I’ve been covering Q2 enhancements to LinkedIn Sales Navigator this week. On Monday, I discussed their Sales Coach enhancements and on Wednesday their Alerting enhancements. There were also a set of communications enhancements to Sales Navigator (an area of strength vs. other Sales Intelligence offerings). Communication enhancements include conversation histories, improved filtering, more visible icebreakers, and InMail credit status.
searching speed has been improved and a guided search experience helps the user
expand or narrow the search term (see image on left).
save and bulk remove accounts and contacts from lists.
Lead to Account – As not all leads (people) are attached to accounts, the match
feature allows users to assign leads to any company for alerting purposes.
A live org chart integration is being introduced For Microsoft Dynamics which supports saved accounts. The functionality is being delivered through LinkedIn SNAP.
chart displays LinkedIn member profile photos and additional profile details which
provide additional insights into the account.
Q2, Lucidchart also became a SNAP partner. Lucidchart users can now view
lead recommendations, save leads to Sales Navigator, view contact profiles and
updates, request introductions, and send InMails from within Lucidchart.
“Sales teams work faster and smarter when they work visually. Bringing the power of the world’s largest professional online network into Lucidchart in a more seamless way underscores our ongoing commitment to enhance the sales experience.”
Lucidchart CEO Karl Sun
Note: This is the final chapter on the Q2 2019 LinkedIn Sales Navigator release. Part 1 | Part II
French Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor Sparklane released its Predictive Account Scoring Solution for B2B sales. Sparklane Predict now supports dynamic account scoring based upon Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP), sales feedback, and CRM win/loss data. The service is currently available in the UK and France with additional European markets in development.
According to the firm, Predict
supports a “human-in-the-loop” lead review process which “feeds lead decisions
back into the ICP model, providing additional intelligence towards distinguishing between good
and bad prospects.” Predict also collects CRM intelligence on opportunity
outcomes, providing an additional basis for model refinement.
supports bi-directional syncing with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Marketo,
and Eloqua. Sparklane uploads suggested accounts and leads to CRMs and
gathers historical outcomes for ICP modeling and dynamic scoring.
claims that it shortens sales cycles by 28%, increases contract volume by 25%,
and improves the business conversion rate by 70%.
Sparklane Predict leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools such as machine learning and natural language processing to dramatically improve sales productivity and customer insights. Sales rep attention is directed towards accounts and leads most likely to close based on both fit (company attributes) and need (sales triggers such as international expansion, employee growth, or product launches). Furthermore, automated data enrichment ensures that reps are working with accurate, complete, and current data.
Sparklane Press Release
When building Sparklane models, both win and loss scenarios are employed, providing a more robust model than current customer lists. Along with win/loss scenarios, Sparklane supports other binary outcome scenarios:
Account Renew vs. Account Drop
Account Upgrade vs. Account Downgrade
High Margin Profitable Accounts vs. Low Margin Unprofitable Accounts
also supports multi-product line upsell and cross-sell models.
many of the vendors now marketing ideal customer profile solutions (ICP) are
offering little more than basic prospecting or look-a-like lists under the ICP
banner,” said Sparklane CEO Frédéric Pichard. “A true ICP service begins
with both positive and negative accounts so the platform can distinguish
between accounts that closed and those that failed to close. A true model
also contains feedback loops from sales reps and the CRM. It is the
addition of feedback that refines the model over time, improving the predictive
precision of account scores.”
Sparklane supports nearly 250 customers out of offices in Paris, Nantes, and London. Last year, Sparklane grew its recurring revenue by 60%.
At their Rainmaker 2019 conference, SalesLoft announced a doubling of their partner ecosystem, mobile functionality, a rebuilt analytics engine, and a hot leads feature, and expanded CRM connectors. The show attracted 1,300 attendees to hear 164 speakers.
SalesLoft released an iOS mobile app that allows users to place digital calls through the SalesLoft platform. Calls are directed through a Twilio dialer and then analyzed by SalesLoft. Post-call automated features include automated transcription and indexing, call analytics, and CRM sync. Thus, if the rep places a call on the road, she will have a fully transcribed, indexed, and analyzed call when she returns to the office.
to making the call, the user can set one-sided recording or local number calling.
Users can also add new contacts to cadences and will be notified when
prospects engage with a cadence. An activity stream is on the mobile app
inbound calls, the rep can quickly enter call notes which are synced to the
are no immediate plans for an Android app.
