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.
North American Sales Intelligence Market Sizing Model (Excel)
The 2017 Market Size of North American Sales Intelligence Vendors. Includes vendor product features, market share, and notes. GZ Consulting Copyright 2018.
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.
Microsoft announced Relationship Sales, a bundled version of MS Dynamics for Sales Enterprise Edition and LinkedIn Sales Navigator Team. The new bundle will be available for sale on July 1st. The service is priced at $135, which is “about one-half the cost of competitive solutions in the market,” according to Microsoft EVP, cloud and enterprise group Scott Guthrie.
LinkedIn also announced a set of insight enhancements for its MS Dynamics connector. Insights help sales reps by
Leveraging signals across email, CRM and LinkedIn to get contextual recommendations for the next best action within Dynamics 365 for Sales, facilitating introductions directly through the company’s network and sending InMail, messages and customized connection requests.
Engaging buyers with tailored content throughout the account lifecycle and getting account and lead updates, including news mentions and job changes.
Building strong relationships with existing contacts through access to LinkedIn profile details including photos, current roles and work history.
The new service displays company and contact intelligence across Account, Contact, Lead, and Opportunity records. Insight features include icebreakers, TeamLink introductions, Lead Recommendations, and LinkedIn intelligence. Daily synchronization ensures that active accounts and contacts are shared between the services and that Sales Navigator activities (e.g. InMails, messages, notes, tags, and call logs) are uploaded to Dynamics 365.
“Sales Navigator with Dynamics 365 will dramatically increase the effectiveness of salespeople by tapping into their professional networks and relationships, giving them the ability to improve their pipeline,” said Guthrie.
“Microsoft has been focused on integrating its acquisitions and the LinkedIn to Dynamics 365 [to] Office 365 is the latest [iteration],” said Constellation Research Principal Analyst Ray Wang. “Customers already use these three products in disparate fashion spending time doing arm chair integration. What they’ve been looking for is the ability to take the data and insights in these three products and put them to work.”
Wang believes that cross-platform functionality can be quite useful. For example, “How do you find out who knows whom inside a company? Traverse your Office 365 data, your [Dynamics 365] CRM database and your LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and you realize Joe and Abdul have known each other since university days. Let’s put Abdul on the sales call.”
As LinkedIn member content is view only, Relationship Sales does not provide any member content enrichment or data maintenance. Thus, Relationship Sales would need to be used in conjunction with other services such as Insights Enterprise (InsideView OEM with MS Dynamics) or D&B Hoovers for CRM to obtain a full sales intelligence and data maintenance solution.
LinkedIn unveiled a series of enhancements to Sales Navigator including a new Enterprise Edition, CRM widgets, and integration of PointDrive into the Team and Enterprise editions. The Enterprise edition includes Single Sign-On, PointDrive sales messaging, 50 InMails per month per user, and TeamLink Extend.
While the original TeamLink feature was limited to Sales Navigator subscribers that opted into the service, TeamLink Extend allows opted-in co-workers to share their personal LinkedIn networks with sales reps, even if they are not Sales Navigator licensors. “That means, if you’re trying to reach a prospect, you can quickly see if anyone in your company has a connection with that person, and reach out to your colleague to ask for warm introduction,” said LinkedIn Sales Solutions Head of Products Doug Camplejohn.
The first 1,000 TeamLink Extend seats are included as part of the Enterprise Edition contract.
PointDrive, which LinkedIn acquired last summer, is designed to solve two problems with emails: attachment laden emails lack “control over narrative” as emails provide little flow, story, and “experience for the buyer.” Also, they provide no visibility into who is viewing the email. Thus, post-demo messaging is haphazard as emails don’t communicate a story very well.
According to LinkedIn, there are 5.4 decision makers involved in the buying decision which means that there is a high probability that sales emails with rich media attachments are being forwarded to others.
Bill Burnett, Director of LinkedIn Sales Solutions stated that the goal of PointDrive is to “turn this [email] exchange into a truly more engaging experience” which provides real-time sales signals about what content decision makers are viewing. Instead of sending long emails, buyers are directed to a PointDrive landing page which allows the sales rep to control brand, content, and commentary. PointDrive was designed as a “mobile first” interface with landing pages supporting both traditional and mobile browsers.
