At its INBOUND conference earlier this month, HubSpot released a new app Marketplace. “One of the things we’ve really tried to do with the next iteration of the marketplace is just to help SMBs (small to medium businesses) get deeper information on these integrations,” said HubSpot VP of platform ecosystem Scott Brinker. “So you’re not just like, ‘Oh, here’s another company, go off and figure it out.’ It’s like, ‘OK, here’s exactly how this interfaces into HubSpot. Here’s a video of how it works.”
HubSpot partners are obligated to post pricing information, data flow structure, and demo videos. The new market supports improved filtering and searching. Over 300 apps are available with 93% of HubSpot’s 64,000 customers having installed at least one app. The average customer has installed five apps.
Amongst the top apps are Gmail, Outlook Calendar, Zapier (connectors), Facebook Ads, Google Calendar, Twitter, MailChimp, WordPress, LinkedIn, Facebook, Slack, Vidyard, Google Ads, and SurveyMonkey. “We’re really excited about trying to make this whole platform ecosystem world accessible to the SMB markets,” said Brinker.
“It’s not enough to have the wondrous capabilities all these different apps offer, especially if each is locked in their own silo. To run your business effectively and to give customers a coherent and compelling experience across all the different touchpoints they have with you, all these different apps need to work together. This is why HubSpot is committed to building an open platform that can serve as a “hub” for the myriad apps across your business that all contribute to improving the customer experience. We want to make it easy for you to orchestrate these apps, to better serve your customers, and to help you grow better.”
So congratulations to CEO Manny Medina and the team at Outreach. The Sales engagement firm has been going head-to-head with SalesLoft to become the leading vendor in its category.
Outreach is based in Seattle and reached unicorn status earlier this year, a rather impressive feat for a five-year old company that doesn’t rent scooters. It is on track to hit 450 employees by the end of the year and has doubled its revenue growth each year since 2016.
Outreach has 3,500 customers including Adobe, DocuSign and eBay.
One area of rapid growth is in its Galaxy partner ecosystem. New partners include Seismic, BombBomb, and Sendoso. The Seismic integration allows reps to insert Seismic content into emails and multi-recipient sequences via a Seismic icon. Reps are notified when prospects view content, allowing them to “transition the prospect into a high-priority, more personalized Sequence.” Sales reps can also send follow-up content after a successful demo or meeting and modify messaging based upon which Seismic content is resonating.
BombBomb supports personalized videos which are inserted into
sequences. When a recipient watches the
video, reps can trigger an urgent call task or place the viewer into a
high-touch sequence. Recorded videos and
screen captures are also supported. BombBomb is priced at $29.99 per seat per
month with volume discounts.
Sendoso supports sequences which include e-gift or direct mail steps. Reps can also setup triggers when e-gift links are activated or direct mail items received. For example, I recently attended a trade show and received a box of mini-cupcakes afterwards with an accompanying note from the Sendoso sales rep.
Phil Garlick joined sales enablement vendor Brainshark as their VP of Corporate Development and Strategic Partnerships. Garlick held a similar role at Zoominfo prior to its February acquisition by DiscoverOrg. Before Zoominfo, Garlick was a founder of OneSource Information Services, a pioneer in the sales intelligence space. He guided the sales and marketing functions before ascending to President. He is joining Brainshark at a point when partnerships and integrated workflows are critical for sales and marketing teams.
“Phil’s deep experience in the sales intelligence and sales enablement markets, and his track record of success driving business growth, make him a valuable asset to our leadership team,” said Brainshark CEO Greg Flynn. “As Brainshark continues to expand its network of strategic partnerships, we’re confident that Phil’s expertise and customer-centric approach will help us continue to forge strong alliances that deliver great value to clients and improve their sales outcomes.”
Brainshark supports content authoring & management, sales training,
video coaching & practice, dashboards & analytics, and creative
Over the past half-decade, there has been a steady flow of former OneSource sales reps and management to Brainshark. Brainshark’s Chief Sales Officer, Colleen Honan, held a similar role at OneSource alongside Garlick.
“I’ve long admired Brainshark’s commitment to helping companies improve the readiness and results of their sales teams. This is a persistent challenge for organizations across industries and an area I’m passionate about. As Brainshark continues to innovate and enable sales teams to maximize their productivity, it’s an exciting time to join the company.”
Phil Garlick, Brainshark VP of Corporate Development and Strategic Partnerships
Note: Garlick was the President of OneSource Information Services while I was a Product Marketing Manager.
