Flash: Groove Series B and Product Enhancements

Sales Engagement Platform Groove closed on a $45 million Series B led by Viking Global Investors.  Previous investors Capital One Ventures, Level Equity, Quest Venture Partners, and Uncork Capital also participated.  The funds will be deployed for international expansion and continued growth in the enterprise segment.

The round brings total funding to $61 million.  Groove did not disclose its market valuation following Round B.

“We’re experiencing explosive growth in the enterprise segment of the market,” Groove VP of Marketing Kristin Hersant told GZ Consulting.  “This latest round of funding will enable us to invest more heavily in R&D while expanding our operations in EMEA and doubling down on the sales and marketing engine that’s fueling this growth.”

Enterprise ARR is up 114% over the past years.  New enterprise clients include Activision, iHeartMedia, LexisNexis, New Relic, TIBCO, Veeva, and Wintrust.

Although Salesforce’s first cloud was the Sales Cloud, digital selling remains an issue for many Salesforce customers.  An August 2021 Forrester report on the “State of CRM” found that 57% of respondents struggled to offer solid customer experiences due to poor integration and accessibility.

Groove, a native Salesforce Sales Engagement application, “solves this accessibility problem by meeting sellers where they already work, increasing rep productivity while ensuring over 90% Salesforce adoption,” wrote Groove.

“This notion of the sales engagement platform as a cockpit for sellers is likely to continue to drive further integrations between other sales tech categories and these platforms as the advantages of bringing everything to the seller where they sell (the original vision for CRM technology) become more widely recognized,” said Anthony McPartlin, Principal Analyst for Forrester Research in a recent blog post.

“Our enterprise customers want to enable the modern seller while ensuring the highest levels of enterprise security and compliance.  We’re capturing a significant amount of enterprise market share from our competition because our platform was built for the needs of large, complex organizations that rely on Salesforce as their system of record.  We bring automation to the seller instead of requiring that they work out of a separate system. This flexibility ensures extremely high user adoption rates, even with technology averse sellers in non-tech industries.”

Groove CEO Chris Rothstein

Groove also announced a pair of product enhancements that meet “the unique needs of complex organizations.”  The first new feature is automatic logging to custom objects.  The second new capability, OmniActions, “enables reps to complete any sales action without leaving their workflows.”

Groove Custom Objects for Salesforce.

“By seamlessly integrating valuable CRM data into specialized workflows for different roles, teams, and industries, Groove drives CRM adoption and enables revenue teams to get a more complete picture of all sales activities.  The addition of automatic logging to custom objects and OmniActions provides customers even more flexibility for executing, capturing, and properly associating activities with both standard and custom Salesforce objects.  With these new features, Groove strengthens its position as the only sales engagement platform that can easily fit into an organization’s complex and dynamic sales workflows.”

“One of the great things about Groove is its ability to flex to any organization’s sales process, regardless of how much they have customized Salesforce.  Today, we’ve made it even easier for reps to complete, assign, and track their activities without having to leave their workflows.  That means more time for reps to sell, more complete data for managers to manage their teams, and more flexibility for admins to maintain established and successful processes.”

Groove VP of Product Sonia Sarao

Groove’s Advanced Activity Capture now automatically logs activity to custom objects, “minimizing the manual work required by sellers while ensuring complete visibility into account health and opportunities.”

Activity Capture may be configured by profile, allowing for customization at the functional or team level.

OmniActions lets reps manage or execute any activity outside of their regular Flows with automated real-time activity logging.  OmniActions is fully integrated with the Groove Omnibar, supporting actions in Google Workspace, Microsoft Outlook, Salesforce, or the Groove app.

Groove OmniActions

“This combination gives sellers a 360-degree view of their prospects’ and customers’ lifecycle from details and activity to actions – all in their workflow,” wrote the firm.  “OmniActions enables revenue organizations to associate all activities with open opportunities, whether they are part of a single action or multi-step Flow.  By accurately associating all types of activities, revenue teams can take advantage of more accurate reporting and insights into the sales process.”

Groove continues its rapid growth, making the Inc. 5000 for the past three years.  It has over 70,000 users.

Market Flash: Outreach Acquires Canopy and Launches Outreach Commit (Part II)

Continuing from yesterday’s post that discussed revenue innovation and the Sales Execution Gap. Today I am discussing their new Outreach Commit and Outreach Success Plans.


