HG Insights Market Intelligence for SOM Analysis

Last month, HG Insights launched its Market Intelligence service that supports technographic market research. The analytics service supports sales, marketing, and strategy teams at B2B vendors, letting them develop account plans, segment markets, evaluate market entry, and size opportunities.

Product and strategy teams can analyze market trends, size market opportunities, and assess competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.  They can also use it to identify the Service Obtainable Market (SOM), which is the market segment size a firm can capture with its solution. As HG Insights notes in the following graphic, the SOM is a narrower definition of market potential than TAM (Total Addressable Market) and SAM (Serviceable Addressable Market).

For example, many entrenched vendors in the North American Sales Intelligence space have robust solutions and established market share.  Looking to displace LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Zoominfo, D&B Hoovers, and InsideView in the most mature Sales Intelligence segment would be difficult.  However, a SOM analysis would indicate that the UK is the second most mature market and that continental Europe is beginning to take off.  Thus, a product manager might focus on European content and multi-lingual capabilities (e.g., UX, event tagging, free form text translation).  Likewise, they might select niche markets such as financial services with strong compliance requirements or choose to develop functionally differentiated services (e.g., GrowFlare focused on psychographics and ICPs before being acquired by Terminus late last year).

“Without a SOM containing detailed information about competitor product installations, you’d have no way of knowing this and might decide to go to market in a region saturated by competition you have very little likelihood of displacing. Alternatively, what if you were looking at different regions or countries and wanted to identify which situations represented the best growth opportunities for your business. Again, knowing the estimated market size in revenue isn’t going to help you much. But what if you knew what companies had budgeted to spend on your category of product by region, entity, or industry?”

HG Insights VP of Global Sales Scott Smyth

“Business leaders need more than high-level market reports to make successful go-to-market decisions,” said HG Insights EVP of Product Rana Kanaan. “With our actionable market intelligence offering, we are giving our customers the ability to customize their market views by the attributes they care about most and operationalize intelligence for their revenue teams.  This allows them to allocate resources more effectively, prioritize the right product initiatives, and give their sales and marketing teams the account details they need to pursue the best opportunities.”


Scott Smyth is offering a master class on TAM/SAM/SOM on February 24th. Here is the information:

HG Insights Market Intelligence

HG Insights continues its evolution from a technographics licensor to a full-service direct source of technology market intelligence.  Two weeks ago, they launched Market Intelligence, a market analytics service for marketing, product management, and strategy groups.  Market Intelligence delivers “actionable insights [that] business leaders need to understand their markets in-depth, make better business decisions, and go-to-market (GTM) with confidence.”

Market Intelligence insights are derived from their global verified technology installation data, including which products have been installed, tech stack spend by category, and contract terms. “This trio of data sets powers detailed, customizable views of the entire installed technology ecosystem,” wrote the firm.

The IT Spend and tech install data are broken into different categories, helping sales teams determine which verticals are likely to have both budgets and an intention to purchase.  Revenue teams can drill into market segments to understand the “size, shape, and structure” of target markets.

Likewise, marketing can use install and spend intelligence to better segment and target their outreach.  Information can be analyzed by IT category, industry, region, and other relevant attributes.  Better targeting allows firms to focus their marketing spend and attention on the right prospects and feed marketing qualified leads to sales.

Revenue teams can deploy Market Insights for territory optimization, account targeting based on propensity to purchase, and account-based messaging.

HG Insights contrasted Market Intelligence with traditional technology research vendors that provide “static, top-down analyst reports that are not customizable at the account level.”  According to HG Insights, technology analyst reports lack the account intelligence that revenue teams require to engage with customers and prospects effectively.

“HG Insights Market Intelligence platform addresses these challenges by providing you with the bottom-up account intelligence you need to understand your markets in-depth and make better business decisions,” contrasted HG Insights Marketing Communications Manager David Guerra.  Using our Market Intelligence platform, you can now instantly analyze the true size of your markets globally by technology installation, IT spend and budget, and a number of other factors.”