Brand and product information are “now presented in a way that truly differentiates and engages the buyer” through personalization and organization. PointDrive also provides easy access to sales rep bios and contact information (see image on left). Each attachment is displayed in a framed box with sales rep narratives and document descriptions alongside the marketing piece. PointDrive supports embedded collateral, pricing sheets, presentation decks, multimedia, and images which are all displayed within the PointDrive landing page. Users do not need to download content or window out to other documents.
PointDrive is customized to the seller allowing firms to convey their brand identity. Burnett claims that creating a PointDrive is “as simple as creating an email.” Users upload content and grab links, videos, and Google Maps. “We’ll lay your brand and identity on top of it for you so that when you are ready to share with your leads [and] share with your connections,” said Burnett.
Real-time alerting metrics are provided for each document view. Thus, PDF analytics indicate who viewed the document, when viewed, how much total time buyers or influencers spent viewing the document, total pages viewed, and how much time was spent on each page. It even captures the viewing browser and location of the viewer. This intelligence is available for both the original recipients and any forwarded viewers.
Sales reps have control over actions taken on PointDrive embedded content. They can block downloads, password protect the element, set expiration dates, and track forwards.
Burnett calls this a “new way for sellers within Sales Navigator to engage with customers and prospects much deeper into the sales funnel.” The service also provides “tremendous value for account managers or anybody inside of your organization that’s communicating on a regular basis” with customers and prospects.
“The new Sales Navigator features are to enhance the overall customer experience of Sales Navigator, and to integrate it into daily workflows to get people the information they need as easily as possible,” said LinkedIn Senior Marketing Manager Derek Pando.
PointDrive is available as part of the baseline Team and Enterprise editions. While Enterprise Edition users will have unlimited access, Team Edition users will be limited to ten PointDrives per seat per month.
The Enterprise Edition includes additional management reports.
A new CRM Sync feature allows sales reps to take notes, send InMails, and track calls from their iOS and Android devices. Information will initially only synch from Sales Navigator to SFDC, but additional platforms will be supported later this year.
Finally, Sales Navigator added new SFDC and MS Dynamics widgets which display Sales Navigator profile details such as photos, work history, job titles, and TeamLink shared connections. Widgets will soon be available for Oracle, SAP Hybris, NetSuite, SugarCRM, Hubspot and Zoho.
“LinkedIn is a valuable pool of data that’s a great fit for CRM,” said Ian Campbell, CEO of Nucleus Research. “As long as it doesn’t limit or preclude users from using other CRM options,” he told CRM Buyer, “this is a good move that will add value.”
Camplejohn told TechCrunch that LinkedIn is not looking to muscle in on Salesforce or other CRMs.
“We’re not competing at all with Salesforce. We like the position that we are in. Ours is about the connections and activities that are happening. For us, the best play is to be a complement to all CRM systems so that we can exist in that world.”
LinkedIn Sales Solutions Head of Products Doug Camplejohn.
The Enterprise Edition begins at $1,600 per seat per year with multi-volume discounting available. LinkedIn Sales Solutions published the following feature table for the three editions:
EY (Ernst & Young) has already signed up for 30,000 enterprise seats but will be able to leverage TeamLink opt-ins amongst its 250,000 global employees.
Camplejohn hinted to Ingrid Lunden of TechCrunch that gamification and other incentives will be deployed in a future release to encourage TeamLink participation.
Sales Navigator “has good traction with companies focused on B2B sales,” said Constellation Research Principal Analyst Cindy Zhou “Navigator’s ability to facilitate social sales through third-level connections is one of the primary revenue generators for LinkedIn, and a key driver for the Microsoft acquisition.”
Furthermore, PointDrive “provides one centralized location for prospects to access content, and it’s all trackable by sales and marketing. This is a bonus for organizations considering the Enterprise Edition and a good bundling strategy.”
On the negative side, Zhou raised concerns about whether sales reps would manage the TeamLink opt-in responsibly. “Organizations using TeamLink will need to be aware of their responsibility to properly train users to not abuse the access to connections.”
LinkedIn announced additional search tools for Sales Navigator. New filters helps sales reps target accounts and leads. Amongst the new screening options are searching for new execs, searching for specific departments by size, headcount growth at the company or department level, public company revenue, and headquarters postal codes.
