SalesLoft: New Partners, Connectors, and Features

The new Call Studio service provides continuous monitoring of sales calls via a new dashboard. Managers and trainers can listen to calls, whisper advice in the a rep's ear, or join the call.
The new Call Studio service provides continuous monitoring of sales calls via a new dashboard. Managers and trainers can listen to calls, whisper advice in the a rep’s ear, or join the call.

Prior to SalesLoft’s Rainmaker user conference, their VP of Product Marketing Sean Kester provided me with a demo and overview of the enhancements to their Account Based Sales Engagement Platform.  The key product announcement is their new Live Call Studio which allows managers to monitor outbound calls.  The firm will also be demonstrating enhanced Salesforce and Gmail connectors which support sales engagement intelligence and the Twilio dialer.

Amongst their new partners are Zoominfo, TalkIQ, and Vidyard which will provide company and contact details, call transcription, and video messaging services.

The other new feature is a “Draft on Behalf” service that allows reps to create emails to be sent from executive inboxes.

SalesLoft closed on a $15M Round B last month.  The firm said that the funds would be used towards product, marketing, and opening an office in San Francisco.  The 2017 product focus includes improved orchestration between sales, marketing, and supporting executives; enhanced insights and reports; expanded governance tools; role based workflow assignments; greater connectivity; and enhanced analytics.

Call Studio

Call Studio provides live coaching and feedback to help managers shape a consistent message.  Call Studio assists with new hire training as well as upsell and cross-sell training for more experienced sales staff.  The Studio displays a set of conversational tiles which track all current calls along with duration and participants.  A manager can listen in on any call and provide feedback afterwards, whisper advice into the rep’s ear during the call, or join the conversation.  Managers and trainers do not need to be at the same location as the Sales Development Reps (SDRs).  Conversely, reps can digitally raise their hand if they need assistance and will feel more confident as they ramp up.

Kester noted that “Front line sales is one of the most difficult positions in a business. Live Call Studio reduces on-boarding time, coaching time, and increases rep effectiveness with the ability to coach from anywhere. Live coaching can quickly identify learning and advancement opportunities so that reps can stay motivated and be more productive.”

Call Studio will officially be launched at their Rainmaker conference during the first week of March and is currently live at ten accounts.

Draft on Behalf

SalesLoft will also be unveiling an as yet unnamed “Draft on behalf ” service which allows sales reps to write an email to be sent from company execs.  The note includes subject, message, and recipients.  The rep also provides an explanation of the request.

Once written, the CxO is sent an email with an overview of the request and a button to open the message.  Executives can also view pending messages stored in a “Requests” tab queue.

A "Draft on behalf" Requests tab provides a queue of pending CSR-written emails for review and transmission.
A “Draft on behalf” Requests tab provides a queue of pending CSR-written emails for review and transmission.

The “Draft on behalf” feature will initially be available in Gmail with plans to extend the service to Outlook down the road.

SalesLoft Connect

Recently enhanced connectors include SalesLoft Connect in Gmail and Salesforce.  The Gmail Connect tool displays SalesLoft in a new right-handed sidebar.  SDRs can click-to-dial from within Gmail and view the live feed for the prospect.  Other SalesLoft Connect for Gmail features include contact search, launching emails, and adding the message to SFDC.  The contact profile includes a set of functions including

  • Add or remove from a cadence (templated SDR multi-channel messaging workflows)
  • View recent notes and activity
  • Flag as Do Not Contact
  • Link to social profiles
  • Open and edit SalesLoft profiles
  • View additional contact information

Connect in Salesforce is both Classic and Lightning-ready providing access to SalesLoft Cadences within SFDC.  Features include the contact profile, SalesLoft Dialer, Cadence view, prospect activity view, and bi-directional synching between SalesLoft and Salesforce.

New Partners

Finally, SalesLoft will be showing off three new ecosystem partners at Rainmaker.  SalesLoft looks for partners that will offer a freemium strategy within their service, so that even SMBs can obtain benefits from SalesLoft partnerships.

Vidyard supports quick custom videos which help “humanize” SDR emails along with video playlists.  Thus, an SDR could attach two short demos and a personalized introductory message.  According to Kester, “adding a highly engaging video thumbnail to your email cadence in SalesLoft will help your emails stand out, boost click through rates, and send response rates soaring.”

Vidyard functionality and workflows for SDRs.
Vidyard functionality and workflows for SDRs.

Vidyard tracks which videos were watched and notifies sales reps.

Free Vidyard allows users access to all their features with limitations on the total number of videos hosted in their libraries along with some sharing limitations. The paid version offers a more robust library, organization, and hosting feature set.

