ZoomInfo’s Philosophy on RevTech

Reading Time: 12 minutes

Overview: Scott Sutton of ZoomInfo presents his thoughts on RevTech with Billy Bateman of ChatFunnels at RevTech Summit 2021.

About the speaker: Scott Sutton serves as the Vice President, Operations and Sales Development of DiscoverOrg. Scott started at DiscoverOrg in December of 2018. Scott currently resides in the Portland, Oregon Area.

Billy: All right, everyone. Welcome to the RevTech Summit. You know, if you’ve been watching the sessions throughout the day. I am Billy Bateman co-founder of ChatFunnels. And I have the pleasure of being joined by the great Scott Sutton, VP of revenue ops at ZoomInfo. Scott, how you doing today?  

Scott: Great, Billy. Thanks for having me. Really happy to be here at RevTech Summit and get to chat with you.   

Billy: Yeah, I’m excited as well. We’ve got some interesting things to talk about. And, but before we get into it, just tell everyone a little bit about yourself and what you do at ZoomInfo.  

Scott: Awesome. Yeah, I’ve been at ZoomInfo a little over two years. Since I joined, it’s, it’s been some explosive growth, the IPO, a couple acquisitions along the way. So it’s been it’s been a really exciting time, it’s been navigating some interesting situations outside of the house. But yeah, it’s, it’s been a unique challenge. I lead rev ops here. It’s kind of everything Salesforce, data analytics, data science, working across the aisle with marketing to help us navigate and optimize our processes tech stack systems. So a lot going on. Looking forward to some of the other talks. And I learned a few things along the way, too.   

Billy: So before we hop into, like, what zoominfo is doing, one, just ask you a little bit on your opinion with, you know, your title is revenue ops. Do you report into sales? Do you report into marketing? Or is it a combination of both?  

Scott: Yeah, I roll up into the CRO org. That encompasses now both sales and marketing. We work really well together and how we optimize both the sales process, we’re looking at how we optimize our marketing channels coming in, a lot of push toward understanding our attribution and our channel effectiveness. I think one of the unique things about revenue operations is rather than being focused completely on the dollar, and the sales outcome, or being completely focused on the MQL and kind of a marketing based outcome.  

We’re really able to blend better the overall process to maximize the company outcome and better align resources. So I actually have had for a long time, a marketing team in my own rev ops org, that’s doing tactical plays, using sales engagement tools. It’s a really good hybrid and blend. I think it’s part of the secret sauce of our success is having that fully threaded, operational, and kind of dialogue amongst organization.  

Billy: Awesome, awesome. I think that’s a trend like just not ZoomInfo. But as we talk to our customers, like more and more of them are like, everybody’s kind of coming together and just being under like a growth or a revenue department more than sales and marketing. So, you know, you own the tech stack, largely over there at ZoomInfo. I’m sure everyone wants to know, like, what does your tech stack look like at ZoomInfo.   

Scott: Yeah, we, we’ve evolved the tech stack. I think it does revolve around Salesforce. We’re a Salesforce shop. We’ve invested very heavily in that platform. But one thing we’ve also been at the forefront of is all the different platforms to help enable digital selling. So we’re using ZoomInfo for data, we’re using tools like Gong to help understand you know, our intelligence around call recording and coaching of our reps, using tools like Vidyard to send out data, sales engagement platforms we’ve used Outreach, as long as well as our tools Engage.  

One of the things that I do think differentiates us is, we’re now leaning really heavily in on tools like Snowflake and using data analytics tools embedded in throughout our process, and being able to better curate our data and paint a holistic 360 of our customers and our prospects to better attack new business in the customer business. But a lot going on in the data front. That’s that’s kind of our gig. But yeah, there’s a lot centering around Salesforce and Snowflake.  

Billy: Awesome. Awesome. So what’s your focus for 2021? And where are you guys looking to improve?  

Scott: Yeah, I think if you’ve been following us in kind of what we’ve talked about on a lot of earnings calls. Our progression or looking at international expansion in 2021. Putting more concerted effort. They’re continuing to grow out our business and we’ve been growing and growing. I think solidifying his enterprise organization. Better serving our largest clients is an area of growth and continuing to expand our products. I think expanding beyond the core of what our product is. A lot of people think of us as a data provider solely. Maybe don’t know all of the other things in the sales intelligence tools. We have some of the acquisitions we’ve made. And so rounding out that is a big focus for me in the in the team here.  

Billy: So are you guys integrating? You know, you guys, as you mentioned, you’ve made some acquisitions, you know, in the intelligence space and helping people, your products are amazing, you do a lot more like I used to just think of Zoominfo is like, Okay, let’s go get a list, you know, and we give it to the sales team. And they start dialing and emailing. [But it’s] so much more now, especially around the tent. But are you working on deeper integrations with those tools? How are you evolving your own tech stack?  