SalesLoft looks for partners that help “activate the authentic seller in everyone,” boost their productivity, and help customers scale their business. Vendors should be adjacent to Sales Engagement, filling the gaps of functionality in the platform.
Partners pledge to serve joint customers first, invest in the success of integrations through co-marketing, and “support our developer community, thus enabling innovation,” said VP of Product Strategy Sean Kester.
Kester noted that the partner ecosystem provides a strategic market advantage as it “creates a moat in the ecosystem supplanting us as the dominant #1 player.” It also “significantly enhances customer LTV (lifetime value) due to the sticky nature of usage” and “drives customer acquisition through the roof, and CAC (customer acquisition cost) down due to leads driven from partners.”
The SalesLoft ecosystem has grown to 54 partners with a million “integration actions executed” over the past six months. Nearly 2,700 teams have one or two integrations with 800 having implemented three and 500 having four or more integrations.
The top partner integrations are LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Sendoso, Showpad, and Vidyard. VP of Product Strategy Sean Kester called Sales Navigator “by far the most popular integration we have.” The SNAP integration supports four cadence steps: Account and Lead (contact) research, introductions, connection request, and InMail (Salesforce is an investor in SalesLoft).
Sendoso provides a direct mail service. Integrated cadence steps allow sales reps to send direct mail, company swag, handwritten notes, eGifts, and Amazon items.
Showpad is integrated with the sales reps’ workflow. Within SalesLoft, users can easily add content to their email campaigns, and gauge their prospects’ level of interest. Showpad also provides context-specific content recommendations.
Vidyard GoVideo helps sales reps “easily create polished and personal videos for your prospects using Vidyard GoVideo webcam and screen recorder,” said Kester. Sales reps can “boost response rates and humanize sales outreach by adding video to your sales emails in SalesLoft.
includes a freemium version and has supported 175,000 platform videos.
announced several partnerships that are in their development pipeline including
LeanData, Drift, Ramble Chat, and Seismic.
LeanData provides Lead-to-Account assignments with automated cadences by persona and customized conditions. Sales Operations defines the lead assignment and routing rules which are displayed as a flow diagram with Send to SalesLoft Cadence steps. Duplicate checking will prevent a second cadence from being kicked off.
Drift and Ramble Chat are joining Intercom as chat partners. “Ramble empowers sales engagement customers with a unique ability to extend chat directly through their platform,” said Kester. “Ramble creates an additional channel of communication for their customer interactions.”
Chat performs a reverse IP lookup that identifies the account and logs it to
Salesforce or SalesLoft, providing a form of first-party intent intelligence.
Both inbound (anonymous) and outbound (Cadence driven) chat are supported
with outbound chat connected to the originating sales rep.
“We are excited for our partnership with SalesLoft. Ramble’s unique architecture enables us to deploy chat within third-party applications, like SalesLoft, which changes how sales leaders utilize chat for pipeline contribution. We not only make chat ‘outbound’ and ‘inbound,’ but we give companies the ability to extend chat anywhere online as a means of instant connection and sales acceleration. Moving beyond ‘omnichannel’ and towards ‘omnipresence.’ The full breadth our chat technology can be deployed organically, directly from SalesLoft, which provides a more seamless client experience and new channels for Sales Engagement.”
Ramble CEO Justin McDonald
Seismic offers an enterprise-grade content management system which recommends the next-best action for content. The platform employs analytics to recommend which content is most likely to resonate with a prospect based on buying stage, vertical, etc.
DataGrail provides a GDPR and CCPA compliance tool which “enforces on-demand access and deletion of a requester’s personal data across all first and third-party/external business systems.” DataGrail also centralizes customer email preferences. Other features include the “detection of non-consented or high-risk contacts, including geographic fingerprinting and migration for consented to non-consented purposes” and alerts if a deleted contact is being recreated in a sales or marketing platform.
Current apps are displayed on SalesLoft’s App Directory which helps admins see how integrations work, understand their use cases, and co-market the integration. A developer’ portal is in development.
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.
Bombora partnered with Marketo to natively integrate its intent file into the Marketo Engagement Platform. Bombora collects anonymous company-level activity from B2B media sites and determines intent as a company surge score across 4,100 B2B topics and 2.8 million companies. The surge score indicates an uptick in baseline interest in customer-specific B2B topics.