TalkIQ provides integrated call transcription.  Features include a summary tab, cross-call searching, audio clips, and coaching commentary.  Premium features include analytics and admin-defined algorithms that automatically pull calls based on specific criteria. These calls will be displayed in a premium dashboard.

From within Chrome, users will have access to Zoominfo’s ReachOut connector which provides in-context account and contact information to SalesLoft.  For example, an SDR could identify the perfect contact in LinkedIn, use the ReachOut extension to obtain contact information, and send company and contact details to SalesLoft to begin a cadence.

Note: SalesLoft is one of the four Account Based Sales Development services covered in my new 2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors.  Zoominfo is also profiled.

 

Sales Intelligence Vendors Move Upstream

ZoomInfo Personas provide a multi-dimensional cluster analysis for identifying persona categories and prospecting against them.
ZoomInfo Personas provide a multi-dimensional cluster analysis for identifying persona categories and prospecting against them.

Five years ago, Sales Intelligence vendors avoided selling into the marketing  department.  While there were a few enrichment projects for CRMs, these were driven by Sales Ops, not marketing departments.  Furthermore, SalesTech products are sold on a per seat basis for sales reps while marketing revenue is generally volume based (e.g. number of prospecting records sold or records enriched).  This made pricing of services difficult.

But MarTech was receiving heavy investments and several firms shifted their focus from sales to marketing.  Zoominfo began discussing Sales and Marketing Alignment and developed a set of marketing tools.  The firm, which had been struggling to grow revenue for several years, is again on a growth trajectory and made the two most recent Inc. 5000 lists.

InsideView also began developing marketing functionality and now treats the two departments equally.  Most of InsideView’s recent investment has been in building out marketing solutions or expanding their company and contact coverage (which benefits sales and marketing equally).

At the beginning of 2015, Dun & Bradstreet acquired NetProspex for its contact database and Workbench hygiene platform.  The firm also used NetProspex as the basis for their Audience Solutions programmatic marketing service which was launched in 2015.

In 2016, the Sales Intelligence vendors continued to move upstream into marketing intelligence and hygiene.  InsideView continues to enhance its Target, Enrich, and Refresh marketing tools while Avention launched OneSource DataVision for web form enrichment, continuous enrichment, segmentation, look-a-like prospecting, and TAM analysis.  Avention also launched Marketo and Eloqua connectors for their OneSource service.

“OneSource DataVision naturally extends the sales and marketing benefits our customers can gain from OneSource Solutions by being even more targeted with campaigns and programmes – including account-based,” said Avention SVP of Product Lauren Bakewell. “Better qualified leads and more targeted account-based approaches should bring better sales results, which should in turn strengthen sales and marketing alignment; we feel alignment happens best when sales forecasts are being met and exceeded!”

Zoominfo has repositioned itself as a MarTech company with a rebranding of their platform as the Zoominfo Growth Acceleration Platform.  While sales reps are still supported, the emphasis is on data enrichment, segmentation analysis, cluster analysis, and look-a-like prospecting against clusters.

DiscoverOrg and RainKing also placed greater emphasis upon marketing and ABM capabilities.  Both services support predictive rankings of accounts and contacts, MAP and CRM enrichment, and new opportunities (Inside Scoops from RainKing and OppAlerts and sales triggers from DiscoverOrg).

In 2017 and 2018, expect the walls between SalesTech and MarTech to crumble.  The opportunity to offer a solution for both departments via a shared reference database will continue to drive strategy at these firms.  As MarTech begins to consolidate, expect M&A activity within the sector and vertically with SalesTech vendors.

Sales Intelligence vendors have key assets that benefit marketing departments including large company and contact datasets for prospecting and enrichment; firmographic data for lead scoring, targeting, segmentation, and routing; and the growing ability to tie leads to accounts in real-time.  They are also well positioned to support ABM functionality with profiling, analytics (segmentation, Total Addressable Market analysis), and look-a-like prospecting.

Of course, MarTech is also beginning to eye SalesTech.  Last spring, Demandbase acquired Spiderbook and leveraged its capabilities to launch their DemandGraph relationship dataset.  The expanded content set employs semantic mining and machine learning to assemble the “entire business network of a company” which helps  “identify which companies and buying committees are in-market for particular solutions.”  The DemandGraph helps users target in-market accounts, identify key buyers, uncover meaningful insights, and deliver personalized content.  While they have not announced specific predictive tools or capabilities, they are hinting at such tools.

Demandbase DemandGraph
Demandbase DemandGraph

Meanwhile, the predictive analytics companies, which originally focused on lead scoring, are now building sales functionality including net-new contacts at accounts, account prioritization, flagging churn candidates,  and providing recommendations for sales reps.