Outreach Commit, based on their Canopy acquisition, offers sales analytics and forecasting capabilities that augment Outreach’s AI-based buyer sentiment and Success Plans, providing Outreach customers with “true visibility across the entire revenue cycle.”

“The use of deep learning and big data has the potential to transform B2B forecasting in the same way it has transformed B2C forecasting. Such changes are shifting the emphasis on forecasting from predicting the number to beating the number…Reliable activity data allows sales leaders, for example, to drive more rigorous pipeline reviews and estimate forecasts with greater confidence.  It allows companies to discover and capture data about prospects and customers that previously lived in the realm of the ‘shadow pipeline’ — that murky world of secret selling that organizations have traditionally been blind to.”

Forrester Research Principal Analyst Anthony McPartlin, “Enabling B2B Interaction Visibility In A Converging Sales Tech Landscape” (June 2021)

Commit provides a flexible forecasting model with multi-level views, allowing managers to view a probabilistic model of outcomes for multiple periods and teams based upon prior win-loss histories, current pipeline, and adjustable assumptions.  Revenue forecasts are broken into Booked, Weighted Pipeline, and Intra-period high-velocity deals (i.e., projected new opportunities that are not in the pipeline but will close before the end of the period).  In addition, models can be adjusted to account for events external to the model (e.g., new product launches, tradeshow held earlier or late in the quarter, economic shocks).  The underlying KPIs that drive the models are selectable when setting them up, with the model updating every fifteen minutes.

Outreach Commit supports dynamic forecasting with bear, bull, and most likely outcomes.

Commit provides individualized rep scorecards based on company KPIs.  Managers can set targets, coach to outcomes, and level up their team.  Managerial note-taking helps them track 1:1’s, assign tasks, and track completion.

Commit supports active deal monitoring that flags deal risks and delivers insights.  “Signals notify leaders of the things they need to know today.  From opportunity risk identification to shifts in top of funnel metrics, Signals act as your eyes and ears–ensuring your frontline leaders are focused on what matters most to your business.”  Deal risk is significantly reduced when issues are flagged early to reps, and managers can provide on-demand coaching to address nascent problems.

Commit also supports Custom Signals.  Revenue Operations sets custom thresholds and unique parameters.

At a recent analyst briefing, Outreach management emphasized that they offer a tripartite value proposition: Engage (Sales Engagement), Guide (Kaia Conversation Intelligence), and Commit (Outreach Commit).

“To achieve predictable, efficient growth, every organization needs to engage with their buyers, guide their sellers through strong sales cycles, and then commit the number with confidence.”

Canopy deal terms were not disclosed.  All nine employees have joined Outreach. The startup, founded in 2019, had raised $2.1 million.

Outreach also provided updates on Outreach Kaia and Success Plans at its Unleash event.  Kaia, its Conversation Intelligence platform that was developed in-house, is adding real-time talk analytics, Comprehensive Search, Saved Search, and Outreach Voice Import.  The new capabilities will be available by the end of the month.

Call analytics provide real-time talk-time visibility, letting reps self-correct if they are speaking too much.

Comprehensive Search provides managers with access to notes, content cards, action items, and transcripts across the sales organization.  Additionally, both meeting platform intelligence and Outreach Voice cold calls are included.  Thus, “leaders can identify trends and risks across teams and at various stages of the sales cycle.”

Saved Search Alerts provide scheduled intelligence on key topics, allowing managers to track competitors, pricing, functional requests, etc.

Outreach Voice Import supports post-call analysis of Outreach Voice and Microsoft Teams.  Fully integrated support for Teams is scheduled for 2022.

Outreach warns RevOps not to trust the algorithm blindly. Instead, revenue teams should understand “the math behind every forecast to see what’s actually driving the number.”  Accordingly, Outreach maintains the fidelity of data signals such as engagement and sentiment through transparency that displays “every opportunity and signals where sellers should take action.”

“Canopy’s Augmented Revenue Analysis engine combines advanced statistical modeling with machine learning and artificial intelligence,” states the Canopy website.  “Simply put, we show our math.  Instead of black box predictions, we show you every trend and variable driving our predictions, ensuring you have access to every data point necessary to confidently call your business.”

Users can also review “where you started and where you finished,” providing a post-mortem period review that “pinpoints slippage, forecasting variance, and conversion rates across any data point from any time window.”  They can also generate “what if” scenarios with multiple assumptions.

Outreach Success Plans provide a shared portal for buyers and sellers to exchange timelines, success criteria, resources, and people.

