PeopleMap: A Real Tool for Sales Enablement?

It’s no secret: I am not a fan of the emerging class of “Sales 2.0″ tools that let reps follow online visitors or peer into their browsing habits. In a prior post, I admitted that I did not see how chasing anonymous Web traffic helps reps manage assigned accounts or follow up on well-qualified leads delivered by marketing. I believe marketing should strive to put sales out of the business of cold calling.  So I am quick to dismiss these tools in my research and advice.

Until last week when I discovered a new software application that helps reps do what they need to do: build and mine relationships with prospects. Kevin D’Souza, long-time colleague and friend from my Stratify days (where I worked prior to joining the analyst ranks), introduced me to 7 Degrees, a very small tech firm where he’s handling sales and business development today. 7 Degrees is the team behind PeopleMaps — a tools that lets you leverage personal and professional networks to let you see how you connect with other people, especially those inside of companies (see the screenshot where I used PeopleMaps to see how I am connected to Gord Hotchkiss, co-founder of Enquiro, a search engine marketing agency, and author of a new book about the BuyerSphere — a topic for a future blog post. Not surprisingly, most roads to Gord lead through SEMPO,  the search engine marketing professional organization that he chairs).

Elana is ex-analyst/mentor and Dave is colleague from Forrester

Elana is ex-analyst/mentor and Dave is colleague from Forrester

The tool, which takes 10 minutes at most to install, runs in a browser, uses an intuitive Java/Javascript-based UI, imports connections from applications like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Outlook (contacts), and maps out the social graph between people you know and people with professional, public profiles that you may want to know. It combines data from the networking tools you use daily with commercially available data licensed from companies like D&B/Hoovers, Thomson Reuters, and ZoomInfo. (Which specific data sources is information that 7 Degrees doesn’t explicitly share on its Web site yet, but should. I will chalk this slip up to an early-stage-firm oversight that I hope they correct soon.) So nothing I am showing in the picture above is private or gained through non-publicly available means.

Why does this tool appeal to me as a B2B marketer?  Because it helps sales folks make first contact AFTER the lead management process delivers a qualified prospect to their SFA inbox. It helps salespeople prioritize which hot leads to pursue. It helps mine relationships that can make warm introductions to prospective buyers. Combining PeopleMaps with lead management information culled from an Eloqua, Marketo, Silverpop, or any of the other vendor’s I’ve mentioned in my market overview gets sales closer to that fabled “360 degree view” of the client. 

Marketing lead management gives sales the qualification information — demographics, contact history, interaction insights, and buyer behavior cues — and PeopleMaps then shows sales how they connect to the prospect through a social graph of personal contacts and relationships. Sales isn’t making cold calls; their building off of existing relationships to form new ones.  And isn’t that what sales does best?

Check out PeopleMaps for yourself and let me know what you think.  I would also be interested in hearing from you about similar tools you have seen or experienced. For example, I think technologies from companies like LinkedIn and ZoomInfo show who is who and that connections exist, while PeopleMaps shows how these connections occur.

Bottomline: If marketing wants to enable sales and leverage technology to do so, then providing tools that help sales foster relationships, and continue the dialog marketing starts, will be key to achieving a real closed-loop process between marketing teams (who develop the market) and sales (who sell to it.)

Note: In light of recent FCC rulings, I am disclosing that Kevin did pay for lunch last week.  Not that it really should matter , but that’s my disclosure of a “material connection” to Kevin and 7 Degrees.

14 Responses to “PeopleMap: A Real Tool for Sales Enablement?”

  1. SmartBrief on: Business-to-business social marketing | SmartBlog On Social Media Says:

    […] Social tool maps B2B sales leads PeopleMaps is a social-media tool that allows salespeople to analyze their social-media relationships to find potential clients. The tool maps your connections to individuals, highlighting possible points of entry for a sales pitch. PeopleMaps makes a useful business-to-business tool, Laura Ramos writes, because “it helps salespeople prioritize which hot leads to pursue.” (10/5) […]

  2. A Conversation With LoopFuse About The Marketing Automation Market « B2B Marketing POSTs by Laura Ramos Says:

    […] the analyst. (That’s why I’m here, after all.)  Since last fall, I’ve met 7Degrees, Leadforce1, Marketing Advocate, and SalesFUSION and talked more with eTrigue, Loopfuse, Manitcore, […]

  3. Mark Says:

    I emailed requesting Beta access.
    I think he’s onto a winner.
    Proofs in the pudding but sounds great and I’ll drop a comment.
    Thanks to Laura for the connection.
    Cheers, Mark.

