MSD 365 Customer Insights Enhancements

Microsoft has begun beta testing a set of enhancements to its Dynamics 365 Customer Insights CDP.  The upgrades focus on extending CDP capabilities into deeper insights and AI capabilities.  The new functionality will GA during the first half of 2021.

Engagement Insights, currently in preview, provides cross-channel analytics that assess customer behavior and intent across the web, mobile, connected devices, and other touchpoints.  Engagement Insights combines behavioral analytics with transactional, demographic, survey, and other data sets “to create interactive and rich insights that help drive the next best actions and personalized experiences.”

Engagement Insights begins with standard analytics around web site visitors, pages viewed, and visit duration.  A custom report builder lets marketers “curate the exact views to answer the business questions at hand.”  Funnel reports track customer journeys, identify gaps and opportunities, and inform next best actions.

“Engagement Insights is about directly funneling web, mobile and connected product data back into Customer Insights to help continue to enrich that understanding of the customer in order to better serve them.

James Phillips, President of Microsoft Business Applications.

Insights are deployed across the customer lifecycle and assist with personalizing offers, including presenting new product or services that better match customer needs.

“As everything’s gone digital, the need to deeply understand your customer and to increase the efficacy of those engagements has really been heightened through this pandemic,” said Phillips.

AI enhancements focus on better customer predictions.  The AI functionality employs Azure Synapse Analytics and includes a set of pre-built templates for predicting customer churn, automating product recommendations, and evaluating customer lifetime value.  The templates help marketers gather customer insights without requiring data science or IT professional support.

A new integration with Dynamics 365 Customer Voice captures customer sentiment and feedback.

According to Phillips, Customer Insights is the “fastest-growing application in the Dynamics 365 portfolio.”


Part II covers Customer Insights partnerships.

6Sense – PathFactory Partnership

Content intelligence vendor PathFactory announced a partnership with ABM Orchestration vendor 6Sense to “give marketers complete visibility into the quality of account engagement, as well as what content and topics are accelerating them through their customer journey.”

The new partnership taps 6Sense’s account identification capabilities and combines it with PathFactory’s content consumption data, providing richer account engagement intelligence.  “They can even watch a buying committee’s activities populate and track their journey in near real-time,” said PathFactory.  Account intelligence is synced with the CRM and displayed to sales reps, helping them understand which content and topics resonated at target accounts.

PathFactory offers a set of content tracks, either defined by marketing or PathFactory’s AI.  Content tracks are a sequence of relevant content associated with specific calls to action.  Content tracks “keep people engaged longer and helps them self-educate” while encouraging them to “binge on your content.”  By assessing which individuals and accounts are binging on account tracks, PathFactory can determine when accounts are “getting serious.”  Highly engaged accounts are more likely to turn into deals.  

Content insights suggest the next best content and next best action, with PathFactory personalizing content tracks in real-time.  PathFactory tracks engagement at both the individual and account level while assessing content attributes such as type, topic, and reading length.

“While B2B marketing organizations have invested heavily in ABM over the past several years, many marketers still struggle to successfully execute campaigns, scale programs, and report on results.  We are confident this integration will give marketers the unprecedented ability to optimize the customer journey and generate revenue from their ABM efforts.”

Dev Ganesan, CEO of PathFactory

PathFactory clients do not require a separate 6Sense license.

“PathFactory and 6sense are marrying two of the most critical data sets necessary for successful ABM execution,” said Jason Zintak, CEO of 6sense.  “With 6sense’s industry-leading account identification capabilities and PathFactory’s content consumption data, sales and marketing teams can get deep insight into anonymous buying behavior of individuals and accounts, and deliver hyper-personalized content journeys.”

PathFactory placed 186th on Deloitte’s Fast 500 list, and Gartner named them a Cool Vendor in their 2019 Technology Marketing category.

6Sense recently closed on a $40 million Round C.

