Keeping on the gifting theme, Boston-based Alyce announced a partnership with Salesloft to support “smart gifting” on the Salesloft Sales Engagement Platform. The partnership lets sales and marketing teams natively send gifts through Salesloft.
Alyce appears within the Salesloft People page side panel, where reps can select a gift and personalize the message. Gifting options include physical gifts, gift cards, subscriptions, branded swag, on-demand services (e.g., in-home massage, portrait session), experiences (e.g., walking tours, helicopter rides), and donations. Alyce’s AI suggests three gift choices, but reps can select other choices from the marketplace.
“Actionable insights, seamlessly integrated together can help your sales team say the right thing, to the right person, at the right time with the right gift to drive action that’ll ensure your team hits your targets month after month,” wrote Alyce.
A gifting history provides details on which gifts have been received and how the prospect engaged with the gift, helping revenue teams “optimize follow-up to drive greater impact.”
Alyce employs AI to assist with gift selection from its curated global marketplace. Alyce recipients are sent a physical or digital notification of a gift, which they can choose to accept, exchange, donate, or decline.
“Our partnership with Salesloft is such a natural match. We are both committed to enabling revenue teams to build strong relationships and improve business results with the help of smart technology. At Alyce, we are thrilled that our integration with Salesloft is giving marketing and sales teams new gifting superpowers right in their workflow that will allow them to deliver meaningful moments, increase revenue, and create greater impact.”
Alyce CEO Greg Segall
In a case study, Salesloft enjoyed a 50% increase in alignment between BDRs and strategic marketing with Alyce and drove a 9% increase in meeting attendance. Furthermore, twenty percent of gifts sent resulted in new opportunities.
“Through the platform, we have uncovered an increase in the sales team’s ability to sell to our target personas,” stated Nabiha Balala, Senior Manager of Enterprise Marketing at Salesloft. “Alyce has been such a game-changer. It’s organically become part of our everyday sales process.”
Alyce’s physical gifting is currently limited to the US and Canada. However, gift cards may be sent to the US, Canada, Britain, and Ireland.
Alyce raised a $30 million Series B in April.
I’ve been running a series on Offline Marketing Automation (E-Gifting and Event Marketing) this week: My other posts:
Offline Marketing Automation Platform Postal.io closed on a $22 million Series B led by OMERS Ventures, with current investor Mayfield Fund also joining the round. The series raised total funding to $31 million.
The funds will be directed toward growing the Postal.io team, ongoing product development, and international expansion. The firm is looking to address the lack of tracking, attribution, automation, and scale in the $120 billion market for direct mail, personalized incentives, branded swag, and corporate gifting.
Postal offers an “expansive marketplace featuring high-end, locally curated items from specialized vendors” that foster “meaningful experiences to drive better engagement with prospects, increase conversion rates, and boost employee engagement.”
“Teams that were once manually sending offline touchpoints are now able to efficiently automate and track direct mail, branded company swag, personalized gifts, and virtual events at scale. We help companies leverage this proven channel with a frictionless, team-agnostic platform. Companies are using Postal.io across their organization to deliver more meaningful, impactful, and delightful experiences.”
Postal.io CEO Erik Kostelnik
Events began as mostly marketing activities, but with so many employees working from home, roughly half of their events are employee team-building activities or celebrations. Postal claims an average attendance rate of 90% for its events.
Postal offers a concierge team that operates as an “extension of your marketing team.” Postal Concierge assists with managing “curated, branded, specialty items, and experiences that are guaranteed to surprise and delight your prospects and clients.” The Concierge team also assists with event customization and talent booking.
Another feature is collections. Instead of picking a single item, the rep sends a link to an array of themed items, allowing the user to choose from the collection. Thus, a drink collection would include coffee, tea, and cocoa options. Likewise, a cocktail-making event would offer a mocktail option.
Part II continues with a discussion of the Postal Marketplace and integrations.
With travel restricted and many executives continuing to work from home part-time or full time, face-to-face meetings and tradeshows will remain difficult for the foreseeable future. One of the successful workarounds has been offline marketing and e-gifting. Firms such as Sendoso, Alyce, PFL, and Postal have had significant success in rising above the din of digital marketing. I will be posting a set of articles on these firms over the coming days, beginning with Sendoso’s recent funding round.
