ZoomInfo - 7 considerations for deciding on RevOps’ 500 lb gorilla

There must be 500+ tools in the rev ops space, but ZoomInfo is the 500 lb gorilla. While it claims to be the demand generating engine companies need to win B2B customers, at a price point that ranges from $15-$24K+ a year, a lot of my clients are asking whether it’s worth it.  


For context, I work with early stage startups in the Financial technology and services sectors, and here are some tactics I’ve used to generate leads for my clients; 

  1. Buying lists from data resellers
  2. Media partnerships – we produce content, the partner guarantees us leads that meet our criteria via content downloads
  3. Offshore list creation – we define lead criteria, a data researcher builds a list. Time consuming but high-quality & cost effective 


After a client recently expressed concerns with ZoomInfo’s quiet annual fee increases, I realized that I owed it to my clients to serve as a guinea-pig and test out ZoomInfo for my own consultancy, KMG. Here’s what I learned; 


    1. ZoomInfo’s value – it captures intent. Think SEO on steroids – instead of months spent identifying keywords, updating site tags, paying affiliates to boost your site rank in the hopes of climbing to the top of SERPs, you name your keywords, and identify who is spiking in searches for your service in a matter of minutes. This is where ZoomInfo shines, they invest tens of millions into data mining and human curation and it shows.
    2. ZoomInfo works – when paired with good marketing tactics. I set up an intent-based filter to identify prospects who were both on the buying committee and showed intent for my services. I exported the list, and nurtured it. Out of 100 contacts on my list, 2 scheduled meetings within days. (Might not seem high, but B2B leads typically take 8+ touches to convert) 
  • ZoomInfo can get expensive fast. If your intent criteria (i.e. research topics) aren’t readily available it’s expensive to set up custom intent searches. Also, watch out for quiet ~15% price increases and other shenanigans on auto renewals. 
  • You’ll still need to pay for a CRM. While ZoomInfo SalesOS is outstanding, Engage – the outreach platform that ostensibly replaces Hubspot, Outreach IO, Salesloft etc for outreach is a poorly-integrated acquisition. I had to export my list and import it into my CRM, mapping 70 fields to my database in the process. 
  • Your competitors are using ZoomInfo intent data too. And you’re all hunting the same game, so  prospects get inundated with messages from your competition, which can drown you out.
  • You don’t know whose intent it is. All of the intent data is provided at the domain level. Someone at your target company is searching for your service / product, but you don’t know who. Given privacy laws ZoomInfo is also limited in their understanding of who is searching. This problem becomes more relevant the bigger the B2B buyer of your services
  • Your visibility into the prospects’ buying readiness is limited. While the methodology behind ZoomInfo’s intent scoring (search terms, IPs, website cookies) makes sense, someone may be quite early in the research process and not ready to buy. ZoomInfo measures “spikes” in intent against a baseline, so you don’t know where in the buying process an individual is. In this respect ZoomInfo falls short of social selling tools that can show if a buyer is already talking to your competition’s Sales teams, but more on that in another post. 


Tl;dr – ZoomInfo should absolutely be in your consideration set if you market to a B2B audience, but carefully evaluate total cost of ownership (Hubspot Marketing Pro starts at ~$1K a month) and make sure that you have the internal marketing capabilities to leverage this powerful tool effectively. 

#marketing #digitalmarketing #sales


Drew Hoffman, Davin Fan, Andrew Sylvester

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