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Our founders talk BI PRO and what’s possible when you ask, ‘What if?’

March 13, 2020

We’ve been talking a lot the past few months about our new executive engagement platform, BI PRO. 

But did you know that the inspiration for this new platform grew directly out of work we were already doing with our longtime customers?

BI PRO Announcement

Over the past couple of years, some of our most loyal customers — those who know our product best and use it the most — started asking us to help them wring more sophisticated insights out of our database of 20,000 Executive Profiles. They loved the information in the individual profiles, but they also wanted help connecting the dots between executives and accounts, spotting business trends across clusters of accounts, and identifying common threads they could use to build out more targeted events, content and sales strategies. 

So we developed a few frameworks that we used to mine the data and pull the insights together to create these custom projects for our customers. The process was long and labor intensive. 

It was also extremely valuable. 

So our company founders began asking themselves, “What if we could build a digital platform that would produce those custom projects in just a few clicks?”

That was the beginning of BI PRO — our effort to build a set of product features that would address everything on our customers’ wish list.

When we analyzed the types of insights and deliverables our customers needed, they broke down into four categories:

Audience Analysis

Our version of the ubiquitous “persona” is based on real executives. So for example, if you’re targeting 50 hospital CIOs, we would offer you persona-like insight, only it is based on the 50 executives you really care about. Before BI PRO, we’d scour each profile and compile the information into easily digestible reports highlighting gender breakdowns, top business priorities, common interests, locations, and countries of origin. 

All of that proved to be tremendously valuable as marketing teams designed C-level events, creating environments that would inspire more thoughtful connections and stronger executive engagement. But it took weeks of work to produce. Our customers needed that insight faster, so this was the first product feature of BI PRO that we developed.

Business Priority Analysis

When you understand the business priorities of your top accounts, you can have more insightful conversations and create more relevant communications and content. This type of insight has always been baked into our signature Executive Profiles. Our researchers dive deep into news articles and earnings call transcripts to suss out — and connect the dots — between corporate business priorities and the executives responsible for driving them. So when customers asked us to summarize business priorities across a group of accounts — for an ABM campaign, for example — we’d roll up our sleeves and deliver. But again, before BI PRO it was a manual process. It took a lot of time, and our reports were static, with limited flexibility to respond to timely shifts in executive focus. So, this was the second type of deliverable we built into our new BI PRO platform.

Relationship Mapping

We literally wrote the book on this one. C-level sellers and marketers know there’s nothing quite like an existing relationship or connection to ease your way into a key account. The problem is, some of those connections aren’t always obvious. Our Executive Profiles have always contained information that could bring those hidden connections to light and put them in context. Our customers couldn’t get enough but they often asked for custom relationships that would show, for example, connections between their ABM accounts and their own executive team. We have long done these as custom projects, which — you guessed it — take a lot of time and are expensive to produce. With BI PRO, we saw an opportunity to deliver that information in a few clicks, rather than a few weeks. 

The development of the BI PRO platform has been the single biggest investment in the history of our company. The decision to make this investment however, was an easy one, because it essentially automated the production of deliverables that our customers were already asking for, paying for, and using. Customer feedback from our early adopters has been critical to the rollout of BI PRO, which many new and longtime customers are now using to generate the custom account insights they love in a fraction of the time. We thought it would be valuable, but our customers are telling us it’s a game changer — a real competitive advantage for executive engagement. 

As with so many innovations, it started small, driven by our desire to solve problems for our customers any way we could. Now we’re able to do that at scale. That’s what happens when you ask yourself, “What if?” 

Want to learn more about what BI PRO could do for you and your organization? Schedule a demo today!

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Sharon Gillenwater

About the Author

Sharon Gillenwater

Sharon Gillenwater is the founder and editor-in-chief of Boardroom Insiders, which maintains an extensive database of the most in-depth executive profiles on the market, from Fortune 500 companies to independent non-profits, to help sales and marketing professionals build deeper relationships and close more deals with clients. Gillenwater is a long-time marketing consultant with expertise in marketing strategy, account-based marketing, and CXO engagement programs.