San Francisco-based e-gifting platform Sendoso closed on a $100 million Series C round and announced plans to open a European headquarters in Dublin. The Irish office will include a dedicated logistics and supply center to support the firm’s 20,000 global customers. The new facility supports its multinational customers and expands its opportunities within the EU. Beyond logistics and warehousing, the Dublin office will host an engineering team, marketers, customer success, and an inside sales team focused on European sales.
The funding round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and raised Sendoso’s total funding to $152.7 million. Existing investors Oak HC/FT, Struck Capital, Stage 2 Capital, Craft Ventures, Signia Venture Partners, and Felicis Ventures also participated.
“We believe Sendoso offers the most comprehensive end-to-end gifting platform in the market,” said Priya Saiprasad, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “Their platform includes a global marketplace of curated vendors, seamless integration with existing tools, global logistics, and deep analytics. As a result, Sendoso serves as the backbone to enterprises’ engagement programs with prospective customers, existing customers, employees, and other key stakeholders.”
CEO Kris Rudeegraap termed the round a “major milestone” for the firm. The funds will be deployed to expand its products, services, and global footprint, including the Dublin facilities.
Sendoso sends corporate swag, regular physical gifts, and gift cards on behalf of its sales and marketing clients. In addition, the platform supports gift ordering, logistics, packing, custom packaging, and shipping. Sendoso is integrated with CRMs, MAPs, and SEPs, including Salesforce, MS Dynamics, HubSpot, Marketo, Outreach, Salesloft, and Groove. The firm has also partnered with ABM Platforms Terminus, Demandbase, and RollWorks.
According to Sendoso, customers enjoy a 55% net increase in new opportunities by “creating authentic connections that show prospects you care.” The firm suggests that marketers “send a coffee eGift before an event to encourage prospects to stop by your booth.” Reps can then “show them you’re listening by sending personalized gifts based on their interests and hobbies. If they’re a sports fan, send them a blanket with their favorite team or give them tickets to a game.”
In the absence of face-to-face meetings, e-gifting has helped build relationships and break through the digital noise. According to HubSpot platform data, virtual selling became significantly more difficult due to a flood of messages during the pandemic. For example, sales emails spiked 59% in Q2 2020 compared to pre-Covid levels, causing a thirty percent drop in buyer response rates compared to before the pandemic.
“Everyone was stuck at home by themselves, saturated with emails,” said Rudeegraap. “Having a personal connection to sales prospects, employees, and others just meant more.” Sendoso claims that it has the “marketplace selection and logistics precision of Amazon.com,” but with greater personalization. For example, Sendoso supports handwritten notes, special boxing, and an Amazon partnership that routes Amazon orders to Sendoso for repackaging.
“There are a lot of things we do uniquely in terms of what we have built throughout our software, gifting options, and logistics centre. We really personalize our gifts at scale with handwritten notes, special boxing, and more,” something that Amazon cannot do. We have built a lot of unique technology and logistics software that would make it hard for Amazon to compete.” He said that one of Sendoso’s integrations is actually with Amazon, so Sendoso users can order through there, but then the gift is first routed to Sendoso to be repackaged in a nicer way before being sent out.”
Sendoso CEO Kris Rudeegraap
Rudeegraap is a former sales executive who found gift-sending valuable but cumbersome. This experience led him to found Sendoso in 2016 with Chief Alliances Officer Braydan Young. The firm has fulfilled three million gifts over the past half-decade.
“I was manually packing boxes, grabbing swag, coming up with handwritten notes,” he recalled. “It was inefficient, but it worked so well. So I dreamed up an idea: why not be able to click a button in Salesforce to do this automatically? Sometimes the best company is one that solves a pain point of your own.”
Sendoso has 500 global employees with plans to grow its headcount by thirty percent by the end of the year. Sendoso did not disclose its valuation, but TechCrunch estimated it at $640 million.
Drift became the latest RevTech unicorn following a strategic equity investment by Vista Equity Partners. The firm did not disclose the size of the investment nor its valuation, only that the valuation exceeded $1 billion. Vista will hold a majority stake in Drift when the transaction closes in Q4.
“In partnership with Vista, Drift will continue to invest in its customers’ success while expanding its product leadership, scaling globally and bringing Conversational Commerce to more B2B businesses,” announced the firm.
Vista exclusively invests in enterprise software, data, and technology-enabled businesses.
Cancel told TechCrunch that Drift’s goal wasn’t to create a unicorn but that he and founder Elias Torres are proud to be examples for other Latino entrepreneurs:
“Drift is now part of the less than 1% of #latinx founded companies to ever achieve that milestone [$1B+ valuation].
