Clari Optimize and Groove Partnership

Revenue Platform Clari made a trio of announcements related to a partnership with Sales Engagement Platform Groove, the full integration of conversational sales platform Wingman, and the pending release of its Optimize module for controlling revenue leaks.  Optimize helps revenue teams diagnose and address revenue leaks, reducing revenue loss due to deal slippage, bad data, and error-prone manual processes.

“The Clari Revenue Platform gives revenue leaders the past, present, and future data they need to not just control revenue but help grow it,” said Clari CEO Andy Byrne.  “Only Clari provides the full historical picture and adds real-time capabilities to act fast as well as the forward-looking projections to proactively strategize revenue precision.”

Optimize offers a “single, centralized view” of revenue metrics, including win rates, forecast accuracy, and deal cycle times.  In addition, Optimize helps revenue leaders answer questions such as “How is my team trending this quarter?  Are we going to meet, beat, or miss on revenue?  How can I ensure my reps are doing the right things to produce predictably winning results?”

Clari argues that market leaders have been unable to answer these questions proactively, making it difficult to mitigate issues and risks.  Clari combines historical and external data to assist with revenue benchmarking.  Thus, Clari can reach beyond the CRM to gather account intelligence.  For example, it can look at usage data to assess churn risk.

“Optimize is all about finding revenue leaks so customers can see not just where and why they’re missing revenue, but what they can do about it. No other solution on the market has the ability to harness past time series data to provide a historical view of revenue leak.”

Clari CEO Andy Byrne

Optimize, available soon, will provide a single view for the whole organization of revenue and insights, capturing CRM intelligence, activity data, and forecasts.  With the integration of Wingman, its recently acquired conversational intelligence subsidiary, the voice of the customer is fully embedded within Clari analytics and forecasts.

Furthermore, Wingman provides real-time coaching during sales calls, helping reps avoid mistakes and providing real-time intelligence (e.g., technical information, competitive battlecards) to sales reps.  By improving sales objection handling, parrying competitive attacks, and preventing delays due to technical follow-ups, Wingman also reduces revenue leakage.

“It’s not just about coaching your teams to sell more, or about deal reviews,” said Holly Procter, senior vice president and global head of sales at Clari.  “It’s more about running your revenue better—governing revenue-critical moments for success and collaboration across revenue-critical people, which includes buyers as well as sellers.  Nobody else offers this collaborative, real-time approach.”

The Clari + Groove Joint Value Proposition

Clari and Groove announced a partnership at Dreamforce that helps “joint customers run revenue with more precision, greater collaboration, and faster execution.”  Sales Engagement Platform Groove acts as a “system of action,” while Revenue Intelligence platform Clari acts as a “system of collaboration and governance.” Both platforms sync with Salesforce, which serves as the “system of record” for sales activity.

The partners argue that while revenue is at the heart of every business, CEOs struggle to get a handle on revenue and are uncertain about whether they will meet, beat, or miss revenue projections.

“Up to fifty percent of entire company employees are revenue critical.  They are responsible in some form or fashion for delivering revenue.” 

Clari SVP of Marketing Kyle Coleman explained to GZ Consulting

Revenue responsibility is broader than quota carriers and includes SDRs, CSMs, AMs, leadership, product managers, and engineers.  Unfortunately, “consistent, predictable execution and collaboration” across these employees remain “very challenging” due to the lack of a unified platform shared across all these roles.

“It’s also very difficult, therefore, to govern any sort of revenue process or sub-process in a repeatable way,” continued Coleman.  “What revenue leaders end up doing is every quarter, they’re trying to capture this lightning in a bottle to know whether they’re going to meet, beat or miss, but it’s sort of a scramble more often than not.”

With the Groove / Clari partnership, “we will be able to govern processes, we’ll be able to replicate the best practices, we’ll be able to do the right kind of real-time analysis that leads to action in a closed loop way so that we know that everything is happening as it should be when it should be,” argued Coleman.

A common issue for revenue teams is identifying revenue leaks and mitigating them.  Revenue leaks exist across the full revenue lifecycle.  For example, deal slippage is identified in real-time, allowing reps to take action via Groove to bring the deal back on track. 

When Clari identifies a deal slipping for competitive reasons, it can suggest a play be executed in Groove.  Likewise, Clari can identify sub-par win rates, overly generous discounting, and low conversion rates for early-stage opportunities.

As Groove is native to Salesforce, it records all activities in real-time, providing “full-funnel forecasting” and analytics to Salesforce and Clari.

“We can tie our campaigns through to revenue in Salesforce, and that is something that they (Groove’s competitors) cannot do,” argued Groove VP of Marketing Kristin Hersant.  “Then all of that rich data, tying engagement through to revenue is able to be pulled into Clari and used in the analysis, and that is available today.”

Coleman explained that while you can’t win a deal at any moment, you can certainly break a deal.  And once a deal is lost, “it’s very difficult to un-lose” it.  Thus, “if you don’t do the right thing at the right time – handle the right objection, or pull the right person in or do the right kind of follow-up” – the deal could be jeopardized.  Therefore, “handling revenue critical moments expertly and in a prescribed way” that is governed by best practices is critical in addressing revenue leaks.

“Having all of that insight into all these moments that exist and then having confidence that every one of your employees is going to be able to execute on this?  Well, this is what’s so exciting to us,” said Coleman.

“Clari has always been about providing companies with the collaboration and governance required to run revenue with maximum precision, and Groove completes the equation by enabling our joint customers to turn the insights we provide into action,” said Byrne.  “We’ve seen incredibly strong results from joint customers using our two platforms together, and this formal partnership will help us transform even more revenue organizations.”

Groove offers enterprise customers a Salesforce-native SEP that records all activity directly to Salesforce.

“Groove and Clari coming together is definitely a ‘1 + 1 = 3’ scenario for revenue leaders,” said Groove CEO Chris Rothstein.  “Bringing together Clari’s revenue collaboration and governance capabilities with Groove’s strength in sales execution and productivity provides the ultimate value proposition: See the future with Clari and then create that future with Groove.”


Company Links: Groove | Clari

Salesloft Opens AsiaPac HQ in Singapore

Sales Engagement Platform Salesloft formally opened an AsiaPac headquarters based in Singapore.  The firm began internationalizing a few years ago when it opened its London EMEA office.  Salesloft is looking to replicate its EMEA success across the APAC region.  It trebled its EMEA revenue over the past two years, with European revenue growing 140% last year.

