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.

 

 

 

Holistic Data Quality

A contact database that is 90% accurate is subject to a 25% decay rate.; thus, after 9 quarters it is less than 50% accurate.
Contact databases are subject to a 25% decay rate; thus, a contacts database that is 90% accurate today will be 70% accurate a year from now and less than 50% accurate after nine quarters.

Poor data quality is a disease which slowly destroys the value of your marketing database.  Quality is damaged through incomplete information, poor data entry, and data decay.  A traditional response is to purchase new records, but this only provides a temporary (and expensive) respite from your data quality issues.

The data I’ve seen indicates that contacts decay at a 25 to 30 percent annual rate.  This means that a prospect list that is 90 percent accurate today will be little more than 50% accurate two years later.  Thus, a prospect list purchase strategy is like steroids, it makes your marketing database look healthier on the day the list is purchased, but it simply masks the growing disease within your database.  Treating one or two symptoms does not address the underlying problem — a lack of a broad, continuous data strategy.

However, if you take a holistic view around data quality which includes continuous DaaS validation, ABM look-a-likes, web form enrichment, lead-to-account mapping, duplicate management, data standardization, and reference database appends, you will have a healthy database that ensures your MAP and CRM platforms contain the richest, most accurate data.

Vendors that support holistic data quality include ReachForce, D&B Optimizer (FKA Workbench), Zoominfo, InsideView, Oceanos, and Openprise.  So if you are concerned about your ability to target, segment, pass quality leads to sales, score leads, or build predictive models, then begin with a holistic data strategy.  Symptoms of poor data quality include high email bounce rates, declining email sender scores, returned direct mail, duplicate records, incomplete records, accelerating unsubscribe rates, and sales reps that ignore your marketing qualified leads.

Any firm that is adopting ABM, advanced lead scoring, a single view of the customer, or predictive analytics, should begin with a holistic data quality strategy.  Otherwise, these advanced marketing strategies are bound to fail.

Data Quality in 2018

NetProspex WorkBench Value Proposition
D&B Optimizer (FKA Workbench) Value Proposition

 

As we are one month away from the new year, it is a good time to think about budgeting for data quality in 2018.

I know it isn’t glamorous, but that doesn’t mean it is unnecessary.

Data Quality software is markedly improved over the past few years.  No longer is it necessary to download and forward a file to a vendor and wait for them to process your marketing file.  Sales and Marketing Operations can now setup automated cloud cleansing that works within Marketo, Eloqua, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and other enterprise applications.  B2B vendors to consider include Dun & Bradstreet, InsideView, Zoominfo, and ReachForce.

These platforms perform both initial batch match & append and ongoing enrichment, ensuring that your sales and marketing files have both accurate and complete data.  These services also support company and contact prospecting, data health reports, suppression lists, and segmentation reporting.  A few even offer free data quality reports, deduplication, technographic enrichment, nixie files (defunct companies and departed exec files), web form support, sales intelligence services, and contact verification and standardization (e.g. address, phone, and email) for non-matched records.

As these services reside in the cloud and offer cloud connectors for the major MAPs and CRMs, the operational overhead is minimal allowing operations to focus on ABM look-a-likes, segmentation, and improved targeting instead of file management.

What’s more, data quality improvements benefit sales, marketing, and downstream systems.  A record cleansed and verified as it is created costs much less than a bad record passed down to other enterprise platforms.  Beyond direct cost reduction (storing bad data, marketing to departed execs, sales calls to abandoned voicemails, reduced time keying and updating records manually), there are improvements to segmentation, targeting, lead scoring, lead routing, and messaging.

So budget for data quality in 2018.  It isn’t glamorous, but it is effective.

The ReachForce Contact Enrichment Summary Report.
The ReachForce Contact Enrichment Summary Report.

Zoominfo Growth Acceleration Platform 2.0 Unveiled

Zoominfo prospecting now includes technographic screening and dynamic counts which update as variables are selected.
Zoominfo prospecting now includes technographic screening and dynamic counts which update as variables are selected.

