SalesLoft LinkedIn SNAP Enhancements

InMails are now available within SalesLoft and Salesforce.
InMails are now available within SalesLoft and Salesforce.

SalesLoft added enhanced LinkedIn SNAP messaging tools to its sales engagement services.  Sales reps can now send InMails, request connections, submit introduction requests, and conduct research from within SalesLoft and Salesforce.  These steps can be built into SalesLoft cadences.

“According to our data science team’s research on derived cadences, more than half of all steps outside of email and phone in SalesLoft cadences are already LinkedIn actions,” blogged SalesLoft Product Marketing Manager Sunshine Levin. “The ability to incorporate LinkedIn Sales Navigator social selling steps from within SalesLoft is important to you, and we listened!”

At SalesLoft’s 2018 Rainmaker event, Doug Camplejohn, VP of Product Management Sales Solutions at LinkedIn, cited LinkedIn research concerning InMail efficacy.  While emails have only a 3% response rate, InMails average a 15% response rate.  Even more impressive, the best sales reps can achieve greater than a thirty percent response rate.

“LinkedIn-specific steps help salespeople stay focused, do less application switching, and deliver a better sales experience,” said Levin. “The TOPO 2017 Sales Development Touch Report states that more than 80% of sales professionals are leveraging the triple-touch approach of email, phone, and LinkedIn in their sales cadences. Furthermore, over 50% of touches outside of email and phone are through LinkedIn.”

Reps must have active Team or Enterprise Sales Navigator accounts in order to take advantage of this new feature set.

Also new to SalesLoft is a Zipwhip app which allows reps to insert text messaging steps into their cadences.  Texts can also be sent and received from a business phone from within SalesLoft.  Inbound and outbound messages are grouped into conversations and displayed as part of the contact’s activity feed.

SalesLoft Zipwhip text messaging app
SalesLoft Zipwhip text messaging app

HG Data for Salesforce Upgrade

HG Data for Salesforce now supports Lead record enrichment with firmographics and technographics.
HG Data for Salesforce now supports Lead record enrichment with firmographics and technographics.

HG Data recently unveiled a set of enhancements to its HG Data for Salesforce app.  The Lightning Data app now supports integrated account prospecting and lead enrichment, features heavily requested by their customer base.  HG Data’s firmographic and technographic content is also available for lead routing, scoring, and segmentation.

Lead Enrichment supports both real-time and scheduled batch enrichment with firmographic and technographic intelligence.  Lead records are updated every fourteen days. Webform leads passed through Marketo and Pardot are processed in real-time, enabling immediate lead scoring and routing.

HG Data technographic intelligence is also available for Salesforce reports, dashboards, workflows, and triggers.  For example, Salesforce admins can build reports based upon technology usage scores or trigger Chatter messages informed by which platforms are deployed at leads.

According to CEO Elizabeth Cholawsky, “Our lead enrichment capabilities allow marketing groups to engage with prospects earlier and more meaningfully in the sales cycle for things like contextual outreach programming, more personalized lead nurturing, targeted content marketing, and other top of funnel activities.”

HG Data for Salesforce now supports Lead record enrichment with firmographics and technographics.
HG Data for Salesforce now supports Lead record enrichment with firmographics and technographics.

The new Discover Companies functionality supports both direct account lookup and list building.  Selection facets are displayed in a right-handed window and include firmographics (e.g. HQ country, state, and city; revenue and employee ranges; industry) and technographics (product, product category, and vendor).  The results list flags current accounts to help prevent duplicates but does not contain a suppress current accounts feature. Users may select up to 25 accounts at a time for immediate import to Salesforce.

Technographic prospecting helps expand the scope of target accounts as it helps identify firms using both complementary and competitive platforms.  Users can then refine the list via firmographics.

“One of the biggest discoveries B2B sales and marketing teams make when they start using our technographic data is that their known available market might be 3 to 5 times bigger than they had thought,” said Cholawsky. “The latest version of our app enables users to take fast and precise action by allowing them to import net new accounts directly into their Salesforce CRM instance based on our leading comprehensive tech installation data and supplemental firmographics.”

The new Discover Companies tab supports both account prospecting and account lookup via the search bar.
The new Discover Companies tab supports both account prospecting and account lookup via the search bar.

“Everyone and everything is getting smarter and more connected than ever before, and companies are looking to transform the way they connect with customers, partners and employees,” said Kori O’Brien, SVP, ISV Sales, Salesforce. “By leveraging the power of the Salesforce Platform, HG Data provides customers with an easy way to use and access technographic data to better inform their marketing and sales programs.”

