D&B Optimizer: Global Contact Cleanse; Global Company Targeting

Custom Optimizer settings include match confidence, bad and dangerous email flagging, and technology enrichment.
Dun & BradstreetCustom Optimizer settings include match confidence, bad and dangerous email flagging, and technology enrichment.

This month, Dun & Bradstreet rolled out a pair of enhancements to their Workbench Data Optimizer product line.  The first release, which is already available, adds global contact cleanse and enrich functionality to the Optimizer module.  Additional features include URL matching, expanded attributes, and custom match settings.  The second release, with a planned release date of June 16th, provides global company targeting and an enhanced interface.

Our customers were asking for us to manage more of their data and for access to more of our data.  So, we really went for it with this release.  For one, we can now append up to 190 different data attributes.  We can also process contact records outside of the US.  We included 8x as many web domains to match to.  We added data stewardship rules to pass control to the customer.  Finally, we modernized the user experience.  If you combine all of this with the work we did to enhance our email verification process in March, it adds up to a complete solution for optimizing marketing data.

  • Director of Product Management John Zilch

Dun & Bradstreet acquired NetProspex and its Contact Optimizer product in January 2015 and has continued to invest in the offering.  The original product was already quite useful as it supported contact validation (email, phone, address), technographic enrichment (HG Data product vendor data), a freemium Data Health report, and segmentation analysis.  Post-acquisition, Dun & Bradstreet integrated WorldBase firmographics, linkage, and D-U-N-S Numbers into the product and implemented DUNSMatch logic for match and enrich.  More recently, they enhanced their Marketo and Eloqua connectors and added a Profiler module which supports advanced segmentation analysis and net-new account and contact prospecting based upon current accounts.  The most recent release continues the product evolution.

Data Insights Analysis (New UX)
Data Insights Analysis (New UX)

The Optimizer module first matches using company name, address, and phone.  If it is unable to match to specific locations, URL matching is performed as a secondary match process.  The firm has 8.3 million mapped domains.  Domain matching associates contacts and companies with D-U-N-S Numbers and associated firmographics.  However, domain matching is less accurate as it is likely to map to the ultimate parent or a major subsidiary (if the subsidiary has a separate domain).  Thus, domain matching is more generalized.  It should be noted, however, that several vendors only offer domain matching so using domains as a secondary match algorithm still provides stronger matching and enrichment than these vendors.

Domain matching is also useful when address information and phone information is not provided by leads.

Dun & Bradstreet extended the number of fields available for matching to over 170 from their SDMR “Strategic Layout.”  As the firm offers custom layouts, admins can choose which fields to map between Optimizer and their company and contact data sets.

Custom Optimizer settings include match confidence, bad and dangerous email flagging, and technology enrichment.
Custom Optimizer settings include match confidence, bad and dangerous email flagging, and technology enrichment.

Users can also employ confidence codes for matching (they recommend using match confidence levels of six or higher for the “best quality and output”) or select from turnkey file layouts.  Thus, matches based on the name (but not address) or address (but not name) are excluded.  Workbench supports native integrations with Eloqua (Oracle Cloud) and Marketo for lead matching.  Contact matching adds phone; job title, phone, and level; social handles; and firmographics.

On June 16th, the firm will begin adding net-new accounts to its Target module.  Target defaults to US companies but can also be run at the global or country level.  Coverage has been expanded to 110 million companies including 9 million UK entities.

When prospecting in Target, users are provided with four counts:

  1. Contact Records Company Type (emails)
  2. Contact Records Campaign Type (emails and phones)
  3. Company Records Firmographics
  4. Cookies and Mobile ID’s for programmatic and mobile targeting

Emails have a 90% confidence rate for deliverability.

Bureau van Dijk Orbis Enhancements

Saved Searches is one of the new features added to BvD Orbis.
Bureau van Dijk Orbis Build a List

Bureau van Dijk rolled out the latest set of enhancements to its Orbis company research and financial analysis platform.  Orbis was re-platformed last year and given a modern user interface.  New features include a document ordering module, improved peer reporting, and enhanced customization.  The new document ordering module assists with KYC/AML and company research by delivering original images of business documents, such as certificates of incorporation, shareholders’ details, and annual reports.  The new module was built in partnership with aRMadillo (FKA RM Online) and delivers reports “usually within an hour.”  Users can even order reports for companies not found in the Orbis database.