ZoomInfo unveiled the 2.0 version of its Growth Acceleration Platform to customers at its Growth Acceleration Summit in Boston this month.  Amongst the new features are a refreshed user interface, email tools, and expanded prospecting variables including Product / Vendor technographic selects.  The upgraded platform is currently in beta with general availability in Q4.

According to the firm, “ZoomInfo’s Growth Acceleration platform combines the most comprehensive and actionable B2B market intelligence with tools that help optimize sales and marketing effectiveness, jumpstart growth, and maximize profitability.”

The new user interface is cleaner and supports dynamic display which adjusts by form factor.  All of the pages, including company and contact profiles, employ a common look and feel.  Prospecting was simplified with complex stacked queries being less prominent.  However, they are still available to ZoomInfo’s data services team and power users.

Prospecting added product / vendor selects licensed from HG Data.  Multiple products may be entered for screening with the system defaulting to a Boolean OR (AND is supported, but the user needs to enter a multi-product Boolean string with AND logic).

Prospect lists may be maintained as dynamic lists (saved searches) or as fixed saved lists.  The system displays updated counts as each variable is selected. Zoominfo also allows users to suppress contacts purchased in lists in the past six months from search results and when building other lists.

Records may be uploaded from Outlook, Office 365, and Salesforce for enhancement and targeting.  Enhanced list analytics include pre and post data quality scores along with segmentation analysis. The Enhance Preview provides an analysis of the input data quality file, as well as a detailed report on what information was added, corrected, or confirmed using ZoomInfo’s data. The Data Profile tool shows users a breakdown of information about the user’s list, including top industries, job titles, revenues, and employee count.

The Zoominfo Enhance module provides before and after data quality statistics along with segmentation analysis on the Data Profile tab.
The Zoominfo Enhance module provides before and after data quality statistics along with segmentation analysis on the Data Profile tab.

Users can also upload an ABM account list for key contact targeting.

Company profiles include an expanded set of social media links (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube), related companies (licensed from Owler), and technology data.  Tech data is displayed as summary product counts by category.  The rep clicks on the product category to expand it by product.  Unfortunately, the service does not support customized filtering of products or categories by key competitors or complementary platforms.  As HG Data supports thousands of products, it would be a nice enhancement to support pre-configured product categories and products.  Otherwise, valuable account planning insights may be obscured.

Contact profiles now display more information about the company associated with the profile without the need to navigate to a separate profile.

The ReachOut Chrome connector, which provides on-demand company and executive intelligence from websites and LinkedIn, exports to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft.  Users can also send emails from within LinkedIn.

A new Outlook connector provides contact profiles from within Outlook along with one-click add to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft.  Salesforce duplicate checking is employed if it is turned on.  Users can upload records from Zoominfo’s ReachOut Chrome connector or Outlook as either Leads or Contacts / Accounts (previously this was only available from the Growth Acceleration Platform).  ZoomInfo will create Account records for Contacts if one does not exist in SFDC.

The new Zoominfo Connector for Outlook displays inline company and contact intelligence for each of the parties on an email. This feature helps with researching buying committee members and influencers.
The new Zoominfo Connector for Outlook displays inline company and contact intelligence for each of the parties on an email. This feature helps with researching buying committee members and influencers.

This feature helps with researching buying committee members and influencers.

While ZoomInfo partners with Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) vendors Outreach and SalesLoft, ZoomInfo has added light ABSD email features such as email templates and live email tracking. Templates include dynamic tags for information such as contact name and company name which fill in automatically with ZoomInfo data.  Emails are sent from the user’s default email program.

The ZoomInfo global database has grown to 220 million professional profiles (both active and inactive) and 13 million companies.  The dataset is updated continuously based upon web crawlers and a 300,000 user community that shares email signature data.  Zoominfo offers one of the deepest sets of contacts with emails and direct dial numbers.

