How would you like to pitch your competitors’ leads and customers?
San Mateo, California-based Colabo is now offering that escalation in the marketing arms race.
This week, Colabo released competitive lead discovery capabilities for its data aggregation platform, offering what is describes as “predatory lead discovery.”
“By going off your competitors’ leads,” CEO and co-founder Yoav Dembak told VentureBeat, marketers “become more of a hunter than a farmer.”
“Salespeople are used to looking at the known universe, selling into this kind [or that kind] of company,” he told us.
But these days, he said, the known universe can be deceptive. A salesperson might be looking to talk to “an IT manager at a large bank, [but] that person could be running the video system, managing iPads, or doing virtualization.”
Rather than trying to figure out the best targets from such deceptive clues as job titles, Dembak told us, it could be more effective to hit on those leads or customers who “are already engaging with your competitor.”
“When people [engage with your competitor], it’s a pretty good indicator” they’re interested in your industry.
Instead of a capturing and recapturing of each others’ leads, could Colabo instead be used as a shield?
“Some users have asked, ‘Can I pay you so my competitor can’t see my leads?'”
No, Dembak told us. “We’re not into racketeering.”
The updated Colabo platform draws on public as well as purchased data sources, including tradeshow attendances, LinkedIn groups, MeetUp meetings, browser history via Acxiom, data platforms like InsideSales, question exchanges in Quora, search terms, and other feeds to define the targeted customers. Colabo doesn’t actually supply the data, but it can suggest the data sources and will provide integration.
Of course, it’s not the only company to assemble profiles from disparate data sources, but it says it is only one offering this kind of automated intelligence about your competitors’ leads. Marketers have been doing this manually, Dembak said, such as scoring users on MeetUp and LinkedIn.
The leads and related data from Colabo are integrated with existing systems. “As a platform, we attach ourselves to both marketing automation and CRM,” he told us. Colabo also feeds other parts of a company’s sales funnel.
“What we find,” he said, “is that when you engage with alternative channels [than what you’ve been using], you get ten times the response rate.”
The company, founded about two years ago, previously offered a lead enrichment platform that qualified existing leads but didn’t discover new leads. About 50 customers have been using the earlier beta version of Colabo’s competitive lead discovery, including Juniper Networks, Cisco, and Oracle.
The co-founders, including CTO Asaf Wexler and COO Naama Halperin, previously sold an application management platform called B-hive to VMware in 2008. Colabo was initially bootstrapped, followed by a seed round that included ex-VMware CEO Paul Maritz and that netted over $2 million.