickly determine “which buyers are engaged, and who’s just kicking the tires.”

DealPoint monitors milestone completion and warns reps when milestones have been missed, helping keep deals on schedule.

“With a MAP, sellers get instant validation on value prop, buyer team, and timeline. Because both sides are operating from an actual plan, frontline managers can see not only what has been done on a deal, but also what hasn’t been done.

In other words, we know which buyers are serious, which deals are going to stall, and what needs to happen to keep everything running smoothly.

Incorporating those buyer signals gives Clari new insight into deal health that will revolutionize deal inspections, resource allocation, and forecast accuracy for frontline managers.”

Tom Williams, Head of DealPoint

Having a joint plan assists with buy-in, providing a psychological edge for the sales team.  “By providing a clear plan to value, you guide the customer journey and keep the conversation focused on fixing their problem with your product,” states DealPoint.  “Buyers adopt your plan as their own, edging out competitors and reducing surprises.”

Sales Managers also benefit from instituting a repeatable process.  According to DealPoint, 50% of reps quickly abandon new methodologies.  Thus, streamlining the methodology helps ensure buy-in and compliance.

Once integrated with Clari, managers will have even more confidence in forecasts based upon milestone tracking.  Additionally, managers can ask reps what needs to be done to bring the deal back on plan, and sales reps can ask similar questions to buyers, helping foster shared accountability.

Customer Success teams benefit from smooth handoffs and pre-defined expectations.

DealPoint argues that taking a set of small steps helps foster trust that reduces perceived buyer risk as milestones are met.  Likewise, collaborating on a joint plan helps build relationships between the revenue team and the buying committee.

DealPoint comes with the MEDDIC methodology out of the box, but users can implement others.

DealPoint is priced at $59 per rep per month on an annual contract.  Seats include an unlimited number of customers and Mutual Action Plans. In addition, DealPoint is integrated with Salesforce and HubSpot.

Deal Rooms are a logical extension of Revenue Intelligence as they facilitate communications between sales reps, customer success, and buyers.  Collaboration also aligns buyers and sellers, fosters collaboration, reduces the probability of surprises, improves forecast confidence, and gooses close rates.

The integrated Deal Room GA is scheduled for Q4.  Acquisition terms were not announced.

Market Flash: Artesian Solutions and DueDil Merge

This morning, Artesian Solutions and DueDil announced the merger of their two firms.  Both vendors serve the B2B FinTech/RegTech/SalesTech spaces with products that assist their 700 customers in onboarding clients, performing KYC/AML checks, prospecting, and monitoring customers.

The merger took place six weeks ago and was described as a partnership at the time. However, they held off on the formal announcement until “everything was aligned.”

Artesian/DueDil is currently working on a combined brand identity that reflects the offerings of both companies. For this blog, I am, therefore, referring to them as “the merged company.”

Over eighty percent of their revenue comes from the financial services sector (Banking and Insurance), with products covering the UK, Ireland, US, and Canada.  While Artesian and DueDil serve the same market, they have only eight joint customers, providing significant upsell and cross-sell opportunities for their primary offerings:

  • Engage – Artesian’s Sales Intelligence offering supports prospecting, customer research, financials, Companies House images, industry research, and high precision news tagging and alerting.  Other tools include the Ready mobile app (meeting prep and meeting chat) and CRM connectors for Salesforce and MS Dynamics.
  • Connect – Artesian’s compliance and onboarding platform supports company screening, customer due diligence, and a configurable decision engine that ingests third-party data.  As a compliance and decisioning platform, Connect displays early warning indicators, supports KYC and AML checks, and delivers adverse media alerts.

    Artesian Connect includes a bespoke rules-processing engine that captures client know-how, including business rules, sales preferences, prospecting criteria, and onboarding checks.  Connect supports Artesian’s Premium Data feeds, the B.I.G., and customer-licensed third-party data integrations.
  • B.I.G. – DueDil’s Business Information Graph spans 270 million relationships, including companies, directors, shareholders, and subsidiaries.  Roughly thirty percent of the relationships are curated.  The graph is updated three or four times a day.
  • DueDil APIs – DueDil’s premium API also provides the capability to access B.I.G. data and plug it into existing systems “quickly and seamlessly” to power automated KYC / KYB and onboarding journeys.
Artesian supports sales intelligence (Engage) and FSI onboarding and compliance (Connect).