Elias Torres ⚡️ and I believe we have a responsibility to pay it forward, to inspire other people, who are often marginalized and don’t believe they can break the glass ceiling to know that they too can do it. So today we want our #latinx community to know that together we have taken another step forward in our fight for an equitable future.”
Drift CEO David Cancel
Drift, which offers “conversational commerce for B2B,” has over 50,000 sales and marketing customer teams on its Conversational Sales platform. Drift integrates chat, email, video, and artificial intelligence to power conversations on the website and with sales reps.
75% of its customers were described as mid-market enterprise clients by Cancel. Customers include ServiceNow, Okta, Grubhub, Mindbody, Adobe, Ellie May, and Snowflake.
“Over the next decade messaging will continue to eat the world and that in order to survive and compete, enterprise businesses will need to flip the traditional model, remove friction, and put customers first. The businesses that win will be the ones that make it simpler for customers to buy from them…
Our bet is that conversations will transform the entire B2B revenue function, and with a partner like Vista, who has helped to transform and grow companies like Marketo and Wrike in recent years, we are excited for what’s next.”
Drift CEO David Cancel
Drift continues on its hypergrowth path, growing ARR 70% in 2020 with a similar growth trajectory this year. However, the company is not yet profitable as it is focused on growth.
“Our purpose as a company remains simple and consistent: Build a platform that makes it simpler for customers to buy from you. We have an opportunity to bring learnings from the B2C buyer experience to the enterprise and introduce Conversational Commerce as a new B2B category,” said Drift CEO David Cancel. “Given its extensive experience investing in next-generation SaaS companies, we believe Vista is the best partner to help Drift – and our customers – further these efforts. I am excited to work with Vista’s team of investors, operators, and technologists who will help us fulfill our ambitious vision and lead the Conversational Commerce category for decades to come.”
Cancel has his eye on taking the company public, with Vista providing a “clear path” to an IPO.
“As a next-generation SaaS company with a strong leadership team, differentiated platform, and passionate customer base, Drift is uniquely qualified and well-positioned to define and lead this new market of Conversational Commerce,” said Monti Saroya, co-head of the Flagship Fund and senior managing director at Vista. “It is a privilege to partner with talented founders like David and Elias, and we look forward to supporting them and the entire Drift team to help advance their vision to remove the friction from business buying, and in turn, create tremendous value for customers as Drift’s hypergrowth continues to accelerate.”
Boston-based Drift slowed its employment growth rate with the advent of the pandemic but accelerated its hiring in 2021, with an increase of 151 employees since December. In addition, the sales team has grown 33% over the past six months to 136.
The company appears to have started a consulting organization, growing from 2 to 18 consultants over the past year. In August, the firm hired Ryan Slinkard as their VP of Professional Services.
RevTech is a field with several minority immigrant founders of unicorns. I have recently also covered Manny Medina (Outreach CEO; Ecuador; $4.4 billion Valuation) and Tope Awotona (Calendly; Nigeria; $3B+ Valuation). Awotona was recently named a board member of SalesLoft, another RevTech unicorn.
ZoomInfo launched its Business Contact Preference Registry (BCPR), a centralized registry for recording B2B opt-out requests which will be shared across the industry. The BCPR is ZoomInfo’s latest step in burnishing its data privacy positioning.
“The collection of data is central to businesses in the B2B data industry, but the responsibility of ethical data stewardship falls onto the shoulders of each individual company,” wrote the firm. “As industry leaders in data privacy, ZoomInfo has made it easier for businesses in the B2B data marketplace to address the preferences of consumers by building, maintaining, and sharing access to the BCPR.”
“It’s critical for data-focused companies to prioritize privacy. The Business Contact Preference Registry offers businesses a convenient way to prioritize privacy by supplying the entire B2B data industry with a ready-made list of consumer opt-outs. We’re proactively sharing our opt-outs as an invitation to B2B companies to join us in putting privacy first.”
Bubba Nunnery, ZoomInfo’s Senior Director of Privacy and Public Policy
I had been flagging data privacy as a weakness in ZoomInfo’s model, which could slow their entry to the European market post-COVID, but they have been actively working to shore up their data privacy practices and demonstrate that they are respectful of the data they hold.
ZoomInfo developed a proactive data compliance program based upon “notice and choice” that notifies business professionals about ZoomInfo’s data. The program is global in scope, so not limited to countries that require notifications. ZoomInfo also expanded its data privacy team earlier this year, naming Hannah Zimmerman, ZoomInfo’s Privacy Counsel and Bubba Nunnery, Senior Director, Privacy and Public Policy.