Users can also compare the market size of various markets such as countries by vertical to determine growth opportunities.  Other features include vendor penetration rates by industry, purchasing and spend data for target accounts, and segmentation based upon ICP criteria.

“The HG Insights Market Intelligence platform gives you all the information you need to understand your markets, remove subjectivity from planning, and go to market with confidence,” stated Guerra.

A few weeks ago, HG Insights closed on an equity round with Riverwood Capital.  HG Insights completed a successful 2020, reaching its highest annual recurring revenue (ARR) and profitability.  Employment rose 30% last year, and revenue grew over 35%.

“Customers continue to reaffirm that HG Insights’ data’s breadth, depth, and coverage accuracy has become an indispensable asset for critical decision making at every level of a technology company,” commented Riverwood Principal Ramesh Venugopal who joined HG Insights’ Board.  “HG Insights provides unique, data-driven knowledge giving decision-makers confidence that they are making the right choices.”


Part II covers how Product and Strategy teams can employ Market Intelligence for determining the Service Obtainable Market (SOM) for technology offerings.

Statzon Market Research Database

Statzon, a market research database that provides tables and charts, is available for licensing.  The service aggregates government and private industry research from over sixty sources, with plans to support over 100 sources by the end of this year.  Charts are available for over one million topics across 4,500 business topics.

Searching is performed via a simple search box with type-ahead suggestions.  Once the topic is selected, users may filter by location, trades (e.g. Output, Export, Import, Consumption, Companies), scales (units), and providers.  For example, Statzon offers global and country-specific beer industry data from five vendors.

Users may switch between line, bar, and pie charts.  A slider bar, underneath the charts, allows users to limit the scope of the data display, either to focus on sections of the graph serially or to restrict the period of a time-series chart.  Values and titles are displayed while mousing over the chart.  Licensed data may be downloaded as an image or an Excel table.  Each licensed table includes the scope, definition, methodology, data provider, publication date, and expiration date.

Statzon is priced at €5,600 per annum for five seats.  Government data is available at no additional charge, but private research tables may be subject to an additional €50 fee, which is charged via Stripe to a credit card.  Users may include chargeback codes for project assignments or client billing.

This hybrid model works fine for consultative industries with chargebacks such as management consulting, investment banks, and consulting firms, but is problematic for industries or job functions where the charge either has to be approved or paid by the end-user.  A secondary issue is one of the data structure.  If the user is looking to analyze data by region, but it is only available by time for countries, users would have to license and download multiple reports to build the desired table.  This could be both expensive and time-consuming.  Statzon should look at licensing all research from a vendor (either as a contract passthrough or directly from Statzon).  Licensing all research on a topic (e.g. Petroleum industry data for an additional fee) would also be a valuable premium pricing option.

Free content is focused on commodities, which are tracked by government agencies.  Thus, there are nearly 1,000 government tables available for rice, but the 26 IoT reports all require additional fees.  For those unwilling or unable to pay for premium tables, there is a filter that restricts the display to licensed content.  However, there is significant value in the free datasets which are gathered from national and international agencies, including the United Nations, World Bank, OECD, International Monetary Fund, US Energy Information Agency, and Eurostat.

Statzon is a pre-revenue company with funding from angel investors and a Finnish VC.  It shows a great deal of promise as a research portal for government and market research data but is still in the early stages of its development.  CEO Kimmo Kuokkanen described Statzon as “the fastest way for consultants, analysts, investors, financial industry professionals, media personnel and academic people to access the needed data and gain insights about market size, trends, future outlook, market drivers, major players, etc.”

Vertical IQ Credit Underwriting Solution

Industry Profiler Vertical IQ released a credit underwriting solution to assist lenders’ credit decisioning.  Vertical IQ has long served financial institutions with a set of plain-English industry overviews for relationship managers.  The new service expands its Industry Risks tab and renames it “Credit Underwriting and Risks.”  A new industry brief is also available.

