At last month’s Growth Acceleration Summit, ZoomInfo previewed a lead scoring feature which will be available later this year. Users will build models for ideal customers and the associated scores will be displayed across the product including in lists, profiles, and enriched web leads. The goal is to “customize ZoomInfo to each and every one of you,” said CMO Hila Nir at her Product Roadmap presentation. Customization also includes routing and territory management. ZoomInfo will continue to offer tools which foster sales and marketing alignment and look to “take noise out of sales and marketing organizations.”
The company hinted at email templating and territory dashboards, but did not provide details on these future product concepts beyond conference screenshots. Email templating is most commonly found in Sales Engagement services such as Outreach, SalesLoft, and ConnectLeader.
While Zoominfo has not released financials, Garlick indicated that the firm had a strong 2017 marked by “really fast revenue growth.” The firm also added over 100 staff and 2,000 customers in the past year. He attributed the firm’s success to hard work, teamwork, sweat, and tears.
ZoomInfo pricing is a hybrid between number of seats and number of records licensed. While the firm used to be transparent about its pricing, they stopped posting such details a few years ago.
Technology media and intent purchasing firm TechTarget announced a set of enhancements to its Priority Engine service “that vastly improve ABM performance, increase sales productivity and maximize demand generation success for enterprise B2B technology organizations.” Amongst the enhancements are improvements to the user experience, a new Salesforce widget, persistent URLs, list assignments, user roles, and improved topic filtering.
Priority Engine combines executive intelligence with purchaser specific demand signals spanning 10,000 IT Topics across its technology research sites. The service marries HG Data technology intent intelligence with DiscoverOrg contacts, Owler firmographics, and TechTarget intent data and prospects. Priority Engine assists sales and marketing professionals by “expanding access to total buying teams at active accounts and showcasing rich purchase details such as installed technologies, vendor shortlists and specific, relevant topical interests.”
Priority Engine is GDPR compliant across its 18 million professional profiles who have opted into TechTarget partner marketing programs. Furthermore, because TechTarget has opted-in user profiles, it is able to provide intent data at the individual level. This contrasts with other intent networks which gather anonymous intent information at the company level.
User Experience enhancements include a left-side navigation menu and search bar. The navigation bar provides account list management, export functionality, and export monitoring. The search bar provides a type-ahead company list to expedite account searching.
Account profiles contain Owler headquarters information along with a business description, logo, sizing data, and social media links. Also displayed in the business summary are an account interest gauge, Buying Team counts, Vendor Interests based upon downloaded vendor content, and Top Interests. The account Interest gauge evaluates site readership (number of readers, type of content, scope of vendor interest) to determine whether the prospect is Evaluating Vendors, Ramping Up, or Not Active in the segment.
TechTarget also offers a set of intent signals based upon readership patterns: Widespread, Sustained, Late Stage, Stakeholder, and Cross-Vendor. According to the firm, “the more blue dots that are lit up, the more focus sales should commit to the account.”
At the top of each Account Profile are the licensed segments. Sales reps can click on any of the segments and the profile is filtered for the segment across TechTarget Buying Teams, DiscoverOrg Contacts, HG Data products, and the business summary. TechTarget offers 300 technology market segments with over 200 available for North America.
Priority Engine users are now assigned to one of three roles: Administrators, List Builders, and Read-Only. Administrators have full system functionality along with account management responsibilities. Both Administrators and List Builders can build and assign account lists to other users. Only Administrators can export records. Priority Engine suggests that Administrators are usually marketers and that List Builders are typically Sales Managers. View only users would be inside sales reps that would be working account lists but not building them.
Account List Building was redesigned with reorganized and expanded filters displayed on a single page. Filters have been separated into common and advanced screens with common filters spanning firmographic, technographic, and intent variables. Advanced filters include Last Touch, Purchase Signals, and HQ location. Within any filter, users may select Includes Any (OR), Include All (AND), and Exclude (NOT) Boolean logic.
Users can also rank results by market segment. Most Priority Engine subscribers have between one and five licensed segments. Except for the largest technology firms that operate in many segments, the firm contends that focusing on key segments provides better results than including adjacent technology segments.
Previously defined lists are available for both suppression or sub-list targeting.
TechTarget Priority Engine List Building
Lists are ranked according to intent signal strength for a market segment. Clicking on a different segment results in a different set of priorities.
The new Ranked Accounts list view includes the navigation bar along with company logos, the top areas of interest, and the company most influencing the account over the past 90 days (based upon TechTarget content viewing patterns). Clicking on any account takes the user to the account profile.
