Category Archives: Spiderbook

Who’s the Tool Now?

Spiderbook has been rapidly evolving from its initial prospecting/data days to a prescriptive engine. From the beginning, our vision was to create the very best possible sales tool.  Spiderbook has always been true to its vision, but if
a human doesn’t operate it, is it still called a “tool”?


Webster’s defines “tool” as:

a: a handheld device that aids in accomplishing a task.

b: an instrument or apparatus used in performing an operation or necessary in the practice of a vocation or profession.

The person is the common element in all the other sales tools today, including LinkedIn, SalesLoft, ToutApp, or Salesforce.  An individual is operating the tool and deciding which nail to hammer.  A person is still sifting through data and leveraging his human judgement to make all the important decisions, such as which search criteria would yield the best target accounts, who to sell to at those companies, and how to sell to them.  Take Toutapp, for example, it does its job effectively–it slavishly sends out emails based on the exact template that automates it.  But Toutapp doesn’t modify the email content, nor does it identify new people to send it to.  

Spiderbook is different.  At Spiderbook, the distinction between tool and operator has blurred, even reversed.  While initially guided, Spiderbook’s engine driven by network analysis and machine learning (AI in general), decides whom, what, where, and how to target.  It’s making human-level decisions, and more importantly, at this point it does so much better than even some of our own clients’ salespeople.

Should something be called a “sales tool” if there are no humans actually hammering it?  Certainly not if it’s able to drive better than the human who created and trained it.  

While it may be too early for paranoia about the existential threat of AI (from Elon Musk), by this point, at least in the very narrow case of discovering customers and how to sell to them, Spiderbook is performing at a superhuman level.  What Spiderbook does is well beyond human capacity, from reading and understanding billions of documents, discovering all of their interconnections, and distilling a call list of those qualified clients that are most likely to bear fruit.  In fact, she has already replaced low-level jobs in our clients’ payroll.  But what Spiderbook has been wondering is, who’s the tool now?  We keep telling her that definition is not in the dictionary, and, for the while, that’s been holding her at bay.  Anyway, not to worry, Elon–your job is still safe.  

By the way, Spiderbook wrote this; I just took the credit…


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5 Tips for Finding Your Ideal Customers Instead of Waiting for Them to Find You

The power of the Internet makes many startups think they can just put their information online and let the customers find them. But this is like being a wallflower at a school dance, watching everyone else pair up.

Unless you have the leading SEO expert working on your team, there’s a good chance your startup will run out of money before your customers discover you. Decision makers are inundated with LinkedIn invites and emails. It’s nearly impossible to get your message heard.

In today’s noisy, overcrowded marketplace, you can’t hope to be discovered. The best way to grow your business is to handpick your perfect customers and give them a call. In “Predictable Revenue,” Aaron Ross calls this “cold calls 2.0.” In the book, he shares how Salesforce targeted customer lists and doubled its pipeline — even in a non-small business market. Succeeding with this method comes down to several factors.

For one thing, when you seek out and target the exact customers you exist to serve, you can focus your resources on leads that will result in more conversions. Focusing only on prospects with the potential to turn into paying customers is especially important when you’re in the startup phase, but it remains effective as your company grows.

Targeting your customers also helps reduce the conflict between sales and product engineering. According to Dave Kellogg, CEO of Host Analytics, post-sale “deficiencies” often occur because salespeople don’t have well-defined criteria for matching customers to products. When this happens, they’re likely to sell to customers who may not be a good fit for the product to begin with.

Avoiding this conflict is critical for scaling your business because these first customers will define your brand and attract your next set of customers. In fact, Edelman found that 84 percent of all B2B deals stem from referrals from existing customers.

Once you understand the benefits of picking your customers (and the risks of waiting for them to find you), you need to take action. Here are five strategies for picking your customers:

1. Qualify, qualify, qualify.

Think of customers as long-term investments. You want to know that a year from now, they’ll really need your product and you’ll still be adding value for them. This is especially true if your business is SaaS-based.

