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How Does ZoomInfo Work? [The Ultimate Guide 2024]

February 28, 2024 zoominfo
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how does ZoomInfo work

As a leading platform in sales intelligence, ZoomInfo stands out as a top choice for sales and marketing professionals seeking detailed business insights. It’s utilized for its ability to streamline the prospecting process and improve lead-generation efforts.

So, how does ZoomInfo work? ZoomInfo collects and analyzes vast amounts of data from various sources, including public records, business websites, and user contributions. This process ensures users have access to up-to-date and accurate business contact information.

Despite its strengths, some users find ZoomInfo expensive and complicated, particularly for smaller businesses. 

Hence, we’ll dig deeper into this and learn why Swordfish AI presents a compelling alternative. It offers similar capabilities without ZoomInfo’s drawbacks, making it a strong option for those looking for easier access and affordability. 

Let’s get started.

What is ZoomInfo?

What Is ZoomInfo

ZoomInfo is a comprehensive sales intelligence and marketing automation platform designed to transform sales and marketing strategies. It provides in-depth business information, empowering sales representatives and marketing teams to improve their outreach and engagement efforts effectively.

In 2007, ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. was founded by Henry Schuck to help professionals and businesses grow. As part of DiscoverOrg’s 2019 acquisition of ZoomInfo, DiscoverOrg now offers buyer intent data, contact information, and company profiles.

So, what does ZoomInfo do now? It simplifies the search for potential customers by providing an extensive database of contacts filled with email addresses and deep insights.

By using advanced data collection techniques, including web scraping and machine learning, ZoomInfo provides up-to-date and accurate data. It allows you to efficiently target potential customers, organize lead generation, and improve marketing strategies.

ZoomInfo’s important benefits include improved lead quality, increased efficiency in sales cycles, and the ability to make data-driven informed decisions for business growth.

How Does ZoomInfo Work: Step-by-Step Guide

Let’s dig into how ZoomInfo operates. Here, we’ll go through each phase to understand ZoomInfo’s functionality better.

Step 1

ZoomInfo begins by collecting a wide range of data. It includes company finances, office locations, tech usage, keywords, and contact profiles like emails, job titles, and phone numbers. It sources this data from both public and private channels.

Step 2

To improve its database, ZoomInfo captures email signatures through connections with email services. It further enriches its database by integrating with users’ CRM and marketing tools, adding data that isn’t directly submitted.

Step 3

The platform then utilizes advanced machine learning (ML) algorithms to run through insights into company profiles, organize, and prioritize the collected data daily. 

A dedicated team of data experts supports these efforts, focusing on refining accuracy, detecting anomalies, manually checking data, identifying patterns for new algorithms, and improving data collection efficiency.

Step 4

This expert team plays a key role in ensuring the data’s quality and filling any gaps that technology alone might overlook. Their work is essential in upholding the data’s integrity and utility.

Step 5

Finally, ZoomInfo allows you to access these insights directly through its platform. You can also integrate this data into their CRM or marketing and sales outreach tools, using these detailed insights to refine your marketing activities.

Technology Behind ZoomInfo’s Data Collection and Analysis

Before you learn what ZoomInfo is used for, you should be familiar with the technology behind ZoomInfo; it’s clear why it’s considered one of the best contact finding tools available for businesses today. 

In this section, we’ll check out the technology ZoomInfo uses to gather and analyze data, shedding light on its sophisticated process.

Data Collection Methods

ZoomInfo collects data through various means, ensuring a broad and accurate database. It aggregates information from public domains, social media platforms, and proprietary sources. This extensive collection process involves the following:

  • Public and Proprietary Sources: ZoomInfo scans millions of web pages, including news sites, corporate websites, and public records, to compile data on companies and individuals.
  • Email Signatures and CRM Integrations: ZoomInfo captures detailed contact information by integrating with email systems and CRM platforms, enriching its database with email signatures and other valuable data points.

Analyzing Data with Machine Learning

Once data is collected, ZoomInfo employs machine learning (ML) algorithms to analyze and organize the information. This involves —

  • Scoring and Ranking: ML algorithms evaluate the relevance and accuracy of data, scoring and ranking it to ensure users receive the most deeper insights.
  • Continuous Learning: ZoomInfo’s AI and ML technologies are in a constant state of learning, adapting to new data and improving over time for more precise results.

Ensuring Data Accuracy

A dedicated team of research analysts and data scientists works alongside the technology to verify data accuracy. 