Things are just beginning to get interesting.

2016 in Review: New Sales Intelligence Products

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Artesian opened an office in Boston and launched a US / Canadian edition of their Social Selling service.

Over the past week, I’ve been discussing how the fourteen vendors in my new 2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors have improved their products.  I broke this discussion into four categories:

  • Content: What are the inputs to these offerings?
  • Functionality: How are the sales and marketing functions able to leverage the content within these offerings?
  • User Interface: What have the firms done to improve the presentation and workflow of their products?
  • Connectors: Which integrations were updated? Which ones were launched?  These spanned CRMs, MAPs, Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) platforms, APIs, and Google Chrome.

So far, this framework has only looked at existing products and services.  This blog addresses the final question: What new Sales Intelligence products and services were launched in 2016?

Sales Focused Products

Artesian launched the US edition of their sales intelligence offering in 2016.  The firm also opened an office in Boston.

DiscoverOrg launched the TiLT certification program for sales development reps and marketers.  The program is available at no charge to current clients and provides “microburst” learning with videos, curated content, and challenge tasks.

In early 2016 they announced their Technology, Engineering, Development, and Design (TEDD) offering which focuses on product management and engineering.  In H2 2016, DiscoverOrg rolled out datasets for Sales (50,000 new contacts), Fortune 1000 CxOs (30,000 new contacts), and HR (80,000 new contacts) bringing the overall database coverage to one million executives at the end of Q3.

RainKing rolled out a global enterprises dataset with coverage of AsiaPac, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

InsideView launched Tech Profiler in 2016.  This add-on dataset provides technology profiles within InsideView Sales and can be used as a filter when building lists with Target.  The technology information is also available via API and InsideView’s Professional Services.  The API offers two new calls: retrieve technology implemented at a company and retrieve companies that have deployed specific technologies.

The dataset provides information about technologies used by InsideView’s top 525,000 global companies.  It covers more than 2,600 front-end and back-end technologies in more than 100 categories.  InsideView did not disclose whether they collected the technology file themselves or licensed it from another vendor.

Salesgenie Team provides a set of team tools to Salesgenie.  New features include lead assignment rules, add messages to leads, customer cloning, and tracking and reporting tools.  A new My Leads list displays assigned leads while a Sales Pipeline report provides team member analytics.

Infofree introduced a lower priced version of its service called SalesFlower which removes several features including background checks, business credit reports, CustomerCloner, and the CRM101 SFA platform.

Owler introduced an enterprise API service for calling corporate firmographics, competitors, and news.

Marketing Focused Products

Hoover’s added a trio of Concierge Services to its Hoover’s product line which target SMBs with revenue up to $250 million.  Hoover’s is providing three related services:

  • Targeted List Building – Identifies prospects similar to a client’s best customers.
  • Effective Email Marketing – Delivers email services including messaging, design, email coding, blasting, and testing.  Dun & Bradstreet also supports email verification, analytics, and unsubscribe / bounce management.  Landing site hosting is provided via an undisclosed partner.
  • Optimized Customer Data – Supports data cleansing, standardization, and data enrichment for customer company and contact files.

Avention’s OneSource DataVision is a hosted platform which consolidates and cleanses multiple customer data sources, integrating internal and external customer intelligence.  By matching Avention company and contact data against customer and prospect files, Avention improves the accuracy and firmographic fill rates of marketing databases.  The result is a unified view of customer data for accurate customer segmentation and targeting based upon enriched data from Avention’s Global Content Live database.

OneSource DataVision also provides analytics and visualization tools for marketers.  “As a result, you will be able to identify and leverage key customer and prospect segments to make more informed decisions, identify cross-sell opportunities, key industries, verticals and much more,” states Avention.

OneSource DataVision includes a gap analysis tool which assesses the total addressable market in order to identify underserved markets and growth potential.  After enriching and segmenting the data, OneSource DataVision users can prospect for similar companies.

OneSource DataVision, along with the flagship OneSource platform, form the OneSource ABM Solution, also launched in 2016.    This solution ensures sales and marketing teams are aligned around the right accounts to target, then provides the deep insights needed to create account plans, and targeted sales messages and content.

Zoominfo repackaged its service as the Zoominfo Growth Acceleration Platform for sales and marketing effectiveness.  The new platform helps sales and marketing teams “identify, connect, and engage with qualified prospects and replicate success.” The Growth Acceleration Platform is a cross-product branding that supports company and executive searching, list building, file enrichment, and data Insights (segmentation analysis and persona identification).  Other tools include a Salesforce.com connector, web form enrichment (FormComplete), and a new Google Chrome Extension called ReachOut which provides quick access to contact information from Zoominfo and LinkedIn contact profiles.

