Vainu Workflow Triggers

Sales Intelligence vendor Vainu has added a set of Workflow Triggers that take automated actions based upon CRM data updates.  As Vainu enriches CRMs with financial data mined from European registered data filings, it has raw, current data for triggering activities.  Admins set up the trigger rules, and Vainu creates “smart actions” such as creating CRM Tasks, adding a row in Google Sheets, or sending a Slack notice.

For example, a Workflow Trigger may be set up to look for SaaS companies that meet the “Rule of 40” condition (revenue growth plus profitability margin).

Vainu CEO Mikko Honkanen notes that trigger rules and ratios will vary by industry and may include custom rules specific to each of Vainu’s customers.  Thus, the Rule of 40 “is typical of the software industry but isn’t that critical for other businesses.  For being truly data-driven, each company has its own magic numbers based on the data points of their interest.”

Vainu claims that it supports thousands of data points for triggered workflows, kicking off both sales notifications and custom marketing messages associated with each trigger.

“Some people might want to know when a company starts using lead capture forms on its website.  Someone else might want to be alerted as soon as a company adds a new environmental standard to their corporate social responsibility web page.  Or when a company appoints a new CEO. Or when it adds an auxiliary name that includes the word ‘restaurant’ in it.  The most valuable trigger event is often a change in that specific event.”

Vainu CEO Mikko Honkanen

Along with data changes, actions may be based upon any of seventy event triggers or new accounts meeting ICP criteria.

Vainu, headquartered in Helsinki, emphasizes the value of dynamic data fed into enterprise platforms.  Dynamic data ensures that decision-making is based upon timely and accurate data.  It also allows salespeople to be customer-centric.

“By having access to data that informs them of the current situation of an organization, as well as what recent changes the organization has undergone, salespeople are able to tailor their messaging and offer a personalized experience,” blogged Vainu marketer Nikolai Bang. Vainu covers nearly thirty million companies across Scandinavia, the Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom.  Triggers are based upon the licensed countries.

Vainu Sales Triggers support automated Workflows.

Echobot Company Profile Now Available

Echobot Company Profile Report Cover Page

I am pleased to announce that my latest Sales Intelligence company profile is available for those looking to purchase a solution for the UK or D-A-CH region. I used the same methodology for Echobot that I employed when I wrote my book “2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors.”  The idea was to write an objective analysis (hence sections on weaknesses and competitors), not simply a puff piece.  I work closely with the vendor to describe content, functionality, connectors, roadmap, strengths, and weaknesses.

As Echobot is based in Germany, I also wrote about their GDPR compliance steps.

While vendors have input, I retain editorial control. I believe that retaining objectivity makes these reports more valuable for vendors as it both provides a roadmap for their future product evolution and provides prospects with a realistic view of a product’s strengths and weaknesses.

Echobot is making the profile available from their website.


Here is my summary from the report:

UK vendors have been launching sales intelligence and B2B DaaS solutions for the European market over the past several years. It is a welcome sign that European vendors now have the confidence to compete in the UK market. One of these vendors is Germany-based Echobot. Echobot is a promising new sales intelligence and B2B DaaS entrant to the UK market. It is the leading sales and marketing intelligence service in the D-A-CH region and enters the UK with a broad set of sales and marketing services. Echobot offers deep coverage of UK and D-A-CH companies, GDPR-compliant contacts, and signals (event triggers), delivered via web browser applications and extensions, mobile apps, Salesforce, and Zapier webhooks.

Along with company profiles, Echobot offers contacts, emails, news, social media mentions, and signals.

CONNECT (sales intelligence) and TARGET (list building) were recently launched in the UK market, but have been available as German-language solutions for the D-A-CH market for several years. As such, the company should move quickly to address any V1.0 bugs and fill content gaps. Since launching in September 2020, Echobot has integrated Google Translate into its platform for free-form text translation and refined its sales trigger precision.

DATACARE provides B2B DaaS hygiene services that verify, enrich, and append company and contact data. DATACARE flags duplicates, verifies emails, updates company names and addresses, and appends missing fields. DATACARE was launched in December.

Michael Levy, GZ Consulting Principal, “Echobot Company Profile,” 2021.

