Qualified | April 06, 2022
Qualified, the pipeline generation platform for revenue teams that use Salesforce, today launched the Pipeline Cloud, a revolutionary new set of technologies and processes that help modern B2B companies generate more pipeline, faster and more cost-effectively than ever before. Built on a Salesforce-connected corporate website, the Pipeline Cloud gives teams insight into account-based buyer intent with Qualified Signals, helps sellers engage prospects with Qualified for Outbound, helps marketers convert ad spend with Qualified for ABM, and connects sellers and buyers in instant sales meetings, right on the website, powered by Qualified Conversations.
There have been seismic shifts that impact the way that B2B companies need to operate to meet the modern buyer’s expectations, meaning companies need to deliver smarter, faster-buying experiences. Today, 27% of buyers abandon forms altogether and instead educate themselves elsewhere, like a competitor’s site (Gartner). Another 80% of buyers fill out forms with false information to prevent calls and emails from sales reps (LinkedIn; Forrester). The impact of forms results in the website visitor to Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) conversion rate being at an all-time low. This phenomenon is called the “rise of the anonymous buyer.” When buyers are in research mode, they do it without divulging personal information.
This is why conversations are key: when sales reps have real-time conversations–timely, personalized, one-click-to-meeting conversations–with their best buyers, right on their website, pipeline materializes. Every piece of the Pipeline Cloud motion is designed to drive buyers back to a Salesforce-connected website, to engage them in a conversation that converts and delivers a stellar buying experience. When conversations happen, pipeline happens.
Companies need to deliver better experiences to buyers. The Pipeline Cloud creates a seamless experience for buyers and sellers through five key pillars of the motion:
By connecting a company’s website with Salesforce, the world’s #1 CRM, sellers get crystal-clear visibility into who’s visiting their site. Sellers can also see which companies they work for, if there are any open sales opportunities, and how they’re exploring their content.
BUYER INTENT SIGNALS
With the foundation of a Salesforce-connected website, revenue teams can track an account’s activity. Qualified Signals leverages first-party buyer intent data and AI-driven insights to tell companies which accounts are in-market to buy. By understanding these signals of buyer intent, revenue teams can iterate their go-to-market strategy and optimize a team’s time and efforts.
When companies can see what accounts are surging with intent, marketing teams can prioritize which accounts to target more easily. With Qualified for ABM, marketers can build audience segments and execute targeted campaigns that position a seller's brand top of mind and drive buyers back to their website with every click.
With Qualified for Outbound, your sales team can use buying intent signals to create high-converting outbound sequences. Sellers can prioritize target accounts with the highest propensity to buy and craft hyper-personalized email campaigns based on exactly what buyers have been researching. A focused outbounding strategy means personalized messages that buyers are more likely to engage with, and click through to your website to learn more.
Once buyers click through targeted advertisements or email links, they arrive on the corporate website. With Qualified Conversations, sellers and buyers can instantly engage in real-time sales meetings, right on the website, using chat, voice calls, and video. Conversations are king—they fuel the pipeline cloud motion whenever a buyer lands back on your website.
“Every sales and marketing campaign drives buyers to one place: the corporate website. It’s time for B2B companies to evolve how they leverage their website to meet with buyers and generate pipeline,” says Kraig Swensrud, Founder and CEO of Qualified.
“Every sales and marketing campaign drives buyers to one place: the corporate website. It’s time for B2B companies to evolve how they leverage their website to meet with buyers and generate pipeline,” says Kraig Swensrud, Founder and CEO of Qualified. “The Pipeline Cloud is the future of pipeline generation. We are thrilled to usher Salesforce customers around the world into this new era.”
IDG, Inc. | February 03, 2022
International Data Group, Inc. (IDG) – a global leader in market intelligence and demand generation solutions for the technology sector – today announced the creation of a new board of directors. The new board includes Peter Wallace and Vikram Suresh from Blackstone, as well as the company's CEO Mohamad Ali. Four additional independent board members from critical industries for IDG, including marketing technology, data and finance will also be added to the new board. They include:
Steve Singh, former Chairman and CEO of Concur and former Member of the Executive Board of SAP, who will join as Chairman
Scott McCorkle, CEO at MetaCX and former CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Carrie Teffner, former CFO of multiple public companies including Crocs and PetSmart
Al Zollar, former senior executive at IBM and former board member of RedHat.