InsideView Refresh was launched as a new product in 2016. Refresh provides automated account cleansing within CRM. It’s currently available for Salesforce CRM.

InsideView also launched an ABM solution in partnership with Marketo. It’s a bundle that includes products and data services to enable targeted account and contact selection, campaign execution, and measurement.

In H2 2016, DiscoverOrg launched an Enhanced ABM Toolkit which builds an ideal customer profile and then identifies similar companies.  Users upload a file of their best customers which is matched against the DiscoverOrg database.  The system then performs firmographic and technographic segmentation analysis and then suggests similar companies.

Net

In 2016, the focus of the established sales intelligence companies was on extending their services into the marketing department and aligning their positioning around Account Based Marketing.  On the sales side, their were fewer new products or major functional enhancements.  Instead, they focused on expanded content and workflow improvements.  This strategy was best exemplified by Avention and InsideView.  Both firms doubled their company and contact universes, improved their user interfaces, and launched additional marketing products and connectors.  However, they added little new functionality to their sales products.

Five years ago, the sales intelligence services were firmly planted in the sales department with some also providing services for analysts.  Now, however, the marketing department is receiving equal or greater capital investment as firms look to support “sales and marketing alignment” with CRM and MAP connectors which leverage a common reference data set.

In 2017 I anticipate additional product announcements with ABM positioning across the revenue lifecycle.  The Sales Intelligence companies realize that if they establish themselves in the marketing department with a broad set of services, then their position within the sales department will be less subject to churn.

2016 in Review: Sales Intelligence Connectors

Avention offers OneSource for CRM connectors for SFDC, MS Dynamics, and Oracle for Sales Cloud (Oracle connector shown)
Avention offers OneSource for CRM connectors for SFDC, MS Dynamics, and Oracle for Sales Cloud (Oracle connector shown)

Continuing on my discussion of Sales Intelligence enhancements in 2016, my next area of coverage is connectors which extend functionality into CRMs, MAPs, Google Chrome, etc.

Almost all Sales Intelligence vendors offer Salesforce.com connectivity as a baseline offering.  Some have limited functionality while others provide a fully integrated offering encompassing virtually all of their website features along with update features (e.g. Batch, continuous, “stare and compare”).

The following vendors launched or enhanced their CRM connectors:

  • Zoominfo released a new version of Zoominfo for Salesforce in February 2016. Features include on-demand updating, new contact matching, segmentation analysis, and new targeted contacts. Zoominfo stresses that all enrichment, analysis, and targeting are done via “one easy-to-use interface” without the need to export files to Excel.  Zoominfo for Salesforce also added integrated prospecting. Data may be shared bi-directionally between the services so users can check for duplicates before uploading prospects to SFDC.  Zoominfo also added custom mappings for all fields into its Salesforce connector and improved the company and contact lookup workflows.
  • Avention released OneSource for MS Dynamics and OneSource for Oracle Sales Cloud connectors which integrate Avention functionality into the Microsoft and Oracle CRMs. Features include I-frame display, “stare and compare” updates, custom variables, prospecting, and the Avention Journal.  Avention also rolled a series of enhancements into its CRM connectors. These include:
    • The automatic population of matched records, bypassing the “stare and compare” step for new accounts
    • Avention Journal filtering
    • Avention Journal list views (the default view is calendared)
    • Modify the Avention Journal viewing period
    • Contact filtering by job function, level, title, keyword, etc.
    • News filtering
    • DataVision tab (if licensed)
    • Salesforce Lightning support providing improved tablet usability and dynamic resizing.
    • Batch duplicate management on bulk uploads (ignore, create, update)
  • Data.com added a Prospect Insights view which can be accessed from Opportunity and Account Detail pages. A “See More Insights” button takes the user to additional business and financial details from Dun & Bradstreet. Company intelligence includes D&B WorldBase firmographics and linkage, Hoover’s top company descriptions and competitors, and First Research industry overviews including call prep questions and industry summaries.  Data.com also upgraded the Dun & Bradstreet company family view to the Lightning platform.
  • DiscoverOrg released CRM connectors for Talent Rover, Zoho, and Bullhorn. They also enhanced their Salesforce connector.
  • InsideView redesigned its Salesforce.com AppExchange user interface and launched Refresh which provides automated account cleansing within Salesforce.com.
  • RainKing improved Salesforce.com synchronization.
  • To improve the Salesforce experience, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is no longer requiring sales reps to manually identify which contacts should be downloaded from SFDC to Sales Navigator. Synchronization can be managed at the administrator level. While SFDC describes this as improved synchronization, it basically downloads leads and accounts to Sales Navigator. No LinkedIn member account or lead intelligence is uploaded or available for updating SFDC records. However, the system does flag which records are in SFDC so that reps can manually key information from LinkedIn to SFDC.  For example, sales reps may add tags (e.g. Qualified) and notes to leads and accounts with this information then synched with Salesforce.
  • Artesian redesigned its Salesforce and MS Dynamics connectors.  Among the new features are sales trigger filtering by topic and trigger sharing by email, social media, and Chatter.