Zoominfo Acquires Komiko

Zoominfo (FKA DiscoverOrg), Acquisition History

Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor Zoominfo acquired Redmond, WA startup Komiko.  The deal extends Zoominfo’s sales AI capabilities with CRM automation, playbooks, lead scores, and predictive analytics.  

Komiko’s analytical and recommendation tools support sales, account executives, and customer success teams.

Komiko’s AI tools are being rebranded as ZoomInfo InboxAI.

“Organizations are realizing that how they manage and leverage data is a strategic function that can accelerate or inhibit lead, pipeline, and revenue generation. While our offering is a SaaS platform for GTM, we feel ZoomInfo is in the business of helping marketing and salespeople hit their numbers. So, when we see an opportunity to build or buy additional capabilities essential to strengthen that edge — as we did with Komiko — it’s an easy decision.”

Zoominfo CEO Henry Schuck

Komiko employs machine learning and data science “to better automate CRM processes.”  InboxAI gathers contact and activity data from email inboxes and calendars and populates the CRM.  The mined intelligence also triggers alerts and generates “analytics essential to supporting renewals, managing new business pipelines, and more.”

Komiko offers a “data-driven platform” which helps reps understand the likelihood of each opportunity closing.  The platform also captures all customer-facing interactions and contacts.  Komiko claims to “make it easy to see who is interacting with the customer and what activities are taking place.”

Komiko data includes the strength of connection with each account (k-score), the relationship of contacts at accounts, the last communication with the account (outbound or inbound), and key contacts at existing accounts.

Komiko integrates sales playbooks into the CRM and recommends when to deploy them.

Current customers will continue to receive the Komiko service with no changes in support or service.

InboxAI is already deployed at Zoominfo.  The firm discovered 60,000 records that had not been logged into Salesforce.  “We found a number of accounts where we were only talking to one buyer – when we know that we need four buyers engaged to get across the finish line. InboxAI not only completes our CRM, [but] it gives us the visibility we need to push the right opportunities at the right time,” said Zoominfo CRO Chris Hays.

Komiko functionality will be integrated into the recently launched Zoominfo powered by DiscoverOrg platform.

Komiko is GDPR compliant and qualifies as a data processor.  It supports the right to be forgotten through a blacklist of blocked emails.  The system also deletes any historical emails related to blacklisted emails.

Komiko does not monitor internal emails and includes an external blacklist for blocked processing.  Thus, HR, Payroll, Board, and Legal department communications will not be ingested.  Komiko does not add Salesforce accounts but employs Salesforce accounts as a whitelist.

Komiko also positions itself as a “dynamic coaching” service which goes beyond informal or “formal, random” processes:

Dynamic coaching is not just a buzz word. It has been proven that taking this approach makes a big impact on win rates. Since taking the dynamic path means defining a formal process combined with your CRM to monitor, evaluate and support your coaching processes…Komiko builds playbooks based on your definition of success, the accounts segments you identify and the input from email capture and CRM. Your playbooks will outline actions that drove success in the past. Each recommended action will include recommended target and its weight (significance) to the overall success. Komiko will enhance your team’s efficiency by triggering call-to-actions based on the customer profile and playbook in real-time.

Komiko website

Komiko claims that clients can “get up and running” within 24 hours after only 30 minutes of work.  They support “customers of all sizes” across software, healthcare, distribution, professional services, and insurance.  Clients include Adecco, Tata Communications, Pemco Insurance, and Chorus.ai.

Terms of the deal were not released.  

How Komiko works

Komiko was founded in 2015 by former Microsoft engineers Hal Howard and Ami Heitner.  Owler lists Komiko’s revenue at $3 million.  However, marketing activity (blogs, LinkedIn) seems to have slowed around three months ago, indicating a firm that was reserving cash for a managed exit.

Komiko has 60 customers and expects to double the count by the end of the year.