“At IDG, we're building the premier market intelligence and demand generation platform for the technology ecosystem around two core connected businesses – IDC and IDG Communications,” said Mohamad Ali, CEO of IDG. “Our new board members add an impressive combination of corporate leadership, technology depth and finance expertise. These skills will guide us as we further expand our platforms to serve the broad needs for technology-related intelligence and demand across multiple industries.”
“At IDG, we're building the premier market intelligence and demand generation platform for the technology ecosystem around two core connected businesses – IDC and IDG Communications,” said Mohamad Ali, CEO of IDG.
"It's a new era in IDG's 57-year history,” said board chairman, Steve Singh. “As the world has changed, so has IDG. Today, it’s a technology and intelligence company that blends its proprietary datasets of two billion market-points with a one-of-a-kind network of 350 million technology buyers to drive performance for the world’s leading B2B brands. It's a remarkable company that has reinvented itself multiple times over the last six decades, and always in the right direction. It’s only fitting that the company is guided by such a knowledgeable group of industry leaders.”
Over the last 18 months, IDG has seen dramatic organic growth and has also expanded its existing technology platforms with four software and data acquisitions. These acquisitions demonstrate the company’s commitment to building best-in-class, proprietary market intelligence and marketing technology solutions between its two businesses. The IDG Communications’ MarTech stack – built by and for marketers – includes an ABM platform, Triblio; a marketing data and intelligence solution, KickFire; and a B2B sales and marketing data intent platform, LeadSift. These are already integrated into IDG’s dataset and iconic tech editorial-branded sites. Meanwhile, IDC acquired Metri, a data-driven IT benchmarking, sourcing and performance measurement firm.
In the coming months, IDG is expected to supplement its strong organic growth with additional acquisitions to expand the ways its data solutions and marketing platform help B2B marketers identify and drive desirable audiences and leads into their pipeline.
“The buying journey for B2B technology purchases are extremely complex and involve multiple decision-makers,” said new board member, Scott McCorkle. “With its trusted editorial brands, wealth of first-party data and growing MarTech stack, no company is better positioned to help buyers at every part of the journey than IDG. I’m excited to support them in this exciting new chapter.”
About IDG, Inc.
International Data Group, Inc. (IDG) is at the heart of technology, and we believe technology exists to make the world a better place. IDG has been ingrained in the industry for more than 57 years in every region around the world sharing trusted technology media, events and research through IDC and IDG Communications.
IDC’s research, data, advisory services and events leverage more than 1,100 analyst experts worldwide to provide global and local expertise on technology and industry trends in over 110 countries. Our analysis and insight support IT suppliers, IT buyers, business executives, and the investment community in making fact-based technology decisions that help them achieve their business objectives.
IDG Communications is a trusted editorial voice, creating quality content to generate knowledge, engagement, and deep relationships with our community of the most influential technology and security decision-makers. Our premium media brands, including CIO®, Computerworld®, CSO®, InfoWorld®, Macworld®, Network World®, PCWorld®, and Tech Hive®, engage a quality audience with essential guidance on the evolving technology landscape. Our global brands, proprietary first-party data intelligence, and Triblio platform enable marketers to easily identify purchase intent and activate complex campaigns that drive business results.
Metaverse, Facebook | November 03, 2021
Wondering what the metaverse really is? Let's make it simple! "Think of Metaverse as the internet brought to life"
Mark Zuckerberg described it as a 'virtual environment' you can enter instead of just looking at the screen.
Arguably, Facebook's latest move can be the biggest thing that can impact the metaverse since this concept was coined in 1992 by a Fictional Writer, Neal Stephenson.
As a part of a vital rebrand, Facebook has changed its name to Meta. The word "meta" originates from the Greek word meaning "beyond".
The social media giant, which declared the change at the company's annual Connect conference on October 28, announced that the brand name should encompass what it now does as it broadens the reach into newer areas like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
It also made a few major announcements about the metaverse — an online world where you can virtually hang out with friends, learn, shop, play games, work, and much more.
“Right now our brand is so tightly linked to one product that it can’t possibly represent everything we are doing today, let alone in the future. Over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards.”
