It all comes back to the phone book

Just when you would think the explanation of data vs. intelligence was a moot point, a customer brought us another little anecdote that drives the nail in even further to the coffin of big data providers. Most startups and even larger businesses have a need to deliver leads to the sales team. This can be done using a combination of many marketing campaigns and targeting people that can benefit from your product or service. One of the normal go-to methods for companies is to inject a bunch of names into their CRM in a form of list building that gives the sales people a starting point of people to contact. Companies buy these lists because it’s better than handing a sales team a stack of yellow pages and telling them to start at A and work through Z. But is it really any better? [tweetmeme source= “insideview” only_single=false]

The problem with data as a launching point

Companies need data. List building has a place in the process but if that’s what you are relying on to drive a large volume of revenue for your company, you are going to be very disappointed. Using data as a launching point for your inside sales team to start working through is almost as bad as handing them a copy of the Yellow Pages for their territory with the industries they should focus on. Where do they start? What companies should they call first? Even with a more focused set of targets, sales people still have the same problems. Without some context or sales intelligence around the company or contact, sales people are still walking blind. Sure they’ll call 50 people and get 3 people that might be interested for a follow up but again, it’s a VERY grassroots process that belongs only in the history books.

What happens when you add a layer of actionable intelligence to the data? All of a sudden sales people are getting alerted to sales opportunities, they get fed information that they can pass onto their prospects and customers about trends and issues facing their competitors and how the prospect can benefit more from the service they offer. Sales intelligence has an explosive impact on driving revenue for a company.

The solution that builds revenue faster

When you hand a sales person a lead, it’s in their DNA to follow up on it with a call, email or some other communication. It will be hit or miss using the phonebook approach and they will move onto the next name on the list. We’ve documented case studies where customers are getting upwards of 70 new opportunities a month, per rep and watched sales efficiency increase dramatically by eliminating a large chunk of research a sales person needs to do. This will never be done by the Big Data vendors as much as they want you to believe it. Sales intelligence is the only solution.