DocSend Partners with SalesLoft & Outreach

DocSend Analytics are now available to Outreach and SalesLoft users.
DocSend Analytics are now available to Outreach and SalesLoft users.

Both Outreach and SalesLoft rolled out integrations with sales asset manager DocSend in the past few weeks.  DocSend provides sales reps with a managed content library from which reps send trackable collateral links instead of e-mailing large files to customers and prospects.  DocSend then tracks the links and provides read alerts and viewing analytics.  Conceptually, it is similar to the PointDrive service integrated into LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

“By partnering with two leaders in the space, we’re enabling sales reps to see how accounts and individual contacts engage with the content in their email outreach throughout the sales cycle,” blogged DocSend Senior Product Marketing Manager Sonja Jacob.  “Using DocSend Campaign Links, sellers can create a unique link to share content in their email cadences, without ever leaving workflows in either tool.”

The combined services allow reps to directly insert links into Outreach templates and snippets while providing sales managers with sales rep analytics.  The Outreach partnership helps sales reps “find, share, track, and present the documents that close deals,” said Jordan Greene, Director of Product Marketing at Outreach.  “Even better, you’ll have deeper insights into what content works throughout your sales cycle.”

Inserting a custom DocSend campaign link within an Outreach email template.
Inserting a custom DocSend campaign link within an Outreach email template.

DocSend helps reps find the right sales content and create a “fully trackable campaign link without ever having leaving your workflow,” said Greene.  Campaign links are customized for each sales rep and can be added “in just a few seconds.”

DocSend analytics track where, when, and how prospects and customers engage with sales collateral.  DocSend supports document forward tracking, password setting, and flagging collateral as non-downloadable.  Campaign links are available both within templates and as standard email links.

Both Outreach and SalesLoft users must have DocSend licenses and the DocSend Chrome extension installed.  DocSend Team is priced at $30 per user per month and supports a white label document viewer, instant notifications, team reporting, and mail merge links.

SalesLoft has a freemium DocSend integration in the works.

SalesLoft offers campaign links that dynamically update within templates allowing admins to build Team Templates with a dynamic campaign link tracked to individual reps.  “This means admins can create a SalesLoft Team Template with a dynamic Campaign Link and the content will be tracked separately for each SalesLoft user specific to the recipient, said SalesLoft VP of Product Strategy Sean Kester.

As a former Product Manager, I can understand how frustrating it is when you have a great new capability and a top competitor launches it at the same time.  You think you have a differentiator and all of a sudden you find out it is a checkbox item.  This scenario is more likely to happen with non-exclusive, API-based partnerships as implementation costs and windows are reduced.

One of the vendors was emphasizing that they were first to market, but whether this was by days or weeks is moot if there is little differentiating the new feature between the competitors.  In the end, customers and prospects are interested in value provided with the current offering, not who beat who to the market by a few days.  When vendors are competing to identify and integrate new partner content and features into their offerings, it is the end users that win.  Over the past 18 months, both SalesLoft and Outreach have rapidly expanded their ecosystems providing significant value to their sales acceleration (ABSD) offerings.

Marketo Account Based Marketing

Marketo is joining the ABM party, having noticed that many of its LaunchPoint partners have been advocating ABM for the past year while their chief rival joined an ABM alliance six months ago.  Oracle and Demandbase launched a joint solution back in April, the ABM Leadership Alliance.  Meanwhile, Terminus has been running Flip My Funnel tradeshows for the past year.  As CMS Critic wrote a bit snidely, “Account Based Marketing (ABM) is the new acronym on the block – Marketo just made sure of it.”

In a companion whitepaper, Marketo wrote, “Today, more B2B organizations than ever are shifting their thinking toward account-centricity. For organizations looking for a high return on investment (ROI), executives need to think in terms of high-value accounts, account penetration, market penetration, and logos. And so a marketing strategy that partners with sales to focus your combined energy on a more targeted approach to finding, engaging, and closing the accounts that really matter naturally aligns to the C-suite and the organization’s strategic goals.”

Marketo ABM supports three sub-processes:

  1. Target and Manage: Account Targeting via account and lead level scoring.
  2. Engage across Channels: Engage Accounts and decision makers across multiple channels including email, web, ads, events, social, and mobile and leverage customer behaviors captured in Marketo Audience Hub to tailor messages.
  3. Measure Your Impact: Refine messaging and channel selection via analytics.  Marketo tools include ABM dashboards, account dashboards (profiles), named account dashboards, and account lists.