Cognism Growth

UK Sales Intelligence vendor Cognism continues its rapid growth with $11.5 million in 2020 revenue.  CEO James Isilay anticipates 2021 revenue of $20 million.  ACV is around $14,000 with over 1,000 customers.

Cognism had an initial one-month hiccup due to COVID as customers in the recruitment and events space were hit hard, and the firm needed to transition to a WFH sales environment.  However, the firm is back to growing “and hitting its targets every month.”

“COVID helped us get way more efficient.  We didn’t need an office anymore, it slowed our headcount growth,” said Isilay.” We really have an engine now where we can just put more money into headcount in terms of SDRs or into marketing and then get more growth.  So it’s really just a question of how much we want to put the foot down on the pedal.”

Cognism CEO James Isilay

By the end of October, employment hit 179 with sixty headcount in Croatia and Macedonia.

When the firm acquired email signature marketing vendor Mailtastic back in May, they paid roughly $4 million for the company in a stock and cash deal.

Mailtastic’s net retention is around 110%, and the prospecting service is approaching 90%.  However, there is a high percentage of returning customers post-churn.  The company started in the SMB space and has moved up-market, so net retention should improve.

While the firm has a negative cash flow, it burns only $200K per month with six to seven million from the last raise sitting in the bank.  The August funding round valued the firm at a bit under $100 million.

Cognism offers sales intelligence, B2B DaaS, and sales engagement services. It maintains over 55 million European company profiles.

Artesian Data Extensions

Sales and Risk Intelligence vendor Artesian Solutions announced three data extensions to its company and contact universe: two U.K. dataset extensions and an Irish dataset.  On January 14th, they unveiled their new Connect platform and a broader product vision.

“We’re delighted to kick off 2021 on such a high. These new premium data points are fundamental to the KYC and compliance processes for many of our customers, so it was a logical extension to the data they currently rely on to engage with their customers.

Artesian CEO Andrew Yates

The first data extension is U.K. County Court Judgments (CCJs) and legal notices such as receiverships and winding-up petitions.  CCJs are useful for financial services onboarding, due diligence, and risk assessment.

The Adverse Director History dataset assists with KYC/AML processes and highlights whether a Director was previously associated with a firm that ended up in insolvency, administration, or bankruptcy.

Artesian already provides access to other compliance datasets such as Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), terrorist lists, and sanctions lists.  Additional details will be released in next week’s platform announcement.

The new Artesian:Connect platform supports custom processing rules and alerting for CCJs and adverse director histories.  Data goes back as far as twenty years.

The Irish dataset provides four years of company financials, director checks, and company news.  Firmographic data includes addresses, trading status, registration numbers, and auditor information.  Company data is available through Artesian Engage, the Artesian Ready app for iOS and Android, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics.  Coverage spans 250,000 companies.  

Artesian did not publicly disclose the Irish data vendor, but it is a highly credible data source.

Artesian Solutions already provides coverage of Britain, the U.S., and Canada.  Customers can license the countries in any combination, including Ireland only, U.K. + Ireland, and all four countries together.

Artesian had a successful 2020 as customers looked for remote vendor solutions for both sales and compliance/onboarding.  Usage was up sharply for both product lines.  According to Chief Customer Officer Mike Blackadder, Artesian’s “training teams have never been so busy.”

Artesian hosted a virtual summit for its Connect platform on January 14th. Coverage continues tomorrow.

Terminus Acquires GrowFlare

ABM Platform Terminus, which has been on an acquisition binge the past year, added another complementary asset to its platform with the acquisition of sales intelligence vendor GrowFlare.  GrowFlare offers Ideal Customer Profiling (ICP) based on psychographics, which are the common phrases and interests companies share.  Other features include account profiling, prospecting, alerting, and a Chrome extension.  GrowFlare recently doubled its US company dataset to 500,000+ firms.  GrowFlare coverage spans over 90% of “US businesses with Purchasing Power.”

“GrowFlare adds a highly-differentiated level of account intelligence to the Terminus platform,” said Terminus CEO Tim Kopp. “Now teams can identify best-fit target accounts instantly, leverage unmatched AI and psychographic data to know exactly what to say and when, all while being more budget efficient.  This kind of psychographic data has long been used by B2C marketers to profile their future customers and now B2B marketers can as well. This is the modern approach to uncovering target accounts, and accelerates our position as the most intelligent B2B sales and marketing and platform available.”