Outreach Success Plans, which were announced back in May, will be generally available on October 27.  Success Plans align buyers and sellers to improve action and predictability in a shared deal room.  They act as a buying hub that allows buyers and sellers to agree on shared success criteria, objectives, and timelines.  Success Plans also support shared access to project resources, allowing new demand unit members to quickly access project documents.  Only invited individuals can participate in the Success Plans.

Success Plans provide an additional set of engagement intelligence for tracking deal risks and momentum.  The Opportunity View includes Success Plan views, comments, resource downloads, and shares, providing engagement insights specific to deal planning and document sharing.

Outreach Success Plans deliver “unparalleled visibility into pipeline opportunities and risks,” blogged VP of Product Marketing Victoria Grady.

Outreach claims that two-thirds of buyers have “stopped working with a company mid-deal, simply because the competitor provided a better buying experience.”  Thus, streamlining the document sharing process, framing the timeline, and agreeing on success criteria not only facilitates the process and improves deal visibility but improves the likelihood of winning each deal. Outreach supports 5,000 customers, including 19 of the 25 fastest-growing public companies and more than 60% of the Cloud 100.

Market Flash: Outreach Acquires Canopy and Launches Outreach Commit

Outreach Commit supports forecasting, scenario planning, and deal risk analysis.

Sales Engagement Platform Outreach expanded its value proposition with the acquisition of Revenue Intelligence service Canopy.  Outreach immediately began integrating the service into its platform, with GA expected in H1 2022.  The new Outreach Commit service “significantly expands” Outreach’s revenue intelligence capabilities, “giving revenue leaders the sales analytics and forecasting capabilities they need in today’s sales environment.”

“In the past 18 unpredictable and transformative months, we have seen the rise of a new cohort of leaders we are calling Revenue Innovators who have thrived by embracing the digital disruption of sales,” said Outreach CEO Manny Medina.  “These are leaders who had to adapt and evolve their mindset to embrace automation and machine learning as the keys to driving predictable, efficient growth – consistently and despite the uncertainty in the market.  They need tools that combine engagement with intelligence and marry together the art and the science of sales. The evolution of the Outreach platform does exactly that.” 

Outreach provides revenue innovators with “predictable, efficient growth” based upon AI guidance for more effective engagement, improved forecasting, and next best actions.  The objective is to reduce the “Sales Execution Gap” between revenue potential and actual performance based on instinct and limited data; instead, data and AI will narrow the gap.

“The Sales Execution Gap manifests itself in several ways across the business — decisions based on gut instincts, slow rep ramp times, competing priorities, random achievement, missed opportunities with little understanding as to why,” explained Medina.  “And yes, lost revenue, but also a growing disconnect between what high-performing reps want and what employers can deliver.”

“Once a seller has experienced the power of an Engagement and Intelligence platform, they won’t want to go back to inefficient, broken workflows — and they’re making career decisions because of it.”

Outreach CEO Manny Medina

Unfortunately, CRMs were “not designed for sellers.”  They are systems of record that store information but lack engagement and insights.  Firms that want reps to “live in the CRM” will drive away their best sales reps and candidates who “demand AI-driven insights and workflow automation to guide their actions in real-time.”  As more sellers become “digital natives,” this performance gap will widen.

Top-performing reps and managers that have enjoyed modern SalesTech tools will be reluctant to work without digital tools.  They expect their sales toolbox to include AI-generated intelligence, including email sentiment, live meeting guidance, real-time call analysis, and automated deal review and scoring.  They are also looking for sales engagement with templated sequences (cadences), multi-channel outreach, task prioritization, and recommended actions.  Finally, they are looking for improved forecasting, risk alerts, engagement data, and deal facilitation.

With Commit, Outreach has added forecasting and expanded risk analytics to its toolkit.

Outreach sees a bifurcation between traditional sales organizations and revenue innovators that have adopted digital communications and AI for outreach, prioritization, coaching, forecasting, and analytics.

“Revenue innovators are embracing automation and AI in real-time to provide guidance to reps mid-cycle, guide more effective engagement with customers, and entirely rethink how they forecast because they have the signals that can proactively identify risk in their pipeline and deals,” stated the firm.


Continue to Part II which discusses Outreach Commit and product enhancements announced at the Outreach Unleash virtual meeting.

