LinkedIn began rolling out its Q2 Sales Navigator release to users earlier this month. As with previous releases, admins receive the release first, with general users following a few weeks later. New features include expanded data validation, a new SNAP integration with conversation intelligence leader Gong, and the continued rollout of Sales Navigator’s new Search and Lead Page experiences.
Companies have responded to the pandemic and Great Reshuffle by increasing channel noise, hoping to break through the din, but this strategy is flawed. Top-performing reps who heavily exceed their quota are “spending less time selling in the traditional sense — smiling-and-dialing and sending out mass outreach,” explained LinkedIn VP of Global Sales Solutions Alyssa Merwin Henderson. They aren’t increasing the volume but carefully targeting their prospecting and messaging, conducting buyer research, and focusing on skill development.
“In today’s virtual world, where there’s more noise than ever, the recipe for winning is clear – fewer things done better,” concluded Henderson.
LinkedIn Head of Product and Solutions Marketing Nicole Desjardins highlighted three problems facing sales reps that LinkedIn is working to address:
More virtual selling than ever, leading to more virtual noise than ever, with buyers being overwhelmed by irrelevant and generic outreach.
Job switching continues to be higher than normal, making a mess of CRM data and putting deals at risk.
A plethora of new sales tools have hit the market, many of which don’t integrate with each other, making it more confusing to choose the right tech stack.
Desjardins argued that the solution to these problems comes from real-time data fed into the CRM and “meaningful sales intelligence that helps you connect with and nurture the right buyers at the right time.”
The Great Reshuffle continues to create a “mess” of CRM data, resulting in inaccurate forecasts and irrelevant messaging. According to LinkedIn’s upcoming “State of Sales” report, 41% of sales reps said their biggest problem was inaccurate, out-of-date CRM data. To help address this issue, Sales Navigator now flags out-of-date contact and lead records and allows reps to update the CRM from Navigator to address this problem.
Data Validation displays an Update CRM badge on Sales Navigator member pages who have recently changed jobs, titles, or locations. After clicking on the badge, reps are shown the new title, account, location, contact owner, and most recent opportunity. Updates are made to matched Lead and Contact records, with the user controlling which fields are to be updated. Reps are also shown which open opportunities are linked to the executive, allowing them to quickly remove departed execs from live opportunities.
“Clearly, this will save you time. Instead of having to toggle back and forth between your CRM and Sales Navigator, you can do it all in our platform,” blogged Product Marketing Manager Austin Gray. “More importantly, because updating your CRM is now easier to do, you’ll have more accurate data within it. LinkedIn’s real-time first-party data means that you can have confidence that your CRM will have access to the most accurate and up-to-date information available.”
Data Validation is available for Sales Navigator Advanced Plus and supports record updates in Salesforce and MS Dynamics 365. The functionality was released to customers with fewer than 15 seats this week and will be rolled out to large customers on June 22.
The New Search and Lead Page Experiences were rolled out to accounts with fewer than fifty seats last quarter. The largest accounts will receive the updates this quarter.
The search feature has been streamlined to improve the time to “successful results.” In addition, the search includes a “larger collapsible, intuitive grouped view of filters” that improves search filter discovery. New and updated filters include TeamLink Connections of, Saved Leads, Saved Accounts, Previously Viewed, Current Company, Past Company, and Company Headquarter.
The search interface updates dynamically, providing results as each filter is added or removed.
The new Lead Page (contacts) is designed for rapid lead qualification with “the most important info front and center,” including the most recent touchpoint, current role, and description. Other features include a sticky action bar, conversation starters, and introduction paths.
The Conversation Starter section displays recent posts for comments and commonalities.
The Get Introduced section has been redesigned and expanded.
The TeamLink section is now organized by seniority level so that reps can find “their best path in.” In addition, the section supports a pre-populated InMail to save reps time writing messages.
Sales Navigator is also adding a new Lead Panel for researching contacts in a prospecting list without having to open multiple windows.
“Prospecting in Sales Navigator often means using our powerful search to find your target buyer,” wrote Desjardins.” Once you’ve found that list of potential buyers, we’re betting you then open a tab for each individual, which can mean a lot of open tabs and a lot of switching back and forth. The new Lead Panel streamlines this process and keeps you on the same page the entire time.”
The Lead Panel displays job title, job description, and conversation starters to assist with quick qualification and messaging.