For capabilities not supported directly by Marketo, the firms suggests customers look to partner solutions within LaunchPoint for predictive analytics, account enrichment, advanced advertising technology, and account based sales automation.

Marketo's Named Account Dashboard highlights the top individuals at a named account and their recent activity. Other metrics include firmographics, email performance indicators, pipeline value, and web activity.
Marketo’s Named Account Dashboard highlights the top individuals at a named account and their recent activity. Other metrics include firmographics, email performance indicators, pipeline value, and web activity.

“While marketing and sales teams have long been doing account targeting, the technology hasn’t been available to reach and engage accounts – and the decision makers within them – in a coordinated, scalable way from one place,” said Marketo CMO Chandar Pattabhiram.  “Built natively within the Marketo platform, Marketo ABM provides account teams with all of the necessary tools to discover, manage, engage, and analyze the accounts with the most revenue potential, thus driving revenue from their most valuable accounts and delivering higher return on their sales and marketing investments.”

InsideView Infographic
InsideView Infographic

InsideView is one of a dozen launch partners for Marketo ABM.  According to an InsideView press release, “InsideView targeting intelligence for ABM provides a new way for companies to leverage insights that fuel account scoring, lead-to-account mapping, and the high quality and depth of InsideView’s account and contact data. InsideView’s ABM solution helps align both sales and marketing with a consistent view of accounts and contacts across marketing automation and CRM systems and coordinated campaign execution.”

In support of the partnership, InsideView offers an ABM Acceleration Kit and the InsideView API for maintaining CRM and marketing automation data along with account and contact insights.  The Acceleration Kit helps with ideal account targeting, account alerting, and access to corporate family trees and buying committee member intelligence.

“Targeted data based on rich, contextual insights is the secret sauce for ABM,” said Marc Perramond, VP Product Management, InsideView. “Reorienting your marketing and sales to focus on accounts is a huge undertaking for many companies, so it’s critical to get account selection right. If you don’t, no ABM actions will work. We’re doing everything we can to make our customers’ ABM initiatives successful on whatever level works best for them. A bundled solution for a quick jump-start, APIs for a more do-it-yourself model, and a partnership with Marketo to ensure seamless execution and visibility into ABM efforts.”

Predictive Analytics company Everstring was also named a launch partner.  According to their press release, “EverString helps B2B companies expand, prioritize, and enrich their marketing and sales databases. EverString Audience Platform accomplishes this by combining applied data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence with the broadest set of data signals from more than 27 million companies.”

The other launch partners include AdRoll, Bluewolf, Digital Pi, Dun & Bradstreet, Elixiter, Fathom, LeadMD, Owler, Perkuto, and PFL.

“The combination of Marketo ABM with Dun & Bradstreet’s data, analytics, and insights will enable our customers to precisely identify their highest-potential accounts and effectively engage them across online and offline channels,” said Dun & Bradstreet General Manager Michael Bird.

One key area Marketo doesn’t address in their press release and supporting whitepaper is mapping leads to accounts.  Perhaps this falls into LaunchPoint account enrichment, but the Marketo database and workflows are built around leads (people), not accounts.  Unless leads are immediately mapped to accounts, they will exist in a nether world outside of ABM management.  Last week, I wrote about LeanData which offers inbound lead-to-account matching.  Avention’s Eloqua Connector (next story) is another example of real-time lead matching to accounts.

Campaign Stars Content as a Service + InsideView Targeting

The InsideView - Campaign Stars joint value proposition in three easy steps.
The InsideView – Campaign Stars joint value proposition in three easy steps.

Content as a Service vendor Campaign Stars has partnered with sales and marketing intelligence firm InsideView to deliver InsideView Target within the Campaign Stars platform.  According to Campaign Stars, “Marketers enjoy jumps in conversion rates of 45% or more when combining audience segmentation with content optimization.”

“Campaign Stars’ clients simply share their brand’s vision and insight via their collaboration platform, purchase credits that are redeemable for any number of services, and select what assets they need. Campaign Stars then targets their audience, creates the content, delivers it via the client’s marketing automation software, and then tracks campaign performance across dozens of key performance indicators (KPIs). Marketers can buy more credits whenever they need, and they never have to exhaust their own bandwidth to create engaging content,” said Campaign Stars CEO Henry Bruckstein.

Campaign Stars provides both the digital content platform and editorial staff for creating, targeting, and distributing content.  InsideView Target provides a segmented list of potential prospects for outbound marketing.  Campaign Stars features include analytics, A/B testing, and project management tools.