Salesloft and the Modern Revenue Workspace (Part II)

Continued from Part I


Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter suggested that the answer to overwhelmed sales reps is not more technology and data but better-designed tools and workflows that address the “Revenue Performance Gap.”  Salesloft’s Modern Revenue Workspace offers

  • “Proper insights at the right time
  • The ability to take action
  • The ability to communicate
  • The coachable moment”

Instead of a series of tools, Salesloft is positioning itself as one of Gartner’s “alpha platforms” that broadly ties together sales workflows and channels.  Gartner noted a set of attributes of these platforms:

– “Alpha Platforms are hyper-aggressive vendors who are broadening capabilities at a breakneck speed. 

– It’s not just M&A, some companies will evolve into alpha platforms by building capabilities. This is totally doable, they just have to be able to work fast.

– Alpha platforms aren’t necessarily buying competitors in the same category – they are buying into adjacent categories.”

Gartner Analysts Craig Rosenberg and Dan Gottlieb, “Sales Tech Mayhem: 39 Observations From a Scorching Hot Tech Market,” Garter Blog (July 28, 2021)

“It’s a time to tell a new story about sales and provide you with a complete, digital go-to-market solutions your sellers and sales teams need,” said Porter.

The Salesloft Platform supports Deals, Conversations, Cadences, a partner ecosystem, administration, and governance

According to Salesloft Chief Product Officer Ellie Fields, this advanced sales platform is “built for sellers.”  It reduces workflow friction, allowing reps to “take faster action” and prioritize their time.  The platform also serves as a centralized engagement hub with the “most critical tools for digital selling,” including email, phone, SMS, meetings, social, etc.

The Modern Revenue Workspace deploys data and AI within the workflow, delivering insights such as the most engaged prospects, deals at risk, and “trends that improve outcomes.”

The Salesloft platform acts as a hub for digital selling, driving alignment across the revenue team.  Along with Deals, Conversations, and Cadences, the platform synchronizes data with a system of record (Salesforce, MS Dynamics, or HubSpot) and supports sales intelligence and workflows with over 115 ecosystem partners.

The new release is based on a set of advanced objectives:

  • Take Action Anywhere – Communications channels are available throughout the platform.  For example, reps can call, email, book a meeting, or send an SMS message within the Deals view.  Digital communications are then captured and analyzed, helping identify “the most engaged prospects, stalled but winnable deals, and trends that help revenue teams adjust course to improve performance.”
  • Know What Changed in Your Deal – Reports identify which opportunities were updated, how long the deal is in the current stage, and whether the close date or amount changed.  For example, progression indicators are now displayed in Pipeline Review and Deals reports.
  • Enterprise Ready Conversations – Salesloft continues to enhance its communications channels with support for Microsoft Teams, native Zoom and WebEx support, improved transcription, and governance enhancements.  The native Zoom support is more reliable than the previous bot tool.  Salesloft also added Consent to Record for MS Teams and will be adding it for other platforms and its dialer.  They also added English language recording announcements with additional language announcements in development.

    The enhanced Conversations transcription engine offers “improved accuracy, searchability, and filtering” that helps managers and sellers “easily identify buyer and market trends and coaching opportunities to set more meetings, build more pipeline, speed deal cycles, and improve the chances of winning more deals.” 

    A new Conversations Summary is delivered to inboxes.
  • Unify Communications across Channels – Conversations in Activity Feed provide updates on important meetings.
  • Understand Outcomes across the Platform – Outcomes in Step Analytics identify which steps are working, helping improve Cadences.
  • Insights Anywhere – A Meetings panel on the home page summarizes pending meetings to assist with call prep.
  • Automate No-Show Workflows – New cadence workflows help reps reschedule missed meetings.  A “partial show” workflow also provides the call hyperlink and summary to those who missed a meeting.

At a high level, the goal is to remove friction in the sales process by reducing the need to jump from app to app.  Instead, reps can engage with shareholders and obtain insights from anywhere in Salesloft.

Future items include SHAKEN/STIRRED registration, native Google Meeting support, and Salesforce Event field logging.

The Salesloft Opportunity Dashboard supports custom coloring for Deal Gaps to highlight deals most at risk.

Salesloft and the Modern Revenue Workspace

Salesloft’s new website sports a Hunter Green palette, new logo, and “Different Story about Sales” from Prince EA.

At this month’s Salesloft Virtual Customer Summit, CEO Kyle Porter and CMO Sydney Sloan unveiled the “Modern Revenue Workspace” to their customers and prospects.  Porter described the Modern Revenue Workspace as “a system where sellers and sales teams come together to collaborate, execute, and serve their customers more than ever before.”