“I believe sales is about relationships and sales engagement is essential to building those relationships. Through data science, meeting intelligence and efficient account-based workflows, SalesLoft lets you focus on what matters most: building relationships and solving customers’ problems.”
SalesLoft VP of Product Butler Raines
is implementing a new reporting framework with an event-driven architecture
which supports an open data API. Two reports, a Cadence Performance
report and an Account Report, have already been rolled out. The framework
supports configurable dashboards which can be quickly built with advanced
analytics and visualizations using Business Intelligence tools. Sales Ops
can also build real-time reports and dashboards within Salesforce.
SalesLoft is extending machine learning and AI into its platform. For example, SalesLoft machine learning tools detect the prospect’s position and level at a firm and selects the optimal persona-based cadence. A new Hot Leads feature prioritizes prospects based on content engagement and website activity.
SalesLoft, which has long supported Salesforce, will be adding connectors for Microsoft Dynamics and SAP.
“We have seen a sizeable increase in CRM demand beyond the Salesforce ecosystem. SalesLoft is excited to enable organizations running on SAP C4C and Microsoft Dynamics to better serve their customers.”
Sean Kester, SalesLoft VP of Platform Strategy
SalesLoft will be regionalizing its data hosting by region or usage. “This not only allows for customization (for example, keeping data that originates from the European Union in the EU) but also improves security and platform performance,” blogged the firm. “Whether it’s through regulation compliance, security-minded development, or thought leadership, SalesLoft looks to partner with our customers for mutual success.”
SalesLoft announced a set of additional partners available through their app directory. I will discuss these on Monday.
Microsoft announced that InsideView Insights, it’s OEM integration for Microsoft Dynamics, will no longer be available as a free service. Current users will continue to receive the integrated sales solution through August 15th at no charge. Customers may continue to use Insights, without disruption, simply by signing a license agreement directly with InsideView. To expedite the contracting process, InsideView is offering early bird pricing as low as $16 per user per month through the end of March. Licensors would then begin paying for the service after the August deadline. New user bundles are initially available for $399 per month for up to ten seats. After March 31, the new user bundle price rises to $499 per month for up to ten seats.
c“Our goal is
to make it easy to switch,” said VP of Global Alliances, Heidi Tucker.
“All they [customers] have to do is make a decision, there’s no need to
reinstall the software.”
Insights is a fully featured sales intelligence service delivered as a native application within Dynamics 365. It is equivalent to InsideView for Sales and available on AppSource. Key features include
Build-a-list Account and Contact
Integrated viewing of Account,
Contact, and Lead records
“Stare and compare” record updates
and “add contact” to CRM
Account profiles with family tree
hierarchies, competitors, SEC filings, and income statements
Alerting and watchlists (daily
Connections (six degrees tool)
VP of Product and Solution Marketing Joe Andrews described the six-year
Microsoft relationship as a “long, fruitful OEM partnership” which resulted in
more than 2,000 joint customers and more than 100,000 users.
actively transitioning customers to a direct relationship and making sure they
have no disruption for their sellers,” said InsideView CMO Tracy Eiler.
“The product experience is the same; this is a licensing change where now
they will contract directly with InsideView. We’re set up to help them with
on-boarding new users and continuing to make current users successful.”
Once customers transition to an InsideView license, they will be assigned a Customer Success Manager and have improved access to training programs. A direct license also improves InsideView’s ability to cross-sell its DaaS and Marketing Services including Apex (ICP/TAM), Refresh (Automated Data Hygiene), Enrich (Real-Time Match & Append), and Target (Prospecting).
InsideView, continuing to license Insights is seamless, with customers simply
needing to sign a contract directly with InsideView “InsideView Insights
looks and acts like the Insights you’re familiar with and comes with
InsideView’s excellent customer support,” wrote the firm in an FAQ. “When
you switch to a direct license, you will not notice any change and all your
data, watchlists, and previous preferences will remain the same.“
deals provide a set of new customers and income, they often leave the OEM partner
disintermediated. The platform maintains the relationship with the end
users and it is more difficult to conduct user research, provide training,
support users, or improve the workflow and user experience.
Insights no longer holding a preferred position within Dynamics, customers must
choose whether to license Insights or transition to competitive offerings from
LinkedIn (a Microsoft subsidiary), Dun & Bradstreet, Zoominfo, DiscoverOrg,
or other partners.
