Craig Etkin, CEO of Intelligence360, joins us in the studio to talk about the utility of intelligence in your sales process.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: And welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio, Texasbusinessradio.com is the website. 844-814-8144 is a 24 hour call line. Get your calls in, whenever you want. It’s a 24 hour line. Get a call in, in the middle of the night. I don’t care. We’re gonna get the experts on here, to get those questions answered. We’ve been talking about, over the last several weeks, about data, and how do you use data in your business, to drive decisions. Right? We have a fascinating company in here. We’re gonna talk about sales data and intelligence, business intelligence, that you can use to vastly improve your batting average, when you have your salesmen out, calling on potential customers. I’m your host Matt Register. Jay Curry’s the one sitting over there in the co-host seat. What you think Jay?
Jay Curry: Well, this is big data. When you’re talking big data, you’re talking state of the art, we’re talking about the future. Greg’s really figured out how to provide some pretty fine information that I think, as it relates to sales, everybody needs to be listening to this, cause it’s not that expensive, and it’s, tremendous data.
Matt Register: Yep. No doubt about that. Intelligence 360. Intelligence360.io is the website. Craig Etkin is the guru over there and the president over at Intelligence 360. Craig, welcome to the show.
Craig Etkin: Thank you. Thank you for having me today. I appreciate it.
Matt Register: Intelligence 360. We talked during the break. I’m fascinated by it. Why don’t you tell our audience. What do you and who do you do it to?
Craig Etkin: Yeah, at Intelligence 360 we’re really passionate about helping business owners succeed. We do that by really getting the right information to the sales organization at the right time to help them increase their conversion rates. Engaging the market, we really publish data every week throughout the US on companies who are planning on moving into new office space. They’re either building new facilities, or leasing new space. We also identify financial triggers, like companies getting venture capital investment and small business lending. Really helps sale organizations again, understand where these events are occurring out of the market and help them win new business more effectively.
Matt Register: Well, I tell you what, again, after, when we were talking during the break … Let me see if I get this correct. There are data streams all over the place. By themselves, don’t necessarily tell you the complete picture. There are data streams on who’s getting big loans, who’s getting big contracts from the government, who is getting permits for additional office space, who’s … All of this data, you then bring it, you distill it down and you can … If a company is looking to move from a 2,000 square foot facility to a 20,000 square foot facility, people that sell office furniture, that sell IT support, that sell a lot of different services, that’s good information for them to have. That’s information they wouldn’t have otherwise, correct?
Craig Etkin: Yeah absolutely. We take a lot of data, like you said. Some of it is available online. What we wanna do is, really maximize the salesperson. They really have to [inaudible 00:03:32] through a lot of that data themselves, and try and find contact’s information and company information. We do that for them. We do it in a very cost effective way that allows them to effectively sell. When they go to get to the data that we publish every week, it’s already got the context data. It ties to Linkedin, so they can see where their social media contacts already are. They can find out what industry the company’s in, how many employees they have. Again, also the details around how much funding they’re getting, or how much new square footage they’re going to be moving into, in terms of office space. We really wanna answer for them, the who, the what, the when, the where, the why, and the how, and allow them to do what they do best, which is get in and effectively sell to new business.
Matt Register: How does a company end up utilizing this data? Just thinking about it … I mean, I will understand the value of intelligence. Right? You have some companies that already have these guys as customers. They may not know that there’s a big … I mean, walk me through some of the ways that some of your customers are utilizing this and utilizing this to the benefit of their company?
Craig Etkin: Yeah, it’s really become a pretty pervasive marketing strategy, this account based marketing philosophy, where you’re in charge of a set group of companies in your market, whether they’re customers or not. You there to drive new business through acquiring new clients or you’re looking at maximizing your relationship with existing customers. You’re right. If you’re not, as a sales person, staying on top of what’s going on, with your client, then I guarantee you, a competitor is gonna use that data, try and win that business away from you. Really, what we wanna do in helping sales understand where these events are occurring is not only, help them sell new customers, but definitely effectively manage their client base.
Jay Curry: Craig, if you have a company that leverages off of growth. You know, you sell into a growth company, whatever it might be and there could be hundreds of companies. What you’re identifying is where growth is happening, specifically down to the company. Right?