Pricing begins at $5,000 per annum for HG Data for Salesforce.  If the Discover Companies module is included, the minimum price begins at $6,000.  Volume pricing is available with tiers at 50 and 500 employees.

HG Data offers sales and marketing intelligence services to tech titans (e.g. Microsoft, HPE, IBM, Dell, Salesforce), predictive analytics companies (e.g. LeadSpace, Everstring, Lattice Engines), and sales intelligence vendors (e.g. TechTarget, Dun & Bradstreet, Zoominfo).

HG Data employs 65 and has raised $24 million in funding to date.  Investors include Updata Partners, Rincon Ventures, Epic Ventures and Stepstone Capital.

Data coverage now spans 12.4 million global locations across 8,000 technology products and 4,000 vendors.  HG Data uses advanced data science to parse billions of structured and unstructured documents each month. Technographic insights are derived from over twenty different document types including case studies, white papers, press releases, blogs, job postings, and government documents.

TechTarget Priority Engine Q2 Release (Part II)

Priority Engine i-frame widget for Salesforce
Priority Engine i-frame widget for Salesforce

As I discussed in Part I of this article, technology media and intent purchasing firm TechTarget recently launched a set of enhancements to its Priority Engine service that improved the user experience, added persistent URLs, list assignments, and added user roles.

The release also supported a new Salesforce widget and a repackaged offering.  The Salesforce widget identifies which technology topics are actively being researched by the prospect and whether the prospect is actively evaluating vendors.  Other features include a persistent URL link to the full dashboard and available prospect counts.

TechTarget repackaged its offering with the Q2 release.  While it has premium pricing compared to other technology sales intelligence service, TechTarget’s ability to identify firms which are actively looking for solutions by product segment, recommend the key stakeholders around the buying decision, and flag which competitive or complementary vendors are of interest to each prospect differentiate it from other vendors.  This “Active TAM” approach helps sales reps focus their attention and messaging to the best opportunities currently in the market for solutions.

Priority Engine has market momentum.  TechTarget added 50 new Priority Engine accounts in Q1 after adding 40 new accounts in Q4.  Revenue more than doubled in Q1 versus a year earlier.  The firm is also shifting its sales and marketing focus from media and lead generation to data solutions and insights.  On his recent earnings call, CEO Michael Cotoia remarked that the firm has “the leadership position” in B2B IT purchase insights and that the TechTarget salesforce is now leading with data solutions.

Cotoia described the Priority Engine value proposition as “purchase intent insights happening in our world across our universe of sites and topics” which are integrated into the customer’s workflow.  Furthermore, Priority Engine informs sales and marketing about “what accounts are active and what accounts are active with your competitors, oh, and what accounts are not active with you.”

TechTarget is successfully rolling out the service to firms which target technology companies, nearly doubling its user base over the past six months.

HG Data: CEO Interviews (Part II)

HG DAta Harris

I sat down with Craig Harris and Elizabeth Cholawsky of HG Data last month. Elizabeth had joined HG Data as their new CEO eight days earlier with Craig shifting from CEO to R&D Leader and Chairman. We discussed the transition, partner management, product planning, and the entry into other information verticals. The interview has been edited for length and will be published over the next few days.  [Part 1]


Michael: Craig, let’s talk about your new role and the future of HG Data.

Craig: Over time we’ve ingested and continue to ingest billions of company documents. These documents don’t just cover IT or technographics. They span every geography, every vertical, every category.  Technographics is really just scratching at the surface. There are so many more insights within our corpus, and we’ve already built the tools and have the machinery to extract them. That’s where I want to spend my time. That’s where I want to focus.

That means a couple of things. It means going much deeper in this phase that we’re already in. Going beyond just company X is using product Y. There’s so much more context and insight and actionability that we can mine around the technographics that we are already selling to the market. There are other opportunities beyond technographics and we’re already monetizing that in the digital display part of our business, which is growing really fast.

I think this is just a perfect partnership between Elizabeth and myself. I get to go back to what I love the most which is the R&D. We’ve got a real pro here at home that can help us scale to the next revenue milestones and beyond.

Michael: The other industry that you’ve entered is healthcare. You partnered with `.

Craig: Yes, that was a couple of years ago. Our thesis is, we’ve got this massive corpus of information, can we extract information beyond technographics? Doing our deep dive into healthcare, of course, we started with the specialized software and hardware products that are used within healthcare organizations.

