Jacqueline DooleyApril 24, 2020

How Our Growth Intelligence Platform is Transforming CRM Data

Ocean.io’s AI-based technology combines your CRM data with our proprietary data-sets to help B2B marketers identify the most viable accounts.

At Ocean.io, we use proprietary datasets and AI algorithms to normalize our clients’ existing CRM data, combining your transactional data with our own data-sets to help identify the most profitable customer segments with precision. Our technology automates and streamlines the process of qualifying and identifying inbound leads so that your sales and marketing teams can focus on what they do best.

We call this process growth intelligence and it’s basically a way for B2B marketers to discover in-market buyers by predicting the most viable people and companies to focus their customer acquisition efforts on. This process relies on leveraging the data you already own via your existing CRM platform. Integrations we currently support include HubSpot, Pipedrive, and Salesforce with additional CRMs like Zoho and Dynamics coming soon.

Regardless of what CRM you use, effective growth intelligence is contingent upon high quality, reliable data, so that’s where we begin.

The foundation of growth intelligence is data normalization

Collecting, storing, and analyzing data has become a critical and ubiquitous task for most businesses but it can be difficult — if not impossible — to maintain your data quality due to a host of issues including redundancy, anomalies, and incomplete information.

Poor quality data can arise in many ways: because of errors in manual entry from your team as well as when data is collected and combined from third-party data sets that contain anomalies due to their own human error or source inconsistencies. To bypass this issue, many businesses use multiple data providers rather than combining their data, resulting in decentralized data sources that make it difficult, if not impossible, to get a comprehensive, holistic, and actionable account of your customers and prospects.

So, the problem that companies face isn’t that they lack data —most of us have a wealth of it — but it’s the ability to leverage this data appropriately. This is where data normalization is truly powerful.

Data normalization is a data science term that refers to the process of organizing your database by ensuring every entry is in the same format. This enables all your data — regardless of the source — to be combined for the purpose of analysis.

While you can attempt to clean and normalize your data manually, it’s a time consuming, resource-intensive task that can quickly become too complex for a person (or team) to handle with any reliability. Automation is really the only way data can be normalized so that it's suitable for machine-learning based analysis.

One of the first things we do at Ocean.io when we work with a new client is to normalize their data with a proprietary algorithm specifically trained on big datasets. This is a fast, efficient, and consistent method to normalize data so that it can be used for actionable analysis.

The importance of industry classification in identifying target accounts

As noted above, the end goal of normalizing your CRM data is to make it actionable by your sales and marketing teams. From a business growth perspective, this boils down to identifying the most viable prospects and in-market accounts.

There is an industry-wide roadblock with this approach with how industry codes classify businesses. The existing industry classification system is too broad, something particularly true for SaaS companies that span a wide variety of categories.

To resolve this problem, we’ve created our own industry tags and added them to proprietary data-sets that incorporate a multi-level approach to categorization. As we’ve said before:

“We used natural language processing to create a mathematical representation of every company in the world as it relates to any other company. Secondly, we looked at individual companies and assigned what our data team calls “industry vectors” to each of them.”

Our data-sets have been carefully compiled by our internal team of data experts to enhance your existing CRM data. For example, instead of bucketing a company like Pipedrive in with all other “software” companies, our algorithm applies multiple subcategories such as B2B, sales automation, SaaS, CRM, sales, business intelligence, and productivity tools

Combining our data-sets with your CRM and transactional data is the first step we take in the process of creating one meaningful data-set. Once combined, our AI algorithm is applied to the enhanced CRM data to identify the key characteristics of your most profitable customer segments. Then our B2B “lookalike engine” enables you to mirror the clustered segments to create lookalike audiences in the market of your choice.

The above examples show a sample segmentation analysis of a customer’s CRM system. We have identified three distinct segments which our customers can use and refine to generate target companies that fit the segmentation and any additional filtering.

Enriched CRM data + transactional data + segmented industry data = growth intelligence

There is another piece of the data-set puzzle that is necessary to fully achieve growth intelligence — your transactional data such as conversion rate, time to close (eg, sales cycle), and deal value. This data is obtained by linking the Ocean.io system to your existing CRM.

It’s easier to explain this process by example. Suppose our system identifies an average deal value for three specific segments of $2000 MRR/account. The system looks at the time to close and identifies that one segment has an average sales cycle of three months, while the other two segments have a sales cycle of two months. The AI will then show preference to the segments with shorter sales cycles.

Of the two preferred segments, let’s say that one of them shows a conversion rate of 20% versus 10% for the other. The system will flag the segment with 20% as the better segment and identify the following:

· Existing open deals

· Deals that fit the appropriate segment

· Your ideal customer profile for companies you’ve yet to reach out to. This is an example of how the information would look in Salesforce:

The above example is an analysis for a single deal in a customer’s CRM system..

Once identified, the system makes these segments available for LinkedIn outreach, LinkedIn marketing, email marketing, and more.

Our technology does all of the above by using a contextual understanding of keywords, natural language processing, and machine learning. We have tagged every company in our database, according to our own classifications, so we can pinpoint their exact business type.

How do you see for yourself?
To get started with our Growth Intelligence platform, all you need is your CRM data. Our system automatically finds a common data point between your CRM deals and our data which allows your data to be cleaned and used for our AI capabilities.

We make an important distinction from similar tools (eg ABM platforms) by focusing on data quality first and using your existing CRM. The results of combining our clients’ CRM data with our internal (already normalized) data is that our clients get personalized analysis based on the customer and prospect data for their specific company.

Our process begins with new clients signing up for a live demo, using prospects they already know and understand. This enables us to explain how to connect and onboard your CRM system to the Ocean.io platform. We currently support three leading CRM systems: HubSpot, Pipedrive, and Salesforce. Ocean.io has indexed virtually all English websites belonging to the companies in our data-set, with geography being irrelevant. We’re also continuing to expand language recognition to include Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, with German and French soon to come.

From a privacy perspective, your data belongs to you. Ocean.io is fully GDPR compliant and we only gather data (for our internal data-sets) from publicly available sources such as company websites. The success of our approach relies on leveraging your own CRM and transactional data which is merged with the normalized data we’ve meticulously gathered within our database.

Once combined, our platform automatically flags and prioritizes the companies and people that are most likely to convert. This is what our Growth Intelligence does — it’s about fully leveraging your data by combining it with artificial intelligence and our normalized data-sets to provide actionable account growth recommendations to your sales team.

If you’re interested in learning more, please feel free to schedule a 30-minute live demo to get a tour of our platform.

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