Category Archives: ZoomInfo News

Own the sales cycle

If your days as a sales rep contain too much nerve-wracking uncertainty, unpredictability and unreliability, perhaps you need to “own” your sales cycle.

It’s all about asking the right questions early, developing relationships and maintaining them, even after a sale.

ZoomInsights interviewed two sales experts on the topic of owning the sales cycle. They offered great tips that can help you!

Check out our ZoomInsights article, “You can own the sales cycle.”

Four instant ways to relieve sales pressure

Feeling like you’re in the B2B sales “pressure cooker”? You’re not alone. With the dual demands from both the C-suite and your customers, it’s easy to let the stress build up and hurt your performance.

Michael Lopez, a sales manager at PGi, has been there and offers some suggestions to relieve the pressure in his new article on ZoomInsights, “Four instant ways to relieve sales pressure.”

Michael’s ideas include ways to:

  • Stop wasting sales resources
  • Cut costs without cutting results
  • Improve inside sales output with technology

His article focuses on relying more on insides sales and on tactics to make insides sales as productive as possible. Check it out!

Don’t hide from your customers

Putting up a website without search engine optimization (SEO) is like a shop owner hiding behind the counter when a customer walks in. If customers cant’ find you, they can’t buy from you! Fortunately, the first part of a new two-part article on ZoomInsights, “Don’t hide from your customers (Part one),” explains SEO, its importance and how to do it.

Part one is available now; stay tuned for part two.
In Part one, SEO expert Eric Evans from Merge discusses two of five basic SEO principles:
1. Tracking your success
2. Choosing the best keywords

The first basic principle isn’t just for SEO; it’s for your entire online digital strategy. If you don’t track and analyze your marketing efforts, how can you know if you’re converting users (or leads) into customers? Evans discusses various Web analytics options and makes a recommendation on which to choose.

In keyword research, your first step is to select keywords that fit with your business strategy and align with your company’s services. Evans uses the example of an exotic pet shop to demonstrate how to choose keywords and how to use them in Web pages.

Want to make sure your customers can find your website? Check out “Don’t hide from your customers (Part one).

When a prospect requests a brochure

Sometimes, when a prospect asks you to send a brochure, it’s really not a put-off. Some people prefer to do significant research on their own before they spend time with sales reps. Our friend Jill Konrath, author of the Fresh Sales Strategies Blog, offers three ideas to maximize the opportunity:

• Jolt them out of complacency with the status quo
• Show them what’s possible
• Keep educating them

Read more in the ZoomInsights article, “When a prospect requests a brochure.”

Don’t sink in a sea of metrics

Marketing executives across industries struggle with metrics and analytics for digital marketing programs, according to an article in ClickZ. Author Augustine Fou writes that digital marketing tactics are so new to many marketing executives that they’re unsure what metrics to use.

“What’s great about digital campaigns is that they do allow businesses to track a variety of new metrics. But they are not all created equal and the abundance of data can be overwhelming.” That’s the word from Demandbase CMO Greg Ott, who shared his thoughts for a ZoomInsights article, “How to measure digital campaigns.” Ott also shared five metrics that most business can start with, including overall visits and engagement by industry and company size and conversion rates by industry and company size.

And David Raab of Left Brain DGA pointed out that in a traditional channel like TV, marketers know that gross rating points correlate with revenue. But Raab told ZoomInsights that because digital channels are newer, the best you can do is find the metrics that are closest to the final result of increased revenue – metrics such as conversion rate.

If you’re not sure you’ve chosen the best metrics to monitor in your digital campaign, give our article a look.

It’s not in the budget

How often have you been told, “It’s not in the budget”? That’s probably one of the most common sales objections that people give you. But the fact is, the budge objection is irrelevant!

As sales expert Jill Konrath explains in an article on ZoomInsights, businesses rarely budget for a purchase before they learn what value that purchase will bring to them.

Jill’s article offers an excellent suggestion on what to say when the budget objection comes up. And she writes about how to keep the sale moving forward.

Check it out!

Get more win from your webinars

Webinars can be a boon to B2B companies, both for drawing in new prospects and getting current customers to stay engaged. But this marketing tactic has become so popular that some potential views are beginning to experience “webinar fatigue.”

Fortunately, an article on ZoomInsights, “Get more win from your webinars,” offers ways to overcome webinar fatigue and other ideas to make sure you get as much benefit as possible from hosting a webinar.

The article offers tips on promoting your webinars, ways to improve engagement during the events, and ideas about ways to use a webinar’s content after it’s over.

Get more win from your webinars,” only takes a couple of minutes to read and it’s time well-spent.

Move the ball on every sales call

When working the phones to acquire new business, our second and third calls to decision makers too often don’t “move the ball forward.” Instead, we end up with the same “field position” we had after our previous calls.