The new office provides sales and support for its “thousands of users” in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the broader Asian market.

Salesloft “recognizes that making a human connection is important to building relationships in the Asia Pacific market,” wrote the firm.  “Core to Salesloft’s mission is a hyper-focus on customer success and helping customers become more efficient and productive to achieve better sales outcomes.”

Newly appointed Asia-Pacific Vice President Vincent Ooi will manage the regional HQ.  Ooi previously managed Southeast Asian and Korean Sales for Tableau Software and was the Asia-Pacific VP for DataRobot.  Ooi will be responsible for “building and scaling” the Salesloft team in the APAC market and “lead the company’s revenue and customer growth strategy in the region,” announced Salesloft.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Salesloft team at such a pivotal moment in the company’s growth,” said Ooi.  “The company and the category are growing exceptionally fast.  I look forward to building a team that consistently delivers significant business results quarter over quarter.  More importantly, I’m excited to help bring the power of sales engagement to more customers around the world to help them exceed their sales goals.”

Salesloft’s top regional verticals include software, professional services, and education.

“We are committed to making the lives of sellers easier, not just in the U.S. but around the globe,” said Nate Remmes, Executive Vice President, Commercial Business Unit at Salesloft. “At Salesloft, we put our customers at the center of our business.  Our continued growth has allowed us to expand into the Asia-Pacific market and offer in-region support to our customers.”

Salesloft also announced that it would soon be offering native integrations with HubSpot CRM and Microsoft Dynamics.  Both vendors have large installed bases in the APAC and European markets.  Like its long-standing integration with Salesforce, the partnerships will support the syncing of Account, Contact, Lead, and Activity records.  The CRMs will act as systems of record, while Salesloft will be the system of engagement.

The HubSpot and Dynamics integrations are currently in beta, with GA later this year. “General availability of these integrations will ensure customers around the world will have maximum flexibility and benefit using Salesloft regardless of their CRM,” wrote Salesloft.

Groove Conversations and Groove+

Groove Conversations

Sales Engagement Platform Groove announced the general availability of Groove Conversations, the “first conversational intelligence product that enables revenue teams to access call recording and insights directly from the inbox and calendar instead of a separate platform.”  The firm also announced the Groove+ mobile app for iOS that helps remote and hybrid teams prepare for meetings and manage post-meeting follow-up (Android will be available later this year).  Groove+ also displays Salesforce and key meeting insights.

Groove is natively built in Salesforce.  Unlike its competitors, Groove does not sync data between a separate database and Salesforce but stores and accesses it natively in Salesforce.  Thus, conversational insights and Salesforce updates are directly managed by Groove inside Salesforce.

Groove Conversations offers call recording, transcription, and analysis without leaving the Inbox.  Additionally, insights are associated with Salesforce Activities and Opportunities.

Conversations initially supports Zoom and Groove’s OmniDialer, with Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, WebEx, and other services in development.

Conversations are fully searchable, with users able to listen to the searched term or keyword-related discussion.

Analytics include talk time, keyword mentions, sentiment analysis, and talk timelines for each attendee.  In Q3, the firm plans on adding “deeper analytics and AI-driven insights.”

Additional features include

  • Picture-in-picture viewing capabilities to support multi-tasking
  • Recording, transcript, and keyword access from email, calendar, Salesforce, or the Groove app
  • Internal sharing of meetings for review and team coaching
  • Custom keywords and keyword categories (e.g., product names, competitors, feature sets)
  • Internal and external sharing of calls, with the ability to extract and share a snippet of a meeting available soon

Groove+ delivers meeting alerts powered by Salesforce data to reduce deal time.  Users can easily access deal history, account information, meeting attendees, and activity history.  In addition, meeting notes may be logged to Salesforce with voice-to-text functionality.  Reps can also update meetings, accounts, contacts, opportunities, custom fields, or unique Salesforce configurations.

“The value of Groove+ goes beyond sales to include all revenue team members,” explained Groove Director of Communications Jason Klein to GZ Consulting.  “Essentially, anyone interfacing with clients should find value from Groove+.”

Groove conducted a survey in December and January of 1040 B2B sales reps which determined that 46% of companies are not planning a total return to the office.  Thus, managing remote and hybrid sales teams will remain a top issue for the CRO.  Top concerns for remote sales reps include updating CRM platforms (48%), inputting account notes (46%), and scheduling follow-up meetings (45%).

“Now that most reps are working in a hybrid role permanently, revenue teams need to focus on maximizing the value of their CRM.  Extending the power of CRM to remote teams makes them productive and effective while also providing leaders with the visibility and insight needed to manage them effectively.”

Groove CEO Chris Rothstein

Groove Conversations and Groove+ provide remote, hybrid, and inside sales reps with immediate access to sales productivity tools, conversational analytics, and deal insights.  Additionally, sales reps can update SFDC from Groove+ and access call recordings and insights from anywhere, providing centralized call coaching, next steps, and follow-up.

Groove Conversations and Groove+ are separate offerings but will be integrated later this year.  Groove+ is available with any Groove core license.  Groove Conversations is available as a premium add-on. “When we founded Groove, we knew that building for the seller first was the key to driving widespread adoption and seller productivity,” said Rothstein.  “As a result, we are the only platform that is just as easy to use and relevant for field sales as it is for sellers working from home or in the office.  Our customers typically see over 90% adoption rates of Groove and Salesforce, realizing as much as 83% seller productivity improvements as a result.”

Salesloft Forecast Launched

Salesloft’s new Forecast module ingests deal data from multiple platforms, allowing sales professionals to review deals and take actions necessary to stay on track.

Salesloft continues to extend its value proposition beyond sales engagement and conversational intelligence into deal forecasting and revenue intelligence.  Its new Forecast capability, bundled with the Enterprise edition, is available as part of Salesloft’s Spring ’22 Release.  Other spring enhancements include Multi-language Support for Conversations, Out-of-Office Detection, and mobile updates.