The new Credit Underwriting and Risks content includes a proprietary Industry Risk Rating based on account financial risk, exit rates, industry performance during downturns, barriers to entry, and the industry outlook.  Other new content includes key industry and economic performance metrics, a Financial Comparison Toolkit that performs custom benchmarking against key financial metrics, and industry-specific credit decisioning considerations.  The Financial Comparison metrics are downloadable for sharing with clients and prospects.

“In today’s volatile market, loan credit underwriters are understandably cautious about their lending decisions.  The Credit Underwriting and Risks Chapter and Industry Brief are quick ways for bankers and credit professionals to get up to speed on the lending environment for a client’s or prospect’s particular industry.”

Vertical IQ CEO Bobby Martin

The new industry brief contains an industry summary, industry risk rating, key performance metrics, financial ratios, important credit underwriting-related considerations, common industry-related risks, and the Financial Comparison Toolkit.

The new Credit Underwriting content is delivered through the desktop application with an API upgrade before the end of the month.  The original content will be extended to additional apps and partners in the coming months.

“Great decisions are made by taking something that is complicated and simplifying it to its primary moving parts. When a banker can do that, he or she offers a more clear understanding and a more fluid and productive conversation. Vertical IQ has simplified the process of analyzing industry risks for the commercial banking world. It is long overdue.”

David Nicholson, Founder of Credit Training, Inc.

Industry-specific financing topics that were already available in the service include discussions of working capital, capital financing, business valuation, and financial benchmarks.

The new content is available within the core service at no additional charge.  However, by extending the value for credit underwriting at banking and commercial finance, Vertical IQ will be improving its seat penetration within those segments.

Vertical IQ has had a busy summer. Along with the credit underwriting solution, they announced integrations with RelPro for banking and Seismic for Sales Enablement.

Vertical IQ – RelPro Partnership for Industry Intelligence

Vertical IQ Call Prep Questions in RelPro

RelPro and Vertical IQ partnered to deliver company and industry intelligence in each other’s products.  Both companies serve financial services firms and the Relationship Management (RM) function at banks, with many customers requesting an integrated solution.  Joint customers have access to both programs via bi-directional authorization and accreditation at the user level.

“This is a partnership both companies’ customers have been clamoring for. So we listened to what the market was telling us and worked to bring the concept to fruition.  It was a natural fit.”

RelPro CEO Martin Wise

Vertical IQ provides a set of over 500 plain-English industry overviews designed for financial services firms that are broadly applicable to RMs, business development, and sales reps, particularly professionals that support many industries.  The profiles provide a high-level understanding of industries, including industry norms, structure, trends, pain points, call prep questions, forecasts, and news.

RelPro is a traditional sales intelligence service with company and executive content sourced from sixteen partners.  Data partners include Zoominfo, Dun & Bradstreet, BoardEx, GuideStar, Crunchbase, and HG Insights.  Rel Pro users build prospecting lists, perform account planning, identify additional contacts at key accounts, and, with the Vertical IQ partnership, research industries based upon each company’s industry codes.  A new Industry tab displays Vertical IQ’s Industry Overview, Trends & Industry News, Competition, and Call Preparation content.  

Instead of providing the full Vertical IQ report, RelPro chose to publish the most valuable sections from Vertical IQ and combine them with industry-specific intelligence from its database, including Competitors and Top Companies.  Should a user wish to dive deeper into an industry, the RM simply clicks a button and is taken to the full industry profile in Vertical IQ.

The Vertical IQ integration is a bit simpler.  Users can click on a “find companies in RelPro” button located in the industry dashboard.  The user is taken seamlessly to RelPro to perform a peer search.  The industry codes are pre-populated, and the user can include additional sizing and geographic variables for defining a territory.  Users may also plot company lists on a map, a useful tool for field sales rep planning.

Users do not need to log into both offerings.  A handshake between the firms ensures that jointly registered users receive access to both platforms.