Customization features include calculated variables which can be shared across the account group, chapters, and classifications.

“The new interface arranges company reports into “books” that are further organised into “chapters”, that contain related information,” said CMO Louise Green.  “This feature lets you create your own customised chapters, which could include: your company logo or other images; widgets from the profile page; worksheets with selected financials; and any of your own fields that you have imported into Orbis.”

Custom classifications allow users to map their own industry and geographic codes to ORBIS data.

Bureau van Dijk recently released a 2:33 demo of seven key workflow improvements that were implemented in last year’s release:

  1. Favorite Search Criteria
  2. Instant Currency Switch
  3. Alert Management and Quick Alerting
  4. Quick View of a Company
  5. Random Sorting and Sampling
  6. Pivot Analysis
  7. Corporate Ownership Explorer

The Orbis database, which is available for Orbis financial analysis, MINT sales intelligence, and Catalyst workflow product lines, now spans 220 million companies across 200 countries.

Bureau van Dijk Orbis Company View
The Bureau van Dijk Orbis Company View is customizable.

2016 in Review: Sales Intelligence Functionality

InMail 2.0 provides full profile access, a signature block, attachment support, shared connections, icebreakers, and synch to CRM.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator InMail 2.0 provides full profile access, a signature block, attachment support, shared connections, icebreakers, and synch to CRM.

In yesterday’s blog, I discussed how expanded content is a common path for adding value to sales intelligence services.  Today, I am looking at how functionality, which usually leverages new or existing content, added significant value to product offerings in 2016.

Many of the vendors covered in my new 2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors added new feature functionality to their service:

  1. LinkedIn Sales Navigator: LinkedIn rolled out a series of enhancements to their service:
    1. Sales Navigator introduced InMail 2.0 with support for signatures, attachments, and conversational insights.
    2. Sales Navigator updated its prospecting user interface and added additional searching tools and screening variables. Sales Spotlights are LinkedIn specific variables that are displayed on top of screening results allowing for additional filtering:
      • Accounts with senior leadership changes in the last three months
      • Lead changed jobs in past 90 days
      • Leads with TeamLink Intro
      • Lead mentioned in the news the past 30 days
      • Lead posted on LinkedIn in past 30 days
      • Lead shares an experience with the sales rep
      • Leads that follow rep’s company on LinkedIn

       

    3. New prospecting filters include
      • Department [Job Function] employee ranges
      • Department [Job Function] employee growth (plus or minus 100%)
    4. Lead search results have been expanded to include a previously viewed flag, tenure at current company, and a quick drill down to TeamLink introductions.
    5. The Sales Navigator app added a new Discover tab which acts as a “Tinder for leads.” The tab provides five daily new lead and account recommendations.
    6. Sales reps may now add tags (e.g. Qualified) and notes to leads and accounts. Tags are searchable and synch with Salesforce.
    7. The Sales Navigator Android and iOS apps now display up to ten daily account or lead recommendations based upon user preferences. Recommendations will expire after 24 hours and be replaced with fresh recommendations.
  2. Artesian Solutions: Artesian rolled out V14 and V15 of its platform. New features include
    • Salesforce Opportunity rollup information in Artesian and Artesian intelligence within SFDC Opportunity records.
    • Improved Company Searching rolls up companies into a group
    • Improved de-duplication logic reduces news duplicates and rolls similar articles into a group.
    • Added North American prospecting filters for counties, business type, and the presence of specific job functions at a company.
    • A redesigned CRM connector for SFDC and MS Dynamics
    • Full sales trigger customization
    • Market sector alerts
    • An updated employees page which supports executive filtering by job role and seniority.

    Artesian rolled out version 3.0 of the Artesian Ready mobile app which provides company and executive insights synched with the mobile calendar. Ready also supports collaborative note taking and a “360° comprehensive profile of customers and prospects.”  New Ready features include company searching, company add to Watchlists, Twitter timelines and Twitter sharing, social links (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, AngelList, Crunchbase), job information, and a data quality form for reporting incorrect information.