Echoing Gartner’s recent discussion of SalesTech Mayhem, Porter noted that “Sellers and sales teams are moving from lots of tools they HAVE to use to one workspace they LOVE to use.”

“We continue to see a world where sellers are loved by the buyers they serve.  And we’re here to equip these sellers to maximize revenue while delivering their customers with an incredible experience.  This is the mission and vision of Salesloft, and they have not changed one bit, but what has changed is sales is that sales is now digital first, team oriented and about solving problems.  Sales excellence has shifted from being well connected to being well informed and enabled.”

Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter

Salesloft also updated its marketing with new colors (Hunter green, lime, and white), logos, and a simplification of the name from SalesLoft to Salesloft without the capital L.  The company has also begun using a chartreuse period at the end of the logo to emphasize that “All you need is Salesloft.  Period.”

“Our new look shares a story bigger than a sales transaction, and our new wordmark tells that story in a single word. No matter who you serve or what you sell, Salesloft empowers you with everything you need to succeed — full stop,” explains the new site.  “The new fully custom wordmark is a technically sound serif at its core with flashes of humanity in the way the letters connect. Within its forms, each of our brand attributes is exemplified: best-in-class, energetic, and sincere.”

“Helping sellers and sales teams is at the heart of everything we do,” said Sloan. “We have a new look, and we’re telling a new story about sales.  We know to reach their highest potential, sellers need a partner that cares about their aspirations and helps them achieve something greater.  That is Salesloft.”

The new color palette and logos are reflected in a refreshed UX the firm has dubbed the “Modern Revenue Workspace.”  The workspace includes a simplified search bar and icons and greater integration of core functionality across reports and views. In addition, the Activity Feed “has been optimized with advanced filtering, quick actions, pinned notes, and review content directly from your Person and Account pages.”

The Modern Revenue Workspace combines Conversations, Deals, and Cadences into a unified UX that supports reports, recommendations, deal histories, meetings, and actions.

With more than ninety percent of selling activities now digital, sellers are overwhelmed with too many tools and disconnected platforms, channels, and data sets.  There are now over ten thousand SalesTech and MarTech offerings, yet sales reps continue to struggle to meet quotas and manage all of the demand on their time. As a result, they spend the typical day struggling with the basics:

Kyle Porter’s Day in the Life slide for sales reps.

With all of this platform and channel switching, reps are hard-pressed to be value-added professionals, finding it difficult to properly research prospects, dig into buyer pains, research the industry, eat, and spend time with family. 

“The speed and complexity of digital sales is creating chaos,” commented Salesloft VP of Product Management Frank Dale.  Companies have two options for addressing digital chaos: more of the same or adopting a unified Modern Revenue Workspace such as Salesloft.

Dale argued that more of the same is not sustainable. Instead, it requires ever more disconnected tools and additional hours.

“We’re seeing a new class of sales leaders who are choosing to rise up and beat back the chaos and simplify their sellers’ lives – one where they stop just providing more tools to use and focus on giving them the right ones. They know their teams will do more, win more, and ultimately serve their customers better if they give their sellers the tools and experience to thrive.

These sales leaders realize that winning isn’t enough. They know the way you win matters. Success isn’t just hitting your number. It means having a fulfilled life. It means not living in chaos. The selling experience matters – not just to sales people, but also to their buyers.”

Salesloft Product Marketing VP Chris Mills

Continue to Part II with an additional discussion of Gartner’s “SalesTech Mayhem” and Salesloft’s new release.

SalesLoft Hits $100M ARR (Part II)

(Continued from Part I) SalesLoft also announced that Calendly’s founder and CEO Tope Awotona joined SalesLoft’s Board of Directors.  Both RevTech firms are based in Atlanta.  Porter and Awotona met seven years ago at Atlanta Tech Village.

“It was clear from day one [that] he was an incredible leader who had a clear vision harnessed around delivering delightful customer experiences,” posted Porter on LinkedIn.  “Most of us know the success of Calendly and have learned of Tope‘s fascinating story.  We’re stoked to partner together and grow from his strategic wisdom, leadership learnings, and product-focused excellence.  Our ultimate goal together is helping our current and future customers deliver revenue excellence at scale.”

Salesloft Calendaring Functionality

Porter and Awotona discussed potential conflicts of interest, but those concerns were laid aside.  While SalesLoft has calendaring features similar to Calendly, SalesLoft maintains an open architecture and partner ecosystem with Calendly as a partner.

