One of the best messages from Dreamforce was the realization from 45,000 attendees that data is good but it is not enough to move the revenue needle. The comments from current customers and new businesses that stopped by the booth validated that cold calling is dead and without a very targeted message with relevant information from both traditional sources and social media, a sales rep’s chances of getting contact and creating new opportunities is very slim.

With the announcement that Jigsaw and D&B are being combined to create Data.com, our customers are echoing our response that this is just further validation that data is a commodity and without a layer of intelligence to help sales, marketing and support identify the right people to contact, you may as just use last years Yellow Pages.

 Where’s the value-add? D&B and Salesforce are pitching this idea as a marriage between two classes of data: Salesforce contacts and D&B business. (For “Salesforce contacts,” read “Jigsaw.”) But Jigsaw data already associates contacts with their companies, and already contains (by Salesforce’s own estimate) over 4 million crowd-sourced corporate profiles. Of course, this calls into question the authenticity (and accuracy) of those profiles versus D&B’s professional research.

Keeping the entire company on the same page with prospects and customers is something that CRM can help with but it’s not the answer. There are so many things changing with companies on a daily, weekly and monthly basis that it’s impossible for anyone or any company to keep up with all the changes in leadership, news and events. This is why we believe that sales intelligence is the answer.

Adding a layer of intelligence to your sales process will dramatically increase sales productivity and increase your opportunity win rates. Does social media answer all the needs of every sales organization? No. But it adds an additional layer that gives sales people an edge when identifying new prospects and making that first phone call less awkward. Even marketing automation companies like Marketo see the value in leveraging social media for sales.

10 additional Articles on Data vs. Intelligence

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