According to Komiko CEO Howard, “We want our product to be seen by millions of people.  Our choices were we could take an additional round of venture funding and build our market, or partner with ZoomInfo and use an already-existing go-to-market.  This was the fastest path to that market and to millions of customers.”

“Combining Komiko’s machine learning chops with ZoomInfo’s data pipeline creates a much stronger value proposition than either company could have offered independently, so the combination makes a ton of sense for both,” said Chris DeVore, managing partner at Founders’ Co-op, Komiko’s Seed Round lead investor.

“Everybody dreams of the unicorn exit. And those are all well and good, but the goal of every technology innovator is to get your technology in the hands of as many people as possible,” Howard told GeekWire.

Zoominfo has over 1,100 employees and more than $300 million in revenues.

Lattice Engines Campaigns

The Dun & Bradstreet Sales & Marketing Product Stack
The Dun & Bradstreet Sales & Marketing Product Stack

Dun & Bradstreet, which acquired Lattice Engines at the beginning of Q3, launched a Lattice Campaigns App for LinkedIn.  The new app “improves campaign performance by creating and activating always-on AI-based audiences for LinkedIn Ads.”

“When Dun & Bradstreet acquired Lattice Engines, we were building on an existing partnership of the world’s most comprehensive B2B data and the world’s leading B2B Customer Data Platform,” said Dun & Bradstreet’s President of Sales & Marketing Solutions Michael Bird.  “This is the first in a series of innovations we’re quickly bringing to market to power more effective and efficient digital marketing, demand generation and sales acceleration programs for our customers through the intelligent use of data.”

The Lattice Customer Data Platform supports “hyper-targeted” LinkedIn advertising as part of a broader omnichannel engagement strategy.  Lattice combines first and third-party customer data, displays account and contact insights, and uses “AI to segment their buyers and deliver hyper-targeted engagement in an automated fashion across display, web, email, CRM and now social channels.”

“Let’s say a buyer at a cold account starts visiting certain product pages on your website anonymously.  Rather than just showing this buyer a generic ad about your brand, you could show them an ad with more specific copy and CTA [call to action] related to the product pages that they visited on your website.”

Dun & Bradstreet President of Sales & Marketing Solutions Michael Bird

The app creates matched audiences for LinkedIn ads and then lets marketers adjust media spend to target high-performing audiences.  The app then updates LinkedIn audiences based on “changes in buyer engagement, interest and company data.  As a result, marketers can ensure that buyers are engaged with the most relevant campaigns based on not only persona but on profile, propensity, interest and buyer stage.”

Dun & Bradstreet is claiming a 42% increase in click-through rates and triple the post-click conversion rates resulting in a 54% reduction in qualified lead expenditures.

According to Gartner, CMOs are spending 23% of their marketing budget on paid media.

“In an environment where B2B marketers are overwhelmed with data and technology options, our goal is to make their jobs easier by connecting interactions across customer journeys,” says Bird.  “This allows marketers to target the right audiences with the right message and make the best use of their ad dollars.”

Connectors for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms are in the works.

Leadspace Closes on Reachforce Acquisition

Reachforce Smartforms support thin forms that are less likely to be abandoned, enrich leads with firmographics, and allow the user to select the proper location. Data entry and enrichment is performed in real-time allowing for immediate scoring and routing decisions.
Reachforce Smartforms support thin forms that are less likely to be abandoned, enrich leads with firmographics, and allow the user to select the proper location. Data entry and enrichment is performed in real-time allowing for immediate scoring and routing decisions.

Leadspace formally closed its ReachForce acquisition on July 1st.  Coincidentally, that was the same day that Dun & Bradstreet closed on its Lattice Engines acquisition.  Thus, Forester’s top two B2B CDPs (Q2 2019 Forrester Wave), were strengthened on the same day.

According to Forrester, “Leadspace offers comprehensive data that includes a proprietary second-party data asset with numerous sources of intent data and access to third-party data sources.  It also has strong segmentation capabilities (e.g., ideal customer profile and total addressable market modeling for ABM) and can help sellers decide who to call next and what to offer.”