Porter echoed a recent Gartner observation that SalesTech is in a period of “mayhem” where customers are looking to consolidate their revenue platforms to simplify workflows and operations.  Porter sees SalesLoft as being at the vanguard of this preference for broad, open platforms.

“There’s been massive trends towards digital selling that have taken place,” said Porter.  “And then there’s another trend that we’ve seen emerge, which is companies have been using so many different revenue tools, but they really want to consolidate on a very few that they love, and that’s where SalesLoft comes in.”


Continue to Part III which discusses Porter’s long-term plans for SalesLoft.

SalesLoft Hits $100M ARR

Sales Engagement Platform SalesLoft announced that it hit the $100 million ARR mark, following 50% growth over the past year.  Since announcing its unicorn valuation in January ($1.1 billion), the firm has grown revenue by nearly 40%.  Last quarter, it “far exceeded its financial plan.”

It took roughly nine quarters to double their ARR.

SalesLoft ranked 1210 on the Inc. 5000 2021 list.  SalesLoft revenue grew 401% over the past three years, a 71% CAGR.

“Everything we’re doing is coming back to, ‘how do we empower our customers to deliver their customers with an amazing sales experience?'”

SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter

SalesLoft, which opened an EMEA office in April 2019, has grown revenue 125% in the European market over the trailing twelve months.  It plans to increase its European staff by 120% over the next year and open a German data center.

Its top markets in EMEA are the UK, Ireland, France, and Germany.

SalesLoft benefited from being the first SEP with a European office.  While the revenue team can create content in any language, the UI remains English only.  Their NLP is English only, but Porter anticipates supporting additional languages for conversational intelligence “in a very short time.”

SalesLoft is also enjoying strong growth in APAC even though it lacks a physical presence in the region.

“While we don’t have physical locations in Asia, we have many customers there and in Australia,” Porter told GZ Consulting.  “We have many customers that are US-based businesses with operations there. So we’re global in our customer base and usage of the application, but we don’t have feet on the street in the Asian or Australian market yet.”

The pandemic has driven demand into new segments as companies are looking to establish new communications channels with the loss of trade shows and face-to-face meetings.  Customer growth has been “across the board.”  SalesLoft has “really expanded to Main Street” as firms realized they needed to adopt a “digital sales motion.”

The pandemic “brought about some, incredible businesses that traditionally took a little bit longer to buy Sales Engagement,” explained Porter.  “We’ve got companies like 3M and Liberty Mutual and McGraw Hill and S&P and carpet manufacturers. It’s moved outside of tech to manufacturers, health care, financial services, [and] a number of different professional services. That’s been one of the great lessons learned post-pandemic.”

“As companies have pivoted to a full digital selling motion, SalesLoft has become a mission-critical partner and platform,” wrote the firm.  “Only SalesLoft combines the three most critical products in digital selling – Cadence for managing multi-channel communications, Conversations for recording and analyzing meetings, and Deals for managing opportunities and pipeline.”


Continue to Part II which discusses the addition of Calendly CEO Tope Antowana to SalesLoft’s board.

Chorus and Gong Apps for Zoom

Zoom formally launched its Zoom apps at the end of July, with Chorus and Gong among the launch partners.  Over fifty business and consumer apps were launched, but Zoom did a poor job of indexing the apps, making it difficult to find apps in a category without mousing over each unknown app. 

Chorus, which was acquired by ZoomInfo two weeks ago, announced General Availability of its Chorus app for Zoom Video Communications.  It’s a better name than being called the ZoomInfo app for Zoom Video Communications which would simply be confusing to the marketplace.

The Chorus App for Zoom

“The Chorus app for Zoom enables us to bring the power of Conversation Intelligence seamlessly into every meeting,” said Dominik Facher, Vice President, Product Management at Chorus.ai. “We’re bringing Chorus everywhere you work — because that’s where the voice of the customer belongs.  This extension of Chorus empowers sellers to have better, more meaningful interactions in real-time.”

