Warm leads startup Warmly, (yes, with a comma as when signing a letter), raised a $2.1 million seed round led by NFX. Y Combinator, Matchstick Ventures, Scribble Ventures, Mike Vernal of Sequoia, and Harry Stebbings’s 20VC also joined.
The new funds will be used to build out their sales team and hire additional engineers to embed machine-learning capabilities into their software.
“We want to end cold outreach altogether because we should be able to show you the shortest-path warm intro into any company you want to sell to, and the number of hops [it] takes to get there,” said Warmly CEO Max Greenwald
Warmly tracks job changes and tracks champions that have decamped to other companies. They leverage a firm’s CRM to identify relationship strength and identify former users of a firm’s products and services. Alerts are sent to sales reps when a former user or advocate resurfaces at other organizations. Warmly also notifies the customer success team when a user or advocate has left.
“We’re going to make customer success teams more powerful than sales teams in generating revenue. Now that 84% of all b2b sales come from a referral, traditional methods of customer acquisition like outbound sales & marketing are less effective. Warmly is building the first ever customer network graph, a novel way to leverage customers to drive new sales.”
Warmly was founded in early 2020 by three former Googlers (Greenwald, CTO Carina Boo, and Chief Product Officer Val Yermakova) and VP of Engineering Alan Zhao.
“They’ve got this wide-open market. It’s this fantastic fertile soil [that] they’ve put themselves in,” says NFX managing partner and Warmly board member James Currier. Currier also emphasized that customer success software is in its early stage of development.
Echobot, the German sales and marketing intelligence vendor, continues to do well during the pandemic. It has over 1,000 clients and a growing ACV. They added 15 employees this year, bringing their staff count to 65. The firm was founded in 2011 and has posted a consistent 40% compound average growth rate. It is internally funded.
Echobot offers multiple products: The Target prospect database of European B2B firms (UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria) and the Connect intelligence database with 11 million companies. Content includes registered data, technographics, contacts, and news. The firm also provides online and social print monitoring and DataCare DaaS Hygiene for CRMs and ERPs.
The Karlsruhe-headquartered firm is readying a new 18,000 square foot office, which it plans to move into in 2021.
“COVID-19 did not slow us down,” said CEO Bastiaan Karweg. “In some cases it actually helped to put our agenda of digital sales intelligence front and center – mostly to compensate for missed trade shows and grounded field sales operations.”
I’ve followed the sales and marketing intelligence space for nearly two decades. The market developed in the United States with few European vendors (Bureau van Dijk being the exception). Often, it was US vendors such as OneSource, Factiva, and InsideView covering Europe as part of their global coverage . But over the past half decade, there has been a blossoming of European based sales and marketing intelligence solutions from
Not only are these vendors based in Europe, but they have a better understanding of the local datasets, regulatory requirements, and market nuances. Several are multi-lingual and carry local filings to serve financial services and compliance use cases.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator has been rolling out its Q1 release to users over the past few weeks. I already covered Contact Creation and Smart Links. Part III of this blog covers Saved Lead and Account Searches, Accounts Preparing to Grow alerts, UI and mobile enhancements, and an InsightSquared SNAP Connector.
now share a Saved Lead Search, allowing them to put together dynamic prospect
lists and share them across the account team. Reps simply select who
receives the shared search and include a note. The recipients can then view
the saved search with values pre-populated.
feature is Saved Account Searches, which allow reps to set up a search with
scheduled update alerts. Users control the update notification period.
“Search is a newer area for us in Sales Navigator. We’re finding more than ever that sales teams are looking at things collaboratively, so we introduced the idea that we need Sales Navigator to work across teams in order to allow that collaboration to happen.”
Account Preparing to Grow alert notifies sales reps when the number of postings
at a saved account has grown.
Navigator mobile app (Android and iOS) now supports all seven European
languages available in the desktop application. Another new app feature
lets the rep set custom alert filters for accounts, leads, and relationships.
always been an area of focus and growth for us,” said Edwards. “We are
seeing more use on mobile than ever before, and we want desktop and mobile
users to have an equal experience. People want the full breadth of
functionality on mobile.”