The companies have complementary capabilities.  Artesian Solutions offers mobile tools, CRM connectors, business events, a rules engine, and web applications.  Conversely, DueDil has focused on a set of APIs and relationship data.

“Our new company will be able to make strategic investments for sustainable and profitable growth, remaining agile to new opportunities whilst keeping focused on leveraging our newly combined strength to drive greater value for our customers.”

Artesian+DueDil CEO Andrew Yates

“If you can imagine the Big Information Graph, the APIs with their published endpoints that make them really quick and effective to integrate, a rules engine, and then a host of really powerful frontline applications, and middle-office applications, that’s what we mean by end-to-end,” explained Yates to GZ Consulting.  “There’s a market in the FinTech space, which is ‘just give me the data as it is’ as a service prepackaged with rules to do things like digital onboarding, straight-through processing, and automated underwriting. And then at the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got people-centric relationship management.  People not only want to get access to the insight and the data, but they need the applications that link all of that together and link that back to the customer.”

“We’ve been very effective at helping our customers find the right customers, and more laterally, using things like screening technology and forensic analysis with the rules engine,” continued Yates.  “DueDil has been focused on the onboarding journey and the remediation journey, so onboard them faster and keep them for life.”

There are two ways that Artesian adds value to commodity data, said the merged company’s COO Justin Fitzpatrick, who formerly led DueDil.  The first is by creating “proprietary, derived data” such as relationship connections.  The second is to embed “business logic around those data points” to answer “business-critical questions.”

“We can provide data that helps them check that they can onboard the customer. But at the end of the day, ideally, our clients want to be able to shortcut that process and know whether they can safely onboard that customer,” continued Fitzpatrick.  “And so that’s where we started developing things like our integrated KYB endpoint, which pulls together the different bits of data, runs logic and rules over it, and spits out a sort of Pass/Fail/More type answer so that people can kind of have direct responses to the business questions that they’re asking.  Being able to layer Artesian Connect’s programmable rules engine on the API was a really attractive proposition for us.”

The firms have competed against each other for around a decade but saw less of each other over the past three or four years as they focused on meeting complementary market requirements.  While DueDil focused on its API strategy and B.I.G., Artesian focused on event triggers, Artesian Connect’s rules engine, and workflow tools.

“Over the past decade, DueDil and Artesian have delivered some of the most innovative and successful technology solutions, tackling the financial service market’s biggest client lifecycle challenges.  We will continue to draw on this experience together to push the boundaries even further.”

Artesian+DueDil COO Justin Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick argued that official registries such as the UK’s Companies House “do a great job” as “electronic filing cabinets to make sure that people file their accounts on time.” Still, they were never designed to connect the dots between “company information, director  information, and shareholders.” 

Fitzpatrick argues that registry data is, therefore, a commodity, with the company adding value through disambiguating the filings, matching data, identifying relationships, facilitating onboarding, client monitoring, and delivering client and prospect intelligence via an API.  For example, they disambiguate about two million director profiles in the UK, ensuring that all John Smith listings are correctly matched, and that name variants are properly managed.

The merged company will continue to focus on Directors and relationships but will not become a contacts database with emails and phone numbers akin to ZoomInfo or Cognism. 

“We absolutely will cover that from a regulatory standpoint,” said Yates.  “Directors, officers, non-exec directors, how those people link together, entities linked together.  These are absolutely critical questions that regulated industries that are trying to engage with customers need answers to.”

CEO Andrew Yates will head the merged company with Justin Fitzpatrick assuming the role of COO.  The broader leadership team contains individuals from both companies.  The new firm has between seventy and eighty employees, “and that number will be growing.”  The combined turnover is in “double-digit millions” of pounds.

The strategy is to focus on the “multiple 1000s” of FinTech, financial services, insurance, and insurance broking institutions” that require “access to our combined capabilities.”  Not only are there significant upsell and cross-sell opportunities, but “the actual number of institutions relative to the total addressable market…is still very large,” said Yates.