The Lead Panel will be rolling out to accounts with fewer than fifty seats this quarter and enterprise accounts next quarter.
Growth equity firm Great Hill Partners invested €180 million in Echobot and Leadfeeder, merging the firms into a Sales Intelligence and Go-to-market platform. Both firms are based in Europe (Germany and Finland) and will benefit from the roadmap set out by North American RevTech firms.
The merged firm will be based in Karlsruhe, Germany, with Echobot CEO Bastian Karweg continuing as CEO. Leadfeeder CEO Pekka Koskinen will become the CPO. The combined company has a headcount of 250 across six offices in Europe and the US. The new firm’s Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) exceeds €20 million.
Leadfeeder serves around 7,000 customers and Echobot 1,500.
Echobot offers a Sales Intelligence and B2B DaaS platform for the D-A-CH region, UK, and France. Late last year, it added a broader European data pack. It supports a database of 20 million European companies and over 60 million GDPR-compliant contacts. Company and contact data is derived from both registered filings and open web sources and includes directors, shareholders, and financials.
Echobot takes a “True Compliance” approach which gathers data only from publicly accessible sources. Furthermore, it provides verification links to the source URLs that allow reps to answer the question, “where did my data come from?” All data is hosted in Germany.
Echobot’s products include TARGET (prospecting), CONNECT (Sales Intelligence), DATACARE (B2B DaaS), and an API. In addition, Echobot offers CRM integrations with HubSpot, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and SugarCRM.
“It is our goal to be the leading sales intelligence and go-to-market platform to our core European and North American markets,” said Karweg. “Thanks to Great Hill, we have now assembled the best data, AI / ML, talent, and operating experience to achieve just that. We are increasingly seeing organizations looking to take advantage of their own data and third-party data, and then to augment this intelligence with better, more personalized outreach. The combination of Echobot and Leadfeeder is uniquely positioned to capitalize on a massive market opportunity at the early stages of adoption.”
Leadfeeder offers website visitor intelligence that maps IP addresses to company intelligence. During the pandemic, it worked to identify remote workers and map them to their employers, helping refine which companies are in-market. It also supports connectors for Google Analytics, chatbots, audience retargeting, major CRMs, Zapier, and Slack.
“Integrating Leadfeeder’s web visitor identification system with Echobot’s data and prospecting solutions creates a unique platform upon which we can both enable organizations to identify and engage high-intent prospects as well as introduce incremental applications that enhance B2B sales and marketing operations,” said Koskinen.
Karweg envisions an ABM workflow that begins with an ICP analysis that identifies net-new accounts. The ICP is then mapped against Leadfeeder’s visitor intelligence and Echobot’s firmographics and event triggers to identify high-value, in-market accounts for programmatic marketing. While programmatic campaigns are not yet supported, they are in development.
Great Hill Partners has also committed an additional €50 million toward future acquisitions. In an interview with GZ Consulting, Echobot CEO Bastian Karweg indicated that the €50M in dry powder would be used towards acquiring talent, RevTech functionality, or expanded content.
The equity acquisition is a combination of primary and secondary funding, with Great Hill Partners buying out many of the original investors. It named Growth Partner Derek Schoettle Chairman of the Board and placed Great Hill Partners Managing Director Chris Gaffney and Vice President Greg Stewart on the board of the merged organization.
“Go-to-market is one of the fastest-growing areas of B2B software. Sales and marketing organizations need timely, accurate information and intelligent systems to identify and engage their prospects in an increasingly personalized, automated fashion. By bringing together Echobot and Leadfeeder, we can create the next-generation sales intelligence and go-to-market platform,” stated Derek Schoettle.
The transaction is a merger of equals bringing together two firms of roughly the same revenue and employee base. Both firms have over €10M in ARR and are growing rapidly. Echobot grew 70% last year, while Leadfeeder had a 50% growth figure. Echobot has long been profitable, and Leadfeeder is nearing profitability.
The firms will initially run as independent brands as they merge their operations and platforms. The deal closed a few weeks ago but was announced this morning. Thus, they have already begun combining finance and HR. The two brands will be maintained in the near term with rebranding under consideration for 2023 as Echobot is also the name of a Mirai malware variant.
Valuation figures were not disclosed, but the final price was determined before the recent valuation declines and did not change. The firms were both being advised by GP Bullhound, which suggested that packaging the two firms together would result in a more effective growth equity round. Furthermore, the two companies offered features on each other’s roadmap so were logical complements.
