Cold Calling Elimination: New Tool

My wife is still a little annoyed with me that I did not start Jigsaw.

Now, I love Garth and Fowler like brothers (well I’m an only child so I’ve got to do something). Actually all the folks at Jigsaw are awesome. The only problem is I thought of the Jigsaw concept many years ago probably about the same time as Garth and Fowler but they were smart enough to do something about it. These days Jigsaw has a million members and has “crossed the chasm” and one day Garth may ask me to visit his mansion in North Carolina or he’ll have so much money his mansion will be in San Mateo (blimey, I don’t know if Mayor Bloomberg can even afford a mansion in San Mateo but maybe).

Anyway, this blog post is not really about Garth’s personal life or Jigsaw but it’s about a new tool I just saw this week that totally reminds me of my thought patterns when I saw Jigsaw – as in “duh, I should have built that”.

That new tool is called PeopleMaps.

For those who have listened to any of my webinars in the last 2 years you will have heard me quoting Mark Zuckerberg (the founder of Facebook) using his term the “social graph”. What I’ve been yapping on about is how social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook “shine a light on the social graph” or to put it in English they show you who-knows-who.

Well, PeopleMaps not only shines a light on who-knows-who it draws the social graph out for you. So now the social graph bashes you in the nose, basically where a lot of us sales people need to be bashed to actually change our behavior.

So what?

Well, say you’re still sitting in your “old sales school blazer” thinking about your long day of bashing out 100 cold calls for, if you’re lucky, 8 conversations and if you’re really lucky one meeting with someone who begrudgingly is willing to meet you because they picked up their phone thinking it was someone else.

While you’re sitting there absorbing your caffeine looking for your call list of these 100 strangers to call today you stumble across this new tab in your Salesforce.com system that says PeopleMaps. You open it and see a graph like the one in this post.

What does this graph show you? It shows you your customized referral path to any company you want to get into. It shows you multiple ways you can get in by referral through your customers, your network and inferred connections based on who sits on whose board and who has invested in whom. Basically the whole enchilada of how you can get in.

How does it come up with this? PeopleMaps taps into all the social data out there. You let it link up with your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. You let it infer your connections from your Outlook and Internet email accounts (Gmail etc). Then on top of this it has a boat load of public data like who invested in whom from sources like Thomson Reuters and Dunn & Bradstreet, who’s on whose board etc. One big sucker of a social graph.

Why is this important (OK, if you’ve drunk the “social calling Kool-Aid” I hope you can recite this answer without reading the next sentence)…It’s important because getting in by referral is 8-10 times more effective than cold calling. It always has been (and maybe always will be). What’s changing is that tools like PeopleMaps (and Jigsaw and InsideView and many others) give us the ability to get in by referral way more efficiently.

So while your caffeine is absorbing, you can make a choice about your day: 100 cold calls to people who don’t know you, don’t like you and don’t trust you. Or fire up your PeopleMaps and call the people who know you, like you and trust you (OK I’m assuming you are a decent person, you need that to get referrals). I’d estimate 5-10 calls and you’ll have a meeting that is better qualified than the one you get from 100-200 cold calls.

What do you blokes say? Does this just take the fun out of prospecting (you know the Anthony Robbins type pumping up we need to do in the morning to get ourselves to do traditional mass cold calling)?

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