“When you bring the data smarts in at the next level, you start to be able to really give people a laser-guided focus in not only who the right company is, but exactly how they should engage,” expanded Yates.  “If we can forensically analyze the data and combine it with rules, we can provide an engagement signal, which is essentially a next best action or recommendation as to what the individual should do – it goes way beyond giving them a piece of killer insight or a set of financials or some short animation around the structure and the way they’re organized and the ultimate beneficiary.”

Customers will also benefit from the “much more integrated experience” that unites the frontline teams and back office with a shared set of data, insights, and APIs.  The goal is to “find the right customers, onboard them faster, and keep them for life.”

Marketing graphic from the Better-Business-Faster website.

Yates is promising that Artesian Customers will have access to the B.I.G. and DueDil’s APIs “in a matter of weeks.”

“What’s emerging is a new company that allows more functionality, more value, and more freedom for our clients,” stated Yates.  Artesian Customers will “have one of the most extensive and accurate views of every UK and Irish company at their fingertips, in real-time, and available instantly.”

Venture Capital investors Notion Capital and Octopus Ventures backed the merger, stating that “the UK is one of the leading financial centres in the world, supported by a technology ecosystem built around trust, security, and innovation.  The combination of Artesian and DueDil creates an exciting growth company chasing an enormous opportunity in the FinTech market.  We are thrilled to play our part in supporting them on that journey.”

Artesian is coming off of a “strong” H1 marked by profitable, double-digit growth.  It added three significant customers, including two banks.  Its gross retention rate was 94%, and its net retention was over 100%.  Artesian has a track record of efficient revenue operations.  Its LTV/CAC ratio (Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost) was 9X last year, indicating an efficient sales engine with low churn.


I interviewed Andrew Yates back in 2018. He discussed technological disruption, AI, and data insights.

ZoomInfo Sales Efficiency and LTV/CAC Ratios

ZoomInfo has been talking about its LTV/CAC (Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost) ratio for a few years and is now boasting about its sales efficiency ratio.  For every dollar the firm invests in Sales and Marketing, it is growing $1.50 to $2.00 in revenue with even better results on the retention business side.  These values are well above the SaaS industry average and indicate that the firm should increase its revenue operations investment.

“On the new business side, we aim for somewhere between one and a half to two X return for every dollar that we spend on a customer. And then on the retention and growth or account management side, we look for a six to eight X return for every dollar that we spend there. It’s a super-efficient go-to-market motion.  Most software businesses, you put a dollar in, you get like 70 cents out in the first year.  We’re putting a dollar in and getting one and a half to two X out.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck

Schuck described their go-to-market efficiency as one of their “big strategic levers” when acquiring firms with less mature go-to-market motions.  ”So when we find companies that don’t have a very sophisticated go-to-market motion, that aren’t truly optimized in the way that they get clients, they’re not doing one and a half to two X efficiency or a 15 X LTV to CAC.  Those are great fits for us.” 

ZoomInfo has a track record of improving sales efficiency, helping unlock value in acquired assets where the go-to-market motions are aligned.  “In our big acquisitions – RainKing, ZoomInfo, and, most recently, Chorus.AI — we really felt like we could leverage the go-to-market motion to accelerate growth within those companies. That’s a key piece.”

When DiscoverOrg acquired RainKing, which had a $40 million ARR, he was convinced that DiscoverOrg could treble their EBITDA to $30 million and accelerate their top-line growth within six months.  Within one year of acquiring RainKing, DiscoverOrg’s market valuation grew from roughly $600 million to $2 billion.

One of the inherent advantages of SalesTech is you don’t have to teach sales reps the value and use cases of your product.  This shortens ZoomInfo’s ramp time for new reps from several quarters to four months.  “it makes it way easier for you to be able to sell to your counterpart on the other end of the line.  It’s a big difference for us,” said Schuck. 

ZoomInfo heavily hires sales reps directly out of college or soon after and trains them as SDRs, responding to inbound leads and performing outbound prospecting.  “In nine months, we start promoting them into the account executive role.  So we got value out of them in that ramp time. Then four months after they’ve gone into the account executive role, they’re fully ramped. Thirteen months from when you’ve never sold something until you’re an account executive at one of the fastest-growing technology companies in the country, that’s a really fun promotion to see.”

