By Sramana Mitra and guest author Sudhindra Chada
Sramana Mitra: In your case, you are selling an opportunity intelligence solution. How can you know exactly what is going on inside the account without a defined process? InsideView doesn’t pick up that there is an opportunity intelligence problem going on in your prospects.
Greg Brush: The reason people buy things and invest in things is because they are building a business or they are reacting to business initiatives that are going on in the account, and the fact is there are a lot of different mediums out there that will provide leading indicators of opportunity to their business.
SM: Would you give me an example?
GB: You can see leadership changes, and you can see mergers and acquisitions [using our process]. We have a number of different accounts or opportunities where companies are announcing business expansion, which can immediately suggest a big prospecting push. At the same time, if a company is announcing [the implementation of] cost-cutting measures, that means they are trying to save money and be more efficient. [Our sales reps will know about this], and the information would inform a sales rep about the type of approach he or she would take with that given account. The sales rep can tailor the approach.
SM: In other words, position the solution. Let’s say a company is changing its head of sales; that would be a good trigger for you to go in there and pitch InsideView in a certain way. Where there are cost cutting or layoffs, you would pitch it differently.
GB: Absolutely! That is exactly what we do.
SM: Now, in terms of the conclusion, what has been the trajectory of the company by following these kinds of processes? You joined InsideView in 2008, right?
GB: Yes, July 2008.
SM: Was much of this process already in place, or did you put in a lot of the process? What has been your experience with ramping this up?
GB: We have added a lot of infrastructure, tools, and processes since I joined. I would say the biggest thing I inherited was a metrics-based culture. So, there is a sharp focus when we do things around baselining and measuring. I really brought in sales domain expertise to the organization, and some leadership for the team, so we have been able to deliver new initiatives and then measure them. We also have a great culture of experimentation, so we will experiment with something, we will do a proof of concept with some technology and see what the uptick is and see if it has gotten a lift for us. If it has, we will buy it and incorporate it.
SM: What role has your relationship with Salesforce.com played in this ramp-up process? I remember when I spoke with Umberto [Milletti, InsideView’s CEO, in an Entrepreneur Journeys interview] early on in the company’s history. He mentioned that you were working closely with Salesforce.com. How has that partnership evolved?
GB: It has been a strong, mutually beneficial relationship. That would be our view; we have been early in doing things with them in the development of their app exchange and Force.com, so we use their product internally. We collaborate with them where it makes sense in the marketplace.
SM: Do you get a lot of leads from them?
GB: We get a lot of leads from their marketplace through the app exchange; their technologies are the foundation of the tracking business.
SM: Now that Salesforce.com is making quite a lot of acquisitions, is it fair to say that we may see the acquisition of InsideView by Salesforce.com?
GB: There is no comment on that.
SM: OK, thank you for your time! Please say hello to Umberto for me.
GB: I will. Thank you.
Note from Greg: InsideView has seen yearly growth of 135% by implementing sales 2.0 and social selling tools and processes. Key number on business improvement in the sales process through social selling (using InsideView, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs and Facebook) are: a 5% increase in lead qualification and opportunity conversions (using Vorsight and TAS Group); 35% improvement in outbound sourced business; and a 58% improvement in add-on business with existing customers.