Quickly from there it became looking at equipment that you used in the operating room or how many beds are at certain healthcare facilities. That was very much a successful test of our ability to move into other verticals. That quickly became a very meaningful business for us. We’ve already proven that we can replicate what we’ve done in the technographic space.

More importantly, beyond technographics, there’s so much opportunity in the space that we’re currently in. We launched our HG Data for Salesforce product in November, so this is really one of our first forays into going and putting more of an experience around the data. This is an area where having someone with Elizabeth’s experience just puts us in a great position to explore those avenues.

Michael: Lightning Data is just an application – Account data maintenance within the AppExchange. It’s a small subset of the broader scope of applications in the AppExchange.

Elizabeth: Right. Yes. We’re working closely with them and talking about co-marketing opportunities to get a little more visibility around the Lightning Data app.

Michael: You have some other products you also launched around marketing analytics last year?

Craig: Well, so we’ve got the HG Data Platform. I wouldn’t really call it a product but an introductory way to discover the different data sets that we have available. It also has light analytics in terms of growth of those products by geography and other types of firmographics.

But really the main product launched is HG Data for Salesforce. That’s our premium offering inside Salesforce. We also have a demo version called HG Data for Salesforce Lite.  We just launched that.

HG Data Focus [Chrome extension] is a tool used by thousands of sales reps and BDRs and marketing folks. That’s been a wonderful way to experience our data.

The other product launch was HG Data Audience. It’s our digital display advertising offering where we’ve worked with third-parties to get our data put into the systems or the workflows for building both syndicated audiences as well as custom audiences.

That product is growing really fast.  It’s branded and available inside of Oracle Data Cloud, LiveRamp Data Store, DoubleClick Bid Manager and many others

Michael: Craig, going out five years, where do you see the company on the product side?

Craig: With technographics, if you look at some of the partners that we have within the HG ecosystem, we’ve identified at least a couple dozen different use cases and applications for our data. That’s just looking at the sales and marketing ecosystem. The enormity of what could be powered by HG, if we choose to build that ourselves for end users inside of their workflows, is exciting. Or, we may decide in certain scenarios that there are other companies that are just so good at that particular delivery of service to customers that we are more impactful powering that application It just makes a lot more sense to leverage partners in certain circumstances.

What I see happening over the next two to five years starts with technographics. We are going to choose some of those areas of application and we are going to build and power really wonderful experiences with our data directly for end users. And with many other applications for sales and marketing, if not the majority of other applications, we are going to continue working very closely with the wonderful partners that we have been working with for so many years. Over the two to five-year time-frame, I believe that we have the opportunity to go and replicate that same experience in a multitude of other vertical markets.

That’s where I’ll be spending a lot of my time just exploring which other verticals and markets we can go into and build unique data sets. Currently, I believe that we deliver the holy grail of data within the software and hardware space. Part of the holy grail of data is technographics.  As we evaluate moves beyond healthcare and we move into manufacturing or transportation or any number of verticals, the definition of the holy grail of data becomes very different. That’s where I’m going to be spending the better part of the next several years working as Elizabeth helps provide some guidance. We are going to be very deliberate with the next markets that we choose to move into.

Michael: What sort of time-frame do you see yourself entering these additional verticals?

Craig: Right now, I think the focus and the priority is optimizing the areas that we are already in, so there’s a lot more work to do in technographics and healthcare before we start jumping in those multiple other verticals.

My vision for HG Data five years from now is that HG Data has become the de facto leader in the technographic space – not just building the data and surfacing the data, but in putting it to work for our customers.  At the end of the day our customers don’t care about technographics. They care about knowing who their next customer is going to be or how they are going to retain and grow their existing customers. Five years from now I hope that HG Data will be informing this in the IT vertical as well as four or five other vertical markets.


Part III covers partnership strategy and company performance metrics.

D&B Hoovers Q1 Enhancements

Users can now filter by corporate employee counts or location employee counts. Both numbers appear in the results list.
Users can now filter by corporate employee counts or location employee counts. Both numbers appear in the results list.

Dun & Bradstreet continues to invest in their D&B Hoovers platform with a set of content and functionality enhancements. Since the beginning of the year, Dun & Bradstreet expanded its prospecting selects, added deeper technology and company coverage, tightened its Microsoft Dynamics integration, and increased the number of fields available for export to connectors.

