2019 has barely begun and we are already witnessing the contact data space change significantly. ZoomInfo and Data.com, two of the largest providers of sales and marketing intelligence won’t be around much longer. Join RampedUp Founder Scott Miller as we discuss alternatives for their customers. Register Here!
The sales intelligence space has always been ripe with consolidation. Perhaps it all started in 1933 when R.G. Dun and Company merged with The Bradstreet Organization to form Dun and Bradstreet. In recent years, D&B has gobbled up Hoovers, NetProspex, and Avention to round out their portfolio. We have seen innovative crowd-sourcing businesses like Jigsaw become data.com when they were purchased by Salesforce.com only to be discontinued in favor of social media giants like LinkedIn – who was bought by Microsoft.
But DiscoverOrg buying ZoomInfo is different in two aspects. One, ZoomInfo just finished its acquisition of DataNyze – a technographic company backed by Mark Cuban. ZoomInfo was making great strides with its international and SMB coverage. Two, DiscoverOrg recently bought RainKing – a contact data company focusing on the IT space. DiscoverOrg’s claim to fame was the accuracy of their data because they had so few companies to cover (just the global 200.) ZoomInfo is proud of their coverage with direct dials but never provided the org-charting that made DiscoverOrg so popular.
Now the two companies will become one and there is good news and bad news for the consumer. In the short-term, customers will most likely have access to both data sources until they figure out next steps. That is a win.
However, that will only last so long as the company wants to quickly realize economy of scale. Meaning the business will need to figure out the people, processes, and places that are its best fit going forward. DiscoverOrg just did this with RainKing and almost all of the inside sales personnel let go.
There will also need to be a conversation about sourcing techniques. ZoomInfo uses an email signature scraping technology that is exchanged for contact data. This technology is uploaded by the user and is rarely approved for usage by the user’s employer. And why would they ever approve it? There most precious commodity – their customer data – is quite literally being given away without their knowledge and possibly sold to their competition.
Lastly, the acquisition will have to be paid for and that will come at the expense of the customer. ZoomInfo was a great counterweight to DiscoverOrg’s rising prices but that of course will no longer be available. Companies looking for direct dial data contact data will be forced look elsewhere. There are alternatives that provide human-validated direct-dial contact data yet don’t have to fund the purchase of three separate businesses.
In the short-term, there will be a lot to like about the merger. Call it the honeymoon period. Longer term, as the company decides who it wants to keep and how they want to handle the business, there will be new processes for customers. The sourcing story will need to become transparent as no business willingly gives away its customer data. Lastly, expect to see rising prices as all these acquisitions need to be paid for by the consumer.
Keeping contact records updated and accurate is the key to healthy demand generation. Hubspot reports that B2B data expires at a 2-3% rate per month. So if you haven’t cleaned your sales and marketing tools in two years then the odds are pretty good over half your contacts have moved on. Most people are taken aback by that stat but just look at your own office – what did it look like two years ago?
Bad data manifests itself in various ways without you even seeing it first hand. As example, marketers watch their open rates drop and sellers spend more time on research instead of selling. In other words – your revenue generating productivity begins to fall off as your contact data decays. All is not lost however – there are three ways to update your contact data.
Email Validation – this is the age old technique of removing contact record when they bounce. This is a very effective method for companies that supply bounce data to email senders – but more and more companies are not doing this. As email has become a favorite for malicious actors – sophisticated companies are using Accepts All email servers. These servers will inspect emails for quality, quantity, SPAM, or malware and then decide to either send the email internally.
Social Validation – LinkedIn has become the database of records for most professionals. Chances are your LinkedIn profile will accurately represent your employment history and your current employer. The challenge for most companies however is that LinkedIn doesn’t just allow you to upload your contact records into their system for validation. The process is often very manual and comes with the errors of human hands. The second issue with social validation is that professionals often do not update their until they find a new job. So – if the contact was fired and is “on the market” that won’t be reflected on LinkedIn.
Human Validation – Machines do a great job at validating contact records at scale but they will never be able to match the level of accuracy of a human being. Your sales team already validates their own accounts and leads today because these records are the most important to them. (While this is a good idea – it does slow productivity as outlined above.) Some companies will employ interns or off-shore resources to validate or manually curate data from trade shows.
When building data for your own purposes or buying it from some one else – savvy sales and marketing leaders should employ all three methods. By the way – be careful if you are buying contact data. We recommend you start with social data as a starting point, validate the email records through SMTP negotiation, then finally have humans verify your most important contacts for accuracy. By employing all three methods you will have very little fall through the cracks for data quality.