UI now supports a slide-in panel for viewing Account Funding News without
leaving Sales Navigator. The slide-in panel also supports CTAs, such as
include a usage reporting refresh and an opt-out for usage report tracking.
LinkedIn released a SNAP integration with BI vendor InsightSquared. The integration analyzes Sales Navigator usage and supports seven out-of-the-box workbook templates.
Edwards emphasized that the goal of Sales Navigator product updates is to promote simplicity by “simplifying the seller’s life and workflow. We focus on sellers as end-users, but we want buyers to have a great experience, as well.”
Finnish sales intelligence vendor Vainu announced the immediate availability of their new Vainu for CRM connectors. The new service supports data viewing, synchronization, prospecting, and triggered alerting in Salesforce, MS Dynamics 365, HubSpot, and Pipedrive. Additional CRM integrations are planned.
Vainu launched its original prospecting service in 2014 but is looking to make its data more consumable by embedding it into user workflows. According to Vainu Head of Marketing Mikko Luhtava, Vainu’s retention rate is much higher when there is a clear user workflow. Thus, the goal was to make the sales rep’s experience as “frictionless as possible.”
“Since we founded Vainu, we’ve known that in addition to the who, when, what, and why of sales, the other challenge is to get people to actually use that information. We realized that the key to success there is removing friction; making data as easy as possible to consume. With Vainu for CRM, we’ve done exactly that—embedded into everything you do in the CRM, real-time company data will be hard to avoid.”
CEO Mikko Honkanen
initially updates account and opportunity records, but additional record types
will be supported in the future. Custom field mapping and update /
overlay rules are also planned.
is asynchronous and bi-directional. “Any time you add a record to the
CRM, it will search Vainu to fill in data, and any time Vainu receives an
update on a company, it will push the update to CRMs with that entity in the
database in a matter of minutes,” said Luhtava.
fuzzy matching logic is employed with match confidence scores. Vainu also
supports auto-match functionality for new records and Send to CRM from the
Vainu browser service. Additional features include duplicate record
checking and “stare and compare” updates by sales reps.
with a CRM requires an excellent matching tool, and ours is world-class,” said
CTO Tuomas Rasila. “Instead of merely matching based on global unique
identifiers, it compares the full extent of a company record to our database to
increase our confidence rating in the match. Once connected, our platform
learns from everything salespeople are doing in the CRM to deliver information
that’s as relevant as possible. And since everything is automated, the
data-driven experience won’t require endless effort on our customers’ end.”
Vainu for CRM includes two advanced features: CRM-Vainu joint-variable prospecting and triggered workflows. Joint-variable prospecting allows sales or marketing to build lists using both CRM and Vainu variables. For example, a targeted prospecting list can be built for a territory which excludes current accounts or for which there was no recent activity. Over 100 joint selects are available. The only other vendor that provides such a feature is D&B Hoovers.
Workflows can be triggered by any of Vainu’s event triggers, which are derived from news, filings, and data changes. Vainu supports 55 triggers which can be combined with keywords. Both general company-level events (e.g. mergers, acquisitions, expansions, funding) and “very detailed, database-specific” triggers such as new vehicles, new website registrations, and new technology deployments are available.
“With the trigger-based approach, the likelihood of bringing in a new customer is more than two-times higher if there is an event within a prospect that triggers you to reach out to them.”
events are displayed within the CRM and Slack. They can also be sent as
email alerts and through Zapier connectors. Workflows are currently
available for Nordic companies and the Netherlands.
includes connectors as part of their standard subscription. Pricing
begins at €6,600 per year for one country and five seats.
Vainu has grown revenue to €15 million in five years. The firm supports
over 2,000 customers, including EY, Santander, Bridgestone, SAP, and Telia.
database covers Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands with
registry data matched against web mined intelligence and 55 business signals.
France, Britain, and the United States are currently in beta.
