When it came time to renew Q1 Labs'RainKing license, Worldwide Director of Digital Sales-Security Kris Semb used to be able to snap his fingers. "I loved it, and I knew the value was there," he says.
But in October, 2011, IBM acquired the company, and this time around Semb had to justify the investment to a group unfamiliar with the powerful intelligence, context and tools that vault RainKing miles beyond ordinary database and org chart applications.
"When I had to sell this to them, I said, Guys, I could sit here all day and give you anecdotal information on how this product works and how it helps my team save time and find the folks we want to sell to," says Semb. "But the rubber hits the road when it comes to money. And I pulled up my reports."
Semb demonstrated that, in 2011, RainKing was responsible for revenue nearly 20 times Q1's investment in the license.
"Till that point, I'd had some pushback," he says. "A lot of people were saying, We have Hoovers, we have this and that, why do we need RainKing? But in the end, here was the amount of revenue we got last year, bam, from RainKing. Here's how much we invested. It was clear that it would be crazy not to renew. That was it, and we were cool."
Q1 Labs offers a Security Intelligence Platform used by numerous departments within an organization, including network, security and risk management.
The interconnection of the different groups and responsibilities makes it even more important that Q1's team know they're meeting with the right people. In the past, Semb used tools such as Jigsaw and cold calling to generate leads. "Back in the day, we'd use Hoovers to get C-level folks," says Semb. "Then we'd dial around to build info."
But the gaps left by these methods were, at best, substandard. At worst, they could be disastrous.
He shares a horror story from the dark ages of IT intelligence. "We were ready to close a deal worth a couple of million dollars, and we suddenly discovered the person who could ultimately sign off didn't have any idea who we were. He ended up going with a different company. We were astounded. How could we not get in front of the ultimate decision maker? That never happens now that we have RainKing."
RainKing's sniper approach eliminates "false leads" and delivers buyers
But that's just an insurance policy, says Semb. RainKing's true value is putting Q1 in front of the right people – with the right message – at every stage of the process, from generating leads, to crafting campaigns, to setting meetings, to sharpening presentations.
"You eliminate what I call false leads," says Semb. "Instead of coming up with your shotgun, you've got a sniper rifle. You get the right people, the right level, and some insight into what systems they have in place already. All of that helps build rapport quickly."
Rainking's 2000 percent ROI resulted from a combination of relevant, likely-to-buy leads; inside intelligence and context to leverage the lead and get in the door; and amazingly intuitive tools designed for real results from enhanced marketing and sales.
"RainKing's level of detail makes my team's life easier. I have 18 SDRs covering the world. We use RainKing for everything and anything we can to most effectively get in front of the folks we want to sell to."
When Semb becomes aware of interest from an organization – through personal contact or website visits and downloads – he turns to RainKing. Even if he has no name to begin with, he can quickly determine the most likely prospects within the organization. "In other cases, we might have had a bit of a bite from somebody, but we need to go higher," says Semb. "RainKing helps us find additional folks that are likely applicable to the opportunity."
RainKing employs a team of smart, well-trained research analysts to accurately map out the technology decision-making process of technology buyers, then overlays this intelligence with powerful and intuitive sales and marketing tools.
RainKing's daily Inside Scoops™ deliver actionable leads, filtered by parameters you choose, on management changes and imminent projects at top technology buyers. "Every morning, at 6:30 I eyeball it for keywords and forward it on to the reps, who are probably reading it anyway," says Semb. "With RainKing's leads on current projects that are specifically relevant to our business, they have a real hook to begin the conversation. It's not cold calling; it's warm calling."
RainKing powers up marketing events
Semb develops campaigns using RainKing by quickly building a list within a specific vertical and region, and then crafting a message to appeal to those buyers. He uses the same technique to ensure that people attending a webinar are qualified prospects. "It saves so much time building those lists and creating campaigns to market to them."
RainKing's new SmartMaps™ feature has changed the way Q1 sets up marketing events. "We do events all the time. Back in the day, we'd try and export leads from Salesforce, but it wasn't always the best people. With RainKing we not only get the right people, SmartMaps has added an awesome new targeting ability."
SmartMaps integrates contact and account information with maps to allow you to visualize where individuals are located within a city, and even help you identify where to hold the event. "It's really awesome to have this visual of the area, including how far people are. We can say, The event is literally across the street from you guys.
"RainKing makes our marketing events successful," says Semb. "We make sure the folks that we want to be there attend, instead of cold calling around and rolling the dice."
Q1's sales development team can't live without RainKing."RainKing has become an extension of our team," he says. "When I bring on new reps, I do a quick introduction and explain the tools we leverage. As soon as I mention RainKing, the response is, Can I get a license?"