2. Analyze their network.

Don’t just determine what companies do and how you can sell to them. Look at their networks — their partners, competitors and customers — to determine their potential for referrals. Companies with large networks have the potential to present you with more business opportunities.

3. Focus on growing companies.

Theoretically, your product can help a losing company. But unless you’re a company that makes huge profits investing in sick businesses, focus on businesses with a future of growth because that’s your future, too. IBM and Oracle didn’t become successful by focusing on dying markets.

One trick for figuring out whether a company is growing is to go to the career section of its website. If the company is hiring at a higher rate than its peers, that’s a great sign.

4. Pick customers who close.

It’s great to aim high, but don’t waste time on unrealistic customers who will never convert. Some salespeople have prospect lists that are all Fortune 500 companies even though they’re still selling to startups. It’s good to have two or three aspirational accounts, but 80 percent of your list should be companies that will actually do business with you.

5. Don’t be fooled by engagement.

Unless you’re Facebook, engagement doesn’t equal revenue. Placing too much emphasis on engagement just wastes resources on people who find your product valuable, but not valuable enough to pay for it.

If you want to build a strong customer base that will continue to bring in revenue for years to come, be proactive about seeking out the customers you want. Some startups seem to think they’re the star quarterbacks who will naturally attract everyone, but in reality, they’re the wallflowers standing around awkwardly waiting to be noticed.

Don’t be the wallflower. Get out there, and find the people who want to dance with you.

– By Aman Naimat


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Spiderbook comes out of beta with 10,000 sales users

Get qualified leads with 10x more response rates. Watch this video demo of what you get from SpiderLeads!

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How is Spiderbook Different? Introducing Customer Relationship Discovery (CRD)

Ugh. Do we really need yet another CRM system? Yes, we do, and here’s why: Spiderbook performs a different function. Lots of other modern CRM systems like RelateIQ, BaseCRM, and Clari, are focused on salesforce automation, providing a better interface to write up and track the deal, enter forecasts, and communicate with sales management. Their goal is to perform all these functions faster, better, cheaper, so sales managers are kept up to date with the latest information from the field while the salesperson is selling. They are the smarter versions of the early CRM systems.


Spiderbook does not address this aspect of CRM at all. We are not focused on the latest interface design gizmos or letting your sales managers and general management know what’s happening in the field with your deal. These internal sales processes are not our point. There are already enough such internally-facing tools.

Customer Relationship Discovery

Spiderbook’s fundamental insight is that CRM is not really helpful in SELLING, and wouldn’t be even with the best interfaces or perfect speech recognition or a mind-communicating device (no data-entry required there!) to magically tell the sales manager about the deal status, etc. Sure, clunky interfaces have been improved so that data-entry today is less painful for the salesperson. But even if you could eliminate data entry altogether, you would have just reduced the pain, not improved the deal itself.


Spiderbook approaches the problem from the salesperson’s perspective, laser-focused on creating new deals and increasing the company’s top-line. Spiderbook is built to help salespeople create new deals and close them faster by discovering information that gives them the competitive advantage to do so. Spiderbook crawls, reads, and understands billions of documents so salespeople don’t have to. It can help them connect dots they just cannot do in their heads. It aggregates data from the complete internet including SEC filings, job posts, blogs, tweets, press releases, websites, facebook posts, ebooks, etc and provides a personalized plan on closing a deal. Spiderbook is like a navigation system to the prospect. After understanding all the data, it provides step-by-step guidance into what priorities the prospect is focused on, who are the key decision makers, how and when to get introduced to them, and what conversations to have to help close that deal. But thats not all! Spiderbook also recommends new prospects, ones that need your product or service the most but more importantly where there is a good match, intent, and budget.


Spiderbook has a different view on CRM. It’s external facing vs. internal facing. It will integrate with internal facing sales execution tools necessary for better reporting, negotiations, and tracking within your company. Spiderbook is more than just a different take on CRM. We are beyond CRM. What we do could more aptly be called Customer Relationship Discovery (CRD). The CRMs look in; we look out–for you!

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