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ZoomInfo Zooms In On the SMB
The company data provider focuses on bringing more intelligent data to the midmarket.
Posted Mar 12, 2009
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According to the United States Small Business Association, small businesses account for 60 percent of new jobs. Executives from ZoomInfo, a provider of business information on the Web, shares that despite the 2.4 million SMBs in the United States, the yearly churn rate with this market is at a staggering 50 percent. Keeping up with midmarket businesses is difficult. Web sites may pop up one day and become irrelevant the next. For this reason, ZoomInfo has placed new emphasis on the SMB, and is devoting more resources to finding small and midsize businesses and the data that defines them.

"Our goal is to make data broader, deeper and fresher," Says Sam Zales, president of ZoomInfo, explaining that the provider's data on SMBs will now be more complete and up-to-date. In the competitive landscape, ZoomInfo is runs up against Hoovers, a site which boasts to subscribers extensive data on enterprises, but lacks the intelligence of companies with fewer than 50 employees. ZoomInfo, with newly enhanced Web crawling abilities and data aggregation technology seeks move beyond the Fortune 1000 to fill the SMB void -- providing its users with insight on company descriptions, revenues, number of employees, and geographic locations.

Chip Terry, ZoomInfo's vice president and general manager of enterprise products shares the advantages ZoomInfo can provide to salespeople and marketers. Essentially, it can expose entirely new lead pools for organizations. A salesperson can find companies that other people aren't finding yet. Zales relays that ZoomInfo's focused once rested solely on providing data for recruiters, but now has found more interest --and sustainability -- within sales intelligence.

China Martens, an analyst with The 451 Group says that it seems apparent that ZoomInfo is trying to keep those recruiters as customers, but are really now targeting sales and marketers. ZoomInfo integrates with Salesforce.com and also SugarCRM. Terry shares that soon the company will be integrating with a third CRM vendor. Martens says the integration is a good move on ZoomInfo's part, but it comes down to what an organization prefers to do with its CRM data -- whether it wants to pay for contacts to be brought in or have it pre-integrated. She also points out that ZoomInfo's value for a salesperson or marketer depends on how broad or narrow the focus. For instance, if you are a salesperson who wants to appeal to companies that make less than $500,000 in revenue, this could allow you to condense your target market and reach the right people.

"The whole thing here is what kind of data is good enough," Martens says, admitting that inaccuracies exist in the ZoomInfo lot -- as they do in most data sets. She also points out that ZoomInfo's free offering, which brought visibility to the company, has been problematic. ZoomInfo, she says, is smart to focus more on its subscription offering.

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