That’s how we do it at RampedUp and there really is no better way to ensure your getting the best contact records available.
Atlanta, GA, Jan 24, 2019. RampedUp announced today that the company is honoring all existing contact credits of Data.com customers. On May 3rd, 2018, Salesforce.com discontinued selling Data.com Connect. As a result, RampedUp is honoring all Data.com credits for existing customers. To claim the credits, customers must be able to show proof of account ownership and existing credits.
Scott Miller, Founder of RampedUp, “Salesforce.com has cultivated a very loyal following of customers that have accumulated hundreds and thousands of credits. These customers will be left out in the cold when Data.com is discontinued on May 4th, 2019. For many people this is the lifeblood of their business. That’s why we created this program – to give these people an alternative.”
RampedUp uses a web-sourced model for collecting data – meaning contact information is indexed from social profiles, press releases, and corporate biographies. This is different from the Data.com model of crowd-sourcing but lends itself to better accuracy and less duplication, Data.com users will find a familiar interface for contact data and integration with Salesforce.com. They will also find the quantity to which they are accustomed:
- 190 Million Global Contact records
- 9 Million Companies
- 9000 Daily Trigger Events delivered to the inbox
William Lennon, Chief Sales Officer at GroupBDO, “As GroupBDO had to find an alternative to Data.com we were; quite frankly, a little scared of what the replacement marketplace presented to us. We were used to getting information quickly and without fuss and after looking at several of the vendors we did not feel that we could see a fit until we came across RampedUp! We are glad that we did and have been very happy with our downloads and the ease of use.“
About RampedUp: is an integrated Sales and Marketing tool created to provide every contact and company that would be a good fit for your business. We align sales and marketing teams by giving sellers the same access to data marketers use for their campaigns and a portal for marketers to share “just-in-time” content to move a prospect further in the sales cycle. By combining the needs of sales and marketing into ONE tool – companies can now align them for One goal
When is bad news good news for sellers? When one of your existing customers moves to another company. New executives are hired to bring in new agendas and are often looking to replace existing relationships in their first 3-6 months. As an example, a new sales executive will make $1,000,000 in their first 90 days in the office.
Identifying the executives that are important to your sales process and “helping them unpack” allows you to earn the right to help them set their new agenda. Even better, by following your OC/NC’s (old contact / new company) to their new place of business shortens sales cycles due to the familiarity with your product. Here are a some ideas to find old customers.
First, take inventory of your customer base including all former users as far back as you find necessary. Second, run a data health check to identify users that have moved to other companies and update that data within your platform. Also consider appending personal email addresses to your database of former users. When you do solicit your old customers – try these approaches for a “Help them Unpack” campaign:
1. Recognize, appreciate, and thank your Past customers for past patronage. Let them know they’re important enough to you.
2. Remind them of why they chose to do business with you in the first place (perhaps this is your unique selling proposition or the largest result they hoped to achieve with you).
3. Give a time-limited offer exclusively for former customers as a token of appreciation for past business with you.
RampedUp can help identify your old customers within your current database or update the old users with their current contact data. We would love to help.
For all intents and purposes – mass communication in demand generation is dead. Tools like SalesLoft and Outreach have made it too easy for sellers to send bulk solicitation to their buyers. As a result – these buyers tune out and unsubscribe. And that’s even if you make it into their inbox.
Savvy sellers understand that their solicitations not only need to be personalized – they need to be impactful. Introducing Trigger Event Selling.
Trigger Event Selling is very simple concept; companies share their achievements or goals in the form of press releases and we as sales people align our products and services to help reinforce those achievements or goals. If a company takes the time, energy, and effort to create a press release then that company obviously thinks the topic is very important. The opposite is also the case. If a company is receiving bad press then that company wants to be able to tell the media, stock holders, and customers that that company is doing everything within its power to rectify the situation. And more importantly, has the process in place to ensure it won’t happen again.
“You’ve been told for years that there is no silver bullet in sales. But there is. It is called timing – getting in front of the right person at EXACTLY the right time. When you have the right timing, the sale almost closes itself – you have fewer challenges getting to the prospect, understanding their dissatisfaction, presenting a solution, or selling at a much higher price.” Craig Elias – Founder of Shift Selling
In his opinion, the silver bullet in sales is timing and to reach the right person at the right time with the right message is how you find that silver bullet. Sellers looking for silver bullets should focus on the three P’s:
People – New executives are hired to bring in new agendas and are often looking to replace existing relationships in their first 3-6 months. Identifying the executives that are important to your sales process and “helping them unpack” allows you to earn the right to help them set their new agenda.