The solution is to get decision makers to commit to a small action item before getting off the phone with us. This gives us some of their mindshare. Like a first down in football, it “marks our spot” on the field for our next play – starting our second call 10 yards further toward our goal than we were at the beginning of our previous call.

Lauren Baily, president of Factor 8 Performance Breakthroughs, explains how to do this in a new ZoomInsights article, “Quit starting over on every call – Get a first down instead!” Check it out!

Growing the Next Generation of Engineers

ZoomInfo is committed to improving our community and in growing the next generation of engineers.

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STOMP (Student Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program) is an opportunity for undergraduate, graduate, high school, and industry employees to promote engineering education in K-12 settings. STOMP fellows provide expert engineering knowledge to K-12 classrooms to assist/mentor K-12 teachers and students. STOMP’s main goal is to partner industry leaders with K-12 teachers in the greater Boston area to create an engineering curriculum that reaches across all disciplines, piques the students’ interests in engineering, and improves the students’ problem-solving skills. STOMP fellows are responsible for consulting with their classroom teacher to come up with an collection of 8 – 10 activities throughout the semester. These activities typically touch on engineering and technology content and connect back to other topics students are learning about in their classroom.

This past spring, 5 ZoomInfo engineers – in conjunction with Tufts University & the Waltham Public School District – taught a program introducing Lego Mindstorms to 5th-graders. The course stressed basic engineering skills, such as requirements gathering, how to design with testability in mind, and the importance of iterative development. STOMP’s curriculum is designed to encourage teamwork and cooperation while also stressing the merits of accountability and competition. At the end of each lesson, students had to demo their designs in front of the whole class and received suggestions and critiques from their classmates when their product didn’t meet the lesson’s requirements or quality standards.


The projects started small – building a lawn chair for a stuffed animal – and got more ambitious as the students gained confidence and experience working in teams. By the end of the 6 week program, each team had built a robotic car that could navigate a small course.

All told, STOMP was rewarding and educational for both the fellows and their students. ZoomInfo Senior Engineer and STOMP fellow, Jeremy Freeman, said that “It was cool to watch kids get excited by engineering and math when they were trying to win that contest. Those kids will do anything if it involves winning and robots :)”

Non-traditional uses of Apache Hadoop

The Apache Hadoop project develops open-source software for reliable, scalable,  distributed computing. The Hadoop framework allows for distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers using a simple programming model. It is designed to scale up from single servers to thousands of machines, each offering local computation and storage. Rather than rely on hardware to deliver high-availability, the library itself is designed to detect and handle failures at the application layer, so delivering a highly-available service on top of a cluster of computers, each of which may be prone to failures.

Since its initial release in late 2007, Hadoop has become the leading way to do Data Mining and Distributed Computing. The project enjoys support from major backers such as Yahoo! and Cloudera and a very broad adoption rate by both large and small companies. Right now, there are over 4100 Hadoop-related jobs posted on Indeed. That’s 3x the number of Django jobs listed, and 5x more than the Node.js framework.

Here at Zoom, we employ Hadoop for a wide variety of data processing and data mining tasks. As one example, we’ve got 12 years of crawler data archived, comprising some 50 TB of information. That’s a fantastically rich corpus primed for data mining. This is what I’d refer to as a “traditional” use of Hadoop. That is, we store a massive amount of data in HDFS, and then run MapReduce jobs against it, looking for interesting information. This use case is right in Hadoop’s sweet spot – if you bring the computation to where the data lives, you can achieve massive parallelism without worrying about things like network latency and network throughput.

But not all of our uses of Hadoop are so traditional. Given the variety of different data collection & data processing tasks Zoom performs, not all of them lend themselves to a MapReduce model. For example, some of them query databases or Solr servers. Some make RESTful API requests to Google. Some run IMAP commands. Some crawl websites. But, in our opinion anyway, many of these use cases till lend themselves well to the Hadoop framework. What we generally end up doing is defining a work queue (eg: a crawl schedule) in HDFS, and store the results back into HDFS for use by other jobs.

Zoom isn’t in the business of building platforms, and you probably shouldn’t be either. It’s usually a much better use of resources to focus on your core competencies and do the things that make your company the best widget maker on the planet. Ready-made platforms generally reduce development costs and shrink time to market. And with today’s robust Open Source ecosystem, there are few reasons not to use off the shelf platforms like Hadoop. If you need a platform that’s:

  • Horizontally and vertically scalable (ideally, with process isolation)
  • Fault-tolerant
  • Highly available
  • Complete with a simple reporting framework
  • Complete with a simple management/administration framework

And you need it done quickly & cheaply, Hadoop is definitely worth checking out.