One of the major trends in 2016 was the continued expansion of sales intelligence vendors into the marketing department.  Most commonly, this involved Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) connectors with Marketo and Eloqua (Oracle Marketing Cloud), though some vendors support other MAPs as well.

  • InsideView released an ABM solution in partnership with Marketo. The ABM solution is a bundle that includes products and data services to enable targeted account and contact selection, campaign execution, and measurement.
  • RainKing released connectors for Pardot and NetSuite
  • Avention released connectors for Oracle Marketing (Eloqua) and Marketo which support data enrichment, account insights, and predictive analytics. The new MAP connectors support three marketing use cases: web form enrichment, uploaded list matching via the OneSource platform, and prospect list building within OneSource. Lists built and enriched within OneSource are then fed to Eloqua or Marketo.

Several vendors built Chrome connectors in late 2015 or early 2016.  Chrome connectors build additional feature functionality into the Chrome browser, usually centering around the contextual display of company and contact information related to corporate websites and LinkedIn profiles.  Firms with Chrome Connectors include DataFox, MattermarkZoominfo, DiscoverOrg, and HG Data.

To assist with messaging, LinkedIn now offers a Chrome extension for Gmail. The extension provides integrated access to public LinkedIn profiles and social contact information as a right-handed information bar. If a contact is not in Sales Navigator, users can quickly add him or her as a lead without exiting the Inbox. Icebreakers such as shared connections, experiences, and interests help shape account or prospect messaging. TeamLink colleague connections are also displayed.

Finally, several Sales Intelligence vendors began supporting Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) vendors (there are also non-SI vendors participating in ABSD ecosystems providing coaching, transcription, analytics, and other services):

  • DiscoverOrg: SalesLoft, Outreach, Tellwise
  • Owler: Outreach, SalesLoft
  • InsideView: KiteDesk, Quota Factory, SalesLoft
  • Zoominfo: KiteDesk
  • D&B NetProspex: KiteDesk
The Owler news feed is now displayed within SaleLoft allowing sales development reps to quickly customize their messaging.
The Owler news feed is now displayed within SaleLoft allowing sales development reps to quickly customize their messaging.

 

2016 in Review: Sales Intelligence UIs

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InsideView for Sales Company Profile (New UI)

Over the past few days, I’ve been discussing enhancements made to the 14 sales intelligence services covered in my new book, 2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence.  On Monday, I discussed content enhancements and on Tuesday I covered functionality.  Wednesday was supposed to be user interfaces, but Dun & Bradstreet dropped a bombshell and acquired Avention, so the UI discussion was bumped a day.

There are two approaches to UI enhancements: Big Bang and Incremental.  With the big bang approach the entire product is refreshed.  Such a project is a major endeavor and often involves a completely new look and feel to the service and upgraded workflows and design elements.  It may also involve new standards such as responsive design in support of mobile devices.

Big Bang

One example of broad product redesigns are the new interfaces found in Bureau van Dijk’s Orbis and Fame products.  These products focus on financial analysis and account research.  New design elements included a navigation bar, a contemporary UI, faster list building, new report types, shared information sets (e.g. reports, lists searches), and new analytical tools.

Unfortunately,Bureau van Dijk has not indicated any plans for addressing the old-fashioned Mint sales intelligence user interface.

Another example of redesign is InsideView which refreshed its user interface for its web browser and CRM connectors.  The browser changes were relatively minor, but the CRM connectors had a broader set of design and workflow upgrades.

DiscoverOrg also redesigned their user interface at the beginning of 2016 (it was in beta in 2015).  In February 2016, DiscoverOrg released a new platform designed with better speed, performance, and scalability. It included a new UI and enhanced features:

  • Streamlined prospecting against 62 variables across five broad categories: companies, employees, technology products, location, and triggers. The new UI immediately presents an updated result list as variables are selected. The same selects are available across three results views: companies, contacts, and triggers.
  • Export of contacts as profiles or as VCF
  • Company and contact notes
  • Suppression of companies or contacts when prospecting (e.g. suppress named accounts from lists for territory reps).
  • Admin user management and usage reporting
  • Ability to toggle between multiple departments on the same page (depending on subscription)
  • Ability to follow a company or contact with update alerting, including if they leave a company and reappear in the database under another profiled company (a unique DiscoverOrg capability)
  • Customizable dashboard based on followed lists
  • Contact profiles include previous job history and education
  • Company profiles include lists of current employees and recently departed staff.