  4. Laura Ramos Says:

    Hi Mark, any luck on getting the beta? Kevin’s contact information is in his comment to this post. You can contact him directly.

  5. Laura Ramos Says:

    Caryn, Thanks so much for the note and hope you find PeopleMaps useful. I mentioned it to L Arthur also, but have not heard back from her. Not sure who would be ther right person to pursue this on your end, but feel free to point them to Kevin.

  6. Laura Ramos Says:

    Thanks Kevin. Looks like there are a lot of comments on this one. Everyone, please feel free to contact Kevin for more information.

  7. Peter Godinez Says:

    Hi Laura,

    I enjoyed and learned alot, especially about “PeopleMap”. It is a breath of fresh air to hear experts in marketing share my passion for ending cold calling in sales. I have been in the copier industry 28 years and this industry still “worships” the process of cold calling. Just the sound of it makes me sick. I love the degrees of separation you promote. Please continue your pursue to make market put cold calling out of business.

    Peter Godinez

  8. nikita irmal Says:

    Have you tried for b2b sales leads? Any thoughts on how it could be used to nuture the leads usingpeople maps?

  9. Mark Runge Says:

    Hi Laura
    It sounds like PeopleMaps will be a very useful tool.
    I submitted my details to enroll in their private beta and hopefully I will be able to post some feedback once I am granted access to the system.
    I notice they have an “Invite Code” on the application form. Do you know if having one will speed up access to PeopleMaps or how to obtain one? (I’m just an impatient and curious individual who doesn’t like waiting around for an invitation ;-)
    Best regards, Mark.
    PS: Great blog – watching it on RSS feed now.

  10. The Networker’s Dream « The Effective Marketer Says:

    […] really cool tool I read about on Laura Ramos’ blog, shows the path between you and your desired target. By gathering information from your LinkedIn, […]

  11. Scott Mersy Says:

    Hi Laura,
    This looks like a useful tool – thanks for sharing. As you may or may not know, I’ve been with since the company got started and have recently taken on new responsibilities as VP of Marketing. After reading your whole post, the benefits of PeopleMap for Sales Enablement map almost point for point to those of Genius. Yes. That Genius – The Sales 2.0 pioneer. =)

    Your “Bottomline” is spot on. Technology needs to help sales build relationships, and, at the appropriate point, pick up the conversation marketing started.

    As is often the case, perceptions of what a moniker might represent and what real companies are doing under that moniker’s banner can sometimes be very different. When Sales 2.0 first emerged, it was admittedly unrefined and a bit confusing. Sales 2.0 has come a long way, and some of the evidence can be found in this recent DemandGen Report recap of “Marketing’s role in revenue generation” from the recent Sales 2.0 conference in Chicago.

    Also, if you get the chance, check out CEO David Thompson’s recent piece on how Sales 2.0 has evolved.

    Thanks for the forum, Laura, and I’m looking forward to many interesting conversations (and maybe a few debates) going forward!

  12. Caryn Gray Says:

    I enjoyed Monday’s blog, particularly the part about PeopleMaps. I am such a visual person and it is really, really cool to see my network graphically! As a B2B Marketer whose charter includes sales enablement – both my colleagues and those of the companies that use our products. For the former, I will share my find via traditional communications. For the latter, I will share it with our Product Management team! Thanks for the cool find.

    Caryn Gray

    PS: I will check out the Blogosphere book, too.

  13. Twitted by christinaylee Says:

    […] This post was Twitted by christinaylee […]

  14. Kevin D'Souza Says:

    Laura, you sure got it!

    Some of the other things that can be done with PeopleMaps are:

    1. Lead Prioritization based on connection strength of the user and the other users in the company to the Person or the Company of the lead
    2. Lead Assignment recommendations – help the Sales Manager decide who should get which lead based on which sales rep has the strongest connection to the Person or Company
    3. Contact sharing between users in an organization – to allow people to leverage each others contacts as a starting point to get a warm introduction to a prospect
    4. Integration into that provides automatic Lead Assignment and Lead Prioritization
    6. Facebook, Yahoo, Gmail – easy addition of new contact sources to add to your Outlook and LinkedIn contacts

    Lots more coming in Q4. Anybody that is interested can contact me at

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