Business Idea: Next Generation Business Contacts Data Service

Some of the big challenges for inside sales teams include finding quality data for cold calling, augmenting existing data, and targeted list building. There exists a business opportunity for a next generation business contacts data service. Let’s dig in and look at some characteristics of the business idea and market.

Established companies like Jigsaw.comData.com from Salesforce.com, NetProspex, and ZoomInfo have good products with thousands of paying customers and millions of contact records. Only, when you talk to sales reps that use these products there’s always pushback that the data isn’t current.

Several factors are driving the need for business contact data services:

  • Macro trend of inside sales replacing field sales
  • CRM growth among sales teams
  • Sales tools like auto dialers becoming more commonplace
  • Marketing automation adoption

How it might work and differentiate from competitive services:

  • Better use of web scraping and web crawling for publicly available information
  • Deep integration of social media info, including analysis of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, message boards, etc
  • Automated crowdsourcing of data using Mechanical Turk and other third-party services
  • Algorithmic review of existing customers and recommendation of similar companies / people

LinkedIn is the one wildcard as they have the best, most current data, but don’t resell or allow programmatic access to it.

Data service companies have been around for decades with Dun & Bradstreet being the most well known. The market is ready for a next generation service that takes advantage of the most modern techniques and delivers great data.

What else? What are your thoughts on the opportunity for a next generation business contacts data service startup?

3 thoughts on “Business Idea: Next Generation Business Contacts Data Service

  1. David it’s a great idea! (Full disclosure I am a leading a start-up that started off with almost the same idea).

    Trending data definitely indicates that there is an opportunity for something similar to a ‘Next Generation Business Contacts Data Service’. Most sales/marketing people we have spoken to are relatively desensitized to the quality of contact/lead’s provided to them regardless of source. Quite a few CRM’s are starting to if not already augmenting contact information with social and firmographic intel (or at least have the capability to do so at a price). In fact, there are already several players emerging that build targeted lead/contact lists for sales teams by aggregating and analyzing contact data from disparate sources exactly as you have outlined above.

    However, we believe there are a couple of of important pieces missing to fully capitalize on this opportunity which we have yet to see elsewhere. Without getting into too much detail one of our core hypothesis is centered around – what if the dissatisfaction with contacts/leads goes beyond the quality of contacts?

    (Open to discussing this further offline.)

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