Scott: Yeah, I think there’s a couple different ways. So there are a couple of the acquisitions from last year, with Clickagy and EverString. On the Clickagy front, it was really about bolstering the intent offering that we have, and even going into real time intent where you can actually see the moment that people are searching for your particular keyword search or your application and, and targeting in and then offering custom intent. I think people who have looked at the intent space, they’re always kind of pigeon holed into certain keywords. We’re going to be able to offer really bespoke custom audiences.  

So for ChatFunnels, if you had a very particular niche that you wanted to go after, we can curate that for you, and help deliver it. That’s really unique. It’s interesting, and it’s something that that I find value. Then EverString is really about continuing to bolster our database and the breadth and coverage. We are looking to expand our engaged product and, and offer more of a holistic offering for those who want to kind of go to market out of our application. So doing basic dialing and emailing directly from the platform.  

Billy: Okay, yeah. Awesome. One of the things we talked a little bit about before the call or recording this is, it’s always so much to learn from your failures. So looking back on 2020, I’m sure you guys tried new things. What what didn’t work in 2020?  

Scott: Yeah, I think when I reflect on 20, all of us were trying to understand what was going on. And I think the early story of 2020, for me was about shoring up all of our data, our tracking our monitoring. I don’t think it was it was as tight as I would have wanted it to be going into work from home, coming into the pandemic, and work from home really exposed the gaps that we had. When you don’t have the feel of the floor, you can’t watch and see if someone is showing up and putting 100% effort in, and it required me to be creative.  

I think it exposed for me a weakness that we had had, which was not not necessarily buttoning up certain things to 100%. Leaving it 90% 95% covered. Then those little gaps exposed themselves. That was a big opportunity for us to tighten up the data game, tighten up our holistic digital go to market, and tracking and monitoring. It forced us into a lot of good and necessary change.  

Billy: Yeah, I think it forced all of us, you know, talking about getting things like 90% done, we’re a small organization compared to ZoomInfo. And we went remote for a while we’re back in the office mostly now. But, man, there were some things were like, wow, when you’re just like sitting next to somebody, you can do this. But when everyone’s in their home, like that process doesn’t work anymore. You’ve got to automate it and, and make sure like, okay, we have your checks. Everything’s working. So what is your go to market process right now? And how does the tech stack fit into it?  

Scott: Yeah, we, in our in our go to market. So one thing we pride ourselves we talk a lot about is our responsiveness. If you’ve heard our CEO, Henry talk, or Chris Hayes, our CRO, were very adamant about a 92nd turn on inbound. When a lead comes in, we’re really optimized to have speed and intelligence kind of throughout that whole process in a very short period of time. So lead comes in, we’re actually enriching data into that the moment the form is filled by machine learning models that are pulling in fit scores, we’re bouncing off to determine if it’s customers or not.  

Then we have a very dynamic routing system that’s kind of optimizing, and then as we go, and we route, the demos, one of the things we did in 2020 was to build out a custom application for ourselves to best stratify our reps rate meetings for quality toward ACV, towards propensity to win, and match these really tightly and create balance amongst our reps. While I think demo only routing is a very fine art. There’s a lot behind it. I think one of the things I’m proudest of is how we leveraged our tech stack and some of our tools.  

We’re using distribution engine to, to route leads on the inbound. We’re using Chili Piper and some of the functionality to have reminders on meeting notifications to help improve show rate. In addition we’re leveraging the Google API to understand who’s available and not at given times. All of that kind of brought together into a more unified strategy. We’re there some pieces were more buttoned up than others. I think, in 2020. We really brought it all together in a way that I’m proud of. I think we have some interesting ideas for 2021. About how we can continue to lean into that and further optimize as we grow.  

Billy: Awesome. So I mean, if you don’t mind sharing, what are some of those ideas for 2021?   

Scott: Yeah, I think, like I said, In 2020, we were able to scorecard. Our reps and stratify and understand who was best suited to take a certain demo. Billy is excellent at taking enterprise accounts. That are great fits and can really maximize those transactions. I want to get Billy in front of those types of clients. As best able to line them up, I think, as we grow. We now have 150+ AE’s specializing in certain core functions. Where there’s a particular talk track a particular pitch. A value proposition, allowing people to lean in further on some of those particular core areas. Then continuing to bolster in the enterprise.  

Billy: It’s a specific type of sales cycle that requires a little bit different approach. And so specializing there, and we’ll see how it goes. I think I’m optimistic about it and and how it can provide some better results for us.  

Scott: Yeah, no, that’s a very interesting idea. If you can crack that, that code, there’s a lot of money to be made there in being able to match people up to the best, the best AE for them for that demo, like that’s crucial, like the demo doesn’t go well. Your chances of selling them are not great, no matter how great the fit is.  

Billy: Yeah, definitely awesome.  

Scott: So how do you guys use your own products? In your go to market process?  

Billy: Yeah, I joke. I’m the big the biggest user of ZoomInfo. I think that exists because I’m the the guinea pig for all ofour different features. If I think about it, I talk a lot about our go to market. And I think data is really underpinning the entire go to market. We talk about good data is necessary, but not necessarily sufficient to have an excellent go to market. If you don’t have rich data, it’s very hard to leverage the tools, pretty much any tool in a really great way.  