Terminus likens psychographics to Netflix and Spotify, which can recommend similar content based upon user behavior.  Psychographics extend this logic to account selection. GrowFlare’s unique value proposition is its psychographics.  Most vendors only employ firmographics and technographics in their ICP modeling.

Psychographics are based upon AI and natural language processing of company websites, social media, government filings, job listings, etc.  GrowFlare identifies the “key characteristics that are common across your favorite customers (or any set of companies you want to identify).  From there you can find brand new accounts that match up to your customers, the new product you’re launching, the vertical-specific case study you’re about to drop, and so on.  Enter your favorite customer into GrowFlare and it will spit out hundreds of companies that think and act just like they do, instantly,” blogged Terminus.

When users click on a trending psychographic, they are presented with in-context examples of the phrasing with the term highlighted.  The trending topics and psychographics are “invaluable for marketing and sales personalization,” said GrowFlare Founder and CEO Matt Belkin.

Terminus is also positioning GrowFlare as a new form of “observed intent” versus third-party intent that is simply inferred. “If you’re a data-driven marketer, this should make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up because you know this primary data is a powerful signal coming directly from the accounts you want to target,” crowed Eisenberg.

“Your friends in sales will receive alerts about accounts that are starting to become interested in different things, almost as if it was trending on Twitter. They’ll be able to understand the most important focuses for those businesses, the psychographic topics that are trending, and just how serious they are about those focuses. They’ll know who to reach out to, when to do it, and what to say to deliver a beautifully personalized experience.”

Terminus Blog

Belkin noted that the two firms complement each other, with GrowFlare helping sales and marketing teams efficiently find accounts and Terminus focusing on account engagement.  With the acquisition, revenue teams can target segments based on firmographic, relationship, intent, and now psychographic data.

In GrowFlare, a similar companies New Prospects list includes a Fit Score, which gauges the level of similarity to the target company along with the shared psychographics.  So if a rep just closed a deal at the target, he or she can be confident that the high fit scores are similar in their market positioning.  Fit Scores are exportable to lead scoring models.  A quick view magnifying glass icon displays the trending topics for any of the prospects.

Any Keyword Search or Prospector Active List is automatically setup for alerts, whereby GrowFlare notifies the customer each week of meaningful changes and new prospect opportunities.  When viewed, the table of new prospects includes a Trend score, which is the change in rank position from the prior week.  An Active List focused on competitors will notify sales and marketing when competitor positioning shifts.  This tool would also be valuable for competitive intelligence analysts and business development reps looking to track a narrow universe of competitors or partners.

” Everywhere you look sales and marketing teams are wasting millions of dollars trying to acquire the wrong customers and saying the wrong things.  It’s crazy and the whole approach is broken.  We started GrowFlare to fix it.  You already know your best customers, GrowFlare helps you find 100 more just like them based on their shared interests.  It’s easy to see how focusing on what buyers care about – their psychographics – is far more effective when marketing and selling to them.  It sounds fancy, but it’s the same magic that powers recommendations for Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify in the consumer world.  We just built it for B2B.”

GrowFlare CEO Matt Belkin

Along with Prospector, GrowFlare offers a Prospector Bulk feature that executes against a full customer list.  According to Belkin, “The resulting output averages between 25x-100x more high-fit prospects that sales and that sales and marketing teams can target with account-based outbound campaigns.”

GrowFlare also offers Keyword Search for identifying companies that are using specific terms in their marketing along with shared psychographics, locations, and company sizes.  Boolean operators such as AND, OR, and NOT are supported (e.g. “food delivery” NOT pet).   Keyword search “is valuable if you want to know what companies dominate specific messaging terms or if you are launching a new campaign and want to see who else may be positioned there,” said Belkin.

While many companies offer keyword searching, it is usually against a mined business description.  Only a few products, such as D&B Hoover’s Conceptual Searching, provide broader topical searching to build company lists.

GrowFlare is Terminus’ third acquisition over the past year.  They also acquired Ramble and its Chat Anywhere service and Sigstr for its email signature banner ads and relationship intelligence.