There is a clear logic to this partnership.  RelPro and Vertical IQ allow Relationship Managers to rapidly context switch, perform client due diligence, ask intelligent questions, and conduct business development.  The combined services deliver customer and industry insights within the RM’s workflow, helping them better serve customers and their banking objectives.

The partners initially focused on their set of joint customers with contracts written on separate paper.  There is no surcharge for the cross-product authorization and functionality.

RelPro offers four industry subjects to the combined RelPro / Vertical IQ industry tab.

Vertical IQ has also stepped up during the pandemic to assist business decision making. Their editors are publishing a set of free coronavirus related profiles at the industry-level, allowing RMs, sales reps, and risk decision makers (supply, credit) to properly evaluate industry-specific risks.

“Rather than learning about industries in bits and pieces or from unreliable sources, we knew it was important for people to get information from an experienced industry intelligence partner written for those that advise small  and medium-sized businesses. That was the impetus for delivering this intelligence and making it free of charge.”

Bill Walker, Vertical IQ EVP of Research

A freemium approach during the current health and economic crisis makes a great deal of sense. It provides free resources to small businesses and distressed sectors that can assist with decision making, while providing a free taste of their content to professional and financial services firms. The content set should result in both future sales and brand equity.

Vertical IQ: Freemium Industry Profiles

The new Vertical IQ freemium service provides the first three chapters of Vertical IQ industry profiles at no charge.
The new Vertical IQ freemium service provides the first three chapters of Vertical IQ industry profiles at no charge.

Vertical IQ launched a freemium market research service that provides “foundational information” for over 280 industries.  Vertical IQ writes plain English industry overviews for bank managers, consultants, and accountants.  However, the research has broad value to other functions such as strategic sales, market planning, and procurement.

Previously, professionally sourced industry research was only accessible by purchasing individual reports or subscription licenses, but the business model is evolving.  To fill a market need, Vertical IQ is now offering much of its valuable industry insights for free.  This innovative approach delivers market research on a freemium, just-in-time basis – a first in the marketplace.

“Vertical IQ Freemium was created to fill the void for an easily-accessible, user-friendly industry research product.  This new free version of our popular research platform puts valuable industry insights at the tips of your fingers in a matter of seconds.”

Vertical IQ co-founder, Bobby Martin

The free content covers the first three sections of the Vertical IQ reports: Overview, Industry Structure & Forecast, and Industry Trends.  Full reports are available on a pay per view basis ($99) or via a subscription ($1,099). The Full report spans an additional nine chapters:

  1. How Firms Operate
  2. Risks to Watch Out for
  3. Quarterly Insights
  4. Working Capital
  5. Call Prep Questions
  6. Financial Statistics
  7. Business Valuation
  8. Web Links
  9. Terms

The Full report is downloadable as a PDF file and includes access to report updates over the next year.

The annual subscription covers 400 industries and 325 local US economies.  Updates and industry news alerts are emailed quarterly.  The subscription service also supports mobile access, a Sales Kit which “Integrates industry insight into your contact strategy by sharing deliverables with business owners,” and an industry ranking tool.

Vertical IQ competes against D&B First Research and IBISWorld.  All three provide plain English market research for financial services firms and sales professionals. Vertical IQ has over 35,000 users.  Research is updated monthly.

The Vertical IQ Industry Forecast and Structure report displays historical and projected growth rates, the characteristics of an average firm within the industry, and industry structure (e.g. concentration, female and minority ownership rates) and the top firms.
The Vertical IQ Industry Forecast and Structure chapter displays historical and projected growth rates, the characteristics of an average firm within the industry, and industry structure (e.g. concentration, female and minority ownership rates) and the top firms.

Plunkett Almanacs Now Sold through ReferenceUSA

Plunkett Almanacs Now Sold through ReferenceUSA
Plunkett Auto Industry Statistics
Plunkett Auto Industry Statistics

ReferenceUSA, the library and government sales division of Infogroup, is partnering with Plunkett Research to sell their industry almanacs.  Plunkett offers three dozen almanacs including fast-growing sectors such as Green Technology; Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine; and Nanotechnology.  Plunkett reports are written for the “general reader to readily access and understand the most vital trends, technologies and companies creating change within given industries—even if the reader has no current expertise in that industry.”