ReachForce adds two core products to Leadspace: The well-regarded Smartforms web form service and the SmartSuite data hygiene platform.

SmartSuite provides “a one-stop-shop for data management, cleansing, and enriching, with an easy-to-use interface which shows quickly the ‘state of the union on data within CRM and MAP systems,” blogged Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher.

Reachforce and Leadspace share over 200 joint customers, so integrating the services and standardizing their content sets will provide direct benefits to those clients.  The firms share seven of the top ten enterprise software companies as clients.

Leadspace provides an additional set of data partners which can be combined with Reachforce data sources.  Leadspace data partners include DiscoverOrg, Dun & Bradstreet, Bombora, KickFire, and others.

“Customers will now be able to leverage all of these data sources seamlessly in real-time, through a single API and interface, offering a genuine single source of truth,” wrote Bewsher.

The Leadspace CDP supports a broad set of CRM, MAP, and digital advertising platforms including Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot, Microsoft Dynamics, HubSpot, and LiveRamp.  Smartforms will be an additional “activation product,” which “seamlessly and simply onboards new customers and customer intelligence into Sales and Marketing engagement platforms.”

Smartforms performs real-time data enrichment to lead records, allowing them to be properly scored and routed.  One of the long-standing benefits of Smartforms is the opportunity to shorten forms and perform real-time firmographic enrichment.  Not only is the enriched data more accurate, but form abandonment rates are significantly lower, resulting in a higher return on digital marketing campaigns.

“What’s more, combining Smartforms with existing Leadspace capabilities like reverse IP information, detailed account- and person-level data, and AI modeling, means we can offer highly-accurate site and ad personalization on both the account (ABM) and persona level.  For our customers, this means even more precise and personalized engagement and targeting, particularly those currently using our ABM solutions.  (We will be announcing more on this offering in Q3 as we integrate the Reachforce and Leadspace platforms.)”

Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher

The merger also allows Leadspace to incorporate its proprietary AI-driven intelligence, automated scoring, and models within Reachforce products.  Leadspace is beginning to move partner platforms from systems of record or systems of engagement to systems of intelligence.  “CDPs combine vast data and data management capabilities with advanced AI to create a system of intelligence that guides Marketing and Sales to their best customers, and delivers razor-sharp insights and recommendations on how and when to effectively engage them,” said Bewsher.  “The CDP is being rapidly adopted by B2B businesses now — including many enterprise companies at the forefront of marketing and sales strategy and innovation — and it’s proving equally as effective for them.”

Sparklane Predictive Account Scoring

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.  

Predict 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.

Sales Reps are shown list segmentation while reviewing individual leads.  Along with business descriptions and firmographics, reps see fit and need scores.  When reps flag a lead as interesting or not interesting, the decision is fed back into the ICP model.

Sparklane 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

Sparklane also supports multi-product line upsell and cross-sell models.

“Unfortunately, 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%.

DealSignal Adds Bombora Intent

Human-verified contact vendor DealSignal added Bombora intent to its B2B marketing data service.  The combined solution offers intent-based leads with verified emails and direct dials “so that marketing and sales teams can reach out to ideal buyers directly and drive more conversions.”  DealSignal applies Bombora intent data to an Ideal Buyers Profile.  Users will be able to identify net-new, surging accounts with accompanying contacts and buying teams.

“We’re excited to partner with Bombora to help marketing and sales teams finally answer the most elusive question: Who is out there actively looking for what we sell and how can we reach them before our competitors,” said DealSignal CEO, Rob Weedn.  ”The integration of Bombora intent data and DealSignal’s verified contact and account data means that revenue-driving teams can now see which companies are actively in-market, plus get complete, accurate contact data for ideal buyers at those companies, so they can reach out and convert that intent into a purchase.”