Europe has been tracking behind the US in the Sales Intelligence space, with several national champions now looking to offer European datasets and local UIs. European sales intelligence and B2B DaaS solutions must meet higher data compliance and privacy standards, incorporate registered data from national registers, support multiple currencies, and many languages.
Echobot covers the D-A-CH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), the UK, and France, with a general European data package added late last year. A Nordic data package has been accelerated due to the merger, which would increase its competitiveness against Dun & Bradstreet and Vainu.
“One of the most requested developments for 2021 was to access data from the entire European market. That was not only requested from German customers with a strong export to European countries, but also from new, international users that want to expand into Europe,” explained Karweg last November when Echobot added coverage of over twenty European countries.
“Europe is not one country but many, and there are differences between them, whether it’s to do with culture or data compliance,” remarked Schoettle. “Having a platform that is unique and linguistic-specific, and serving its markets with high-quality data, is a differentiator.”
“It’s a dream match,” argued Koskinen. While previously the firm purchased contact data from multiple sources, “it has been difficult to get sufficiently up-to-date and accurate data.” With the merger, Leadfeeder will offer better data quality and “have all the expertise in-house” to expand its coverage.
Along with higher quality data, Leedfeeder will benefit from a broader set of firmographics, financials, and sales triggers for data enrichment and lead scoring. Leadfeeder will also be able to cross-sell Echobot’s sales intelligence, prospecting, and data enrichment services to its 7,000 customers.
“We want to be the biggest in Europe,” stated Koskinen. “It’s going to take a few years, but I think we’re succeeding…We have long had customers all over the world. After the merger, we will be able to offer something that no one else can.”
“Zoom IQ for Sales analyzes customer interactions to surface key insights, actions, and content from sales meetings. Sales leaders can also use this data to help make better-informed management decisions regarding their sales teams,” blogged UCaaS Product Marketing Manager Theresa Larkin. “With actionable insights based on proven sales strategies and a wealth of data, organizations can streamline the new sales rep onboarding process, create a modern sales methodology, and further develop their sales teams.”
Zoom describes Zoom IQ for Sales as its “First Step in Conversational Intelligence.” The service is “tightly integrated” with Salesforce, Google Calendar, Office 365, and Exchange. Insights include
Engaging Questions – Analyzes questions posed to determine the frequency with which customers respond to queries.
Longest Spiel – Identifies the longest monologue to help reps hone their pitches and avoid monologues.
Next Steps – Assesses whether clear next steps are outlined during the meeting.
Patience – Determines whether reps wait for a response after asking a question.
Talk-Listen Ratios – Analyzes whether there is a balance between lead speaker talk time and time granted to others.
Competitor and Feature Mentions – Tags competitors and product features so reps, competitive analysts, and product teams can drill into prospect concerns, competitive statements, and potential gaps in the product.
Post-deal analytics include which topics arose most frequently, time spent in each stage, and which negotiators made the final purchasing decision. General Deal analytics include the number of conversations per deal and the duration of conversations per deal.
Zoom IQ supports a video snippets library of best practices exemplars. Snippets can be used for initial training or for reviewing how to handle specific objections, present the value of various products, or position across target verticals.
“Zoom has made strategic investments in homegrown speech recognition technologies and recruited a world-class team to produce high-fidelity transcription services that are a backbone for products like Zoom IQ…We’re developing domain-specific NLU (natural language understanding) using few-shot models to build features that will be more reliable and valuable to our users,” said Josh Dulberger, Zoom’s head of product, data, and AI. “Sales teams…want to focus on the customer, and managing the engagement rather than taking notes, but also so they can review their calls to pick up nuances, easily identify next steps, or solicit some guidance from a colleague. Managers and sales leaders can’t sit in on every call but want to understand the selling climate, when to coach, and which reps are finding the right message.”
TechCrunch Senior Report Kyle Wiggers cautioned buyers about Zoom’s AI capabilities: “The jury’s out on the accuracy of Zoom’s algorithms, particularly given the company’s history of deploying flawed AI. Sentiment analysis algorithms are especially prone to gender and race bias, and not every salesperson will necessarily agree with how Zoom measures engagement.”
“Zoom is almost certainly feeling the pressure from investors to establish new lines of revenue,” continued Wiggers. “While the company’s earnings soared during the pandemic, guidance is down as customers begin to shift to hybrid and in-office work arrangements less reliant on videoconferencing.”
