Avention: DataVision and Global Content Live

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I recently had the opportunity to interview Avention’s SVP of Product Lauren Bakewell concerning their new OneSource DataVision service.  The full interview can be found in trade publication Jinfo (FKA FreePint).  The new service provides a centralized data enrichment hub with visualization and segmentation tools to assist with business planning, territory planning, and account based marketing  (ABM).  DataVision also assists with TAM analysis and offers similar companies and contacts.

Like many other sales intelligence and Martech vendors, Avention is messaging around ABM programs which identify best customers and prospects for focused sales and marketing attention.  DataVision “helps companies understand their current customer base in detail and identify the most relevant target companies and segments for growth,” said Bakewell.  “OneSource DataVision benefits the marketing department by enabling customer segmentation and target identification, which in turn helps create targeted lists for campaigns, upsells and nurturing. Any marketer knows that a more targeted approach generates better leads for sales, meaning higher campaign ROI.”

According to Bakewell, Avention supports ABM and Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) processes in three ways:

  1. Identifying target accounts
  2. Delivering insights concerning accounts and contacts
  3. Building lists of contacts at target accounts

Avention continues to build out its Global Content Live reference file built from over 100 data providers.  Vendor content is fused to create a “golden record” which selects the most reliable vendor at the field level.  International coverage has recently been tripled with a goal of covering 80% of GDP in their served markets by the end of 2016.

DataVision will soon be announcing connectors with the major marketing automation platforms.  They are also “looking towards a more guided approach to help you get to the most meaningful segmentation, as well as areas to explore for growth. We want to move forward by providing more market analytics as part of the offering, helping you understand your data in an even more actionable way,” said Bakewell.

The full interview is available to Jinfo subscribers.

 

FreePint: The Value Add from Company Aggregators

GBBChris Porter, who writes many of the company intelligence vendors profiles for FreePint, recently ran a research study where he conducted half his research using an unnamed subscription aggregator and half using the open web.  While he gave the edge to the aggregator, the margin was not as wide as he’d anticipated.  Porter commented that it’s “not time to cancel that subscription just yet – but worth keeping an eye on.”

Porter found that the free web was able to provide much of his project’s content, particularly for US publics.  However, the paid service made information discovery quicker and easier.

For private companies, he found that neither fully met his research needs so a combination of open web and aggregator service worked best.

Porter confessed that his subscription service lacked annual and interim reports which would have made his research easier.  These reports are available in some of the other aggregator services.

Porter was unhappy with the Reuters Significant Developments report.  “It was not picking up all the major developments I was looking for,” said Porter.  I have had a similar problem with the report as it is limited to material events.  But an event could be important for non-investors without impacting the stock price.  For example, a new VP of Marketing may own product positioning, a significant marketing budget,  and demand generation.  Likewise, the company may have announced a significant improvement to a struggling product line.  Such events may not move the stock price, but they are highly relevant to competitors, customers, partners, and vendors.

Where I have found the Significant Developments report useful is in looking at specific topics such as M&A or Litigation going back fifteen years for US publics and about ten years for international quoted companies.  Being able to quickly filter to a topic provides insights such as whether the pace of M&A activity has changed or whether the nature of the acquisitions has evolved.  It can also be quite useful for locating a historical event such as when a joint venture was launched.  Oftentimes, these are  difficult to discover as they are based upon vague information.

Aggregators bring together tools not available on the open web such as full family trees, prospecting lists, sales triggers, market research reports, executives with contact information, and SWOTs.  They also have advantages in downloading financials, researching European private company financials, locating earnings transcripts, identifying competitors, presenting analyst research, and downloading PDF profiles of companies or full-text news stories about companies.

As a competitive intelligence analyst and market researcher, I use both subscription services and the free web for company research.  I would never research a company without visiting its website.  If public, I will also visit the investor site for presentations, Corporate Social Responsibility reports, and other material they make available to their shareholders.  Likewise, I head straight to LinkedIn for researching individuals.  But if I want to understand the company structure, analyze its financials, or reach out to individuals at the firm, then aggregators can make a big difference.

Image: Global Business Browser from Avention.

Detecting Latent Sales Opportunities via Sales Triggers

Avention Sales Trigger Sample
I have been a contributing writer to FreePint, a UK based information services journal, for several years now.  Unfortunately, most of my work rests behind a subscription firewall, making it difficult to share content to non-subscribers.

Last week, my most recent piece, “Detecting Latent Sales Opportunities via Sales Triggers” published.  The article discusses how sales reps use sales triggers to identify emerging demand for B2B products and services.  While traditional reps followed the money to customers and prospects with long-standing demand patterns, trigger-driven reps focus on “agile organisations in a state of flux”.  Unfortunately, many of the firms with established demand are subject to institutional inertia due to established purchasing patterns and relationships.

But firms that are in a state of flux are less beholden to historic decisions and relationships and more willing to accept the risk of adopting new products, services, and processes.  Flux is often tied to trigger events such as M&A activity, PE/VC funding, and executive changes.  For example, a new CMO is not beholden to historic decisions, but can freely evaluate Martech and AdTech vendors.

When evaluating sales trigger vendors, precision is a key quality variable.  You want to purchase a service that has high precision for both company and subject tagging.  The service should also have strong de-duping so that sales reps do not receive more than a few hits on any event (and no direct duplicates of articles and press releases republished on different sites or with trivial modifications).

Sales Trigger Precision (STP) should be viewed as

STP = Company Accuracy * Topic Accuracy * (1 – Duplicate Frequency)

Thus, if company or topic accuracy fall below 90% or the duplicate frequency exceeds 10%, the overall STP falls quickly.  Unfortunately, if precision is low, then sales reps will quickly begin ignoring their trigger feeds or turn them off.  Then a valuable resource goes to waste.

While determining the overall accuracy of a sales intelligence service is difficult, setting up a few triggers and measuring the STP is fairly straightforward.  Just make sure you use the same companies and topics when comparing vendors.  Even better, if you can run your benchmark over the same period then you will have an even stronger test.