Selecting Bombora Intent Topics
Selecting Bombora Intent Topics

Marketers begin by defining their target buyer personas on the DealSignal platform and then select up to 50 Bombora intent topics.  DealSignal identifies accounts that match buyer profiles along with surging intent and delivers a set of accounts with contacts and firmographics.  By tying together intent, firmographics, and human-verified contacts, DealSignal delivers a set of leads that are more likely to close than with traditional firmographic prospecting.

“Intent-based leads help B2B marketers uncover accounts that are actively in-market — even if they’re not already on their target account/ABM lists.  We then deliver complete, enriched and verified contact and account data that helps marketing & sales teams reach out to prospective target buyers with highly personalized messages, to help them convert more intent into a purchase,” said Weedn.

Third-party Intent data from Bombora and The Big Willow has suffered from poor actionability as intent scores lack context and clear next steps.  Several vendors have begun to address this issue by combining intent with company and contact intelligence, turning an intent number into an ABM lead.  DealSignal ties together Ideal Buyers, Personas, Bombora Intent Data, and Human-verified contacts to indicate which ABM targets are in market and who should be contacted.  

DiscoverOrg redesigned its OppAlerts service to identify companies with surging interest in key topics, rank companies by purchase intent, route high-intent prospects to sales reps, and synch intent data with Salesforce for key topics.  

InsideView added the Bombora intent file into their Apex ICP / TAM service to help identify ABM accounts which are currently searching on key topics.

By converting intent signals into leads or opportunities, firms are beginning to translate billions of weekly datapoints (thousands of intent topics across millions of companies) into actionable intelligence for sales and marketing teams.

In December, Aberdeen acquired The Big Willow to deliver Intent Qualified Opportunities which combined third-party intent with technographics, firmographics, content, and research.

“Intent data has been trapped in marketing tools as just another score,” said Aberdeen CEO Marc Osofsky, Aberdeen’s CEO.  “Aberdeen Intent for Salesforce delivers what sales wants – accounts looking to buy that are fed directly into Salesforce for sales to engage and increase pipeline.”


Resources:

LeadSpace Partners with Bombora

LeadSpace is now including Bombora intent data in its Customer Data Platform.  Bombora’s company surge data helps identify which companies are in market for products and solutions based upon surges in topical interest above historical baselines in the topic.  “Customers can combine the resultant intent insights with Leadspace Predictive and Persona scores to accurately predict prospects’ readiness to buy in real time.”

LeadSpace customers can target outreach based upon topical interest, prioritize sales and marketing activities using intent data within predictive models, and personalize ad campaigns with messaging and content around surging topics.

LeadSpace customers employing an ABM strategy enjoy improved account list building and engagement due to the partnership.  They can also identify net-new prospects using look-a-like modelling and surge data.

“ABM succeeds when sales and marketing work closely toward the same goals.  The easiest way to find that success is for both departments to start with insights from a single data source. Intent data that shows which target accounts are actively in-market helps sales and marketing tailor their efforts to the best prospects, and avoid those that are not engaged in the buying cycle. Working with Leadspace ensures the easy orchestration of Bombora’s insights across these departments.”

Erik Matlick, CEO and co-founder of Bombora

Intent data also assists with sales-marketing alignment via harmonized messaging.  According to David Tam, Director of Marketing at OneLogin, “I’ve never worked anywhere before where we could run a fully-integrated and aligned marketing campaign and sales play, where the messaging matches. Our marketing emails are talking about the same things that our sales reps are talking about. That alone is enough to get brownie points with Sales!”

LeadSpace has offices in San Francisco, Denver, and Israel.  It called off a merger with Radius in August.

"How to Get Real Value from Intent with Leadspace," Leadspace Graphic
“How to Get Real Value from Intent with Leadspace”

Radius-Leadspace Merger Aborted

Radius and Leadspace quietly called off their merger back in August, agreeing not to point fingers at each other and continue supporting joint customers.