So I think about outreach, it’s really hard to tailor campaigns and drive targeted outreach, when I don’t have data on industry and segment and size and title and all of this. From the beginning, I’m enriching, I’m bringing that data in, I’m using some of our propensity modeling that we have in our, in our AIICP form complete brings the data in from the beginning.  

Scott: But it’s that foundational layer of data. Then I do a lot of data science modeling and other work throughout the entire process. And then I think when it comes down to this more macro Tam analysis, understanding opportunity, where new pockets of expansion lie, having the industry data, the size, data revenue, it really helps out a lot. One thing that is really unique, and I put a lot of time in in 2020 was around our data lake.  

So we brought all the ZoomInfo data in, all of our CRM, amplitude data, outreach data, and nested it all together. I could use what I have done in the customer base. I can understand who my clients are. Then apply that and source net new contacts for cold prospecting out of the data lake. It’s almost like having warm leads coming in because I can also use intent layered with behavior, marketing. Previous marketing touches, title fit company fit to kind of coalesce into this pseudo warm lead for my outbound call. I think that’s one thing I saw in 2020 was just an explosion on our outbound side of productivity by leveraging all that data in a meaningful way.  

Billy: Awesome, awesome. And I know you you can’t really say this, but but I will the data from ZoomInfo, you’re gonna be hard pressed to beat it. I really think you are good. I mean, other people have good data, but it’s gonna be hard to top ZoomInfo. So let me ask you another question. Aside from ZoomInfo, what are the new tools you’ve encountered in the last year so that in the RevTech space that you’re like, Wow, that is a great tool. And it’s a good fit, and it’s going to be something people are using.  

Scott: Yeah, I think that’s interesting. We were early. We were early to the game with some of the tools around conversational intelligence and content distribution and tracking. And we leaned in harder around leveraging video like Vidyard, Loom. As I look into 2021 and beyond, I think it’s going to pivot toward how do you bring the data together? How do you create intelligence?  

So I think a lot of the applications that are bringing a full 360 view… There’s a newer, newer company called sinkery out there who’s helping to curate data and bring 360 views. There’s a lot of CDP type products. Salesforce has its new kind of 360, where you can bring all the different data together from all of the different cloud offerings that they have. But I think that’s going to be the story is the CDP type functionalities, the data merging the data lake building, because they make every other tool more effective.  

It’s going to make CRM better, it makes outreach and engage better, you can do more. I think the story is, all of those applications working in sync together. I think there are emerging players who are winning in certain lanes. As they develop their integration and play more with each other, it’s going to be really cool ecosystem to leverage.  

Billy: So I mean, what I’m hearing is, you know, conversational intelligence is one, just more video, I agree on both of those. And then as we, we did our survey as part of the, Summit here. When I looked at it earlier today, it seems like 70, or 80% of companies are not yet using conversational intelligence, like a Gong, an ExecVision. I agree with you, that’s probably coming. And then I couldn’t agree more on just hey, applications that help bring all the data together. If your application easily feeds into business intelligence or CRM, you know, that give people that real insight so you can see what’s going on.  

Scott: think, Billy, the other thing, and this is clearly up your guys’s alley, you know, chat is exploding. And I think it’s pivoting to. I think early implementations of chat struggled because they tried to be AI, they tried to be smarter chat to completely replace the human, I think what we’ve realized is that there’s a good symbiosis of the AI and the tech. I think one thing that we’re looking at is how do we improve conversion. In addition we talked about the 90 seconds, chat is immediate. Chat shows up on the page. It often precedes the form fill in, it allows me to get ahead. 

 I think we have a lot of thoughts about how we can leverage chat in in a variety of different ways. I talked about the data, chat, married with data, and understanding and contextualizing who I am as I walk in the door. It’s so powerful, because I can already tell that you have this title, you come from chat funnels, you’re going to potentially need this solution from me, I can out of the gate have a really great chat experience. Versus Hi, who are you please enter name, please enter this detail all of the things that that traditionally hindered us. I think those are those have been my objection points. And I think we’re getting to the point where it’s becoming a very, very effective channel. So I see us leaning in on that too in 2021, as well.  

Billy: Awesome. In conclusion, I couldn’t agree with you more. Trying to go all in on the AI and replace the human is not the way to do conversational marketing or chat. Whatever you want to call it. It’s all about how to use the bot to just like, automate the mundane things. We bring in data from places like ZoomInfo to try to identify, okay, who’s on the site, before we even have a conversation so we can one, decide what’s the best thing for this person to get an experience should be asking them if they’re interested in a demo.  

Or they want content or their customer needs support, and then really connect them to the best person like you guys are talking about getting those demos matched up. We try to allow the same thing for our users. Route them to the most appropriate team or even individual user.  

Awesome. Scott, thank you so much for joining me and for joining us at the summit. And we’ll talk later. Yeah, thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it. Good luck with the rest of the event.