Openprise Data Market

Openprise launched a Data Marketplace to assist with ingesting and normalizing third-party B2B and B2C data. Amongst the platforms supported are Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua, and Pardot. The Data Marketplace, part of the Openprise Data Orchestration platform, includes built-in rules to ensure data is properly onboarded. Users can set primary, secondary, and tertiary providers with multi-vendor data normalization rules.

“We’re excited to make ZoomInfo’s 210 million businesspeople and 11 million businesses available on the Openprise Data Marketplace,” said Phil Garlick, VP Corporate Development at ZoomInfo. “Openprise’s data cleansing and unification capabilities, combined with ZoomInfo’s data accuracy, provides marketing and sales teams with an unparalleled solution to run more effective campaigns.”

Other B2B Partners include InsideView, Orb Intelligence, Synthio (FKA Social123), and Dun & Bradstreet. Additional vendors are in the final certification stages. Openprise claims that new data providers can be setup in minutes.

Customers can extend pre-existing vendor contracts or take advantage of pre-negotiated discounts.

“Earlier this year, we surveyed 175 marketing professionals to identify data marketplace trends and published our findings in the B2B Data Market Industry Report,” said CEO Ed King. “We found that companies that worked with multiple data providers were much more likely to be satisfied with their third-party data, but those same companies expressed how much they struggled with pulling multiple providers’ data into their marketing and sales system of record while maintaining a consistent set of standards. Openprise Data Marketplaces solves this problem.”

Openprise polled marketers on which B2B data providers they have deployed. Source: "B2B Data Market Industry Report: 2017"
Openprise polled marketers on which B2B data providers they have deployed. Source: “B2B Data Market Industry Report: 2017”

The B2B Data Market Industry Report also asked which vendors were being deployed. The survey of 175 B2B marketers at firms with at least 200 employees found the top three vendors were Zoominfo (40%), InfoUSA (36%), and Data.com (35%). Surprisingly Sales Genie matched D&B/Hoovers amongst all of the surveyed marketers and exceeded it amongst enterprises.  InfoUSA rates were likely higher than the other firms as it offers both business and consumer data while Dun & Bradstreet/Hoovers and many of the other vendors offer strictly B2B data.

The most common use case for B2B data vendors is identifying additional contacts at target companies (62%). Marketers also looked to B2B companies to identify additional target accounts (52%) and append missing fields (50%). Only 37% were looking to B2B data vendors to cleanse their database.

The survey participants were well distributed across B2B industries with an over weighting to advertising / marketing.

Quora: Why is My Information on Zoominfo?

I recently answered two posts on this question.  As Zoominfo data collection is opt-out versus opt-in, executives are sometimes concerned about what is being collected and how they can opt out.  Here is my post:


ZoomInfo collects data about US and international businesspeople. Information is gathered via web crawling (for bio data) and email plugins that collect signature information such as name, title, company, direct dial, and email. This information is then available to its customers who use it primarily for sales, marketing, and executive recruitment. Customer use cases include prospecting lists for B2B email and telemarketing campaigns, data hygiene (i.e. confirming you are still at a company and that your contact information is accurate), and call prep prior to telemarketing or recruitment calls.

Here is an example of how they provide additional information about you to LinkedIn users via their ReachOut Chrome plug-in:

The ZoomInfo ReachOut Chrome connector provides just-in-time company and executive intelligence from corporate websites and LinkedIn.
The ZoomInfo ReachOut Chrome connector provides just-in-time company and executive intelligence from corporate websites and LinkedIn.

ZoomInfo does not collect any consumer or credit information. Thus, they have no lifestyle data, political affiliations, donations, income estimates, age, family details, credit histories, personal emails, mobile phone numbers, or housing data. They focus strictly on your professional persona.

ZoomInfo’s privacy rules and how to opt out of their database can be found on their website.