Salesloft noted that forecasting remains a “disjointed and manual process” often conducted with spreadsheets.  Sales professionals must collect information from disconnected systems and often deliver inaccurate numbers that waste “valuable selling time.”  What’s more, manual processes provide few insights for improving sales results and aren’t actionable.  Thus, significant resources are expended coming to a forecast number, but by the time the CSO or CRO rolls it up to the CEO, the forecast is a black box number based on quickly aging data with few actionable insights.

The disjointed forecasting process (Source: Salesloft)

“Forecasting is a critical process for every revenue organization,” said Salesloft CPO Ellie Fields.  “But when sellers use spreadsheets, there’s a high risk of user error and acting on old data.  Spreadsheets aren’t scalable, are incredibly manual, ungoverned, and only serve as a snapshot in time.  There’s no context to help sellers look ahead.”

In a presentation to GZ Consulting, SVP of Product Management Frank Dale emphasized that Salesloft is looking to stay in the “revenue lane” focusing on “what happens between the buyer and the seller.”  Forecasting falls within the revenue lane as it “leverages the data generated from interactions between buyers and sellers.”  Furthermore, forecasting should not be separate from revenue generation.  It isn’t simply calling a number but “taking action to make that number.”

The revenue lane “covers all core selling jobs” and tasks, including driving demand, generating pipeline, managing deals, and engaging customers.

“Revenue teams don’t want a forecast.  They want a real-time, adaptive week-by-week action plan to beat their number.  That’s not what forecasting is today.  Forecasting, as it is done today, sucks.  For most revenue teams, it is something they have to do, not something they want to do.  That’s because the tools they have available make just getting to a forecast number difficult and time-consuming.  What’s worse is that they don’t often trust the number they arrive at.  That’s a big problem.  It’s hard to know where to spend your time when you’re not sure if what you’re looking at is accurate.”

Salesloft SVP of Product Management Frank Dale

The Salesloft Modern Revenue Workspace is built on three pillars: Connecting with buyers, improving interactions with customers and prospects based on the data that is generated from interactions, and aligning the team around best practices.  Forecasting falls into the alignment pillar but is designed to support connection and feedback.

“There is a huge gap.  The gap is not necessarily about calling the number, but it is more about the action plan on that number,” explained Senior Director of Product Management Anshu Chowdhery to GZ Consulting.  Salesloft set two goals for its Forecast launch: A shared workflow for gathering deal intelligence and turning it into a forecast; and the ability to achieve that number. 

Salesloft Forecast capabilities include

  • Forecasts are rolled up across the organization. 
  • Users can drill down to opportunities and track changes in the pipeline.  They can also take action from within Forecast.
  • An AI-driven forecast model employs “sales engagement data and historical performance to dial in on what’s likely to land, and what you can influence.”
  • Forecasts are based on AI models and engagement data gathered by Salesloft. 

“What we’re building is an integrated, whole system,” remarked Dale.  “We’re integrating all of the activity capture from Cadence, all of the conversation data and capture from our conversation intelligence product, the CRM data from our deals product, and then the ability to turn around and take action again through our cadence product once you’ve made the call.”

“This forecasting product is built on top of [our] Deals product,” expanded Chowdhery.  “Deals bi-directionally syncs with Salesforce.  So, everything that lives on Salesforce is in Deals, and that’s the significant advantage of [our] forecasting solution.  We are able to sync everything and pull all information, not only from Salesforce but across our platform – every engagement that’s happening on the cadence side or conversation side.  The sales leader has the ability to view that timeline and identify…[whether] no conversations happened in the last thirty days; this deal is at risk; what should I do in order to win that deal?”

A Weekly Opportunity Changes view lists all of the changes to amounts, close dates, and stages over the past week and how those changes impact the forecast, providing a dynamic view of weekly activity.

Dale stated that Forecast provides value across the revenue team.  Frontline sales management has greater visibility into the pipeline, and Forecast provides sales reps “a true read on what they need to do to land and hit their number.”  In addition, both reps and managers benefit from reduced busy work in managing pipeline updates. 

Dale contends that daily administrative work for reps is reduced by an hour by streamlining the forecasting and updating process.

While Forecast focuses on new business forecasting, future enhancements will support renewal forecasting and run-rate forecasting (i.e., intra-period deals).  Also, Salesloft will continue to build out its analytics and plans to release Vulnerable Opportunities Notifications for flagging at-risk opportunities.

Forecast provides a common workflow that rolls up deal intelligence across the organization.  Users can drill down into specific deals and take actions, greatly improving insights and actionability.  “This is a seamless workflow for the reps and honestly, across the entire revenue organization to submit their forecasts and submit their number,” said Chowdhery.

Salesloft’s Forecasting workflow.

A modern forecasting system must be part of your sales execution system,” blogged Fields.  “The information about your deals in flight – who’s contacting the customer, what meetings were had and what was said, how the customer responds — is the foundational information that your forecast rests on.  If you’re using a sales engagement platform, all of that activity is already being tracked automatically, without your sellers needing to spend time logging their activities.  Meetings and calls are recorded and searchable so you can review that pivotal moment with the buyer.”

“Forecasting under-delivers when the end result is just a number,” continued Fields.  “The end result should be a set of actions you can take to deliver better results.  To do that, you need to not only see a number, but you need to see areas of softness and strength, important deal gaps, and opportunities.  You need to recognize that the East team will need your support this quarter, but that the West will probably overachieve.  You need to know where to spend your team’s time most productively to get over the line.”

Dale emphasized the importance of cross-product workflows aligned with “things people actually want to do.”  Unfortunately, vendors often build technology that “chases a problem” or is designed to answer checklist questions about functionality.  Salesloft “starts with problems people have and then builds solutions to match that.  So anytime you see us build something like forecasting, we’re building it based on what people are actually trying to do.”  Forecasting was built because it was a regular customer request.

Submitted forecasts show progress towards goal and a comparison vs. the prior week.

Forecasting builds on Salesloft’s pipeline management and deals product, including its AI-powered Deal Engagement Scores released last June and Deal Progression Indicators released last November.

Salesloft claims that its new Forecast module transforms forecasting “from a burdensome task into a strategic action plan to close more revenue.”  Revenue estimates and deal close dates are derived from real-time data and employ “multiple forecasting techniques to make it easy to see where the team’s performance is trending.”  AI helps identify missed opportunities and deals at risk, letting reps mitigate deal risk and factor it into pipeline estimates.  As Forecast is native to Salesloft’s Modern Revenue Workspace, managers can assign follow-ups or add deal notes within the Salesloft workflow.