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO & Co-Founder
The company’s rebranding initiative reflects its ambitions about metaverse and its new identity which will mostly revolve around its products, said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, and Co-Founder.
However, its individual platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram won’t undergo any changes. Only the parent company is changing.
The new website meta.com now shows various sections like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Novi, Portal, Workplace, and Oculus.
With the plan to invest $10 billion in Reality Lab for building metaverse, the company will also spend $150 million to upskill metaverse creators.
“From now on, we will be metaverse-first, not Facebook-first. That means that over time you won’t need a Facebook account to use our other services. As our new brand starts showing up in our products, I hope people around the world come to know the Meta brand and the future we stand for,” Zuckerberg said.
Further, he also added that Facebook Reality Labs will function as a separate reporting segment in its earning reports from the fourth quarter of 2021.
"We're now looking at and reporting on our business as two different segments, one for our family of apps, and one for our work on future platforms,” he said.
The company also revealed its new sign on Thursday. Now, the “blue infinity shape” will replace its “blue thumbs up logo”. Zuckerberg said that the company wanted a logo that reflects that users will no longer have to use Facebook to access its other services in the future.
6sense, Saleswhale, Blue Owl, MSD Partners | January 25, 2022
6sense, the leading platform for B2B organizations generating predictable revenue, today announced it has closed $200 million in a Series E funding round. The new funding more than doubles 6sense valuation to $5.2 billion just ten months after its $125 million Series D round.
Its latest funding round is co-led by new investors Blue Owl and MSD Partners and includes additional new investors SoftBank Vision Fund 2, B Capital Group, Franklin Templeton, and Harmony Partners. Existing investors Insight Partners, Tiger Global, D1 Capital Partners, and Sapphire Ventures also participated in the round, bringing 6sense's total funding to $426 million.
"Ten months ago we ignited the RevTech Revolution with a promise to provide the only AI-driven platform that unifies data, people, and processes to unlock predictable revenue potential. We've delivered on this promise and the market has spoken. Our growth continues to outpace every competitor in our category, and customers consistently rave about the exceptional results they see with 6sense," said Jason Zintak, CEO of 6sense.
"Ten months ago we ignited the RevTech Revolution with a promise to provide the only AI-driven platform that unifies data, people, and processes to unlock predictable revenue potential. We've delivered on this promise and the market has spoken. Our growth continues to outpace every competitor in our category, and customers consistently rave about the exceptional results they see with 6sense," said Jason Zintak, CEO of 6sense. "This investment adds fuel to our trajectory and gives us the ability to accelerate on our commitments. Our acquisition of Saleswhale is just one example of how we are transforming the way B2B organizations create, manage and convert pipeline to revenue."
Dramatic shifts caused by the continuation of hybrid work in the B2B selling environment - with dispersed buying committees who often are anonymous - have accelerated the demand for a transformation in how sales, marketing, and customer success teams achieve predictable revenue growth. The 6sense platform analyzes data and behaviors to uncover accounts ready to buy and recommends the best action, channel, and messages that are most likely to connect with buyers. Companies using the 6sense platform on average experience 120% improvement in revenue effectiveness.
Investments Add Fuel to Momentum
Part of today's funding will be used to deliver the future of email for B2B marketing and sales teams. 6sense's acquisition of Saleswhale, an AI-driven email marketing platform, extends the native engagement channels available in the 6sense platform and builds on the company's RevTech Revolution promise to put the power of AI, big data, and machine learning behind every member of the revenue team.
Additionally, today's funding will accelerate 6sense go-to-market strategies, such as:
Further expansion in EMEA, Australia, and other international markets to support market demand
Investing in people and technology to continue building against its aggressive product strategy
Addressing demand from financial services, manufacturing, and health and life services verticals
Executing on Vision, Delivering Results
At the time of its Series D round in March 2021, 6sense made a commitment to provide its customers with the unified go-to-market platform for their entire revenue team. Since then, 6sense has released 52 major platform features, made two other acquisitions (Fortella and Slintel), and doubled its customer base and customer adoption. The incredible results customers experience demonstrates that 6sense has executed against its vision. Customers prioritizing accounts identified by 6sense's patented intent-based prediction model achieve, on average, 2X increase in deal size, 10% improvement in opportunity conversion rates and 25% reduction in deal-to-close time.
