Atlanta sales engagement vendor SalesLoft received $50 million in Series C funding this week, bringing their total funding to $75 million. Insight Venture Partners led the round and was joined by Emergence Capital, which had participated in previous rounds, and LinkedIn. Funds will be deployed to add another 200 employees in Atlanta, San Francisco, New York, and Europe.
While the market value was not disclosed, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported the valuation at more that $200 million.
“Things have gotten very noisy for buyers these days. They are bombarded with sales activity via phone, email, social, and many other channels,” said CEO Kyle Porter. “When buyers are able to peel away from those distractions, they still have problems to solve — and an overwhelming range of solutions to sift through. Now more than ever, buyers really need sellers who can rise above all this noise and provide them with a better sales experience — through our product innovation and our people, it’s our mission to help sellers do just that.”
SalesLoft will soon be releasing its SalesLoft Assist artificial intelligence module “which is informed by more than 500 million sales interactions, providing users with dynamic and real-time suggestions.” The firm is also looking to expand its development and partner network. The recently launched app partner directory already supports thirty partner solutions.
“SalesLoft is one of the most innovative companies in the sales engagement category and a leading provider on the Sales Navigator Application Platform. SalesLoft has integrated Sales Navigator into their application in a way that provides great user value while protecting LinkedIn member data. We look forward to working with SalesLoft to create even more value for our joint customers in the future.”
Doug Camplejohn, VP of Product, Sales Solutions, LinkedIn
“We didn’t create the sales engagement category; our customers did,” noted Porter. “They weren’t satisfied with the tools their teams had to connect and engage buyers. They made their needs clear, and we listened. As a result, sales engagement has evolved from a point solution to the system of record for sales organizations. Users are spending more time within SalesLoft than any other technology, including their CRM. Our customers are leading the way in this exciting new category, which is really just a reflection of their efforts to serve their customers in new, authentic ways.
SalesLoft is quite pleased with its previously announced LinkedIn Sales Navigator partnership. SalesLoft VP of Product Strategy Sean Kester noted that SalesLoft “worked extremely closely with their team” and that SalesLoft has the highest widget use amongst all of LinkedIn’s SNAP partners. The Sales Navigator app supports real-time news, account information, introductions, ice breakers, connections, and recommended leads. LinkedIn intelligence is delivered within SalesLoft’s Persona and Company Smart Panels.
“Our organization and thousands of others like us depend on LinkedIn daily for prospecting, insights, social selling, and the tools to build real, authentic relationships with your prospects and customers,” said SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter. “In many ways, SalesLoft’s technology has been built to be extremely complementary with that of LinkedIn.”
SalesLoft recently launched a meeting tool which integrates with Outlook and Gmail. The new service provides calendar links to customers and prospects so they can quickly book time on the rep’s calendar. Booked meetings are visible within both SalesLoft and Salesforce. A booked meeting can trigger automation rules such as changing a cadence stage, marking as success, or moving to a cadence such as setting follow up meetings or kicking off a meeting prep cadence.
Calendar settings include default meeting length, daily meeting windows, time zone, and standard message. Users may continue to use Calendly and Chili Piper for setting meetings.
Another new feature is live website tracking which captures who visited a corporate website and which pages were visited. Initially, the functionality is cookie based, but SalesLoft will support IP tracking in the future. Sales reps can use the tracking to leverage past activity (e.g. suggesting additional resources related to past research history) or calling prospects while they are live on a corporate site.
“Live Website Tracking brings a brand new prospect readiness cue to the surface by exposing live and historical website activity to SalesLoft. When you combine the unspoken signal of website activity with the more explicit signal of email interaction and direct response, you move closer than ever to understanding what the prospect needs and where they are in their buying journey.”
LinkedIn Sales Navigator had another strong year of growth in-line with its historical Compound Average Growth Rate (CAGR). Extrapolating from data published prior to its Microsoft acquisition, LinkedIn Sales Navigator has global revenues between $300 and $350 million. This would make LinkedIn the largest vendor of sales intelligence solutions with revenue roughly double that of Dun & Bradstreet (Hoovers, D&B Hoovers, Data.com, D&B360) and triple that of DiscoverOrg.
Doug Camplejohn, Head of Product at LinkedIn Sales Solutions, described the service as “one of the fastest growing SaaS B2B products in history.”