US data is
gathered from state Attorneys General filings supplemented with crawled
intelligence. At the moment, the US database is mostly being sold for
Vainu sells databases by country with both local language and English user interfaces.
Sales Navigator added two more Saved Account Alerts: headcount growth and Senior Leadership Hires.
When sharing lists, owners may now designate them
view-only or editable.
“List collaborators with edit permissions will be able to add, remove, and comment on Leads or Accounts within a Shared List, and alerts will be sent to collaborators when Leads or Accounts have been added to or removed from a Custom List or when there are new comments on a Custom List.”
LinkedIn Sales Solutions VP of Product Management Doug Camplejohn
LinkedIn added SNAP integrations for Tableau and Power BI. They also extended SNAP integrations to Oracle Sales Cloud Lead and Account pages (Contacts were already supported).
Teams will benefit from improved TeamLink recommendations on “who to reach out to first for a warm introduction, using connection strength scores based on a members’ interactions.”
Finally, LinkedIn teased an improved PointDrive service that will be “deeply integrated” into Sales Navigator beginning in early 2020. PointDrive provides sales reps with a custom landing page for delivering multi-media content with descriptions and company branding. The multi-quarter release will streamline access to PointDrive functionality. However, PointDrive will no longer support shared content.
SalesLoft Leveraging Data Validation Flag
SalesLoft is one of the first vendors to take advantage of the Sales Navigator Data Validation process. SalesLoft uses the Data Validation flag to notify the SDR or sales rep. SalesLoft automation rules can then trigger workflows based on whether a prospect on the decision-making committee has left or whether an admin or champion at a customer has changed jobs. These insights help reps evaluate whether an opportunity may be in jeopardy, the likelihood of closing this quarter pushed out, or they need to move quickly to identify new buying committee members or champions.
“Customers leveraging LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Data Validation are now able to use real-time insights to influence critical
workflows when their prospects and customers change jobs,” said SalesLoft CMO
Sydney Sloan. “Ultimately, this saves time spent reviewing customer data
manually, and it will increase the quality of all opportunities as salespeople
progress through the buying cycle.”
Zoominfo which launched its combined Zoominfo powered by DiscoverOrg platform in September, released Workflows, their “first data automation tool that streamlines sales and marketing activity and effectiveness by enabling customers to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right audience.”
identify new and existing prospects based on real-time B2B intelligence.
The prospects are then deployed to automated sales and marketing
campaigns. Audience segmentation can be applied according to intent,
event, and news-based triggers including new technology installations, funding
rounds, product launches, first- and third-party web activity, spending
priorities, and other buying signals with additional company attributes.
One of the
triggers is visitor intelligence gathered from their recently launched
WebSights service. “Now, you can engage prospects from organizations
researching your site with direct-dial phone numbers and accurate email
addresses. What’s more, you can view your data and segment it according
to firmographic filters, for instance, enabling better, more personalized
support a set of sales engagement, CRM, and MAP platforms including Outreach,
SalesLoft, Salesforce, HubSpot, Eloqua, and Marketo. Sequences can drop
audiences into campaigns or kick off sales cadences. For example, a
trigger can be set up for specific events and filtered by firmographics,
technographics, biographics, or event-specific parameters such as Funding
“Integrations with popular sales and marketing applications give customers the opportunity to marry ongoing custom triggers with essential prospecting information from ZoomInfo and connect with potential buyers in a personalized, more efficient way.”
buyers demand a personalized experience,” said Zoominfo CEO Henry Schuck.
“Solely relying on standard and static company criteria to identify key
prospects restricts sales and marketing’s ability to meet those expectations,
especially when timing is so often the difference between a deal that is won or
lost. ZoomInfo Workflows solves this problem with features that capture
dynamic buying behavior across first- and third-party channels, as its
collected, along with hundreds of rules to automate as little or as much of the
go-to-market motion as they’d like.”
migrated 1,000 customers to its new platform.
is beginning to evolve a set of hybrid engagement vendors that deliver a broad
set of sales and marketing services. The boundary between sales and
marketing is quickly crumbling. Hybrid engagement services manage both
data and workflows. Features include
Last month, LinkedIn Sales Navigator rolled out a set of alert enhancements as part of its Q2 release. Alerts are intended to deliver “timely, relevant, and actionable insights” which allow reps to shift from researching to selling and building relationships. As with other recommendation engines, Navigator alerts call out the “Next Best Action” with an “instant snapshot of the things that matter most about your prospects along with recommended action step for each.”