  • Identify Anomalies: The team looks for inconsistencies in the data of high-value prospects, applying manual checks where necessary.
  • Close Intelligence Gaps: By identifying patterns and automating data collection where possible, the team ensures the database remains comprehensive and up-to-date.

Integration and Accessibility

Finally, ZoomInfo makes this data easily accessible to its customers through:

  • Direct Platform Access: You can access deep insights directly on the ZoomInfo platform, utilizing its search and filter capabilities to find specific information.
  • CRM and Marketing Automation Integration: The data and insights can be integrated into CRM systems or sales and marketing automation tools. This improves go-to-market strategies and increases opportunities for growth.

How to Use ZoomInfo for Sales and Marketing Success

Let’s learn about how you can use ZoomInfo and increase your sales and marketing strategies effectively.

How to Use ZoomInfo for Sales and Marketing Success

Mastering ZoomInfo’s Database for Sales and Marketing

Dig into ZoomInfo’s extensive database to find many business leads and insights into customer behavior. For sales, this means pinpointing potential clients who match your ideal customer profile.

And for marketing, it’s about understanding the context of your target market platform to create compelling messages. The foundational knowledge sets the stage for personalized outreach strategies, increasing profitable growth.

Streamlining Lead Generation and Prospecting

ZoomInfo’s platform is ideal for generating high-quality leads. Sales professional can filter prospects to ensure they’re reaching out to the most viable leads.

On the other hand, a market team can use the same data-driven Insights to create targeted campaigns that speak directly to the needs and interests of promising leads. This targeted approach ensures your efforts are focused and more likely to yield results.

Boosting Email and Calling Campaigns

Access to direct contact information through ZoomInfo empowers sales teams to make meaningful connections via cold emails or calls. 

For marketers, this data supports the creation of segmented email campaigns that resonate with different audience segments. Personalization, powered by accurate data, can significantly improve your engagement and conversion rates.

Leveraging CRM and Marketing Automation Integration

Integrating ZoomInfo with your CRM and marketing tools can create a smooth flow of data across your sales and marketing ecosystems. It ensures that both sales and market trends access to the most current data

Thus, it allows sales to follow up on leads more efficiently and marketers to automate personalized campaign triggers based on real-time insights.

Utilizing Intent Data for Strategic Engagement

Intent signals from ZoomInfo can be a game-changer for both sales and marketing. Sales teams can identify and prioritize leads showing active interest in related products or services, making their outreach timely and relevant.

Similarly, marketers can customize content and campaigns to address their target audience’s specific interests and pain points, increasing the chances of engagement.

Analyzing Performance for Continuous Improvement

ZoomInfo’s analytics and reporting tools offer valuable insights into the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts.

Salespeople can refine their pitch and follow-up tactics based on what works best, while marketers can adjust campaigns for better performance. This continuous loop of learning and adapting is important to staying ahead in a competitive market.

ZoomInfo’s Pricing and Subscription Plans

ZoomInfo customizes its pricing to meet your specific needs. Costs vary based on the features you select, the number of users, and the extent of data access required.

The platform is divided into different services. These include SalesOS for sales-related contacts and insights, MarketingOS for digital marketing assistance, and TalentOS for candidate sourcing and tracking.

While ZoomInfo doesn’t publicly display its prices, our research indicates that pricing begins at around $8,000 per year for the Pro+ package. The Advanced package, priced at $12,000 annually, offers extra perks such as 1,000 monthly credits for each user.

For those seeking an even more powerful solution, the Elite package is available, with an annual fee of $40,000, making it the premium choice for extensive data and feature access.


What Users Say About ZoomInfo?

  • G2: 4.4/5 (‎6,891 reviews)

“We lean heavily on account-based marketing and this tool allows us to effectively identify the correct people in an organization. We have several different lines of business that benefit from our products. We have to have insights into our addressable market and the ZoomInfo team is always there to help us build lists based on our requirement” – Todd O. 

  • Capterra: 4.1/5 ‎(279 reviews)

“What is not a pro of this tool! it has everything!! I’m able to find all my contacts for a business and everything I need to know about them. Helping my closing right when talking to new clients.” – Max S

What are the Limitations of ZoomInfo?

Although ZoomInfo has all the advanced tech, buying Signals, firmographic data, and filters, it’s not without its drawbacks. So, let’s see some of its limitations that might affect how you use it for sales and marketing.