LinkedIn Sales Navigator rolled out its first quarterly release on February 7th. Quarterly releases help LinkedIn manage its communications and ensure that admins and trainers are prepared for the changes. Enhancements will roll out first to this group before becoming available to general users in subsequent weeks.
“In the early days of Sales Navigator, we chose to act like a startup and launch products as soon as they were ready, without much warning or pre-release training for our customers. We also acted independently, only integrating with a couple of systems, instead of opening up the platform to the dozens of types of sales applications a rep uses throughout their work week. Starting today, we will release Sales Navigator product updates on a quarterly cycle to provide advanced communications and training for administrators and users so they have adequate time to familiarize themselves with new features and take advantage of them properly.”
Doug Camplejohn, Head of Product at LinkedIn Sales Solutions
The product is maturing as it develops connectors with other services and formalizes its releases and communications. “Sales Navigator is growing up and learning how to play with others,” said Camplejohn.
As part of this development, LinkedIn announced four new members of its Sales Navigator Application Platform (SNAP) partners. SNAP is a broad partner program that spans business intelligence, CRM, eSignature, MAP, Sales Acceleration, and Web Conferencing. A year ago, LinkedIn only supported Salesforce and MS Dynamics.
The new Oracle Sales Cloud integration displays LinkedIn prospect and contact data within the Oracle CRM.
A SugarCRM integration displays a LinkedIn dashboard within Sugar Opportunities, Accounts, Contacts, and Leads.
Implemented partnerships were also announced with Demandbase and InsideSales’ Predictive Playbooks. LinkedIn lists 11 future partners including Tableau, Adobe Sign, BlueJeans, Microsoft BI, Eloqua (Oracle Marketing), and SAP Hybris.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator adopted a new quarterly release system for 2018 and has begun rolling out its Q1 release. Yesterday, I touched upon their redesigned Account profiles. Today, I’m delving into other new features that are rolling out to clients over the next few weeks. These include self-service seat transfers to enterprise accounts, expanded alerting, and a Seniority Level preference.
The new self-service seat transfer feature allows sales reps to import their Sales Navigator information into a corporate account. Thereafter, the corporation pays for the license. Migrated content includes Saved Leads, Saved Accounts, Saved Searches, InMail, Messages, InMail Credits, Notes & Tags, and personal Sales Navigator settings. However, when a rep leaves a firm, there is no way to migrate content back to the individual account (their LinkedIn connections are untouched). While activity that took place after the rep merged their account can reasonably be considered company intellectual property, the shared information contributed by the new rep should be returned to the individual’s private account afterwards.
Alerting for the PointDrive service (an enhanced email which directs users to an HTML page containing attachments and multi-media) has been modified to provide real-time email messages when an individual views PointDrive content. Alerts are suppressed for subsequent views by the same individual. The alert’s viewer data includes name, title, company, email, and location. The feature allows reps to reach out to viewers in a timelier manner (perhaps while still viewing the content). PointDrive also provides activity reports and identifies individuals to whom content has been forwarded.
LinkedIn added a new email alert called “Saved Leads Who Viewed My Profile.” According to LinkedIn, the mobile push notification for this event has the highest click through response rate. Sales reps perceive the trigger “as a potential buying signal and want to know ASAP when this happens.” LinkedIn added the near real-time email feature because not everybody has installed the Sales Navigator mobile app. The alert includes quick account and contact details along with account employment details by function for the past six months (if available). To avoid email SPAM, users are only re-notified of visits after seven days.
LinkedIn inserted a new variable for Seniority Level in its Sales Preferences which are employed for recommendations. Sales Navigator also added the option to quickly toggle preferences on and off during Account and Contact Searches. For example, a Boston-based rep for an enterprise Martech Solution can automatically target New England executives, Director or Higher, working in Marketing, IT, Finance, or Purchasing.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator formally announced their Q1 release last week. The new functionality, which is rolling out to admins and trainers first, will be unveiled to sales reps over the next few weeks. The release focuses on a redesigned Account page, but also includes self-service seat transfers, new sales email alerts, seniority preferences, and additional SNAP partners.
LinkedIn describes the refreshed Account page as “the most efficient way to get the information you need about your accounts.”