“With Forecast, customers have the visibility, intelligence, and workflow to close deals more consistently and act upon unrealized opportunities,” stated the firm.

“Forecast by Salesloft is an intelligent solution with strong data governance, so there’s less room for errors,” stated Fields.  “Sellers can forecast and take action on those deals from the same platform.  When sales managers have real-time visibility and the ability to drill down, coaching sellers and taking action happens naturally, leading to better deal outcomes.”

VanillaSoft Announces a Trio of Integrations

VanillaSoft announced a trio of new or upgraded integrations for its Sales Engagement Platform.  First, VanillaSoft upgraded its integration with Salesforce, providing synchronization of accounts, contacts, leads, activities (e.g., Tasks, Events, History), and opportunities.  Custom Object syncing is coming soon.  VanillaSoft also announced new technology partnerships with Chorus (ZoomInfo) and Zapier

The Salesforce integration is bi-directional with instant updates.  Prospects from VanillaSoft’s AutoKlose subsidiary are fed to VanillaSoft and uploaded to Salesforce.  The integration also supports improved Salesforce reporting and dashboards, providing a unified reporting interface for all sales activities.  Salesforce reporting “accurately shows conversion ratios and funnel math from stage-to-stage and team-to-team.”

“In most cases, organizations use SFDC as the primary hub for all their lead and account information,” noted Product Marketing Director Bergen Wilde during a demo to GZ Consulting.  “Leads coming in from outside sources, such as marketing automation, would be immediately shared with VanillaSoft.”  For example, “marketing may examine old leads or accounts in SFDC and create a new campaign for these, sending them back into VanillaSoft for pursuit by SDRs.”

The upgraded integration “empowers a sales team with immediate information updates across both platforms so agents using either system can take action without delay.”

Updates to Salesforce are always real-time and triggered by VanillaSoft result codes.  Updates from Salesforce can be either real-time or performed in batch.  For example, Sales Operations can set up real-time synchronization for web form submissions fed into SFDC.  Web leads are then synced with VanillaSoft, providing immediate routing of web leads to SDRs, with both platforms tracking submissions and responses.

A novel VanillaSoft use case is multi-client synchronization between VanillaSoft and client Salesforce instances.  The VanillaSoft project code acts as a “top-level, self-contained database in VanillaSoft,” which signals the relevant client instance, allowing lead generation companies and agencies to support multiple clients. “Lead generation has always been a consistent market for us because we keep the data segmentation.  That’s been since day one – we’ve kept our projects separate,” explained Director of Customer Success Daniel Sims to GZ Consulting.  “Tied to that, we have some pretty cool appointment setting functionality that tends to make us attractive to most lead gen companies.”

Lead Companies can manage prospecting in VanillaSoft and sync activity and lead data with multiple client Salesforce instances.

Other use cases include

  • Managing SDR to AE handoffs: As SDRs book meetings, the information and task are posted in Salesforce for the AE.  If the client is a no-show, the lead can be passed back to the SDR for rescheduling.
  • Upselling: A customer success agent identifies an upsell opportunity and enters it in SFDC.  The record then syncs with VanillaSoft, which notifies the SDR to schedule an appointment for the AE.
  • Triggered Alerts: Salesforce alerts (e.g., overdue payments, deviations from volume commitments, or new opportunities) are routed to SDRs for follow-up.
Salesforce can trigger activity in VanillaSoft.

VanillaSoft noted that it can store raw MQLs until they are sales qualified, at which time the data is synced with Salesforce.  This flow reduces storage fees for low-yield prospects.  Thus, contact records can be purchased from AutoKlose and enabled in VanillaSoft, only becoming Salesforce records once they are sales qualified.

VanillaSoft supports both the Salesforce Lightning and Classic user experiences.  Integration management is performed within SFDC, so admins do not require a VanillaSoft license.

The Chorus partnership is supported for joint customers, providing access to Chorus recordings and transcripts from VanillaSoft.  Similar functionality for Gong is planned for the end of this quarter.

Chorus transcription and analytics are triggered by VanillaSoft result codes, with recordings immediately passed from VanillaSoft to Chorus for processing.  A Chorus logo is then displayed within VanillaSoft, providing a hyperlink to the recording, transcript, and analysis.

Chorus in VanillaSoft

Zapier provides broad integration with other enterprise software platforms.  Sales operations can bi-directionally connect VanillaSoft to hundreds of other applications via a “simple, graphical user interface.”

Zapier is often deployed by SMBs for connecting platforms and triggering workflows.

“VanillaSoft helps SMB sales teams in real-world industries to enhance their sales capabilities and productivity – enabling them to increase their outreach and close more deals,” said VanillaSoft CEO David Hood.  “By establishing relationships and enhancing integrations with other key technologies that our customers rely on within their sales organizations, we are working to make their sales processes more seamless, and ultimately are helping them to ensure their sales success.”

Market Flash: ZoomInfo Releases MarketingOS and Unveils RevOS Packaging

ZoomInfo provides a set of data-enabled services for sales, marketing, recruitment, and revenue operations under the RevenueOS brand.

ZoomInfo announced the immediate availability of its new MarketingOS ABM Platform.  The service is part of a broader RevOS offering that supports marketing, sales, operations, and recruitment.  MarketingOS consolidates ZoomInfo’s legacy marketing capabilities, bringing together two recent acquisitions, Insent and RingLead, with new programmatic and audience management functionality.

ZoomInfo also refined its positioning statement from Revenue Acceleration to Revenue Operating System.  It stated that RevOS is “the World’s only revenue operating system of its kind.”

“Our comprehensive B2B database is the key differentiator that sets MarketingOS apart from other ABM solutions,” said ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck.  “ZoomInfo’s unique data science algorithms allow marketers to connect with the right prospects at precisely the right time.  No other solution on the market combines the power of data-driven insights and marketing-optimized workflows like ZoomInfo’s MarketingOS.”

“Marketers typically fail because the data in most ABM platforms is both inaccurate and incomplete.  Current ABM solutions are designed to leverage companies’ own first-party data, which exists in their customer relationship management or marketing automation systems.  Without quality data, marketers pour advertising dollars at the wrong prospects and companies, and, as a result, deliver fruitless leads to sales and waste time and resources.  With ZoomInfo’s best-in-class data and intelligence at its foundation, MarketingOS enables marketers to effectively reach target accounts and drive qualified leads for sales.”