“Our business is founded on the trust our customers have in our data,” said General Counsel Anthony Stark back in March. “Collecting data is central to all businesses, and it’s our job to be ethical stewards of the data we hold. ZoomInfo adheres to its core privacy tenets of transparency and control, showcasing that we are respectful of the rights of consumers while providing critical service to our customers.”
In May, ZoomInfo announced that it received GDPR and CCPA Practices Validation from TrustArc, saying that its policies “are in line with the strictest privacy regulations in the world.”
“Organizations of all sizes must become privacy-forward to earn the trust of their customers,” said Chris Babel, CEO, TrustArc. “ZoomInfo understands that building trust requires an ongoing, scalable approach to data privacy. The organization has consistently prioritized privacy as the enabler of a better experience for its customers and their subscribers, and the TrustArc GDPR and CCPA Validations reinforce that standing.”
“ZoomInfo is leading the way in data privacy. We are working to accept opt-outs from other vendors as part of our efforts to elevate privacy standards across the B2B data industry.”
CEO Henry Schuck
The BCPR is an excellent idea, but I’m not sure whether the registry should be hosted by one of the major vendors in the space. ZoomInfo plans on accepting opt outs from other vendors, but It is unclear whether other vendors would promote ZoomInfo in the lead data collection role. Preferably, it would be hosted by a government agency such as the FTC, which manages the US Do Not Call Registry, or a neutral body similar to the ICANN domain registry. DataGrail, a leader in data privacy compliance, could administer an independent database across businesses and consumers.
Revenue Acceleration vendor Drift rolled out a pair of sales enablement tools to facilitate rapid qualification and lead routing: Fastlane lead forms and Sales Seat intent and engagement alerts.
Fastlane combines traditional lead forms with chatbots to create “conversational forms.” Prospects fill out a lead form with contact information enriched, scored, and routed to the Drift chatbot for high-scoring leads. Thus, high-scoring prospects immediately move to sales rep conversations from the website.
Low scoring leads are passed to nurture or “other automated activations.”
“As a result, sellers can focus on high-converting buyers while routing lower-priority leads to nurture campaigns or other automated activations,” wrote Drift. “The net outcome results in more qualified sales pipeline, an efficient workflow for sales reps, and overall revenue acceleration for the organization.”
If the buyers are too busy to speak immediately, they can schedule a meeting through the chatbot. Likewise, if the rep isn’t available for chat, the bot can schedule a meeting after collecting additional prospect intelligence.
It may seem odd that a firm that is a #noforms proponent would choose to begin offering forms, but not all marketers are ready to eliminate forms.
“For most marketers, it’s the number one source of leads that they drive for their sales team. And if they didn’t have that, sales teams would be on the hook to create nearly all of their own pipeline – which is very inefficient. So we realized we had to do more. We have to support our customers in every way that they work. From the inbound motion that relies on forms to the outbound motion for customers who can’t rely on marketing alone to hit their numbers.”
CEO David Cancel
There are also scenarios where a form makes more sense than a bot. Registering for a webinar works better as a form than a bot as it is transparent about the requisite data entry. Likewise, enabling forms with optional bots increases their flexibility and value.
Continue to Part II which discusses Sales Seat and the importance of rapid sales responses for inbound leads.
Conversational Marketing Platform Qualified closed on a $51 million Series B round. Salesforce Ventures led the round, with existing partners Redpoint Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners also joining. Qualified has received $68 million in total funding. It is “the only conversational sales and marketing platform purpose-built for Salesforce Sales Cloud,” stated the firm.
Qualified’s Salesforce roots “go deep.” Along with the Salesforce Ventures funding, Salesforce CMO Sarah Franklin joined Qualified as a board observer, and former Salesforce SVP Dan Darcy joined as their Chief Customer Officer. Multiple execs are former Salesforce employees including CEO Kraig Swensrud who worked on the development of Chatter and served as the firm’s CMO.
“Qualified represents an entirely new way for B2B companies to engage buyers,” said Bill Patterson, Salesforce EVP of CRM Applications. “When marketing and inbound sales teams use this solution with Sales Cloud…they see a notable impact on pipeline. We are thrilled about our growing partnership with Qualified and their success within the Salesforce ecosystem.”