Product – New products and services receive the lions-share of a company’s attention to help them get off the ground. They are promoted with press releases and social media posts that are easy to spot. What isn’t easy however is connecting your service to the success of the new product unless you have access to a relevant use-cases. Make the connection simple and effective by providing a reference library for your sellers.
Places – When companies expand to new markets, they make for great triggering events for sellers. Companies that are moving into new states or countries also have compliance obligations that are non-negotiable. If your service can help with this compliance, then you are in a great position. New markets like EMEA or APAC require completely new go-to-market strategies that in-country services can uniquely provide.
Here is an example of using the news for Personalization:
As the VP of Sales at Tellio, I am looking to get 15 minutes of your time to discuss improving seller results through Account Based Selling tools. If this doesn’t fall under you directly, perhaps you could forward me to Jane Dixon in Sales Operations.
I recently saw where Tellio has a new product line helping HR professionals, complimenting your already strong presence with Finance. RampedUp has helped similar companies in the Human Resources space such as Ceridian and Workday by improving seller productivity by 27%. How? We provided company, customer, and contact details all inside of the account record in Salesforce.com. Now sellers don’t have to search for time-consuming sales data outside of their CRM.
Again, if you are free for 15 minutes next Tuesday afternoon then I can share in greater detail.
Join RampedUp Founder Scott Miller and SleevesUp CEO Aaron Biddar as they share 5 Healthy Demand Generation Habits to Start the New Year. The Webinar was Recorded on – Jan 23, 2019 1:00 PM EST
Let’s Kick Off the New Year with Healthy Habits!
Oh the temptation of adding thousands of net new contacts to your marketing database. After all what’s the problem? These people that are a good potential fit for you business. The fact of the matter is that everyone has bought a list at some point in time – but not everyone is doing it today. There are some significant risks and also some pretty fantastic rewards if you know what you are doing.
Why you shouldn’t do it. If you are buying thousands of email addresses to send a huge e-mail campaign then be prepared for disappointment. The entire industry is set up to prevent SPAM inside the US and outside of it you could be breaking the law. If you attempt to email a large list, most likely your email service provider will flag your account for sending unsolicited emails. The recipients will most assuredly report your activities – thus lowering your sender score. Your IP address will be burned and the result is that you can’t get your regular emails into an inbox.
Another reason why you shouldn’t do it is that email servers are very sophisticated these days and are on the look out for emails with too much HTML, SPAMMY language, or similar content to many of the same people. You will be “soft-bounced” as a result and again you won’t make it into an inbox.
The last reason is that laws outside of the US prohibit unsolicited emails. Canada has CASL and Europe has GDPR to protect consumers from unwanted emails. Even in the US – there is the CAN SPAM law that every marketers must comply with when it comes to email marketing.
Why you should do it. Email marketing can still be very effective but you have to know what you are doing – otherwise it just isn’t worth the hassle.
- Know the Law – In the US, you can email someone without their permission provided you respect their right to Opt-Out. In Canada and Europe you need their permission before you contact them so only email new people in the US.
- Know your Tech – Some companies like Pardot, Hubspot and MailChimp will severely penalize you or cut you off completely for emailing people without their consent. Try using a tool like www.clickback.com that will allow you to send outbound emails if you use a company that doesn’t allow for them.
- Know your Domain – Many marketers will create a domain for mass emailing that is separate than there normal email domain. This will protect your regular domain and still do outbound marketing.
- Show me you know me – take small batches of contacts that have similar titles, industries, locations, company sizes, or lines of business and write content that is specific to them.
- Avoid emailing too many people at the same company – this will help you find the inbox to larger companies.
- Warm them up – Never ask for an appointment on the first email – most experts say you should wait until the 5th at least. Invite them to a webinar or share some thought leadership at first.
- Something old / Something new – when soliciting new people you need to ensure it is merged with a list that you have already emailed. This will keep bounces / complaints to an acceptable percentage.
- Buy the Right Data – List building is a hard business because we live in a very transient society. B2B data expires at a 3% rate per month. So if a data provider hasn’t updated their product for 12-24 months, half of it could be out of date before you press send.