InsideView described LinkedIn Sales Navigator as a complementary service. Sales Navigator is part of the Relationship Sales bundle for Microsoft Dynamics. InsideView listed the following reasons to license Insights alongside Relationship Sales:
Deeper account research and has broader account coverage
Find and research executives who are not on LinkedIn
Access a broader connections network that includes LinkedIn, email
contacts, partners, alumni, work colleagues, and other social networks all in
Find direct email addresses
Add company and contact data to Dynamics 365
Update your CRM accounts and contacts for higher data quality
Keeps users in CRM to boost usage
Minimizes extra training – fully integrated into Dynamics with an
intuitive user experience
InsideView did not provide a reason for the end of the OEM deal, but it is likely due to Microsoft looking to expand the number of partner solutions it offers including its own LinkedIn SNAP integration. When the OEM deal was originally signed, Dynamics CRM had a smaller market share and fewer partners. Since then, Microsoft has been the second fastest growing CRM behind Salesforce and has added most of the key sales intelligence and B2B DaaS vendors as partners.
Last month Sales Navigator began rolling out its Q3 release. Amongst the features are a Pipeline Review and Buyers Circle (discussed last Friday), improved Search, and additional SNAP integrations.
Sales Navigator Account and Lead Search have been redesigned for speed and ease. The Account and Lead Search functions and results (see 1 below) are more prominent, offer streamlined search filters (see 2), and deliver simplified save search and alerting processes. Other enhancements include hover cards (see 3) which display company intelligence when mousing over a company name. Hover cards include a Save as Account button.
LinkedIn originally designed their mobile app to complement the desktop service but is working to make mobile a “full-featured Sales Navigator experience.” Last quarter, they focused on Account enhancements and this quarter they brought the mobile Lead experience to parity with the desktop service.
“We will continue to narrow the gap between our mobile and desktop experiences in upcoming releases, and take advantage of the unique characteristics of mobile as well.”
Doug Camplejohn, VP of Product Management at LinkedIn Sales Solutions.
LinkedIn continues to invest in its SNAP partner program. This quarter, Adobe Sign was added as a partner and three partners (Salesforce, MS Dynamics, and SalesLoft) took advantage of their version two capabilities. SFDC and MSD now broadly embed LinkedIn intelligence in Lead, Account, and Opportunity pages. Users may also send InMails from within the CRM.
The next generation SNAP integrations are modular, providing greater flexibility around where content is displayed. New modular features include InMail support and the handling of Potential Profile Matches.
LinkedIn has taken a “Switzerland approach” to its partnerships, working with both Microsoft and its competitors.
The firm reiterated its commitment to data security and GDPR compliance. “LinkedIn maintains ISO 27001 & ISO 27018 certifications, as well as a SSAE-18 certification, SOC 2 Type I report,” noted the firm in its briefing to Admins.
Finally, LinkedIn added an Ideas site to its Sales Navigator Community portal where admins can “submit, vote on, comment on and track status of ideas for how to improve Sales Navigator.”
Last month, LinkedIn rolled out its Q3 Sales Navigator release to admins and trainers. Enhancements include a new Deals feature to assist with pipeline reviews, “Buyer Circles,” an updated search user experience, and revised mobile lead pages. Several partner platforms are also rolling out version 2 of their SNAP integrations.
During pipeline reviews, “managers are really trying to find out what are areas of weakness in the pipeline and how they can help. A lot of times, because the information that’s been put into CRM is incomplete, that can be a challenging conversation,” says Doug Camplejohn, VP of Product Management at LinkedIn Sales Solutions. “The problem Deals is ultimately trying to solve is how do you increase the quality of that data that is ultimately stored in the CRM, and by making it much easier for the rep to quickly see missing points of information as well as to add in what one could argue is the most important information—who are all the people that are involved in that buying decision at the target company.”
LinkedIn noted that pipeline review sessions are often frustrating due to incomplete and out of date CRM information resulting in a “20 questions” session in search of deal risks. The new Deal feature pulls deal and contact intelligence from the CRM and streamlines the update process. Instead of jumping between opportunity records, reps can manage their pipeline updates from a single pane of glass. The update table allows reps to quickly enter deal intelligence including deal size, stage, close date, and next steps with information immediately written back to the CRM.
Deals requires that the Salesforce Admin enable CRM synch. Reps will only be able to view and edit fields for which they have been granted permission and only for Opportunities in their name. Managers will only be able to view Deals for their team members.
Deals includes a Buyer’s Circle feature which helps reps quickly fill gaps in their Buying Committee. “The real power comes when you want to add missing role contacts,” Doug Camplejohn, LinkedIn Sales Solutions VP Products wrote to licensors. “Buyer’s Circle makes it easy to select anyone on LinkedIn and drag them to a role, which, again, automatically updates your CRM. And if that contact is not already in your CRM, Deals lets you create a new CRM contact associated with that opportunity in just a few clicks.”