Zoom IQ for Sales is priced at $79 per month per seat.
“Half a million businesses choose Zoom and rely on it for internal and external conversations,” said Dulberger. “The Zoom platform already has a strong foundation in this area with features such as transcription, recordings, and highlights. This also gives us an opportunity to expand this type of functionality across the Zoom platform such as Zoom Contact Center and within our meetings and events solutions to help presenters pace their speech, take notes, capture action items or employ specific tactics.”
Zoom Events, Zoom’s platform for virtual and hybrid shows, is adding a backstage feature that lets panelists, speakers, and production crews meet before, during, and after events. During the session, support staff can view the webinar feed, chat with each other, answer attendees’ questions, and practice their presentations. Zoom Events Backstage should be available by the end of April.
Other new Events features include branded wallpaper that displays behind tiles and webinar reactions.
D&B Hoovers, a global sales intelligence solution that has long been English-only, began a multi-phase process towards becoming a truly global, multi-lingual solution. Most sales intelligence vendors support only a single language, but European vendors Vainu and Echobot support multiple languages for their regional coverage. Last year, when Dun & Bradstreet bought Bisnode, a firm that serves Central Europe and the Nordics, it declared that it would be sunsetting Bisnode solutions. Internationalizing D&B Hoover’s then became a priority.
The D&B Hoovers’ UX already supports 17 languages:
Asian: Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Japanese
Adding international languages transforms D&B Hoovers from an Anglo-centric solution for multinationals and companies based in Anglophone countries to a localized version.
“In terms of personalization, we’re trying to switch this from being a US product that is sold globally to a fully local version of a global product,” explained International Product Development & Strategy VP Adam Leslie to GZ Consulting. D&B Hoovers needs to be a “local product” that supports sales reps selling to local customers, regardless of language. “Historically, it’s been a US product sold in the local market only where the local market user sells to the US and internationally. If the local market user only sells domestically, they haven’t bought Hoovers.”
D&B Hoovers greatly expanded its industry code standards, allowing users to filter companies by global taxonomies (e.g., ISIC), regional (e.g., NAICS, NACE 2.0, ANZ SIC), or national standards:
D&B Hoover’s also supports two proprietary taxonomies: Hoover’s industry codes and eight-digit SICs.
Country-specific industry code descriptions will be displayed in either English or the local language.
Along with expanded taxonomies, D&B Hoovers recently added website searching to identify companies based on their self-descriptions across one hundred languages. Website search has gathered 247 million rows of structured data across 30 million websites and 300 million web pages.
This feature helps identify companies with emerging technologies or positioning (i.e., the evolving three-letter acronyms that firms use for classifying themselves). The feature echoes its Conceptual Search, but instead of identifying companies based on topical references in news articles, it searches global corporate websites.
D&B Hoovers and its predecessor service, OneSource Global Business Browser (GBB), have supported English-speaking multinational teams for two decades. Their content and functionality have always been the deepest for the US, UK, and Canada. Yet, they also provided a robust set of international content:
Global Public (Quoted) Company Financials, Segment Reports, Executive Bios, and Long Business Descriptions.
Financial statements for 15 European countries and global publics. The reports may be viewed in USD, EUR, GBP, and the As Reported currency, with currency conversion rates based upon the period or statement date. Thus, revenue from a 2020 income statement (a flow statement) would be based upon the average conversion rate for the year, while assets from the balance sheet would be based upon the applicable rate for the statement date.
Global family trees
Industry Codes, including US SIC, NAICS, EU NACE, UK SIC, ANZ SIC, and UN ISIC.
Regional screening, including city, postal code, and sub-regions (e.g., state, province, county)
Regional customization for distances (KM vs. miles) and numeric formats
D&B Hoovers expanded its company coverage to 180 million active firms and 216 million active contacts as part of its internationalization. Most of the new firms have between one and five employees. It also increased the number of countries with sub-divisional regions (e.g., counties, provinces), having recently added sub-divisional filtering for the Nordic countries, Denmark, Hungary, etc. Additional countries are planned.
Several enhancements came from local customer research. In many European countries, departmental emails are employed in sales and marketing outreach. These emails lack any personally identifiable information, so they are GDPR compliant. Dun & Bradstreet is adding over seven million “entity-level emails” for European countries, including over three million entity-level emails for the D-A-CH region, 1½ million for the Nordics, and 2½ million for Eastern Europe.
