• September 1, 2009
  • By Jessica Tsai, Assistant Editor, CRM magazine

The 2009 Rising Stars - Jigsaw

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Since its inception in 2003, Jigsaw has been referred to as "the world's biggest Rolodex" and "the Wikipedia of business cards." It's mastered the art of deploying buzzwords like "user-generated content" and "crowdsourced database."

With the release of its Data Fusion product a few months ago, Jigsaw seemed to set its sights much higher. Prospect names have always been thrown at salespeople, says Michael Dunne, research vice president at Gartner, but far too often the plethora of bad data drives salespeople to ignore the good. By focusing on data hygiene, he says, "you're making sure you can avoid the situation of garbage going in."

[Editors' Note: For a video clip of Jigsaw CEO Jim Fowler accepting the award at CRM Evolution 2009, please click here.]

Through Data Fusion, Jigsaw can call upon its community of 800,000 users to engage in manually updating and cleansing information in both the CRM system and Jigsaw's database. Users are incentivized by the most powerful force known to any salesperson: self-interest. The more they contribute to the system, the less it costs. China Martens, senior analyst of enterprise software at The 451 Group, speculates whether the unique pricing model will actually encourage adoption.

Either way, Martens says, by enabling the integration of third-party data, Jigsaw has overcome its previous weakness-lack of research-and is an appealing offer to small and midsize businesses that have wrestled with data hygiene. For now, Data Fusion is only fully integrated with Salesforce.com, but Jigsaw promises more integrations this year and into 2010.

Martens also applauds Jigsaw's effort to partner with leading CRM vendors such as Salesforce.com, Oracle, SugarCRM, and NetSuite, and its relationships with marketing automation providers such as Alterian and Eloqua, and even competitors Dun & Bradstreet and LexisNexis. Despite a whopping 12 million records in its database, Jigsaw still faces some stiff competition, including ZoomInfo, infoUSA's OneSource,Harte-Hanks, and LinkedIn. Accolades don't hurt: In May, Jigsaw scored the Software & Information Industry Association's CODiE Award for Best Online Directory and Business Leads Service.

The best piece in Jigsaw's puzzle, Dunne says, is its pairing with (fellow Rising Star) InsideView, which integrates Jigsaw's data into an environment salespeople can really use. Alex Jefferies, senior research associate at Aberdeen Group, says that Jigsaw's ability to deliver targeted contacts paired with InsideView's ability to provide in-depth context and strategic insight is "truly helping sales reps maximize their selling time and reduce the amount of time wasted searching for information."

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