Note: Today’s post about integrating Salesforce Lightning data is from Michael Levy, Principal GZ Consulting, a market research and competitive intelligence consultancy and Author of “2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors.”

A major theme of Dreamforce this year was “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Following revolutions driven by steam, electricity, and information technology, the fourth industrial revolution blurs the “physical and digital worlds” creating a wave of “innovation in technology” which is transforming the economy, society, and lives while creating new jobs, industries, and opportunities. This next wave is based upon intelligence. Elements include IoT, 3D printing, biotech, robotics, autonomous vehicles, nanotechnology, and quantum computing. 

CEO Marc Benioff has long focused on customer-centric businesses. At Dreamforce, he once again echoed this sentiment, “Behind all these things…behind everything is a customer. And that’s what all of us do. We are working to connect with out customers in an incredible new way.”

Thus, “Every company is getting closer to their customers,” said Benioff. We’ve been talking about this for years. It doesn’t matter if you’re a B2B company or B2C company, everybody’s becoming a B2B2C company.”

The New Salesforce AppExchange

During the AppExchange keynote, there were big announcements on Lightning, Einstein for ISVs, and the revised AppExchange. Salesforce is expanding their vision of the AppExchange to a “full blown ecosystem.” The company announced the launch of two new AppExchange partnership categories offering native Lightning functionality: Lightning Bolts and Lightning Data. Bolts are Lightning components which offer customer data and business logic, and Lightning Data are pre-integrated sales and marketing data solutions.  

Lightning Data Partners

Lightning Data provides new Data as a Service (DaaS) partnerships in the wake of the non-renewal of the Dun & Bradstreet – licensing partnership. Lightning Data is an indication that Salesforce never really fully committed to the data ecosystem they promised when they launched The company outlined an aggressive 2017 and 2018 roadmap for It looked good.It sounded good. But then Salesforce severed their partnership with Dun & Bradstreet and now only legacy customers have access to Dun & Bradstreet content. For everybody else, there were nine months of deafening silence until the recent announcement of Lightning Data.

Salesforce now enables third-party data integrations through a set of Lightning Data partners that will support ongoing account enrichment as native Salesforce Apps. Inaugural partners including InsideView, MCH Strategic Data, Thomson Reuters, Bombora, Dun & Bradstreet, HGData, DataFox and Clearbit presented their offerings at Dreamforce.



Partner Spotlight – InsideView

InsideView was an original partner on the AppExchange but was disinvited after rolled out. While hidden from AppExchange searches, the InsideView for Sales solution continued to be available to joint customers as a private solution. With the launch of Lightning Data, InsideView will soon be listed as an inaugural partner on the AppExchange’s new Lightning Data ecosystem.

At the partner roundtable session, Tracy Eiler, CMO of InsideView addressed the audience on how B2B buying behavior has changes. She spoke more on how this has put enormous pressure on marketers to nurture the buyer longer, to engage at the right time with a relevant message, and to own responsibility for revenue along with the sales colleagues. Sales and Marketing teams need to be more targeted and transform their overall go-to-market approach. InsideView is offering two new native Salesforce applications: the first app focuses on cleansing account records and the other on account prospecting.

InsideView is the only platform that delivers the three essential elements of Targeting Intelligence into Salesforce – company and contact data (who you’re targeting), business triggers from news and social feeds (why a prospect is a good fit and why now), and your aggregated network of connections to discover warm introductions (how you engage). With over 1000+ joint customers, InsideView has a track record of successful solutions that integrate into Salesforce. Find out more from G2Crowd user reviews why InsideView is the leading Salesforce Lightning Data Partner.

Are you evaluating your data strategy with Salesforce or looking for a alternative? Now is a great time to act on it. 


Michael R. Levy is the Principal of GZ Consulting, a market research and competitive intelligence consultancy which focuses on the information services industry. Michael has seventeen years of experience in the sales intelligence industry having worked for OneSource and InfoGroup before launching GZ Consulting in 2012. Michael is also the author of the just published 2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors. He also publishes a weekly Market Insights Newsletter which covers the Sales Intelligence, DaaS, Data Hygiene, and Predictive Analytics spaces.