JigSaw or ZoomInfo—which data service do you like best?

This week’s blog is from Ben Bradley, Managing Director at Macon Raine, Inc. who also blogs on marketing, sales technology and just about everything else at BenBradley.net

At MaconRaine, we help companies find customers by functioning as a “rep” and conducting selling activities on behalf of our clients. But before any of that can take place, our CRMs must be populated with accurate and up to date contact information.

After all, it is hard to market to someone if you don’t know who they are.

Having the right contact information makes it easier to get time with potential prospects. You know the sales and marketing process; simply finding an excuse to get in the door is a round-about, adaptive, gradual and hybrid process.

To perform basic data hygiene and campaign targeting, we utilize a variety of data services: Hoovers, Jigsaw, and a range of value-added list services.   Some are licensed (but seldom used) by our clients and some we license directly.

We tend to use JigSaw the most because it can provide prospect email addresses. We don’t spam. All of our email contact is one to one and extremely personalized.

Unfortunately, my major complaint with JigSaw is the inability to filter and remove unqualified prospects from queries before the list is closed. When I have to edit my search in the Shopping Cart it slows my workflow and can be incredibly frustrating.

For example, I recently conducted a JigSaw search for vice presidents with keyword “Security” in the title. While reviewing the search results in the shopping cart, I noticed a number of contacts were actually responsible for physical security instead of network security. Removing them was time consuming.

A short time ago, we were contacted by ZoomInfo’s PR department, given a membership and asked to evaluate it on our blog. Since I love free stuff, here goes…

For sheer personalization, what we like about ZoomInfo is the in-depth profiles kept on each individual. We can quickly research a prospect and craft custom outreach that references past press clippings or web mentions.  ZoomInfo calls this capability “deep” data because it improves how we target and keep tabs on client competitive activity.

Zoominfo’s lead sources are updated daily and, as I said, the service allows for powerful list segmentation. I can also upload key account lists to expand my baseline understanding of organizations in my clients’ target market. This more than meets my criteria for a good prospecting application.

If forced to pick one of these services over another, I don’t know if I would be able to. Each does things slightly different and different projects require a different set of tools.

In a best case scenario, I’d recommend buying them all. But the economy being what it is, sometimes we have to make decisions. So for bulk prospecting, I recommend Jigsaw. For surgical high level prospecting, ZoomInfo is the way to go.

Which do you prefer and why?

Cultural Differences with a Sales Force Evaluation

Dave Kurlan says: Let’s pretend that you just learned that none of your salespeople are motivated to earn more money (the actual finding is “not motivated to earn more money” as opposed to “not money motivated”). Wouldn’t you be thinking, “That’s impossible – There has got to be a mistake”? You would, but what kind of mistake would lead to a finding like that? If the finding was true it would mean that you hired the wrong people, so maybe the assessment is invalid.  And if you are in another country you would ask, “Could this be a cultural difference?”

Career Switch

Shaun Priest, AKA Closer Q helps “William” navigate making an industry jump within the sales arena:

“Shaun, I have been a highly successful salesperson in my industry for a number of years. However, I’m thinking about moving to another industry that would have more financial rewards. Without industry experience but with a successful track record in my current industry in sales, what is my best approach to getting hired in another industry as a salesperson?” – William

Redirecting the Sales Hunt—tweaking your approach in today’s market

This week’s blog comes to us from Steve Waterhouse, CEO of Predictive Results.

In this market, you need aggressive hunters and loving farmers. The rules have intensified for the farmers, but changed completely for the hunters.

In the her March 12 interview with Dave Stein, Naviga CEO Kathleen Steffey commented that she was currently seeing growth from existing clients more than from new clients in this tough economy. In other words, the farmers are doing their job of maintaining and growing the existing business, but the hunters are missing their mark and failing to bring in the new business.

Here is what hunters need to do differently to win in this market:

  • Sell to the CEO – In tough markets, lower level people lose their buying power and only the top people can make decisions to spend. If you are hearing “we just aren’t spending now,” you are probably selling too low.
  • Sell fast, high, certain ROI – Every CEO will spend a dime to get a dollar. In tough times, all that changes is that they want a better return, they want it faster, and they want it guaranteed.
  • Work from referrals – As people become afraid of risk, use referrals to get beyond it. A referral gives the buyer the “guarantee” that it worked for a friend and it should work for them. Closing ratios on referral business are twice as high as standard leads.

What makes these changes tough is that you may not have people in place who have the strong personality and C-Level skills to pull off these strategies. Now is the time to take a close look at your sales team to ensure that you have the people you need to get the job done.

The good news is that there have never been more qualified people on the market than there are today.