Text searching was enhanced to recognize accents and diacritical marks (e.g., when performing location searches). Leslie called synonymous search with or without special characters a “major ticket to the game.” While it “sounds like a simple fix,” it was “extremely complex.”
As Dun & Bradstreet began its localization research, it realized the importance of small companies and informational depth in the context of national sales vs. international sales.
“We speak to local markets and say, ‘Well, what is it that will help you sell your products and use our products?’” explained Leslie. Dun & Bradstreet’s research found that many customers and prospects sell locally to organizations with five or fewer employees. “That becomes really important now that you can reach them.”
Leslie listed other findings and subsequent upgrades: “We capped the number of contacts at eleven. That’s been changed. We were missing the middle name. That has been changed.”
When I was a product marketing manager at OneSource (2001 – 2010), I explained that we delivered the top N companies in each European country because “you aren’t selling to Polish abattoirs.” That logic made sense when selling to multinationals and exporters based in English-speaking countries. After all, they weren’t selling to Polish slaughterhouses. But this approach fails to meet the needs of sales reps based in Poland, EU industrial manufacturers, or logistics companies.
Localization requires local language support, content depth, national standards support (e.g., industry codes, geographic districts, GDPR), in-language news and triggers (coming in phase II), market knowledge, and in-market sales and support. Dun & Bradstreet also simplified the UI and improved its dynamic display for various screen sizes and devices. The new UI was implemented in September, and 96% of browser users and 98% of CRM users have switched to the updated format.
In-product tutorials also enhance the user experience. For example, if a user utilizes a feature inefficiently or has not used core functionality, the tutorial will provide on-demand coaching. This feedback is also provided to account representatives to provide guidance. The in-product tutorials were launched last summer, and Dun & Bradstreet continues to collect data for honing its training recommendations.
There is also a new onboarding virtual assistant for providing on-demand training. Tutorial translations should be available to users in Q2. Expanded in-product training and virtual onboarding are consistent with the emerging Work from Anywhere expectation of business professionals.
Dun & Bradstreet provided its internationalization roadmap through the end of the year. The firm intends to extend local content, expand time-dependent sales triggers, and support multi-lingual news. New content includes more digitally sourced data, detailed financials, and country-specific datasets such as country export data for Chinese companies, product codes, and expanded tech data for India.
Ostensibly, Phase I, which completed at the end of March, serves as a minimal viable product for localized products (or what Leslie called a “ticket to the game”), and Phase II continues internationalizing the content and expanding localized content.
“We are working with each local market to collect these [data requirements], source the data, transfer to D&B, and load into the product,” said Leslie. Finally, D&B Hoovers will continue to expand its email and direct dial coverage.
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.”
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).
“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 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.”
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:
Chorus, the conversational sales platform the firm acquired in July
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.”
London-based Sales Intelligence vendor Cognism closed on an $87.5 million (£64m) Series C. The round was led by Viking Global Investors and Blue Cloud Ventures, with follow-on investors AXA Venture Partners, Swisscom Ventures, and Volution.
Total funding is just shy of $130 million.
The funds will be deployed for European expansion and strengthening Cognism’s position in the United States. Growth will be a “combination of organic growth and acquisitions.”
“The funding will help us empower many more businesses with international sales intelligence over the coming years, setting a new standard in data quality and compliance,” explained CEO James Isilay. “It will accelerate our growth and global expansion plans as the leading provider of intelligent B2B sales data.”
“We will be organically expanding in the United States this year and have just hired new sales leadership (Mark Sparaco) to accelerate our growth,” Isilay told GZ Consulting. “Europe remains our primary focus, but we see significant differentiation to other providers in our US and International data that we see significant growth opportunities.”
The firm will remain focused on improving its global data coverage and Sales Intelligence capabilities in 2022. Roadmap features include marketing enhancements and localization in non-English speaking countries.
Cognism is coming off another strong year, with ARR growth hitting 100%. They have over 1,000 customers, located in over forty countries.
Isilay is targeting another year of 100%+ growth and stated that Cognism is off to a good start in January with a “record revenue month.”
2021 data improvements include Diamond Data and the addition of Bombora’s intent data set as a premium offering. Diamond data provides “the most accurate, GDPR & CCPA compliant phone-verified contacts for business development teams internationally, setting a new standard in data quality,” boasted the firm.