If you would like to know more about ZoomInfo, I cover them on my blog.

Sales Intelligence Vendors in the Inc. 5000 List (2017)

Several Sales Intelligence and business data vendors made the 2017 Inc. 5000 list.
Several Sales Intelligence and business data vendors made the 2017 Inc. 5000 list.  Data from Inc. with analysis by GZ Consulting.

Inc. published its annual Inc 5000 list of fastest growing US private companies this week. Several firms covered by this newsletter made the list including Synthio, DiscoverOrg, RainKing, Zoominfo, and Pure Incubation. To qualify for the list, companies must be private and have at least $200,000 in 2013 revenue.

DiscoverOrg made the list for the seventh year in a row with 2016 revenues of $59.4 million, up $15 million. The firm is in a strong position to make the 2017 list as they closed 2016 with an ARR of $71 million. DiscoverOrg’s three-year Compound Average Growth Rate (CAGR) was 40%.

“Our mission remains focused on accelerating our customers’ pipeline and revenue growth—we can only grow when they grow,” said CEO Henry Schuck. “Since our inception 10 years ago, our customers have experienced the difference our unmatched data has on their own sales. Making the Inc. 5000 list for the seventh time is a reflection of their trust and of our mutual success.”

Along with financial growth, the company has continuously grown its editorial-based content while expanding the functional and integration capabilities of its service. While originally focused on providing company and IT executive profiles for US sales reps, the company has globalized its coverage, extended into marketing tools, and added additional job functions including sales, marketing, HR, and Product Management (TEDD) to its database. By including CRM and MAP connectors, analytical tools, and light predictive scoring, the firm has increased the value it provides to companies across a broader set of job functions (marketing, exec recruitment, strategic sales, and sales operations) and found additional ways to augment the value of each record. In so doing, they have been able to maintain a profitable, cash-flow positive growth trajectory over a decade.

“Only a tiny fraction of the nation’s companies have demonstrated such remarkably consistent high growth,” said Eric Schurenberg, President and Editor in Chief, Inc. Magazine. “This achievement truly puts DiscoverOrg in rarefied company.”

DiscoverOrg’s top competitor RainKing also made the list for the fourth consecutive year. 2016 revenue rose $6.9 million to $33.9 million. RainKing has a three-year CAGR of 29%.  Two weeks ago, DiscoverOrg acquired RainKing.

“This has been a transformational year for RainKing and this award is a recognition of the satisfaction of our customers and the accomplishments of our employees,” stated RainKing CEO John Stanfill. “We have had some significant accomplishments over the past twelve months which have helped fuel our growth, but the biggest factor in our success is our ability to help our customers grow their businesses faster.”

Among the recent content and platform enhancements were a new user interface, coverage expansion to 65,000 companies and one million executives, the launch of a Federal IT dataset, and rebranding. The firm also moved to larger office space in Bethesda, Maryland.

New York-based Madison Logic made the list for the fifth consecutive year with a three year CAGR of 43%. CEO Tom Regan said, “We’ve developed the only comprehensive account based marketing solution that unifies display advertising, lead generation and advanced measurement capabilities that enable marketers to achieve a quantifiable return on investment.”

Zoominfo, which was bought by private equity firm Great Hill Partners last week, had a three-year CAGR of 39% with 2016 revenue of $39.8 million. The firm successfully pivoted into marketing services a few years ago with contact data enrichment services, list building, web forms, segmentation analysis, and cluster analysis. The firm has over 5,000 enterprise clients.

“ZoomInfo’s positioned for staggering advancement on both the employee and technology front,” said CEO Yonatan Stern. “As we continue on this journey we are focused on creating even more value for our customers.”

Zoominfo was acquired by PE firm Great Hill Partners in August.

Other sales and marketing firms that repeated on the list were Pure Incubation (44% three-year CAGR), Synthio (111% three-year CAGR), and List Partners (27% three-year CAGR).


2016 List