In the latest episode of our podcast, we dive into how customers use technology intelligence to better understand their markets, redefine their ICP, and prioritize their sales and marketing efforts on the markets and prospects that have the highest revenue potential.

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Episode 2 Summary

In the episode, we discuss how technology intelligence:

  • Identifies your total addressable market (TAM) and analyzes it in real time.
  • Targets your most ideal customers so that you can best allocate resources for your sales and marketing efforts.
  • Enables our customers to grow their business, including how Tegile experienced a 49% increase in revenue.

Interview Transcript

Benjamin: Welcome to the Tech Intelligence week on the MarTech podcast. This week we’re doing a technical deep dive into one of the most powerful and underutilized data sources for B2B marketers, technology intelligence. Each day this week we’re going to publish an episode that discusses how you can understand, identify, and reach your customers based on the software that they use to run their business.

With us today is Elizabeth Cholawsky, who is the CEO of HG Insights, which is a sponsor of the MarTech podcast and a platform that uses advanced data science methodologies to process billions of unstructured digital documents to produce the world’s best technology installation information, IT spend and contract intelligence to accelerate their sales, marketing and strategy efforts. Okay. Here’s the second installment of Tech Intelligence Week where Elizabeth and I discuss what questions tech intelligence customers have. Elizabeth, welcome back to the Tech Intelligence week on the MarTech podcast.

Elizabeth: Thank you Ben.

Benjamin: Very excited to have you back as our guest. Yesterday we talked broadly about what tech intelligence is, and just to recap for anybody who missed that episode, there is a data science driven approach to look at 13 billion pieces of unstructured data that HG Insights is able to process and tell you what basically any company on the planet is using for their hardware, software and technology services. And that’s really powerful information and we’re going to get into how that information is used today. So Elizabeth, let’s walk through this. First, talk to me about some of the questions that your customers are trying to answer using technology intelligence.

Elizabeth: The interesting thing is that the questions span all functional organizations just about the company these days. At the very top, that really starts with strategy and understanding what your global market is for your particular product.

Benjamin: Understanding the total addressable market, TAM, because we love acronyms here on the MarTech podcast. Figuring out your TAM is obviously one of the first steps when someone is building a business. Can I read into that that some of the people that are using HG Insights and technology intelligence are prelaunch? Meaning they’re still in the phase where they’re understanding what their business is and what the opportunity is.

Elizabeth: Yes, prelaunch, and for any company that’s starting with a new product, they’ve got that question. What is the market for that product?

Benjamin: You have the ability to understand the addressable market, but also it helps you understand what the new product lines that you’re able to launch is. Once a company has an understanding of what their total addressable market is, I’m assuming most of the companies that are using technology intelligence to figure out their TAM are B2B companies. Am I right?

Elizabeth: Right, yes.

Benjamin: Okay. You have B2B companies that are trying to figure out what the universe looks like to them. What’s the next application of technology intelligence?

Elizabeth: On the marketing side, generally the marketers are trying to figure out what the ideal customer is in that market and then to prioritize various customers in that market. On the sales side, they’re looking at what’s the richest conversation I can have with that customer, with that target and how’s that fit into my sales territory? How do I plan to have enough targets in a certain territory to make it worthwhile to apply resource there? The next level down is about targeting customers.

Benjamin: Talk to me a little bit about the signals that consumers are looking for. I’m imagining that technology intelligence data is being combined with multiple other sources. Are people using this in real time? Are they looking over a long period of time? How, when you’re thinking about identifying who your target market is first, before you get into actually reaching out to them, what’s the data and the signals consumers are actually looking at?

Elizabeth: The market sizing and shaping in terms of how far out you’re looking, it’s generally a point in time. You want to know what that market is today and then you’re going
to periodically measure it as you go forward. That’s obviously an important part for both planning and for sales strategy and marketing strategy.

Benjamin: Elizabeth, tell me a little bit about how your customers are actually making the sales and marketing data actionable. Let’s go through a case study here and walk me through what people are actually using HG Insights for and what’s the data and value they get out of that part of the business?

Elizabeth: I think a really interesting case study to start with is Rubric. Rubric works in the cloud optimization area and they start with using HG Insights data for sales territory planning. They can take our data, both the technology installation and the IT spend and figure out what market size per region is applicable for themselves, for their category of the cloud. They can figure out the total market size. Now, that’s interesting, but you can get that information at a high level from other sources.

Benjamin: Why do you need that information? Why does that matter?

Elizabeth: That information is really critical for optimizing your resource allocation. If you don’t know your market size and how many prospects are in those segments, it’s really hard to figure out how many people should be actually calling on those prospects and trying to sell your product.