The Chorus Zoom app supports live notetaking with the transcript attached to the digital recording.  Other features include

  • Team / Collaborator Engagement and Follow-up – Reps can share snippets of calls with managers, technical support, product teams, etc.  The shared content is in the voice of the customer, improving the context and fidelity of the forwarded information or query.  Collaboration is supported by one-click pins for flagging shareable moments.
  • Hashtags, such as #objections, push moments to a Chorus playlist.
  • @Mentions for looping in colleagues during calls.
  • A post-meeting email summary
  • Automated syncing with Salesforce, including budget data, stakeholders, and the post-meeting email summary
  • Meeting analytics
  • Meeting Prep intelligence – The Zoom client displays deal velocity, next steps or discussion topics from prior calls, and deal context like buying stage, key stakeholders, and deal amount.
  • Participant talk time and key topic trackers

While the newly launched app supports Zoom, Chorus also gathers intelligence from other meeting platforms and emails.  This processing of multiple communication channels provides a set of engagement and deal risk analytics that will be supplemented by ZoomInfo’s Streaming Intent data, visitor intelligence, Scoops, Chat, and SmartForms.

“Chorus and Zoom are both intent on fundamentally changing the way work is done in a virtual environment,” said Ross Mayfield, Product Lead, Zoom Apps & Integrations for Zoom. “It’s about making our customer and prospect relationships stronger.  With the Chorus app for Zoom, the benefits of Conversation Intelligence are more accessible than ever before.”

The Gong App for Zoom

Gong, which competes directly with Chorus, also launched its app this week with similar conversational intelligence for sales features.  Gong automates transcription, notetaking, and analytics.  Users can also tag colleagues for feedback, leverage timestamps, and attach comments in context.  Gong employs AI for coaching, noting points of interest, and flagging deal risks.

“The new Gong app takes two tools that sales pros find invaluable today – Gong and Zoom – and makes them even more useful,” said Chief Product Officer of Gong, Eilon Reshef. “We’re enabling revenue professionals to stay engaged in customer conversations by plugging into their daily workflow.”

By managing recording, transcription, analytics, and intelligence, Chorus and Gong allow reps to step away from traditional notetaking and focus on the meeting, helping them be more present.  As a result, they can ask better questions and manage the meeting flow more effectively while avoiding awkward pauses when taking notes.

The Zoom App marketplace, which launched late last year, already has over 50 apps, including

  • Conversation Intelligence for Sales: Chorus, Gong
  • Transcription: Colibri, Rev, Avoma, Grain
  • Collaboration: Asana, Mentimeter, Workona, Docket, Allo, WorkPatterns
  • People Insights: Warmly,
  • Polling: Polly, Dot Collector, Coda, SurveyMonkey
  • User Interviews: BuildBetter Research
  • Signatures: PandaDoc
  • Whiteboarding: Miro, Mural
  • Notetaking: AI Notetaker by Fathom, Notejoy
  • Timer: Timer
  • Demos: Demoflow
  • Interpreters: Voyce

Zoom also announced its Zoom Events service for hybrid and virtual events.  Marketers can “seamlessly manage and host back-to-back event sessions from sales summits, customer events, trade shows, and internal events.”  Features include event hubs, dedicated corporate virtual event spaces, customizable registration, reporting, and a chat-enabled virtual event lobby.

“Zoom Apps and Zoom Events are critical components in broadening Zoom’s offering and reach,” said Roopam Jain, VP, Information and Communications Technologies at Frost & Sullivan.  “These solutions empower users to accomplish more with video communications and are a testament to Zoom’s focus of enabling customers to create and grow businesses entirely on its platform—whether through applications, integrations, events, or other services.”

Groove Auto Contact Capture

Sales Engagement Platform Groove announced a new Auto Contact Capture feature that identifies missing Salesforce contacts cc’d on emails or meeting invitations.  Groove helps fill out the buying committee, capturing intelligence around members at the periphery of deals while reducing rep data entry overhead.

Beyond demand unit identification, Auto Contact Capture monitors engagement across the buying committee.  “This ensures that every contact involved in the buying process receives a consistent, timely, and relevant experience from their first engagement,” wrote Groove.

“Now more than ever, businesses need to be able to get a complete picture of their sales pipeline in order to maximize revenue,” said Groove CEO Chris Rothstein.  “By consolidating revenue intelligence and advanced activity capture into one unified sales engagement platform, Groove empowers businesses to close more deals and intelligently refine their sales processes.”

Groove captures and logs revenue intelligence from emails, calendars, meetings, and LinkedIn communications.  Users control which categories are captured and logged to leads, contacts, accounts, opportunities, and cases.  While Groove does not offer direct contact enrichment, records can be enriched through subscription partners such as ZoomInfo.

To ensure data integrity, Groove performs duplicate checking that begins with the email but includes additional heuristics.  Groove will not create a contact if the email does not match a domain already existing as an account in Salesforce.  Groove also maintains user and domain-level blocklists to ensure that only relevant business contacts are created via Auto Contact Capture.