As LinkedIn does not deliver member-specific details to third-parties, Buyers Circle only uploads First and Last Name, Title, and Company. Other buyer details would need to be keyed in by the sales rep or populated by a third-party enrichment vendor.
Deals is available in Salesforce.com with the Q3 release and will be available in Microsoft Dynamics in Q4.
Deals is part of the Team and Enterprise editions and is based on a Heighten capability “rebuilt from the ground up.” Heighten was acquired in 2017.
“B2B selling is more complicated these days where you often have half a dozen people involved, but they’re not all recognized. A sales rep will put a single contact into the system, and if the deal goes sideways it’s hard to figure out who to contact or how to move forward.”
Doug Camplejohn, VP of Product Management, LinkedIn Sales Solutions
“I think the Deals module is the most interesting part of this release because it offers the biggest benefit,” said Gartner analyst Todd Berkowitz. “If you are in a market like tech or manufacturing or a complicated services deal, the number of people involved keeps going up including those who can influence the deal or an assassin who can kill it. The more information you can provide about all the people involved in the deal, the better. And the way the Buyers Circle surfaces information on people and brings it forward with one click is a real benefit.”
Part II covering additional features such as new SNAP integrations and mobile Lead profiles will publish on Monday.
Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor InsideView rolled out a Marketing Suite for Microsoft 365 which packages add-on prospecting and enrichment capabilities for the Microsoft 365 InsideView service. The new suite helps “modern marketers grow and improve the quality of their pipeline, prioritize leads, find and engage ideal prospects and customers, and support account-based marketing (ABM) programs.”
The Marketing Suite bundles InsideView Enrich (lead and webform enrichment), InsideView Target (list building), and InsideView Refresh (Batch Account updates). InsideView is offering special “Suite Deal” pricing.
InsideView has long provided a natively embedded free Insights service for North American sales reps within Dynamics.
InsideView Apex, their recently launched go-to-market decision engine, is a further option for the Marketing Suite.
“Today, as more B2B marketers use targeted strategies like account-based marketing to expand customer relationships and win new ones, they need a marketing automation solution that helps them identify and engage with the best opportunities,” said Joe Andrews, InsideView VP of product and solution marketing. “The InsideView Marketing Suite builds on the foundation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing so marketers can tap into our Targeting Intelligence to get higher quality data, make better marketing decisions, and execute more successful targeted marketing programs. As a Microsoft OEM partner, InsideView is always looking for ways to extend the value we can offer their customers.”
Dun & Bradstreet continues to invest in their D&B Hoovers platform with a set of content and functionality enhancements. Since the beginning of the year, Dun & Bradstreet expanded its prospecting selects, added deeper technology and company coverage, tightened its Microsoft Dynamics integration, and increased the number of fields available for export to connectors.
Dun & Bradstreet added a series of new display and screening variables including Employees 1-Year Growth, Area Code Exclusions, and Employee Counts at the company or site level. D&B Hoovers now supports over 175 prospecting variables.
Three additional domestic location filters were also added. The Domestic Ultimate D-U-N-S Number identifies the top location within a country, helping with territory expansion and cross-selling. Related variables include Is Domestic Ultimate (Select for the top national offices) and Domestic Ultimate Company (all children of the Domestic Ultimate Company).
The new selects are generally not available in competitor products.
Avention (now D&B Hoovers) platforms have long supported variables for screening by ultimate parent country and ultimate parent. The new Domestic Ultimate D-U-N-S Number selects expand the options for sales and marketing to target accounts at the country level. Thus, if a company is looking to enter a new market, they can evaluate their ABM account presence within that market and focus sales and marketing campaigns around those prospects.
The Technologies premium offering was also enhanced with coverage expanded to 195 countries, 2.7 million companies, and over 20 million tracked technologies. Technologies are screenable at the vendor and product level and viewable as part of the Technologies in Use report. Dun & Bradstreet did not indicate whether they gathered the data or licensed it from a third-party.
Microsoft Dynamics admins can now set D&B Hoovers to automatically use D-U-N-S Numbers populated by the D&B Optimizer for Microsoft enrichment service.
“This feature eliminates the need for the manual match and selection step that is used to populate records in D&B Hoovers. Once D-U-N-S Numbers are attached, the records become automatically eligible for de-duplication when sending to CRM.”