LinkedIn, our goal is to arm you with timely, relevant, and actionable insights
so you spend less time sifting through information and more time focused on
what matters: building relationships and closing deals,” stated the firm in its
release notes. “Alerts on the homepage gives you all the functionality of
Newsfeed in a compressed, easy-to-use dashboard. Don’t worry about missing
anything — all of your favorite items from the old Newsfeed live on as alerts.
We’ve also added some new types of alerts as well!”
alerts are highlighted in blue at the top of the feed. Each alert
contains an action step (e.g. Message, See Article, See List). Alerts may
be filtered by type and individual alerts may be deleted or turned off.
new alert categories were released
An account has had a funding event
A colleague shared a custom list
Pending actions in Sales Navigator Coach
recommends that Navigator Alerts be reviewed once or twice a day.
“Every sales professional faces the challenge of how to best spend their time, maximize their productivity and close more deals,” said Camplejohn. “That’s why Sales Navigator is now centered around alerts — making it easier for salespeople to identify important changes and prioritize the best next steps to take.”
People.AI announced availability of The Wire, their new artificial intelligence service for sales reps which suggests next best actions. According to the firm, “Like a brilliant personal assistant who’s always on top of his game, The Wire uses AI intelligence to remind you when to follow up on key accounts, suggest next-best-actions, warn you when a rep or account is falling behind, let you know when customer champions switch jobs, and ensure you’re always prepped for every meeting.”
suggests emerging opportunities, opportunities requiring attention, and
champions that have departed to other companies.
alerted when sales reps are falling behind targets. A Rep Ramp Alert “helps you
move from data-aware to data-driven, proactively leveraging industry data to
guide and coach your teams.”
The Wire also supports meeting intelligence with meeting prep reminders and post-meeting note capture and CRM sync.
UK social selling vendor Artesian Solutions recognized significant growth in the technology sector in 2018, with tech sector revenue up 255% in 2018. Artesian attributed the growth to the “vast return on investment that can be achieved by leveraging millions of data points to create new relationships, establish credibility, address individual pain points and wider market challenges, and create new opportunities.”
social selling platform provides users with a rich set of sales triggers
combined with company intelligence.
companies are increasingly investing much of their valuable brain power into
crafting long-term, powerful relationships from the start of the customer
journey,” said CEO Andrew Yates. “By harnessing technologies such as
Artesian they’re uncovering opportunities to act in more contextually aware,
empathetic and personalised ways and in turn are seizing opportunities to
differentiate in an entirely different way, rather than focusing on features,
benefits and brand reputation alone.”
describing Artesian’s value proposition to technology sales reps:
“Harnessing the most valuable company information, market data and customer insights means Artesian’s technology customers can build innovative propositions for their products and services, prioritising ideas based on solving actual business challenges in each customer segment they serve. The sheer pace of change in the technology sector, including new entrant disruption, means enterprise providers can quickly fall behind if they’re not able establish deep, value-based relationships, especially when they may not be able to react as quickly within product development as their smaller competitors. Artesian’s growth in the sector highlights a shift in focus towards customer experience and value-based selling. Our technology customers are great examples of how to stay relevant and grow, even in a challenging political and economic environment.”
Artesian Solutions CEO Andrew Yates
Artesian’s technology customers include Oracle, Amazon Web Services, SAP, BT, Infinity Tracking, and Canon.
Artesian Solutions has also shown strength selling to British banks and insurance companies. Another 2019 object is the infusion of artificial intelligence into financial services onboarding and compliance tools. The firm has 30,000 users located in the United Kingdom and United States.