Belkin and the rest of the GrowFlare team are joining Terminus.  Belkin has twenty-five years of SaaS-industry experience at Adobe and Omniture.  At Domo Belkin was the Chief Operating Officer.  Belkin is Terminus’ new EVP of Data, Strategy, and Partnerships.

ABM platforms have emphasized top of the funnel audience engagement and given sales prioritization and messaging short shrift.  GrowFlare will help Terminus pass the ABM baton from marketing to sales.


I profiled the GrowFlare service back in June.

ZoomInfo Acquires EverString (Part III)

Company counts will hit 100M once the Everstring Business Graph is incorporated into their coverage.

Last week, ZoomInfo announced that it was acquiring Business Graph vendor EverString to grow its company coverage five-fold.


ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck noted that large enterprises license and integrate a broad set of content from many vendors.  They struggle to “stitch” all these disparate content sets together via “a complicated system relying on data analysts, engineers, and product managers.”  Furthermore, different analysts manage datasets for other countries, further complicating the situation.  “Each one restarts a process of understanding the nuances and integrating, normalizing, matching, managing, and maintaining that unique data source.”

This data sourcing and loading process is “inefficient, costly, and introduces a complex web of operational challenges and compliance vulnerabilities.”  Data ends up being siloed and fragmented, reducing its value to the organization.  “It has to be integrated, unified, validated, cleansed, enriched, deduplicated, and delivered to the right people and systems, at the right time, in the right form for it to unlock the value it was intended to create.”

Shuck argues that other vendors overly complicate data projects and offer expensive consultations and complex solutions.  ZoomInfo’s vision is to be the “first unified, single source of truth for sales, marketing, and all other go-to-market functions.”

“With the data from EverString, ZoomInfo will provide data on virtually every high-level parent company, local parent company, franchise, and satellite office in America.  This broader data set enables better search, scoring, and account assignment, and provides greater access to buyers and buying centers.”

CEO Henry Schuck

“The combined ZoomInfo and EverString data asset will be unparalleled in the marketplace,” said EverString CEO J.J. Kardwell.  “We’re excited to join ZoomInfo and work together to bring sellers and marketers the most extensive company and professional data that will help make their go-to-market motions even more effective and efficient.”

Kardwell will serve as an advisor to ZoomInfo and will remain with ZoomInfo through the transition.

ZoomInfo is moving to combine the two databases quickly.  As it has a track record of acquiring and rapidly integrating datasets, the merged database should be available soon (ZoomInfo declined to provide a target date).  In the meantime, customers can already enrich data via a superset of the EverString and ZoomInfo databases. Financial terms were not disclosed, but ZoomInfo indicated the deal was not expected to have a material effect on the fourth quarter.

Rhetorik Expands European Coverage

Rhetorik expanded its technology sales intelligence coverage of Europe with the addition of ten Eastern and Central European countries to its NetFinder+ service.  The CEE expansion pack provides company profiles, technographics, and contacts for Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Ukraine.

NetFinder+ also supports enhanced install data on cloud, system software, middleware, enterprise, and vertical industry applications.

Earlier this year, Rhetorik rolled out the Rhetorik Technology Map, “a comprehensive new taxonomy for classifying key enterprise technologies” that “structures business technology assets, services, and products” from over 7,000 vendors.  The Rhetorik Technology map contains over 150 tech categories.

Rhetorik contacts are fully-GDPR compliant with name, title, email, and phone numbers that are “compliant with all relevant data privacy and data protection regulations.”

Back in August, Rhetorik opened a US sales hub in California.  The office will be led by John South, who was named the VP North America.

California is a logical location for US market entry (the firm already has a Canadian development office).  Not only is a high percentage of US enterprise software and cloud companies headquartered in California, but the CCPA data privacy regulations are akin to EU GDPR requirements, making marketing departments more sensitive to data privacy and regulatory compliance.


I profiled NetFinder+ when it launched in June.

TechTarget Prospect-Level Intent

TechTarget announced Prospect-Level Intent within its Priority Engine technology sales and marketing intelligence platform.  Prospect-Level Intent builds on the inherent strength of its second-party intent dataset.  The intent data is collected from over 140 enterprise technology media sites owned by TechTarget.  Because its readers have opted into the platform, intent data is associated with buyers and influencers at target accounts and derived from content carefully tagged by topic, buying stage, competitors, etc.