Benjamin: Maybe this is my previous experience working in early stage startups coming around, but total addressable market is basically something that you only think about when you’re trying to raise funding. “Hey look, we know that the total addressable market is $3 billion and we’re going to need at least 30 people banging the phones to make an impact to try and get to 1% of that.” Right? That’s the sales pitch here is, “We’ve used this data to figure out how addressable the market is. Hopefully we can use that to go get money to get resources.” When you’re getting down from totally addressable market into identifying who your customers are, talk to me about some of the data sources and give me some examples of how people have identified their customers.

Elizabeth: Sure. As you mentioned, total addressable market is useful at a high level-

Benjamin: It’s good CEO stuff.

Elizabeth: Yeah, makes good slideware, but really what’s useful is when you get down to the next level. There’s served addressable market and then there’s really what you can capture. The kind of things that can be derived from our data are things like, take two regions. Take Germany and France and you’re trying to sell your product into each of them. And at the high level it might look like there are an equal number of target prospects in those markets. You’re just looking at it by revenue band or something like that. But you can use our information to figure out, well maybe in France everybody already has bought the competitive products so that market is
saturated really for you, but you look at Germany and you can tell that there’s huge amount of white space. Where are you going to put your priorities? Where are you going to hire your salespeople? You’re going to hire them in Germany and without our information you can’t tell that.

Benjamin: It’s funny. I thought that the way that people were going to figure out what their ideal customers were, were, “Hey, look, we know that the universe,” let’s say you’re targeting people that use Salesforce. “We know that there’s these 200,000 businesses within our region that are using Salesforce,” and what to me seems like interesting data is, “Who are the people that are likely to consume our product? They’re not just only Salesforce users, but they’re Salesforce with a legacy email platform, right?” Salesforce and Marketo, not that Marketo is a legacy platform, but maybe that the type of customer that has a pain point that a B2B SaaS company can solve. You understand the whole picture of the software suite that someone is using, not just necessarily the product that you’re trying to replace.

Elizabeth: That’s right. Add to that that you can discern the competitive products that are at that customer also. You might want a displacement campaign or know that the competitive product is on the ween and you can go in and take share.

Benjamin: When you’re trying to identify which individual customers, not necessarily who the ideal customer is, but who’s ready to buy now or who’s ripe for a sales call, what are the signals that you look at to support your sales team or figure out who is the hot lead?

Elizabeth: Well, generally the first step is that a company will profile the technology in a company of the wins and losses that they’ve had historically. They do that and as a first step with our data and then they can take that profile and match it against the companies that are in the target market. They’re matching against ideal customers. And then on top of that, with our spend information, you can make sure that the budget’s there. You don’t want to be selling into a company that doesn’t have a level of spend that you know is necessary to buy your product. It’s a very rich set of information that can make your sales efforts extremely effective.

Benjamin: Elizabeth, tell me about how technology intelligence supports real time revenue generation. What are some of the ways that you can use this to actually decide what are the leads you need to reach out to?

Elizabeth: Yeah. With the information that we have and the insights that we provide, you can evaluate which prospects you should talk to as a high priority based on, say, the budget, the spend that they’ve got, and whether it’s at the level that you need or perhaps when the contract is expiring that they’ve got with a competitor and you can start talking to them a few months before so that they know who you are and you have a much better chance of really closing that account.

Benjamin: I think that that’s the summary of the power of technology intelligence is A, at the executive level, at the fundraising level, how big is our market? B, when we’re thinking about which markets to go after and how we’re going to segment that, you get a rich set of data and understand where there is saturation. You also understand what the ideal customer profile from a technology perspective is. And then lastly, when you’re talking about real time revenue generation, you understand when prospects are most likely to buy based on some of their existing buying habits and some of the contracts that may or may not be running out.

Elizabeth: I’ve got some great ROI stats from our customers and I look at a company like Tegile who’s been using our product for a number of years, and they quote a 49% increase in the revenue that’s been generated from the target accounts where they use technology intelligence to go in and sell to those accounts. I mean, that’s a huge jump.

Benjamin: I’ll take a 49% lift in revenue.

Elizabeth: Yeah, me too.

Benjamin: I wouldn’t be upset about it. Okay. We’ve talked a little bit about what technology intelligence is. We’ve talked about what are some of the questions that it can answer, and tomorrow we’re going to get into a little bit more detail about how it can support both the overlap between marketing and sales. That wraps up this episode of the MarTech podcast. Thanks to Elizabeth Cholawsky for joining us. If you’d like to hear more of Elizabeth’s insights into how you can use technology intelligence, we’re publishing episodes every day this week, so hit the subscribe button in your podcast app and check back with us tomorrow when we talk about how technology intelligence can support the overlap between marketing and sales.

Benjamin: If you can’t wait until our next episode and you’d like to get in touch with Elizabeth, you can find a link to her LinkedIn profile in our show notes. You can also find a link to HG Insights’ LinkedIn profile as well. You can contact her on Twitter. Her handle is Echolawsky, E-C-H-O-L-A-W-S-K-Y, or you can visit her company’s website, which is HGinsights.com.