  3. DueDil: Along with entering the US market, DueDil implemented a series of product enhancements.
    • Export Custom Company reports in PDF format.
    • DueDil Connect helps users identify and connect to decision makers, map and understand their network connections, and alert users on company news related to their contact network. Users can also filter by colleague connections within Advanced Search.
    • An ownership tab which makes it easier for users to perform due diligence (e.g. Know Your Customer compliance) and assess a firm’s governance structure. Ownership content includes directorship information, shareholders, and portfolio companies. The new tab also contains a Related Companies widget which identifies companies which are not formally linked but which have a high likelihood of sharing an economic interest. Related Companies may be registered at the same location, share several directors, have a set of similar investments, or have name similarities.
    • Dynamic company lists automatically update allowing firms to keep tabs on customers, prospects, partners, and competitors.
    • Alerts are provided on lists, with notifications displayed in a new DueDil dashboard which breaks events into news, opportunities, and risk sections. DueDil event alerts include changes in leadership or ownership, recent news, updates to budget windows, changes of address, changes in employee number, company blog posts and changes in credit score.
    • Upload a file into a list for matching, deduplication, and enrichment.
    • Custom list formats may be downloaded as CSV files.
    • Segment reporting on uploaded lists
    • Match and enrich functionality against uploaded files.
  4. Avention: Avention had a series of enhancements including content, UI, new products, and new connectors.  As each of these categories is being covered under a different blog, the number of strict functional enhancements is more limited.  These included
    1. New list management features including rename, pin to desktop, delete, modify criteria, and clone list.
    2. When lists are uploaded for match and append, improved matching heuristics and a larger reference database result in significantly higher match rates. The system now also tracks unmatched records.
    3. Expanded notification functionality which allows reps to manage new company and sales trigger alerts from a centralized location. This Watchlist supports filtering by read/unread notices, priority flag, trigger type, and list. A new flag allows users to mark notifications as important.
  5. Data.com: Salesforce began offering a two-part account record data assessment report. The new Lightning report analyzes both data quality and segmentation. The data quality section begins with a Data Health overview score which assesses account data quality across three factors: Matchability vs. Dun & Bradstreet WorldBase data in Data.com, Accuracy vs. WorldBase, and Uniqueness (lack of duplicates).  In Data.com Clean, Lead records are now enriched with the Dun & Bradstreet WorldBase file.  Finally, Data.com announced a new Data Exchange with three partners: HG Data, Bombora, and MCH.  Bombora released their integrated intent file service just before the end of the year.
  6. DiscoverOrg: In September, DiscoverOrg launched Deal Predict which ranks prospects on a one to five-star scale based upon a set of firmographic, technographic, and biographic variables defined by marketing or sales operations. Deal Predict scores are displayed in both DiscoverOrg and CRMs.
  7. Dun & Bradstreet: Hoover’s doubled the Build a List download size to 10,000 records.  Meanwhile, the NetProspex Workbench data hygiene platform added company record enrichment. The service also added profile discovery and TAM analysis to its set of marketing capabilities.
  8. Infofree:  Infofree added support for text-only email templates to its CRM101 platform. Users may send up to 25 emails in a single blast and up to 250 emails per day from Infofree’s SMTP server.  Infofree also now lets users integrate their Outlook or Google calendar accounts with CRM101.
  9. Zoominfo: Zoominfo released a set of enhancements to its service in March 2016 including a country select field in its List Builder. Other new features include contact Send to Salesforce and email an electronic business card to the user’s inbox.
  10. Owler: Owler implemented a set of advanced heuristics that help personalize the service. Stories are displayed according to interest in a topic and frequency of stories for tracked companies (i.e. rarely covered companies are given higher priority).
  11. Salesgenie: Salesgenie launched a Custom Fields service which provides scoring and custom analytics models. Infogroup builds custom models for cross-sell, upsell, acquisition, and at risk accounts. Scores are based on deciles and available for screening within Build a List.