The Diamonds-on-Demand request feature supports on-demand phone verification from both the web application and the Cognism Chrome extension. Users click on a Diamond Verify button to initiate the verification process, which is completed within 48 hours. In addition, users can track the status on the platform.
“No other software company offers a truly global sales intelligence platform like Cognism. “By pairing our premium quality contact data with advanced contextual data points like technographics and buyer intent signals, we help modern revenue teams connect with confidence and exceed targets. We enable them to build a meaningful connection with their next best customer in the most predictable, efficient, and cost-effective way.”
Cognism CEO James Isilay
Cognism has grown to over 250 employees in seven countries: the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, South Africa, Croatia, Macedonia, and Germany.
Cognism did not state its market valuation.
Cognism also announced that it is SOC II Type 2 compliant. The designation confirms that Cognism meets AICPA’s Trust Services Criteria for Security, Availability, Confidentiality, Processing Integrity, and Privacy with regards to data.
“We live and breathe security and compliance at Cognism as we handle large amounts of company data that help our customers reach new target audiences,” blogged Cognism CTO Stjepan Buljat. “Most companies, when they start their SOC 2 compliance journey, choose to select type 1 qualification, whereas we’ve selected the more complex type 2 route – often described as the difference between a balance sheet audit and a full audit of financial operations. Type 2 looks at the information security controls we have in action and confirms that we’re organised to handle the data privacy concerns of the largest companies on the planet.”
Sales Intelligence and Engagement vendor Apollo.io closed a $32 million Series B led by Tribe Capital, with participation from NewView Capital and existing investor Nexus Venture Partners. In addition, Sri Pangulur, a partner at Tribe Capital, joined Apollo.io’s board. Total funding sits at $41.3 million.
Apollo is deploying the funds towards building out its product and engineering teams. It will also expand its sales, marketing, and operational resources, including additional leadership hires.
In a blog announcing the transaction, CEO Tim Zheng admitted that the Apollo brand is not well known and that Apollo will be using the funds to address brand weakness. “Our next steps include increasing awareness of Apollo, increasing our user base outside of small teams, and building out an intelligence layer in Apollo to make individual sales reps and teams more successful.”
Apollo is growing rapidly, with its customer base increasing 200% over the past year despite awareness issues. It has been profitable for the past eighteen months and has more than one million users and 9,000 paid customers.
Recent enhancements include an international dialer, contact and company data improvements, and prospecting and Chrome extension upgrades.
“Apollo is challenging the status quo in B2B lead intelligence and sales engagement by making contact data and prospecting tools in this space more accessible,” said Pangulur. “Seeing the company’s incredible growth over the past year, enhanced product offerings, and new client acquisitions, we are confident in Apollo’s ability to disrupt the SalesTech market for B2B companies, offering a more intelligent, more cost-effective, and simpler solution.”
Apollo falls into a category that I’ve labeled Hybrid Engagement that combines sales engagement tools with sales intelligence and B2B DaaS. Other vendors with Hybrid Engagement capabilities include ZoomInfo, Cognism, Data Axle Genie, and VanillaSoft.
“Sales professionals at B2B companies are burdened by a go-to-market process that’s manual, tedious, and complex. It’s stifled by convoluted workflows, very little guidance, lengthy onboarding, and high price tags for name-brand solutions,” said CEO Tim Zheng. “This funding will help us further accelerate our product-led growth model, which has seen tremendous success in the contact data space.
“Apollo’s vision is to give its customers the most powerful and intelligent GTM platform in the industry, so they can reach their full market potential,” continued Zheng. “We want to make access to B2B data even easier, while enhancing the data with sales intelligence and automated workflows.”
Apollo has assembled a database of 200 million contacts across ten million companies. Data include direct-dial phones, emails, funding intelligence, technographics, and job changes. Apollo’s dataset supports direct research, lead prospecting, and LinkedIn matching via a Chrome Extension. In addition, Apollo Refresh performs real-time updates in Salesforce.
Sales Engagement features include sequences (cadences), automated emails, A/B testing, a click-to-call dialer, and a rules engine.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, buyers want an Amazon-like experience where companies are anticipating their needs. You need user data to better drive the sales experience, and as it evolves more personalized capabilities as well,” said Zheng. “Apollo has some unique positioning in that they are doing product-led growth, but also covering the data stack as well.”