And because ZoomInfo is hiring sales reps to sell sales and marketing solutions, Schuck does not consider complicated or technical product categories for acquisition.  Instead, he looks for solutions that broadly meet the needs of his 20,000 customers and which are easy to understand.  Chorus.AI, the Conversation Intelligence vendor that ZoomInfo acquired last month, fits the bill: “We use it, all of our sellers use it. It’s really simple to understand, ‘Hey, we’re going to record and transcribe all your calls, and then you can go do instant coaching on the key moments in those calls’,” remarked Schuck.

The Chorus app for Zoom records, transcribes, indexes, and analyzes calls, providing insights to sales reps and sales managers. As reps no longer need to worry about notetaking, they can focus on the topics at hand and be more present during the meetings.

ZoomInfo Adds Chorus to Its Product Line

ZoomInfo has not been shy about acquiring companies in its bid to become a leading revenue acceleration company.  This morning, they announced the acquisition of Chorus.AI, a leading Conversation Intelligence company.  While most of its deals have been small, Chorus has the opportunity to leverage ZoomInfo’s company and contact intelligence with rich engagement data and analytics, placing the firm at the center of the rapidly growing Conversation Intelligence market.

Chorus employs machine learning and AI to “capture and analyze” calls, meetings, and emails, digitizing customer interactions, and capturing insights for revenue teams and sales management. As a result, sales reps can be more present during calls as they no longer need to capture action items and take notes while leading sales meetings.  Automating insight capture allows them to be better engaged during the call, avoiding those awkward pauses for note-taking.

While not discussed in the press release, combining Chorus’ NLP with Insent should raise bot performance and become another leg of conversation intelligence at the top of the funnel. 

The expanded ZoomInfo will support and assess a broad set of digital touchpoints for intent and engagement:

  • Chorus: Email, Phone, Meetings
  • ZoomInfo: Visitor Intelligence, Webforms, Chatbots (Insent), Intent (Clickagy)

Chorus also assists with buying committee discovery.  While ZoomInfo has long supported contact discovery at the account level, monitoring engagement to determine who is involved in deals and who is being referenced in conversations is the next major step in buying committee discovery, moving it from educated guesswork to a scientific approach.  Once committee members are identified, Chorus monitors conversations for sentiments, motivations, and concerns, helping gauge deal health.  ZoomInfo will supply Chorus with rich company and contact information fed to customer CRMs and continuously maintained by ZoomInfo’s APIs and connectors.

Chorus Momentum Insights

Chorus’ Momentum Insights, released in December, helps revenue teams understand customer relationships, improve their forecasting, identify which interactions propel deals forward, and flag deal risks.

“Momentum Insights will unlock learnings never before available from the CRM to harness the most valuable dataset available—conversations with customers,” said Chorus CEO Jim Benton at the time. “This will empower revenue teams to solve complex problems which require strong relationships, and relationships ultimately drive revenue.  Reps get exactly what they need to engage and personalize their efforts, while leadership is able to trust the unbiased data aggregated from each opportunity to inform critical business decisions.”

“By integrating keyword trackers from Chorus into ZoomInfo, revenue teams will also be able to create audiences based on insights from conversations, flag deals and renewals that could be in jeopardy, and trigger alerts to address concerns in real-time,” stated ZoomInfo.

The deal added $18 billion to the company’s TAM, raising it to $70 billion.  The acquisition is “expected to be accretive to growth immediately, generate adjusted operating profits within 12 months, and be accretive to cash flow in the second half of FY 2022.”

“ZoomInfo is the only company that can marry a best-in-class data layer with world-class go-to-market applications,” said CEO Henry Schuck. “The acquisition of Chorus will accelerate our vision to deliver a modern go-to-market platform that brings together best-in-class intelligence with comprehensive data management, workflow, and engagement software, empowering companies to effectively execute their revenue-generating strategies. With the largest Conversation Intelligence patent portfolio in the industry, Chorus will advance each aspect of our vision by surfacing a new category of insights, illuminating new workflows, and enabling more targeted engagement at scale.”