One of the new search filters is senior leadership changes at companies which help identify new contacts with a higher likelihood of considering new products and solutions. “Multithreading is critical to ensuring your deals don’t go dark. Start by identifying companies where senior leaders have changed roles or joined the organization in the past three months,” said LinkedIn Product Manager Alex Lee. “These could be great indicators that it’s time to reach out.”
Revenue screening will be underwhelming as it is limited to public companies listed on global exchanges. While the data is screenable in multiple currencies, the revenue data is limited to US, British, Indian, and Australian companies; the vast majority of companies would not be screenable via this filter. Furthermore, because the data is limited to four countries, it is likely to cover fewer than 20,000 of the 50,000 active global publics. Unless a company is specifically targeting public companies, users should screen based upon LinkedIn employee sizes. Employee values are based upon the underlying membership data and screenable to the department level. As such, they provide much better filters for targeting by size, growth rates, and departmental size.
These new options offer a range of new opportunities in account targeting, utilizing LinkedIn’s vast professional data banks to help optimize and improve your outreach efforts. And as data usage and personalization becomes increasingly commonplace in marketing circles, the need to customize and focus your outreach will becoming ever more important – LinkedIn’s well-placed to capitalize on this trend and help give forward-thinking businesses an advantage.
A joint study by DiscoverOrg and Smart Selling Tools of 200 sales and marketing organizations found that high growth companies with at least 40% growth over the past three years are 2.5 times more likely to have adopted an Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy. Furthermore high growth companies are twice as likely to have successful cold calling programs and are more likely to have a dedicated outbound prospecting team. High growth firms are also more likely to hire sales reps based upon their “tech-savvy” than experience and have adopted twice as many sales technologies than their slower growth brethren. With respect to MarTech, high-growth companies have adopted 24% more marketing solutions.
The study also found that fast growth companies provide at least three hours of coaching or training per week to their sales teams. At slower growth companies, training appeared to have less of an effect. According to the report, “While an increase in training hours correlated with a rise in growth rates for the high growth group, it did not with low growth companies. This suggests that training may not in of itself cause growth, but it is critical in sustaining it. Fast growing organizations need to train constantly to maintain momentum and enable teams to perform at a high level. Companies that err on the side of less training and coaching do not appear to set their teams up for the same level of success.”
“The findings clearly demonstrate that achieving fast growth is not as simple as having a great product and hiring experienced sales reps. Sales and marketing teams that are true revenue-generating engines take risks and do the hard things – like cold calling, focusing on data quality, and heavily aligning sales and marketing teams across account-based strategies.”
– DiscoverOrg CEO Henry Schuck
“Technology proliferation in the sales and marketing industry is both a challenge and an opportunity,” added Nancy Nardin, CEO of Smart Selling Tools. “The fastest growing companies are investing in technologies that make their sales and marketing teams more productive and more insightful, while recognizing it is equally as important to have highly trained team members who know how to leverage that technology to its fullest power.”
The primary inhibitor of even faster growth at high growth companies was data quality issues concerning accounts and contacts.
The top technology available to sales reps were CRM (52%) and LinkedIn (free LinkedIn was deployed at 45% , premium LinkedIn at 33%, and Sales Navigator at 27% of sales teams). Pipeline and Opportunity Management software was third at 42%. Rounding out the top five were compensation/commission software and sales intelligence, both with a 38% deployment rate. Surprisingly, 37% of sales teams still employ account and contact data providers / list providers. As sales intelligence vendors support list building along with sales intelligence (and some also data hygiene), there are likely ongoing opportunities to move sales teams up the value chain from list purchases.
Predictive analytics / predictive intelligence placed 36th out of 37 technologies with only a 5% deployment rate. As Gartner estimated the total global market for predictive analytics technology to be between $100 and $150 million, this low penetration rate should not be overly surprising.
The study, conducted in November, used 40% growth between 2013 and 2016 (estimated) as the high growth cutoff as it is represents the recent growth floor for Inc. 5000 membership. Of the 200 firms studied, 17% fell into the high-growth category, 69% fell into the low-growth category (1-39%), 13% had flat revenue, and 1% had declining revenues. The survey was over weighted to technology companies with software, IT Services and Telco as the top three industries surveyed. 82% of the firms were B2B and 85% were headquartered in the US.