Sales Intelligence

31 Jan

business-intelligence-systems

I’m often asked by companies about purchasing or renting sales and marketing lists (sales intelligence software). First of all, a company needs to determine if and why it’s even a good idea. Clearly, a list is a strategy for the top of the sales funnel. If you have telemarketers or inside salespeople that aren’t making 6 figure incomes, then it might be a good option. If you are paying high end salespeople to cold call from these lists – that are often inaccurate – then you are probably not focusing on ROI.

I’ve worked with a lot of different solutions and below are my suggestions.

Better Intelligence Software:

  • DiscoverOrg
  • RainKing

Good Options at a Cheaper Price:

  • Nimble
  • InsideView

The more popular options that I’d recommend you do not purchase:

  • com (Salesforce)
  • Hoovers
  • Salesgenie

Email Lists: If you are considering buying a list for email campaigns, I would suggest that you don’t. Email marketing companies don’t let you send emails to these lists, the contacts don’t actually know you, your email deliverability will be low and your SEO ranking could be damaged. I’d suggest focusing email marketing on opt-in contacts. Here is a blog which provides 10 ideas for building an opt-in list from Kissmetrics:  https://blog.kissmetrics.com/get-more-email-subscribers/

Higher level salespeople shouldn’t waste their time cold calling. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t pick up the phone every week and make calls into prospects they’ve never spoken to in the past; I just don’t think picking a name out of the “phonebook” (and hoping that it corresponds accurately with company, title and contact information) is a valuable use of their time.

The best salespeople build their own lists. Besides the usual networking and attaining referrals, I think the best solution out there is LinkedIn (and LinkedIn Sales Navigator). In 2017, if you aren’t at least using the free utility of LinkedIn’s basic platform, then you don’t understand modern sales.

LinkedIn isn’t the only option, but it is currently the best “live” social media tool in business. High end salespeople don’t work off of huge lists, they build good contacts one by one through tools like LinkedIn. It’s hard work but it’s effective.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on lists and an effective use of a salesperson’s time gathering sales intelligence.

It’s Time to Grow Faster~

Drew Schmitz

drew@blueoctopusllc.com

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