Jack Plunkett, CEO of Plunkett Research, said, “We’re excited to team up with the terrific people at ReferenceUSA.  Their deep relationships with librarians and understanding of libraries’ unique needs make them the ideal group to spread the word about the Plunkett Research Online industry reference platform.  At the same time, ReferenceUSA and Plunkett Research products are perfectly complementary–libraries that subscribe to both will be able to harness the full power of our deep data analyses.”

Plunkett almanacs cover both US companies and industries. They are available as online subscriptions, eBooks, and printed subscriptions. Plunkett helps close a gap in the ReferenceUSA product line. Infogroup provides a deep set of US and Canadian company and consumer files along with new companies, new households, family trees, and prospect list building. The partnership helps ReferenceUSA compete against Mergent Online which provides a company and industry research service in partnership with Dun & Bradstreet.

Subscription users can download custom industry reports as PDFs. Tables, company lists, and association lists may be downloaded to Excel.

Plunkett Online Subscription Pricing
Plunkett Online Subscription Pricing

View only subscription pricing begins at $1,295 for a single seat with downloading available for $1,995. Printed almanacs and ebooks are priced at $380.

Congressional Research Service Reports

Congressional Research Service reports are finally available via a centralized, government database.
Congressional Research Service reports are finally available via a centralized, government database.

It only took twenty-five years, but Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports are finally available through the Library of Congress.  Members of Congress have long released the reports to third-party databases, but now the reports are available directly from the Library of Congress.  As the research is paid for by taxpayers and conducted at the behest of Congress, limited access to this research has long been an affront to legislative transparency.

According to their FAQ, the CRS is “a federal legislative branch agency located within the Library of Congress, [which] serves as shared staff exclusively to congressional committees and Members of Congress. CRS experts assist at every stage of the legislative process — from the early considerations that precede bill drafting, through committee hearings and floor debate, to the oversight of enacted laws and various agency activities.”

CRS research is non-partisan and takes a multi-perspective approach to current issues and legislation.  Reports are both on demand and anticipatory.  “CRS approaches complex topics from a variety of perspectives and examines all sides of an issue. Staff members analyze current policies and present the impact of proposed policy alternatives.”

CRS services include reports on major policy issues; tailored confidential memoranda; briefings and consultations; seminars and workshops; and expert congressional testimony.

“With public policy issues growing more complex, the need for insightful and comprehensive analysis has become vital. Congress relies on CRS to marshal interdisciplinary resources, encourage critical thinking and create innovative frameworks to help legislators form sound policies, reach decisions on a host of difficult issues and address their constituents’ concerns and needs. These decisions will guide and shape the nation today and for generations to come.”

  • Congressional Research Service FAQ

The CRS database was included in The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.  “We worked closely with Congress to make sure that we had a mutual understanding of the law’s requirements and Congress’ expectations in our approach to this project,” said Carla D. Hayden, Librarian of Congress.

As governmental work product, CRS research is not subject to copyright.  Thus, CRS research may be broadly disseminated without permission.  However, some research may contain copyrighted third-party images or material.

The new website provides the same search functionality as Congress and is keyword searchable.  Full-text searching is available along with filtering by topic, date, author, and additional keywords.

Form Follows Function

InsideView users can quickly target additional executives by function and level.
InsideView users can quickly target additional executives by function and level.

One of the key aphorisms in architecture is that form follows function.  The quote, attributed to Louis Sullivan, holds that a building’s design should be based upon the underlying purpose of the building, not driven by ornamentation.  Twentieth century design took this maxim to heart with similar thinking spreading through industrial and software design.