Campaign Stars assigns two creative teams to projects, allowing them to separately develop and test content against a sample of targeted prospects.  The two campaigns are then compared across a set of key performance indicators.  This process, called Campaign Optimization, results in the more effective campaign being rolled out broadly.

“Our commitment is always to help our customers get the best results possible from their content campaigns,” said Bruckstein. “Our partnership with InsideView gives CampaignStars marketers integrated access to over 25 million B2B contacts across 800 industries. It’s like a turbo charge for your campaign.”

To entice InsideView customers to test out Campaign Stars, the firms are offering Campaign Stars credits to InsideView customers.

“Campaign Stars gives you something to say; InsideView gives you the right contacts to say it to,” said Heidi Tucker, VP Alliances at InsideView. “By partnering, customers now get both the fuel and the engine. Together, we are a total one-stop shop for market intelligence, content creation, and delivery automation – the entire journey, as easy as saying ‘Go.'”

Since launching its API a few years ago, InsideView has been very aggressive in identifying emerging opportunities for partnership.  In March, they announced licensing deals with ABSD vendors QuotaFactory and SalesLoft.

Campaign Stars is also a partner of Quota Factory.  “You can harness the power of the ultimate marketing one-two punch. Create engaging content faster than ever before to drive more qualified leads, and convert more of those leads than you ever thought possible with QuotaFactory’s dynamic PRM system,” said Bruckstein about their joint value proposition.  “Identify more prospects, qualify more leads, and convert more sales. Guide your customers along the buying journey every step of the way with an uninterrupted stream of high-octane content, and get them across the finish line with a multi-faceted cascade of targeted, effective follow-up communication.”

Campaign Stars lists partnerships with the major B2B marketing automation platforms.  They also list DiscoverOrg as a partner, but the partnership has yet to be formally announced.

DiscoverOrg Partners with ABSD Vendor Outreach

DiscoverOrg contact lists can now be pushed to the Outreach account based sales communication platform for cadence-structured messaging.  According to DiscoverOrg, “This integration allows for more effective communication with prospects based on persona, combining both comprehensive, verified contact data and personalized, timely interactions.”

“The number one challenge facing salespeople today is not knowing who to call or how to reach them,” said DiscoverOrg VP of Sales  Patrick Purvis.  “What is the actual strategy or sort of plan of attack in reaching out to these people [prospects] to get as many of them to engage with you and respond as possible?”

DiscoverOrg, with 750,000 global contacts in IT, Marketing, Finance, and Product Management, provides emails and direct dial phones to resolve the who to call problem.  Contact records are passed with tags into the Outreach platform and auto-refreshed as DiscoverOrg editors update profiles.  DiscoverOrg supports one-click send to Outreach which begins managing the messaging sequence.  Because the contacts are passed from a technology sales intelligence platform, the messaging can focus on the platforms, industries, job functions, and responsibilities of individual contacts.  This type of one-to-one messaging has only recently become available to the SDR function through products such as Outreach, SalesLoft, and QuotaFactory.

Outreach sequenced messaging
Outreach sequenced messaging

“The foundation of a true account based sales strategy is honing in on your target accounts and carefully choosing your personas within those accounts.  That’s something that DiscoverOrg does really, really well,”  said Outreach Chief Product Officer Andrew Kinzer.  “Then to engage those accounts, you’re going to need account playbooks and well-tuned persona-based messaging for your prospects.”

Outreach Flow schedules manual and automated emails, phone calls, direct mail, and LinkedIn messaging.  Other features include analytics, reply detection, “intelligent follow ups,” out of office detection which pauses the sequence, and open and click tracking.  Outreach also offers connectors for LinkedIn, Gmail, and Salesforce.com.

Furthermore, because DiscoverOrg is passing firmographics and biographical data, Outreach users can assess which messages are fostering engagement.  Broad prospect tagging combined with analytics is important to sales management and operations because “downstream, they can look at what message is resonating” said DiscoverOrg CEO Schuck.  “They have complete information on the records that are moving through their system.”

Outreach Dashboard Analytics
Outreach Dashboard Analytics

“There has been increasing focus on the SDR role as a key growth-accelerator with a lot of investment in the technology to support this function,” said Schuck. “These are the guys on the front lines, pounding the phones every day and teeing up the sale for the closers. Partnering with a robust sales communication platform like Outreach, we aim to set SDRs up for success with high-quality contact data to improve response rates and set more appointments.”

