LexisNexis Legal & Professional, a provider of content and technology solutions, this week released LexisNexis Smart Meeting, a tool that integrates with a salesperson's Outlook calendar and pushes email news and updates right to him prior to a prospect meeting.
"We found that most of a salesperson's time is spent in email or the calendar, so we thought, 'What if we could take the more than 22,000 news and business sources and [information about] 80 million companies from LexisNexis and put it right there where you work,'" explains Tom Ogburn, vice president and managing director for Business Insight Solutions at LexisNexis.
Referencing IDC's 2011 Buyer Experience Survey, Ogburn notes that about 54 percent of purchasers in B2B transactions report that the sales professional was unprepared for initial customer meetings. He ties this back to proper research and the timeliness of research. "If you compile deep research on a company, it [has the potential to] change before you meet with a company," Ogburn reiterates.
SmartMeeting leverages LexisNexis' database to trigger up-to-date intelligence around executive moves and competitive updates directly to a salesperson. To trigger a report through SmartMeeting, the first step for the user is to schedule a meeting in Outlook. Once the system identifies a mail recipient's domain name, it will match it against LexisNexis' stored domain information. Users can also manually add the company information, and then select the timeframe for reports to be delivered, as well as content specifications, such as yearly financials, board of directors, and mergers and acquisitions.
"We thought the right place to start would be in Microsoft Outlook, but we fully intend to look at other email platforms and CRM integrations," Ogburn says, adding that the initial launch focuses on companies as a whole rather than individual or social intelligence, but "as we go along, our plans are clearly to add more platforms."
Although the most prevalent use case for SmartMeeting would be as a sales tool, Ogburn notes that it could work for someone in a research-intensive role, such as a consultant, who frequently interfaces with outside companies.
SmartMeeting is priced at $20 per seat, per month.