ZoomInfo Press Release, “ZoomInfo Launches New Account-Based Marketing Platform, MarketingOS,” (Feb 8, 2022)

New functionality includes social and display advertising, abandoned from tracking, and audience targeting.  Marketing can build audiences and track campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Marketing can also build campaigns and manage them programmatically through Clickagy DSP (ZoomInfo) or TradeDesk.

Marketing OS looks to address the “Funnel Famine” suffered by traditional marketing teams.  Several issues cause Funnel Famine: crowded B2B advertising channels, dirty data, leaky black-box marketing campaigns, siloed data, and sales’ longtime distrust of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs).

MarketingOS addresses the issue of leads created by “The Funnel Famine.”

“Most marketing programs begin with data, whether it’s for tailoring your communications, whether it’s for sending an email, whether it’s for sending a direct mail.  It’s all about those accounts that you’re targeting and the professionals at those accounts,” explained ZoomInfo SVP of Product Strategy and Product Marketing Justin Withers to GZ Consulting.  “And the reality is that a lot of data, especially if it’s pulled from the CRM or other systems, is outdated.  It’s inaccurate.  It’s incomplete, and that can actually pollute or even inhibit the lead flow at the top of the funnel, and [it] ultimately leads to poor conversion.  It leads to leaks in the funnel, and all this hard work that marketers put in at every stage of the funnel ultimately spills out before it can even reach sales.”

The reality is that the sales and marketing funnels operate in parallel, not sequentially, as represented in traditional funnel diagrams.  MarketingOS lets marketers run account-based programs in parallel with sales running account-based sales programs “so that everyone’s aligned at every step of the funnel.”

Under current processes, sales and marketing operate in parallel to each other with little coordination and a single point of handoff for MQLs, a situation that “really doesn’t set marketing up for success…and it leaves sales in a bind,” continued Withers.  Thus, marketing complains that sales teams ignore its leads, and sales reps complain about the quality and quantity of marketing-sourced leads.  As a result, there is an “acute misalignment between sales and marketing.”

With MarketingOS, handoffs can occur at different points along the marketing funnel, based on the channel and prospect response.

Sales and Marketing are aligned around a set of target accounts both within and beyond the ICP.  Thus, an ICP account with spiking intent will be passed to sales, even if marketing has had limited conversations.  Furthermore, the rep will know that multiple individuals from the firm have visited the website or that individuals have clicked through on ads or email campaigns.

Likewise, chatbot conversations with target companies can immediately route a chat to the sales rep or schedule a call.

New functionality for managing abandoned forms can revive a prospect.  ZoomInfo claims a 60% increase in lead flow with its abandoned form tracking.

MarketingOS Audience Builder with Audience Segmentation

MarketingOS functionality includes

  • Expanded targeting that leverages the full set of ZoomInfo’s first and third-party intelligence for building and activating audiences.  ZoomInfo selects include firmographics, technographics, biographics (e.g., Title, 192 Job Functions, Job Levels), web forms, and uploaded lists (e.g., tradeshow lists).  Other selects include business events (e.g., funding data, executive changes, projects) and over 300 company attributes (advanced data-mined firmographics such as fleet size and company benefits).  Targeting also ingests account, contact, and lead attributes from Salesforce, HubSpot, and Marketo. 
  • First and third-party intent data time outreach while buyers are in-market, helping to improve marketing and sales efficacy.  Marketers can track up to 500 intent topics, with up to 50 available at a time.  In addition, chat-based targeting is coming soon.
  • An “in-market predictive score” that identifies each prospect’s buying stage, “informing how and when marketers should engage with prospects based on their ranking and helping them to prioritize their outbound efforts on prospects who are most likely to convert.”
  • Campaign Management and Analytics.  Marketers upload their creative, build an audience, set the budget, and select their channels.
  • Webforms, infused with automated enrichment, support shorter forms with reduced abandonment rates
  • Abandoned form tracking, with Workflows passing the lead to sales or additional nurture steps
  • ZoomInfo Chat (FKA Insent), a conversational marketing chatbot that leverages ZoomInfo data to score and route leads.  Chat immediately passes high-scoring, live leads to sales reps.  The chatbot also automates meeting scheduling.
  • Visitor Intelligence, with pages scored differently (e.g., Product Pages are scored higher than Career or Investor Pages)
  • Automated workflows triggered by intent, custom intent, WebSights visitor intelligence, Scoops (e.g., business events, projects), Funding, Technologies, and FormComplete.  Workflows can also be built to expand reach across the potential buying committee by persona.
  • RingLead data orchestration to dedupe, cleanse, enrich, and route leads
  • ZoomInfo Enrich, a set of DaaS enterprise platform integrations for data enrichment and hygiene.

MarketingOS is powered by ZoomInfo’s database spanning 100 million companies, 150 million executives, technographics, intent and engagement data, and event data.

“Marketing and sales funnels work in parallel, so everyone is aligned at every step of the funnel,” explained Justin Withers, SVP of Product Strategy and Product Marketing.  With MarketingOS, “sales and marketing are working in lockstep at every stage of the journey.”

MarketingOS is one of four products branded under the RevOS banner.

Tying together intent and engagement data and processing them through ZoomInfo Workflows is the future of ABM.  Intent data is employed at the top of the funnel when buyers are in the initial research phase.  Once prospects have begun interacting with a vendor, most buyer behavior research falls under the engagement category (e.g., web forms, email responses, chatbots, conversational intelligence, etc.).  Finally, intent data helps identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities at the tail end of the customer lifecycle. 

Engagement and intent data are also valuable churn risk indicators, helping customer success and account managers detect potential cancelations or defections well before decisions have been made.  In addition, intent data can show a spike in research related to product-associated topics and competitors.  Engagement monitoring widens to include customer success interactions, training participation, platform usage, and general account health indicators.

“We can support your new customer acquisition with these signals,” stated Withers.  “We can support your opportunity acceleration with these signals.  We can also support your renewal, upsell, cross-sell motions based on different types of signals that are happening at those accounts.  So, it really is a full customer lifecycle marketing solution.”