Unlike third-party intent, which is both anonymous and limited to account-level buying patterns, second-party intent identifies account-level activity and surfaces active members of buying teams, including technology decision-makers, economic decision-makers, administrators, or influencers.  Selected via TechTarget algorithms, Priority Engine prospects – individuals intensely engaged in specific research – are likely members of an active purchase decision.

TechTarget’s Prospect-Level Intent informs sales and marketing professionals when prospects are active in their market category or have downloaded content related to the company or its competitors, regardless of whether they are current or net-new contacts.

“Account-level surges do tell you what’s popular with a set of personas right now, but tell you relatively little about who might actually be making a purchase,” blogged Rebecca Kitchens, SVP of Market Development.  “News-based surges tell us something about the mood of the market, but explain very little about impending purchases except in the macro sense.  They may give you something to talk about with accounts, but they don’t tell you enough about actual buying motions to warrant aggressive prioritization.”

Kitchens warned against weak intent signals.  “Most content is designed to be broadly appealing to maximize eyeballs but provides only weak purchase intent at best.   Real-purchase intent is generated by high-quality content that applies to the research task at hand.”

Adds Andy Briney, TechTarget SVP of Products, “Many in the intent market have been wrongly focused only on accounts, when it is the people and teams at those accounts who actually buy…while TechTarget has always provided named, active prospects within accounts, these new enhancements empower revenue organizations with unmatched visibility into opted-in buyers in active buyers’ journeys to accelerate engagements.”

TechTarget has over 20 million opted-in technology decision-makers and influencers.  Depending on the category, around 70% hold technology titles, with the remainder being buying committee members from other departments also engaged in technology decision-related research.   With rapidly evolving changes in tech decision making, TechTarget data capture prospect functions and roles reflecting a wide range of players often not predicted by historically focused models.

TechTarget is so confident in the value of its intent data that it now labels Priority Engine as “The industry’s only opt-in, Prospect-Level Intent™ data.”

“At the end of the ABM process, it is all about having stronger relationships with the customer.  And delivering improved customer experience is achieved in two ways: By caring to do so and then having the insights necessary to cut away noise and speak directly to customer’s needs.  Prospect-Level Intent is the best way to do this.  In study after study we’ve done, we find that when the properly trained salesperson or whoever’s doing the outreach uses the insights successfully, they will get better response and conversions — ultimately leading to more pipeline.”

John Steinert, TechTarget CMO

A redesigned Priority Engine user interface “provides faster access to buying team contacts within the context of their buyer journey, making it easier for sellers, marketers, and ABM teams to act on Prospect-Level Intent.”  The UI also offers a customized view of top prospects based upon a firm’s ICP and research activity, helping define account rating and list ranking.

“You have to make it easy for [sales] to be able to quickly assess what they need to do in order to take the next best action with the accounts and prospects that they’re going after in their territory – it’s all about enablement,” said TechTarget CMO John Steinert.  “Having that [data-based] connection with marketing allows sales to easily do this and take the easiest, fastest path to revenue easily leveraging precise data and intelligence.”


Continue to Part II

BuzzBoard Graph of 100M Global SMBs (Part II)

Yesterday, I began my profile of SMB Sales Intelligence vendor BuzzBoard which supports a global company graph of 100 million SMBs. Part II discusses several BuzzBoard reports titled Competition, Category Insights, and Recommendations.

The Competition tab compares a company against three local peers, allowing reps to take a value-added discussion approach to customer and prospect meetings.  This benchmarking can be performed as early as the first call, helping to differentiate the sales rep.  Should the prospect wish to see other competitors, the representative can quickly remove one of the competitors and add a requested company to the analysis.  The competitive benchmark supports three tabs: Digital Marketing, HR & Organization, and Communications.

BuzzBoard recommends that reps not go through the competitive report line-by-line, but focus on two or three categories where the vendor “has solutions.” Going line-by-line is “the digital equivalent to the PowerPoint presentation,” warns BuzzBoard Director of Community & Training Phillip Cortez.