Qualified will deploy the funds to “fuel product innovation;” build out key functions including engineering, sales, marketing, and customer success; and more than double its headcount before the end of the year.
“Conversational sales and marketing is no longer a ‘nice to have.’ It’s mission critical for fast-growing businesses, and table stakes for modern buyers. The world’s top CMOs and demand gen leaders are turning to Qualified as a new way to meet with their most important buyers the moment they arrive on the website. There’s no better partner than Salesforce Ventures to help us accelerate Qualified’s growth and bring this solution to Salesforce customers around the world.”
Qualified CEO Kraig Swensrud
Qualified addresses a “multi-billion problem for enterprise marketing and sales teams,” their inability to identify qualified buyers and message to them while they are on the website. Thus, the $6 billion spent driving buyers to company websites is poorly converted into sales pipelines.
“In enterprise sales, speed matters: Waiting even five minutes after a lead leaves a website decreases the chances of making contact by 10x,” wrote the firm. “However, it takes salespeople 38 hours on average to respond to qualified leads. Studies show that 78% of B2B customers buy from the company that responds to them first.”
Qualified offers real-time visitor intelligence and routing based upon Salesforce. Visitors may interact with chatbots or talk to reps via chat, voice, and screen sharing. The service promises 99.9% uptime, GDPR compliance, SOC2 compliance, and Salesforce ISV certification.
“The conversational model is simply a better way to connect with new customers. Buyers love the real-time engagement, sellers love the instant connections, and marketers have the confidence that every dollar spent on demand generation is maximized,” said Board Member Scott Beechuk. “The multi-billion-dollar market for Salesforce automation software is going to adopt this new model, and Qualified is perfectly positioned to capture that demand. If your company uses Salesforce, Qualified will be a multiplier on your sales and marketing investment.”
Qualified saves conversations to Salesforce, including a complete visual recording of the timeline, chat transcript, and screen recording.
Last year, Qualified grew revenue by 800% and posted a 175% customer revenue retention rate. New customers include Adobe, Matterport, Poly, Sodexo, SurveyMonkey, Talend, Tech Data, and VMware.
According to LinkedIn, Qualified grew its headcount by 92% last year.
Conversational Marketing is hot, but the market is shifting from standalone chat to chat as a front-end to ABX Platforms. ZoomInfo acquired Insent last week and rebranded it ZoomInfo Chat, Drift expanded its product vision into Revenue Acceleration with additional channels, and Terminus acquired Ramble and integrated it into its ABX Platform.
ZoomInfo announced that it acquired Conversational Marketing firm Insent.AI this morning. The new offering was immediately rebranded as ZoomInfo Chat. Insent, ZoomInfo’s latest post-IPO tuck-in, follows acquisitions of Everstring (firmographics) and Clickagy (intent data) in late 2020. In total, ZoomInfo (FKA DiscoverOrg) has acquired eight companies over the past four years.
CEO Henry Schuck focuses on acquiring complementary data assets that become significantly more valuable when combined with ZoomInfo’s data assets and are then cross-sold by its sales teams.
Last month Schuck told Yahoo! Finance:
“It [the size of the company] doesn’t really matter because the way that we evaluate M&A is, we look for opportunities where, number one, our data makes a big impact from a competitive differentiation perspective. And number two, which goes to the valuation piece, because we are seeing incredibly high valuations on M&A targets today.
But on that piece, we’re always looking to see, hey, if we buy this company and we integrate it into ZoomInfo, and we have all of our sellers selling that product or service and it’s integrated and it’s gotten better with the data asset that we have, how fast can we grow the business? It’s always much faster than that business is going to grow on its own.
And so, when we’re doing the analysis on what to buy and what to build, the buy equation has a lot to do with how much faster we can grow the business. And so while a valuation today might feel like a lot, when we look at what we’re going to be able to do with that asset over the next year and two years, we look for those assets to be accretive in the short term. And it really becomes a go-to-market exercise for us.”
Conversational Marketing is a rapidly emerging segment that provides value across the revenue team. Insent, which will be powered by ZoomInfo’s WebSights visitor identification and its global database, performs real-time routing of conversations to sales reps. Low-scoring prospects are managed by the chatbot, with high-scoring visitors routed to the appropriate sales reps. Insent, which competes against Intercom, Terminus, and Drift, calls itself a “human-first chatbot.”