RainKing went through a rebranding exercise which included a refreshed user interface. The platform has faster response times, improved searching, and an expanded technology taxonomy.

Zoominfo repackaged its service as the Zoominfo Growth Acceleration Platform for sales and marketing effectiveness. The new platform helps sales and marketing teams “identify, connect, and engage with qualified prospects and replicate success.” The Growth Acceleration Platform is a cross-product branding that supports company and executive searching, list building, file enrichment, and data Insights (segmentation analysis and persona identification).

Incremental

The second approach is more incremental.  Instead of changing the overall look and feel of the platform, workflow and layout improvements are made to a set of contained tools.  For example, list building is a contained functional category.  Upgrades to prospecting workflows do not impact the whole product, but are focused in a functional subset, allowing the upgrades to be compartmentalized.

Avention took an incremental approach to workflow with redesigns of their active homepage, build a list, and watchlists. The Build a List user interface was redesigned to improve usability while expanding to 150 selects. Lists may now be exported to Salesforce, MS Dynamics, Oracle for Sales, Marketo, and Eloqua.  New list management features include rename, pin to desktop, delete, modify criteria, and clone list.

The Avention active home page is now customizable with users able to drag and drop information tiles.   There is also an improved SmartList tile display and onboarding tiles containing product tips.

Expanded notification functionality allows Avention reps to manage new company and sales trigger alerts from a centralized location. This Watchlist supports filtering by read/unread notices, priority flag, trigger type, and list. A new flag allows users to flag notifications as important.

Likewise, Data.com originally launched the Dun & Bradstreet family trees in the classic UI, but implemented the Lightning UI for family tree viewing.  The family tree information mashes together the Dun & Bradstreet global family tree (e.g. linkages, location type, city, country, revenue, and employees) with Salesforce.com account intelligence including whether the location is already an account and the name of the account owner.  Users may expand or collapse nodes and add an account via clicking on a Plus button.

Owler improved the user interface for their advanced search (Build a List). They also added selects for area code and ZIP/Postal Code.

Net

Unlike content and functional upgrades, one would not want to have annual UI upgrades as they require customers to relearn key elements of the service.  There is value to both stability and change (a fact which is true of both product design and life in general).  If a platform goes too long without a refresh, it becomes stale and fails to leverage new browser and mobile device capabilities.  Furthermore, as new content and features are added to a platform, it can become overly busy and illogical.  Conversely, a platform which changes its design elements and workflow too often will frustrate users.  There are benefits in knowing how to efficiently complete a task or where to find specific information.  Change should never be simply for change sake.

2016 in Review: Sales Intelligence Functionality

InMail 2.0 provides full profile access, a signature block, attachment support, shared connections, icebreakers, and synch to CRM.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator InMail 2.0 provides full profile access, a signature block, attachment support, shared connections, icebreakers, and synch to CRM.

In yesterday’s blog, I discussed how expanded content is a common path for adding value to sales intelligence services.  Today, I am looking at how functionality, which usually leverages new or existing content, added significant value to product offerings in 2016.

Many of the vendors covered in my new 2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors added new feature functionality to their service:

  1. LinkedIn Sales Navigator: LinkedIn rolled out a series of enhancements to their service:
    1. Sales Navigator introduced InMail 2.0 with support for signatures, attachments, and conversational insights.
    2. Sales Navigator updated its prospecting user interface and added additional searching tools and screening variables. Sales Spotlights are LinkedIn specific variables that are displayed on top of screening results allowing for additional filtering:
      • Accounts with senior leadership changes in the last three months
      • Lead changed jobs in past 90 days
      • Leads with TeamLink Intro
      • Lead mentioned in the news the past 30 days
      • Lead posted on LinkedIn in past 30 days
      • Lead shares an experience with the sales rep
      • Leads that follow rep’s company on LinkedIn

       

    3. New prospecting filters include
      • Department [Job Function] employee ranges
      • Department [Job Function] employee growth (plus or minus 100%)
    4. Lead search results have been expanded to include a previously viewed flag, tenure at current company, and a quick drill down to TeamLink introductions.
    5. The Sales Navigator app added a new Discover tab which acts as a “Tinder for leads.” The tab provides five daily new lead and account recommendations.
    6. Sales reps may now add tags (e.g. Qualified) and notes to leads and accounts. Tags are searchable and synch with Salesforce.
    7. The Sales Navigator Android and iOS apps now display up to ten daily account or lead recommendations based upon user preferences. Recommendations will expire after 24 hours and be replaced with fresh recommendations.
  2. Artesian Solutions: Artesian rolled out V14 and V15 of its platform. New features include
    • Salesforce Opportunity rollup information in Artesian and Artesian intelligence within SFDC Opportunity records.
    • Improved Company Searching rolls up companies into a group
    • Improved de-duplication logic reduces news duplicates and rolls similar articles into a group.
    • Added North American prospecting filters for counties, business type, and the presence of specific job functions at a company.
    • A redesigned CRM connector for SFDC and MS Dynamics
    • Full sales trigger customization
    • Market sector alerts
    • An updated employees page which supports executive filtering by job role and seniority.