So it was a busy year on the functionality front.  As I have broken out integration connectors and the user interface as separate topics, you should view this as a sub-list of product enhancements.  Thus, even though Bureau van Dijk did not make this list, they introduced a new user interface for Orbis (Global) and Fame (UK) this spring.  Likewise, InsideView rolled out additional connectors and refreshed their CRM connector user interfaces.

LinkedIn: PointDrive-Sales Navigator Integration

LinkedIn is planning to integrate the recently acquired PointDrive sales engagement solution into Sales Navigator in Q1 2017.  PointDrive, which was acquired in July, helps sales reps package, share, and track sales presentations which are distributed via the PointDrive web app or an email link.  The platform then gathers viewing analytics.  Content includes images, video, embedded maps, and documents which are mobile optimized for presentation.

Bill Burnett, Director of LinkedIn Sales Solutions, said that PointDrive is designed to solve two email problems:  attachment laden emails lack “control over narrative” as emails provide little flow, story, and “experience for the buyer.”  Also, they provide no visibility into who is viewing the email.  Thus, post-demo messaging is haphazard as emails don’t communicate a story very well.

PointDrive Embedded Contact Profile
PointDrive Embedded Contact Profile

According to LinkedIn, there are 5.4 decision makers involved in the buying decision which means that there is a high probability that sales emails with rich media attachments are being forwarded to others.

Burnett stated that the goal of PointDrive is to “turn this [email] exchange into a truly more engaging experience” which provides real-time sales signals about what content decision makers are viewing.  Instead of sending long emails, buyers are directed to a PointDrive landing page which allows the sales rep to control brand, content, and commentary.  PointDrive was designed as a “mobile first” interface with landing pages supporting both traditional and mobile browsers.

Brand and product information are “now presented in a way that truly differentiates and engages the buyer” through personalization and organization.  PointDrive also provides easy access to sales rep bios and contact information (see image on left).  Each attachment is displayed in a framed box with sales rep narratives and document descriptions alongside the marketing piece.  PointDrive supports embedded collateral, pricing sheets, presentation decks, multimedia, and images which are all displayed within the PointDrive landing page.  Users do not need to download content or window out to other documents.

PointDrive is customized to the seller allowing firms to convey their brand identity.  Burnett claims that creating a PointDrive is “as simple as creating an email.”  Users upload content and grab links, videos, and Google Maps.  “We’ll lay your brand and identity on top of it for you so that when you are ready to share with your leads [and] share with your connections,” said Burnett.

Sales reps have control over actions taken on PointDrive embedded content.  They can block downloads, password protect the element, set expiration dates, and track forwards.

An embedded User Guide is displayed within a PointDrive page.  Commentary is provided by sales reps.
An embedded User Guide is displayed within a PointDrive page.  Commentary is provided by sales reps.

Real-time alerting metrics are provided for each document view.  Thus, PDF analytics indicate who viewed the document, when viewed, how much total time buyers or influencers spent viewing the document, total pages viewed, and how much time was spent on each page.  It even captures the viewing browser and location of the viewer.  This intelligence is available for both the original recipients and any forwarded viewers.

Burnett calls this a “new way for sellers within Sales Navigator to engage with customers and prospects much deeper into the sales funnel.”  The service also provides “tremendous value for account managers or anybody inside of your organization that’s communicating on a regular basis” with customers and prospects.

The firm plans on rolling PointDrive into core Sales Navigator Team functionality at no additional cost.  LinkedIn sales reps are already using PointDrive with their customers and prospects.

“The new Sales Navigator features are to enhance the overall customer experience of Sales Navigator, and to integrate it into daily workflows to get people the information they need as easily as possible,” said LinkedIn Senior Marketing Manager Derek Pando.

LinkedIn’s System of Engagement ties together email, CRM, and LinkedIn workflows. (Source: LinkedIn Sales Connect 2016)
LinkedIn’s System of Engagement ties together email, CRM, and LinkedIn workflows. (Source: LinkedIn Sales Connect 2016)

LinkedIn Head of Products Doug Camplejohn noted that sales reps live in three applications: their email, CRM, and LinkedIn.  LinkedIn’s objective is to become the “System of Engagement” that manages the workflow of sales reps.  Expanded functionality such as PointDrive, connectors, and InMail 2.0 (see below) will sit between the system of communication (email) and the system of record (CRM).  Thus, InMail, PointDrive, CRM uploads (InMail, Notes, Tags), email and Chrome integrations, and the CRM partnerships should be viewed as part of LinkedIn’s broader workflow strategy.

