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Marketing automation company Autopilot is releasing a new prospecting tool for sales and marketing that’s generating up to 42 percent reply rates on cold email tomorrow.

That compares to a traditional rate of just 1 percent to 9 percent.

The tool, which companies like Bosch, Model N, and Voxer are already using, helps marketers get live, current email for people they find on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Quora, and other popular sites online. Called Prospect Ace, the plugin bridges the seemingly inevitable gap between marketing and sales.

“After we started a few companies in Australia and were lucky enough to sell them, we got a lot of consulting contracts,” CEO Michael Sharkey told me last week. “We saw huge gaps between sales and marketing … and we saw the same problem everywhere: data.”


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The Chrome plugin focuses on solving that data problem in the prospecting stage: finding people who might be interested in your product or service. Once you’ve found someone that looks like they might be a potential buyer, Prospect Ace initiates a query in Autopilot’s data and modeling system and spits out an email, which Sharkey says is “guaranteed to be verified.”

Autopilot Cold ProspectingYou can buy access to Prospect Ace separately, but naturally, the company would prefer that you then drop that email into its marketing automation system, Autopilot, which you can do with a single click.

“Prospect Ace integrates into Autopilot,” Sharkey says. “Just pick a campaign, drop the prospect right into the campaign, and he’s now in my automated marketing campaign.”

While Bosch is the biggest customer whose name is public for Prospect Ace, Sharkey told me several other names that would raise a few eyebrows, including two of the biggest names in file-sharing and cloud-content management and one of the biggest mobile carriers in the U.S.

And the company is eating its own dogfood, too.

“When we came back in Q1, we decided we would only build our pipeline using this tool,” Sharkey said. “We’ve already closed a heck of a lot of business off this already.”

That includes prospecting success which has hit 42 percent.

Clicking ResearchAn interesting use that some of its prelaunch customers were trying includes finding people on LinkedIn who have followed a competitor, or on Facebook who have liked a competitor, and then using it to build a prospect list. That’s pretty powerful, particularly if you integrate it into your competitive marketing campaigns, prebuilt for specific competitors.

Aaron Ross, the former director of sales for Salesforce and now a consultant and author of Predictable Revenue, agrees.

“An important part of prospecting is about the quality of the data,” Ross said in a statement. “Prospect Ace is the first data solution to allow sales development to easily target prospect and find verified email addresses from social profiles.”

That is, of course, the big difference.

The alternative is buying data from or other sources, and that can be tricky — analytics firm KISSmetrics once asked for a refund after finding its purchased data to be 80 percent inaccurate. Sharkey says that Prospect Ace simply provides better data, which, when used appropriately, generates much better returns.

Pricing ranges from $199/month and up.

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