“Marketers spend enormous amounts of time, money, and effort to drive traffic to their websites, but only convert less than two percent of visitors into leads – an incredible inefficiency for teams,” said Schuck. “The acquisition of Insent will combine chat with ZoomInfo’s dynamic IP-to-company graph and insights. Marketers will be able to instantly identify previously anonymous companies that are on their websites, route prospects to the right account owners, and arm them with ZoomInfo’s key intelligence about their buyers. As a result, they’ll initiate real-time conversations that can yield significant conversions.”
Insent also looks for website triggers such as page visits and scroll locations when launching the chatbot.
“As visitors engage in personalized conversations with a chatbot, the nature of the interaction can further inform and qualify visitors for a seamless transition to a live chat with a sales representative,” blogged Schuck. This interactive intelligence will be combined with firmographics and other account and contact intelligence related to the prospect. These insights then “trigger automated sales and marketing workflows, plays, and alerts to create informed, serendipitous, personalized engagement.”
The Insent chatbot supports inline meeting scheduling and additional information gathering for the rep. ZoomInfo will also support automated follow-up workflows and conversations.
Chatbots have an advantage over traditional web forms. Not only do they capture and enrich information, but they can engage with prospects when “your brand is top of mind” and selectively pass high-scoring visitors immediately to sales reps. If the sales rep is not available, the chatbot can schedule a call and collect additional intelligence for the meeting.
“And that opportunity extends beyond the lifetime of that visit,” added Schuck. “Leveraging the visit as a trigger event, ZoomInfo can expand the audience at an account by identifying other likely members of the buying committee and activating outreach to those professionals following a website visit by one or a number of their peers.”
Insent supports integrations with Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot, Slack, MS Teams, and Zendesk (customer support).
Real-time integrations between platforms and the chat engine, combined with real-time reference data are key to this deal. “Without tightly integrated, highly accurate data and timely insights, these systems are merely empty repositories that lack the intelligence to surface, prioritize, and trigger effective, personalized engagement at scale,” blogged Shuck. “At ZoomInfo, we are actively executing against our vision to build a go-to-market platform that combines our best-in-class data and insights with a tightly integrated engagement layer that activates those insights as they surface. Our system facilitates real-time connection with buyers in their time of need, alerts sales teams to meaningful activity, and feeds engagement activity data back into the system for better future profiling and targeting.”
“ZoomInfo is a trusted leader in go-to-market intelligence and orchestration that enterprises rely on to help them identify and close their ideal customers,” said Insent CEO Arjun Pillai. “ZoomInfo and Insent will help shape the future of chat by allowing teams to have data-centric, intelligent conversations that can expedite sales cycles.”
Insent isn’t “just building a chatbot that generates leads, but a collaborative platform that is going to help marketers create, nurture qualified opportunities, and shorten sales cycles,” said the firm earlier this year.
The goal is to remove “digital walls” between buyers and sellers by replacing web forms and follow-ups “with instant live conversations on websites” that schedule meetings and deliver “personalized content recommendations based on engagement history.”
Insent describes itself as an “integration first platform,” with MAPs, CRMs, and ABM Platforms “to help sales teams talk to engaged prospects while they’re on the website.”
According to Insent Digital Marketer Aatharsha Jey, “integrations should be planned and carried out in a way that does not ask people to change their behaviors in order to adopt a new tool.”
“By guiding their buyers at the right time and proactively alerting your salespeople, Insent generates new revenue opportunities and accelerates existing ones,” said Pillai.
Initially, the pandemic slowed Instent’s growth as marketing teams reduced budgets and delayed decisions, but chatbots are high on the list of MarTech digital acquisition solutions. Between May 2020 and January 2021, Insent revenue quadrupled.
Earlier this year, Insent was using 6Sense for visitor identification. “We go and task 6Sense through an API,” said Pillai in February. “We take that data, and we do further processing of that data. All of this happens in microseconds. Basically, the moment somebody lands on the website, boom, the API call comes back with the data based on that website, company visitor.”
Insent stress-tested various platforms before settling on MongoDB and AWS. Pillai contends that the platform gives them a five-year or six-year window before rearchitecting. The platform was designed with an account-based, versus lead-based, architecture that ties leads to accounts for account-based orchestration.
The new ZoomInfo Chat offering will be available to new and existing customers in Q3. Deal terms were not disclosed. The acquisition was deemed not to have a material impact on the firm’s 2021 financials.
Pillai will be joining ZoomInfo as the SVP of Strategic Growth.
GZ Consulting offers a detailed analysis of ZoomInfo which includes a one-hour Q&A session. Contact Michael Levy for licensing.
