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Donato Diorio would like to toss the buying and renting of contact lists in the same waste bin occupied by buttonhooks and buggy whips.
What's more, the founder and CEO of Pewaukee-based Broadlook Technologies
might have just the silver bullet to do it. Using Broadlook's primary software suite Profiler, Eclipse and Contact Magnet a salesperson looking for leads within a target company can mine real-time information on the Internet and garner dozens or hundreds of contact people within that company, far more leads than are available from a typical business information service.
Contacts are listed with titles, phone numbers, e-mails, whatever details are available. The motive is simple: Give customers more face time with people who might buy their products "and less time doing that manual stuff of selling to the wrong 500 people," Diorio said. "Sell to the right fifty."
"Find the people who want you," he said. "With this tool, you're going to find bad leads faster. If somebody's not willing to hear your story, or it's not a match, you know what? You'll find out quicker, because you'll get to the decision-maker quicker."
Broadlook customer Hutch Kealy, director of channel development for Milwaukee-based CRM software maker Brevient
, said the lists one can purchase from list brokers, while very good sometimes, are "very expensive" and contain a "significant number" of target contact people who have either since moved on to other companies, died or are otherwise out of date. In contrast, Broadlook's applications allow users to identify potential contacts in real time and do what Kealy calls "microtargeting," basically a sales campaign targeted at 100 prime contacts rather than buying a list of 5,000 names and direct mailing all of them.
"I can have a very customized campaign, and I can really identify and hone in on the targets I want," Kealy said.
Broadlook's technology arose from tools Diorio built for employees of his earlier venture, which recruited people for niche positions in technology companies. The idea is to find people you wouldn't spot using typical search engines and tools. With Eclipse, a user can grab contact information from such sources as online employee directories, association listings and chamber of commerce lists and then export them into database programs such as Microsoft Excel, MS Outlook or a company's own contact resource management (CRM) system.
"Anything that's structured in a query-type format can basically be mined automatically," Diorio said. "I [can do] four hours' [worth] of data entry in a minute. [I can] click on "export to Excel" and there's my call list or e-mail list or marketing list."
Kealy said he uses Eclipse, Profiler and another tool called Ballista. With Eclipse, for example, Kealy noted he can find organizations, consulting firms and value-added resellers (VARs) that might want to represent Brevient's software to people by culling names and contact information using a Web site that lists the top 500 resellers of his type of product in the country as the starting point.
"That takes less than five minutes," Kealy said. "Six months before I ran into Broadlook, I had a customer support intern in the company go through all those and cut and paste them into a spreadsheet. It took half a day, and all it would be able to give me are the names of companies. In five minutes, I'm able to pull all the names of the companies off the list and with a couple of clicks dive down inside that list Web sites, telephone numbers, addresses, the basic info I need to conduct a campaign."
Another Broadlook tool, called BroadMail, acts as a live monitor for e-mails a user has sent. The software alerts the sender when the e-mail has been read and can supply the phone number of the recipient immediately. It also can tie that information into a company's CRM system. BroadMail is indicative of the kind of actionable information Broadlook has set its sights on providing. The idea is to give people details they can use.
"It's got to be actionable," Diorio said. "It's got to be something you can take action on. Is the information productive knowledge? Can you actually take action for someone to call?"
That's especially important for smaller companies such as Brevient, where the principals' time is of the essence.
"It's a huge time-saver," Kealy said. "It cuts your costs own, you don't have to by a list or have internal staff or yourself [do it]. Smaller companies typically don't have those types of resources around. You're taking your high-end people out of productive mode, out of customer-facing mode, to do administrative grunt work. I can do in a couple of hours what would have taken a couple of days."