Acquiring new clients is one of the most difficult tasks a hyperlocal startup faces. While tried-and-true tactics like cold calling local businesses and networking at community events can lead to sales, that type of generic marketing usually has a low return on investment. Rather than hitting up every business on the block, some hyperlocal sales teams are taking a more strategic approach. By using targeted lead lists from business intelligence companies, startups can pinpoint the specific merchants who are most likely to be receptive to their pitches.
Here are five business intelligence tools that hyperlocal vendors can use to create targeted lead lists.
1. Radius: Make sense of local business data.
Radius normalizes data from more than 30,000 sources and provides sales teams with a detailed look at more than 27 million U.S. businesses. Users can sort leads by location, company size, industry, revenue, and online activities, among other filters. These searches result in detailed lists of potential leads, which can then be synced to CRM tools like Salesforce. Radius also separates itself from competitors by offering “advanced social media filters” that companies can use to sort leads based on the number of check-ins, blog mentions, and review scores online. Pricing for Radius starts at $99 per month.
2. Dun & Bradstreet: Spend resources targeting the right companies.
D&B is perhaps the most well-known business intelligence tool on the market. The company offers tools that hyperlocals can use to generate marketing lists, research specific companies, and improve the quality of their existing lead lists. Each targeted lead includes a validated phone number and email address, along with competitive industry information. Lists are customized using more than 50 selection criteria, with sample lists that companies can review before making an actual purchase. D&B also has a prospecting tool that creates look-alike prospect lists based on a vendor’s existing database. Users can expect to pay around $120 for each Business Information report.
3. InfoUSA: Pre-qualify sales leads before reaching out.
There’s no way for a salesperson to know whether a local merchant will be receptive to his or her pitch, unless he hires someone to do the asking beforehand. InfoUSA’s sales leads service includes information about 15.3 million “verified records” and 8.5 million “pre-verified records.” Vendors can search InfoUSA’s database by industry, size, sales volume, geography, and demographics. They can also have InfoUSA pre-qualify the leads they select. Representatives from InfoUSA will ask those leads (anonymously) whether they would be interested in a particular product or service. InfoUSA’s “Salesgenie” is also available to provide marketers with a constant stream of targeted leads. The company offers a free 3-day trial for its Salesgenie service.
4. Data.com: Put your pitch in front of decision makers.
Sending a sales pitch to a generic company email address is one quick way to ensure it ends up in the trash. Data.com, launched by Salesforce, can help marketers reach decision makers at companies around the U.S. Much of the business data that Data.com provides comes from Dun & Bradstreet’s company profiles, including contact information, executive names, and employee counts. The “Premium Prospector” includes 83 account data fields, including firmographics, delinquency risk, and corporate hierarchies. Data.com also backfills missing lead information in a vendor’s database, like phone numbers and email addresses. Access to Data.com Prospector costs $125 per user, per month.
5. Cortera: Minimize risk with detailed business behavior data.
Hyperlocal startups can’t waste time courting merchants who can’t afford to pay their bills. Cortera is a tool that vendors can use to refine their lead lists and pinpoint businesses that are most likely to still be open in six months or a year. Described as a sort-of “Yelp for business credit,” Cortera uses public records, news, and blogs to paint a picture of a business’ financial health. Using this information, hyperlocals can decide for themselves whether they should invest the time in working with a merchant who may be a potential risk. Cortera’s credit reports start at $2.50, with unlimited customer monitoring for around $3 per day.
Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.