MarketingOS will be available as a pair of SKUs:

  • ABM Elite+: The full ABM Platform package, including RingLead Cleanse, Enrich, and Route
  • ABM Advanced+: Package includes everything except RingLead

“The purpose behind the two distinct offerings is to simplify our primary offering for those focused on ABM engagement and marketing programs, as opposed to the more operationally focused data orchestration capabilities,” explained ZoomInfo Analyst Relations Director Michael Basilio to GZ Consulting.

MarketingOS includes ten marketing seats and three administrative seats for RingLead routing and ZoomInfo Chat.

The broader RevOS branding consists of MarketingOS, SalesOS, OperationsOS, and RecruitingOS.  ZoomInfo calls RevOS the “world’s first integrated go-to-market platform.”  All four RevOS services are generally available.

ZoomInfo’s data cloud, orchestration tools (e.g., RingLead, B2B DaaS, Workflows), and engagement tools (advertising, sales engagement, web forms, chat, and conversational intelligence) are at the heart of RevOS.

“There’s nothing more important in business than successfully executing your go-to-market strategy,” states ZoomInfo in its product collateral.  “Get it right, and your business flourishes.  Get it wrong, and you’re toast.  That’s why having one integrated go-to-market platform is so crucial.  You can think of it as your revenue operating system.”

SalesOS bundles together a set of new and legacy sales tools:

  • Sales prospecting
  • Chorus, the conversational sales platform the firm acquired in July
  • Sales insights, including Chorus Momentum
  • Sales CRM integrations and continuous data maintenance
  • The ReachOut browser extension for real-time company and contact research and Send to CRM and SEP functionality
  • ZoomInfo Engage (Sales Engagement Platform)

Sales and Marketing Alignment has been a stated goal of the two functions for at least a decade, but they have operated with different datasets, metrics, objectives, and platforms.  Thus, alignment was more vision than reality.  By aligning ABM on a common platform and reference database, alignment is no longer impaired by an organization’s tech stack and data foundation.

“Crucially, MarketingOS lets marketing teams work from a common data foundation. Only 39% of sales and marketing teams share buyer signals, and half say it’s because their sales and marketing systems don’t integrate. The shared data foundation of SalesOS and MarketingOS tightens key handoffs and unlocks true marketing and sales alignment, eliminating conflicting records, wasted effort, and missed opportunities.”

ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck, “Introducing RevOS: The future of modern go-to-market software,” (Feb 8, 2022)

OperationsOS contains RingLead data orchestration (i.e., match, unify, dedupe, normalize, cleanse, enrich, score, and route data) and B2B DaaS services (e.g., APIs, webhooks, cloud data warehouse integrations).

Finally, RecruitingOS contains ZoomInfo Recruit, its recently launched prospecting and engagement service for HR departments and recruiters.  RecruitingOS also includes a set of Applicant Tracking Service connectors.

“Recruiters can filter and reach more good-fit candidates, use pipeline management tools to collaborate and organize the hiring process, and automate the candidate outreach process,” explains Zoominfo.  “This helps you source and connect with candidates faster, reducing the time to find and hire talent.”

Along with new product positioning, RevOS sports new logos, color palettes, styles, and a “unified in-app experience to create a singular, cohesive go-to-market solution that spans the entire suite of ZoomInfo products.”  There are also redesigned data dashboards and reports that “offer a faster, more responsive experience that allows your sales, marketing, and recruitment teams to visually demonstrate ROI and how their work aligns with broader organizational objectives.”

In short, RevOS unifies sales, marketing, revenue operations, and recruitment on the same set of data, providing “the same source of truth” and “one integrated platform for every stage of the marketing and sales funnel.” “If data is the lifeblood of the modern sales organization, then go-to-market teams must have the technology to act upon that data.  RevOS’ unified data tech stack gives sales, marketing, operations, and recruiting teams a single source of truth from which to launch their campaigns and go-to-market motions, simplifying internal workflows, reducing costs, and maximizing interoperability between teams,” blogged Schuck.  “RevOS is the next chapter in ZoomInfo’s journey as the world’s leading go-to-market platform.”

MarketingOS supports a Campaign Manager for building, sizing, and tracking campaigns.

Highspot $248M Series F

Sales Enablement Platform vendor Highspot closed on a $248 million Series F that valued the firm at $3.5 billion, up from its February valuation of $2.3 billion.  The firm, founded in 2012, has raised $648 million to date.  The round was led by B Capital Group and D1 Capital Partners, with Iconiq Growth, Madrona Venture Group, Salesforce Ventures, Sapphire, and Tiger Global Management also participating.

“Technologies that unlock human potential are foundational to our economic future,” said Rashmi Gopinath, General Partner, B Capital.  “Highspot’s undeniable performance, coupled with the enthusiasm of their customer base, is a testament to how transformative their technology is for companies across industries and geographies.  We believe Highspot’s platform is an imperative for businesses aiming to drive sustainable growth.”

Highspot will deploy the funds to hire additional staff and open offices in the EMEA and APAC regions.  The firm, which doubled in size over the past two years to 800 employees, plans to add 500 staff over the next twelve months.  Highspot is based in Seattle, with offices in London, Munich, and Paris.

The pandemic accelerated demand for digital platforms such as Highspot as “road warriors have become home warriors,” said Wahbe.  In addition, the shift from traditional selling to digital required new tools and skills.  “Salespeople have to be better than ever in holding the attention of the customer.”

“Even before the onset of the pandemic, buyers were trending toward self-reliance with a plethora of resources at their fingertips, researching vendors on their own time and relying on salespeople as mere transaction facilitators,” Wahbe told VentureBeat via email. The sudden shift to a remote business landscape caused by COVID-19 accelerated this trend, and now modern buyers prefer — and expect — fully virtual sales … A handful of sales tech companies anticipated the trend toward digital selling and strategically designed their products to help turn salespeople from transaction helpers into heroes. Highspot is one such company.”

Highspot CEO Robert Wahbe, “Highspot raises $248M to bolster sales enablement using AI,” VentureBeat (January 13, 2022)

The firm, which has over 170 open positions, is broadly hiring across engineering, product, design, marketing, and sales.

“We see an incredible opportunity in front of us,” said CEO Robert Wahbe. “We need to continue to invest very significantly and invest in our go-to-market team, invest in our product, and [invest in] the capabilities of our product.”