The persistent URL provides a direct link between sales and marketing platforms to the Priority Engine Dashboard. “The sales-to-marketing handoff can be one of the most challenging aspects of implementing modern marketing strategies, especially ABM. To properly inform and empower salespeople, you must be able to pass along valuable account-level insights with each lead — and few systems or workflows support this,” said Michael Cotoia, CEO, TechTarget. “Priority Engine addresses this challenge by providing a persistent and portable account link that can be embedded within any existing sales or marketing systems.”
Please continue to Part II which discusses the Priority Engine Salesforce connector, product repackaging, and market momentum.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator will be rolling out its Q2 release in the coming weeks. New features include a redesigned Leads page, a mobile new Accounts page, additional SNAP partners, and improved message actions in the Inbox.
LinkedIn also announced that its Sales Solutions are fully GDPR compliant with the following changes being implemented later this year:
Notification of data collection to all LinkedIn members using Sales Navigator at onboarding: We’ll continue to provide notifications of how data is used in our Sales Solutions products before user onboarding for mobile and desktop access to Sales Solutions products, and will add the ability for users to track confirmation of these policies in their LinkedIn account.
Export of Sales Navigator data: Exports of user data will be available for entire contracts or on a by-seat basis.
Deletion of Sales Navigator data: Deletion of user data will be available for entire contracts or on a by-seat basis.
Requests from individuals and contract administrators: Users and contract administrators will be able to request export or deletion of their user data via a clearly documented request process.
LinkedIn did caveat its GDPR support noting that “LinkedIn cannot control the specific messages sent by a customer, which ultimately determine the customer’s compliance with relevant laws throughout the world. As such, we advise our customers to seek the advice of their own counsel regarding their specific uses of promotional messaging within LinkedIn.”
LinkedIn collects marketing consent as part of the terms and conditions during account creation and reconfirms it at the email verification stage. Users can also opt out of marketing materials and messages in their privacy settings.
“It’s always been challenging for salespeople to access all the important information about their prospects in one place,” says Doug Camplejohn, VP of product management at LinkedIn Sales Solutions. “We’re constantly looking for ways to improve Sales Navigator, so we’re pleased to release our redesigned lead page, which will save salespeople valuable time and help them better understand their prospects.”
The Detailed Lead Summary section includes contact intelligence pulled from the CRM..
The redesigned Leads page provides a Show All button for displaying contact information from LinkedIn, CRM contact records, or details entered by the user or her colleagues. The Lead page summary also includes user tags, a CRM badge that provides a direct link to the CRM contact record, and a contact overview.
While the platform remains view only, sales reps can share contact specific details across the Sales Navigator service with colleagues. “You can see additional emails, phone numbers, website URLs, social handles and office addresses pulled from both their LinkedIn profile and your CRM in one place. And if you add, say, a social handle for a person in Sales Navigator, that information is shared with other team members on the same Sales Navigator contract,” said LinkedIn.
A Highlights section calls out common attributes such as Groups, shared companies, schools in common, and connections. Also displayed is the “best path” connection to the individual. The best path could be via TeamLink or personal and professional connections. Highlights also includes a synopsis of recent LinkedIn activity such as posts, likes, and comments.
A Recommended Leads section provides a custom set of additional names at the company based upon search preferences, new contacts at the firm, people with shared connections, and people who have recently viewed the user’s profile.
The Locate Similar Leads section identifies leads at other firms that are similar to the current lead.
The iOS and Android mobile apps support a redesigned Company Summary along with new Saved Leads, Recommended Leads, and Best Path Into modules. News and Updates are also available.
“Our redesigned Mobile Account Page highlights key account details and unique LinkedIn insights about a lead, such as company news like financial milestones or key announcements, basic company info, or recommended prospects,” said Camplejohn. “Ultimately, this will give salespeople access to the information they need, when they need it, wherever they are, so they can act quickly and be more productive.”
If the user hovers over a message in the Sales Navigator Inbox, she will be presented with Archive / Unarchive and Mark Read / Unread toggles.
“By highlighting important information about a prospect such as their job title, contact information, common groups or interests, and CRM activity, salespeople can find natural icebreakers to start a conversation so they can personalize their messages, grow their pipelines, and, ultimately, close more deals,” said Camplejohn.
Sales Navigator users can flag the level of detail passed to Leads when the user views a profile. The lead will see either see the full set of viewer details including name, headline, and location; title and company; or no details (anonymous).