Craig Etkin: Yeah. Absolutely. Down to the contact level as well. We want sales to know where these events occur, because it really does help them be more effective in winning new business. I mean, as you guys know, sales, or new business acquisition in sales, a lot of it is timing. If you can get in and talk to these companies when they’re in the buying mode as we call it, it really helps you effectively engage them more as a consultant, really talking about their needs and shaping the buy criteria, rather than a bidder, six to 12 months later, when you’re very late in the game and all you’re talking about is price.
Matt Register: Yeah. Yeah.
Craig Etkin: It really does help.
Matt Register: Talk to me a little bit about … We talked briefly about adjustment in your strategy, where you were, primarily servicing very large clients, right, the AT & T’s of the world, the big guys, who saw value in Intelligence and would buy your data nationwide for their use. You’ve now realize that this is data that’s valuable for small guys as well. Walk me through that shift and what does this now allow you to do for smaller companies?
Craig Etkin: Yeah, absolutely. As CRM platforms become more pervasive, in even smallest of dealers across the country, we wanna be able to provide them with that same level of insight into what’s going on in the market. They’re frontline sales people. They are engaging end users all the time in a sales call. We wanna give them that advantage that the big boys have had for years and years and really armed them with the tools that allow them to effectively impact their revenue.
Jay Curry: Examples might be, if you’re in the staffing business, you’re in the recruiting business, maybe you’re PEO, any place that they’re growing, they’re hiring people, they’re building, that’s … You can give them specifics about, that’s going on, and here’s the contact.
Craig Etkin: Yeah, absolutely. Any product line actually, if you think about it, that goes into office space. You know, if it’s office furniture [crosstalk 00:07:27] telecommunication, office equipment, IT, all of those things are in play, when a company’s moving in particular. If they’re going, as well, through high growth. You know, a company getting venture investment, let’s say, they’re mandated by that [inaudible 00:07:40] firm, to commercialize their operations. They’re going to be hiring, adding headcount at a clip, that really puts them in a position where they’re, needing advice from outside vendors. If you’re in IT and you see a company here in Houston that gets 20 million dollars in venture investment, and they’re 30 employee biotech firm, they don’t have that expertise in-house. They’re really calling on vendors now, to help them have a path for the next 24 months on how to scale their operations as a business. Again, it really is an effective kind of follow-the-dollar strategy for sales.
Matt Register: Over the last 20 years, you’ve been doing this, but what have the changes been in your customers, [crosstalk 00:08:17] in how they accept intelligence as a part of their day-to-day operations?
Craig Etkin: Well, I think more and more as you have sales people coming into, especially news sales people coming onboard, it really helps them. I mean, as a business owner, one of the things you’re wanting to do as you hire sales people is, you’re making an investment. I mean [crosstalk 00:08:36], they get training, they get onboarding, all of that. You want them to stick. What we help sales managers and business owners do is really recruit top sales people, but arm them with the tools that are gonna help them succeed. That’s really where we draw on our passion, which is helping business owners really have an impact on their top line revenue by helping those sales people stick and really succeed in, kind of the sales playbook that they’ve put in place for their organization.
Matt Register: Well, I tell you what, I find this absolutely fascinating.
Jay Curry: Yeah.
Matt Register: I think this is a no brainer. You know, the price point is very low as well, based on return. Guys, if you’re not using this, and you have anything to do … If you’re customers need you, whenever they make a big move, or they get a big chunk of funding, this is a no brainer. I would highly suggest you get in touch with these guys. Craig Etkin is the President and CEO of Intelligence 360. Thank you very much for joining us Craig.
Craig Etkin: Thank you.
Matt Register: Again, the website intelligence360.io. We’re gonna have that linked right from Texasbusinessradio.com if you’re driving and can’t take notes. Jay, I tell you man, this is interesting stuff.
Jay Curry: It is. It’s a perfect example of what’s going on in the country and worldwide, of taking big data and bringing it down, not just for the big boys anymore, but bringing it down to the medium sized companies, even the small companies, and be able to leverage that information.
Matt Register: Well, then I tell you what, it could have a bigger impact on a smaller company than it can on AT & T.
Jay Curry: It certainly can, absolutely.
Matt Register: Interesting stuff. Guys, we gotta take a break. We gotta pay a couple of our own bills. We’re gonna be back right on the other side of the break, with a whole, lot more Texas Business Radio. It’s not time to go anywhere. We’ll be back for that. We’ll be back right after this.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.