PipelineIQ's Founder & CEO, Rick Catino, sat down to answer a few questions about our rebranding from LeadBridge to PipelineIQ, the sales and marketing landscape in B2B technology, and more.
You founded the company in 2006. Can you give us some background on your vision for the company at that time?
Wow, it's been an exciting fourteen years. My background is in enterprise software sales. With a strong understanding of the challenges faced by enterprise sales and marketing teams, we started to think about addressing a void in the market around "usable" Fortune 1000 sales intelligence. Today ABM is everywhere in enterprise B2B marketing, but this was "pre-ABM" back in 2006. We've always been focused on helping sales and marketing teams identify opportunities to align their solution with the business strategies that matter most to their most challenging prospect accounts.
We found many of the data providers out there were focused on helping salespeople sell anything to anyone, with more tactical firmographic data or contact information. As a result, their "insight" is an inch deep and not focused on true strategy to help technology firms sell high-value solutions like cloud or cyber security. We are exclusively focused on helping B2B technology organizations with their enterprise accounts. LeadBridge was built with the mission to guide enterprise sales and marketing teams to help them truly understand how they can map their solutions to their prospect's priorities and reach out to stakeholders with a compelling, personalized sales message.
What are you most proud of from your days running LeadBridge?
LeadBridge grew very quickly. We were fortunate that early on, large customers like Adobe, VMware, AWS, SAP, and Oracle relied on us to help with their top prospects. Our goal was to create a "bridge" for our clients to their prospect by generating highly personalized sales intelligence. Our insights elevated conversations by arming reps with what they should say to their prospect. And our clients loved what we were doing. During our periods of fastest revenue growth, we were named to the Inc. 5000 three times and the Boston Business Journal Fast 50 twice. We were also recognized a #7 in the BBJ's "Best Places to Work", which we all celebrated as a team onstage at the Wang Theater in Boston. It's been an exciting run, and I have had the privilege to work with so many talented people that have each played a major role in this journey. I'm proud that together we built something from nothing.
What's the story behind the rebranding from LeadBridge to PipelineIQ?
Heading into 2020, we see a very clear niche for us as the premier provider of Fortune 1000 sales intelligence for technology sales and marketing teams. Our intelligence is like nothing currently in the market. We tell stories about big companies, through the lens of what technology sales and marketing people should know. We've helped shape strategy on more than 8,000 enterprise prospects. Our new branding is built on this foundation, continuing our leadership in B2B enterprise prospect intelligence. As PipelineIQ, we'll deliver recommendations around prospecting angles to try on your next cold call or themes to plug into your next ABM program to help you sell "smarter" to Fortune 1000 prospects. The PipelineIQ name itself represents our commitment to helping reps be better prepared and to take a more "intelligent" approach to engaging with named accounts.
The sales intelligence vendor landscape is somewhat crowded. What does prospect intelligence really mean to you in 2019 and how does this shape the PipelineIQ team's approach moving forward?
Our team takes an old-school approach to prospect intelligence. We feel that you can't build a coherent account plan using bots, skimming news releases, or trusting unreliable intent data. Delivering a truly insightful, strategic prospect intelligence program requires real humans reading a ton of information about a company, digesting and synthesizing that based on years of experience, and distilling it down into actionable recommendations on opportunities for alignment based on strategies and initiatives within that account.
For example, let's say that we learned Citigroup has more than 30 million digital banking users, plans to spend $8 billion on IT this year, and issues more credit cards than any institution in the world. We know this information is pure gold for a seller or marketer that wants to help Citigroup protect its data or improve its customer experience with their solution. This is not something you would get from a data provider, contact database, or org chart. Our insights open up opportunities to highlight how your solutions can be positioned to solve important challenges for your prospect. We like to say that our clients know their solution best, and we know their enterprise prospects. So rely on us for that road map into your account and you can map your solution to their business priorities.
Successful prospect intelligence means people helping salespeople. It can't be automated. Your message needs to make sense to very selective and wary stakeholders in your target accounts. You need to know what to say to break through to these buyers. Our research is always human-built, based on a decade and a half of helping firms sell into Fortune 1000-sized enterprises - and it makes a huge difference.
What is the best advice you have ever received in your career?
I will credit my two previous managers, Peter McKay from Snyk and Brian McDonough from Recorded Future: "Hire people that are hungry, humble, and smart." That guidance has helped in building a great team here. Passionate people have made the difference.