    Artesian rolled out version 3.0 of the Artesian Ready mobile app which provides company and executive insights synched with the mobile calendar. Ready also supports collaborative note taking and a “360° comprehensive profile of customers and prospects.”  New Ready features include company searching, company add to Watchlists, Twitter timelines and Twitter sharing, social links (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, AngelList, Crunchbase), job information, and a data quality form for reporting incorrect information.

  3. DueDil: Along with entering the US market, DueDil implemented a series of product enhancements.
    • Export Custom Company reports in PDF format.
    • DueDil Connect helps users identify and connect to decision makers, map and understand their network connections, and alert users on company news related to their contact network. Users can also filter by colleague connections within Advanced Search.
    • An ownership tab which makes it easier for users to perform due diligence (e.g. Know Your Customer compliance) and assess a firm’s governance structure. Ownership content includes directorship information, shareholders, and portfolio companies. The new tab also contains a Related Companies widget which identifies companies which are not formally linked but which have a high likelihood of sharing an economic interest. Related Companies may be registered at the same location, share several directors, have a set of similar investments, or have name similarities.
    • Dynamic company lists automatically update allowing firms to keep tabs on customers, prospects, partners, and competitors.
    • Alerts are provided on lists, with notifications displayed in a new DueDil dashboard which breaks events into news, opportunities, and risk sections. DueDil event alerts include changes in leadership or ownership, recent news, updates to budget windows, changes of address, changes in employee number, company blog posts and changes in credit score.
    • Upload a file into a list for matching, deduplication, and enrichment.
    • Custom list formats may be downloaded as CSV files.
    • Segment reporting on uploaded lists
    • Match and enrich functionality against uploaded files.
  4. Avention: Avention had a series of enhancements including content, UI, new products, and new connectors.  As each of these categories is being covered under a different blog, the number of strict functional enhancements is more limited.  These included
    1. New list management features including rename, pin to desktop, delete, modify criteria, and clone list.
    2. When lists are uploaded for match and append, improved matching heuristics and a larger reference database result in significantly higher match rates. The system now also tracks unmatched records.
    3. Expanded notification functionality which allows reps to manage new company and sales trigger alerts from a centralized location. This Watchlist supports filtering by read/unread notices, priority flag, trigger type, and list. A new flag allows users to mark notifications as important.
  5. Data.com: Salesforce began offering a two-part account record data assessment report. The new Lightning report analyzes both data quality and segmentation. The data quality section begins with a Data Health overview score which assesses account data quality across three factors: Matchability vs. Dun & Bradstreet WorldBase data in Data.com, Accuracy vs. WorldBase, and Uniqueness (lack of duplicates).  In Data.com Clean, Lead records are now enriched with the Dun & Bradstreet WorldBase file.  Finally, Data.com announced a new Data Exchange with three partners: HG Data, Bombora, and MCH.  Bombora released their integrated intent file service just before the end of the year.
  6. DiscoverOrg: In September, DiscoverOrg launched Deal Predict which ranks prospects on a one to five-star scale based upon a set of firmographic, technographic, and biographic variables defined by marketing or sales operations. Deal Predict scores are displayed in both DiscoverOrg and CRMs.
  7. Dun & Bradstreet: Hoover’s doubled the Build a List download size to 10,000 records.  Meanwhile, the NetProspex Workbench data hygiene platform added company record enrichment. The service also added profile discovery and TAM analysis to its set of marketing capabilities.
  8. Infofree:  Infofree added support for text-only email templates to its CRM101 platform. Users may send up to 25 emails in a single blast and up to 250 emails per day from Infofree’s SMTP server.  Infofree also now lets users integrate their Outlook or Google calendar accounts with CRM101.
  9. Zoominfo: Zoominfo released a set of enhancements to its service in March 2016 including a country select field in its List Builder. Other new features include contact Send to Salesforce and email an electronic business card to the user’s inbox.
  10. Owler: Owler implemented a set of advanced heuristics that help personalize the service. Stories are displayed according to interest in a topic and frequency of stories for tracked companies (i.e. rarely covered companies are given higher priority).
  11. Salesgenie: Salesgenie launched a Custom Fields service which provides scoring and custom analytics models. Infogroup builds custom models for cross-sell, upsell, acquisition, and at risk accounts. Scores are based on deciles and available for screening within Build a List.