With D&B Lattice at its core, Rev.Up ABX supports AI-driven models for defining ideal buyers and their individual and account-level buying journeys. Marketers define the goals, segmentation, criteria, and historical period for the model (e.g., four quarters of historical records), and Lattice builds and scores across the segment. These models assist with building targeted audiences of buyers ready to engage across various stages of their journey.
Once a model is built, marketers can create and activate campaigns across channels. For example, an awareness campaign can be activated across paid social, Google ads, and Google search for either accounts or contacts. Lattice manages scheduled audience updates so that marketers do not need to manually update the activated segment.
Likewise, lower scoring leads triggered by website visits can be nurtured in Marketo, while higher scoring visitors are routed to Outreach as sequences or tasks.
Company-level analytics show the engagement journey across stages, contacts engaged, engagement activity, pages visited, firmographics, intent signals, and SDR alerts.
The suite is GDPR and CCPA compliant with opt-in/opt-out flags shared across activation channels.
“It’s a feeling of expansion, born of learning so much from our customers, and born of the digital transformation that has happened in the last year,” said Demandbase CEO Gabe Rogol. “This is an intentional step for us beyond being solely an ABM leader and into broader B2B go-to-market. That’s important because ABM is just a part of the go-to-market challenges that B2B companies face.”
The new services are packaged as an ABM Suite consisting of four clouds: ABX, Advertising, Sales Intelligence, and Data. Customers will have the flexibility to order various elements of the suite, selecting the clouds and services that fit their needs.
“Our focus has been on building the most complete ABM solution (we call it ABX, because it’s not just marketing),” said Rogol, “and that was the impetus behind acquiring Engagio, putting a lot of the top of funnel and lower funnel stuff together. That will still be important.”
While some may view this as Demandbase growing beyond ABX, it is an opportunity for them to complete the ABX vision. I have long been critical of Demandbase’s limited framing of ABM within the marketing department. While they acquired Spiderbook, a small sales intelligence vendor, a few years ago, it withered on the vine and is no longer mentioned by the firm. InsideView provides them with an opportunity to realize ABX as a complete customer lifecycle solution. There are still missing elements such as sales engagement tools and chatbots, but they are now working on a much wider canvas.
Demandbase is in a sprint to establish the ABX platform space against vendors such as Terminus, 6Sense, and Dun & Bradstreet. It has been using the ABM three-letter acronym for a dozen years and was a lonely voice extolling ABM for half of that time, arguing for a shift from demand generation marketing to account-based strategies. Earlier this year, it shifted from ABM to ABX (Account Based Experience), which places a greater emphasis on long-term relationships with customers and the broader revenue team (sales, marketing, customer success).
“We’re proud to join forces with these two great companies. Our vision is bold. We are transforming how B2B companies go to market, helping them deliver great experiences at every stage of the account journey. This requires great data — and we now have the premium B2B data and intelligence solutions to help companies identify, understand, and engage their customers and prospects. With this move, Demandbase moves from being ‘just’ a leader in account-based programs to being the definitive leader in B2B go-to-market…
These new offerings let us work even more flexibly with our customers. Customers can mix and match to focus on the areas most important for them, whether that’s data embedded to their existing systems, or advertising, or sales intelligence, or a full account-based transformation. We are moving aggressively to deliver on this mission, and no company will move faster than us to achieve it.”
Demandbase CEO Gabe Rogol
Acquiring InsideView and DemandMatrix strengthens its position in both marketing and sales. Furthermore, InsideView’s sales triggers provide Demandbase customers with a rich set of talking points for account managers and customer success teams, letting them know if there are executive changes, M&A events, new partnerships, etc.
Demandbase, which offers an ABX Cloud and an Advertising Cloud, now supports a Data Cloud and Sales Intelligence Cloud. The Sales Intelligence Cloud is based upon InsideView and supports:
Prospect Finder – A traditional list-building feature for company and contact data. Along with firmographic and biographic data, the InsideView prospect finder includes connection variables (Who Know Who “six degrees”), sales triggers (17 + custom variables), data availability (e.g., LinkedIn Connections, Email), and suppression lists.
Browser Extension – A Chrome extension for quick lookup and prospecting. The extension displays InsideView company and contact profiles from LinkedIn, company websites, and CRMs. Records may be sent to the CRM or Sales Engagement Platforms.
