The new platform, intended to link the Atlanta-based company’s existing demand-generating marketing platform with sales efforts, uses technology acquired in its purchase last February of social marketing automation provider Next Principles.
As more and more businesses use social channels, social selling is gaining traction. A 2013 Aberdeen Group study, for instance, found that 64 percent of sales teams using social selling techniques met their quotas, compared to 49 percent that did not use social.
The company’s previous marketing platform finds online users who are influential in a given area, such as a high-traffic blogger or a YouTuber with lots of followers. It then creates a profile of that user based on more than six dozen data points, and matches the profile with a brand seeking to spread the word about a new product.
In a recent campaign for “Fifty Shades of Grey,” for instance, it matched social influencers who might be most receptive to the erotic/romantic film. Essentially, it is using a kind of predictive analytics to forecast which influencers are the best matches, and the sales platform takes the same approach.
The new sales platform came about, CEO Devon Wijesinghe told me, so that some of the clients who were more B2B-oriented could develop leads from their social marketing.
While the marketing platform was integrated with marketing automation platforms, it was not tied into customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, the central repository where salespeople keep their prospect, lead, and customer information.
Insightpool’s new selling platform starts out by scanning social channels for hashtags and conversational phrases to identify which users are interested in a given area. It can also gather leads from integrated CRMs or marketing automation platforms.
It then applies a scoring system that, like the marketing platform’s, uses a variety of behavioral and demographic data points — including ones from LinkedIn, Klout, and Twitter — to select the users that are most relevant. It predicts which selectees might be more likely to buy that type of product.
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A salesperson can then use the platform to communicate with the leads, in the hopes of nurturing interest in the new product.
The marketing platform, Wijesinghe said, is one-to-many or many-to-many, while the new sales platform focuses on getting one person into the sales funnel.
Competing platforms like PeopleLinx and Hearsay Social are similarly oriented toward finding B2B leads through social channels. But Wijesinghe points to his company’s ability to forecast buying intent through modifiable scoring. Larger social tools like Sprinklr, he said, are strong on trend analysis but are “more of a social publisher, not a social selling platform.”
On the drawing board for the new platform is a Playbook which will offer specific recommendations on what a salesperson should say or do to reel in a given lead.