“At the end of the day, private to private mergers are incredibly hard to pull off. In this case, despite all of the best intentions in the world, we could not get to something that would work for all sides,” Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher told Demand Gen Report. “We are excited to see the evolution and clarity around the whole customer data platform really starting to define itself in B2B.”

Bewsher remains bullish about Leadspace and the Audience Management space:

Leadspace pioneered this space when we launched our Audience Management Platform two years ago. We continue to see great success with customers as they both simplify their data management processes and bring additional data driven insights and recommendations into their activities. Whether driving an ABM strategy, a content marketing / inbound lead driven strategy, or outbound prospecting, the right data and insights deployed into systems of engagement is typically the first step in any company’s success…

We look forward to working with you to develop, build and lead this category as we continue our mission to help B2B sales and marketing teams drive a new level of engagement, targeting and resulting revenue for their organizations.

Leadspace had a strong Q2 with its “best ever revenue growth.”  New customers include SAP and Splunk.  Growth was driven by the increasing recognition that B2B firms require a data-agnostic Customer Data Platform “which brings together many different data sources at the company- and individual-level, drives recommendations, insights and a single source of truth through AI, and then has a single point of integration into multiple executions systems (CRM, MAP, Ads etc),” said Bewsher.

“Radius and Leadspace agreed to continue operating independently and are now partnering to support joint customers,” said Radius.  “Radius’ customer data platform is the first for B2B, and we will focus on offering enterprise companies integrated, unified and trusted data across all go-to-market systems, while Leadspace’s audience management platform will continue to equip companies with audience enrichment and analytics.”

Both firms no longer talk about predictive analytics and emphasize Customer Data Platforms.  The Predictive Analytics space has been squeezed by both DaaS vendors with light scoring tools and integrated AI solutions such as Einstein.

Global5000 Database Adds Contacts

Back before the development of ICP / TAM tools and predictive analytics platforms, B2B marketers would simply describe their target market as the Global 2000 or Global 5000.  The description was overly broad, but it generally meant global enterprises with revenue in excess of $1 billion.

Of course, you could easily refine the list with broad segmentation.  For the sales intelligence vendors of 2005, it was the intersection of G5000 and (Professional Services, Financial Services, Tech firms).

So while there are now tools to refine your target universe, there remain companies that continue to focus on the G5000 concept.  This includes startups and companies with expensive B2B solutions.  It also includes Enterprise Sales groups.

Harry Henry has built a business around the G5000 concept.  For a long time, the Global5000 database consisted of a hand-researched list of billion dollar revenue companies; but, a few weeks ago he released a companion dataset of top US execs for G5000 with plans to sell international contacts in the future.  Henry has partnered with Salutary Data to build his new offering.

Marketers can license the G5000 company set for $2,300.  The accompanying US dataset of 25,000 executives spanning 2,100 firms is available for $3900.  Fields include

  • First & Last name
  • Job Title
  • Address (street, city, state & zip)
  • Email address — 100% fill rates
  • Phone number – Two possible phone numbers with a 35-50% direct dial fill rate.

The contact dataset focuses on Executive Management, Finance, HR/Personnel, Technology/IT, and Marketing.

“To provide you a sense of our vetting process, the contact records are aggregated from some 8 supplier sources and then tested using separate vendors who verify and score the accuracy of emails, phones, and name/title/company.   The results of these tests are used to identify the most accurate data, which enables us to create a data stack.  In addition, external and internal corroboration sources and techniques are also applied to further help identify the most current and accurate records.”

  • Global5000 Website

The contacts file is available with quarterly refreshes.  Segmented versions by industry or job function are not available.

The G5000 database consists of over 5,000 active companies generating $60 trillion in annual revenue and employing 130 million employees.  Revenue per employee of the G5000 firms is $397,000.  The file includes five-year employee and revenue data along with recent events, business descriptions, year founded, industry, segment, market and ticker, and business contact details (e.g. address, phone, URL).