The intent scores help identify and prioritize sales and marketing activities around prospects with active purchasing research programs. Firms with high surge scores can then be targeted for programmatic marketing, digital messaging, and sales outreach. Surge data also flag dormant accounts which are re-entering the purchasing cycle, assist with messaging around key topics, and inform lead scoring and routing decisions.
According to Bombora, only fifteen to twenty percent of companies in a target list are engaged in an active purchase cycle. Thus, understanding which companies are in market is critical to marketing effectiveness. “It arms you with insight into which of your target companies are more actively researching your products or services compared to historic baselines – indicating intent to take action,” said Bombora.
“With the Marketo Engagement Platform acting as the hub to make this understanding more actionable, there is exponential value to how Bombora’s intent data can be leveraged across an organization,” stated Bombora CEO Erik Matlick.
“As a marketer, the best buyers to engage with are the ones that are already actively researching,” said Marketo SVP of Strategy and Alliances TK Kader. “Providing intent data from Bombora to our customers creates an opportunity for them to engage with buyers who have a high propensity to buy, ultimately delivering better pipeline to sales and increasing the velocity of the sales process.”
Marketo is also offering best practices and campaign setup advice.
I sat down with Craig Harris and Elizabeth Cholawsky of HG Data last month. Elizabeth had joined HG Data as their new CEO eight days earlier with Craig shifting from CEO to R&D Leader and Chairman. We discussed the transition, partner management, product planning, and the entry into other information verticals. The interview has been edited for length and will be published over the next few days. [Part 1; Part II]
Michael: As you continue to build out the IT vertical, do you see yourself beginning to compete against your partners, and how do you anticipate that playing out in the coming years?
Craig: I don’t see that being an issue. If you actually map out our partner ecosystem, what you’re going to find is there are about 12 to 15 different applications of data that these partners deliver. There are some companies that try to be a Swiss Army knife – shallow amongst lots of different applications. Most of our partners are really domain experts in a focus area.
Look at where we are anchored currently, HG Data for Salesforce. Many of our partners are also inside the Salesforce ecosystem. We don’t compete with our partners that have managed applications, even our partners that have Lightning Data apps. We are still solving different types of problems with our Salesforce applications.
Our focus right now is really on the systems of record. There are a few other CRM systems that we have our eyes on as well as marketing automation. We are looking for a way where we can be embedded in the systems of record and be synergistic with partners as opposed to competing with them.
Michael: When you look at some of your key partners like DiscoverOrg or TechTarget, they built out other content functionality that you don’t have. It seems like you will not be looking to build those in the next two to five years. When you have those shallower applications, they are just licensing technographics and putting it in with your basic prospecting. I could see those less inventive platforms becoming more competitive with you as you build out some of your functionality there.
Elizabeth: There is a complementary strategy consisting of a really strong partnership and channel strategy, combined with still going the route of allowing our data to be productized through leading systems that people use. There will be conflict with some. That’s just the competitive situation that’s been endemic to the technology industry broadly, forever.
The issues are solvable when you have a good strategy laid down. You go into the partner relationships explaining that strategy and where you want to play and why you want to do that. To me, that comes back to the customers, their use case and how they want to consume the data that we’ve got.
It’s a big expanding market out there. I think there is a lot of room for really high growth, with both vital channel partners, as well as doing what we’ve embarked on with the systems of record.
Michael: What size and growth metrics are you comfortable disclosing?
Craig: Not much. We’re 57 employees. As I alluded to earlier, we have an eight-figure run rate, so that leads to a pretty big range. We’re not disclosing [revenue] publicly. I will say, anecdotally, we had a great year of revenue growth.
Michael: What is your split today between content licensing and direct sales? Do you see that shifting much going forward?
Craig: Probably close to the 50-50 mark.
Michael: Probably wasn’t 50-50 two years ago. That’s a significant gain on the direct sales side then?
Craig: Yes. HG Data for Salesforce has been a very nice contribution to that as has our display advertising and HG Data Audience product line. The end user, they don’t necessarily want to go log in to ten more systems when they’re trying to solve a very specific problem. Who are my best prospects? Who should I talk to? What types of conversations should I have and what types of key strategic insights can I use and when? For us, this is all about having our data at the right place at the right time for the right person – to help them solve the thing that they care about which is: Who’s my next customer?
We are not going to do this alone. We are going to need partners for that journey.
Amongst the announcements at their Rainmaker 2018 conference, SalesLoft added an app directory to its service to assist with partner discovery across 28 solutions. Partner applications are split into eight categories with a few listed in multiple categories:
Sales enablement vendor Highspot was demoed at Rainmaker. The native service assists with content searching for inclusion in cadence campaigns. The service also supports email tracking and analytics.