Dun & Bradstreet added a series of new display and screening variables including Employees 1-Year Growth, Area Code Exclusions, and Employee Counts at the company or site level. D&B Hoovers now supports over 175 prospecting variables.

Three additional domestic location filters were also added. The Domestic Ultimate D-U-N-S Number identifies the top location within a country, helping with territory expansion and cross-selling. Related variables include Is Domestic Ultimate (Select for the top national offices) and Domestic Ultimate Company (all children of the Domestic Ultimate Company).

The new selects are generally not available in competitor products.

Avention (now D&B Hoovers) platforms have long supported variables for screening by ultimate parent country and ultimate parent. The new Domestic Ultimate D-U-N-S Number selects expand the options for sales and marketing to target accounts at the country level. Thus, if a company is looking to enter a new market, they can evaluate their ABM account presence within that market and focus sales and marketing campaigns around those prospects.

The Technologies premium offering was also enhanced with coverage expanded to 195 countries, 2.7 million companies, and over 20 million tracked technologies. Technologies are screenable at the vendor and product level and viewable as part of the Technologies in Use report. Dun & Bradstreet did not indicate whether they gathered the data or licensed it from a third-party.

Microsoft Dynamics admins can now set D&B Hoovers to automatically use D-U-N-S Numbers populated by the D&B Optimizer for Microsoft enrichment service.

“This feature eliminates the need for the manual match and selection step that is used to populate records in D&B Hoovers.  Once D-U-N-S Numbers are attached, the records become automatically eligible for de-duplication when sending to CRM.”

  • Phil McWade, Dun & Bradstreet Director of Product Management

D&B Hoovers added 15 additional CRM and MAP export fields including D&B Prescreen score, Franchise Status, Import/Export Status, Manufacturing Status, Owns/Rents, 8 Digit SIC and Description, Latitude and Longitude, Tradestyle, and Square Footage. Most of these variables were added to D&B Hoovers over the past year and are also available for display, screening, and download.

In March, D&B Hoovers added over seven million companies including 6.8 million from Brazil, 360,000 from Argentina, 210,000 from India, and 78,000 from Australia. The Russian Federation and Vietnam also added over 50,000 company profiles. D&B Hoovers now covers 21 million active companies in South America and nearly 129 million global entities.

SFDC Lost its Leg in Boston This Year

I attended the Salesforce World Tour Event in Boston yesterday and came away a bit underwhelmed.  I’ve attended it for the past four or five years, so that may be part of the reason I didn’t stay for the full day.

In attending, I had several topics top of mind:

  1. What is the future of Data.com?  Will it be phased out and when? If they are attriting 30% of their revenue this year (a Dun & Bradstreet estimate), how are they guiding their customers to AppExchange solutions in lieu of Data.com?
  2. How is Einstein being infused into their Sales Cloud?  How are they ensuring that Einstein Insights are based on accurate and timely data?
  3. What is the future of SalesforceIQ CRM technology (it is being decommissioned in 23 months)?
  4. Meeting with Sales and Marketing Intelligence vendors on the floor.

I stopped by several of their sales and platform booths, but nobody had any answers on Data.com.  This is the second year in a row in which there was no mention of data or the future of B2B prospecting, data enrichment, or sales intelligence at the event.  Salesforce has never been much of a data company.  They botched Data.com from Jigsaw acquisition through decommission.  A few months after announcing a detailed roadmap at Dreamforce, they cancelled their Dun & Bradstreet content partnership in early 2017.

Eintein Insights 1But if you are going to build analytics into your platform, license the iconic Einstein name for it, and tout it as an enabling technology for all of your clouds, then maybe you should have a strategy for ensuring that Einstein Insights are based upon quality data.

I did get to see a quick demo of Einstein Insights for the Sales Cloud.  It provides lead scoring with recommendations so a sales rep can see whether a lead is likely to convert (or other goals) and review the top reasons for the score.  It even goes so far as to recommend additional contacts but fails to justify those names.  It appeared the names were mined using the SalesforceIQ technology, but all that was demonstrated was the name — no title, level, or reason to reach out to that individual.  Salesforce is on the right track here but needs to expand its explanations for lead scores to its contact recommendations.

As to sales and marketing intelligence, there was only one vendor on the floor — Zoominfo.  They were demonstrating their new Clean and Complete services for Salesforce.  Clean provides batch account, contact, and lead record enrichment while Complete provides account, contact, and lead record appends during data entry and batch upload.  Due to the depth of the Zoominfo database, the Complete service has an 80% account match rate and a 65% contact match rate.