The new company profile page is laid out in a series of sections:
Company Summary – a company overview with employee count, industry, revenue, short description, URL, location, and contact information. The section also supports Add Tags, Add Notes, and Save Account functionality.
People Tab – three categories of people intelligence: saved leads, recommended leads, and connections into the account. The saved leads section is displayed in a list format with headshot, title, connections, geography, and recent activity. Recommended leads may be filtered by spotlights such as job changes, mentioned in the news, recent LinkedIn posts, shared experiences, and company followers. Recommended leads highlights job changes, news mentions, recent LinkedIn posts, shared experiences, and company followers. Connections are broken into three strata: first degree connections, TeamLink (co-workers) connections, and alumni connections based on the user’s college or university.
News & Insights Tab – company insights related to news mentions, LinkedIn posts, and executive hires. The section also includes recent headcount growth by department.
Head Count Growth – the headcount growth data has been available to premium users in core LinkedIn for over a year, but finally made it into Sales Navigator (see image on right). Employee estimates found in sales intelligence vendors are often difficult to obtain or out of date. LinkedIn has access to probably the most reliable employee analytics on the market. Not only can they provide current headcount data, but they also include this data by eight job functions (Art & Design, Business Development, Engineering, HR, IT, Operations, Program & Project Management, an Sales) and the change at the departmental and corporate level over the past six months, year, and two years. This data is invaluable to sales reps as they can determine the mix of employees by function at the firm, whether hiring has accelerated or decelerated over the past few months, and even which departments are hiring. Not only does this data provide talking points, but an acceleration or deceleration in hiring is a valuable signal in assessing whether a pipeline deal is likely to move forward or stall.Sales reps should be careful about taking LinkedIn employee counts as gospel. While the data is more accurate than other sources, it is likely to lag M&A activity and layoffs as members update their profiles. Thus, hiring (except for embargoed executive changes awaiting press release) will be more quickly reflected than layoffs. Employees of acquired firms may be slow to update their profiles, particularly if their subsidiary retains its brand. As such, the trend data is probably more important than the displayed employee count.For private investors and competitive intelligence professionals, the head count data can be invaluable for comparing peers and evaluating growth and hiring patterns across a segment.
Unfortunately, Sales Navigator does not yet display all of the employment analytics found in the LinkedIn service so sales reps may still wish to toggle between the core LinkedIn service and Sales Navigator to review New Hires data, Notable Company Alumni, and the Total Job Openings analysis.
Recent Senior Management Hires – The Recent Hires section lists Directors and higher that recently joined the firm. Both current and previous roles are displayed along with tenure in the current position. New hires may be saved as Leads without leaving the page.
People Also Viewed – This section lists similar companies which were viewed after the current account. While the firms may be in the same industry, this section could include partners, companies from which the firm has hired key execs, vendors, etc. Each company includes a logo, employee range, industry, and location. The companies may be saved as Accounts without leaving the page.
New content includes an expanded set of revenue estimates, headcount growth data, the Saved Leads module, Spotlights and Insights in the Recommended Leads module, alumni in the Connections module, and recent senior management hires. Previously, only public companies had revenue data, but LinkedIn is beginning to build out revenue estimates for private companies with at least $1 billion in revenue. LinkedIn plans on building down these estimates to smaller companies.
“Our redesigned account page experience streamlines the process of landing new accounts or building relationships within existing accounts, by giving you the information you need, when you need it. Now you can better understand whether the account is a good match, who you should be targeting, and how you can get a warm introduction.”
Doug Camplejohn, Head of Product at LinkedIn Sales Solutions
This is the first in a series of blogs discussing the Q1 2018 Sales Navigator release. Part two discusses additional enhancements.
2016 North American Sales Intelligence Market Sizing Model (Excel)
The Market Size of North American Sales Intelligence Vendors. Includes vendor product features, market share, and notes. GZ Consulting Copyright 2017.
Price Reduced ($750 ⇒ $500)
For the past few years, I have been sizing the North American Sales Intelligence Market. This is the largest of the markets as Europe and AsiaPac are more fragmented (the UK is the only other mature market with Bureau van Dijk, Avention UK, Artesian Solutions, and DueDil offering full solutions).
In 2016, I estimated the market at $770 million with LinkedIn Sales Navigator as the top vendor. While new firms continue to enter, the top ten firms (now eight following the 2017 acquisitions of Avention and RainKing) earn seven of every eight dollars in the industry.