“Highspot Everywhere is designed to seamlessly tie sales enablement processes into tools your team uses every day–including SalesLoft,” blogged Highspot Senior Content Marketing Manager Kate Kirby. “Sales representatives can leverage the power of Highspot directly within SalesLoft by inserting content into email cadence campaigns, taking full advantage of the Highspot content engagement analytics and user tracking capabilities.”
Sendoso, a direct mail gifting program, was also announced at Rainmaker. The gifting platform supports new SalesLoft steps including rewards for attendance, thanking new customers, and garnering prospect attention.
TalkIQ joins several call coaching services on the platform which create and analyze call transcripts. “More than 70% of customer interactions occur over the phone,” notes SalesLoft in its app directory. “TalkIQ analyzes each of these conversations and surfaces insights about how customer-facing teams operate. TalkIQ’s best-in-class, proprietary AI, reveals hidden trends, recommends actions, and predicts call outcomes in real-time. Successful companies use TalkIQ daily to make smarter decisions, increase revenue, improve customer engagement, and build better products.”
Other Rainmaker announced partnerships include Dark Sky (weather data) and Bombora (intent).
Part II of this blog discusses new SalesLoft functionality and partnerships concerning LinkedIn, Calendaring, website tracking, and email connectors.
Salesforce announced the launch of two new AppExchange partnership categories offering native Lighting functionality: Lightning Bolts and Lightning Data. Bolts are Lightning Components which offer customer data and business logic.
Lightning Data provides new Data as a Service (DaaS) partnerships in the wake of the non-renewal of the Dun & Bradstreet – Data.com licensing partnership. Three of the partners were announced as Data.com Exchange partners at last year’s Dreamforce:
Initially, Lightning Data only supports ongoing match and enrichment services for Account records. As many AppExchange partners offer batch and continuous services for Account, Contact, and Lead records, Lightning Data will need to round out its enrichment capabilities for it to become a full hygiene and enrichment solution.
Lightning Data is an indication that Salesforce never really bought into the idea of being a DaaS company. Since August 2011, they have promoted Data.com, but never fully committed to the data ecosystem they promised when they launched Data.com. The original idea was to take the Jigsaw file they purchased in April 2010 for $142 million and integrate it with the D&B WorldBase company file. They were then going to partner with other leading data companies to integrate third-party data matched to either Data.com contact intelligence or D&B Account intelligence. These data sets were to be delivered via Data.com Prospector sales intelligence and the Data.com Clean match and append service.
It was the right idea at the right time. They were playing catch up with OneSource for Salesforce, InsideView for Salesforce, and Access Hoovers, but had the technical and financial resources to quickly leapfrog these offerings (Access Hoovers was phased out as part of the D&B deal). Furthermore, they had a first mover advantage in cross-selling Data.com to their customer base. It could have been a home run, but they rarely hit the ball out of the infield. What’s worse:
The Jigsaw file was never truly internationalized. It remained a U.S. contact file with underwhelming executive coverage for nine other countries.
The Data.com contact counts increased, but only because they were adding contacts at the same rate as they were decaying. Meanwhile, their top two contacts competitors, NetProspex and Zoominfo, continued to expand both their active and inactive coverage in the U.S. and internationally.
They never added biographic details or social links to the contacts file
Prospector features remained underwhelming. They would add small features such as improved industry and geographic screening, but not anything significant until 2016.
They quickly dropped all discussion about an ecosystem.
Then at Dreamforce 2015 and 2016 they seemed to have found their mojo, addressing key weaknesses such as pricing, sales intelligence (Hoovers profiles, First Research industry overviews), and a data ecosystem.
Data.com hit a few doubles and outlined an aggressive 2017 and 2018 roadmap. It looked good. It sounded good. But then Salesforce severed their partnership with Dun & Bradstreet and now only legacy customers have access to Dun & Bradstreet content. For everybody else, there were nine months of deafening silence until yesterday’s announcement of Lightning Data.
The devolution of Data.com will not have a significant effect on Salesforce’s bottom line as it represents perhaps one percent of company revenue (hence, the lack of urgency in replacing Dun & Bradstreet content). Furthermore, the legacy offering will continue to be supported for several more years so the revenue decline will have little material impact. Perhaps we’ll hear about replacement content at Dreamforce, but Lightning Data suggests they are leaving B2B DaaS to partner companies.