Apollo employs a freemium model with ten free exports per month, the Chrome extension, a Gmail extension, and limited sequences.
Basic, at $49 per user per month ($39 billed annually), provides 250 export credits per month, unlimited sequences, email integrations, and a broader set of reports and Dashboards.
The Professional edition adds the dialer, call recordings, customizable reports, and 1,000 exports per month. Professional is priced at $99 per user per month when billed monthly and $79 per user per month when billed annually.
There are additional fees for full Salesforce synchronization, API access, Apollo Refresh, and exporting up to 10,000 records at a time. In addition, advanced dialer features (e.g., international dialing, call transcription, local presence, and CRM logging) are only available as part of custom packages.
Introhive and BoardEx announced a partnership that will “enable shared clients to uncover more high-quality connections and business opportunities that accelerate growth.” The partnership will assist with discovering opportunities, deepening relationships, increasing internal collaboration, and mitigating risk.
“We are excited to offer our clients a joint solution with BoardEx,” said Diana Sapienza, Global Head of Strategic Partnerships and Alliances at Introhive. “With Introhive’s advanced AI-powered relationship mapping, automation, and enrichment capabilities and the BoardEx alerts on role and/or company changes at the executive and board level, our clients can better manage their ever-growing networks to spot opportunities sooner and grow their businesses faster.”
BoardEx, a division of Euromoney People Intelligence, employs a team of over 300 global research analysts focused on mapping relationships between more than 1.5 million business leaders and decision-makers.
“Having a resilient network is critical to the success of any business, and that resiliency relies on the ability to understand and leverage the most impactful professional relationships,” explained Jubayer Kalam, Head of Product for BoardEx. “We are excited to partner with Introhive by embedding BoardEx data and insights directly into their environment for our mutual clients.”
Introhive, which describes itself as a Relationship Acceleration Platform, released a set of enhancements last month that include a new Salesforce Sales Activity Dashboard, Business Intelligence Webhooks, MS Dynamics hygiene tools, and an Outlook Intelligence Panel Search.
The new Sales Activity Dashboard “cuts through the noise of activity data and delivers the signal directly to sales professionals and leaders alike,” blogged Lead Product Marketer Julie Taylor. “At a glance, Sales Leaders can get a sense for the type and volume of activities their teams are investing their time in, and individual sellers can keep a pulse on their own activity levels to see where they stand.”
The Sales Activity Dashboard is available at both the team and individual rep levels. The report summarizes calls, meetings, and email volumes over the past seven and thirty days.
New Business Intelligence Webhooks include a Global View of Relationships, Account Relationships Dashboard, and Activities Dashboard.
Introhive’s Cleanse for Microsoft Dynamics added contact record merging and archiving stale records. The service already supported CRM contact data entry and updates. “Understanding your data provides your team with powerful capabilities.
Your success lies in the ability of your people to understand your data and use it to make better decisions,” explained Taylor. “The faster you can make sense of your data by transforming it from information to insights, the further you and your team can go.”
UK Sales Intelligence vendor Cognism was named to Tech Nation’s Future Fifty 2021 list. CEO James Isilay called the past year “a year of incredible transformation” for Cognism as it grew revenue by 90% and closed in on $20 million ARR. 2021 is the second consecutive year that Cognism made the exclusive Future Fifty list.
Cognism was also named one of the top 15 UK Startups by LinkedIn. The firm continued hiring through the pandemic, with LinkedIn listing 277 employees in the UK, US, and Europe. Cognism has been rapidly building out its sales team, growing it 165% over the past year to 90 headcount. Its support team grew 58% over the past year to 40 CSMs. Cognism also doubled its product management and IT teams.
Cognism plans to retain a flexible working environment and recruit talent outside of its primary office locations. LinkedIn lists 23 positions in London, Boston, New York, Germany, Croatia, and South Africa.
On Monday, Cognism announced Diamond Data, “a new standard in B2B data quality.” It emphasized that its contacts are accurate, compliant, and phone-verified. Mobile numbers are phone-verified and checked against global do not call (DNC) lists. Cognism contacts are GDPR and CCPA compliant.
Cognism promises to “minimise inefficiencies due to inaccurate job titles and incorrect / misdialed numbers and create a leaner, faster sales process.” Cognism offers revenue teams “unrestricted access to prospect data” available through its platform and via CRM and SEP connectors.