News and Social Insights – InsideView publishes daily email alerts based upon their sales triggers. As these are event-based, most company noise (e.g., stock price fluctuations, scores for teams playing at branded stadia) is removed and duplicates suppressed. They also support inline social media viewing for Facebook, Twitter, and Company Blogs. Inline viewing helps account managers and customer success teams stay abreast of key accounts. It also assists marketing and CI professionals in monitoring key partners and competitors.
Corporate Hierarchies – Family trees assist with lead-to-account mapping, selling deeper into an organization, and ensuring that leads are accurately scored and routed.
The Data Cloud consists of Demandbase, InsideView, and DemandMatrix assets. InsideView contributes close to 100 million global contacts and 17 million companies. DemandMatrix supports technographics (current tech stack, future technology needs, technology-based skill set trends, cloud consumption revenue, and IT Spend).
Other Data Cloud services include Demandbase Account Identification, InsideView Apex (ICP Discovery and Expansion), InsideView Data Integrity hygiene tools, and the InsideView API.
“For the last 15 years, we’ve been focused on empowering our customers to experience rapid revenue growth through the power of data. InsideView’s leadership in sales intelligence made it clear to us years ago that stronger ties between sales and marketing lead to more revenue—and data is the key. By joining forces with Demandbase, we’re combining our legacy and leadership in sales, and the industry’s freshest, most reliable data, with leading marketing technology. Our customers will be able to do more with data across more B2B revenue channels from sales, to advertising, to account-based campaigns. We’re taking the convergence of data and workflow to the next level.”
InsideView CEO Umberto Milletti
InsideView was highly rated in The Forrester Wave B2B Marketing Data Providers Q2 2021 report, scoring a five (highest score) across 14 of Forrester’s 24 evaluation criteria. Among the categories in which they excelled were data management, data coverage, and customer support.
Rogol emphasized the value of technographics for enterprise technology companies, saying that “for technology companies, the number one feature in a data science model is what technologies your prospect owns.”
“B2B data is complex, and customers consistently ask us for help with their data stack,” said DemandMatrix CEO Meetul Shah. “We started with further innovating technographic data to give customers valuable insights into their prospects and what other technologies they might buy. By now being part of the Demandbase Data Cloud, we’ll be able to provide customers access throughout the B2B data stack to help them realize their revenue goals.”
Both Milletti and Shah will continue running their respective businesses and join the Demandbase executive team as general managers. The two subsidiaries will operate separately, but the firm will consolidate the data across the offerings.
Acquisition prices for the two firms were not disclosed. The InsideView service lists its revenue at $30.5 million and 275 employees, which has remained stable over the past few years. DemandMatrix is listed at $3.0 million in revenue with 90 employees.
“At Demandbase, our vision is bold. We are transforming how B2B companies go to market, helping them deliver great experiences at every stage of the account journey. This requires great data,” said Demandbase. “We now have the premium B2B data and intelligence solutions to help companies identify, understand, and engage their customers and prospects. With this move, Demandbase goes from being ‘just’ a leader in account-based programs to being the definitive leader in B2B go-to-market.”
InsideView and DemandMatrix customers benefit from the more extensive go-to-market capabilities of their parent. The DemandMatrix suite helps customers:
Design and orchestrate their entire buyer’s journey across marketing and sales
Personalize their website experience, track account-level engagement, and attribute revenue
Deliver account-based display, native, and social media advertising that is brand safe for B2B
Target and segment their market
Rogol admitted that the integration work would not be easy. “Obviously, we still have a lot of the execution work ahead. One thing to point out is that these are different types of acquisitions than Engagio. With Engagio, the goal was to get to the most comprehensive ABM platform. These are adjacent expansions, so they’re going to operate as standalone businesses pretty much.”
Barb Mosher Zinck of Diginomica was bullish on the transactions, calling it a “smart move” to consolidate the data from three companies under a single platform. “It’s essentially a Customer Data Platform (CDP) without the CDP name (and some CDP capabilities), providing all the critical information sales and marketing need to find the right accounts and contacts within those accounts. The intelligence DemandMatrix brings on technology is key, as is the ability from InsideView to see when things are changing in a company.”
“I also like that Demandbase has broadened its offering from only account-based marketing to sales intelligence because the two groups are tightly aligned,” continued Mosher Zinck. “These two solutions can operate separately but bringing them together under the same umbrella with access to the same data is key to ensuring a company-wide focus on customer experience.”
The following Market Flash published on May 4th to my newsletter subscribers. I also offer a detailed InsideView product review for purchase ($349).