In the case of information services, a focus on flashy design or “bells and whistles” can be a distraction if the underlying service fails to meet the basic informational and workflow needs of its users.  One of the great things about Google is that it returns high precision results from a few words entered into a search box.  It was this simplicity that allowed them to grab and hold two-thirds of the search engine market share, leaving Bing and Yahoo! to pick up the scraps.

A well-designed sales intelligence solution supports multiple sales and support workflows.  These users span multiple functions and departments (e.g. sales, sales directors, sales operations, sales support, service departments, business development, and marketing).  Furthermore, there are multiple types of sales reps within larger organizations so your sales intelligence platform needs to be flexible enough to meet differing information requirements and workflows.

Thus, tactical sales reps need to quickly locate contact information and a few prospect qualification variables.  They want to make sure that the contact they are about to call is in their territory and doesn’t work at a subsidiary of a named account.

Conversely, a strategic rep has broad information requirements around companies, company structures, executives, and key events.  Strategic reps are focused on who to call, when to call, and what to say.  Sales triggers are not only a flashing green light that a prospect is more likely to buy, but conversational material for catching the prospect’s attention and signaling that the rep has prepared for the call.  Likewise, SWOT reports, biographies, industry market research reports provide insights into client interests and needs.

Named account reps sell only to a few firms so need a deep understanding of their target accounts.  They need to be apprised of key events at an organization that could positively or negatively impact their pipeline.  Furthermore, named account reps are looking for additional contacts and locations for extending their corporate footprint.   Thus, searching across a company for specific job functions and then reviewing subsidiary profiles and bios is an important task in growing the account.  Named account reps also benefit from PDF exportability so they can review the latest information about their client or prospect while traveling.  These reports can also be shared with other members of the sales and support team.

Territory reps and financial services relationship managers need to be apprised of sales triggers within their territory, quickly research and qualify companies, and dig deeper on larger opportunities.  Furthermore, as they generally sell cross-industry, they  also benefit from industry overviews from vendors such as First Research.  These primers are written in plain English and provide a set of Q&A sections by topic and job function.

First Research reports, found in Dun & Bradstreet products, provide a series of Q&A topics by C-level functions, opportunities, and challenges.
First Research reports, found in Dun & Bradstreet products, provide a series of Q&A topics by C-level functions, opportunities, and challenges.

Most reps work within a CRM, so review the capabilities of sales intelligence CRM connectors.  The tighter the integration the better.  If your CRM is your system of record, you want the sales reps working within the CRM on desktops and mobile devices.  Services that bounce the user between a web browser and the CRM are less effective than those that provide most or all of their content and functionality within Salesforce.com, MS Dynamics, or other CRMs.  Also, look for “stare and compare” updating of records, batch and real-time synchronization of data, custom fields, and duplicate checking.

Many sales intelligence services also support the marketing department.  Standardizing the two functions on a common vendor helps reduce cost and channel conflict.  It also provides a basis for successful ABM programs which cross the two departments.  Several years ago, sales intelligence vendors only offered prospecting to marketing, but now they also support web forms, real-time and batch enrichment of leads, lead-to-account mapping, marketing automation connectors, lead scoring, segmentation analysis, Ideal Customer Profiling, TAM analysis, and net-new leads and contacts.  A few also offer standalone services for the marketing department such as programmatic advertising, visitor id, multi-channel marketing, and SEO.

When evaluating sales intelligence solutions, you should understand the workflows and information requirements of each of your sales groups along with other potential beneficiaries of the service.  Don’t evaluate simply on counts and features, but on the information needs and workflows of your various sales and marketing teams.

2016 North American Market Size

North American Sales Intelligence Market Sizing Model (Excel)

The 2017 Market Size of North American Sales Intelligence Vendors. Includes vendor product features, market share, and notes. GZ Consulting Copyright 2018.

$750.00

For the past few years, I have been sizing the North American Sales Intelligence Market.  This is the largest of the markets as Europe and AsiaPac are more fragmented (the UK is the only other mature market with Bureau van Dijk, Avention UK, Artesian Solutions, and DueDil offering full solutions).