A new Diamonds-on-Demand request feature supports on-demand phone verification. Users simply click on a Diamond Verify button to initiation validation. A diamond appears on headshots of verified contacts.
“As a company we are constantly researching and identifying new opportunities and partnerships to ensure our platform delivers the best possible results for the highly competitive B2B market landscape. Diamond Data is just that – the best you can get. It is always evolving, and we want to assure our clients that they can target their prospects in confidence, leaving the compliance and data accuracy to us.”
Cognism CEO James Isilay
Diamond Data is immediately available.
Cognism is also delivering Bombora’sintent dataset for identifying in-market buyers and related contact information. Intent data is available as a screening select and displayed as a build-a-list Heat Map.
Finally, Cognism announced that industry veteran Phil Garlick joined their board. Garlick served as the VP of Corporate Development at DiscoverOrg and President of OneSource Information Services.
German Sales Intelligence vendor Echobot released version 2.0 of its TARGET prospecting service with a refreshed UI, improved data quality, and AI tools for ICP and segmentation analysis.
“If you want to digitize your sales processes and save a lot of time, money, and nerves, you can’t ignore Echobot,” said CEO Bastian Karweg. “TARGET 2.0 inspires the everyday sales life of our customers – the new version is fast, intuitive to use, and simply fun.”
Echobot has set its product vision based on the “first principles of data” delivered through its service. “For data to be useful, it has to be high quality, connected, and fully compliant,” said Karweg.
The first step was unifying their database across regions and datatype and removing data silos within the platform. Echobot implemented a “unified, nested data index” that improved query times up to ten-fold and allowed for enhanced switching between company and contact results.
Users no longer need to build company and contact lists separately. Instead, build-a-list results are displayed as tabs, allowing users to analyze both company and contact results without requiring them to rekey their query.
Echobot also implemented a new Email Validation Engine (EVA) that “eliminates stale records” and implements mail server and pattern checking to improve data quality. The EVA reduces bounce rates by up to thirty percent.
Echobot licensed company records directly from trade registers and implemented a “True Compliance” process.
“For your outreach to be truly GDPR compliant, you not only need a Legitimate Interest but also be mindful of the preferences of the people you are trying to contact,” stated Karweg. “Using Echobot, each contact record comes with a public source URL so you can be 100% confident when a prospect asks you, ‘Hey, where did you get my data from?’”
Echobot implemented AI to assist users, building a subject taxonomy that covers over 100,000 topics and industry keywords. TARGET 2.0 sports a keyword type-ahead tool that “guides you towards the right queries and also intelligently suggests alternative keywords or job titles you also might want to include in your search.”
The firm’s new segmentation analysis is their “most advanced AI” that builds a company vector model for clustered analysis of highly similar companies from uploaded files. The clusters identify similar companies for downloading to the desktop or uploading to the CRM. Thus, users can upload their Ideal Customer Profile and expand it with similar companies. The ICP is also used to score prospects and sort them by priority.
“Echobot uses a new company vector model for the first time in addition to rigid industry codes. The technology is based on machine learning and makes it possible to select companies in a fine-grained manner according to thousands of specialist areas. The assignment takes place automatically on the basis of text content that is associated with the respective company. This means that if you are looking for industries, Echobot now offers an immense wealth of detail and can thus easily find even high-precision target groups. With the help of so-called cross joins, filters of different data areas can be combined with each other in real-time. This completely eliminates the time-consuming storage of interim results.”
Echobot Press Release (Translated from German)
TARGET 2.0 supports a broad set of screening variables:
Industry – Industry codes or keywords.
Contacts – Department, Level, Title
Location – Region and Radius
Technographics – Software and Systems
Their instant access to data allows for complete data visibility without slowing down users with credits to display contact details. In addition, the contract includes a minimum of 10,000 monthly record uploads or downloads with a FLAT-RATE Guarantee that provides an additional 5,000 monthly data records after consuming the EXPORT quota. The guarantee ensures budgeting stability while providing export flexibility should the marketing department consume their entire download quota mid-year.
Echobot pricing starts at €999 per month for up to three users. This price is introductory and will increase for new customers in 2022.
Echobot supports four countries – Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the UK – and two languages – German and English. The Echobot roadmap includes “intelligent” email alerts, “helpful” trigger events, and “smart” campaign management. Additional languages and countries are also in development.