Sales messaging and analytics tools are becoming much more prevalent in sales intelligence, sales acceleration, and ABSD platforms.  That will be discussed tomorrow.

SalesLoft: Excellence in Product Release Announcements

sl-product-releaseAs part of the update to my Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors, I’m working my way through the product updates of nearly two dozen vendors.  In most cases, this information is only available to non-users as press releases and blogs.  But one of my profiled companies, SalesLoft, has a better way to communicate to its customers and prospects.  Their VP of Product Strategy Sean Kester records a ninety second video for each release which includes a mini-demo and user benefits discussion.

These videos are short and professional with optional closed captioning and a full transcript.  Furthermore, the videos are in plain English so that they can be easily understood by end users.  You won’t hear the typical tech speak.

And videos that start, “Hey, Guys, Sean here with SalesLoft” help to reinforce the brand and convey a sense of friendliness and ease of use.

Here is a sample transcript:

Hey Guys, Sean here with SalesLoft. We are excited to announce the new SalesLoft platform UI.

Today we’re introducing a new look. You’ll see an updated platform design for SalesLoft. Inspired by the desire to deliver consistency, the new UI represents a simpler interface, standardizing all the pages within the platform.

We made changes to how users interact with the interface:

The simpler design puts more focus on the information that matters without changing how you navigate throughout the platform…

The SalesLoft community has evolved over the past few years, becoming the application of record for the specialized inside sales organization.

The updated UI reflects your feedback, making it easier to quickly execute your tasks in addition to laying a foundation for faster innovation and increased value delivery to you, our users.

Thank you for enabling SalesLoft to continue to serve you. As always, we are excited to hear your feedback!

What’s more, it is clear that they understand that meeting the needs of their customers drives their success.

Bravo!

Data.com: Summer 2016 Release

The Salesforce Summer 2016 release contains over 200 new features and enhancements including Lightning support for Data.com and the Marketing Cloud, Wave Analytics for the Service Cloud, a native dialer, and SaleforceIQ Inbox for Outlook.

The Account Insights Tab provides integrated Data.com intelligence.
The Account Insights Tab provides integrated Data.com intelligence.

The Data.com Prospect Insights view is now Lightning enabled and can be accessed from Opportunity and Account Detail pages.  A “See More Insights” button (1) takes the user to additional business and financial details from Dun & Bradstreet.  Company intelligence includes D&B WorldBase firmographics and linkage, Hoover’s top company descriptions and competitors, and First Research industry overviews including call prep questions and industry summaries.  Hoover’s and First Research content sets are also licensed from Dun & Bradstreet. 

Clicking on Annual Revenue (2), provides additional details around revenue and growth.

Sales reps can further research the company by clicking on See More News (3).

According to the Summer 2016 release notes, “In Lightning Experience, Prospecting Insights give your reps highly relevant information that helps guide customer conversations. Account insights and company linkages are all in one location for a more efficient and customer focused experience.”

First Research industry overviews provide a set of plain-English primers.  While there is some international discussion, the profiles are US-centric and directed towards non-experts (i.e. sales reps).  Industry overview sections include:

  • Industry Details—View details about the accounts industry as identified by SIC and NAICS codes and descriptions.
  • Competitive Landscape—Understand the potential of the account in its related industry.
  • Trends—Understand the account’s financial situation and identify potential growth areas.
  • Opportunities—Peruse the various account opportunities.
  • Call Prep—Prepare for a call with detailed Q&A.
  • Industry Websites—Link to the websites of the account’s top competitors.

Data.com Lightning also includes the recently enhanced Company Hierarchy view.  The family tree information mashes together the Dun & Bradstreet global family tree (e.g. linkages, location type, city, country, revenue, and employees)  with Salesforce.com account intelligence including whether the location is already an account and the name of the account owner.