New SNAP partners include Clari (Business Intelligence), SAP Hybris and Pegasystems (CRM), Oracle Eloqua (Marketing Automation), and Groove (Sales Acceleration).
Beginning last quarter, Sales Navigator adoped a more formalized quarterly release process. The Q2 release will be available to Sales Admins on May 21st with the enhancements being rolled out to users in the subsequent weeks.
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.
Michael: Elizabeth, can you provide a quick overview of your history and experience and why you are the best person to be running HG Data?
Elizabeth: I’ve been working with subscription-based products, SaaS products, and products in the cloud since they were first invented almost 20 years ago.
Over the last 20 years, I’ve worked as VP of marketing at a couple of companies which you may not remember. Commission Junction was acquired by ValueClick, and I was VP of marketing there.
In 2007, I moved on to Citrix and the GoTo products, as GM. It was a great experience because we were at the early stages of getting GoToMeeting out to market. When we got Citrix big enough, we divided into lines of business to streamline the decision making.
That was about a $200 million business when I left it in 2014.
I took those executive learnings and was recruited to lead Support.com. I went there in mid-2014 and by the beginning of the following year, we had a product to market. By the end of that year, we were at about $1.2 million ARR. Pretty quick ramp for that product in the SaaS market.
Michael: What else will help HG Data grow rapidly in the coming years?
Elizabeth: I have always been attuned to the discipline of product and product development. The core of all good technology companies is its product. My affinity is for that as well as the details, and I have been immersed in both – really having a sharp eye for the product / market fit.
Michael: Craig, you made a decision to step back from running the company day-to-day, but it sounds like you’re taking a more technical role with the organization as well as continuing as the Chairman.
Craig: We closed our Series B round about two years ago and, after we closed, I had a great chat with our new investors. I dropped a bomb on them and said, “Hey, when would be a great time for me to go and really have my dream job?” The same thing from which HG Data was founded which is R&D. That’s always been my love, that’s always been my passion. That was what got me to start my first company NOZA and, when NOZA was acquired, it was the R&D and the pursuit of solving very challenging data problems that led me and my co-founders to start HG [in 2010]. It just what I love and that’s what I find myself doing on the weekends.
I asked our new investors, “Hey, thanks so much for wiring us $12 million. At what point do you think will be a good time to talk about hiring a CEO to get it to really scale?” Jon Seeber of Updata Partners said, “Hey, once you get to an eight-figure run rate, we’ll talk about it.” Well, it didn’t take that long until we were at an eight-figure run rate so this has been in the works for some time now. We just wanted to find the perfect fit. Product management has never been the thing that HG Data has led with. We’ve always led with the Holy Grail [HG] of data.
We put together a group of advisory product people a year and a half ago. We were brainstorming, trying to take that data and put it to work inside of our customers’ workflows. That was the next step for us and that’s not something that I have a lot of experience with. For me, it also wasn’t something where I’d just go hire a VP of Product and then, voila, we’re going to be able to become that type of organization. For us, it was something that the board and I wanted to have just in the DNA of our leadership and so that’s why literally after seeing a couple of hundred candidates, Elizabeth was the perfect choice for us and really a no-brainer
Elizabeth: I feel like I’m in the most fortunate situation. I just feel like that’s a hugely fortunate thing for a new CEO to have [the founder] as a partner. [When] the founder walks away, you lose a true guiding light of the company. That’s not going to be us.
Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor DiscoverOrg crowed about its 2017 performance with growth in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR), customers, staff, and data coverage. The firm, which acquired its top competitor RainKing in August, exceeded $130 million in ARR, above projections at the time of the acquisition. As subscription revenue is recognized over the life of the contract, 2017 revenue was likely between $110 and $120 million. DiscoverOrg, which has long stated that it is profitable and cash flow positive, also exceeded its profitability target for 2017, but did not provide details.
DiscoverOrg employment grew to more than 500 employees in Maryland, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Headcount increased by 50%. The additional staff allowed DiscoverOrg to grow the database and “deliver an unparalleled customer experience” through an expanded customer success team, redesigned customer training and certification programs, and user experience improvements to both platforms.
The customer base grew by more that 25% to greater than 4,000.
“After the acquisition of RainKing in August 2017, we made a commitment to our combined customer base that they would be able to access more high-quality data as we brought the businesses together,” said Henry Schuck, DiscoverOrg CEO. “In the five months since the acquisition, we more than doubled the datasets our customers access. This phenomenal increase means that our customers are more effective at finding, connecting, and selling to their target buyers.”