Last month, Highspot announced a quartet of executive hires:

  • Arvind Prakash, Product Management VP: Prakash is a global product and technology leader with over twenty years of experience at Compass, Expedia Group, and Microsoft.
  • John Zhang, Engineering VP: Zhang held Engineering roles at Microsoft, Twitter and Weibo.
  • Julie Valenti, Account Management VP: Valenti has over twenty years of experience running customer-facing teams at DocuSign, Oracle, Responsys, and Yesmail.
  • Kelly Lewis, Revenue Enablement VP: Lewis joins with over 15 years of experience in revenue leadership and technology sales.  Lewis is a former Highspot customer joining from Amwell.

Highspot supports content recommendations, content engagement analytics, sales training, and sales coaching

The recently launched Highspot Marketplace is a partner exchange for marketing, sales, enablement, and customer success partners.  Companies can import packages of content, tools, and training from two dozen partners, including Sandler, Challenger, and Winning by Design.

Highspot Sales Training Dashboard

Highspot has grown revenue 935% over the last three years and posted an Annual Recurring Revenue net retention rate of 130% over the past year. 

Last year, platform usage increased 150%, with Highspot providing training to eight million salespeople, channel partners, service reps, and customers in digital sales experiences.  Highspot counts DocuSign, General Motors, Nestle, Siemens, and Verizon Media among its 700+ customers.

Wahbe envisions the firm going public but did not set an IPO timeframe. “Our focus continues to be on building a significant company in the enablement space,” said Wahbe. “We’re focused on growing the company, which of course then enables us to go public.”

Vista Equity Takes Majority Stake in Salesloft

Salesloft has been building out its deal intelligence alongside conversations and cadences.

Vista Equity announced that it took a majority stake in Sales Engagement vendor Salesloft.  CEO Kyle Porter indicated that the round values Salesloft above $2.3 billion.  Salesloft is on a roll, hitting $100 million in annual recurring revenue this summer and growing annual revenue 50% this year.

Salesloft rebranded this fall with new positioning around the “Modern Revenue Workspace.”  Its Winter 2021 release included sentiment analysis for inbound emails and an AI Chrome extension tool for optimizing emails.  Salesloft also recently opened a German data center, helping it comply with GDPR and European data hosting requirements.

According to Vista Equity, Salesloft is the most capital-efficient business in its space, meaning that they are enjoying smart growth.

“This means customers can trust that we will continue to deliver the best products and service in our industry,” stated VP of Product Management Frank Dale.

At the beginning of the year, Salesloft closed on a $100 million round that valued the firm at $1.1 billion.  The January investors, led by Owl Rock Capital, have retained their stakes in the firm.

Porter told the Wall Street Journal that he foresees an IPO but did not provide details on timing.

“From day one, Salesloft’s vision has been to help sellers more successfully engage with and serve their buyers.  This investment is a huge milestone in Salesloft’s journey to becoming the most loved brand in sales technology.  It gives us the resources we need to continue serving our amazing customers, while innovating solutions to solve the complex challenges faced by sellers.”

Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter

The additional funds will be deployed towards product development and market expansion, focusing on the Asia Pacific region, and “tripling down” in EMEA.  Salesloft is enjoying triple-digit growth in EMEA after opening its London EMEA HQ in April 2019.

“This deal is about GROWTH for our CUSTOMERS,” posted Porter on LinkedIn.  “We’re growing >50% annually as the most efficient player in our category, which is critical to long-term sustainability and success.  We will be fueling significant innovation and customer services as a result of this deal.”

“This partnership with Vista is about the future we’re building for our customers,” commented CRO Steve Goldberg.  “It’s about making the lives and jobs of sellers easier.  It’s about quickly delivering the solutions and experience they need to win.”

“Vista is proud to be a preferred partner for founders of fast-growing, high-performing, high-potential companies, and we are excited to work with Kyle and the Salesloft team,” said Monti Saroya, co-head of the Flagship Fund and senior managing director at Vista.  “Salesloft has built an incredible enterprise software platform that provides tangible ROI by empowering sales teams and managers to increase productivity, and we are excited to bring our decades of enterprise software experience to help Salesloft further fuel its growth trajectory and global expansion.”

Vista wrote a long blog welcoming Salesloft, but the piece did not focus on Salesloft’s current positioning or value proposition.  Instead, Vista discussed its long history working with Porter (it was a Series A investor), Porter’s focus on recruiting talent and helping build the Atlanta tech ecosystem, and his willingness to mothball the Prospector product so the company could focus on building out its Cadence service.

I would add a few other notes about Kyle, whom I’ve known for just as long.  He is a natural-born storyteller who exudes enthusiasm, just as every sales rep should.  He also emphasizes authenticity in sales, the need to balance automation with personalization (a variation on authenticity), and the importance of building a strong company culture.

David Cummings, who has served on Salesloft’s Board since its early days, lauded Kyle Porter and his willingness to pivot the company for growth and recruit top talent.

“Salesloft is mostly the story of the will, determination, and grit of the entrepreneur Kyle Porter.  From a full reboot of the business in the early days, to multiple pivots, and recently navigating the pandemic, Kyle has endured the high highs and low lows of entrepreneurship many times over.  And one of his superpowers is recruiting an amazing team starting with Rob Foreman.  Rob was introduced to Kyle through a chance encounter at a local event.  From there, the two hit it off and developed one of the strongest yin/yang partnerships I’ve ever seen.  The team grew to include incredible leaders across all the functions including Ellie, Sydney, Scott, Chad, Steve, and many others.”

“Kyle was the visionary all along,” continued Cummings.  “Through a strong focus on organization health, never-ending love for the customer (#saleslove), bold acquisitions of several companies, and masterful fundraising, Kyle operated in one of the most aggressive, yet thoughtful, ways imaginable.”

The RevTech space has some excellent CEOs who match product vision and intelligent growth with passion and a stakeholder perspective.  Besides Porter, the industry is lucky to have Henry Schuck (ZoomInfo CEO), Manny Medina (Outreach CEO), Jon Miller (Founder of Engagio and Marketo and currently the Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Demandbase), Sangram Vajre (co-founder of Terminus, author, and leader of the Flip My Funnel movement), and others.