The Data.com company hierarchy is sourced from the highly respected D&B WorldBase file. SFDC has mashed together SFDC account intelligence with the family tree.
The Data.com company hierarchy is sourced from the highly respected D&B WorldBase file. SFDC has mashed together SFDC account intelligence with the family tree.

Users may expand or collapse nodes and quickly add an account via clicking on a Plus button.

Data.com Lightning also supports an Add New Account feature located on the Account page.  The quick search feature supports filtering by Revenue, Country / Territory, State, Name or Website, Location Type (Headquarter, Branch, or Single Location).  While reviewing the company list, users can mouse over a company name to see additional company details.  Up to twenty accounts may be added at a time.

The Add New Account selects help filter through the very large universe of Dun & Bradstreet data but appears to be under-featured.  Similar filters are available in company lookups in sales intelligence services, but they provide filters with counts that can be applied via a single click.  They also provide one click sorting by clicking on headers and filtering by regions within countries (e.g. Provinces and Territories).

Last month, Data.com pricing was simplified to a single tier for Prospector and Clean.  Thus, all Prospector and Clean users now have access to the full WorldBase file including company hierarchy, secondary industry codes, and broader financial details.

In Data.com Clean, Lead records are now enriched with the Dun & Bradstreet WorldBase file.  The release notes state, “Even if your leads have only a name and email address, you can add a ton of valuable company information. That could be the difference between converting a lead and wasting your reps’ time.”

On the negative side, Data.com has retired its Social Keys which matched records with social profiles.

Other Features

Other new Summer 2016 features from Salesforce include

  • Lightning Voice: Click-to-dial and inbound call support native to SFDC
  • Email Studio: “an all-new, streamlined, intuitive email creation and send workflow” for the Marketing Cloud.
  • Lightning Pages: Configures new Lighting home pages by “dragging and dropping standard, custom, or partner” components on the page canvas.
  • Service Wave: Service analytics provide “visibility into KPIs like open cases, agent productivity, and customer satisfaction”

On Monday, I will touch upon SalesforceIQ enhancements in the Summer 2016 release.

To Become a System of Intelligence, SFDC is Getting Serious about Data.com

Data.com Prospecting Insights Financial Details from Dun & Bradstreet.
Data.com Prospecting Insights Financial Details from Dun & Bradstreet.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Salesforce.com is evolving towards a System of Intelligence.  At her Data.com Keynote at Dreamforce, VP of Product Marketing Michelle Huff noted that CRM has been evolving from a system of record to a system of engagement.  This involves not only reducing data entry, but evolving CRM for mobile, social, and account maintenance.  The next evolutionary step is becoming a system of intelligence which supports account planning, account awareness, and recommendations from within the CRM.

Historically, sales reps have conducted most of their account research outside of the CRM, but Data.com is adding additional Dun & Bradstreet datasets to deliver account intelligence within SFDC.  These information sets move CRM from being a reactive tool for selling to a proactive tool for customer intelligence.  Insights include account targets, task prioritization, and alerts.

At the base of customer intelligence is good data.  If your system of record is out of date or filled with gaps, your insights will be limited or inaccurate.  “intelligence just becomes less intelligent,” said Huff.  “Recommendations will be great, but just not as helpful.”  For example, leads will be passed to the wrong rep if sizing and industry data is missing.

According to Data.com Senior Director of Marketing Beth Fitzpatrick, data quality is the number one reason that CRM implementations fail.  Data.com addresses this problem through both a Clean service for maintaining data quality and Prospector for list building and account planning.  She also noted the value of a high quality referential data source such as the Dun & Bradstreet account file.  “When you leverage the D-U-N-S Numbers as a kind of identifier across your system, it allows you to organize and structure that data…you have that index, kind of keeping things in order.”

Christoph Gerz, Director of Global Sales Operations at Polycom noted that after standardizing on Data.com, 90% of his pipeline is DUNSRight matched from a dollar perspective.  Prior to Data.com, there was no standardization on company names and addresses.  They also lacked firmographic and linkage data.

Jennifer Taylor, SVP of Product Development, began by stating, “we can’t create time for you, but we can create intelligence in our system that will hopefully make you more effective and more productive and enable you to cover more ground in less time.”