In 2017, DiscoverOrg launched SMB and HR datasets which provided a “larger addressable target market for DiscoverOrg and a more diversified customer base.” A few weeks ago, DiscoverOrg released its Legal and Compliance dataset.
Following the merger, the firm swiftly combined the RainKing and DiscoverOrg company and contact universes. DiscoverOrg contact coverage expanded 124% while the RainKing universe grew 127%. With respect to global companies, counts increased 82% to 130,000.
In 2018, DiscoverOrg plans to further grow its database and develop ”new tools and applications that make the data even more easily actionable for sales and marketing teams,” said Chief Growth Officer Katie Bullard. “Our roadmap is focused on enabling our customers to build an end-to-end pipeline engine with DiscoverOrg’s data as the foundation.”
While the coverage continues to increase, they have maintained their data research focus. “We repeatedly hear from sales and marketing organizations that the overwhelming abundance of data available today— mostly low-quality and unverified—actually makes it harder for them to do their job effectively,” said Bullard. “We have focused on delivering both the right data and the right tools to make sense of that data in a simple and practical package. The result is that our customers get to market faster, build more pipeline, and close deals more often than their competitors.”
Sales Intelligence vendor RelPro added a firmographics layer to its contact intelligence screening. Users can now filter against SIC/NAICS codes, Industry Keywords, Public/Private Status, and Web Ranking. According to CEO Martin Wise, the new feature has been “very well received by clients.”
RelPro continues to build out its Chrome extension for on-demand company and people intelligence based upon the current website. Decision maker intelligence includes emails, direct dials, and corporate phones. Chrome extension features include contact send to CRM, follow, open the full profile within RelPro, and follow for weekly email alerts.
“RelPro’s latest firmographic and workflow enhancements represent another step forward in our mission to help clients grow their business and make the most of their precious time by delivering Integrated Relationship Intelligence to accelerate all stages of the B2B business development process (Marketing, Sales, Account Management and Research). RelPro grew more than 3x last year and we aim to continue the momentum in 2018 with our growing enterprise client base and reputation for being ‘easy to do business with’.”
CEO Martin Wise
Wise noted that 2018 development plans are “on track.” This year, the firm is looking to add company and linkage analytics, corporate family trees, and ABM look-a-likes.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator adopted a new quarterly release system for 2018 and has begun rolling out its Q1 release. Yesterday, I touched upon their redesigned Account profiles. Today, I’m delving into other new features that are rolling out to clients over the next few weeks. These include self-service seat transfers to enterprise accounts, expanded alerting, and a Seniority Level preference.
The new self-service seat transfer feature allows sales reps to import their Sales Navigator information into a corporate account. Thereafter, the corporation pays for the license. Migrated content includes Saved Leads, Saved Accounts, Saved Searches, InMail, Messages, InMail Credits, Notes & Tags, and personal Sales Navigator settings. However, when a rep leaves a firm, there is no way to migrate content back to the individual account (their LinkedIn connections are untouched). While activity that took place after the rep merged their account can reasonably be considered company intellectual property, the shared information contributed by the new rep should be returned to the individual’s private account afterwards.
Alerting for the PointDrive service (an enhanced email which directs users to an HTML page containing attachments and multi-media) has been modified to provide real-time email messages when an individual views PointDrive content. Alerts are suppressed for subsequent views by the same individual. The alert’s viewer data includes name, title, company, email, and location. The feature allows reps to reach out to viewers in a timelier manner (perhaps while still viewing the content). PointDrive also provides activity reports and identifies individuals to whom content has been forwarded.
LinkedIn added a new email alert called “Saved Leads Who Viewed My Profile.” According to LinkedIn, the mobile push notification for this event has the highest click through response rate. Sales reps perceive the trigger “as a potential buying signal and want to know ASAP when this happens.” LinkedIn added the near real-time email feature because not everybody has installed the Sales Navigator mobile app. The alert includes quick account and contact details along with account employment details by function for the past six months (if available). To avoid email SPAM, users are only re-notified of visits after seven days.
LinkedIn inserted a new variable for Seniority Level in its Sales Preferences which are employed for recommendations. Sales Navigator also added the option to quickly toggle preferences on and off during Account and Contact Searches. For example, a Boston-based rep for an enterprise Martech Solution can automatically target New England executives, Director or Higher, working in Marketing, IT, Finance, or Purchasing.