If you're a salesperson calling on small businesses, you're well aware of the time-consuming task of gathering information on these companies to make sales calls.
One company hopes to make that work a little easier.
Radius, a company that's raised $6.75 million from BlueRun Ventures and Comcast, announced Tuesday the launch of its new data intelligence platform, catering to small- to medium-sized businesses. At the same time, the company, formerly known as Fwix, is rebranding as Radius.
The new sales intelligence tool helps equip sales teams with information about small businesses that is often hard to find and/or time consuming to aggregate.
"We're Dun & Bradstreet, but collecting information about small businesses (under 100 employees)," said Darian Shirazi, CEO and co-founder of Radius, in an interview. Dun & Bradstreet is a leading source of information on businesses, with more than 195 million business records.
The problem with D&B, said Shirazi, is that it mainly collects information on large companies. Additionally, D&B's data collection is old school, Shirazi suggested, explaining that the data collection is conducted mainly through call centers with people calling companies and taking down information.
Radius, on the other hand, automates the process of data collection by crawling hundreds of thousands of sources across the Web to piece the information together.
Of course, with the automated process, this means Radius is dealing with a lot of confusing information that a human being can typically easily decipher. For instance, one of Radius' clients is called "Bag," which can often be mistaken with the word "bag." Radius' technology is designed to learn these differences, said Shirazi.
The sites that Radius scours include Twitter, Yelp, Urban Spoon, Foursquare check-ins, and daily deal sites. It also collects health inspection reports, liquor licenses, menus, photos, and through Facebook, it collects information on proprietors and employees and their connections.
By aggregating information from these sources, Radius has collected half-a-billion pieces of data that it compiles in an organized fashion to give sales people the relevant information they need to make sales calls.
In the image below, a salesperson can see how often a company is mentioned across social media sites.
A salesperson also has quick links to a company's profiles online as well as trending activity, Tweets, reviews, news, photos and check-ins. (See image below).
Currently, Radius, which was founded in 2008, tracks 15 million small businesses, said Shirazi. Customers pay Radius $39 per month, per person to get access to that database of small business information.
While Shirazi would not disclose any of his clients, he did say that Radius is working with large enterprises in the daily deal and local advertising spaces with big sales teams. Among companies with a large local salesforce include Google, Groupon, Comcast, LivingSocial, AT&T and Yelp, though Shirazi says Radius is not working with those particular companies.
In the near future, Radius will be targeting insurance companies, like State Farm Insurance, which has about 10,000 sales people calling on local businesses, Shirazi said. The 10,000 is a small percentage of the 10 million people who sell to SMBs, said Shirazi, but insurance companies make up a large percentage of the amount of money transmitted through these sales channels.