In 2016, I estimated the market at $770 million with LinkedIn Sales Navigator as the top vendor.  While new firms continue to enter, the top ten firms (now eight following the 2017 acquisitions of Avention and RainKing) earn seven of every eight dollars in the industry.

I am making my market model available for license (See PayPal button at top) as an Excel spreadsheet.  It includes revenue numbers by company along with market share, key features, and notes.

The LinkedIn Market Share Section of the 2016 North American Sales Intelligence Market Sizing
The LinkedIn Market Share Section of the 2016 North American Sales Intelligence Market Sizing

I have also broken out two sub-categories: Predictive Analytics and Tech Sales Intelligence.  Predictive Analytics vendors continue to scuffle in the marketplace.  Last September, Gartner sized the global market at between $100 and $150 million.  I have gone back and forth on whether to include them in the larger sales intelligence space, but several of the sales intelligence vendors have added light predictive tools (e.g. Avention, DiscoverOrg, RainKing) while the predictive analytics companies have moved to add enrichment and provide more insights to sales reps.  As such, I see the two product categories moving towards each other so chose to include Lattice Engines, Leadspace, and similar firms.

The Tech Sales Intelligence category (e.g. DiscoverOrg, RainKing, Aberdeen, Corporate360) continues to show strong growth and makes up just over 15% of the market.  Both DiscoverOrg and RainKing have posted remarkable growth over the past few years and merged their efforts last month.  Post acquisition, they are the number three vendor in the space and may hit $120 million in 2017 revenue.  The new powerhouse has 4,000 customers and is looking to expand beyond technology sales to become a general purpose sales intelligence solution.

Acquiring RainKing should move DiscoverOrg well past Data.com (Salesforce) which will likely see declining 2017 revenue.  Salesforce has dropped the ball on Data.com.  They overpromised and under-delivered for years, relying on their ability to bundle the offering with other SFDC products.  As of last month, they are no longer able to deliver Dun & Bradstreet content (D&B WorldBase, Hoovers, and First Research) to new customers (legacy customers retain access).  Unless Data.com has a major content partner announcement at Dreamforce, it is likely to see significant revenue declines in 2017 and 2018 as customers switch to D&B Hoovers for Salesforce and other offerings.

Dun & Bradstreet re-established itself as the #2 vendor in the space with the January 2017 acquisition of Avention and the rebranding of Avention OneSource as D&B Hoovers.  Both companies have struggled to grow revenue with Avention growing slowly over the past few years and Hoovers declining.  However, infusing Avention products with Dun & Bradstreet content both reduces the underlying cost structure of Avention offerings and improves the depth and quality of the content.  Furthermore, Dun & Bradstreet has a much larger sales force which previously has lacked a credible global sales intelligence offering.  Hoovers classic generated nearly all of its revenue in the United States.  Over the next two years, expect to see significant revenue shift from Hoovers Classic to D&B Hoovers.

Three-Toed Sloth By Stefan Laube (Tauchgurke) - Public Domain.
Three-Toed Sloth By Stefan Laube (Tauchgurke) – Public Domain.

Finally, LinkedIn Sales Navigator has established itself as the clear number one vendor in market revenue.  The product didn’t exist five years ago and its competitors still tend to dismiss this gorilla in their midst.  How can they be missing the #1 vendor in the space?  Easy — the gorilla is well camouflaged and appears to be more of a three-toed sloth sleeping in the forest canopy.  Sales reps all use the freemium version of LinkedIn so give little thought to delve further when they ask “how are you obtaining your account intelligence today?” and the response is LinkedIn.  Thus, they enter LinkedIn as the competitor into their CRM, not Sales Navigator.  A few months later when they lose the opportunity, the rep then enters “no decision” into the CRM instead of recognizing a competitive loss.  I have been warning vendors in the space for years about this phenomenon, but they have failed to understand the threat of a gorilla that looks like a three-toed sloth.


N.B. Three-toed sloths inhabit Central and South America and gorillas Central Africa.  This is a metaphor.