Phil McWade, Dun & Bradstreet Director of Product Management
D&B Hoovers added 15 additional CRM and MAP export fields including D&B Prescreen score, Franchise Status, Import/Export Status, Manufacturing Status, Owns/Rents, 8 Digit SIC and Description, Latitude and Longitude, Tradestyle, and Square Footage. Most of these variables were added to D&B Hoovers over the past year and are also available for display, screening, and download.
In March, D&B Hoovers added over seven million companies including 6.8 million from Brazil, 360,000 from Argentina, 210,000 from India, and 78,000 from Australia. The Russian Federation and Vietnam also added over 50,000 company profiles. D&B Hoovers now covers 21 million active companies in South America and nearly 129 million global entities.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator had another strong year of growth in-line with its historical Compound Average Growth Rate (CAGR). Extrapolating from data published prior to its Microsoft acquisition, LinkedIn Sales Navigator has global revenues between $300 and $350 million. This would make LinkedIn the largest vendor of sales intelligence solutions with revenue roughly double that of Dun & Bradstreet (Hoovers, D&B Hoovers, Data.com, D&B360) and triple that of DiscoverOrg.
Doug Camplejohn, Head of Product at LinkedIn Sales Solutions, described the service as “one of the fastest growing SaaS B2B products in history.”
LinkedIn Sales Navigator rolled out its first quarterly release on February 7th. Quarterly releases help LinkedIn manage its communications and ensure that admins and trainers are prepared for the changes. Enhancements will roll out first to this group before becoming available to general users in subsequent weeks.
“In the early days of Sales Navigator, we chose to act like a startup and launch products as soon as they were ready, without much warning or pre-release training for our customers. We also acted independently, only integrating with a couple of systems, instead of opening up the platform to the dozens of types of sales applications a rep uses throughout their work week. Starting today, we will release Sales Navigator product updates on a quarterly cycle to provide advanced communications and training for administrators and users so they have adequate time to familiarize themselves with new features and take advantage of them properly.”
Doug Camplejohn, Head of Product at LinkedIn Sales Solutions
The product is maturing as it develops connectors with other services and formalizes its releases and communications. “Sales Navigator is growing up and learning how to play with others,” said Camplejohn.
As part of this development, LinkedIn announced four new members of its Sales Navigator Application Platform (SNAP) partners. SNAP is a broad partner program that spans business intelligence, CRM, eSignature, MAP, Sales Acceleration, and Web Conferencing. A year ago, LinkedIn only supported Salesforce and MS Dynamics.
The new Oracle Sales Cloud integration displays LinkedIn prospect and contact data within the Oracle CRM.
A SugarCRM integration displays a LinkedIn dashboard within Sugar Opportunities, Accounts, Contacts, and Leads.
Implemented partnerships were also announced with Demandbase and InsideSales’ Predictive Playbooks. LinkedIn lists 11 future partners including Tableau, Adobe Sign, BlueJeans, Microsoft BI, Eloqua (Oracle Marketing), and SAP Hybris.
As we are one month away from the new year, it is a good time to think about budgeting for data quality in 2018.
I know it isn’t glamorous, but that doesn’t mean it is unnecessary.
Data Quality software is markedly improved over the past few years. No longer is it necessary to download and forward a file to a vendor and wait for them to process your marketing file. Sales and Marketing Operations can now setup automated cloud cleansing that works within Marketo, Eloqua, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and other enterprise applications. B2B vendors to consider include Dun & Bradstreet, InsideView, Zoominfo, and ReachForce.
These platforms perform both initial batch match & append and ongoing enrichment, ensuring that your sales and marketing files have both accurate and complete data. These services also support company and contact prospecting, data health reports, suppression lists, and segmentation reporting. A few even offer free data quality reports, deduplication, technographic enrichment, nixie files (defunct companies and departed exec files), web form support, sales intelligence services, and contact verification and standardization (e.g. address, phone, and email) for non-matched records.
As these services reside in the cloud and offer cloud connectors for the major MAPs and CRMs, the operational overhead is minimal allowing operations to focus on ABM look-a-likes, segmentation, and improved targeting instead of file management.
What’s more, data quality improvements benefit sales, marketing, and downstream systems. A record cleansed and verified as it is created costs much less than a bad record passed down to other enterprise platforms. Beyond direct cost reduction (storing bad data, marketing to departed execs, sales calls to abandoned voicemails, reduced time keying and updating records manually), there are improvements to segmentation, targeting, lead scoring, lead routing, and messaging.
So budget for data quality in 2018. It isn’t glamorous, but it is effective.