I’ve probably told this story across hundreds of Broadlook product demonstrations and multiple speaking events over the past seven years, and it never seems to tire or become irrelevant. In fact, I may argue that it is even more relevant today in our hyper-information, competitive and “noisy” selling environment.
Before I get ahead of myself, let me share the story. It was somewhere back in 2007, around our fourth product from the recruiting sector that was moving into marketing and B2B sales. Ambitiously so, we believed that the same deep web data mining and real-time company and contact information achieved through the use of our flagship application, Profiler, would be valuable to sales and marketing executives.
I set my sights on a handful of target companies developing and selling technology solutions to Fortune 1000 and SMB markets to engage and determine interest and market opportunity. Of course, being a company that “eats our own dog food,” I used Profiler on each company to data mine the websites and related sources to aggregate the potential contacts within each of these target organizations. With this particular target prospect, multiple contacts were identified including the CEO. I highlighted his contact information to examine the sources of information and was pleased to see that although only the name and title of the CEO was available from the website, Profiler’s deep web research capabilities found and appended the email from a newsgroup forum.
The email of this particular CEO happened to come from a newsgroup dedicated to, of all things, Seabuscuit the horse and the author Laura Hillenbrand. At time time, I wondered what this was all about, so I clicked further to the source and was able to read a pleasant and congratulatory comment from my prospect CEO, to Laura Hillenbrand.
This was an interesting piece of information to have, plus, being a sports nut, I was fairly familiar with the story (and I saw the movie as well).
I wrote a simple introductory email to the CEO of my target prospect with a header that went something like this: “Subject: I am a fan of Seabuscuit too, loved the movie, and would like to discuss solutions to improve your sales teams prospect information.” I explained the past year in business, and how we were expanding our market. The rest of the body of the email really did not seem to matter, because it was not more than 10 minutes later that I received a reply email, followed by a direct phone call from the CEO with the response: “How in the #@*! did you know that?”
My response was simply, “Funny you should ask…do you have a few minutes to go to a web-conference demo and I will show you?” He agreed to join, and after a 20-minute review of Profiler, he simply said, “What you just did, I want you to teach to each member of my sales organization.”
You see, it was more than just a list of contacts, titles and phone or email addresses. Just about any traditional list or data provider can do this. It was the ability to exhaust all the possibilities of information available, and make effective use of the data, that differentiated my efforts to engage than the hundreds of other solicitation that he receives.
The information is out there. But sales and marketing professionals need help. Technologies that can rapidly research multiple online sources, aggregate and score relevant company and contact data, and present all the information with transparency, is an absolute necessity. Otherwise, I might still be digging around years later. Or worse, sending out my 100th blanket, pre-fabricated email to an acquired list of names and emails, hoping someone responds.
In November of 1938, the undersized wonder horse Seabuscuit, faced what many believed to be the greatest race horse of its era, Triple-Crown winner, War Admiral, in a one-on-one race dubbed the “Match of the Century.” Seabuscuit was a 4-1 underdog. In front of a packed stadium at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, MD., Seabuscuit accelerates on the closing stretch to win by four lengths, despite War Admiral running his best time for the distance. Perhaps Seabuscuit is the better horse. Maybe he digs deeper to tap a reserve to work harder. The bigger question becomes, what resources and reserves are you willing to tap and access to win? With the right technology in hand, you can go deeper, faster and smarter than ever before.