I am making my market model available for license (See PayPal button at top) as an Excel spreadsheet. It includes revenue numbers by company along with market share, key features, and notes.
I have also broken out two sub-categories: Predictive Analytics and Tech Sales Intelligence. Predictive Analytics vendors continue to scuffle in the marketplace. Last September, Gartner sized the global market at between $100 and $150 million. I have gone back and forth on whether to include them in the larger sales intelligence space, but several of the sales intelligence vendors have added light predictive tools (e.g. Avention, DiscoverOrg, RainKing) while the predictive analytics companies have moved to add enrichment and provide more insights to sales reps. As such, I see the two product categories moving towards each other so chose to include Lattice Engines, Leadspace, and similar firms.
The Tech Sales Intelligence category (e.g. DiscoverOrg, RainKing, Aberdeen, Corporate360) continues to show strong growth and makes up just over 15% of the market. Both DiscoverOrg and RainKing have posted remarkable growth over the past few years and merged their efforts last month. Post acquisition, they are the number three vendor in the space and may hit $120 million in 2017 revenue. The new powerhouse has 4,000 customers and is looking to expand beyond technology sales to become a general purpose sales intelligence solution.
Acquiring RainKing should move DiscoverOrg well past Data.com (Salesforce) which will likely see declining 2017 revenue. Salesforce has dropped the ball on Data.com. They overpromised and under-delivered for years, relying on their ability to bundle the offering with other SFDC products. As of last month, they are no longer able to deliver Dun & Bradstreet content (D&B WorldBase, Hoovers, and First Research) to new customers (legacy customers retain access). Unless Data.com has a major content partner announcement at Dreamforce, it is likely to see significant revenue declines in 2017 and 2018 as customers switch to D&B Hoovers for Salesforce and other offerings.
Dun & Bradstreet re-established itself as the #2 vendor in the space with the January 2017 acquisition of Avention and the rebranding of Avention OneSource as D&B Hoovers. Both companies have struggled to grow revenue with Avention growing slowly over the past few years and Hoovers declining. However, infusing Avention products with Dun & Bradstreet content both reduces the underlying cost structure of Avention offerings and improves the depth and quality of the content. Furthermore, Dun & Bradstreet has a much larger sales force which previously has lacked a credible global sales intelligence offering. Hoovers classic generated nearly all of its revenue in the United States. Over the next two years, expect to see significant revenue shift from Hoovers Classic to D&B Hoovers.
Finally, LinkedIn Sales Navigator has established itself as the clear number one vendor in market revenue. The product didn’t exist five years ago and its competitors still tend to dismiss this gorilla in their midst. How can they be missing the #1 vendor in the space? Easy — the gorilla is well camouflaged and appears to be more of a three-toed sloth sleeping in the forest canopy. Sales reps all use the freemium version of LinkedIn so give little thought to delve further when they ask “how are you obtaining your account intelligence today?” and the response is LinkedIn. Thus, they enter LinkedIn as the competitor into their CRM, not Sales Navigator. A few months later when they lose the opportunity, the rep then enters “no decision” into the CRM instead of recognizing a competitive loss. I have been warning vendors in the space for years about this phenomenon, but they have failed to understand the threat of a gorilla that looks like a three-toed sloth.
N.B. Three-toed sloths inhabit Central and South America and gorillas Central Africa. This is a metaphor.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is now delivering company and contact intelligence within Hubspot CRM. Along with firmographic and biographic information, Sales Navigator for Hubspot CRM displays related leads, mutual connections, and common interests.
LinkedIn intelligence is displayed within left-hand sidebar squares. By clicking on the contact square, users have access to a richer profile along with three tabs (see image above):
Icebreakers: shared connections, experiences, and interests, plus a link to the lead’s recent activity stream.
Get Introduced: quickly ask a mutual connection for an introduction.
Related Leads: find other leads at the same company, and quickly save them to your Sales Navigator leads list.
Company profile tabs also support three functions:
Recommended Leads: Identifies those in the organization that share connections or interests
Connections: Current and potential connections
News: Recent news and posts
Hubspot customers must separately license Sales Navigator to receive LinkedIn intelligence. LinkedIn content is view only within Hubspot. Users cannot upload content to Hubspot CRM.