Salesloft supports 4,000 customers, including IBM, Google, Cisco, Shopify, and LinkedIn.

As part of the transaction, Vista will be joining Salesloft’s Board, and Cummings will be exiting it.

Global Database Adds Sales Engagement

London-based Sales and Credit Intelligence vendor Global Database added Sales Engagement features to its service.  Sales reps can automate their outbound campaigns with sequences of emails, phone calls, and other tasks.  Other features include A/B testing and analytics.

CEO Nicolae Buldumac demoed the new service to GZ Consulting, which is generally available but undergoing a soft launch with a formal release in early Q1.

“We want our customers to succeed in their outreach campaigns,” explained Buldumac.  However, “having access to data is not enough.  You need to have the necessary tools that will save you time and make your campaigns more effective.”

The Sales Engagement Platform adds an activation platform for sales reps, allowing them to reach out to prospects in a structured manner.

“We already see a lot of positive responses from our existing customers that have started using the platform, and many new features will be released in the coming weeks.”  Among the pending features are a phone dialer, Chrome extension, and Global Academy, “a series with educational material, where we will communicate the best practices to set up your campaigns, with specific examples that are working for us.”

The new Sales Engagement Platform is included as a new module at no extra charge.  The platform supports email templates, sequences, and analytics, but a dialer will not be available until Q1.

Sales reps can select one or multiple contacts from the Prospector module and assign them to a sequence.  Global Database may be licensed regionally or globally, with pricing based on the selected region and number of users.

Sales Engagement Platform provides Send to CRM support for Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, with HubSpot planned; however, the service does not yet sync activities between the engagement service and CRMs.

Email templates support dynamic variables, signature blocks, and rich text.  Templates are shareable, so marketing or sales ops can create email messages and share them with the sales team.

Email reports track emails sent, replies received, tasks completed, and deliverability, helping reps and sales operations “make informed decisions on future campaigns.”  Email analytics include top engagement by title, industry, country, and employment levels.

Global Database Email Engagement Analytics

Other email features include out-of-office detection, unsubscribe support, and manual send.

Separately, Global Database announced a data request feature that lets sales reps request similar contacts.

“Once such a request has been received, our system will automatically search in multiple sources,” explained CEO Nicolae Buldumac.  “If there are limited results, this request will be passed to our in-house data enrichment team for manual review.”

Global Database supports Similar Contact prospecting. Global Database editors will research additional prospects if the returned set is small.

Global Database maintains a global collection of company, contact, credit, tenders, and filings data spanning:

  • 120 million companies
  • 118 million contacts
  • 6 million emails
  • 1.2 million direct dials
  • 20 million general numbers

Global Database contacts are GDPR compliant and employ a Legitimate Interest basis for data collection.  Global Database is registered with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office.

“The lawful basis that we rely on for processing personal information in our public records register is that the processing is necessary for our legitimate interests which are not outweighed by the rights and freedoms of the individual (Article 6(1)(f) of the UK GDPR),” explained Buldumac.  “Our legitimate interests include the fulfillment of our mission as set out above; namely, to increase and promote transparency of the corporate and business world, including the existence, ownership, activities, entities, and people connected with them, by maintaining our public register.”

Most Sales Engagement vendors do not own a database (the major exception is VanillaSoft which acquired AutoKlose), but several database vendors have added sales engagement capabilities to their platforms, including ZoomInfo, Cognism, and Data Axle Genie.  Adding sales engagement features is a logical market extension for B2B database companies as it provides workflow and activation tools for their data, increasing the value of the underlying database.

Global Database is profitable, and revenues are growing, but Buldumac chose not to disclose the firm’s growth rate.

Outreach Deal Intelligence (Part II)

Continuation from yesterday’s blog on Outreach Deal Intelligence.


The Outreach platform manages and monitors deal health beginning with Sales Development Reps warming up accounts via sequenced outreach.  Once a prospect is ready to speak with an account executive, the meeting is calendared, and relevant stakeholders are notified.  During meetings, Outreach Kaia records, analyzes, and summarizes calls while providing real-time transcription, bookmarking, and insights.

Outreach Kaia also triggers the creation of an opportunity and “recommends a pre-built blueprint for a mutual action plan, known as Success Plans, between buyer and seller.”

Outreach Success Plans align buyers and sellers to improve action and predictability.  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.

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 facilitates the process and improves deal visibility and the likelihood of winning each deal.

“The Success Plan in Outreach is the only integrated mutual action plan that already has all the activity data to date associated with the deal, including the meeting notes and email exchanges.  Combined with the power of AI-captured job titles and sentiment, Success Plans include all the people engaged in the deal on the buying team, along with the milestones, purchasing steps, and resources needed to collaborate on the deal going forward.  Every new meeting booked, stakeholder introduced, and resource shared is automatically synced into the Success Plan.  This takes the administrative tax off the seller and gives them more time to actively sell while ensuring accurate and timely data capture of granular buyer engagement.  Each phase in the Success Plan is pre-configured and linked to a stage in the sales process under the hood. Gone are the days of sales leaders hounding reps for status updates – they are now updated and monitored automatically.”

Outreach CMO Melton Littlepage

As the deal progresses, Outreach captures engagement and sentiment across meetings, emails, and the Success Plan, feeding AI-based deal health insights and recommendations to sales reps and management.  In addition, deal health is aggregated at the team level in Outreach Commit, with projections around which deals are likely to close during the quarter.

Outreach AI Guided Deal Intelligence

Outreach is positioning the new functionality as a “single source of truth for deals, pipeline, and forecasting” that drives “faster deal cycles and more predictable revenue.”  Its platform offers a single solution for sales engagement, conversation intelligence, digital salesrooms, and revenue intelligence.

“Outreach has already demonstrated that by creating operational excellence with a system of action for prospecting, you can optimize your sales processes and qualify more deals, faster,” said Outreach CEO Manny Medina.  “Outreach’s new AI-Guided Deal Intelligence demonstrates this again with the closing process – by centralizing the activity around a deal behind a single pane of glass, capturing accurate data and transforming it into deal health insights that drive actions, account executives are more equipped than ever to close more deals, faster, and sales managers, leaders and CROs can sleep soundly knowing they finally have a source of truth for deal health.”

Deal Intelligence will be available for an open beta in early 2022.