So it was a busy year on the functionality front.  As I have broken out integration connectors and the user interface as separate topics, you should view this as a sub-list of product enhancements.  Thus, even though Bureau van Dijk did not make this list, they introduced a new user interface for Orbis (Global) and Fame (UK) this spring.  Likewise, InsideView rolled out additional connectors and refreshed their CRM connector user interfaces.

2016 in Review: Sales Intelligence Content

InsideView Coverage as of April 2016.
InsideView Coverage as of April 2016.

One of the most straightforward ways to increase the value-add of a Sales Intelligence Service is to expand the content it delivers to its users.  Generally, a vendor can license additional content within the same general category (e.g. more contacts) or expand coverage into new content categories not previously supported by the product.  The first approach is usually faster and less expensive as there is limited development involved in adding additional coverage within a currently supported category (assuming the vendor is not hitting up against platform limits), but there are still costs involved with licensing, de-duping, and merging content sets.  As such, it is much more common for firms to increase the scope of current data sets than to add entirely new content categories to their services.

So which of the fourteen sales intelligence vendors discussed in my new Sales Intelligence book invested in increasing their depth of coverage?  Basically, all of them.  Of course, the scope of content investment varied greatly:

  1. Avention roughly doubled their global company, contact, and email coverage.  Their product now spans sixty million companies, eighty million contacts, and twenty million emails (US and UK).  I previously discussed their AsiaPac expansion, but the coverage expansion was global with most of the new content outside of the US, UK, and Canada where they already had significant depth.
  2. DiscoverOrg also greatly increased its coverage as it grew to 60,000 editorially researched company profiles and one million researched contacts.  Over the past twelve months, DiscoverOrg had a 91% increase in company coverage, 134% increase in contact coverage, and a 371% increase in non-IT contact coverage (numbers supplied by DiscoverOrg). The non-IT increase was due to an expansion of their job functions datasets to include Product Management (TEDD), Sales, CxO, and HR.  The firm also continued to invest in their marketing dataset.  CMO Katie Bullard noted that “the Marketing budget has begun to meet or exceed the IT department budget in many companies and vendors” while “service providers selling into marketing continue to proliferate.”
  3. RainKing continues to build out its company and contact coverage and expects to hit one million executives by the end of 2016. The firm roughly doubled the number of decision makers in its database while extending its international coverage. They also have increased the number of marketing, finance, and HR decision makers.
  4. InsideView’s executive coverage grew to 17 million US contacts and 8 million European contacts. Total global contacts more than doubled to 31 million and global emails grew by 10 million to 17 million.
  5. Bureau van Dijk added RepRisk environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk reports to their service while continuing to build out their company database.  At the end of the year, Bureau van Dijk provided close to 210 million active and inactive company profiles
  6. DueDil rolled out enhanced financials for UK and Irish registered companies. Along with performance and growth metrics such as EBITDA and multiple CAGRs (compounded annual growth rates), DueDil is providing historical graphs for key metrics. In total, six new metrics and 12 key performance indicators (KPIs) have been added.
  7. Data.com expanded the Dun & Bradstreet content displayed in a new Prospect Insights view.  Extended company intelligence includes D&B WorldBase firmographics and linkage, Hoover’s top company descriptions and competitors, and First Research industry overviews with call prep questions and industry summaries.
  8. Infofree grew its executive email file to 26 million.
  9. Salesgenie raised its business email count to 58 million US contacts.
  10. Owler’s primary focus in 2016 was to expand their Competitive Graph and gather additional company intelligence. The Competitive Graph improved as the user base has grown and the firm has implemented a set of data cards (simple user queries such as is company X a competitor of company Y) which help refine sizing data, competitors, and a few other firmographic topics.  Revenue and employee figures have grown to 2.7 million companies.
  11. Zoominfo expanded its set of company enrichment variables with the addition of 200 new Company Attributes in October 2016.
  12. LinkedIn continues to add two members per second.  At the end of the year, they delivered 467 million global profiles across ten million companies.
  13. Dun & Bradstreet grew its WorldBase file of global companies to 265 million active and inactive firms.  Over the past few years, they have also focused on improving the depth and accuracy of their international file.

So who did I omit?  Technically Artesian Solutions did not make the content list, but that is simply because their new US edition will be discussed in the new product category.  Likewise, InsideView’s Tech Profiler Premium is also being discussed as a new product.