ZoomInfo CEO on the Great Resignation: 'I don't think it ends'

Henry Schuck, ZoomInfo CEO, joins Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi to discuss third quarter earnings, the growth of business software, and recruiting workers in a tight labor market.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: ZoomInfo is out with better than expected sales and profits, as companies invest in data services to help drive new sales and leads. Let's check in with ZoomInfo's co-founder and CEO, Henry Schuck. Henry, good to see you again here. My friend sent me a message this morning.

He's like, ask Henry about the wide moat around his business. So for those not familiar with what you do, what are you doing that competitors aren't, because I think that would go a long way to explaining this quarter.

HENRY SCHUCK: Yeah, great. Thanks, Brian. It's great to be here. I think the big thing you see around our business is we help go to market teams digitize the way that they sell and market their products. How we do that is we start with an intelligence layer, which is an incredibly robust data asset that's based on companies and the decision-makers who work at those companies. And we take that intelligence layer and we drive it up through an orchestration layer that lets you take signals off of when companies are growing, when they're shrinking, when they're getting funding, when they're hiring new executives. And you can build a go-to-market motion around that.

Most companies know that when some event happens at their potential clients, that they should be interacting with them. We not only give them the signals, but then the digital technology to actually interact with them in real time. And we're seeing more and more companies take that on. And in the quarter, we grew 60% year-over-year in the quarter.

We did that with best-in-class operating margins, 39% adjusted operating margins. And we continue to grow the business in the SMB and the mid-market and the enterprise, so an exciting quarter as companies digitize the way they go to market.

- Henry, this is Emily. Of course, with the explosion of demand that we've been seeing for software services over the course of the pandemic, I'm wondering what services specifically have been driving growth at ZoomInfo Technologies, and what do you expect to continue to be these drivers going forward?

HENRY SCHUCK: Yeah, look, I think the big thing that we're seeing is, you know, in the sales universe, you have a huge millennial workforce. I think the majority of people in sales in our customers are millennials. I'm a millennial, just by a little bit. But millennials expect digital technologies in their work life. In their personal life, you think about an analogy here. When I sign up for Instagram, Instagram connects my contacts and connects the people I know.

It starts sending me content that I'm interested in. It tells me people I should follow. In the B2B world, when I come into the workforce, the technology is not designed like that. It's not telling me what I should be doing. It's not making me successful. It's not using algorithms to increase the likelihood of my success when I'm selling my products or services.

And what we're doing at ZoomInfo is we're bringing that same level of customization and automation to the go-to-market workforce, because they deserve it. In today's world, business software should be smart. It should drive success. It should be able to help people actually be successful in their jobs. And our technology helps salespeople, marketing people, and recruiters become successful in their jobs, just by leveraging technology and data and serving it up to them at the right time.

BRIAN SOZZI: The lifeblood of your business, Henry, I would argue, is not necessarily the data. It's the representatives or your team inside your company. You ended the quarter, I think, with 2,500 employees. How are you recruiting them in this tight labor market? What are you doing?

HENRY SCHUCK: Yes, so easy plug here. We use ZoomInfo recruiter, which is a platform that we've built for the recruiting market to hire new individuals. We believe that that data asset is one of the best passive candidate resources available. And in the quarter, we saw incredible momentum on our ZoomInfo recruiter product. As the global war for talent becomes harder and harder, it's incredibly important to be able to be out there and recruiting passive candidates to come work for your companies.

And so we're driving that. We were recently named by Fortune magazine one of the top workplaces for millennials. We've also won a number of diversity and inclusion awards. And so number one, we've built a great culture at ZoomInfo, so people are excited to come work here and excited to stay here. And then we're using our platform to recruit new individuals into the company as well.

- Henry, I'm wondering as well, as the company continues to grow, are you seeing sort of pricing power when it comes to actually driving the prices of some of these services that you're providing on the software side, or is the goal right now still to continue to grow that customer base, just at this point at current pricing levels?

HENRY SCHUCK: Look, one of the great things we've been able to do, we went public last year, June, 2020. Since then, we've made five acquisitions of companies that play around the sales technology space. And we've integrated those acquisitions into the core ZoomInfo platform. What we think that gives us the ability to do is provide value-based pricing to our customers, where they're able to get more than just our intelligence layer.

But they're able to get a number of technologies that they're able to use day to day in their go-to-market motions. And we're able to drive value by combining multiples of those solutions into our customers, and save them money, versus buying each of these off-the-shelf, and then going through the process of integrating them all together. Our vision is to build a modern go-to-market platform, that brings together a number of these technologies, and then is able to drive that value to our customers and help them save money by having one unified platform.

BRIAN SOZZI: Henry, from your vantage point, when do you think the great resignation ends or cools down a bit?

HENRY SCHUCK: Look, I don't think it ends. I think this is the future of business. Employees expect a lot from their employers. They expect them to set up, to step up on social issues. They expect them to step up to help make them successful and invest in them. They expect them to set up to help them be more successful and grow their careers. And unless we, as employers, are willing to step up and meet that challenge, I think this is the universe that we live in going forward.

BRIAN SOZZI: Henry, real quick, before I let you go, I heard you have a special viewer watching you live now.

HENRY SCHUCK: Yes, my daughter Grace, she's five years old. She's watching us live now, and my wife Jessica. Thank you for that, Brian.

BRIAN SOZZI: All right, well, we appreciate Grace tuning in. Yahoo Finance, cultivating next generation of Finance viewers, ZoomInfo co-founder and CEO Henry Schuck. I'll catch you in Slack, buddy. Have a good weekend.

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