Category Insights include local advertising intelligence from Borrell Associates.  Borrell data includes industry-specific ad budgets for local markets.  Local data is available for both digital advertising, non-digital advertising, and their sub-categories (e.g. General Paid Search, Targeted Display, Listings Paid Search, Newspapers, Local Broadcast TV, Radio).  There is also a section on Audience Targeting Opportunities for the industry, providing fodder for sales conversations.  This intelligence would also be valuable for the marketing communications team in developing blog and social content that targets top segments.  Other sections include technology trends, threats and opportunities, top products and services, and “know their customers.”

The Recommendations tab provides a set of recommendations and talking points based on gaps in a firm’s digital marketing presence.

BuzzBoard is well-positioned for firms that target SMBs, particularly if they provide digital services of some form.  This focus, however, makes them ill-suited for enterprise sales.  The database does not offer company linkages, long business descriptions, tickers (for quickly looking up the HQ of a firm), filings, financials, etc.  However, they are clear in their positioning as a B2SMB database.

BuzzBoard is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Lyndhurst, New Jersey and Hyderabad (engineering).  The firm has 85 employees with open positions in sales, customer success, engineering, and product management.

COVID-19 has “not really impacted us substantially,” said CEO Umesh Tibrewal.

BuzzBoard Graph of 100M Global SMBs

Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendor BuzzBoard has built a graph of global SMB organizations spanning 100 million companies, 20 million in the US.  The seven-year-old firm supports advanced segmentation and prospecting based upon a deep set of technographic and digital marketing variables.  During the pandemic, they added COVID prospecting and recommendation tools to help customers target segments and personas that are doing well during the recession.

It is their focus on SMBs and their digital signals that they describe as their competitive advantage. “Anyone who sells to SMBs should have deep knowledge of the prospect’s digital footprint, their needs, attitudes, triggers, and ability to pay.  These are reflected in the SMB’s operations stack and in their external presence.”

BuzzBoard assigns a Buzz Score to each of the companies in its database.  The Buzz Score is a digital marketing score that grades a company’s digital presence based on a 0 to 100 scale.  Users may drill into the score to see the underlying components.  Thus, a web design company can determine whether a prospect has multi-screen compatibility.  Initially, an estimated score is provided, which is +/- 10 points of the probable score.  When adding a profile, BuzzBoard automatically regenerates the Buzz Score and digital profile, though the process takes 60 to 90 seconds.

Prospecting variables include firmographics, technographics, website, SEO, advertising, social, estimated spend, etc.  A new set of COVID-19 risk filters let users select companies based on location, industry, operational status, ongoing Google Ad spend, and recent technology investments.  For example, restaurants may be filtered operationally by Temporarily Closed, Dine-in, Delivery, and Take-out.

On the user home page, they added two recommendation cards.  The “COVID-19 – Categories to work on now!” card highlights verticals that are growing and “need marketing support during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The “COVID-19 – Recommendations” card contains personas and segments defined by BuzzBoard’s data scientists “based on target locations that need marketing support during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The homepage consists of a customizable set of cards for training videos, COVID recommendations, Knowledge Base, Favorite Signals, etc.

The fixed search bar at the top of each screen lets users search by location combined with business name, URL, category, or keywords.  A left-handed filter bar lets users revise the prospecting list.  For example, a user can quickly search for roofers within 40 miles of Los Angeles with websites and Google ad spend, but a poor mobile experience (e.g. slow loading, not responsive).  Lists are displayed via a card-view or plotted map.  List parameters may be saved for future re-use.

Prospects may be added as profiles.  When added, BuzzBoard goes out and re-evaluates the Buzz Score based upon its current digital footprint.  Profiles contain a summary view along with tabs for Detailed view, Competition, Category Insights, and Recommendations.

Beyond prospecting lists, users may also quickly research a company from a BuzzBoard Connect Chrome extension or via a file upload.  When visiting a web page in Chrome, users click on the BuzzBoard icon in the right corner of the Chrome bar, and BuzzBoard opens a window with company details including firmographics, Buzz Score, Website and SEO details, technographics, social media, competition, communications, and recommendations.

Up to 300 records may be uploaded at a time.  The file must contain either name and URL or name and address for matching.


Part II continues tomorrow with a discussion of their Competition, Category, and Recommendation tabs.