TL; DR: ZoomInfo is a B2B data provider that helps its clients identify, engage, and close sales with ideal buyers. With sales teams working from home now more than ever, ZoomInfo’s cloud-hosted data platform provides them with tools to stay productive. It integrates with other sales and marketing platforms, including Salesforce, Marketo, and Outreach, to enhance collection and automation. ZoomInfo provides sales and marketing professionals with accurate, insightful, and actionable information that can give them a competitive advantage.
The world of marketing technology was expanding rapidly when Salesforce went public in 2007. Marketo was just getting off the ground at the time, and companies were lining up to automate and enhance their marketing and sales operations.
One advisor, Scott Brinker, calculated that there were 150 marketing technology solutions in 2011. Today there are 8,000, and the industry continues to grow.
Henry Schuck launched DiscoverOrg in 2007 to offer companies using cloud-hosted marketing solutions the data they needed to keep pace in the shifting market. Many were getting into Salesforce or Marketo and were beginning to realize that automation and technology are only as good as the data they input.
DiscoverOrg purchased Zoom Information, Inc. in February of 2019 and rebranded the company as ZoomInfo. The acquisition expanded its reach, and ZoomInfo’s cloud-hosted platform provides sales and marketing teams with the data and tools they need to stay ahead of the competition. Business data may change quickly, so companies need actionable and up-to-date information to get decision-makers on the phone and buying.
“You have this go-to-market landscape where sellers and marketers have been promised these benefits of sales automation and marketing automation,” said Justin Withers, Senior Vice President of Strategy at ZoomInfo. “You ultimately buy these software applications and find that these things don’t come preloaded with the data that you need.”
Founders Henry Schuck and Kirk Brown started DiscoverOrg by each putting $25,000 on their credit cards. That initial investment has more than paid off. In June of 2020, ZoomInfo (ZI) went public and began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.
ZoomInfo strives to find and deliver data to those who count on it to keep their businesses going. That overarching mission keeps the company working to provide customers with the most robust data sets.
“ZoomInfo is a company with a vision to offer much more to our customers than we do today. We are much different today than we were last year, and we have a high growth trajectory and the people we need to get where we want to go,” Justin said.
Shifting From Door-to-Door Sales to Digital Tools
The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for many businesses, but some were able to move forward by relying on new technology. Sales and marketing data trends that were emerging before the start of the pandemic became the new norm. ZoomInfo was able to adjust to the pandemic’s challenges.
“The shift in the market over the last year has been favorable for our team. Sales teams that were out in the field that might be visiting prospects in person are now stuck at home,” Justin said. “Where there might have been this slow burn to digitization prior to COVID-19, it erupted because there was no other way to go to market.”
Sales and marketing teams still need to get their information somewhere, and the only thing that was competing with cloud-hosted databases was local, on-the-ground knowledge. But the pandemic kept people away from face-to-face encounters, which pushed sales reps to rely on new sources of information.
Just two years ago, direct dial office phone numbers were the norm, but today sales reps need mobile numbers or else they may not reach a decision-maker. ZoomInfo stays ahead of those trends by collecting information that’s accurate and actionable.
The world has become more digitized, and hosting data in the cloud is the new norm. That means gathering the necessary information to make business decisions needs to be digitized. Some database companies claim that all information is equal, and the only thing that matters is volume.
But businesses and sales teams who understand that a little good data is better than a lot of bad data turn to ZoomInfo to find their future customers.
Providing Data That Drives Go-to-Market Platforms
ZoomInfo provides data that allows Salesforce, Marketo, Outreach, and other go-to-market automation solutions to fulfill their promises. ZoomInfo has also developed and now provides a Sales Engagement solution that sales teams can use to do automated calling and email nurturing to prospects. Automation and efficiency are still only as good as the data they’re working with.
“The underlying tenet that connects everything that we offer is that high-quality data — that is accurate, complete, deep, and actionable — is what enables go-to-market software applications to deliver the promised results that make teams more effective, productive, automated, and efficient,” Justin said.
Data quality and how ZoomInfo enables organizations to automate engagement workflows through data is what sets the company apart. Without accurate information, sales reps may waste their precious time calling or emailing the wrong people — or nobody at all. Marketers lacking complete data don’t have a significant enough picture to know who they’re trying to reach. And with no actionable insights, businesses have a lot of information but nothing to do with it. If a company has one or two of those aspects covered, it won’t make up for the fact that it doesn’t have all three.
And data isn’t a commodity that’s impossible to differentiate in quality. Good and bad data exists, and sales and marketing teams have come to realize that the best data is worth the price because it can quickly pay for itself.
Some companies are still trying to choose data providers based simply on cost, but they often learn that insufficient data isn’t worth much at all. Smart businesses choose the information that’s driving their sales and marketing teams’ actions more carefully.
Creating the Shortest Distance From Data to Engagement
ZoomInfo makes it easy for companies to get the most out of their investments in other go-to-market technologies — whether that be in solutions like ZoomInfo Engage, or others like Salesforce, Marketo, and Outreach. Instead of leaving sales reps to call every number in the phone book, ZoomInfo data initiates workflows, delivers insights, and alerts, that enable sales and marketing teams to reach the right people at the right time.
One example of how ZoomInfo is changing how companies go to market is a feature called Workflows. Every day the business world changes. People change jobs, businesses decide to invest in technology, they raise funding, they change their name, they move offices, they grow their revenue and the number of employees. Some go out of business. Workflows monitors this ever-changing business landscape and enables sales and marketing teams to run automated, personalized, data-driven plays triggered by these actionable events and reach their prospects with a relevant message at a time it matters most.
“One thing that stands out to me is our enrichment capabilities,” Justin said. “Enrichment takes a sparse record and fills it in with all that rich data that presents a clear picture of what the business does or who the prospect is. It’s not a singular solution when I talk about enrichment.”
Another example is their solution called FormComplete. With a name and an email, ZoomInfo can populate everything else that a company needs to know about a contact. Instead of the contact going into Salesforce with just a name and an email, they may have another 40 data points attached to the record.
ZoomInfo makes data easier to act on by integrating into those CRMs and other software suites. Companies can make the most of those powerful platforms by dropping good data into every platform that sales and marketing teams are working on.
“More recently, we’re seeing this shift unifying data from many sources. Users want to integrate data from ZoomInfo with data from a CRM with data from a marketing automation system and bring it all onto one system where they can use it to trigger workflows, build audiences, and evaluate results,” Justin said.