The sales intelligence industry has taken two approaches to ABSD: partnering or developing a subset of ABSD features.  The partnering path has been taken by InsideView (SalesLoft and Quota Factory) and DiscoverOrg (SalesLoft and Outreach).  The build path has been executed by RainKing which added a dialer last year and Sales Genie which offers a dialer, email, marketing creative, and direct mail functionality.

DiscoverOrg Announces Growth Investment Round

GZ Consulting Financial Figures Gathered from DiscoverOrg Revenue Announcements.
GZ Consulting financial figures gathered from DiscoverOrg revenue announcements.

This morning, tech sales intelligence vendor DiscoverOrg announced its second funding round to assist the company’s growth. Investors included Goldman Sachs BDC, NXT Capital, Silicon Valley Bank and Antares Management. In 2014, DiscoverOrg quietly accepted a growth equity investment from TA Associates and FiveW Capital. The firm did not disclose the size of either round but told The Columbian that the current round was at least a seven digit investment.*

CEO Henry Schuck said that the round did not fall into traditional Series A / Series B designations as it was not designed to address financial needs so much as bring in a set of strategic advisors to help guide company growth. Shuck noted that the firm has long been managed as a cash flow positive operation; thus, the funding rounds were not needed to fund growth but for garnering “seasoned technology and SaaS” expertise.

A secondary benefit of these relationships is they improve the company’s flexibility with respect to acquisitions. In the press release, the firm noted the opportunity to acquire firms in adjacent markets. DiscoverOrg acquired competitor iProfile last year and integrated their international datasets into their core database.

DiscoverOrg continues to build out its datasets. They recently announced their Technology, Engineering, Development, and Design (TEDD) offering which focuses on product management. Other datasets in development include sales and HR departments. A rest of world dataset covering AsiaPac and Latin America is also being readied for market.

Other priorities include doubling their engineering department to forty headcount so they can “build new workflow automation capabilities and integrations for sales and marketing professionals,” and “rapidly expanding” their IT, Marketing and Finance datasets.

“As companies continue to invest in CRM, marketing automation, predictive lead scoring and analytics, they’re realizing that the linchpin to achieving high ROI on these investments is not just having a core system but also adding in verified, high quality data that sales and marketing professionals can leverage to build pipeline and close deals,” said Schuck.

“We invested in technology, we rebuilt the platform from front to back, added integrations with marketing automation systems and CRM and rebuilt the front-end of the Salesforce app,” he added. “We are looking at the technology as more than a delivery mechanism for the data and have it more in the workflow of sales reps.”

DiscoverOrg continues its growth trajectory with topline revenue up 36% in 2015. Their annual recurring revenue now stands at $54 million and Schuck forecasts 40% to 60% revenue growth in 2016. DiscoverOrg is approaching 2,000 customers and has grown to 230 employees.

The firm no longer appears to be allergic to employing digital data collection methods so long as digital data serves as an input to their editorial processes. Shuck noted that the combination of digitally collected data with human verification “would be very powerful.” Shuck gained confidence in such techniques due to success using digital tools for identifying and verifying emails. Their recent experience of verifying the iProfile dataset demonstrated their capability to ingest large third-party datasets and verify the content.

They also recently announced a partnership to license vendor and product data from HG Data. HG Data covers many more companies than DiscoverOrg, so they focused on improving technology fill rates at their current companies. The firm conducted verification tests on the HG Data content and leveraged HG Data’s confidence scores. Of course, the HG Data content also provides seed data for building out new company profiles.

Expanding their data collection methods makes logical sense. While there is a certain purity to editorial only content, leveraging digital data generation and verification techniques allows the firm to focus editorial resources on difficult to obtain high-value datasets such as organizational charts while building out their company and contact coverage more rapidly.

DiscoverOrg also recently partnered with SalesLoft to upload DiscoverOrg contacts into the Cadence product. Sales reps can upload one or multiple records to specific cadences, allowing the reps to immediately begin campaigns. DiscoverOrg also supports an auto-refresh feature to maintain data quality over time.

SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter argued that “What we’re seeing on the front end is a dramatic increase in the quality and quantity of intelligence on companies — the things that DiscoverOrg creates. We can help from there, via fine-grained analytics, which provide information on the right amount of calls, emails, and social contacts to make as well as the best time to execute those touchpoints.”