CEO Henry Shuck has been open to both large and small deals, so long as the combination of ZoomInfo and the acquired company drives significant growth in revenue at the acquisition.  A few decades ago, the term was synergy, but that phrase was used so often to describe failed deals that it is now verboten when describing acquisitions.  However, ZoomInfo with Chorus has the opportunity to grow significantly faster than as a standalone organization.

As with the recently acquired Insent.AI and Clickagy, Chorus will benefit from access to the breadth, depth, and quality of ZoomInfo’s B2B dataset and access to ZoomInfo’s Go To Market strategy and efficient sales processes.  With an LTV / CAC ratio greater than ten, ZoomInfo should be able to efficiently cross-sell and upsell Chorus’ analytics across its 20,000 customers.

Chorus also sets up ZoomInfo’s new Engage platform to challenge market leaders SalesLoft and Outreach.  Chorus is one of the leading Conversation Intelligence firms.

“We are thrilled about the opportunity to join forces with ZoomInfo and bring Conversation Intelligence to every revenue team,” said Jim Benton, Chorus.ai CEO, who will join ZoomInfo as SVP, Emerging Products. “ZoomInfo has a bold vision of delivering a world-class go-to-market platform that empowers companies to drive better execution and more revenue. Chorus will play a vital role in helping deliver on that promise with deep, A.I.-driven insights based on real interactions with prospects and customers, a previously untapped source of crucial data about their relationships.”

Frost & Sullivan named Chorus a 2021 Customer Value Leader in Conversation Intelligence.  “Frost & Sullivan finds Chorus’ value proposition is multi-faceted as it offers vital benefits for various personnel, including sales, customer success, sales development, and frontline managers, as well as long-term solutions designed to promote employee skill growth,” wrote Samantha Fisher, Best Practices Research Analyst.

The deal was priced about $575 million in cash.  The purchase price includes a cash tax benefit related to the asset purchase of more than $100 million, ZoomInfo said. The transaction will be funded with cash on hand and $500 million in additional financing.

SalesLoft Acquires Professional Services Partner InStereo

Sales Engagement vendor SalesLoft announced that it acquired professional services partner InStereo.  InStereo, founded in 2018 by Bill Galfano and Adam Post, was an early ecosystem partner that has grown alongside SalesLoft.  Last year, SalesLoft named them their “Partner of the Year.”

“We were impressed by their focus on what the customer is trying to achieve,” SalesLoft President and Chief Strategy Officer Rob Forman told GZ Consulting.

As a partner, InStereo helped “B2B Sales and Marketing teams better engage with buyers to create more demand, authentically engage prospects, and convert prospects into delighted customers.”

“Bringing InStereo directly into the SalesLoft family is a key way we are investing in our customers’ success.  Our customers will benefit from InStereo’s deep understanding of buyer journeys and engagement strategies.  Their experience and proven enterprise methodologies will help customers operationalize the SalesLoft platform and accelerate the value of Sales Engagement across their entire revenue organization.”

SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter

InStereo focuses on go-to-market and implementation strategy for SalesLoft, HubSpot, and Salesforce delivered through a pair of consulting services:

  • Buyer Experience Strategy focuses on the buyer’s journey, ICP, demand unit persona, and the “buyer engagement blueprint.”

    “We believe customer journey maps are more than just wall art,” states InStereo.  “We create buyer journeys you can activate.  By understanding how buyers approach the purchase process, sales and marketing teams can better align people, process, and content to deliver just what buyers need, when they need it.”
  • Buyer Engagement Services pairs clients with a Strategist and Revenue Consultant to assist with enterprise software implementations.  For SalesLoft, they focus on “1:1, personalized engagement via cadences” and process automation.  For marketing automation, InStereo assists with nurture campaigns and optimization, and for CRM, they focus on leveraging CRM capabilities and improving data quality.  Other services include SalesLoft Admin as a Service and sales development services.

“At SalesLoft, our goal isn’t to just sell software; it’s to help our customers exceed their revenue goals,” said SalesLoft CRO Steve Goldberg.  “Too many times software companies focus on features and technology, not the success of their customers.  InStereo shares our passion for helping our customers get the outcomes they’re looking for.”

