Two predictive B2B sales analytics players are joining forces to provide a comprehensive solution to manage the customer acquisition life cycle. This may spur further M&A activity in a rapidly emerging market.
On 28 May 2015, predictive B2B sales vendor InsideSales.com announced that it has acquired C9, the first major acquisition in this market. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
InsideSales.com offers strong predictive analytics offerings targeted to inside-sales teams for use higher in the sales funnel, with solutions for prospecting and lead scoring (NeuralView). C9’s focus is further down with a predictive opportunity solution for field sales (OppScore). When integrated, the combined offering will represent a comprehensive predictive sales analytics solution. With little overlap in either portfolio or customer base, there is ample opportunity to cross-sell additional modules. However, the combined company will need to bring the capabilities together into a single user interface.
Both companies offer unique additional predictive analytics capabilities outside of the traditional categories, including communication, gamification, forecasting and pipeline management. Both are driving the move beyond predictive analytics by offering prescriptive analytics capabilities. These will provide actionable recommendations to both sales managers and salespeople; integration will blend those capabilities. For example, C9’s next-best-action capability can become more powerful by leveraging NeuralView’s prescriptive models.
B2B sales organizations prefer a smaller set of solutions that coexist with their sales force automation (SFA) systems. While some Gartner clients use multiple solutions, the availability of a comprehensive platform will likely spur adoption. This deal may signal the beginning of a merger and acquisition (M&A) trend, as many predictive sales and marketing analytics companies are currently private. InsideSales.com recently raised $60 million in a round of venture capital funding (with investments from both Microsoft and Salesforce).
Both companies offer self-tuning predictive models; InsideSales.com executives indicated that the post-integration solution will reside on a single platform, but continue to leverage a range of models and modeling techniques that target the full spectrum of the sales funnel. When integration is complete, existing C9 clients will benefit from InsideSales.com’s advanced opportunity scoring capabilities including processing external buying signals gathered from social media channels.
Current InsideSales.com customers should evaluate C9 functionality once the integration is complete.
C9 clients with an existing prospecting and lead scoring solution should evaluate InsideSales.com NeuralView. A new integrated solution may be worth viewing as a replacement if model accuracy is close.
Companies that are already evaluating predictive analytics solutions should recognize that this this news does not impact them, given that InsideSales.com has not announced when the solutions will be combined.
Neither Salesforce nor Microsoft have announced when they will provide native predictive analytics in their respective or SFA platforms, but their investments in InsideSales.com indicate that the two vendors may strike a closer relationship. Therefore, clients using Salesforce or Microsoft are advised to include InsideSales.com in their evaluations.