What Are the Limitations of ZoomInfo

  • Cost Barrier: ZoomInfo’s pricing can be very high for you, especially for small businesses or startups. The initial investment might be hard to justify without guaranteed returns.
  • Data Overwhelm: With millions of contacts and companies including mobile phone and direct phone, finding the right data without getting overwhelmed can be challenging. It requires time to sift through.
  • Legal and Ethical Concerns: Using data without consent can raise ethical questions. Plus, scraping ZoomInfo data goes against their terms, and for that, you’ll pose legal risks.
  • Anti-Scraping Measures: ZoomInfo prospecting tool employs anti-scraping technologies. It means free tools for scraping their data might not work, and it limits your data extraction efforts.
  • Accuracy and Completeness: While ZoomInfo strives for accuracy, no database is perfect. You will encounter outdated or incomplete information, affecting decision-making.
  • Integration Complexity: Integrating ZoomInfo with your existing CRM or marketing tools can be complex. Sometimes, this requires technical know-how to ensure smooth operation, which can be time-consuming and hectic.

Best Alternatives of ZoomInfo

After comparing the features of some of the best ZoomInfo alternatives, we’ve found a few that will help you if you’re looking for better solutions or struggling with ZoomInfo.

1. Swordfish AI

Swordfish AI

Swordfish AI stands out as the top choice for those looking for more reliable and direct contact information, setting us apart from ZoomInfo. One of our strengths is offering exclusive access to high-quality business emails and cell phone numbers. 

Over 3.5 billion data points and special agreements with cell phone providers and carriers guarantee unparalleled accuracy. For sales and recruitment professionals seeking direct connections with key decision-makers, this database is a game-changer. 

We work with data partners to ensure our contact information is accurate and current, so you are never contacting the wrong contact and you save time. By focusing on direct, verified contact details, we help you reach out more efficiently and seal deals more effectively.

Features of Swordfish AI

Swordfish AI stands out with its unique features designed to streamline and improve B2B prospecting efforts. Let’s check out the core functionalities that set Swordfish AI apart from competitors like ZoomInfo, focusing on its major offerings:

  • File Upload


File Upload allows you to enrich your contact database effortlessly. By uploading a CSV file, you can quickly obtain missing contact details like phone numbers and emails. It’s a straightforward way to update and expand your CRM data.

  • Bombora Intent

Swordfish AI Bombora Intent Data

Understanding which software companies are actively seeking solutions similar to yours can offer a major edge. Swordfish AI uses Bombora Intent data to identify these companies, helping you focus outreach efforts on high-converting leads.

  • Chrome Extension


Swordfish AI’s Chrome Extension is a powerful tool for real-time data retrieval while browsing LinkedIn, Facebook, or other supported platforms. This easy integration offers a more efficient prospecting process compared to ZoomInfo’s more segmented approach.

  • Prospector


The Prospector tool is designed for generating targeted lead lists with precision. You can filter prospects based on various criteria, ensuring the leads are highly relevant to their sales pipeline.

  • Reverse Search


With Reverse Search, Swordfish AI provides an innovative way to find detailed contact information from minimal starting points. It offers more flexibility and investigative power than ZoomInfo’s features, regardless of whether you have a name, company, or phone number.

  • API Integration

Swordfish AI API Integration

Swordfish AI’s API integration offers a smooth way to add its large contact database to your current systems or apps. You can create personalized solutions and improve how you work, making it easier to access data and boosting productivity. 

Comparison Table of ZoomInfo vs Swordfish AI

Check out the key differences between Swordfish AI and ZoomInfo, focusing on unique features like the powerful Swordfish AI Chrome Extension.

ZoomInfo vs Swordfish AI


Swordfish AIZoomInfo
DatabaseOver 3.5 billion data points, includes exclusive cell phone data

Over 135 million phone numbers, 260 million profiles

Chrome Extension

Direct access to cell numbers and business emails across platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etcContact info access with less focus on cell numbers
Lead GenerationAdvanced filters for precise lead targeting

Wide database with advanced search for leads


Seamless API integration with Zapier, Crelate, Salesforce, Salesloft, HubSpot, Pipedrive, etc.Offers various integrations with Pipedrive, HubSpot, Salesforce, Marketo, ZOHO, Salesloft, etc.
Target AudienceDesigned for sales and recruitment with direct contact search

Broad B2B contact access, including emails and numbers


Offers scalable API integrationProvides API access, less detail on scalability
Pricing Quote based pricing

Quote based pricing


Swordfish AI presents multiple pricing plans customized to meet the varied needs of businesses, encompassing sales, recruitment, marketing, and API functionalities.

