Everyone collects data these days. This poses a conundrum for some buyers, who now have to choose between privacy and relevance – but the data democracy is a boon for sales and marketing. The availability of account, contact, and buyer intelligence information, such as phone numbers for C-suite execs, funding event details, and personnel insights such as departures, hires, and promotions, has enabled forward-thinking companies to disrupt traditional markets like never before.
Historically, business relationships revolved more around golf-course deals and long-standing relationships: Good for incumbents, bad for newcomers.
We interviewed five high-growth companies who have disrupted traditional markets and scaled successfully, to see how data proliferation enables high growth. This piece focuses on two key takeaways from the larger study, How Data is Democratizing Growth and Driving Disruption, 15 Lessons from High-Growth Companies Winning with Sales Intelligence, by Justin Withers.
Data provides organizational context for meaningful conversations
Chris Pham, Senior Director, Sales Development at Birst, a networked business analytics platform, shares how access to accurate data allows his team to be more helpful – and authentic.
No matter how the digital world affects our work, business will always be about relationship building. That means you have to get real.
“At the end of the day, Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics platforms have been around awhile, and there are tons of [incumbent] vendors who have dominant market positions—and they are ‘cash-cowing’ the heck out of it.
“So how is Birst disrupting it? By being surprisingly helpful. By providing value above expectations, every time we go to market. That’s how we earn the credibility to challenge our prospects and the market to see and do BI and analytics in a new way.
“We use DiscoverOrg Sales Intelligence, LinkedIn, and the internet in general to create our initial provocative point of view that is researched, resonant, and, if possible, personalized to the person we’re speaking to. Through our unique point of view, we are able to show them how they could potentially impact their business and do it better, in a way that’s specific to that account and what that person does at that company.”
It’s easy to see how Birst uses data: To be truly helpful and solve real problems.
Pham adds, “We’re not just taking leads that marketing is providing us and calling them, but we’re doing the smartest thing with those leads. We bring a researched and informed point of view – every single time we engage with the market and a prospect.”
Read the full report: How Data is Democratizing Growth and Driving Disruption: 15 Lessons from High-Growth Leaders
But what happens when when your prospect funnel gets low? Again, data is leveling the playing field and making it possible to find clients where you least expect them.
Some of your best future customers may not be in your database today
Good news! You have advocates and prospects you probably don’t even know about.
Bad news. They’re probably not in your database.
Jason Paquette, Director of Sales Operations at MongoDB, an open-source cross-platform database program, explains:
“In 2014, MongoDB hired a new CEO. Change continued in 2015 when a new CRO, CFO and CMO came on board and brought a whole new approach. MongoDB’s CRO, Carlos Delatorre, brought a culture of outbound prospecting and pipeline generation. It was no longer ‘If you build it, they will come.’ He came in and said, ‘You’ve got this tremendous base of customers using you—now get that base to start paying you.’
“A bunch of people out there were using the open-source Community version of MongoDB in production and had no idea what else we offered. There were entire apps already up and running on MongoDB that we didn’t know about. They didn’t know they could get support from us, didn’t know they could get additional features from us. We needed to answer the question ‘How do we find out about those things?’ So we’d talk about “finding smoke”—you know, “where there’s smoke there’s fire.” So, how do we find smoke?
“So how did we find indicators that a company might be using MongoDB? We looked at their marketing activity or presence in Salesforce.com; a LinkedIn keyword search for MongoDB; and for companies that had people listed with MongoDB as a skill. We’d do that and say, ‘Wow! AcmeCorp has 273 people listing MongoDB as a skill.’ We’d also look at job postings on Indeed.com for companies looking for individuals skilled in MongoDB.
“With those companies, we’d research how they built an app on MongoDB and say, ‘Maybe we should call AcmeCorp.’ And we’d ask, ‘Well, how are we gonna do that? We don’t have their name and phone number.’ Well, we have this thing called DiscoverOrg, so let’s go look it up! You can find out who the players are. You can find out who else you should be talking to, you figure out who the decision makers are in IT, and you go after them. Once we’ve found smoke, we use DiscoverOrg to make the fire happen.
“Some of our best customers weren’t in our database until our reps started hunting!”
An entire community of advocates were already using MongoDB’s offering, even listing their product as a skill on LinkedIn! The turning point was data – information about which users were interacting with their content – which alerted the sales team to a universe of prospects and sparked the rapid growth for which the company is known.
These are just two examples of the many ways data is democratizing growth by creating marketing and sales opportunities. With accurate sales intelligence available to any nimble, tenacious company, rapid growth is within reach … if you know how to scale.
For more on scaling high growth and the democratization of data, download the piece, How Marketing and Sales Intelligence is Democratizing Growth and Driving Disruption, today.
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