Groove does not provide user alerts concerning captured records, but “it’s easy for reps to identify contacts that have been automatically added to Salesforce,” Groove Director of Communications Jason Klein wrote to GZ Consulting.  “Each contact created through Auto Contact Capture has a custom Groove field that is marked as true (Is Created by Groove), allowing for quick analysis and reporting on all contacts created through this new feature.” 

Groove has focused on expanding its revenue intelligence capabilities over the past year.  Recent enhancements include activity sync, reporting, and analytics features.  In March, the firm rolled out real-time opportunity and pipeline management and enhanced ROI reporting.

“Through this expanded capability set, Groove enables revenue leaders to make real-time, data-driven business decisions based on real campaign results at both the individual and team level,” stated Groove. Groove is built natively in Salesforce and uses SFDC as its data store, acting as an engagement layer on top of Salesforce.  Thus, there is no data sync process between Groove and Salesforce.

Groove Activity Capture

ZoomInfo Engage

On its earnings call last week, ZoomInfo provided further color on its Workflows and Engage products that leverage ZoomInfo’s content for sales and marketing automation.  Along with company and contact data, ZoomInfo supports visitor intelligence, intent data, and events

Since its founding, ZoomInfo has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in “to drive material improvements in the way we gather, normalize, match and cleanse that data with the use of AI and Machine Learning.”  ZoomInfo has expanded the breadth and depth of its content and built a “fully scalable platform that powers the digitization of how companies go to market” across departments, funnel stages, and the customer lifecycle.

“Our platform starts with our market-leading and highly accurate data layer, delivers critical sales insights and signals, automates best actions with our next generation workflow software and our tightly integrated activation layer, Engage. This integrated suite of data and software helps businesses of all sizes and across all industries activate targeted opportunities in an efficient, scalable, and repeatable way,” stated CEO Henry Schuck.  “As we continue to invest in automating workflow, expanding the coverage and quality of the data we publish, and leveraging that data asset across our platform’s application stack, we are building a wider and wider moat around the company.”

Engage Notes and Engagement Insights

During Q1, ZoomInfo expanded the platform integration with Engage, their Sales Engagement service.  Enhancements include the ability to “search and import contacts from ZoomInfo and Salesforce into Engage and allowing users to configure target market buyer personas to receive an automated feed of recommended contacts to pursue.  Only a month after release, 40% of active users have taken advantage of these expanded touchpoints.

The also released Workflows enhancements that simplified the creation of Workflows based upon a Trigger / Actions / Filters structure.  Workflows support actions across CRMs, MAPs, SEPs, and Engage.

A recruitment product, currently in beta, will be launched in June, just in time to take advantage of post-pandemic hiring growth in the US.  The Recruiter service includes Engage and supports “a digital motion from candidate sourcing, to candidate engagement, to interview.”  Multiple ATS (applicant tracking systems) will be supported.

Engage ACV doubled over the past quarter, with a 25% increase in usage of the core ZoomInfo platform among joint licensors, with Engage driving higher renewal levels.

Engage is still a new product and only represents “a tiny, tiny percentage of our customer base.”  However, the market signals are strong, and ZoomInfo sees a “strong upside” with the offering.  They have been receiving “great feedback from the customers who are on it.”

“We also see the benefits of this adoption within our retention and renewal numbers where customers who are dual users of Engage and ZoomInfo have materially higher renewal and retention rates than those who are ZoomInfo only customers.  This is one of the most exciting things about the Engage platform: It has multi-area benefits.  Customers buy Engage, which increases the adoption of both Engage and ZoomInfo.  And investment behind Engage has material benefits across our Recruiter and International packages, where that product is a built-in offering.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck

`ZoomInfo offers a sales engagement service and integrates with two of the leading SEPs: Outreach and SalesLoft.  Justin Withers, SVP of Strategy & Corporate Development, described the company as “Switzerland in terms of data and intelligence.”  ZoomInfo customers can choose to deploy Engage for their sales teams or other vendors.  In either case, they benefit as they provide leads (ZoomInfo Company and Contact Data), signals (ZoomInfo Scoops and Streaming Intent), workflows (ZoomInfo Workflow), and activation across leading platforms.

“If an intent signal comes in for an account, and the topic is relevant for the customer, the signal can fire a workflow with ZoomInfo data and add to a sequence in Outreach, SalesLoft, or Engage,” Withers told GZ Consulting.