Whether your goal is to increase outbound strategies, streamline recruitment activities, or access specific data services, Swordfish AI has a suitable package.

Each Swordfish AI subscription guarantees accurate email contacts, alongside direct and mobile numbers, enriched with consistent updates on job roles and corporate data.

To find the ideal plan for your enterprise, feel free to reach out for comprehensive pricing details.


arrowTry Swordfish Ai

2. AeroLeads


AeroLeads is one of the best choices for companies looking for options cheaper than ZoomInfo. There are four different pricing plans offered by AeroLeads, whereas ZoomInfo charges based on a quote. 

Most importantly, it lists the prices along with the package so that you can pick the one that suits your budget and needs.

You can also add your data to search for emails, which works well with the CRM tools you already use. What makes AeroLeads stand out is its ability to check emails in real-time, so you always have the latest information.

This, along with how easy it is to use in your marketing and sales efforts, makes AeroLeads a smart option for getting the business information you need without the high costs or complicated setup that comes with ZoomInfo.

Comparison Table of ZoomInfo vs AeroLeads

AeroLeads and ZoomInfo offers unique tools for lead generation, and here, we’ll see their differences through this informative table:

ZoomInfo vs AeroLeads


DatabaseAccess to 750 million prospects

Access to over 135 million verified phone numbers, and 260 million professional profiles

Chrome Extension

Available for LinkedIn email finding and moreYes, but specific details on functionalities not provided
Lead GenerationTools for email finding, verification, and campaigns

Extensive suite for lead generation with advanced search, intent data, etc.


Take off costs $39 monthly

Quote based pricing

Climb costing $59 monthly

Cruise costs $99 monthly

Enterprise costing $249 monthly

Target Audience

Businesses, online marketers, sales teams, recruiters

Sales, marketing, and talent acquisition teams


AeroLeads provides four different subscription options customized to your requirements. The Take Off package, priced at $39 a month, is perfect for individuals or small startups just starting to reach out.

The Climb package, costing $59 a month, works well for small to medium-sized teams aiming to boost their lead-finding efforts. The Cruise package, at $99 a month, suits businesses looking for broad outreach capabilities without needing an enterprise-grade solution.

Lastly, the Enterprise package, at $249 a month, offers the fullest range of features and support for large organizations with extensive lead generation and verification needs.


Note: If you’re already using AeroLeads and looking for a better choice, check out how an AeroLeads alternative might fit into your lead generation toolkit.


To conclude, how does ZoomInfo work? ZoomInfo gathers and examines a wide range of data from different places, like public records, company websites, and input from users. By using this method, you get accurate and current contact information.

To sum up, learning to use tools like ZoomInfo effectively can change the way you approach sales and marketing. It’s important to manage your budget carefully, make sure the data you use is accurate, work well together, and share knowledge within your team. 

Looking into other options we’ve discussed could bring more advantages and might be a better match for what you need. Swordfish AI is one such option, known for its standout features. It can offer the exact, if not, better solutions you’re looking for.

arrowTry Swordfish Ai


How to use ZoomInfo for prospecting?

To use ZoomInfo for prospecting, search for businesses or professionals that match your target criteria, such as industry, company size, or job title. ZoomInfo will provide a list of potential leads, including contact details and company information.

How did ZoomInfo get my information?

ZoomInfo gathers information from a variety of public sources, including company websites, news articles, and public records. It may also obtain data from contributions made by its community of users. The combination of these sources allows ZoomInfo to compile detailed profiles of businesses and professionals.

Why did I get an email from ZoomInfo?

You might have received an email from ZoomInfo for a few reasons. It could be because your information is part of their database and they’re reaching out to verify its accuracy or informing you about how your data is being used. 

Alternatively, someone might have used ZoomInfo to find your contact information for business prospecting purposes.

How does ZoomInfo find details about businesses and professionals?

ZoomInfo uses a mix of public information, contributions from users, and machine learning to collect data. It looks at websites, news articles, and other online sources to gather information about businesses and professionals. This process helps ZoomInfo keep its database rich and up-to-date.

Is ZoomInfo’s data reliable?

ZoomInfo strives to ensure the reliability, accuracy and completeness of its data through continuous updates and verification processes. However, like any database that relies on a wide range of sources, there might be occasional inaccuracies. 

It’s always a good idea to use ZoomInfo’s data as a starting point and confirm important details directly when possible.

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