Both services support custom mapping.  Pricing is based upon record volume.

The keynote lacked the energy of prior years when Keith Block, COO, performed the duties.  While Sarah Franklin, EVP of Developer Relations did a fine job, Block is from Boston and made sure the event was localized.  Missing this year were sports heroes (e.g. Tom Brady, Bill Belichick) and the Drop Kick Murphys.  If you want to wake up a 10:00 AM keynote, the Drop Kicks and their Irish punk are a great way to do so.

I’m a sailor peg
And I’ve lost my leg
Climbing up the top sails
I’ve lost my leg!
I’m shipping up to Boston, whoa…
  • “I’m Shipping up to Boston,” Drop Kick Murphys

There was a presentation on Year Up (an inner city business training program) with a local success story, but the 75 minutes were basically rehashed Dreamforce partner videos and content with a focus on B2C.  Even the B2B example, 21st Century Fox, was equally a promo for “Dead Pool 2” and other Fox properties as it was a demo of Quip and its marketing and project management tools.  The distributor relations aspect of the story was a bit light.

So let’s bring back Keith Block next year and expand the exhibition space.  The Hynes Exhibitor Floor was too crowded, too hot, and too noisy.

I don’t mean to grouse.  Salesforce is a terrific company.  They have a strong social mission, a market leading product, and an ability to keep things fun.  It’s just that this year didn’t match prior Boston events, and the company has diversified into so many clouds and capabilities that the Sales Cloud and Sales Partner solutions get crowded out.

 

 

 

IBISWorld Call Prep Insights for SFDC

IBISWorld Key Facts help sales reps quickly assess industry financial trends and provide a set of C-level talking points.
IBISWorld Key Facts help sales reps quickly assess industry financial trends and provide a set of C-level talking points.

Industry market research firm IBISWorld rolled out its new Call Prep Insights Salesforce connector. The service delivers IBISWorld market research and Q&A content to sales and client relations professionals. IBISWorld insights are displayed on the Account record as Market Intelligence with over 1,300 industries and sub-industries covered. Regional versions are available for the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

“IBISWorld Call Prep Insights facilitates consultative selling by enabling value-added outreach to prospects and clients,” states the firm’s User Guide. “IBISWorld Call Prep Insights delivers data, strategic insights and tactical talking points for hundreds of industries that your front-line staff can use for more engaging conversation.”

Market Intelligence, published at the 5-digit NAICS level, includes

  • Major industry trends
  • Industry structure
  • Conversation starters on industry risks and opportunities
  • Five-years of historical metrics alongside five-year forecasts

Industry and sector metrics include industry revenue and revenue growth, employment growth, average wages, and profit margin. Sparkline graphs provide both historical context to these metrics and industry projections. These details are particularly useful when speaking to C-Level executives as well as finance and operations teams.

Industry structure covers topics such as capital intensity, regulation change, technology change, competition level, market concentration, and major companies with their market share.

The Industry Structure section explains the underlying industry structure for non-experts.
The Industry Structure section explains the underlying industry structure for non-experts.

The Engagement section provides “a short discussion of the key Issue and Threat to the industry. These items are associated with SWOT-type research that shows the macro trends that companies should seek to actively manage in order to exploit opportunities and mitigate risks.”

Call Prep Questions are divided into internal issues and external impacts. They include a short discussion of the issue followed by a set of questions the sales rep can ask to engage the prospect.

Having recently engaged in an industry research project which employed both First Research (a set of industry overviews available within Dun & Bradstreet products) and IBISWorld content, I found IBISWorld to be more technical than First Research which is written in plain English for non-experts. Both services offer Q&A content which provides a set of c-level questions that work as discussion openers. Thus, First Research may be a better fit for territory reps and junior relationship managers while IBISWorld would better fit the informational needs of named account reps, verticalized reps, and experienced relationship managers.

Companies are auto-matched against IBISWorld’s universe of 14,000 companies. Otherwise, users can manually search for industries by keyword or NAICS.

Pricing begins at $55 per user per month. Both Salesforce Classic and Lightning editions are supported.

“The sales environment is not only getting more competitive, it’s getting more intelligent. Salespeople need to go beyond being experts in their products. They need to showcase how they will solve business problems. That’s why we’re launching the IBISWorld Call Prep Insights Salesforce app. Professionals will have an industry cheat sheet of talking points at their fingertips to better engage with their clients on the most important issues impacting their businesses,” says Carmen McKinney, VP of Product Development.