- There are no magic bullets – Even if you do all the above – the system is designed to protect recipients from unsolicited emails. You still may not make the impact you want on the first try. But incorporate these new contacts into a comprehensive strategy and you will reap the rewards.
The other reason why you should buy lists of new prospects is to empower your BDR team with contacts they don’t have today. Picking up the phone and calling a stranger still is your best chance of setting an appointment.
There have been many observers congratulating Marketo and Adobe for the recent acquisition. I can see why the marriage of the leading B2B and B2C Marketing Automation platforms will give CMO’s a one stop shop for martech. It will give the enablement and consulting ecosystem an easier time to support one company instead of two – a better proposition for the customer. However, I have seen firsthand when marketing technology companies are acquired when I worked at Oracle Marketing Cloud. I came in after the Eloqua acquisition and in the middle of Responsys / Blue Kai and the process looked a lot this:
Noah’s Ark – With an acquisition, there are two of everything including R&D, support, and sales. Marketo customers will be a bit nervous but the inevitable re-assurances will come from Adobe that Marketo will stay independent as will their commitment to success. But behind the scenes the exact opposite is happening.
Administrative infrastructure is consolidated almost immediately such as HR, Finance, and Legal. No big deal really, that is the economy of scale, until the budgeting is consolidated for research and development. After all, there can only be one mother ship. Developers are consolidated with the best talent being dispersed within the organization. Sales and support teams are blended to support the entire Adobe portfolio. That direct line to Marketo expertise eventually turns into an 800 number and a support ticket.
Brain Drain – Eventually, after restructuring settles into a new normal and Adobe has selected their best and brightest – the recruiters start to call. It really is a testament to those that make it past the Noah’s ark stage and the martech community knows it. Having been in their shoes, it is easy to take their call because of a drastic culture change, a diluted voice, and an unfamiliar formality in process.
Former Marketo leadership will move to smaller players or consultants and will most likely be replaced with veterans from Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, and Salesforce. One-off, this doesn’t hurt the customer but I have seen this become systematic to the point that almost all institutional knowledge is lost.
Old Toys – Adobe is now in acquisition growth mode, just like Salesforce and Oracle so they need to feed the beast. There will be another acquisition that will re-focus the energy and effort of Adobe leadership and the process will start all over again. You should expect development resources to move away from Marketo and towards integration of the Adobe suite. Eventually the Marketo user conference will become the Adobe user conference.
We have seen this movie before with Eloqua, Pardot, and Silverpop. The flagship product becomes a point solution and then it becomes somewhat of an afterthought. New technologies are built or added and what was once a consideration on its own merits is now a line item in a solution suite.
This process will take years so please don’t think you are stuck on a sinking ship. My advice is to sign yearly contracts to gauge how effective Adobe is with integrating Marketo. Always evaluate and get quotes from their competitors just to keep them honest.
If you are interested in talking to any of your peer Marketo customers – we have them available here.
RampedUp has been identified as one of the best sales intelligence tools, based on its high levels of customer satisfaction and likeliness to recommend ratings from real users on G2 Crowd, the world’s leading business solutions review website.
“We are very proud of our recognition from our user base – without them and their feedback we wouldn’t be where we are today.” said Scott Miller, Founder of RampedUp.io
RampedUp achieved High Performer on the Sales Intelligence Grid Report by receiving positive reviews, from verified users compared to similar products in the sales intellignce category. For inclusion in the report a product must have received ten or more reviews.
“Rankings on G2 Crowd reports are based on data provided to us by real users,” said Michael Fauscette, chief research officer, G2 Crowd. “We are excited to share the achievements of the products ranked on our site because they represent the voice of the user and offer terrific insights to potential buyers around the world.”
Learn more about what real users have to say (or leave your own review of RampedUp on G2 Crowd’s RampedUp review page!
About G2 Crowd G2 Crowd, the world’s leading business solution review platform, leverages more than 381,000 user reviews to drive better purchasing decisions. Business professionals, buyers, investors, and analysts use the site to compare and select the best software and services based on peer reviews and synthesized social data. Every month, more than one million people visit G2 Crowd’s site to gain unique insights.
About RampedUp Getting the attention of a decision-maker is hard work but sellers are 147% more likely to set an appointment when calling their prospects directly. RampedUp helps hard-working sales people by providing a “direct dial” phone number for their prospects – making their job more fun and productive. We integrate with Salesforce but we also create targeted call-lists that are easy to export. Account Based Selling has never been so easy! The Right Person, The Right Message, Right Around the Gatekeeper!