InStereo’s customers skew towards enterprise implementations.  SalesLoft “plans to take their methodologies into new areas of our business,” expanding InStereo beyond the technology vertical into financial services, SalesLoft’s second-largest vertical.

InStereo has completed over 150 customer engagements.  Joint customers include Cargill, Pegasystems, and 3M.

“This past year we tripled our investment into our alliance organization and programs because empowering our partners leads to success for our customers,” said Forman.   “InStereo leveraged the power of our partnership and consistently drove incredible outcomes for our mutual customers.”

All twenty InStereo employees will be joining SalesLoft, including their two founders and Carrie McGrew, InStereo’s VP of Strategy.  In addition, Galfano will be joining the CRO Leadership Team as the SVP of Consulting Services.

SalesLoft did not provide any pricing deals on the acquisition.

People.AI Acquires Hero and Releases Sales Solution for Salesforce (Part II)

People.AI Sales Solution for Salesforce

Continuing my discussion [Part 1] of PeopleGlass and Sales Solution for Salesforce….

“People.AI’s acquisition of Hero Research is changing the game for enterprise sales teams who use Salesforce,” said People.AI CEO Oleg Rogynskyy.  “Companies run sales on CRM, yet virtually every rep and manager we meet runs a shadow spreadsheet to manage what’s actually happening in their territories. Finally, we’re able to bring the two worlds together with People.ai and Hero Research’s best-in-class solution, so sales teams have the flexibility to manage their pipeline, territories, and activities in an optimal way, ultimately closing more deals.”

PeopleGlass simplifies CRM access to “a single pane of glass to do their job better than ever,” continued Rogynskyy.   There is “no more tab sprawl, no more cutting and pasting, no more shadow spreadsheets.”  Sales reps create a custom view with access to their CRM data without requiring admin or IT support.

“CRM is the place where most sales organizations want their reps and managers to spend their time. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a rep that isn’t trying to fill critical CRM gaps by stitching together a patchwork of other siloed sales tools without a cohesive workflow. With the People.ai experience available inside of Salesforce, sales teams gain access to all of the data and insights they love incorporated into their daily workflows in a simple and unified way. That has a massive impact on CRM adoption and utilization.”

Thomas Wyatt, Chief Product and Strategy Officer at People.ai

People.AI is bringing the full Hero team onboard, including founders Morgan Bender and Daniel Chen, who will be joining the product organization.  No deal terms were disclosed.

“Combining our unique dataset with People.AI’s AI-driven insights creates a sales productivity solution unlike any other vendor in the market. Customers who have used the solution are reporting an increase of up to 25% in selling time,” commented Bender.

PeopleGlass is available on a freemium basis, sold both as a standalone offering and bundled with People.AI solutions.  According to COO Art Harding, the firm is still defining pricing and packaging following the acquisition.

While People.AI has simplified data access and update, reps will continue to access Salesforce for the “mission-critical workflows that can only be accessed within the solution.”  The new embedded Salesforce experience integrates “the power of People.AI’s benchmarks, leading indicators and sales insights with Salesforce’s native pipeline, account, and opportunity views.”  The integration also supports People.AI tools such as auto-populated relationship maps, deal scorecards, and digital playbooks.

The Sales Solution for Salesforce includes People.AI’s org chart tool built on their October 2020 ClosePlan acquisition.  The Sales Solution for Salesforce also displays engagement insights, peer benchmarks, and next-step recommendations for sales reps.

Sales Managers can track account health, opportunity execution, and rep performance through the Sales Solution.

“People.ai does the heavy lifting by bringing the tools and the data into Salesforce, allowing sales ops to deliver a better end-user experience to their teams and giving reps new tools to accelerate bookings,” explained Rogynskyy.  “Customers who have deployed the product tell me that in a few weeks, this solution has had a bigger impact on Salesforce adoption than years of serving up other carrots and sticks.”

People.AI employs over 200 and has revenue “well into the double digits.”

People.AI Employment (Source: LinkedIn)

ZoomInfo Acquires Conversational Marketing Service Insent

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.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck, Yahoo! Finance interview, May 4, 2021

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 Chat will be displayed alongside ZoomInfo WebSights Visitor Intelligence, company overviews, ZoomInfo Scoops, intent topics, technographics, buying committees, and insights.

“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.