"Today's B2B buyer demands a better, more relevant, buying experience. Those companies who provide it will win their business - today and tomorrow," said Ian Howells, Sage VP and Head of Marketing for Sage Intacct. "6sense is our competitive advantage in this area and continues to help us accelerate our growth by pushing the boundaries of innovation and the role of AI in the marketing and sales process."
This latest round of funding follows a banner year with run rate revenue exceeding $110 million and a net retention rate over 125%. 6sense has been recognized as a Leader in the Gartner 2022 Magic Quadrant for Account-Based Marketing Platforms Report; named a Leader by G2 across 11 2022 Winter Grid Reports; was named a Best Workplace by Inc. for the third consecutive year; named to the Forbes Cloud 100 list; named the #1 Top Private Cloud-Computing Companies to work for by Battery Ventures; and recognized as a Company for the Happiest Employees, Best Perks and Benefits, Best Culture, Best for Women and Best for Diversity based on employee feedback at Comparably. 6sense CEO Jason Zintak was recognized as the Best CEO by Glassdoor and Comparably this year.
Notable quote references:
"Disparate data silos, disconnected engagement channels and lack of cross-functional collaboration are major pain points in driving effective sales and marketing. 6sense's solution acts as the centralized orchestration engine for the entire revenue operation team (marketing, sales, customer support, management) to drive more informed and impactful prospect/customer engagement strategies. We are excited to support 6sense in its continued mission to improve revenue operations," said Andy Lefkarites of Owl Rock (a division of Blue Owl).
"The impressive growth 6sense has achieved is evidence of the tremendous value they deliver to customers and partners, along with the quality of the team behind it all. We're proud to invest in 6sense to catalyze its bold vision for how revenue teams achieve growth," said Victor Hwang of MSD Partners. "We believe 6sense is a pioneer and the clear leader in defining revtech, a new category that bridges B2B marketing to sales and data intelligence, and look forward to supporting Jason and his team in their continued growth."
To learn more about what this exciting moment means for the RevTech Revolution, read Jason Zintak's blog post.
The 6sense Account Engagement Platform helps B2B organizations achieve predictable revenue growth by putting the power of AI, big data, and machine learning behind every member of the revenue team. 6sense uncovers anonymous buying behavior, prioritizes accounts for sales and marketing, and enables them to engage resistant buying teams with personalized, multi-channel, multi-touch campaigns. 6sense helps revenue teams know everything they need to know about their buyers so they can easily do anything needed to generate more opportunities, increase deal size, get into opportunities sooner, and compete and win more often. Visit 6sense.com for more information.
Saleswhale helps B2B companies like InVision, Sage, LaunchDarkly, Randstad and Cisco connect with buyers and generate sales meetings. Saleswhale uses AI to write personalized emails, engage in meaningful conversations with buyers, and detect when a buyer indicates interest. Customers on average see a lift up to 250% in their sales pipeline from by engaging buyers with Saleswhale. Visit saleswhale.com to learn more.
About Blue Owl
Blue Owl is a global alternative asset manager with $82.9* billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2021. Anchored by a strong permanent capital base, the firm deploys private capital across Direct Lending, GP Solutions and Real Estate strategies on behalf of Institutional and Private Wealth clients. Blue Owl's flexible, consultative approach helps position the firm as a partner of choice for businesses seeking capital solutions to support their sustained growth. The firm's management team is comprised of seasoned investment professionals with more than 25 years of experience building alternative investment businesses. Blue Owl employs over 350 people across 10 offices globally. For more information, please visit us at www.blueowl.com.
*Proforma as of 9/30/21 to include AUM attributable to Oak Street which became a Blue Owl Company on 12/29/21.
About MSD Partners
MSD Partners, L.P. is a leading investment firm focused on maximizing long-term capital appreciation across its core areas of investing expertise – Credit, Growth, Private Capital and Real Estate. The Firm deploys capital on behalf of Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell and his family, as well as other like-minded, long-term-oriented investors. MSD Partners, which operates from offices in New York, Santa Monica and West Palm Beach, manages in excess of $20 billion. For further information about MSD Partners, please see www.msdpartners.com.