While the company offers a set of IT, marketing, and finance datasets on its website, they are flexible in their licensing. Firms can bundle multiple datasets or target companies by location or technology sets.

Although DiscoverOrg on the sales and marketing function, they have a sizeable business in the executive recruitment space with over 250 clients. DiscoverOrg supports two sets of recruitment use cases: staffing and business development (identifying HR contacts at target companies). The firm has also had success selling into HR departments, particularly at large financial services companies. By targeting staff at competitors, financial services companies can bring in seasoned professionals with a knowledge of their industry.

Schuck sees a strong future for DiscoverOrg as they find additional was to sell their datasets across user workflows and departments. A recent study estimated their IT Total Addressable Market (TAM) to be in excess of $1 billion. The marketing dataset was deemed to be a comparable opportunity while the finance market was sized at $400 million.

* Correction: The Columbian corrected their wording to read “at least” a seven digit investment.

 

 

 

Predictions Become Predictive (It’s Prediction Season)

I generally avoid playing in the prognostications game.  After all, it is difficult enough to understand what happened over the past year without projecting it forward or relying on simple extrapolation.  Nevertheless, nothing prevents me from relaying a few of the more interesting sales and marketing related technology predictions during the Predictions Season (and you thought it was the holiday season!).

I will begin with James Cooke and others at Nucleus Research who wrote:

We’ve all heard “data science” creep into the CRM conversation over the past few quarters, but mostly as it relates to marketing. Although marketing was the first area to get predictive, the future for all three pillars (sales, marketing, and service) of CRM is predictive – taking advantage of the intelligence of the software to look forward, not just track progress. Some of the most interesting opportunities are in customer service, where better data about customer’s habits and the products and services they use can be used to proactively support them (think predictive maintenance of automobiles, for example). The concerns about customer data are less prevalent on the service front than in sales and marketing because they tend to opt in. The challenge for companies will be in addressing the human barriers to adopting process changes driven by more predictive and proactive CRM.

While I agree that marketing has taken the lead on predictive analytics with a focus on lead decisioning (e.g. scoring; nurturing vs. promoting to sales; customizing campaigns at the lead level based on behavioral, firmographic, and biographic forecasting) and best customer cloning (determining the “ideal customer” and providing similar leads), predictive has helped close the gap between sales and marketing.

For example, predictive scoring allows marketing to limit promotion to the top N percent of leads, resulting in much better set of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) being sent to sales.  While fewer leads are being distributed over the Sales/Marketing Wall, they are of a much higher quality.  Furthermore, because the leads are scored and the predictive companies are beginning to provide insights around those scores, sales can begin to develop confidence in the MQLs passed to them.  The funnel attrition rate from marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads should decline sharply.  This is a point made by Lattice Engines and reinforced by today’s strategic partnership announcement between Infer and InsightSquared.

Infer-InsightSquared-Activity-Scorecard
The Infer Activity Scorecard within InsightSquared stratifies leads by Infer score. The tool answers the question, “How are different quality leads getting worked?”

You also will hear fewer arguments between the parties about lead quality.  Marketing has long complained that sales ignored their leads while sales complained that marketing sent too many junk leads resulting in sales quickly cherry picking the lists.  Predictive tools should help eliminate this infighting by emphasizing lead quality over volume while providing insight into which leads are dormant.

Infer-InsightSquared-Lead-Aging
The Infer Lead Aging report within InsightSquared helps answer the question “Are our best leads getting overlooked?” According to Infer, “this report lets leadership quickly zoom in on high quality leads and ensure that no good lead gets left behind.

Likewise, nothing prevents sales reps and sales ops from playing the cloning game and identifying similar companies of their own.  Historically, this was done via peer searching where reps took a single customer and found companies of a similar size in the same industry.  Ideal Profiles allow for a similar process, but one based upon the attributes of a group of customers.  These profiles are much more sophisticated in that they build their models from many customers instead of a single profile and utilize potentially thousands of business signals to determine the ideal profile.  Furthermore, many of the business signals may have been previously unknown because they were not available.

We are also seeing sales acceleration tools that

  • Make sure that customer questions and requests aren’t ignored.
  • Provide updated profiles and alerts to reps prior to meetings.
  • Warn service departments of pending customer sales calls so that the problem is given a higher priority.
  • Deliver messaging advice to reps around what to say and which products to lead with.

Thus, predictive analytics and machine learning are becoming more proactive and prescriptive.  The next few years are likely to transform marketing, sales, and customer support.