According to Data.com, the pillars of improved sales productive come from being able to

  • Discover the Best Opportunities
  • Prioritize Your Prospects
  • Understand Your Customers Better

I would argue that this list of requirements is too narrow and should also include

  • Monitor your Customers and Prospects Better
  • Sell Deeper into the Organization

Data.com has omitted these two as they do not offer significant monitoring, organizational research, or relationship management tools, though this weakness is beginning to change.  The new SalesforceIQ for Sales addresses some of the relationship tools through its who knows who feature and email mining to prevent customer and prospect requests from slipping between the cracks.  The addition of the Dun & Bradstreet family tree to Data.com in Winter 2016 (classic version only) is another step towards addressing these gaps.

Data.com has implemented a series of enhancements over the past year.  Whereas it was a somewhat ignored platform for the prior few years, Salesforce has increased its investment in both content and functionality through an extension of the Dun & Bradstreet partnership:

d1

“We have to ensure that you have a solid foundation of data, that that foundation of data continues to be enriched and stay clean.  So we’re constantly expanding our data sets, improving our data quality, religiously helping you manage your dupes, providing you scalability so we grow as your business grows and then always making sure that everything we build, of course, is API first so you can integrate it into any workflow or process that you use within your system,” said Taylor.

Prospecting Insights was released this summer and provided broader business details, industry and competitive intelligence, and call prep questions.  The extended company intelligence is from Dun & Bradstreet with the call prep content written by First Research editors and the competitors lists assembled by Hoover’s editors.

“One of the things we talk a lot about at Salesforce is customer love.  The first step to love is knowledge…and Prospecting Insights aims to give you that intelligence.” — Jennifer Taylor, SVP of Product Development

Winter 2016 brings the Dun & Bradstreet family tree, Recommended Accounts (cloning your top customers), Lead Appending which adds firmographics to incoming leads, and Clean Enhancements including perpetual update and geocoding.  All of these items are listed as beta or pilot in Winter 2016 so will hit general availability later in the year.

The Dun & Bradstreet family trees are global in scope and include location, sizing, and ownership type (e.g. Headquarters, Branch, Division).

The Dun & Bradstreet Family Tree (beta) supports one-click addition of new Account records.
The Dun & Bradstreet Family Tree (beta) supports one-click addition of new Account records.

If a location is currently within SFDC, a green flag is displayed along with the account owner’s name.

By scrolling over and clicking on any location, it is immediately added as an account and assigned to the rep.

Trees are collapsible at the node level so users can hide divisions that are of little interest.

They plan on additional features in future releases including white space analysis and performing account and opportunity analysis.

The Recommended Accounts feature is a black box prospecting engine that utilizes customer win / loss information to identify companies similar to the reps’ top customers.  Data.com states that Recommended Accounts is “based on your past successes.  Our algorithm learns from your Salesforce data to find accounts similar to those you have closed.  Accounts are listed in ranked order, those at the top have the greatest possibility of success.”  Reps can then filter the results to further refine the list (e.g. limit recommendations to headquarters) and then select proposed accounts to be added to SFDC with one click.

The description sounds fairly rudimentary as it basically looks at basic firmographic variables to find “good adjacent, highly probable opportunities.”  It should not be confused with predictive analytics features that look at thousands of Business Signals matched against an Ideal Profile.

Lead enrichment provides web form enrichment based on two fields, name and email.  Data.com then appends firmographics and phone information to the record based upon the email domain.

And since firmographics and linkage are derived from Dun & Bradstreet, leads are properly routed to the appropriate rep and the lead is given a quality and priority score.

Only a high level slide was provided on their roadmap, but it included market analysis, customer analysis, news, financials, account prioritization, and significant event alerts.  Several of last year’s announcements went unremarked including the Thomson Reuters partnership and third party services (Data.com Connect and the Data.com Exchange).  The third party services no longer appear to have their own mini-site with Data.com sending customers and prospects to the Data Apps on the AppExchange.

For a long time, Data.com was simply the Dun & Bradstreet WorldBase file sold by SFDC reps.  It was strong on brand but weak on content and functionality.  It now appears that Salesforce is getting serious about Data.com.