Sales Prospecting – Identify Additional Business Entities Using Public Records

Latent Opportunities

A latent opportunity refers to the network of other businesses and affiliates within your customer base that have yet to be discovered. Often, a business owner may be involved in multiple businesses as an officer or director for those other companies.  For example, a commercial banker may have spent years cultivating a great relationship with a long-time customer.  Although, the banker has a great relationship with the customer, there could still be unknown factors that would be of benefit, if the banker only knew.  What might not be known is that customer is also an officer/director in several other businesses.  And within those other businesses, there are other officers and directors that can be potential customers.  These “unknown” businesses represent latent opportunities within the current customer base.

Just to differentiate, latent opportunities are not the same as up-selling or cross-selling to a current customer.  Latent opportunities are potential new customers.

Public Records

We should really define what public data really means.  When we refer to public records or public data, we mean data provided by authoritative sources.  Authoritative sources are those state and county entities and regulatory bodies that are responsible for maintaining company and individual records, and making those records available to the public.

Authoritative sources shouldn’t be confused with social media sites.  Social media sites are used for marketing, recruiting or networking and are not monitored for accuracy, relevance or truth.  While social media sites are often used to research an individual, they are hardly indicative of a person’s true business identity given that the information that is provided is self-generated and can be embellished or have facts omitted as seen fit by the user.  That is of course, if the individual uses social media at all.

Authoritative sources are regulated by state laws, and thus the business or individual information filed with them is a matter of public record.  These sources can include the Secretary of State, Civil Courts or State UCC (Uniform Commercial Code).  Secretary of State records can be described as a business identity, providing details of company formation, company status as well as officers and directors.  Civil court and state UCC data show even more information related to that business identity to help you to get a more complete picture.

Tapping into public data efficiently allows for prospecting and finding new opportunities based on authoritative sources.  Efficiently tracking down this data can be difficult. Some states and counties do a better job than others at making their data easily available.  Some are still using archaic methods to make their data public which means that the only way to access the data is in person, or by mail.  Can you find all this data yourself?  Yes, you can go to each data source and find the data, but it would be very difficult to make the connections and it’s the connections that are valuable in the context of prospecting.

Case-in-Point - Company Finds 33% More Potential Customers

A company selling business solutions to “real companies” was able to use public data to gain more insight into their current customer base.  When we say “real companies”, we mean companies that have actual customers.  We are excluding entities registered with the secretary of state that do not have a real customer base.  This can include family trusts and real estate properties that are registered as a business entities.

After providing their customer database for analysis, Snap Diligence applied its algorithms to the data set and determined that there were untapped opportunities.  From an analysis of 1000 customer records, Snap Diligence found 118% additional connected entities (as a percentage of customers), and 144 highly qualified prospects.  By applying this record sample analysis to the full 17,000+ customer list, assuming a minimum conversion rate of 10%, the overall increase in subscription-based revenue over a year was projected at 200%.

Through the analysis of the customer database, Snap Diligence was able to determine the customers with the greatest sphere of influence based on the additional connected entities.  Snap Diligence was also able to drill down the sphere of influence by region and by industry.

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