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Leverage Big Data to Extend Your Executive Network

February 26, 2018

The corporate world is fast-paced, and executives and board members are constantly on the move. High-level businessmen and women regularly attend conferences, dinners, and various other networking events, sharing new ideas and experiences with fellow colleagues.

Any of these interactions may result in a new connection that may be leveraged for a future opportunity or partnership. Executives will often exchange contact information via email or add one another on some type of professional networking site such as LinkedIn, but information exchanged in these settings may oftentimes get lost as a one-off conversation.

The question is—as a sales or marketing leader of an organization—what is the best way to ensure that your team leverages their executive connections to take advantage of potential opportunities? The thousands of contacts your team cultivates to possibly work with for business development may be difficult to manage because the information comes from various channels or lives in various platforms. Strategically organizing and deploying your team’s collective contact list to conduct outreach with potential prospects may be a challenge.

Possessing an extensive network of executive and boardroom contacts is an enviable “problem” for any sales organization. However, as any keen sales or marketing leader would note, this information is useless if it’s not organized and actionable. This starts with transforming information of this nature into relevant data.

Equilar BoardEdge, a database of over 200,000 public company executives and board members mapping more than 1.5 million professional connections, is often used by heads of sales and chief marketing officers to identify trusted referral sources in their networks and earn a competitive advantage to win new business opportunities. The platform allows users to create lists with any of the executives and board members in the database to leverage for outreach.

To enhance this use case, Equilar added a feature to BoardEdge that allows users to mass-upload their external contacts to lists. Users of any major CRM, email client, or professional networking site can download a CSV file of their contacts. When the user uploads their contacts, he or she may add the contacts to a current list or select a new list.

After the user uploads the file, exact matches identified by BoardEdge will be added to the chosen list. Matches that may or may not be valid are categorized as “potential matches.” Users then have the opportunity to determine whether or not one of the suggestions does indeed match the person in their uploaded file.

The CSV upload feature allows users to see more connections based on their own research as well as any 2nd or 3rd degree connections their contacts may have. This line of sight deeper into your connections’ networks is a primary differentiator of BoardEdge over other professional networking platforms.

Contacts are often underutilized because employees typically silo this information into their own personal email accounts. However, with BoardEdge, any user at a given company can share his or her lists with other users to ensure that they avail themselves of every possible warm introduction opportunity, subsequently maximizing business development opportunities. Ultimately, the CSV upload feature gives users the ability to leverage a wealth of high-level contacts effectively across their entire company.

Data is changing the way executives approach the run-of-the-mill business encounters. Exchanging business cards and email addresses are still effective ways for individual sales people to initiate conversations and develop relationships, but to stay ahead of the curve to grow a business, sales leaders must leverage big data to integrate this information across their teams. The new features—and upcoming enhancements—to BoardEdge will indeed allow users to not only harness warm leads, but also extend the reach of their executive networks.

Reach out to Equilar to learn more about BoardEdge connections or request a download of any of the nearly 200,000 executives and board members in the database. Include specific requests for individual downloads in the comment field.

Amit Batish, Lead Copywriter, authored this post. Please contact Dan Marcec, Director of Content & Communications, at dmarcec@equilar.com for more information on Equilar research and data analysis.

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