We’ve launched a new biweekly blog feature. Every two weeks, I’ll interview an executive from a top sales and marketing solutions company. We’ll ask the same questions of each so readers can learn about their unique positioning  and their vision, for the industry.

DiscoverOrg interview banner Henry2 Smart Selling Visions: Up Close with Top Revenue Leader Henry Schuck

This week I interview Henry Schuck of DiscoverOrg.

Nancy: What does DiscoverOrg do? What problem/s are you solving for sales and/or marketing organizations?

Henry: We solve the number one problem facing sales and marketing organizations today – Bad Data.  When companies are operating off of bad data or no data they have to spend valuable selling time researching so they can add to or cleaning their existing data base.  DiscoverOrg’s in-house research team handles this difficult, time consuming task of uncovering the key information technology vendors need to sell their product.Sales teams should be focused on if their product is a good fit in a company’s environment, or what their prospect’s current environment looks like. They shouldn’t be painstakingly figuring out who to contact at the company, and their direct contact information.

DiscoverOrg enables sales and marketing professionals to quickly identify and target the right IT prospects, so they can streamline their sales and marketing efforts.  We are more than just a contact list. Our customers have access to in-depth profiles for decision makers, including a complete organizational chart, roles and responsibilities, direct dial phone numbers, verified email address, the technologies they manage, their pain points and the companies spending. This is offered in the form of a constantly refreshed database not a static list.

Nancy: How does your solution uniquely address the problem (or in what way do other solutions fall short from solving the problem)?

Henry: DiscoverOrg’s overriding advantage as a data provider is we’re the only company that gathers our data exclusively through primary in-house research.  Our QA team guarantees accuracy by reviewing the data every 90 days at least. Our clients also have complimentary access to our team of research for on-demand requests. We become an extension of their team.

The reason we took this approach rather than crowd-sourcing (the users update the information) or web-scraping (sending web crawlers out to find new information) was to ensure this high level of accuracy. Crowd-sourcing depends on the users being willing to keep the information accurate and fresh.   If I was a successful sales person, why would I share a direct dial phone number or name of a decision maker?  It took me a long time to get it and I won’t want it getting into the hand of my competitor. Companies that web-scrape have to deal with many conflicting pieces of outdated information and there is little to no verification process. In both instances you’re wasting valuable resources and reputation on cheap data.

Nancy: What’s the most important thing that today’s business decision-makers should look for (or ask, or consider, or solve)?

Henry: How much time is your sales team actually spending on their core competency of selling?  If they are spending more than ¼ of their time researching ideal prospects then your pipeline and revenue stream is suffering. An investment in a solid data source will shorten the sales cycle. Statistics show that if you increase your direct dial phone number percentage by 1% your sales reps would set 2.06 more meetings a week or 100 a year If you factor in a 30% close ratio – that alone is a massive increase in revenue.

Nancy: What are you most excited about for the next 12 months?

Henry: We are most excited about the new and enhanced products we have hitting the street this year.  We have been building our European data set and now it is ready for sale. With the steady stream (or should I say fire hose) of new technologies that deliver solutions to Marketing departments, we will be adding a marketing database in the next year. Our native integration with Salesforce.com, where customers can seamlessly append, clean and maintain their database using the free App, will continue to evolve. This feature alone has become our most valued feature by our customers and analysts. Marketo users can be very excited about our improved integration hitting the streets this April. Using our integration marketers can dramatically improve the time it takes to gain intelligence on your sales leads (think seconds, not months). Using Marketo Webhooks you can automatically append additional sales intelligence using our data.  This will lead to improved conversion rates since you can take the short form inquiries seamlessly attach company and contact intelligence and craft them VERY relevant message.

Nancy: What do you think is the biggest underlying theme or trend for sellers and/or marketers in 2014?

Henry: Intelligence. The past few years we have seen the explosion of big data. We are actually bombarded with the notion that we need to gather all this data but what are you doing with it? I caution you to remain focused on gathering ‘actionable intelligence.’ Information that will create new business opportunities that you can quickly implement to give you a competitive advantage in the market place and/or give your company long-term stability.

Nancy: What would you challenge sellers and/or marketers to think about for 2014?

Henry: Personal touch. As we find ourselves evaluating new technologies daily to improve our workflows and create efficiencies – I challenge you to remember that your customers and prospects still need the personal touch. At some point you have to take action to get them to commit. You can become paralyzed by all the analytics and data. You can let automation and inbound take control. At some point you need to get on the phone and give your best fit companies a call.